Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fifty Shades of Brey

The following is a letter to the editor published at by ex Assembly candidate, Alderman and County Board Chair Jim Brey.
Brey Campaign photo

As the Wisconsin Assembly starts to debate the Right to Work legislation being proposed, I recall the candidates forum between District 25 Rep. Paul Tittl and myself that was held Oct. 4, 2012, at City Hall in Manitowoc. I quote the Herald Times Reporter article which was published the next day:
“The candidates were asked if they would support so called “right to work” legislation, which usually means laws allowing workers to skip paying dues but receive the benefits of union-negotiated contracts.
Brey said he would oppose any such legislation and Tittl said the government shouldn’t step into labor relations in the private sector.”
I am not going to debate the issue here. You know my position from the quote above. But I do encourage Rep. Tittl to follow through on what he said in 2012. It is not unreasonable to hold our representatives accountable for statements made during a campaign. If Rep. Tittl is going to support this legislation, please tell us why. The residents of the 25th Assembly District deserve nothing less.
Jim Brey

What Jim Brey actually said during the campaign...

Brey Campaign Website - (currently defunct)

Listen to the man himself..

My response:

It is a rare thing when I find myself in agreement with Jim Brey so when I do I must take note. He points out quite correctly that during the election now State Rep. Paul Tittl claimed not to support Right To Work legislation and has seemingly changed his mind. In any other circumstance I might be impressed by this but I find it more than cynical to see the alderman and county board chair now trying to claim the pro-labor high ground.

Brey's anti-labor record is every bit as bad as Tittl's. Despite the cuts to the city and county he represents he openly supported Walker's Act 10 which did much worse things to public sector unions. He publicly mocked Madison protester's chant of “Shame!”. If Brey is now upset with Tittl for supporting his boss maybe he should consider his own support for Walker. The place to stop it was in the recall. By openly opposing it and (ostensibly) voting for the governor he enabled more harm than Tittl ever could.

Tittl's allegiance to Walker was never in doubt nor was Walker's intent to implement Right To Work. In the end their flip was little more than a well understood fib. In 2012 Brey's campaign was less flip than flop, commencing a campaign of blurred lines hardly any different than the Republican's. Why that should have afforded him any more credibility defies explanation. Few voters if any are going to split these hairs but they know pandering when they hear it.

Tolerance of Brey's serial undermining of Democratic principles continues to confound the local party. Unless and until that can be corrected the failures will continue. At least there would be a discernible choice.

What I previously said about Mr. Brey.

I have to say that I found Bill Lueders June 18th commentary about the divergent Democratic and Republican party platforms rather interesting. Without getting into the relative merits of each it is clear that we are at a crossroads in choosing a direction for the country. What I found particularly interesting are the quotations attributed to Professor Joe Heim who states that Democrats are beginning to understand the importance of enforcing party discipline, something that as a Progressive Democrat I have found remarkably lacking.

While Republicans have done an admirable job of purging the “RINOs” from their ranks Democrats have been back on their heels desperate to love any candidate who has the audacity to put a “D” after their name. In the 2012 Democratic primary self described Democrat Jim Brey said out loud that “Liberals can't get elected in this county anymore.” and proceeded to enumerate his disagreement with nearly the entire Democratic platform. In a stunning rejection of that strategy voters delivered an epic fail with Brey losing by a far wider margin than any other Democrat on the same ballot.

Since then the party has been split over that failure while still demanding rote unity. It
Known by the company he keeps
Denial of Dem values is not a virtue
would be a thing of wonder if the Democrats found the spinal material to put their money where their collective mouths are. But locally at least, the party has chosen cronyism over values which has come from some rather surprising corners.

Political unity is derived from unity of purpose. This is why we have political parties and why those parties have platforms. Governing is not a pro sport with its non-consequential allegiances where players change colors to get the best contract. We are deciding the nature and direction of our nation. For good or ill, people deserve a real choice delivered by leaders who lead from unambiguous positions.

 Other articles about Brey.

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