This Just In ...

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.

What does Steve Taylor do now?

Sources told WISN’s Mark Belling that Franklin alderman/Milwaukee County Board supervisor-elect Steve Taylor had pledged he would vote for Marina Dimitrijevic as County Board Chairman when the new board meets for its organizational meeting this Monday. Dimitrijevic happens to be the most vocal opponent of Governor Scott Walker on the board. She is extremely liberal.


Belling went on the air Thursday and ripped Taylor badly saying Taylor ran as a conservative and before he’s even in office he is selling out his constituents. While it’s true all five of the candidates running for Chair are liberal, Belling correctly stated that Dimitrijevic would be the worst choice for conservatives. I have posted the audio on my blog.

On Friday, Belling followed up, reporting that Taylor contacted him to strongly deny he had told anyone he supported Dimitrijevic. I again listened to the audio from Friday’s show (also posted on my blog). Belling said Taylor is denying he made any commitment, denying he told anybody he made a commitment, is now “undecided,” but might still vote for Dimitrijevic. Belling also said others deny what Taylor is now saying.

How many fences can Taylor sit on?

Belling said more than once this week that the vote for the Chairman of the Milwaukee County Board is a “big deal.” I submit Taylor lacks the political smarts to fully understand that. My face-to-face dealings with Taylor have always been friendly. I have nothing personal against the guy. I simply find him to be a crummy alderman, a phony conservative masquerading as a conservative. BTW, he’s not the only crummy alderman we have on the not so illustrious Franklin Common Council. But Taylor loses points and respect aplenty when he consistently says and does things that are not conservative.

Yes, the vote for the County Board Chair is a big deal, and Taylor, who does read my blog, now finds himself after catching a ton of heat to be in a real political pickle.

Early in my broadcast career at WUWM, late 1970-s to 1980, I covered a Milwaukee County Board organizational meeting similar to the one that will take place Monday. The proceedings should have been a humdrum affair. Members have made their decisions. They vote for their leadership positions. End of story.

Not this time.

Prior to the big vote at the Milwaukee County Board room in the Courthouse, Supervisor Jim Krivitz was all smiles. Getting one pat on the back after another, Krivitz was just moments away from wrestling the Board Chairmanship away from Tom Ament. Yes, that Tom Ament. Everybody knew it because Krivitz had the votes. Well, not everybody.

As the vote was taken, there were some moans and groans and supervisors who had been wearing a smile earlier now looked like they were in a funeral parlor.

The votes were in. The votes were tallied. The vote was announced. Tom Ament was still the County Board Chair.

How could this happen? Krivitz had the votes. He did until the organizational meeting. Going in, Krivitz had the support of Supervisor Fred Tabak. But for some inexplicable reason, Tabak changed his vote (my memory is good but not that good). And this time everyone did know it was Tabak who upset the apple cart.

Somewhere in my basement in a carton filled with old cassettes from my radio news days is the tape of that meeting. I’m not sure who stood up to the microphone. It might have been Supervisor James Lynn. Whoever it was supplied at what should have been a routine meeting a sound bite for the ages, one that I recall 30-plus years later.

The supervisor bluntly told his colleagues, people in the audience and the assembled press that Tabak should be dipped in bronze and his statue should be placed in outside the Courthouse as a sign that “man is deceitful.”

My guess is that Belling’s sources are correct. You don’t contact Belling about a story and then lie. Taylor throwing his support to Dimitrijevic is highly plausible.

So what does Taylor do?

He can vote for someone other than Dimitrijevic and pull a Tabak.

Or he could choose Dimitrijevic and stick a knife in the back of Governor Walker.

Either way, his Milwaukee County career is off to a very ugly start. I’m not surprised.

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