Milwaukee mayoral forum; Ron Johnson really said that; Milwaukee readies pitch for GOP

·4 min read

Milwaukee mayoral forum

When Milwaukee City Hall opened in 1895, it was the third-tallest building in the U.S., according to Arthur Drooker's new book "City Hall."
When Milwaukee City Hall opened in 1895, it was the third-tallest building in the U.S., according to Arthur Drooker's new book "City Hall."

We're down to the wire for the Feb. 15 primary in the Milwaukee mayoral race.

Tonight at 7 o'clock, the candidates square off during a forum at Turner Hall Ballroom moderated by TMJ4's Charles Benson and the Journal Sentinel's James Causey.

The event is hosted by the Pabst Theater Group, Milwaukee Press Club, WisPolitics.com, Listen MKE and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.

The forum will also be live-streamed on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Facebook page.

Here's a rundown of some past forums.

And here's a look at how the candidates approach one of the big issues: public safety.

Another top issue: the approach to COVID-19.

And yet another issue: views on the city's looming pension spike.

As for the vote count, Alison Dirr has an interesting piece on the rise in partisan nominees working the polls on election day.

Daniel Bice weighs in with a column on a secretive group spending big bucks to promote Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson.

Seven people are bidding to complete the term of former Mayor Tom Barrett, who left the post to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.

The candidates: Johnson, Milwaukee Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic, former Milwaukee Ald. Bob Donovan, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas, state Sen. Lena Taylor, community activist Ieshuh Griffin and businessman Michael Sampson.

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Ron Johnson really said that

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson answers questions after he spoke at the Town Clerk's Office in the Town of Brookfield  on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 .  Johnson traveled to Waukesha and Dane counties on Thursday, visiting with Wisconsin business leaders, parents, and students.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson answers questions after he spoke at the Town Clerk's Office in the Town of Brookfield on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 . Johnson traveled to Waukesha and Dane counties on Thursday, visiting with Wisconsin business leaders, parents, and students.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Ron Johnson made a bit of news in his push for a third term.

The Oshkosh Republican said Saturday he won't try to persuade a Wisconsin manufacturer to place more than 1,000 new jobs in his hometown.

"It's not like we don't have enough jobs here in Wisconsin. The biggest problem we have in Wisconsin right now is employers not being able to find enough workers," Johnson said about Oshkosh Corp.'s plans to locate the jobs in South Carolina.

Johnson said he supports having more manufacturing jobs in the state but indicated the company is best suited to make the call on where to build vehicles for the U.S. Postal Service.

"I wouldn't insert myself to demand that anything be manufactured here using federal funds in Wisconsin," Johnson told reporters after appearing at a "Parent Empowerment Rally" in Washington County. "Obviously, I'm supportive of it. But in the end, I think when using federal tax dollars, you want to spend those in the most efficient way and if it's more efficient, more effective to spend those in other states, I don't have a real problem with that."

Milwaukee readies pitch for GOP

A Republican National Committee site selection panel could be in Milwaukee as early as next week to assess the city's pitch to host the 2024 GOP convention.

Officials say they are working with a projected budget of $65 million to stage the event and have already secured at least $10 million to $20 million in commitments.

"We're chasing this purely for the economic health of our city," said Peggy Williams-Smith, the president and chief executive of VISIT Milwaukee who is helping spearhead the effort.

The race to host the event is entering its final stages with three cities in the running: Milwaukee, Salt Lake City and Nashville.

Power line politics

You've heard of politicians flip-flopping. Here's the corporate version.

Patrick Marley writes about power line owner American Transmission Co. urging Wisconsin lawmakers to pass legislation that would guarantee it would be the one to build future power lines.

Turns out that's a flip-flop from the position the company took on an identical Minnesota law.

Marley writes: "The measures in the two states are meant to ensure the owners of power lines can build additional ones, but the effects of them for ATC are not the same.

"The Minnesota law keeps ATC from building lines because it has few existing lines there. The Wisconsin legislation would give it a lock on building more lines in much of the Badger State.

"The Wisconsin bill has backing from Republicans and Democrats who sit on legislative committees that oversee utilities. It has attracted an unusual collection of opponents that includes environmentalists and Americans for Prosperity, the conservative heavyweight that was formed by industrialists Charles and David Koch."

You can read the article here.

Around the horn

Ron Johnson refuses to weigh in on the RNC censure of U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger.

Tony Evers vetoes bill that would have barred school lessons on systemic racism.

Greg Kazmierski steps to the helm of the Natural Resources Board and vows to tackle issues despite the ongoing rift over Frederick Prehn.

Republican lawmakers are seeking help from a felon who was convicted of fraud as they review the 2020 election.

Outspoken state AG candidate Adam Jarchow is systematically deleting old tweets, including criticism of Donald Trump.

Tweet of the week

Here's an interesting take on drop boxes from former Fond du Lac County GOP chair Rohn Bishop: "If we still haven't found any fraudulent votes, why do we care about drop boxes? Waupun has one at city hall, I've used it. We also have blue drop boxes called USPS."

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ron Johnson really said that; Milwaukee readies pitch for GOP