Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Time for trick or treat, and Can Jeff Fitzgerald win?


Publication:Waukesha Freeman (Conley); Date:Oct 6, 2011; Section:Opinion; Page Number:8A  

Time for trick or treat
Can Jeff Fitzgerald win?


It’s the time of year of homecoming dances, leaves turning colors and debating whether to turn on the furnace.

It’s also the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha’s birthday. I won’t tell you how many candles on the chocolate cake.

My children love this time of year and have already started singing their favorite nursery rhyme.


Trick or Treat: I never suspected that Halloween could be so controversial. Just hand out the candy and make your kids say, “please,” and, “thank you.” Watch their sugar intake. Make them eat something healthy. Be careful crossing streets. It’s not that complicated.

I realize this year Halloween falls on a school night but it’s only until 7 p.m. Is that really so late? What time do little kids in Waukesha go to bed? 7:30 p.m.? One disrupted school night out of the year is not going to hurt anyone.

Surely, the little rugrats’ teachers will adjust accordingly. As for the high school kids with homework, they shouldn’t be at my door asking for candy anyway.

If it’s really that much of a problem for a few parents, let me offer some advice to them. Find a relative who has daytime trick-or-treat on the weekend and visit them. Then have your kids hand out the candy on Halloween in Waukesha.

It’s not like some of you parents won’t be trying to time things so your kids can get in two or three trick-or-treats over that weekend. You know who you are.


Smell my feet: This is also the time of year when politicians float their names for possible higher office.

In Wisconsin, speculation is about who is running for Senate. It looks like former Gov. Tommy Thompson is in. Former Congressman Mark Neumann is in. State Sen. Frank Lasee filed the paperwork so he can begin raising money. So did Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

Recently Milwaukee Magazine Editor Bruce Murphy speculated that Fitzgerald floated his name for Senate so he could land a nice job as a lobbyist in the near future. It’s more likely Fitzgerald hopes to repeat Russ Feingold’s performance in 1992 when he snuck by two Democratic heavyweights to win his party’s nomination while they beat each other up. Fitzgerald has conservative credentials and can point to his support of the Walker agenda.

Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, running as assembly speaker for higher office has not been the path to success in recent years. Former Assembly Speaker Tom Loftus ran for governor and got his clock cleaned by Thompson. Supreme Court Justice David Prosser was appointed to the court after losing his run for Congress. John Gard lost his race for Congress – twice.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to take a Lasee campaign seriously. He probably won’t raise much money and too much of the Republican base will line up behind the other three candidates. Already five of Lasee’s colleagues in the Senate have endorsed Thompson. If former state Sen. Ted Kanavas couldn’t see a way to raise the money to run an effective campaign, how will Lasee?

If Murphy ends up being correct, or Fitzgerald discovers early that there is not enough support for his candidacy, then Republicans could be limited to a real choice between the ethically challenged Neumann and the perceived moderate Thompson. Talk about stinky choices.


Give me something good to eat: The D Mo’s train wreck is a disappointment for the community as a whole. As the Waukesha Freeman reminded us on Tuesday, the city has an investment in The Clarke Hotel. It’s in the interests of all of us to see it succeed.

That task was made harder by D Mo’s operators Tony Hernandez and Jodi Schumacher. Aside from the financial dealings and the alleged rent issues, the disorderly conduct charges and fighting in the street were warning signs that both D Mo’s restaurants were not likely to survive in the long term.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope the next restaurant at The Clarke Hotel is successful. Otherwise people might believe the place is haunted by a curse.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

Be Sociable, Share!

Print this entry