PEOPLE-Local 645

  • Quality of Life Alliance

Walker Refuses To Get On Bus, Gets Thrown Under it Instead

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on January 15, 2009

And so the saga continues.

Milwaukee County Executioner Scott Walker first said that he didn’t want anything to do with the stimulus money that would help in getting Milwaukee County back on its collective feet. Then he started to squirm his way out of his ridiculous and myopic stand by saying he wouldn’t rule out taking money, but only under certain circumstances, and then he still wouldn’t ask for it.

Walker started his squirm when it became apparent to even him that his stance is not the most popular one that he could have taken.

And the hits keep on coming. In Thursday’s column, Eugene Kane points out that Walker is failing to uphold to his oath as County Executive, and his putting his own self-serving interests before the general good of those he has sworn to serve. Kane compares Walker to a parent that tries to warn his child of doing something foolish, but in this case, the parent’s concern isn’t necessarily for the welfare of the child. Kane summarizes it well with this:

At first glance, it may appear Walker is acting like a concerned parent by warning Milwaukee County residents about the dangers of jumping out a window just because everybody else is doing it. But when you add the political angle, it doesn’t seem like a stance made entirely on principle. In Walker’s case, his desire to be governor seems to be clouding his judgment regarding what’s best for county taxpayers.

That makes him both a bad parent and a county executive who isn’t doing his job.

The good news coming out today is that there are still some adults in the governing body of Milwaukee County:

Milwaukee County needs $62 million for 155 new buses and $96 million for park projects, according to a project list Board Chairman Lee Holloway submitted to the state Wednesday.

Holloway’s list also includes $7 million for energy-efficiency upgrades at county buildings and $6.5 million for Riverwalk improvements near the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

The buses, park projects and other jobs are part of a $426 million county aid request developed by Holloway and intended to advance the county’s interests in light of County Executive Scott Walker’s refusal to seek any of the federal economic stimulus package that President-elect Barack Obama has said he’ll propose shortly after he takes office next week.

“In an effort to make sure that Milwaukee County residents aren’t left behind, I took it upon myself” to forward the request to Gov. Jim Doyle, Holloway said in a statement.

Unfortunately, I have some concerns about how much weight that list will carry with Governor Jim Doyle. First of all, while I am grateful to Chairman Holloway and the other Supervisors who worked to get this list in, it should have come from Walker. Secondly, it is no secret that Walker is planning on running for governor, even though I don’t think he has much of a chance. Doyle might be disinclined to help a potential rival out, especially when said rival gives him such an opportunity to make him look even more of a putz. I hope Doyle would be able to look past the politics and just do what is right, but one never knows.

But not only does Walker refuse to do the best thing for Milwaukee, he actually then tries to sabotage the efforts of those that are again trying to fix the mess he has made:

He ordered county staff not to cooperate in drafting any new project lists to be forwarded to Doyle. But Walker agreed to allow staff to provide Holloway and other supervisors with old project lists.

“If people had lists from the capital budget already prepared, they could provide those,” Walker spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin said. “But (Walker) did not want staff spending time creating new lists.”

And people wonder why is referred to as a weasel.

Now, I know that some of the Walker backers out there would dismiss these two things, pointing out, correctly, that Eugene Kane is a liberal columnist, and that Holloway and Walker seldom see eye-to-eye on almost anything. But they aren’t the only ones that are distancing themselves from Walker’s silly posturing.

I have just pointed out how Walker’s own chief of staff has expressed that he thought it would be a good idea to get the ball rolling in getting a wish list out to Governor Doyle.

Even one of the County Board Supervisors that Walker could usually count on has turned against him. Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo, who I do not have a lot of warm feelings for, had submitted his own list of needs for his own district.

And continuing the pile-on, the other darling of talk radio, Sheriff David Clarke also put in his own request, while throwing Scooter under the wheels of the bus:

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said he respects Walker’s caution but feels it’s important to at least request the county’s fair share.

“I can’t say I don’t want any of that stimulus money based on my own ideology,” Clarke said. “I should try to fight for federal dollars for Milwaukee County residents as it relates to law enforcement needs.”

If Clarke doesn’t at least ask for this federal help, it would make it difficult for him to later seek county taxpayer funding for some of the same needs, the sheriff said.

Wow. When even Clarke recognizes Walker’s obstinance to be a bad idea, you know it’s really bad.

But all is not breaking badly for Scooter. His dwindling number of supporters are trying to rally the troops around him. Apparently, they are even going to hold some kind of meet-and-greet to help bolster his lagging efforts to be governor. It seems that they have some concern that there may be a recall after all. I wonder where they got that idea from?

Perhaps the Walkerites still have time to print up some nice posters for Walker. I am sure that the Brew City Brawler won’t complain if they use his eye-catching design. I just wonder if they will be serving Road Kill Weasel Fritters.

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