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 baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Many, many years ago, while working in radio news, I covered a noon hour press conference by then-Milwaukee County Parks Department Director Dave Schulz. Schulz had called the media together on his own lunch time to tell reporters he was endorsing John Norquist for mayor of the city of Milwaukee.
When he got back to his office at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, County Executive William O’Donnell was waiting. O’Donnell fired the young, bright, articulate Schulz on the spot.
It didn’t take long before the unemployed Schulz announced he would run against O’Donnell. Not only did Schulz trounce O’Donnell, but the man he endorsed for mayor also won. Not only did the voters see exciting change in the much younger Schulz, they thought he was treated badly by O’Donnell.
Schulz exercised his free speech rights, and it backfired on him, but only for awhile.
A few days ago, I blogged that a top official in city of Franklin government, Department of Administration head Mark Luberda was quoted by the Daily Reporter on the ACLU’s lawsuit against a proposed interchange at Drexel Avenue, claiming the project was racist in nature. I merely posted the article and offered no opinion one way or the other about Luberda’s remarks to the Daily Reporter.
These days, any movement of any kind at Franklin City Hall and the cabal of Franklin bloggers goes into cardiac arrest. Sure enough, it happened here.
How could Luberda talk to the press? My God, he has no business doing that!!!
I guess they can spout off on anything and everything, but someone close to the issue is not supposed to?
Maybe the Three Wise Bloggers, led by Greg Kowalski and the others who took his lead, Fred Keller and Janet Evans didn’t take into consideration why the Daily Reporter sought out Luberda. Luberda didn’t go after the Daily Reporter.
A logical explanation could be that the Daily Reporter, on tight deadline, couldn’t reach any Oak Creek officials (it is the holiday season, after all) because they were unavailable. Ditto for certain Franklin officials. But Luberda was. Luberda’s a big boy. I’m sure he can tie his own shoes and cross the street by himself.
For the record, here is the excerpt from the Daily Reporter piece that Franklin bloggers found so offensive that they went into orbit:
“To try to manipulate that system to restrict commercial development seems to fly in the face of the purpose of the interstate system,” he said. “It really needs to be a technical engineering question: What’s the traffic demand and demand for access on and off the interstate at that point?”
WisDOT studies determined a need for more access at Drexel, Luberda said, and removing the interchange would only add more traffic to the highway because cars could not get off.
“Sometimes, to evaluate a proposal, it’s helpful to take that proposal to an extreme,” he said. “And to an extreme point, it would be that you get on at Racine and you can’t get off until Milwaukee.”
Seems logical and downright truthful to me. What’s the big controversy?
If the mayor of Franklin commented, he would have been ripped. Had Franklin Alderman Steve Olson commented, oh my God, all hell would have broken loose.
Had Franklin Common Council President Steve Taylor commented, Janet Evans would have been in tears, singing the Hallelujah Chorus.
The Franklin bloggers should have attacked the SUBSTANCE of the remarks made by Luberda. Instead, they attacked Luberda, which was unfair and flat out wrong, especially when his comments were dead on.
Luberda talked to the Daily Reporter, not 60 Minutes for Christ’s sake.
I, for one, appreciate that a member of Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor’s administration doesn’t have a gag in his mouth and is allowed to speak to the press on an area that he feels comfortably he has some expertise.
Now, I’m posting this blog shortly after 9:00 on Friday night. Rest assured when the cabal reads this blog, they will burn up their computers e-mailing one another.
“Did you see what that no good, rotten Fischer wrote?”
Guaranteed, I’ll be skewered in the next 24 hours. Somehow, I think I’ll survive.
Luberda used his free speech. Want to do the right thing? Analyze what he actually said. He has every right to make those comments given the interchange will have far-reaching implications for Franklin.
Good for you, Mark.