Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weasel Speak Hits Wall Street

Milwaukee County Executive wrote an editorial piece which was published in the Wall Street Journal. The editorial was nothing more than a revision to his campaign stump speech which he pretended was his State of the County address. I do find it bemusing on why he would choose to put in the Wall Street Journal, as opposed to a local paper, or several local papers, like most politicians seeking a higher state office would have done. But then again, Walker doesn't have a lot of support outside of the southeastern corner of the state, so he may have tried, and failed to do that.

Most of the Posse Comatose gave it no more than a passing mention in a post, although Kevin Binversie did come out gushing a little:
With a message like this, Walker can turn what is going to be Doyle and the left’s argument “Walker Made Milwaukee County a Mess,” and turn it on its head. Try as they might, liberal bloggers will eventually have to turn the cannons inward and defend the fiscal policies of Governor Jim Doyle - a wholly-owned subsidiary of WEAC - before the 2010 Governor’s election. Try and say all you want of how “Walker screwed up Milwaukee County,” I will forever throw down my trump card in this political game of sheepshead:

Jim Doyle Screwed Up Wisconsin. A state is much, much, much bigger than a county.

But let's take a serious, factual look at this message of Walker's, shall we?

A great deal of Walker's editorial on why he thinks the stimulus package is so bad is nothing more than a blatant attack on Governor Jim Doyle.

But when Walker gets to his own bragging points, that is when the Weasel Speak kicks into high gear:
My county, however, finished fiscal year 2007 with a $7.9 million surplus and will break even for fiscal year 2008 when the books are closed next month. Why? Because we made tough budget decisions demanded by the taxpayers.
By the way, that's it for his bragging points. He apparently couldn't find anything else positive to say about himself.

But for the 2007 budget, and the surplus that he is claiming, isn't his to claim. As I pointed out at the time, and was thoroughly reported by the local paper, Walker took himself out of the budget process by vetoing the entire budget, due to his displeasure of all of the amendments the County Board had put to his original proposal. The County Board then overrode his veto, making the entire 2007 budget their own. That is why there was such a large surplus. The adults took over and ran the show, leaving Walker without anything to do but pout.

Likewise, his claims for the 2008 budget is less than honest. Walker claims that the budget will break even, but that is not a guarantee. As was reported deep in the body of a story on a different matter, we find that the County, as it stands right now, is facing a deficit (emphasis mine):

The gift to the county makes an even bigger splash, given its much smaller budget. A $1.1 million check from Allen's estate was sent to the county in December and about $1 million more is expected later this year, said county Corporation Counsel Bill Domina. The County Board's finance committee is being asked next week to approve placing the first check in the county's contingency fund.

County Budget Director Steve Kreklow said the Allen cash will be used to pay down the county's 2008 year-end deficit. The county was projected to end the year with a $1.7 million deficit, in a tally done Oct. 31.

The first payment from the Allen estate "came at a great time when we certainly needed it," Kreklow said. Unusually high overtime costs and the failure of the county to sell any of its Park East Freeway parcels have been blamed for the potential year-end shortfall.

By law, the county must operate with a balanced budget. In practice, that means if there is some red ink after all the bills and checks for a year are processed, money from the next year's budget must be first spent on balancing the prior year's budget.

As can be easily seen, Walker is lying. The 2008 budget is currently in a deficit. It is only if the County Board approves his proposal to use that windfall inheritance that it has even a chance of breaking even. As of last week, the County Board still hadn't done so, and it is not clear if it will.

Later in his article, Walker again went on with his tired and already spiel that the only way to create jobs is to give laid off workers tax breaks. But what I would like to know is Walker really knows of job creation. He had no advanced education on it, since he is a Marquette dropout. He has no personal experience since he has been a career politician his entire life. He has no professional experience, as evidenced by his losing control of the entire public assistance department, losing control of the Private Industry Council, and losing state contracts on a jobs training program.

I would be also remiss if I failed to point out that under Walker's reign, Milwaukee County's parks are falling apart, the transit system is in critical condition and about to fail next year without extraordinary efforts to keep it solvent, and many other services have steadily decreased, all of which has threatened the safety and well-being of the citizens. And even then, the county tax levy has increased 17% since Walker first took office as the County Executive.

There were 717 fully funded but unfilled positions across the county last year. Where is all that money going? It's certainly not to the workers, and it's certainly not to the citizens who need services.

There are a couple other points that Walker screwed up. One of them is the fact that, as much as the right would like to deny it, the fact is, Ronald Reagan, did indeed raise taxes as well as ballooned the deficit.

Another thing is that Walker apparently conveniently forgot that the position of County Executive is non-partisan.

In plain English, Walker is not only unfit to be a governor, he is not even fit to be a county executive.

Cross posted at folkbum's.


  1. Milwaukee County: it's what happens when you put someone in charge of government who's core ideology is that government is evil and should be destroyed.

    Isn't our nightmare over yet?

  2. This is why I work hard each day to see that Scot Walker is recalled in the fall election. I come here because Capper footnotes his writing to the Paper of Record in Milwaukee county and primary source documents and has the integrity to say when there was a mistake made on his behalf. I learn a lot on this blog and I can rely on this man. Please come and join Milwaukee counties recall Scott Walker effort at,

    Dave 2