I have to say, while watching the primary for the 9th County Supervisory District unfold, the story with Hales Corners Village Trustee Don Schwartz's candidacy was an interesting one. In the beginning, the race was just three candidates - Schwartz, Franklin's CCP Steve Taylor, and Oak Creek Alderman Ken Gehl. It looked to be quite a dull primary, with all of them discussing the same issues, and sharing the same opinions. It was Franklin's conservative bloggers that broke the wall down last month and started talking up Schwartz when my interest in the race grew.
Out of nowhere, and almost at the same time, bloggers Kevin Fischer and Bryan Maersch began promoting Schwartz's candidacy. Maersch went further in having Schwartz's election ad front-and-center as his blog's welcome banner for a time. I pointed this out in an earlier story, and mentioned my confusion over the whole thing. Word got to me that Alderman Ken Skowronski, who is a close friend of Mayor Taylor, was helping Schwartz's campaign in Franklin. Since Fischer, and especially Maersch, have been rather critical of Mayor Taylor's recent policies, such an alignment was rather odd.
It looks like someone didn't like the idea of Schwartz getting backed by Franklin conservatives. Last Friday I received an interesting phone call and it was mentioned that Schwartz was a Democrat. My reaction was of surprise, for Schwartz didn't give off any signs of being a Democrat. I didn't engage the conversation to obtain any evidence and just brushed it off. But then I noticed this past weekend both Fischer and Maersch walked away from their hardcore support of Schwartz, essentially abandoning him just days before the primary. Fischer sounded just like the person I spoke with on Friday, giving Schwartz the "liberal" tag and assuming he's against Governor Walker because he stated in an e-mail that he didn't support 100% of Walker's policies. Meanwhile, Maersch was a bit more kind, suggesting that both Schwartz and Oak Creek's Ken Gehl have integrity and wouldn't mind either one of them getting votes. However, Maersch did yank Schwartz's campaign banner from the right side of his webpage.
While bloggers make an error every now and then, the timing of this "oops" was a bit interesting. Both yanked away some (or all) support of Schwartz when he needs it the most. It gives off a real bad taste and a credibility issue for bloggers in the future when something like this occurs. It also displays a trust issue for readers. Why wouldn't you do the research of a candidate prior to going all-in for a candidate? Also, why is a candidate being criticized for being truthful and honest with voters? How many times has anyone agreed with someone else, especially a politician, 100% of the time?
Some kudos should go to Maersch for taking a better road by still mentioning Schwartz, despite now also lobbing in Gehl as an OK choice. As for Fischer, he took the usual road of coming off as a bullying backstabber, throwing a label on Schwartz and withdrawing all previous support. What's insulting is how Fischer communicated to Schwartz prior to his withdrawal, mentioning how he was "kind" to Schwartz on his blog in the past and how he now, all the sudden, demands answers ASAP from a candidate who's likely busy working on campaign matters now through 8pm Tuesday.
If you'd like to know my choices, it's simple. If your ballot has a choice for 9th District County Supervisor, a vote for either Don Schwartz or Steve Taylor is a good vote. No offense to Ken Gehl, but I strongly feel if he was elected Oak Creek issues would take a high priority. Gehl's on the Oak Creek Common Council that recently is pushing through heavy development projects and incentives that will negatively impact Franklin and its major commitment given to the 27th Street Corridor. I simply do not get the indication that Gehl would as high of interest on a Franklin issue, and that concerns me.