Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Is Walker A Compulsive Liar?

Last week, when the Milwaukee County Board overwhelmingly overrode Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's veto of the Board's resolution to aggressively seek stimulus dollars, Walker brushed it off as being inconsequential:

Meanwhile, Walker said his defeat on the issue would have little practical effect. He challenged supervisors to come up with a single example where his caution on the federal aid resulted in the county losing out.

"In the end, I think you will see very little impact," Walker said. He'll have county staff review all potential opportunities and apply for funds according to the County Board policy, Walker said.

I don't know how Walker does his math, but it is obviously not in the manner that most people would consider to be rational. In a press conference, and subsequent press release, County Supervisor Theodore Lipscomb pointed out that Walker did in fact miss quite a bit. To the tune of more than $6 million dollars. Some of the places this money will be going to include improving runway safety areas at the airport, energy efficiency and conservation in all of the 600 some buildings the County owns, new sheriff squad cars, more community prosecutors, and improvements in the parks.

Lipscomb sums it up with this:
“These projects, benefiting Milwaukee County, somehow failed to make it on to the County Executive’s list. This highlights why the County Board has taken such an active interest in the pursuit of economic stimulus funds. We are worried that Milwaukee County will miss some valuable opportunities if we don’t remain vigilant, active, and vocal on this issue."
There is also this handy little chart to highlight the benefits that Lipscomb was talking about.

I find it truly outrageous that not only did Walker lie about the amount of benefits that he was willing to short change the taxpayers on, but that he did it knowing damn well that, due to his short-sighted, incompetent administration of the County, it was now, only barely a quarter into the fiscal year, already facing a $14 million dollar budget shortfall.

And despite giving his cronies excessive raises without anyone being notified and still planning on his taxpayer-funded campaign cruise around the state in June, he is asking for each department to cut spending by 3% in order to cover his butt during his run for the governor's office. Of course, I shouldn't have to mention that it was this kind of management from Walker's administration that led to the state having to come in and take over the Income Maintenance Program.

And don't even get me going on this piece of tripe he managed to get printed in last weekend's newspaper. That would be worthy of a post in itself. Something like what Dan Cody already did.

But it is not only the general population that Walker is lying to. He is also lying to his base support group.

Walker has long made a grandstand showing of his stance against stimulus dollars, or later, what he defined as "irresponsible" stimulus dollars. But at today's meeting of the County Board's Stimulus Task Force, Walker's people handed out a list of of what could best be described as his stimulus wish list.

With the help of my friend, Gretchen Schuldt, author of Milwaukee Rising and CASH, I am able to provide you with a copy of Walker's Stimulus Application Summary (pdf) (which I am sure was quickly updated by Walker's staff after Supervisor Lipscomb's press conference earlier that day). I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by some of the things Walker wishes for. I never would have expected Walker to apply for that many green projects from boosting energy efficiency and conservation to alternative fueled vehicles or for things like the youth mentoring program.

I'm just not too sure on how Walker's willingness to go after that sort of stimulus money, or that large amount of stimulus money, is going to play with his extreme right-wing support base. I also can't find one of the listed items that meets his three criteria regarding stimulus dollars. How convenient for him that he doesn't have to follow his own rules.

I only wish that the County Board had worked up the gumption and the backbone to pin Walker's ears back long ago. It might have helped to avoid a lot of the mess that Walker has gotten us into already.

1 comment:

  1. The County Board should make Walker post and track his receipts for stimulus request on the county web site.

    Don't believe that he has submitted anything until it is documented by the federal government.

    The USG is reporting that they are giving receipts for stimulus submissions within 48 hours. So if the prior press release list from 03/31 was "submitted" as the JS Editorial blog reported, then Walker should have dated and time stamped federal receipts in hand or in e-mail.

    We need to demand accountability because what we are getting is blue smoke and mirrors.