Jobs First Coalition director should know better
My recent blog post about the negative campaign ads against Dan Robinson sparked a bit of conversation among some of my friends and colleagues. In one such conversation, I was trying to explain who Jobs First Coalition is, since they paid for the ads that I criticized. I was not able to offer a lot of information to my friend, because I don’t know much about them. But he suggested I dig further, so I did. Here’s what I found with little effort. (Be sure to read my previous blog post first to gain context for this information.)
The executive director of Jobs First Coalition is Bob Reddin. According to Reddin’s LinkedIn profile, he also serves as alderman on the Brookfield, WI common council. He was elected to his first 4-year term in April 2006; he was re-elected in 2010 and again in 2014. So, Reddin serves his community in a capacity practically identical to Dan Robinson when he served on De Pere’s common council from 2007 to 2013. Given this role, and the fact that he’s held it for so many years, I would expect Reddin to understand how elected officials’ salaries are determined here in Wisconsin.
As if that weren’t enough, according to this Jan 16, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article, the Brookfield Common Council took up the issue of their own salaries. Ten of their aldermen voted to freeze the pay for their next term, while 3 disagreed and voted to increase their pay. And guess which side Reddin was on. Yep. He voted to increase his pay for his next term.
According to the article, Reddin said that not approving raises would send a message to the community that the position of alderman is not important and would discourage more candidates from running. Dan Robinson made almost identical comments when discussing the salary of De Pere’s alderpersons. Reddin went on to say that he would not abandon these convictions and would vote for the increase even if he’s criticized for it.
So what does this all mean? It means that Bob Reddin and Dan Robinson see eye-to-eye on the issue of salaries for local elected officials. And yet Reddin’s organization criticized Dan for his votes on the issue. What does that say about the attack ads paid for by Reddin’s organization? They’re rubbish. Plain and simple.
Look, I commend Bob Reddin for his service. As a fellow alderman, I know the job, I know how difficult it can be, and I know how rewarding it is. And I agree with him and Dan on the issue of salaries. I just don’t understand why he would spend money on ads that attack a colleague for beliefs that match his own.