Sunday, May 20, 2012

Walker's War On Veterans

When Scott Walker rolled back the laws allowing women and minorities to sue for damages over employment discrimination, he not only furthered his War on Women, but also took out another one of his favorite victims - veterans:
Military veterans are the big losers in the rollback of a Wisconsin law that had allowed women, minorities and other protected groups to sue in state court over employment discrimination, say leaders of a statewide veterans group.

The change was designed by Republicans to help Wisconsin businesses avoid costs of frivolous lawsuits, but it has been derided by Democrats as part of a GOP "war on women." Republicans say women still have the right to sue in federal court.

Lost in the debate are little-known limits on the rights of veterans to sue in federal court, said Michael Gourlie, a member of the Wisconsin Association of Concerned Veterans Organizations executive board and Wisconsin's Council on Veterans Programs, which advises the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

"This leaves one less incentive for war-weary employers of reservists and National Guard members — who have absorbed multiple combat deployments over the last 10 years — to hire and retain these patriots," said Gourlie, an Army and Wisconsin National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. "Veterans were viewed, unfortunately, as collateral damage by small business, the Legislature and the governor in order to get that law through."

The federal law allows veterans to sue for back pay, but not for punitive damages or other types of compensatory damages, said Michael Volpe, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor veterans services office.   
Most other groups with legal protection against discrimination can sue in federal court for punitive damages, which are meant to deter businesses from future wrongdoing, and for compensatory damages, which are awarded for things like emotional pain.
As I said, Walker doesn't really respect our brave men and women who served gallantly to protect us. He has shown this time and time again.

Soon after having the governorship bought for him, Walker went about dismantling the Veterans Affairs Board.  He did so by installing his corrupt crony and lackey, John Scocos, as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  This cause a number of board members, all honored and honorable veterans to resign out of protest and outrage.

But before that, when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he opposed and fought against the county receiving $750,000 in stimulus funding which was designated to build a residential center for homeless vets.  Fortunately, the County Board overrode him and we got the money.  And true to his nature, when the center was built, Walker was right there trying to take credit for something he didn't want in the first place.  (And to think, some people object to when I call Walker a hypocrite!)

But the most egregious crime, yes crime, Walker committed against the veterans was also while he was county executive.  Every year, he would use veterans as a political prop when he would use them as a campaign gimmick to promote himself, in a stunt he called "Operation Freedom." He would even go so far as to disrespect the county board members, like former marine John Weishan, because he wanted to make the affair all about him.

Even has disgusting as this was, the real crime was the fact that he personally manipulated the funding for the veterans fund.  First he kept the control of the fund in his office, through Darlene Wink and Tim Russell.  When the Milwaukee County Ethics Board pointed out that she shouldn't do that, he personally assigned the fund to a false front group, which was controlled by Russell again.  Russell then embezzled the funds to pay for personal vacations and to help Walker's campaign, by using the stolen money to support Walker's campaign website.

In summary, despite his pretensions that he supports veterans, Walker only sees them as a political tool to be used, abused and then discarded after he's gotten what he wants out of them.  His treatment of America's heroes is depraved and disgusting.

But then, we always knew he was no Eagle Scout.

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