Friday, August 6, 2010

Tom Barrett Attack Ad 2004: MMSD

What a difference SIX YEARS makes!

When Tom Barrett was running for mayor of Milwaukee in 2004, he had sharp words for his opponent, acting Mayor Marvin Pratt.

Barrett ran an attack ad pointing out the "outrageous failures" of MMSD and holding Pratt responsible.

Ad transcript

ANNOUNCER: Last July, 90,000 gallons of raw sewage was dumped into Lincoln Creek. It's just one example of the outrageous failures of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Tom Barrett says it's time to clean up our water, and stop the mismanagement now. He has a specific plan to end the sweetheart deals for part-time commissioners, demand that every contract be competitively bid, and work with our suburbs to stop the sewage dumping.

Taking on MMSD is only part of Tom Barrett's specific 100-day action plan -- an independent audit of all city departments to cut spending; contacting every business big and small, in Milwaukee, to identify immediate problems and save jobs; and the implementation of a tough new ethics code at city hall.

And now isn't it fair to ask, after more than 60 days in office, why Marvin Pratt hasn't even started to get these things done?

Paid for by friends of Tom Barrett.

Audio of Barrett's 2004 attack ad

This 2004 ad is really coming back to bite Barrett.

His own ad delivers a blistering attack on his record as mayor of Milwaukee.

On Barrett's watch, dramatically longer than a measly 60 days, over 8 BILLION gallons of sewage have been dumped into Lake Michigan and local waterways.

On his website from the 2004 campaign, Barrett made promises he failed to keep. He didn't even come close to keeping his word.

The Goal: Clean Water

The sewerage district’s number one priority must be clean water. I will demand that MMSD meet the following goals:
---Zero overflows in the separated sewer areas

---Implementation of a plan to reach zero combined sewage overflows

---No raw sewage dumping

Within my first month in office, I will meet with all of the district commissioners.

I will make it clear that I want to work with our suburban and regional partners in reaching the goals I’ve outlined. I will insist that my appointees be committed to meeting those goals.

Barrett has had SIX YEARS to meet his goals.

He's failed miserably.

Barrett pounced on Marvin Pratt for inaction regarding MMSD after 60 days as mayor. Scott Walker certainly has cause to call out Barrett on the MMSD issue.

This ad is terribly embarrassing for Barrett in terms of his bid for governor. It reveals that he considers the dumping of sewage to be the mayor's responsibility. That means Barrett is accountable for the more than 8 BILLION gallons of sewage that have fouled Lake Michigan since he assumed office. The ad also reveals that Barrett has broken promises he makes to voters. He can't be trusted.

But this 2004 ad embarrassment for Barrett isn't the real concern. It highlights something far more important than the process of candidates sparring during a campaign and scoring political points. It's about the public's health and the health of Lake Michigan and the environment.

During Barrett's tenure, he has treated Lake Michigan like a sewer.

His promises about what he would demand from MMSD were completely empty, just more empty campaign rhetoric.

Barrett has a big problem -- 8 BILLION GALLONS of incompetence and failure.

Wisconsin voters simply cannot afford to ignore it.

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