Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ron Kind Is Out: Now What?

So LaCrosse US Rep. Ron Kind (D) declines to run for Governor.

Makes sense: He's got a relatively safe seat, the Dems want to minimize off-year Congressional losses, his statewide name recognition and appeal are low, and so on.

This now puts the spotlight even more on Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, but also on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whose name-recognition and positives are probably sky-high right now.

But unlike County Executive Scott Walker, Barrett has a real job, with huge responsibilities and expectations along with it.

Walker has been able to zip around the state for years as a candidate-in-waiting without any damage from his absences to Milwaukee County governance.

County law enforcement is under the control of a separate elected official, the Sheriff, and other hot-button issues, like public health, economic development and basic public srvices (streets, garbage, water) are city or suburban municipal responsibilities, not county functions.

Little wonder that there are often moves to abandon the county as a form of government: even Walker is on board with variations on that.

In fact, some argue that the longer he is away, the more functional the county government becomes.

My unsolicited advices is that people give the Lawton campaign some space in which to define itself (disclosure: my son Matt briefly worked in that campaign months ago) and that our Mayor take his time.

Get healthy.

And carefully determine where are the best and most-needed policy grounds on which to rally Democrats and independents if a candidacy becomes his choice.


Wayne Clingman said...

Lawton can not win. I think even Battling Barrett can not beat Scott Walker.
The shame is if/when Walker leaves office God Save Milwaukee County from the Job flight that will occur,how/who will stay to pay the huge tax increases that will start? The Inner City of Milwaukee the River West area? Faster then even the M-7 Milwaukee will be the next Detroit

Anon Jim said...

Would be surprised if Mayor Barrett runs for Governor, believe he is way too smart for that.

Barrett can be Mayor for as long as he wants, so why would he take the risk of losing and even if he wins would have to clean up after the mess Diamond Jim is leaving behind.

Which leaves Babs Lawton, meaning any Democrat who for being Governor ever crossed their mind is going to come out of the woodwork to run against such a lightweight primary opponent.