Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for Governor

That’s what the Facebook group started by teen Asher Heimermann is titled. And before you have a cow, yes, I joined the group.

Normally I’d explain it’s a good idea to keep your eyes on the competition, but I’m going to surprise you and say I’d have to think long and hard if I had to choose between Barrett and Republican front-runner Scott Walker. I like Tom Barrett. He looks you in the eye when he talks to you. He makes you think you are the only person in the room. No looking past you to see if there’s anyone more important in line.

And that’s it in a nutshell. Barrett’s a nice guy. Not only that, but he’s a nice guy with Hero standing. It’s going to be really hard to compete with that if he joins the gubernatorial race.

So here’s your chance. Tell me what Barrett’s done wrong. And no, having a (D) beside his name doesn’t count. You’ll need to be a little more creative than that. (This site is labeled FAIRLY conservative, after all.) I’m going to be digging around a bit myself.

I really don’t care that Daniel Bice said Obama wants him. Obama’s team is simply cherry picking. They know Barrett’s likely to run and don’t want to look stupid about it. Look beyond Obama when you’re making your list, too.

Tell me with concrete non-partisian detail why it shouldn’t be Tom Barrett as our next governor.


Tom Barrett’s record on partial-birth abortion is discussed in this post.


  1. Let’s see; there’s the benefits for domestic partners of city employees, all the new fees in Milwaukee (not deductible on federal income taxes), the ever-changing course of light rail, the dilapitated road network in Milwaukee.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

  2. Does voting FOR partial-birth abortion count? Because he did so.

  3. Ok, guys. Thanks for the news, but I’m gonna need back up. I suppose I’ll make that my job when we’re all done.

  4. Wilson828 says:

    I’m proud of you. I agreed with everything you said. Sometimes Cindy, a gut instinct about things is enough.

  5. Well, don’t gloat too long, Wilson828. I did confirm the partial-birth abortion vote Barrett made. That’s pretty damning. Would a nice guy vote like that? The bill did say that it was allowed only when the mother’s life was endangered. Man, that makes it difficult.

    More discovery to come.

  6. Alexander says:

    Because I have so little time, I need to trust my friends on most things politic. Eggs n 29 qualify on all counts. Partial birth?!?! Dude, I don’t care HOW much my leg might shiver if we where to chat, ANYONE who votes for that will not get any support from me. (I am a “fan” of the B for G site as well, why not, I need a good laugh once in awhile)
    And yes, partial birth abortion is enough to stand on it’s own as a deal breaker.

  7. Sorry neomom. You’re working from an protected IP. That’s fishy, so you’re out of here. If you are so proud of you opinion you are welcome to make it in the regular way. Everyone else seems to think that’s the better way to handle it.

  8. Look what I just saw!

  9. Still traceable to the 15 year old. Hmm. I think I need a voting-age person in on this one. I’m going to check on something, though.

  10. You know, I’m sure the kid’s heart is in the right place, but it is bugging me a bit that he’s offering the city’s phone number, address, and e-mail address for Barrett’s contacts. Surely he doesn’t want to get Barrett in trouble.

    I did look at the bottom, and it clearly says he’s paid for the site. The law allow a minimal expenditure to support a candidate without any filing. I could put together a Web site under that amount. I’m betting he can, too.

  11. Jason Holder says:

    I’m pretty sure that no matter how liberal you are, no one is ever PRO abortion, as some of the comments about Tom Barrett elude to. When it comes to making the choice to save a mother’s life or protect the life of the baby, no one ever wants to have to make that decision, but I would feel very comfortable having someone as my governor that is able to say, “yes, in rare instances, partial birth abortion may have to be a choice when a mother’s life is in danger”. In no way does that make him a bad person. It makes him a strong leader with a realistic view of life.

  12. I’m having trouble with it still. First, I’ll acknowledge he did vote on the issue. No “present” or ducking it. And yes, he voted in the minority. The measure did not pass. BUT! He voted in the minority with Tammy Baldwin, and in my mind no one is more liberal than Tammy Baldwin! So I need to check some other votes.

    Hey, I asked. I guess I got some answers. Raising fees? I can live with that. But this one bugs me.

    I will say, and I mean this emphatically, no election will be decided on an abortion issue. If conservatives want to slap Barrett around should he run, make it that he’s as liberal as Tammy Baldwin and not about abortion.

  13. The Lorax says:

    Abortion is one of those issues that is actually rarely in a policy context.

    And Re: Tammy Baldwin. If that’s the best strategy that the R’s can come up with, Barrett will surely win. No one outside of Madison knows who Baldwin is unless they are uber-informed.

  14. Well that’s a point. So Barrett is the heir apparent. I suppose we should get used to it, huh?

  15. Jason Holder says:

    Very true, Cindy. Abortion is such a hot button issue that I think by making it too front-and-center, it will simply turn the race into an emotional conflict, which never benefits the citizens in the long run because they miss out on hearing what the candidates can really offer.

    And to echo what you said about Tom Barrett being “a nice guy”, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never felt like someone is trying to sell me a used car when listening to Tom Barrett speak. The same cannot be said about what I’ve heard from the lips of Scott Walker.

  16. I liked your point about no one really being “for” abortion. I’d agree there.

    My opinion about abortion being a non-issue is based on some polling I remember seeing post presidential election that made me think abortion is no longer a wedge issue. The votes won’t be swung from there.

  17. I’d agree with you there. Legalized abortion is status-quo. Most right-wing activists are more distracted by impeding gay rights these days.

  18. Jason Holder says:

    And as a gay citizen of Wisconsin, I’ll be happy when these right wing activists decide to find something that actually affects THEIR lives to become involved with, rather than constantly trying to dictate how others should live when it has absolutely no bearing on them at all. Perhaps spending more time focusing on how to fix the weather ravaged roads in the state would be more productive than worrying about what goes on in their neighbors’ bedroom.

  19. Hey, Jason. You keep those details to yourself and I’ll do the same. No doubt the world will be glad we did.

  20. You talk about your husband all the time, too bad Jason doesn’t have that opportunity.

  21. Jason Holder says:

    Hahaha. No worries there, Cindy. I plan on it. And thanks for the support Lorax. 🙂

  22. Who is Asher Heimermann?

  23. Because Barrett is an empty pantsuit – just like you are.

    He cannot make decisions, he cannot lead, he cannot have a complete thought.

    He has to be clubbed over the head to move one way or another.

  24. Well, Lorax, does Jason have a blog? He can talk about anything he wants.

    Don’t faint, but I know several gay people, and they talk about their partners without hesitation. I’m thinking you jumped a wee bit too far in that conclusion.

  25. That didn’t exactly meet the rules of engagement, Sam. I hope you feel better now.

  26. I’d like to give Barrett a chance at running MPS and see how he does. That will be a true test of his leadership skills.

    Otherwise, I do think he is a good mayor. We have had worse here in Milwaukee.

  27. That’s an interesting point, Anthony. Talk is cheap. Will Barrett ever actually get around to it? Hmmm. Would Barrett be so keen on the takeover idea if, say, Marvin Pratt were Mayor?

  28. I like that we graduated from the same grade school (different year). Other than that you could say, like BO, he projects a nice guy image. Was he mayor when the successful costume company, now located in New Berlin, wanted to locate in Milwaukee but Gwen Moore and others said the jobs were not good enough. If he was mayor he should have stood up for his city and said the jobs were plenty good enough for a city that doesn’t exactly have a lot of suitors and offers an uneducated, unskilled work force a chance at employment.

  29. So, folks. You’re done already? There were two comments offering responses of interest. One, the partial-birth abortion vote, I was able to verify. I’ll be looking into the fees, and domestic partners stuff. Light rail and roads? Well, he supports light rail. (I don’t mind the ride, but can’t stand the thought of the extra taxpayer expense.) And guess what? Roads suck in Wisconsin so I’m not adding that one to the list.

    Once again, I’d like to clarify to those so anxious to throw me under any available bus, I asked a question. There’s no way you can interpret the initial post as an endorsement for Barrett’s candidacy. I like the guy from what I’ve seen, but had never looked into his politics because he’s never been on a ballot where I would vote.

    I will warn you, should you look, you’ll probably find donations from this household to his Mayoral campaign. Lots of business leaders chose Barrett over the other guy.

    I really didn’t know what the answers would be when I asked. It won’t stop a couple of you from playing the well-practiced role of asshole given the opportunity. I suppose in your tiny little minds Lawrence and Kev, questions are always a bad thing if they might lead to opinions different than your own.

    Barrett’s not running yet, so we’ll have to wait to see how this one plays out.

  30. Randy in Richmond says:

    Actually Jason I don’t worry about what goes on in your bedroom but apparently you do as you brought it up. Had you followed your own advice we wouldn’t be having this dialogue.

  31. Actually, he suggested a neighbor’s bedroom, but that was kind of the point I was trying to make. You are a little more direct.

  32. Wait, I’m confused: The website you linked to with Barrett’s abortion stance says “Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)”

    How is that a vote FOR partial-birth abortions?

  33. BkfldVoter says:

    I think the responses of interest would be SCHOOLS – who’s runnin’ ’em (# 26) and JOBS – turning small businesses away from Mke, to land in the suburbs (#28). These are PUBLIC policies which impact all.

    By contrast, partial-birth abortion vote and fees, domestic partners are PRIVATE choices.

    Just my take on things.

  34. Emily, you are absolutely right. Evidently there’s lots of discussion to exactly that effect on the Lefty Bloggers facebook group.

    I’m still going to dig into it. (Tell IT I don’t bite! He should be putting his research here!) If it’s true, there were two votes that day and the procedural vote was to get to the substantive vote in which he voted against the abortion issue. I’ll figure it out eventually.

    (Well that’s why a girl asks questions, right?)

    BrkfldVoter – good distinction between private and public issues. I like that.

  35. The Lorax says:

    Someone’s facebook feed said “just because Barret is a competent manager doesn’t necessarily mean he will make a visionary governor.”

    This from a very staunch Milwaukee Democrat. Are Milwaukee voters just scared they will lose an asset or what?

    Which begs the question, who’s the next mayor of Milwaukee? Can Marvin Pratt win this time? I really like Willie Hines–seems like a great guy, good family man. But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

  36. I don’t see Walker as a visionary either. To be honest, I’d rather have a roll-up-his/her-sleeves candidate this time around instead of a visionary. They cost too much.

  37. Jason Holder says:

    Yeah, I didn’t mention any details, nor do I plan on it in the near future, Randy. But thanks for misinterpreting what I wrote and deciding to put your own spin on it. Yet again, another “right-wing activist” spouts without thinking.

    If only all conservatives were as thorough and thoughtful with their opinions as Cindy appears to be, perhaps I would actually vote for one now and then.

    Thank you, Cindy, for providing such well researched information for us to ponder.

  38. Asher, to answer your question, Tim, is an interesting character…an eager young man known all too well to those familiar with the Sheboygan political scene.

  39. Randy in Richmond says:

    Hey Jason, you said it. I don’t start my posts off with ” as a heterosexual citizen of Virginia” to make my points. And as usual you libs throw out the right wing accusations but when challenged get personal because you can’t debate on the issues.

  40. Jason Holder says:

    There will be no personal attacks, Randy, don’t worry. I don’t know you, so it wouldn’t be fair for me to do that. I do apologize if it came off that way.

    My point was that gay or straight, gay marriage/domestic partner benefits should not be a political issue at all because, again, it is not something that affects any straight citizen in a negative way. BrkfldVoter has it exactly right when he mentions public vs. private issues. It should be a private issue, not something that the populace decides to ban/disallow because it interferes with their own religious beliefs (which is generally cited as the reason people are against such things).

    Getting back to the original content of Cindy’s post, Tom Barrett is in favor of domestic partner benefits because he is intelligent enough to realize that allowing same sex partners to have the same benefits as heterosexual couples in no way negatively impacts ANYONE! It simply gives same sex couples the opportunity to live a little more easily and securely.

  41. I’ve not even begun to research the domestic benefits issue, so there’s not “Barretts for it” or “Barrett’s against it” coming out of my mouth.

    I do think it’s a rotten time to be expanding public employee benefits. If he can work it into the budget, though, so be it.

  42. Jason Holder says:

    I agree, Cindy. Budgets are stretched as thin as they can be to begin with. I’m not in favor of expanding the benefits that are currently available to city workers…I just think the same existing benefits package could easily be made available to all city workers. Yes, the plan would then cover more people, but the added expense should be rather minimal.