MILWAUKEE — Last Tuesday evening, the Wisconsin Republican Party got its perfect candidate for Mayor of Milwaukee. Someone with Scott Walker’s ideas and Donald Trump’s erratic behavior. Bob Donovan.
Donovan is a lifelong conservative who has spent nearly two decades on the Common Council. Clearly, he’s not a breath of fresh air. The only two times that Donovan ran in a partisan election, he ran as a Republican. He's been praised by Republican Party officials, who say Republican donors are surely drawn to Donovan. In 2013, he invited Republican leaders from the Wisconsin legislature to his district, where they attacked Mayor Tom Barrett and defended the actions of Madison Republicans against the city of Milwaukee.
Donovan has been described by many of his colleagues as nothing more than an attention seeker with little ability to get things done. The late Councilman Joe Dudzik once said, “While (Donovan) is riding around on his white pony, spouting off about this and that, he is largely ineffective and lame when it comes to working collaboratively with other council members.“
The rabble-rousing Donovan has made a career of grandstanding on public safety issues. Yet in recent years Donovan voted against increasing the number of law enforcement officers four times. Meanwhile, his district has seen the largest percentage increase in crime of any district in the city. In fact, the increase is so significant that it was twice as high as the next worst district. Instead of talking loud about crime in our city, Donovan should be working with his colleagues to actually reduce crime in our city.
But Bob Donovan does have his fans. Wisconsin Republican Party officials have called Donovan “a good advocate for the city.” Really? Maybe his Donald Trump-like behavior appeals to Republican voters, and his policies appeal to Gov. Scott Walker. But in these tough times, Milwaukee can’t afford Bob Donovan’s dangerous divisiveness that would only steer the city in the wrong direction.