Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rolling Blunder Comes Back Home

Scott Walker ends his annual five-day campaign bike ride today. Normally, Walker holds it in June, but after several years, he thought June is just too darn warm to go on a motorcycle ride. I wonder how many true Harley riders are still laughing at that blatant lie.

The truth is he moved his bike ride to May not to promote tourism in Milwaukee, but to promote himself during the week leading up to the WISGOP convention, which is being held in Milwaukee this year. It is at this convention that he is expected to received the official coronation of the Republican machine, for all the good that will do him, considering how the electorate is veering sharply away from establishment candidates like Walker.

Whether you believe Walker's cover story of promoting tourism or the truth that he was promoting himself, it sure wasn't too successful. I have yet to come across one article or news story saying, "Wow, you should go visit Milwaukee!" The few articles that do mention Walker's bike ride are focused on the gubernatorial race, and Walker's many blunders along the way, including his performance of the Arizona Two-Step.

During his tax payer-funded campaign jaunt, several of my esteemed colleagues have pointed out the many benefits that the stimulus package delivered to the places he stopped at. Of course, one can't help but remember how Walker took to the national stage to come out against the stimulus package, before he was for it, before he was against it again, before he was for it again, before he was against it again and so on and so forth.

Check out Zach Wisniewski's site, Blogging Blue, which gave not just one, but two days worth of stimulus benefits. Also throwing in their contributions are Jim Arndt and Cory Liebmann.

But now Walker is leading his band of not-so-merry bikers and county staff back home to Milwaukee County, I would like to add my contribution to the stimulus list.

Perhaps Walker could take a bike ride around with some of the GOP delegates and show them things like the construction going on at 35th and Wisconsin, where construction crews are already hard at work building an apartment building for homeless veterans. Of course, since Walker said that the stimulus won't benefit "real people", he'll have to explain why he thinks that the men and women who bravely served our country aren't "real people."

Or maybe he can lead the group to Oklahoma Avenue or Sherman Boulevard or any of the other roads that are receiving long overdue repairs thanks to the stimulus money. It shouldn't be hard for even Walker to figure out, since they have the big signs acknowledging ARRA funds for making the repairs, and the jobs, possible.

He could take them out to the site of the old Tower Automotive plant and tell his friends how stimulus dollars are going to be used to clean up that site and make room for a job-producing company. Oh wait, that was Tom Barrett that is bringing jobs to the area. Never mind that one.

He could take them to Mitchell International Airport and tell them about the millions of dollars of stimulus funds being invested into the airport.

Or maybe he can take the group to MCTS and tell them about the 45 new buses Milwaukee County will be getting, thanks to the ARRA funds.

He could take them to the courthouse (don't forget your hardhats!) and tell them about his Milwaukee Works plan which uses stimulus funds to produce jobs. While he's at it, he could also tell his fiscally conservative buds how the stimulus funds allowed him to pile on three years of spending into one.

In fact, the benefits from the stimulus that Walker and Milwaukee County are enjoying, even though he changes his position on it more than he changes socks, are so numerous that he really should consult with the report written by his chief money cruncher, Steve Kreklow, to find most of the areas in Milwaukee County. Although to be accurate, that list is incomplete, since it does not include the extra $6 million that the County Board was able to bring in that Walker wasn't going to bother with.

It's just a shame that Milwaukee County couldn't get stimulus funds to help with the nearly $300 million in repairs needed to the parks, to repair the rest of the infrastructure, build a new mental health complex (with a competent director this time, please) or cover any of the other problems Walker has given us over the years.

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