Monday, March 31, 2014

Vote No On The Austerity Referendum

On Tuesday, Milwaukee County voters are being given one of the most undemocratic referendums to sully this nation.  It's not a true referendum as that the vote is almost meaningless.  The damage was already done last year when Emperor Chris Abele bought off some Teapublican state legislatures to ramrod through a bill that he had a silk stocking law firm draw up.  The bill takes away representative government in Milwaukee County by concentrating power into Abele's hands, much like the way that his mentor and good buddy, Scott Walker, amassed power shortly after becoming governor.

Part of the plutocratic power grab was this referendum, but only this one.  The state made it verboten that the county have any other referendums on the ballot this spring.  Obviously, the recognized just how unpopular Abele had become and did not want to weaken his totalitarian regime.

I've already discussed many of the maleficent stunts that Abele has pulled or tried to pull in just the months since Walker signed the usurpation law into effect.  I've also pointed out the article by Larry Hoffman in which he highlights many of the good things that the County Board has done despite the obstructionism of both Walker and Abele.

Now let's take a look at some other things.  Emperor Abele and his plutocratic pals at the Greater Milwaukee Committee have created yet another front group to push for the people to vote yes on the referendum.  Take a look at their logo and see if you can tell if they are on the side of the people or the corporate special interests that control the Tea Parties:

I can't help but laugh at the thought that they are actually trying to pass themselves off as smaller government advocates.  Especially when Abele has again followed in the footsteps of his hero, Scott Walker, in appointing cronies and giving them tens of thousands of dollar pay increases.

And let me tell you, as a county employee, the extra bureaucracy that Abele has put into place makes Walker look like he really was a reformer. And Abele's corruption and ineptitude actually makes Walker look like an Eagle Scout that had graduated from college.  It is also very hard to believe that with the high rate of turnover - among both Abele's inner circle and front line workers - that there is much efficiency in place.  Things are changing so much that know one knows what's going on.

It should be noted that the treasurer for Abele's front group is former county supervisor Joe Rice.  Rice is a disgruntled teahadist that is still ticked off because he pushed austerity so much that he pushed himself out of a job.  Apparently Rice is all for a smaller government as long as he's not the one getting downsized.

And as if we needed further proof that Abele's April Fool referendum is a bad idea, the corporate media jumps in with such flagrantly false reporting, it's a wonder that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel isn't sold in the check out line with the other tabloids.

One of the two things that stands out is the paper's claim that by cutting the board's salary, it would save taxpayers $475,000 a year.  But the board's staff got slashed this year and workers are getting gouged for millions of dollars, but there was no savings for the taxpayers.  On top of that, services have been cut for the county's most neediest citizens.  Abele has yet to give a reckoning on what he has done with all that money he was supposed to be saving.

The other big lie that the paper repeats is this:
Q. How does the current pay for Milwaukee supervisors compare with other county supervisors and elected officials?

A. It far surpasses other county board pay in Wisconsin. Milwaukee County supervisors, however, represent far more people (about 53,000) than other county supervisors in the state. Milwaukee aldermen make more (about $73,000) and state legislators earn slightly less than Milwaukee County supervisors. Aldermen in suburban or other smaller communities generally get paid far less. Pay for county supervisors or commissioners in other states varies greatly.
The truth of the matter is that every county supervisor in the state gets paid about $1.00 for every person they represent. The reason that Milwaukee County supervisors get paid so much more than the supervisors in other counties is because they are representing that many more people.

If Abele and his fellow plutocrats wanted to make the board part time and cut their salaries, but maintain the same level of representation, they would double the size of the board.  If the referendum passes, Milwaukee County supervisors would be representing many more people for half the pay than the other counties pay their supervisors.

All this doesn't mention that Milwaukee County is the only county in the state to have a Class A city, a internationally recognized zoo, an international airport, an international port and more amenities than could be listed.

The real reason Abele wants to pass this bill is to hamstring the County Board.

Abele has an agenda of privatizing what he can and selling off what he can't in order to maximize the profits that he and his fellow plutocrats can muster from the public.  He's made it abundantly clear to anyone paying attention that he is not concerned whatsoever for what is best for the community or the taxpayers.

The two biggest factors stopping him from his austerity agenda are the County Board and the unions.

He has tried twice in the past few months to bust the unions and will try again this summer after the Wisconsin Supreme Court rubber stamps Act 10.

Abele's April Fool referendum is designed to bust the county board.  He is planning on it passing and for one of two things to happen.

One, the current supervisors retire, quit or run for another office.  Abele then could help buy those seats for his hand-picked people to rubber stamp his bonehead ideas.

The other thing he is expecting that the supervisors would be forced to get other jobs to make up for the lost pay and benefits.  This, along with the cut in board staff, would give them precious little time to be able to go through Abele's proposals and budgets and catch the flaws, errors and misdeeds.  In other words, he is trying to break them so he can get his agenda passed without as much resistance.

Anyway you look at it, voting yes on Abele's referendum would be self-defeating.

I urge my Milwaukee County voters to join me in standing up for ourselves by voting no on this power grab.


  1. Yes, the two biggest factors blocking Chris "Emergency Manager" Abele from imposing his draconian austerity agenda on county citizens are the County Board and unions. The GMC wasn't able to dissolve the county government like they got Scott Walker to propose, so they're going for their next option, disabling government functions and taking control of it all.
    So much for democracy and representative government.
    Judging from Walker's and Abele's actions so far, this cannot be viewed as saving money. This is all about helping those that already have most of the money at the expense of those that don't.

  2. This is horrible. Trying to dissolve the county board. Shame on Abele. He should be more honorable, like our president and his executive orders....