Neumann opens the elevator shaft door for Walker

It remains to be seen if Walker will misstep.

For the record: I think Neumann could have waited until Monday. From his campaign:


WAUKESHA, Wis. – June 25, 2010 – “First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.

“Government’s legitimate functions include providing safe infrastructure for its citizens. This concern must be paramount.

“It is clear that along with this latest tragedy, the county courthouse, the Zoo Interchange, and the Hoan Bridge, a number of structures in Milwaukee County are in various stages of disrepair. A full investigation and safety review is absolutely warranted, particularly for structures and facilities that have already been flagged for critical problems.

“This is heartbreaking. Sue and I are deeply sorry to hear of this terrible loss and the families are in our prayers.”



  1. BrkfldDad says:

    I agree, he could have and should have waited to politicize this event. Even Barrett took a pass on that this morning when prompted by 620WTMJ. While the jury is out on the cause, there’s going to be an inextricable link to Walker on upkeep of County infrastructure that he will have to fight. Neumann’s statement is unfortunate in timing and in linking non-County problems (although located in the County) like the Zoo Interchange and Hoan Bridge to Walker.

  2. Inextricable.

    This was not a good Neumann move. The more I think about it, the more I dislike it.

    Walker’s demise is inevitable. The better decision would be to watch it play out without comment.

  3. BrkfldDad says:

    Yep, inextricable (sometimes my vocab even amazes me!). That’s what makes this less than palatable for me. Neumann didn’t need to say anything. From the moment the accident happened ‘county maintenance’ became part of the story. No inference was needed by Neumann. And not only did he infer, he piled on with State projects that have questionable maintenance/upkeep, not county projects.

    I still haven’t made my mind up between the two.

    On a side note, does the accident and Canadian earthquake tie-in the media is pushing (pushed) seem silly or what?

  4. The earthquake angle is a little hard to grasp. (I wish I’d felt it! One of the weird things on my bucket list is to feel the earth move. Heck, in Guatemala there was a volcano hiccuping I could see from the balcony, and still nothing!)

    I can’t wait for the left, once they realize Walker is history, to link Charlie Sykes to Dave Schulz and the architect who was magically added to the bidding process all those years ago. There’s a chance they’ll hijack the thread early and actually help Walker by blaming a past executive.

  5. BrkfldDad says:

    I’ll betcha Walker’s team is scrambling now to find a design/installation defect at the cause of the accident. It’s his only hope in passing the blame.

  6. Agree with these sentiments. Over-eager Neumann, showing no true grace.

  7. There was no deferred maintenance on the parking structure and all of the demands from the most recent audit were met. Walker did his job. Sorry Cindy.

  8. Grow up Aaron. I never said there was deferred maintenance. Defensive much? And I find it funny that just because YOU SAID SO we’re all supposed to agree anyway.

    We’ll let this one play out and see what really happened. Go give Walker a big hug. He can probably use one about now.

  9. Cindy, it’s in the news. I think the only violations he had was that some seams weren’t caulked. That’s hardly a structural issue.

  10. Ethical lapse after ethical lapse by Neumann…

    Cindy doesn’t care.

  11. Neumann is a snake. His press release, among other things, implied that Walker was responsible for the failing structures not owned by the county government.

    He also jumped the gun presuming that government had failed when in fact the building was recently repaired according to spec.

  12. You know, Aaron, you aren’t doing you or your candidate any favors here.

    Proof by links, please. Your word is, well, just your word.

  13. Cindy, Walker reported to TMJ4 that repairs were made to the O’Donnell parking structure shortly after the 2009 audit.

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported Walker saying the same thing – that nearly all of the flaws identified by inspectors on the parking ramp were corrected. In fact, all of the items listed “critical”, “necessary”, or “potentially critical” were repaired.

    I presume that since TMJ4 and MJS had their hands on the updated report from Sue Black, they could just as easily proved Walker wrong.

  14. Hey, at least there are links!

    I’m still not sure with whom you are arguing.

  15. Cindy, I originally said there was no deferred maintenance on the parking garage that collapsed. You said,

    “And I find it funny that just because YOU SAID SO we’re all supposed to agree anyway. ”

    You also asked for links to confirm what I said, so I provided them. You now say you’re not sure who I’m arguing with. But I think you’re confused.

    I made a statement, and you questioned it. I made another statement, and you asked for links. I provided the links, and now you’re somehow confused.

    I don’t know if you think you’re being funny, but I’m not playing your games anymore.

  16. Good grief.

    For the record, providing two links where each is “Walker said” isn’t a very savvy way to win an argument should you choose to enter into one.

  17. Either you’re not getting it, or you are pretending to be obtuse. What Walker said is based upon a report that Sue Black provided the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel indicating the repairs made to the structure after the 2009 audit. The report, presumably, can be verified by the media outlet to which it was given.

    Are you suggesting that the Walker Administration fictionalized the repairs with the flimsy hopes that a liberal media wouldn’t do their homework?

    A savvy way to win an argument? No, more like commonsense.

  18. I think Neumann’s camp overreached trying to get a twofer by slamming Walker and anybody else at the same time.

    It is fun to watch ARod squirm trying to pull his boy away from this mess even when Neumann never said anything about Walker directly.

    And, can I quote you as the source for, “Local blogger calls Sykes’ role in Parking Ramp death into question?”

  19. Arod, squirm? Gosh really? BTW Aaron, this is the first time you mentioned the report that Sue Black provided. (Blast. If I could just remember who she is now…)

    And Grumps, since when have we ever asked each other’s permission for such? I didn’t technically call it “into question” but I did offer a reminder as to Sykes’ earlier employment. Just remember my caveat.

    A girlfriend and I have chatted a couple of times about what she remembers regarding Schulz. She seemed to recall there were a couple of scandals. Anyone remember them?

  20. Fred – re: “Ethical lapse after ethical lapse by Neumann…”

    Go back and reread that post for content. Who called Neumann on his timing? I know at least one other blogger caught it. Why do you ignore the truth and assert otherwise?

    I think it hacks you all off that I really don’t have a preference right now. Walker doesn’t impress me. Neumann certainly didn’t impress me with this last press release.

    We may not end up voting for the same candidate, but it doesn’t give you permission to be rude on MY blog. You can ignore me. Really. 🙂

  21. “It is fun to watch ARod squirm trying to pull his boy away from this mess even when Neumann never said anything about Walker directly.”


  22. Cindy, it was not the first time I mentioned Sue Black’s report. I mentioned it in post 13, the post to which you retorted, “I’m not sure with whom you are arguing.”

    Sue Black’s report was an itemized list of violations in the 2009 audit, the subsequent repairs done, and the estimated cost to the county. From what I can see, about 95% of the repairs were done, and the ones that weren’t completed have no relation to the facade that fell.

    Squirm? Squirming is what people do when they’re on the wrong side.

  23. Ooops. You’re right. I did google her and found out she’s the parks person who works for Walker. According to the article, she generated a report that Walker has been citing. I’m afraid there’s not enough distance between Walker and Black’s quick report to satisfy many following the story. It appears the media hasn’t been quick to give an all clear either.

    You mention that from what you can see, 95% of the repairs were done, but no one else is privy to your data. And again, the article doesn’t even have Walker using 95%.

    I know you like Walker, Aaron. You are as loyal as I have ever seen a blogger be loyal. What I don’t understand is why you like him. It seems all you do is defend his messes. Is there a history we should know?

  24. Zaphod Beeblebrox says:

    One thing’s for certain, I’ll be voting for “None of the Above” for governor. A smart candidate would change his name to that and might actually win. Do we have any former pro wrestlers who might want to run? Geeze. Need an alternative to the two-party system…

  25. Cindy,

    The County Government sent out the report to the media. And since I’m on the email list, I received the report. I could send you a copy if you are interested.

    In terms of distance between Black and Walker, I’m not sure if what you’re expecting is reasonable. After the audit, it becomes the county’s responsibility to do the repairs. Who but the county can provide an itemized list of the repairs?

    If your answer is the media, well, they were given the report as well. I presume their silence is suggestive of the report being legitimate.

    In terms of your question: I like Walker because he had to deal with a liberal machine in Milwaukee County for 8 years while coming out on top and reducing the county debt by 10%

    We see reports about Peggy West’s blunder on the news, but the only thing I see from this are the sorts of people that Walker had to deal with for years. I would have a lot of respect for any conservative who had to battle against people Like Larson, Holloway, and West on a regular basis.

  26. So you argue since Walker reduced county debt by 10%, he’s the guy. And that 10% reduction is why you are so loyal. (The part of the liberal machine doesn’t play because it felt like spin.)

    I have a question I’ve been meaning to research: When in Walker’s term did he raise taxes? I know there’s this big push against Barrett, but I haven’t seen anything that shows Walker’s history. Maybe you can help with that information since you like being here so much.

    And yes, I’d love a copy of Black’s report.

  27. Cindy,

    There are obviously more reasons than reducing county debt, but I don’t think it’s necessary to list them here. If you want to see them, go to my article here

    In sum, he runs government lean and well everywhere from the Mitchell International Airport to the Parks while running budget surpluses cycle after cycle. And when leaders can produce consistent surpluses, that is the bottom line.

    Also, one can’t say that Walker raised taxes during his term without providing the right context. Every tax increase that the County Board proposed, Walker had vetoed. If they have a 2/3 majority, then Walker has no choice but to sign the measure. I’m sure you know how that works.

    Also, I sent you Black’s report.

  28. Dear Aaron, you understand so little about me. If Walker is running “budget surpluses” it means he taking too much in tax in the first place. That’s been one of my pet peeves with Brookfield budgeting practices for years.

    Taxes were increased while Walker was County Executive, but it was never his fault. So if he gets to be governor, do we get to hear him whine about how he tried but those big bad legislators would never let him have his way?

    I’m kind of looking for leadership this time, not someone skilled at making excuses. If the next governor promises to reign in spending and tax increases, he better have a plan that he’s sure can be implemented. If not, tell me the truth about what he can actually accomplish and we’ll work from there.

    So is it every year that Milwaukee County taxes have gone up? If so, doesn’t that make Walker’s history equal to Barrett’s? After all, Barrett has a big bad board he has to work with, too.

    Thanks for the report. I’ll go find it now.

  29. Cindy,

    You are right that the county taxes are already too high, but how do you suppose that Walker cut taxes when nearly 2/3 of the county board are liberal? The fact that Walker produces surpluses may suggest to you that taxes are already too high, but it is also suggestive of the fact that Walker is shrinking county programs to save money, hence reducing government debt by 10%.

    And btw, how do you tie a 10% reduction in county debt and a 20% reduction in the county workforce to making excuses? Walker doesn’t have to make excuses. His record is one of debt reduction, increased bond ratings, and county efficiency. How is that equal to Barrett? Please do tell.

  30. I didn’t say the county taxes are too high. No doubt they are, but I didn’t say that. I said Walker took too much if he’s running surpluses.

    You are really one to spin other’s words, kiddo. No one made the “tie” you propose. Indeed he’s making an excuse if he says he can lower taxes, but that big bad liberal county board won’t let him.

    Either he leads in a way that lowers taxes or he doesn’t. Reducing debt by 10% isn’t much to tout as your success when you want to be governor.

    Under Walker’s leadership taxes increased, under Barrett’s leadership taxes increased. How it that not an equal comparison?

  31. Cindy, you’re reasoning is defunct. That’s like blaming Paul Ryan for the passage of Obamacare. Sure Ryan was in Congress when it happened, but he had very little control over the issue. The same reasoning applies to Walker, who vetoed tax increases, but his vetoes were over-ridden by a 2/3 vote.

    Your comparison is so ridiculous, but then again, what can we expect from a conservative that considered voting for Barrett. Datta girl, perhaps you can still change your website name to “Fairly Progressive.” I think the name is still available.

  32. The Paul Ryan comparison would only work if Ryan were president. It appears obvious that you are going to have a freaking hard time understanding that logic. Too bad for you.

    You lost your argument so the best you can do is hurl an insult. Let’s hope Scott Walker has more ability than his most loyal servant.

  33. It’s not an insult. Barrett voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions, voted for the largest tax increase in Wisconsin history, and has consistently voted against repealing taxes on small businesses. “On the Issues” website categorized Barrett as a “hard core liberal”. The fact that you considered voting for him over conservative candidates gives others insight into this discussion.

    Your comparison of Walker, who is pro-life, pro-businesses, and anti-government debt to Tom Barrett is absurd. And then you claim that you won an argument?

    The Paul Ryan analogy is good because it shows that both men, although participants in the government body, did not have control over the outcome. Just as Paul Ryan was out-numbered by his Democrat colleagues on the Obamacare vote, Scott Walker’s vetoes were over-ruled by super-majorities budget cycle after budget cycle. Whether Paul Ryan was the president or not is immaterial to the point. If you cannot understand this, then you are in no position to state who has rightfully lost an argument.

  34. I kind of guessed it would go over your head. And I know it’s going to break your heart, but Walker’s opponent is Neumann. You are really jumping the gun to assert otherwise.

    Btw, that I like Barrett doesn’t mean I’m likely to vote for him. I know it makes you feel better to say so, but you’re only fooling yourself.

    Do you do that a lot?

  35. Aaron said:

    And btw, how do you tie a 10% reduction in county debt and a 20% reduction in the county workforce to making excuses? Walker doesn’t have to make excuses. His record is one of debt reduction, increased bond ratings, and county efficiency. How is that equal to Barrett? Please do tell.

    He did not reduce debt, he only shuffled it. There is nearly a billion dollars in debt right now, and it is getting worse on a daily basis.

    As for the cutting of staff, that would explain the state take over of the Income Maintenance program, the deteriorating buildings, the problems at the mental health complex.

    Right now, every department, including mine, is begging people to take overtime. I am actually making more money now than before he insisted on his four weeks plus of furlough days. I could work a three day week for the rest of the year and still make more money than before. How is that good management by Walker?

    And should I get into the lawsuits that will inevitably be coming? You know, for Walker’s stance that women being raped is a reasonable “trade off” or for buildings collapsing on people?

    And Cindy, be a dear and add a follow comments button if you can. Please? :^)

  36. Done. Thank you for suggesting it.

  37. Randy in Richmond says:

    About your bucket list–give this a try. It’s one solution but perhaps not the one you are searching for.

  38. You are silly, Randy in Richmond. Did that cause a flashback, though!