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MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann is becoming a favorite of the Tom Barrett campaign for governor. This week Olbermann again named GOP candidate Scott Walker as the "worst person in the world," making it the third time in recent months that Walker has received national recognition for being the "worst."
Olbermann took issue with Walker's jobs plan, which the candidate touts as 68 pages of a plan to put Wisconsin in the top 10 states in terms of job creation. Olberman showed that some of the pages have a grand total of 13 words in 36-point type and section headings each account for one page.
"And I didn't include the three half-page photos," he added.
"At least you can see his crap from a mile away," he closed.
The Barrett camp used Olberman's commentary in a fundraising pitch saying Walker's job plan is a "juvenile stunt,""sophomoric" and that Wisconsin needs "adult leadership.
"It raises real question about Walker's immature leadership style, and how serious he truly is about solving Wisconsin's problems," reads the e-mail pitch for $5 contributions.
Another national disgrace: The sexting scandal of Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz hit the national airwaves this week, with Gov. Jim Doyle appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" to talk about the fiasco.
Kratz was first accused of sending more than 30 sexually suggestive text messages to a woman who was the victim of domestic violence. Kratz was prosecuting her boyfriend. Since then, three other women have come forward with similar texting stories.
Katz says he did nothing wrong, will not resign and will run for re-election in 2012. He has since taken medical leave for "treatment."
Doyle took the opportunity of the national stage to criticize state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen for not taking action against Kratz. The state's Department of Justice said the messages did not make for a crime. The state's Office of Lawyer Regulation also found no misconduct, but didn't tell anybody until the allegations blew up.
The "Good Morning America" report was replete with sinister-looking photos of Kratz, while Doyle appeared live remotely.
"What is going on at the Wisconsin Department of Justice?" commented GMA's George Stephanopoulos, playing into Doyle's theme.
Doyle likely went after Van Hollen's office since the Republican AG is up for re-election in November and faces Doyle's pal Scott Hassett, a former Department of Natural Resources secretary, who is running a rather low-key campaign for such an important office.
The state Democratic Party also chimed in, saying the AG's office won't go after Kratz because he, like Van Hollen, is a Republican. It asked for an investigation by the governor's office. The governor can remove a district attorney after an investigation and public hearing if a citizen files a complaint.
Van Hollen's office shot back that it followed procedure -- and even broke a confidentiality rule by releasing a letter from the Office of Lawyer Regulation. It also took credit for taking over the prosecution of the woman's boyfriend. It added that it's the governor's job to toss out bad district attorneys.
It is rare for a district attorney to be fired by the governor, but not unheard of. In 1996, then-Gov. Tommy Thompson removed the Lincoln County DA from office for shoving a referee at his son's basketball game. The DA was convicted of disorderly conduct.
"Attorney General Van Hollen did not sit on this case," the AG's office said in a statement. "In fact, until the governor's announcement today, the attorney general is the only public official to take any action on this matter. ... The attorney general's interest was in maintaining the integrity of the underlying criminal prosecution against the crime victim's assailant, relieving the crime victim of any need to interact with district attorney Kratz ... and making sure that the Office of Lawyer Regulation was aware of his conduct. There was insufficient evidence to move forward with a criminal proceeding against Kratz."
Hassett took the hint and got on the bandwagon shortly thereafter.
"District Attorney Kratz's conduct is appalling and it makes your blood boil. ... Even more troubling are reports that J.B. Van Hollen knew about this case for nearly a year and did nothing about it. And as a result of Van Hollen's inaction, at least one other woman was apparently victimized by Kratz since the original incident.
"The people of Wisconsin deserve to know why their attorney general sat on his hands and took no action against a Republican ally, despite pleas for help from the 25-year-old victim. Only an independent investigation will reveal the full extent of JB Van Hollen's misconduct in the Kratz case."
Your representatives at work: A recent meeting of the Common Council Community and Economic Development Committee broke out into a classic spate of playground politics as Alds. Tony Zielinski and Joe Davis got into verbal fisticuffs over who was running the meeting.
Davis chairs the committee and he turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Zielinski so Davis could ask some question of city development officials about job creation. Zielinski then had a query of his own, asking development planner Jim Page if he planned on attending Zielinski's committee meeting the next day looking at African-American unemployment in the city.
Davis wasn't enthralled with the line of questioning and told Zielinski to stop, saying that topic was not on the agenda.
"I'm the chair. You're out of order," started Davis.
"You're out of order," retorted Zielinski.
"You need to respect the chair," shot back Davis.
After a maelstrom of back-and-forth arguing over who was in charge, Ald. Willie Wade suggested a time out for the two and committee to cool things off. But the two chairmen settled down and continued the business of the day in front of a somewhat chagrined audience.
More Bronzeville planning: When the city announced plans to recreate Milwaukee's "Bronzeville" -- a former African-American entertainment district -- there were obviously high hopes.
But that vision hasn't materialized quickly, with the closing of a major feature of the district, America's Black Holocaust Museum, and the opening of some problem taverns.
So, Ald. Milele Coggs, who represents the area, wants to get a handle on future plans for the area and had the Common Council approve an advisory committee to make recommendations on future projects.
The Bronzeville area is bordered roughly by WestGarfield Avenue, West Center Street, North 7th Street and North King Drive.
The first major project for the district was announced this summer. An investment group, Inner City Arts LLC, announced its plans to buy a city-owned building, at 642 W. North Ave., for $10,000, and spend $501,000 remodeling it into offices. Two of the development group's partners will occupy the first floor of the 4,800-square foot building. Some of the remaining space would be used as a construction plan review room for contractors.
A $171,000 city loan for the project came from a tax incremental financing district. The tax revenue generated by the development will serve to repay the loan.
"I believe it's essential that residents, property owners, business owners, and other stakeholders of the Bronzeville community first have a chance to review proposals and then provide input as to whether a proposed redevelopment project is in line with their interests, desires and perspectives," Coggs said of the seven-member committee, of which she will appoint three members.
An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe.
He lives in Bay View.