Saturday, January 23, 2010

Priorities In Politics: People Or Profits?

A couple of things that caught my eye tonight that really helps show the difference in leadership qualities between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett. The differences lie in their priorities.

Tom Barrett, instead of doing what most politicians are doing, which is asking you for your money to help their campaign, asked nothing for himself. His campaign tweeted that people should be aware of the Haitian Relief Fund benefit which aired tonight. That matches his call for donations to the relief fund on Martin Luther King Day.

Scott Walker on the other hand, hasn't mentioned Haiti that I could see. What I did find is him tweeting about campaigning up north. I also found Cory Liebmann had found Walker thinks that there doesn't need to be "significant change" to our health care system, even though about a half a million people don't even have health care, and those of us that are fortunate enough to have coverage, are often insurance poor due to the fact that our health care costs are among the most expensive in the nation.

Cory also points out Walker's stimulus flip flop #348,802 when he failed to point out that to the people at the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association, which just received a large chunk of stimulus money to create jobs that they weren't real people, and that stimulus money doesn't create new jobs.

So, on one hand, you have Barrett, who is thinking of those less fortunate that we are, and is consistent in his calls for people to help them in whatever way they can. On the other hand, there is Walker, who is willing to through a half a million people to their doom, in order to keep profits up. And he still can't make up his mind on whether the stimulus plan, which is creating jobs, is a good thing or not.

The choice is clear on who would be more likely to look out for the people of Wisconsin as opposed to wealthy campaign donors, and who knows how to do the job effectively and with compassion.


  1. Leadership? Really?

    Nothing fits better than an empty suit and nobody fills that role better than your mayor.

  2. Walker and leadership should never be used in the same sentence.He has been a f---ing failure since day one.The parks are falling apart[forget about his gold medal video award],bus system is a joke,screwed up mental health,corrections meltdown,and on and on and on.

  3. First, let's admit that Barrett sends out emails asking for campaign contributions every few days. Of course he's asking for our money (those of us who signed up for his campaign website that is, which by the way is not a website at all but merely a place where you can send contact info and contribute money), and why would that be a bad thing?

    Second, these guys both suck as far as I'm concerned. Walker is an ideologue that's been running for governor for a good seven or so years. He cares about only his career, his constituents have been pawns and props throughout his administration. He has no shame when it comes to being consistent on issues. He's a stereotypical politician in all the bad ways.

    Barrett is a really nice guy, but I don't want a nice guy in power. I want a guy who has a vision and who will get things done. Has Barrett had any sort of vision for Milwaukee? What will his legacy be? The nice guy has been in charge while the city has declined pretty substantially, with no significant hope for a turnaround anytime soon so long as he's in charge. I'd love to have Barrett as a neighbor. Maybe even as a legislator where he can take forever to make decisions Kerry-style and where he doesn't have to be the person with the vision and the leadership. He's awful at governing. But, at least he'd have to leave Milwaukee if he won the race.

    Meanwhile, the state fiscal situation is completely screwed up, and someone is going to have to make some very hard decisions if the state is to keep afloat. This means cuts, and Barrett won't be capable of doing that since he has to be in bed with the unions to win. As much as I don't like ideologues, Wisconsin really needs someone to come in cut some things for the next couple of years. On the other hand, Walker could cut EVERYTHING, probably starting with shared revenue. That screws Milwaukee even more than Barrett's leadership. Of course, it's not like democrats have been any better for Milwaukee. Let's not kid ourselves with that.

    This is a choice of the lesser of two evils.

  4. Anonymous 3:16- See, when you do drunk commenting, you come off looking like a little fool.


    You say Barret lacks vision. Why? Because he is not doing big, splashy construction like Norquist did? And what of those big buildings, all those condos and downtown apartments? They are sitting half empty, if not more. Who needs them?

    Do not mistake thoughtfulness for lack of vision. After all, the city is excelling at real economic development and in getting jobs to come to the city.

    If you want phony promises and grandiose ideas that only end up sticking it the people, go with Walker.

  5. What jobs has Barrett brought into the city?

  6. Roundy's and many other companies moved their HQ into the city from the suburbs and exburbs. Barrett used stimulus dollars to start projects like the Tower Automotive site clean up, which will soon be full of stores and other businesses. His economic development and improved version of the PIC has helped create new jobs for the under-served inner city, to just name a few.

    Walker created some jobs too, but they were just a few for his campaign workers and cronies in made up positions within the county.

  7. It's easy to throw stones without facts. Here are the facts; Scott Walker took over a dsyfunctional Milwaukee County Administration and turned it around.

    He has balanced the budget for eight consecutive years without an increase in property taxy levies. He has reduced the deficit by ten percent in the same time frame, despite annuity burdens left by the previous administration. He has kept true to his word about spending taxpayer monies as if it were his own even though the Milwaukee County Board tries to spend money like there is no tomorrow. These are the facts...there is no disputing them.

  8. PJ, there are facts, and then there is the truth.

    Walker has not had one balanced budget, and has had to call a fiscall crisis every single year.

    He as increased the tax levy by some $43 million.

    He has not reduced the deficit. We have hundreds of millions of dollars worth of repairs and replacements to do. Not to mention the risky pension obligation bond that now has less than a 40% chance of paying off.

    Not only that, but his incompetence has cost us millions of dollars of lost revenue and lost savings.

    Walker has been proven time and time again to be hypocritical, incompetent and a bald faced liar. Those are the TRUE facts.

    But hey, thanks for the visit. Next time, come prepared.

  9. Walker and his managers have been responsible for departmental screwups on a yearly basis that run into the millions. Leave him a budget fifty times the size and were talking tens or possibly hundreds of millions.
    He's done nothing to prove that he can manage efficiently or independently.
    Barrett has shown leadership that extends beyond anti-taxation rhetoric. While I don't agree with all of his policies, I can see a concensus builder who can accomplish some of his objectives. NO CONTEST!

  10. Capper...let's just go with the facts.

    Milwaukee County has NOT increased the property tax levy under Walker's leadership. This is straight off the Milwaukee County's a fact.

    Milwaukee County did refinance several of its bonds in 2003 to free up operating capital after the Tom Ament pension scandel. This added $48 million to the county's debt. Again, using truth in advertising, this could cause long term infrastructure problems. However, the county's bond rating from all three agencies has improved under Walker. Again, just the facts.

    Rather than calling names, I'd rather stick to the facts.

  11. Again with the lies.

    Walker's budget in 2003, his first one, was for $1,100,274,125. The budget that Walker had proposed was $1,481,577,120. Those numbers are from the county. As even you should be able to see, that went up some 34.66%.

    What you are citing his Walker's page, which he is illegally using for campaigning (I believe the ethics complaint has been filed, but is in status, because Walker won't confirm the members of the ethics board. Go figure.)

    Will you be calling for Walker's head when you finally become aware that the pension bonds are already under water?

  12. Capper,

    Aren't you forgetting the budget surplus in 2007?

  13. Aaron,

    Are you referring to the one where Walker went to campaign contributor's Chris Kujawa's business and had a big showboating event, vetoing the entire budget? The one where the Board overrode his veto, thereby eliminating any credit he could have claimed for it?

  14. You can't be serious? When have you ever known the county board to promote anything other than increased taxes? Milwaukee County had a $7 million surplus because Walker cut out 20% of the workforce, which is NOT something the county board was for.

    So even though Walker vetoed the budget, the surplus was still his doing.

  15. Aaron, are you insane? He did not cut the full 20% in one year. Try again.

    But not only are you trying to give Walker false credit, I also want to point out that is when Walker gave the unions a signing bonus for pulling his butt out of the fire.

  16. Good lord, Capper. The report to which you link (From June, as opposed to later in the year, gee wonder why) doesn't say the POBs only have a 40% chance of succeeding. After only one year it is not possible to know if the POBs will succeed or not.

    The reference to a 60% chance of success was to the probability of the fund meeting its budgeted 8% annual return with its existing asset allocation. It has nothing to do with the POBs. I'm guessing you legitimately didn't understand that, which shows you don't know what you're talking about.

    Had you looked at the November Board minutes, you'd have seen the ERS was up 14 percent for the year. That means the fund's value rose quite nicely and had the funds from the POBs included - which means a great return on more assets, which is a good thing.

    Since it's obvious you'll believe in any conspiracy theory that can explain away any inconvenient facts, I know this is pointless, but you are also wrong that all of the County's fiscal problems are contrived. If they were, don't you think a sympathetic County Board would have found the extra money by now to keep all those housekeeping and dietary and IT positions? Don't you think the evidence of the hidden accounting tricks would have come out in the 2 or 3 trials over the County's finances this year?

    You do accept that we actually landed on the moon, right? Can we at least get a baseline reading of your sanity?

    The fact is, and I don't expect you to comprehend this either, the County cannot keep a fund balance so its margin for error is non-existent. If they finish with a deficit it means more cuts in future years that have to be dealt with, which is why deficits are to be avoided at all costs.

    Look Cap, whatever it is you do, I know nothing about it. You're in the same position with regard to public finance. You don't know what you're reading, you believe in conspiracy theories, and you don't know what you're talking about. There are some truths to some of your arguments about overall leadership, but that's it. I've told you I'm likely to vote for Barrett so you simply have to trust that I'm not a brainless GOP hack.

    You simply do not get the fiscal realities of how government works. There's nothing wrong with that, what's problematic is that you keep making an ass of yourself by pretending you do know.

    You. Do. Not. Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About.

  17. Whether you're fat or not has nothing to do with why you insist on commenting on issues about which you know little to nothing. It's just like if I tried to comment on social work. I don't know anything about it so I am smart and humble enough to not pretend I do.

    Isn't it embarrassing to be told you're flat out wrong?

    I asked hacks like Fraley and Robinson that question a lot, and naturally they never answered.

  18. Did I misinterpret the article? I don't think I did. But then again, not everyone is anal about it.

    But you really need to reconsider how you present yourself when you confront someone when you think they are wrong. All you're accomplishing is looking like a pompous fool, which is why people might not respond to you.