• WisPolitics

Friday, June 07, 2013

 7:31 PM 

Barrett says Republicans in Madison convinced they know best for rest of state

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett encouraged Dem activists to mount a counterattack to efforts by Republicans to curtail the right to vote, impose their will on the rest of Wisconsin and fight ideological wars rather than fix the state's economy.

Barrett, who lost races to Gov. Scott Walker in 2010 and 2012, said he loves being mayor of Milwaukee. But he said GOP lawmakers appear to want his job as well as those of the mayors in Green Bay, Wisconsin Dells, Brookfield and Oconomowoc because they have broken with decades of preaching local control and instead decided "all truth lies in Madison."

"I humbly disagree," Barrett said.

Barrett reminded Dem activists the state GOP had their state convention last month just days before a projection was released that ranked Wisconsin 49th in the country for job creation. Barrett said he takes no solace in that number, but Republicans have come up with a bumper sticker.

"The bumper sticker says, 'Take that, Wyoming!" Barrett said.

Barrett said Republicans have been focused on election bills designed to take away the right to vote. He pointed to one provision that would allow those without an ID to sign an affidavit explaining why they don't have one. He said in the real world, that person's vote would be put aside and they would lose the secret ballot. Barrett also pointed to a provision that would only allow electors to vote on the weekend leading up to an election if they made an appointment with the clerk. He said in the real world, that would allow someone who was a Republican clerk to decline to meet with a Dem voter.

“Not a process of laws, but a process of individuals who are there who are going to decide whether or not they should be able to vote," he said. "That is not America. That is not Wisconsin."

Barrett said it was that much more galling considering the mediocre job picture in the state.

“It is a serious problem when we have a state government that is far more interested in fighting ideological wars, turning away dollars and taking peoples' health care than trying to create jobs," Barrett said.

-- By JR Ross


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