I know a handful of fiscally conservative tea party types who are supporting Alderman Eric Marcus for mayor. Though I like his tenacity on some issues and that he seems to be despised by many on the council, I have not yet sipped the Kool-Aid. I have a few concerns but my main one is that he seems to be courting both tea party folks AND the municipal unions. Events in Madison this week suggest a wee bit of philosophic difference between these constituencies.
At some point Marcus will have to favor one group and disappoint the other. Last night at the city council was a perfect example. Marcus voted with the majority in support of a new contract for parks and public works employees to the delight I am sure of his new friends, Penny and Scott Sharp, the latter being president of local 67.
I have given my share of grief to Alderman Greg Helding in recent years, and deservedly so, but I commend him on his dissenting vote and this comment found in the Journal Times: "I have a feeling when we go to the state they will tell us, 'Well, we tried to help you out but you guys passed the contract that you didn't have to.'" Aldermen Maack, Wisneski, and Weidner also voted no citing "looming state cuts, decreasing property values and the burden on taxpayers..."
Our Republican lawmakers are in Madison in a fight to the death with state employees unions and for taxpayers. I am as proud of them as a first lady of her country, so I am more than a little perplexed that small government types are rallying behind Alderman Marcus. If any can explain the attraction, have at it.