For a politician who gave himself an "A" for his performance last year, Van Hollen has certainly been busy trying to improve his image. Now he admits he has no plan to help Milwaukee's crime problem, a big issue in the 2006 campaign.
Van Hollen said he has a more realistic grasp of what the attorney general can do to fight Milwaukee crime: Team up with city leaders.The article is noteworthy for the complete absence of any Republican on the record defending JB Van Hollen, and it mentions his unhappy base. The article (and Van Hollen) mischaracterizes the criticisms as Van Hollen not being political enough or visible enough. Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke finds some words of praise for Van Hollen:
"It is not up to me to determine what is in the best interest of Milwaukee," he said.
After meetings with Milwaukee leaders, Van Hollen said, his message is that "We want to be part of the team."
In retrospect, any promises of a sweeping anti-crime package for the city were unwise, he said.
Despite running as a conservative Republican, Van Hollen has "not followed through with a rigid, ideological agenda . . . he didn't take up certain issues that he ran on," Wineke said.As does Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club's National Coal Campaign.
Perhaps Van Hollen should take a look at his new friends. After all, it's by them that he builds his reputation.