I issued the following statement this afternoon after Mayor Tom Barrett's Chief of Staff made several comments on the Zoo Interchange. If you wish to read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article by Tom Held click the link below to take a look:
(Madison) November 21, 2009…State Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) issued the following statement today in response to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s claims on the Zoo Interchange:
“Mayor Barrett’s long opposition to reconstructing the Zoo Interchange is undisputed. Even today, while the bridges are about to undergo an emergency repair, the Mayor refuses to admit his incredibly poor judgment and lack of leadership on this important issue. Despite his public admission of lobbying Governor Doyle on the Zoo, he refutes politics was ever a factor in his opposition.
For Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee and a liberal, former Member of Congress, to suggest his lobbying of Jim Doyle and the legislature was not political in nature is laughable.
On June 28, 2005, Mayor Barrett wrote a letter to former Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz and former Senate Minority Leader Judy Robson in opposition to funding the preliminary engineering for the Zoo Interchange. Demonstrating Barrett’s lack of judgment he stated:
‘…the Zoo Interchange will stand long enough for us to resolve these issues.’
The letter was so fraught with errors and misstatements the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission responded with its own letter to legislative leaders indicating a number of Mayor Barrett’s statements were ‘without foundation.’
Then on July 21, 2005, Mayor Barrett issued a statement praising Governor Doyle’s partial veto of Zoo Interchange money and took a political shot at Waukesha County in the process:
‘Governor Doyle took the appropriate action in vetoing the Legislature's $38 million appropriation for the Zoo Interchange. The funding was excessive and the message it sent, divisive. I thank Governor Doyle for recognizing that Milwaukee-Waukesha regional cooperation is not a one-way street.’
Tom Barrett’s statements and the Governor’s actions made the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange into a political issue. Now Mayor Barrett is on the defensive and unfortunately for all of us, continues to put politics ahead of safety and economic development.”