In The News
Politics, union expansion to be heralded at open house
Expansion, endorsements and a welcoming open house start 2008 for the Milwaukee labor council, AFL-CIO, representing some 140 locals, unions and other affiliates and 47,000 members.
On January 9, after an intense two days of interviews by the Committee on Political Education (COPE), the council’s delegates endorsed the recommended candidates for the Feb. 19 primary and the April 1 election. The council had made some choices earlier and will look at a few more races in February and March.
Those announced winners and all public officials, as well as council members, will get a special welcome Wednesday, March 5, right after a brief monthly delegate meeting at American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave. The original open house was scheduled in February before the primary, but had to canceled because of bad weather. Now it will encompass the winners of February 19.
The open house, with appetizers and a cash bar, will also celebrate the council’s merger with Washington and Ozaukee counties and welcome the newest affiliates from those areas. And a new name required by formally moving beyond Miwaukee county. Henceforth it is the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
The COPE endorsement process requires any approved candidate to complete a questionnaire (sent out starting Dec. 21 and returned by Jan. 2) and go through an interview with the two dozen COPE members. Only those candidates can be officially endorsed who gain a two-thirds vote of COPE participants and approval by delegates.
Previously endorsed by the council was incumbent Justice Louis Butler to be returned to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the state’s April 1 ballot.
The central campaign effort of the council, now focused on April 1 since there is no primary, will be to elect State Sen. Lena Taylor as the new Milwaukee County Executive.
In those marathon interviews January 7th and 8th, COPE made these recommendations, unanimously approved:
FEBRUARY 19TH PRIMARY
Milwaukee County Board
District 14 (an open seat caused by the decision of Richard Nyklewicz not to run for re-election): Christopher Larson.
District 15 (opposing incumbent Lynne DeBruin): Daniel Cody.
City of Milwaukee Common Council
3rd District (open seat): Patrick Flaherty.
7th District: Willie Wade (incumbent).
11th District: Joe Dudzik (incumbent).
13th District: Terry Witkowski (incumbent).
14th District: T. Anthony Zielinski (incumbent).
April 1 GENERAL ELECTION
County Executive: Lena Taylor.
Circuit Court Branch 40 (open seat)
Dual Endorsement: Rebecca Dallet and Jeffrey Norman.
Milwaukee County Board
District 9 (opposing incumbent Paul Cesarz): Jan Balistrieri.
District 18 (unopposed): Johnny Thomas.
City of Milwaukee
Mayor: Tom Barrett (incumbent).
Treasurer: Wayne Whittow (incumbent).
District 2 (unopposed): Joe Davis (incumbent).
District 4: Bob Baumann (incumbent).
District 5: Jim Bohl (incumbent).
District 10: Michael Murphy (incumbent).
Full stories about the choices made, and some that weren’t, will appear in the January edition of the Milwaukee Labor Press