Chris Abele’s broken promises

Yesterday Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a piece about a couple of campaign promises that County Executive Chris Abele appears to have broken since being elected to office.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is finding out that it’s easy to throw around campaign promises when running for office the first time.

Super easy.

The hard part comes if you get elected.

In 2011 — when Abele was first vying for the top county job — he made a bunch of campaign pledges, including one “to freeze the executive office budget” and another to cut “taxpayer-funded cars.” He hit these themes repeatedly.

“They’re driving on your dime,” one of Abele’s fliers intoned with a picture of a luxury sedan bearing the license plate “U PAY” in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

“As county executive,” Abele said in a TV ad, “I’ll freeze the executive office budget and cut perks like cars and cellphones.”

Today, Abele tools around the county during the work day in a GMC Yukon XL driven by one of his two private security guards as part of a taxpayer-funded $100,000 annual contract.

And the executive office budget? Not frozen. Not even chilled.

Abele just recommended a $1.6 million budget for his office in 2016 — a 30% increase from the $1.2 million budget that he inherited when first elected five years ago.


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