By Collin Roth
After welcoming President Barack Obama to Milwaukee this past week, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will be welcoming another Chicago Democrat in March.
On Thursday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will travel North for a fundraiser on March 28. Barrett, who is running for a third term as mayor, will not face anything close to a formidable challenger and boasts a war chest of $436,000 according to the latest campaign finance reports just filed on February 13,2012.
Nevertheless, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will assist Mayor Barrett in raising some extra cash.
It is interesting to note Mayor Barrett’s close affinity to both past and present members of the Obama administration.
- In November 2009, it was reported by Politico that former SEIU operative and then-Political Director for the Obama White House travelled to Milwaukee to urge Mayor Barrett to run for Governor in the 2010 election. Barrett did run but lost to former Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.
- In October 2010, Vice President Joe Biden flew to Madison to host a fundraiser for Mayor Barrett when he was running for governor.
- In February 2011, Mayor Tom Barrett and former Governor Jim Doyle were invited to the White House to watch the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.
- On February 6, 2012 Mayor Barrett welcomed Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, when she spoke at an Organizing For America event in Milwaukee.
- On February 13, 2012 the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced that Mayor Barrett would be included on the “Wisconsin Truth Team,” an Orwellian sounding group of Democrats committed to ” promoting the President’s achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the Republicans accountable.”
Interestingly enough, Mayor Barrett and Mayor Emanuel also have another thing in common.
They have both saved their cities money by extracting concessions from public employee unions. In Chicago, Mayor Emanuel put the screws to organized labor last summer to find $30 million in savings which included demands for concessions and threats of layoffs. In Milwaukee, Mayor Barrett didn’t have to make those difficult choices because he was able to utilize the collective bargaining reforms of Wisconsin Act 10 to save the city of Milwaukee $25 million and avoid massive layoffs.