Tuesday, May 21, 2013

IOOKIAPDI (It's Only OK If A Plutocrat Does It)

Yesterday, my esteemed colleague Jeff Simpson pointed out one of the greater overreaches of power by Scott Walker, in which Walker wants to have a free reign in selling off state assets without even the act of getting approval by the legislature or anyone else.

In the article that Jeff cited, this caught my eye and I had to read it numerous times:
"I think it's foolish, mindless and will have a very chilling effect on fundraising," said Milwaukee businessman Sheldon Lubar, who donated millions of dollars to help build academic buildings at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, and served on the UW System Board of Regents from 1991 to 1998.

Lubar said it never occurred to him that campus buildings he supported financially could ever be sold to a third party.

"I really don't think (Walker) thought this through and understands the negative impact this would have on the university," Lubar said.
Take a moment and enjoy the schadenfreude.

You see, Lubar is a member of the misnamed Greater Milwaukee Committee and a driving force behind the usurpation of power by his fellow GMC member, Chris Abele.

And in that usurpation, look at what he helped buy for his friend Abele:
Provisions that kick in immediately include shrinking the board's role in land sales, labor negotiations and contracts. The county executive can hire as many people as he wants for his office without interference.

The executive also gets sole authority over the county fish hatchery, child support department, operation of the Milwaukee Public Museum, harbor facilities and any work relief program. Abele will have the sole power to create any new county department. He'll have primary oversight of minority contracting, which has been under the County Board.
I have a news flash for Old Man Lubar.

 From where the people are sitting, these two power grabs look a lot alike:

  • Both give too much power to the executive branch.  
  • Both allow the executive/governor to sell public assets at their whim, regardless of the will of the people or the common good.  
  • Both were driven by well-moneyed special interests.
  • Both throw the doors wide open for corruption.
There are, however, two major differences.

Just as the Kochs have an undue influence on the decisions and actions of Scott Walker, Lubar has the same control over Abele.  However, Lubar doesn't have that same level of control over Walker.

The other difference is that Lubar has money invested in the public assets that Walker wants to sell.  On the other hand, Lubar is looking at profiteering off the assets he wants Abele to sell, such as he is doing with the destruction of the county grounds.

The thing that Lubar doesn't realize is that both Walker's proposal and the usurpation of power for his plutocratic pal Abele are wrong and should never be or have been.  He doesn't realize that it's still not OK even if it's a plutocrat doing it.

Which goes to prove that all the money in the world still can't buy a person the intelligence of a rock or the ethics of an alley cat.

But judging by the likes of Walker, Abele and Lubar, money can buy one more than their fair share of hypocrisy.

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