First reported by Dan O’Donnell at WISN, a group called, “Save Our City, Milwaukeeans Can’t Wait,” has filed the paperwork notifying the city of Milwaukee of their intent to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. They need 52,000 petition signatures in 60 days to recall the mayor.
Despite Mayor Tom Barrett’s scaremongering about outside “dark money” helping the effort, we don’t believe the recall effort will work. It’s been a week since the notice of intent was filed and we see no momentum towards a recall. That’s not surprising since an even better organized effort was made to stop the streetcar and it failed to get the necessary signatures, too.
Part of the problem is that no compelling case has been made for a recall. Nobody can point to an actual instance where Barrett has personally enriched himself or abused his political power. Instead, the case for recall is more about not liking specific policies of the mayor. We sympathize. But that should have been decided in an election one year ago.
The other part of the problem is that we don’t believe the organizers are capable of pulling it off. The social media presence, a key factor in the Walker recall, is near zero. The organizers are actually ducking the media, so there is no publicity for the effort other than it exists. We doubt the group could successfully recall an alderman, let alone the mayor.
We do find it ironic that Barrett is telling the media, “Nobody likes a recall.” Maybe he learned that from the hard experience of losing the recall against Governor Scott Walker in 2012. We just wish Barrett’s distaste for a “do-over” was there when he chose to face Walker a second time after losing to the governor in 2010.
Barrett is not a good mayor. He has treated being the mayor like a consolation prize for being denied the governor’s office three times. Under his neglectful watch, crime has gotten worse, the city’s race relations have gotten worse, taxes have gone up and fees have gone up. The city has no real plan to solve its lead pipe problem. The city’s police chief is reduced to whining about non-existing problems with state gun laws while his police force can’t even chase criminals. Meanwhile, the mayor is actually talking about reducing the size of the police force.
The one bright spot for Barrett is that the city has broken ground for his new streetcar system, one that is already underfunded and does not go where anyone wants it to go. Of course, in breaking ground the construction crew managed to hit a power line and cause a blackout in part of the city.
Recall Barrett? As much as we would appreciate the irony, we don’t see it happening. However, in any other city in Wisconsin, Barrett would have been recalled a long time ago.