February 12, 2009

Mayor's race

What do we know (or not know) so far about the mayor's race?

1. A lot of people think they can do the mayor's job.

2. Alderman Greg Helding and Jody Harding appear to be the two bonafide conservatives in the race. Hard to say what that means in a local election, other than the formidable support of State Rep. Robin Vos, former State Sen. Cathy Stepp and County Executive Bill McReynolds.

3. Pete Karas may raise tens of thousands of dollars to run. Green Party or not, that makes him a force in this race. But can he win business support?

4. Is Rep. Bob Turner going to give up his seat in the Assembly if he wins the mayor's office? That's an interesting question.

5. Who's the dark horse? There's a lot of big names hanging out there.

6. Gary Becker's legacy may not be through. Sources say there's something "big" still out there simmering. So far, no one's saying what's what.

7. What happens to City Administrator Ben Hughes after the election in May? Close as people say Hughes was to Becker, sources close to both say that may not be true. According to city sources, they warned Hughes when he first came to town to watch out for Becker. Hughes may be learning what they meant.


  1. Need to digest this a bit, in line with stuffing ourselves at Old Madrid today!

  2. Alderman Greg Helding how can claim to be anything then a Becker boy? Taking money from Becker and not returning it to being nothing more IMHO then a RINO of RINO's.

    Ben Hughes how is this man going to cost Racine

  3. Hughes says he was "warned" about Becker? Oh please, give me a break! I'm sure Becker's golden boy would like to burn all bridges to Becker now but the truth is they were very tight. If he had a problem with Becker, he should have moved on.

    His reputation around city hall was "The mayor's henchman" among other things I probably can't post here.

    I hope when the new mayor gets elected he/she will take a good hard look at that position and eliminate it.

  4. I seriously hope we get someone else to run for mayor. Someone besides a current or former alderman please....

  5. I would like to know the answer to the TGurner question. Why won't he man up and say he will give up the assembly seat if elected mayor. Everyone knows he's just in it for the money. The more I learn about that guy the more I can't stand him. He is a disgrace to our city and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

  6. Dustin: If someone, lets say has a very hot & juicy news story, where could someone send a letter to? What address? I'm not into that E-mail thing. Thanks, Let me know so I can tell my buddy.

  7. Ooooh oooh ooooh - a hot and juicy news story? Do tell....just a hint?

  8. Colt, what is your point?

    Does a $50 or $100 donation really mean anything when these campaigns cost $1,000's to run?

    What about all the other people who gave money to Becker or received money from him? Should they get their money back? Should they give their money back?

  9. Thanks for asking. When others received funds from a wide range of folks be it Ryan or Clinton they gave the money back . Should Helding not do the same thing Becker is a Pedophile after all.
    Or do we not care that a man that wants to be Mayor keeps cash given to him by a pedophile?
    IMHO if you got $$$ from Becker as a donation to your campaign you should give it back.
    Be interesting to ask that question at the forums coming up.

    And the Rino stuff is that OK too? Helding IMHO is nothing more then a Becker good old boy

  10. I don't know what a Rino is, but Helding doesn't act like a conservative. Money for college tuition? Sounds pretty liberal to me.

  11. Maybe it was Becker's influence that changed Helding from Conservative to Liberal.

  12. So Greg Helding is a RINO and a liberal-what next-will he be called a socialist?

    Lets look at the Becker years-
    Jobs were privatized-is this something liberals advocate-Helding did.

    Jobs were eliminated-again-is this something liberals would advocate-Helding did.

    Keeping a line on spending-again-is this something liberals advocate-not really.

    In fact Colt goes around disparaging true conservatives but is advocating for a socialist like Karas. Whose the rino Colt? Certainly not Helding. And if you are a bleeding heart liberal-you have no business calling real conservatives rinos.

    By the way-you are fixated on Becker's contribution to Helding-did you ever pay the city back for your failed film fesitval?

  13. Anon 6:22 wrote:

    "Hughes says he was "warned" about Becker?"

    That is your own invention. The original post does not say Hughes made any sort of claim of this kind. The post says that "city sources" say that Hughes was warned about Becker. I guess it is possible Hughes could be the "city source", but the story does not provide enough info to make that claim.

    Just more Hughes Derangement Syndrome.

  14. Anon 6:36 - are you for real? You are either Helding or someone pretty darn close to him. I would agree that Helding has become more liberal in the past few years but he still calls himself a Republican doesn't he?

    The one statement I must strongly disagree with though is the "keeping a line on spending". I think all the aldermen failed miserably at that.

  15. B Turner - Two pensions possible? He would be eligible for two pension drawn from the Wisconsin Retirement System. Addiitonally, he would get his health care coverage. He would be considered a huge double dipper and I doubt that the Racine citizens are going to tolerate that kind of travesty. I don't know what he is snorting but if he thinks for one moment that he will shove that up the noses of the Racine folks, he better think long and hard.

    Additionally, he puts his legislative seat in jeopordy if he tries to do both. We all know he can't even do the one he has now but for all practical purposes is known as "voting right" for particular causes.

    Should he be so foolish as to run and should his legislative colleagues here come out and endorse him, I feel the backlash on this would be tremendous for all dem seats. I urge Mason and Lehmen to take a hands off on this one for the good of the democratic following here.

    Finally, I think those who think because someone is black and Obama is black the similarities stop there. Obama raised the bar for black politicians. He raised it to a degree that one needs to speak articulately, have a degree of follow through, make pronounced decisions and be able to communicate effectively to the voters. I just don't see that in Turner anymore, perhaps at one time but not now, not for years.

    Finally, I believe that the mayoral candidates should take and pass a drug test for nose candy. That will eliminate one almost immediately.

  16. Anon 8:36,
    Are you suggesting that Turner does drugs? Your post is about him so I assume that is who you mean. Anyway, this Turner guy is a waste of time, get rid of him. Just the fact that he is THINKING of trying to hold two seats at our expense is enough to get him booted I would think.

  17. The City retirement and the State retirement are combined, so there is no double dipping, per see.

    That said, Turner were elected, he would get benefits based on the three highest years. The base would go from $46,000 to $71,000 ($127,000 if he kept both positions.) for two of those years.

    That is thousands and thousands of dollars more.

    Not a bad pay raise for a couple of years of work.

  18. The statement regarding Hughes being "warned" about Becker is really irritating. I know for a fact people went to Becker "warning" him and complaining about Hughes, not the other way around. Just who are these "city sources"?

  19. Yes, I know the pensions are under one roof. I also know that he would do substantionally better if he were to be Mayor for just a few years. However, we call it double dipping in our lingo and that is what the general public will hold his feet to the fire. They will look at it as two pensions. I don't expect them to be schooled in the state pension system. They know greed and manipulation when they see it. I am not sure of the three highest years as calculating the WRS annunities. I will have to check on that, it doesn't sound quite right.

  20. Is anyone concerned about city parks department employee Lesia Hill-Driver campaigning while on the city payroll?

    Wouldn't it be prudent for her to take a leave of absence from her job at the John Bryant Center?

  21. concrete katie2/13/2009 1:28 PM

    This blog is ugly and reminiscent of the Dickert campaign against Robert Turner for state representative a few years ago. That hurt the local Democratic Party. Robert Turner is a huge figure in this town. I didn't understand it then but I do now.

  22. I didn't vote for Dickert and won't if he ever ran for anything, my concern is totally based on Turner and no other political reason.

    As for the Racine Dem party, people like Shields hurt the party and all those fat blustery guys who think they have a gripe on the party by utilizing Parlimentary Procedure. So if anyone hurts the party as we know it, it isn't this blog.

    Yes, it is the top three years for the WRS pensions.

  23. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Storm-Racine/2009/02/14/Racine-Mayors-Race-and-First-Coucle-District-Race

    9:00 AM Live

  24. I agree that the City Administrator's position held by Ben Hughes should be eliminated. He is paid and outrageous $180,000.00 per year for that position. With the Mayor's position only paying $69,000.00, I say that if whoever wins the Mayor's job has the guts to eliminate Hughes' position, that person should get a raise to $80,000.00 per year. After all, it looks like the only purpose for the Administrator's position was to do the mayor's job while he was out chasing little girls.

  25. Could someone please tell me what a RHINO and a IMHO are?

  26. RINO stands for Republican In Name Only. I can only assume that those who spell it with an h are spellcheck-challenged, or else there's another abbreviation (beside rhinoceros of course).

    IMHO stands for In My Humble Opinion.

  27. Anonymous 10:55 PM, you need to check your salary sources. You're really high on the City Administrator salary and low on the Mayors's.

  28. Isn't the city administrator's pay around $110,000? With benefits, etc it probably does cost the city at least $180,000.

  29. Yes, the City Administrator's job paid just over $118,000. But it also had benefits and perks. The total outlay was at, or near, $180,000 annually.
    The Mayor's position pays just over $69,000 per year, plus benefits and perks, putting it closer to $90,000.
    I don't think the City Administrator's job should pay TWICE that of our ELECTED mayor!