March 26, 2009

Turner stalks out of mayoral forum...

We were unaware, until this morning, of a Realtors' forum last night for the mayoral candidates at City Hall.

But we've now heard from three four sources that whatever the candidates had to say was overshadowed by one candidate's refusal to participate.

Bob Turner, according to one of our sources, apparently "made a big dramatic statement" before insisting it was illegal to have a forum at City Hall. We doubt that's true -- the illegality part -- since there's another mayoral forum scheduled there next Monday night, by the Young Professionals of Racine and Leadership Racine.

We're also told that Mayor Tom Friedel offered the use of the City Council chambers to Community for Change, for its forum last Monday night, but that organization wisely decided it would be too small, and went to Gateway instead (and overflowed the much larger Great Lakes Room).

In any case, we're told second-hand, Turner was angry because Friedel refused to open City Hall on a Saturday for Turner to announce his candidacy for mayor. But that would have been a partisan event -- whereas a forum is equal treatment.

Turner reportedly said last night that he had called City Attorney Rob Weber about the forum's alleged illegality -- but Weber, we're told, knows nothing of the call.

Regardless, Turner refused to participate last night and stalked out, according to the three four folks we've talked to with knowledge of the event.

Our fourth source was there -- one of only five Realtors present, he said, out of 300 -- and he says Turner arrived while the other candidates were going over the ground rules with the moderator. "Turner said, 'I'm here, but I'm not going to participate because this is an illegal meeting. Things like this should not be held on city property. I don't like the idea that we're here for something that's not endorsed by the city.' "

Our source adds that Turner "ranted for a few minutes."

Candidates present were Pete Karas, Kim Plache, Jim Spangenberg, QA Shakoor II, Raymond Fay, Jody Harding, Greg Helding and John Dickert. Total attendance was about 40.

Update: Bob Turner returned our call when he returned to Racine from today's legislative session. Given a day to reflect on the incident ... he hasn't changed his mind one bit. "In my 28 years as an alderman on the City Council," he said, "they've never allowed a candidate forum on city property." (Note: Chris Terry of YPR says in the comments that his group held one in the Council chambers two years ago.)

Turner said: "Knowing what I know about the City Council, I would not participate in any political forum on city property, I will not attend any political forum at City Hall at taxpayers' expense." Turner asked what would happen if someone got hurt; "who's liable?" And, "Let's say another group, say the skinheads, wants to have an event... what's to stop any group?"

Turner also said, "A few years ago, John Lehman wanted to have a function at City Hall and was told no. Others have wanted to do candidate forums on city property and were told no." Turner confirmed that he'd called the city attorney and asked, "Has the City Council changed the rules to allow candidates to have events on city property?" Turner said Weber said he'd have to do some research on the question.

36 comments:

  1. Can anyone understand him when he speaks? He doesn't pronounce his words very well. Nice guy but how will he be able to negotiate with departments, city and state heads if he doesn't communicate very well?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rob Turner really showed himself on this one. It sounds like the mayor checked out the legality of the debate at City Hall and it was ok, so why did Turner not participate. The Post says it was because he was mad at Friedl, but knowing Turners history I say it's much more. I think he can't stand the heat and decided to stay out of the kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Turner is a decent, caring leader who has represented us well in Madison for a long time. He knows how to get things done for the people.

    He does have some difficulty enunciating so that everyone can understand his message. He can polish up his diction, and should.

    More importantly, he understands the issues of poverty, youth disillusionment, unemployment and housing that we face here; he's not pretending we are in great shape as a city.

    Until we find a smart, steady and compassionate leader to put us back on a winning path, we are in the worst kind of limbo.

    Bob Turner is not the labor candidate -- he's the people's candidate. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I believe one of the most important abilities of the mayor is to be able to communicate. What other method is there to get anyone working together? If we can't understand the person in charge, how are we going to accomplish anything? I'm a decent, caring person too, but that doesn't make me a good candidate for mayor.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pete & Dustin,

    I also want to point out that YPR hosted a cadidate forum two years ago in the Council Chambers featuring candidates from all of the contested City Council races. This was televised on CAR25 and I do not recall anyone questioning its legality at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. concrete katie3/26/2009 4:21 PM

    A realtor's forum with no pr? and only 5 r.e. people present? Hmmm. Therein lies a story. I have no trouble understanding Robert Turner. He is a figure much like Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor. Like Harold Washington, Turner has a long track record of accomplishments. He is genuine, consistent and a true democrat.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've known Turner for 30 years, I could never understand him and this ranting and raving and not understanding that he CANNOT ANNOUNCE HIS CANDIDACY OUT OF CITY HALL is rather telling on his understanding of rules. He won't make it through the primary anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Turner shows up late for City Hall Informational meeting and then leaves early. No-show for Taxpayer's Forum, protests and leaves Realtor Board Forum.

    When he did show up at the City Hall Meeting to ask where the stimulus money was going, someone should have asked why he didn't know. It comes through Madison!

    This may be a decent man, but he's phoning it in and we can afford that right now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. When you have Keith Fair, Craig Oliver, Jim and Joyce Smith, and Mike Shields working for your campaign - nothing more needs to be said about why Turner does what he does. Birds of a feather flock together. Turner, you have done some good things - but overall you are overrated. Racine does NOT need you to be it's mayor. Do NOT vote for Bob Turner for Mayor. A vote for Turner is a vote for Fair, Oliver, the Smiths, and Shields. We do not want them being part of City Hall. Don't vote for Mike Shields for alderman, VOTE for John Guion.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why is anyone surprised by what Robert Turner did? TurNOver.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If Keith Fair backs someone I think only if he is paid.
    I rather have whip worms then Fair in any office

    ReplyDelete
  12. Turner and his buddies remind me of Milwaukee's Michael McGee and his buddies. We do not need that in Racine. These people love to run their mouths off and cause trouble. That is the only thing they know how to do.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Robert Turner, I am ashamed of you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Turner needs to go back to Madison.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know this is random but I feel "Young Professionals of Racine" is an oxymoron. I'll give them credit for effort but really are a bunch of naive people who are easily led.

    ReplyDelete
  16. That was random.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Craig Oliver and Mike Shields are a big embarrasment to the black community in Racine. And now, so is Turner in my opinion. This is the so called black leadership in this city?

    Oh I heard that Craig Oliver threatened some people who were in charge of the forum that took place Monday night. Seems to be the norm for this group of thugs. Maybe RacinePost could look into that incident too.

    They (Oliver, Shields) use intimidation, threats of labeling you racist, and basic thuggery techniques to get what they want.

    Racine would be a better place without them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. As I understand it the Chambers was used for production ease to bring the event to public in a timely fashion...Turner showed his true self on this one, I was there to witness this embarassment. In no way would this guy get my vote. The forum was great and very informative I've also seen it on Ch.25. What a dumb move on Turner's part....EXACTLY what Racine does not need in a new mayor!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm sorry "Mr. T", but you should skip the rest of these. You are not a good speaker, so don't waste your time. Just run on your past, steal your 100 votes from Q., and go back and miss important meetings like always.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ok, no one mentioned it, so here goes. On Monday, he was asked a question about busses. Unfortunately, he only spoke about the parks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. West Side Willy3/27/2009 8:44 AM

    I heard Turner answer a bus question with a parks answer. he can't even pay attention long enough to understand a question put before him. I feel sorry for him that he doesn't have the sense to be embarassed. By all accounts he is a nice man with little or no political intelligence. He can't even speak truthfully about his record at the state capitol. He said in a recent forum he only missed 2 meetings in all his years in government. This is an outright lie. He plays golf when he is in Madison at least 3 days a week during any type of weather. He doesn't even show up to work, and this on my dime. I refuse to allow a man like that to be my mayor.

    ReplyDelete
  22. re 10:42

    I've heard the rumor about Turner's campaign threatening folks working on the forum. It disgusts me.

    Bob Turner is a nice man, but he is not a mayor. He has no vision for the city. He cannot answer simple questions. His choice of friends and campaign staff is representative of the poor judgment he exercises.

    If he wins, the divisive work of Craig Oliver, Keith Fair, and Mike Shields will be legitimized. That is the absolute LAST thing Racine needs.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Here's the thing, That skinhead comment should be investigated fully...That is a boderline racist comment directed towards forum officals. Another thing is why do we tolerate this kind of Madison representation for 19 years!!! Lets make sure this loser gets nowhere near Madison next election. He has done nothing for the residents of Racine and is a large part of blame for the situation we are in now.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Turner is a hot mess. Maybe this mayoral race will lead us to finally make a change in Madison as well. He in no way represents me. Time for a change in Madison as well. He cannot represent the city effectively, he cannot represent us in Madison either.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anon 10:14 I was thinking the same thing. Not only has his campaign fallen apart but now he's exposed his character which will jeopardize his next re-election. He would have been better off staying put where he was. He didn't accomplish anything for Racine but was relatively unknown until now.

    ReplyDelete
  26. How ironic that Turner would be so interested in following the rules. The disclaimers on his lit are not legal. Someone with so much "experience" should know you are not allowed to abbreviate your disclaimer.

    The law is the law, right Bob?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just watched the forum on CAR25.I thought it was great and answered alot of questions I had, the first of which is I will NOT be voting for Turner. I'm glad this story came out as it proves just what is wrong with government. Thanks to the forum organizers and ch. 25. I look forward to watching the final two candidates in a forum.

    ReplyDelete
  28. How about the threats made to the forum workers by one of Turner's campaign thugs (Craig Oliver)? That needs to be investigated by both the Racine Post AND the Police Department.

    ReplyDelete
  29. How there at that take the time to check out Keith Fair and his enemies list.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Robert Oliver for Mayor& Craig Turner City Administrator

    ReplyDelete
  31. Craig Turner Mayor & Robert Oliver Deputy Mayor Poor Racine

    ReplyDelete
  32. Frustrated Democrat3/28/2009 11:40 PM

    I think it is about time we get Turner out of the assembly.

    I am a democrat and would obviously prefer a democratic candidate, but I'm to the point that I would help a republican win.

    Turner and his cronies are an embarrassment to this city.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "whatever the candidates had to say was overshadowed by one candidate's refusal to participate"

    Not really - the forum is playing on CAR25 now without a peep from Turner.

    On another note, could Jody Harding be any more of a sourpuss? She talks about our city's depression - listening to her talk depresses me!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Just to set Bob’s mind at ease; after the YPR debate, the chamber was swiftly tidied up by one of the YPR people, Alderman Coe, a campaign volunteer (Dickert’s) and Mayor Fiedel himself.

    It’s too bad Tom didn’t decide to run. He’s a good man.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I felt great after reading the article that you wrote. This artical looks very good.What an awesome piece of information. I thank you for having shared with us the information on the topic and for having educat6ed us on the same.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It is the post which i like mostHey I read your articles every day and I am a great follower, but never struck in my mind that you be praised for your hard work. Here’s a token for your efficiency and the hard work you put in your articles. I just love to read it.

    ReplyDelete