In defense of Chris Abele

Today’s news from the I-never-endorsed-Chris-Abele paper of Milwaukee is that Abele had a tax lien on his home in 1999. There’s the potential for this to be one heck of a story. There’s also the chance the story went something like this:

IRS worker opens payment document. IRS worker puts payment check in the wrong pile. IRS worker processes return as not paid. IRS worker processes lien.

You see, I have personal history with a story much like that one. Then one day, out of the clear blue sky, a letter came thanking us for the payment and explaining that penalties and interest might, MIGHT be cleared soon. They were. Still the follow up letters offered no explanation or apology.

I imagined some IRS worker getting canned, someone cleaning off the wreck of a desk and thinking, “oops, better cash that.” For the three months in between it was darn near terror. The IRS aren’t very fun playmates.

No, I don’t know for sure that’s what happened to Abele. Sure, he’s not the guy I want in the Milwaukee County Executive’s seat. I am saying there’s no smoking gun.

It sure is interesting to watch the MJS build a case against Abele now that they’ve decided that’s what they want to do.

As a personal note, it’s a hoot to be watching campaign spokespeople Vi Hammelman and Brandon Lorenz have a go in the paper. I know them both. If they happen to be reading, 1) Vi, I need your butter bean recipe. I had it for years – Kate had shared it – but the last time I went to use it I couldn’t find it anywhere!, and 2) Brandon, nice job moving up the ladder, kid. If you want on a winning team you might need to move out of Wisconsin, though. I think this red wave will continue for a bit. 😉


  1. Wouldn’t that mean that Abele went 3+ years without getting a note from the IRS, and/or didn’t notice that his $2.3 million check was never cashed?

  2. Just saying with the IRS, there’s no absolute. I’m living proof. It could be (not saying that it is!) that there were three years of trying to get to resolution with the IRS escalating the matter.

    Of course, it could also be (not saying that it is!) that Abele’s a tax cheat.

  3. Attacking economic development and defending Chris Abele in consecutive posts? Maybe you should rename this blog to BARELY Conservative. 😉

    Seriously, I agree on both counts.

  4. (Blushing) I didn’t think of it like that. Thank goodness you agree with me.

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    Maybe the taxes, not sure on the long court cases, but 100 unpaid parking tickets would keep me from voting for anyone with a record of doing that. It smells of elitism and ” I’m better than everyone else ” disorder.

  6. Oh, I agree, there’s plenty of reasons not to vote for Abele, but this one was personal. I don’t think it carries as much weight.

  7. I got a letter from the IRS once as well. I can assure you it was dealt with IMMEDIATELY.

    Frankly this just seems to be another example in a pattern of irresponsible behavior.

  8. Oh, it was dealt with around here, too, but it did not change the IRS stance at all.

  9. Conservatives having problems with paying taxes. What a surprise!

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    Which conservative are you referring to ?