The Godfather Of Sheboygan
Meet Mayor Juan Perez , The Godfather of Sheboygan (pictured above with another Godfather).
By now, everybody is probably aware how Perez directed the Sheboygan City Attorney to demand that a local blogger (and opponent of Perez) remove a link from one of her Web sites to the Web site of the Sheboygan Police Department. To his discredit, rather than simply telling the Mayor that there was no basis for this demand, City Attorney Steve McLean sent the cease-and-desist letter.
After the matter became public, the City immediately retracted it's demand.
Since these over-the-top antics were the political equivalent of low-hanging fruit, it was not surprising that critics of the Mayor seized on his thuggish abuse of power in this case. Specifically, Sheboygan Alderman Bob Ryan was quoted in the local newspaper as saying: "It seems that we have a mayor that seems to stick his foot in his mouth quite often, and he's done it again. ... I think the mayor should be paying attention to larger issues, such as finding ways to grow some revenue for this city, rather than worrying about if some obscure Web site has a link to the police department Web site. ... Unfortunately, some people have axes to grind."
Given how ham-handed the Mayor behaved, I think that Ryan's criticism was relatively mild. I mean, who can really argue that it seems like Perez should have more important things to worry about than pursuing this particular grudge.
Of course, this is Sheboygan where anybody who dissents should prepare to be squashed!
After making his comments, Alderman Ryan says he was pulled aside by Alderwoman Vicky Meyer, who apparently doubles as one of the Mayor's henchmen (or "henchwomen" as the case may be). Meyer allegedly told Ryan that she and the Godfather, I mean the Mayor, were "disappointed" in his comments.
Meyer went on to "warn" Ryan that he better "be careful with what you say because there are all kinds of rumors out there about you". Specifically, Meyer said that these "rumors" include the fact that Ryan drinks too much and spent a week at a local hotel at the wishes of his wife.
In other words, Meyer was telling Ryan, be careful of what you say about us because we have the ability to smear you whenever we want.
I realize that "politics ain't beanbag" but come on! While I'd expect this from a bunch of Mafia hoods, you would really hope for more from local public officials? Heck, at least the Mafia hoods would have been a bit more subtle!
Amazingly, Meyer doesn't deny making the comments. Instead she claims that it was a "private conversation and should have stayed there". She further said that "There's no threats, there's nothing been implied ... ." Yeah, right! And Vito Corleone's request that the movie producer give Johnny Fontaine a part in a particular movie was just casual conversation.
Obviously, Ryan was not intimidated by the suggestion that he should not criticize the Mayor because of rumors that may be circulated. Good for him.
Given what the Sheboygan political machine appears willing to do to stomp on it's opponents, one wonders what will happen next? Hopefully the Mayor and his cronies have learned their lesson as a result of their most recent fiascos.
On the other hand, if the Mayor's political opponents start waking up and finding severed heads of horses in their beds, I have a suggestion as to where authorities should look first.