Monday, October 24th, 2016

Nischke for Mayor


I don’t think it comes as any surprise in the City of Waukesha mayoral election that my preference in the race is State Representative Ann Nischke (R). It might surprise people that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and I are endorsing the same candidate.

But looking at the two candidates, Nischke and Alderman Larry Nelson (D), you can see how it is possible. As a member of the State Assembly, a small business owner, a former executive director of the Waukesha YMCA and a former president of the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce, Nischke brings a complete package of government and private sector experience. She also has a combination of executive and legislative experience that would serve Waukesha well in the office of mayor. Given her experience, she is certainly the most qualified candidate for the job.

But aside from the question of qualifications, we need to look at the philosophy of each candidate. Nischke is clearly the conservative choice. She is an advocate of small government and less taxes. She is a co-sponsor of the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, she has signed the Waukesha Taxpayer League’s taxpayer protection pledge, she is supportive of reducing the Waukesha County Board to eleven members, and she has consistently ruled out any possibility of increasing taxes if she were elected mayor.

Meanwhile, her opponent Larry Nelson has demonstrated that higher taxes will be a part of his agenda as mayor. Nelson was willing to consider a “fee” for garbage collection in addition to the local property tax. Nelson has been a vocal opponent of the Taxpayer Protection Amendment. He even blasted Nischke at one candidate forum for taking a “unilateral pledge” against raising taxes.

Nelson’s ties to other organizations should be equally troubling to the citizens of Waukesha. Nelson, an active Democratic Party partisan tacitly endorsed by the party, has embraced the Democratic Party’s radical left wing with the involvement of Progressive Majority Wisconsin in Nelson’s campaign.

There was a great moment in 1988 on NBC’s Saturday Night Live when Jon Lovitz portrayed Governor Michael Dukakis in a skit spending the last of his campaign money on a party. At one point Lovitz/Dukakis is asked if he really would have raised taxes had he been elected president. Lovitz turned to the camera, raised one eyebrow and said, “Through the roof.”

While we haven’t had that level of candor from Nelson, does anyone doubt his answer would be the same if elected mayor?

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