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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Two Franklin aldermen fail to realize it's never smart to insult the voters

A few weeks ago when I spoke at Franklin aldermanic candidate Pete Kosovich’s fundraiser, I talked about our city’s many virtues, repeating many of the themes I blogged about last summer.

I raised the subject of City Hall, mentioning that when it comes to my biggest concerns regarding Franklin, I’m basically a single issue guy. Franklin City Hall is represented by good, decent, well-intentioned individuals. But on the subject of fiscal conservatism, and I would also include our school board, our elected officials fail miserably in representing and acting on behalf of the fiscally conservative values of the vast majority of our citizens.

Having been involved in politics in one form or another for 33 years, I know all too well that an elected official should never, ever insult the voters.

Franklin alderman Steve Taylor argued at a Franklin Common Council meeting last December that Franklin’s taxes are not too high, that Franklin is not a tax hell. He went on a rant against me and any blogger that would dare criticize the high level of taxing and spending in Franklin, especially now during a recession.

Ever the statesman, Taylor said, “Then get the hell out of here if you don’t like it (the taxes).” Taylor went on to say that only a handful of people are upset about Franklin’s taxes. If Taylor truly believes that, he’s dumber than I ever imagined.

I am pretty confident that there are thousands of Franklin residents that share my view that Franklin is over-taxed. To then tell them, on the record, at a public meeting to “get the hell out if you don’t like it” is the epitome of arrogance and insulting the voters. Taylor went so far as to say he’d take his chances at the voting booth for approving higher property taxes.

For the record, Steve Taylor’s property taxes went down $323.59 last year.  He paid a paltry $5,040.19. My property taxes were around $8,000. Care to trade, Alderman?

To further insult the voters, Steve Taylor has also stated Franklin residents don’t care about their taxes because if they did, they would show up at meetings rather than sitting at home like couch potatoes watching college basketball.  Maybe they’re working an extra job to pay their property taxes and avoid foreclosure, Alderman.

“Then get the hell out if you don't like it.”

“Then get the hell out if you ldon't like it.”

“Then get the hell out if you don't like it.”

Yes, that’s the kind of demeanor and attitude and thoughtful representation we want at City Hall.

I have heard others say he is a conservative.

I have heard others say he supports Scott Walker.

I have never heard Taylor himself argue that he is a conservative.

If he really was a Scott Walker disciple, Steve Taylor would have fought the past three years to bring Franklin’s city budgets to a 0% property tax levy increase, just like Scott Walker did at the Milwaukee County level. Taylor didn’t lift a finger. He rubber-stamped the mayor’s tax increases.

During the 2009 budget discussions, when solid, common sense proposals were made to reinstate police and fire positions the mayor cut, Taylor voiced opposition to restoring those necessary positions.

Steve Taylor is an embarrassment in his voting record, his attitude, and his insulting treatment of voters. Please join me in supporting Pete Kosovich for alderman in the 4th district on April 5.

That brings me to my alderman:


If there’s one talent I possess, it’s my memory. It’s really sharp, very keen. I don’t easily forget. In fact, I don’t forget, period.

When I emceed a fundraiser for the then-Franklin organization, “Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin” in early 2008, Franklin aldermanic candidate Wilhelm told me something I’ll always remember as she was running at the time against incumbent Alan Hammelman.

Wilhelm told me she had heard from many concerned property taxpayers that property taxes were too high and that she would vote accordingly. I asked her several times if she meant it because I wouldn’t forget. Wilhelm assured me she would do everything she could to control taxing and spending.

Wilhelm has voted every year as alderman for budgets that increase taxes and spending. To my knowledge, Wilhelm has never proposed a budget amendment to reduce spending.

Her claim to fame from last year’s budget is that she seconded some of Steve Olson’s budget-cutting amendments. Big deal. He does the heavy lifting, you second his motion, and then just sit there.

Wilhelm voted for the tornado sirens, huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

Wilhelm has voted for all kinds of expenditures. Her silence at budget meetings speaks volumes. When Steve Taylor went on his tirade, ripping one of her constituents, she sat there and joined in the snickering and childish laughter.

Wilhelm has told me repeatedly that I am just one constituent. That is an insult. I am “a” constituent.

Wilhelm tells me she has to take everyone’s views into consideration. Really, Kristen? Are you telling me that you can’t find other constituents in your district that feel the same way I do because if so, you’re not being truthful.

The very latest insult came in a conversation I had where Wilhelm several times told me she didn’t vote for the budget last year.

Really, Kristen?

Do you honestly think I’m that stupid?

The vote was 5-1 for the budget. Steve Olson voted no. How could you possibly, Kristen, have voted against the budget?

When I pressed her on the matter, she said she didn’t vote for the budget as presented to the Common Council.

The stupidity of that comment is beyond belief.

And yes, it’s very insulting.

But it’s the promise Wilhelm made to me at that fundraiser I’ll never forget. She is no friend of the property taxpayer. At the December 2010 Franklin Common Council meeting, Wilhelm said we just can’t expect taxes to go down. That’s not the attitude I want on the Common Council.

Is she nice? Do I like her? Yes.

But this isn’t a Miss Congeniality contest.

To earn my vote, you just can’t smile and play nicey-nicey. Sorry, but Wilhelm was anything but honest with me at the fundraiser and her voting record since then proves it.

I have been insulted more than once, and for that, I will not support Kristen Wilhelm for re-election and urge others to vote against her.

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