Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann is staying above the political fray. He is too dignified to dibble-dabble with political finger pointing because it doesn't solve problems.
After all, Neumann is an important business man who is more interested in achievable causes like hosting an online petition to repeal Obamacare. If you sign up now, you can become an email target for the Neumann campaign the next 6 months! Yes, it won't repeal Obamacare, but you get a nifty "A" for effort while bolstering Neumann's run for governor.
Lee Bergquist, the same reporter who failed to do his job in an earlier report, gives Neumann some free press by allowing him to finger-point while claiming that finger-pointing is both useless and unproductive. Oh the irony.
Bergquist opened up his article saying,
"Mark Neumann, Republican candidate for governor, said Thursday that he's steered clear of finger-pointing over the Zoo Interchange because it wouldn't do anything to get the bridge fixed. Neumann told an audience at Marquette University Law School that he didn't think the critical exchanges between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett were useful."
Let's take a closer look at this. Neuman thinks that finger-pointing is not useful, and this is the reason he gave for staying out of the Zoo Interchange debacle headlined the past week in the news. But not so fast. Neumann's campaign staff (Derek Ellerman) is spending time making open-records requests on the County Executive's calendars and scheduling. Exactly how useful is it for Neumann to be sifting through Walker's records? Is he hoping to find something that solves real problems, or is he looking for something worthy of finger-pointing?
This is also the same Mark Neumann who has attacked Walker's job record in the Metro Milwaukee area - attacks that have won him the bitter ire of Mark Belling, who called him out for making a "brazenly misleading and unfair, irresponsible attack". By the way, whenever you hear Neumann mention "Metro Milwaukee", he's likely taking a stab at Walker. Remember, the city of Milwaukee belongs to Barrett, not Walker. So by making the distinction "Metro Milwaukee", Neumann is trying to lump Walker with Barrett. Keep an eye on this brand of (non-finger pointing) finger-pointing in the near future.
From a political standpoint, Neumann didn't add to the finger pointing because he wasn't relevant. Doyle is relevant because he raided the transportation fund of 1.2 billion dollars and thus didn't have the funds to repair the Zoo Interchange. Barrett is relevant because in 2005, he believd that the Zoo Interchange would stand the test of time. And Walker is relevant because he supported efforts to rebuild to Zoo Interchange as a state legislator and a County Executive.
Neumann, however, is not relevant because he was in Congress during the late 90s and early 2000s pissing off his own party and getting kicked off the appropriations committee. Bizarrely, Neumann touts this during one of his TV spots, which starts off with the annoying line, "Hi folks, I'm Mark Neumann" every 15 minutes on Fox News. Interestingly, Neumann goes after his own party calling them "party bosses". Now how useful is that? I remember watching his commercial with my grandfather the other day. He turned to me saying, "Now that's not too smart. He's going after his own party."
Hey Neumann, if you want to fix bridges, you might want to start with your own party. No, it's no Zoo Interchange, but if you mend those bridges, you might not have to spend millions in cash trying to buy the race.
According to Bergquist, Neumann thought it would have been better for Walker and Barrett to debate about the Zoo Interchange and how to solve the problem rather than participate in a blame game. What a strange comment. As we speak, the state is solving the problem by rebuilding Highway 45. What's there to debate about? Call it finger-pointing if you will, but examining how the myopic vision of a governor and the poor judgment of a mayor contributed to a net loss of $15 million on a temporary bridge that will be torn down later is probably something voters should know about.