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Walker World: Where Hypocrisy and Incompetence Never Ends

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on March 11, 2009

We already have seen how Walker has changed his mind repeatedly, and continuously contradicted himself on whether he would take stimulus dollars and whether he would put stipulations on whether he would accept the stimulus dollars.

It was already mentioned that the County Board, realizing that time was a-wasting, passed a resolution, on a 17-1 vote (any bets that the one no was Paul Cesarz?) to establish a stimulus task force to spearhead the attainment and utilization of said stimulus dollars to rebuild and repair some of the damage that has been caused by the last seven years of neglect by Walker.

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the first meeting of this task force. I know that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a reporter there and covered the story. But as is so often the case when it comes to Walker, they did not fully report the story.

As Walker had threatened to do, he kept any of his department heads from participating in said task force. In fact, all but one, Cynthia Archer, skipped the meeting altogether. Archer was there, but not as a participant.

To make a long story short, Archer told the task force that Walker was supposedly looking to protect the county taxpayers. She never did explain how making them pay for something and then not using it was exactly protecting them, but Walker hasn’t figured that part out yet either. Archer also reported that Walker was unaware of this task force until the last minute, even though the resolution has been on his desk, waiting for his signature, for several weeks. Was he lying or just unaware because he was too busy campaigning?

Archer reported to the task force that Walker had three criteria before he would accept any stimulus money:

  1. That there was no local match required by Milwaukee County,
  2. That there would be no long term financial obligations, and
  3. That there would be no ongoing operating or maintenance costs.

Archer did not mention that Walker had already requested some rapid transit buses, which do require maintenance and which do have an operating cost. She did say that Walker has supposedly had his staff working on developing their wish list of projects they wish funded by the stimulus dollars, even though he has been publicly grandstanding on how eeeeeeeeeeeevil Governor Doyle is for doing the same thing. Some of these projects include road rebuilding. And, of course, anyone that has lived, and driven, in Milwaukee County for the last few months know that roads require a lot of maintenance to keep them plowed and to repair potholes.

In other words, Walker, who has repeatedly stated that he was against even asking for stimulus money, then changes it to that he would still not ask for the money, but would accept it under certain conditions. He then goes out and asks for the money, disregarding the conditions he said that he would only take it under.

Supervisor Broderick questioned why the department heads weren’t present, and accurately blamed Walker for being an obstructionist. Supervisor Jursik was rather angry about Walker’s secretive behaviors and questioned what Walker may be hiding from the task force, and what projects he is arbitrarily denying. The task force then asked Corp Counsel for a legal opinion on whether all of the decisions on what stimulus money to ask for and how to use it is policy, which means Walker was stepping out his jurisdiction and did not have the authority to make these decisions.

James Rowen also agrees that the Board should take over the process, given Walker’s placement of his political aspirations ahead of the good of the County.

Another thing that the MJS failed to report was that Sheriff’s Inspector Kevin Carr, representing Sheriff David Clarke, a conservative, stated that the Sheriff’s office wanted to have pursue several millions of dollars of money to replace the antiquated medical records for the jail and the House of Correction, replacing it with an updated electronic system of record keeping. He also pointed out that the Sheriff’s Office needed 50 new squad cars. Inspector Carr pointed out that it would be irresponsible to ask the Board for this money in the fall if they did not avail themselves of the stimulus dollars first.

Also present was Dan Finley, CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum and a conservative, who said that the MPM would also like to pursue $1 million dollars for building maintenance.

And if that wasn’t enough hypocrisy for you, well, there’s more. Walker is the human eternal fount of hypocrisy.

MJS reported earlier this week that Milwaukee is going to get a nice hunk of stimulus dollars to aid the public transit system. The reason is not Walker, who refused to ask for any of it. The credit goes to Governor Jim Doyle, who, unlike Walker, puts the best interest of his constituents first, and had asked for stimulus dollars for the transit systems here and in Madison and the Fox Valley.

Walker graciously states that he would accept the money, because that wouldn’t add any costs that wasn’t already being planned for. Of course, this is utter crap that he is trying to serve to us. If it was already being planned for, then the system wouldn’t be in the critical condition that it is in, and wouldn’t be facing an implosion due to Walker’s neglect:

In addition to new buses, stimulus money could cover part of the $7 million cost of replacing fareboxes, said Milwaukee County bus system spokeswoman Jacqueline Janz. Walker, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson have discussed joint purchasing of fareboxes for their transit systems.

The Milwaukee County bus system also needs $2.2 million in equipment to announce stops for riders who are deaf or blind, to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Janz said. Until recently, that function was handled by the much-maligned Transit TV system. But the Florida company that owns the video system has filed for bankruptcy and its screens have gone dark, Janz said.

The paper reported that most officials think that this would avert the transit crisis for maybe a year. I think that they are being overly optimistic. First of all, there is no guarantee that Walker would use the money for its intended purpose, but might just shift it over to one of his campaign contributors for some bogus, made up reason. Secondly, even if Walker did use it correctly, that we would get the new equipment in time:

Realizing that nearly all of its counterparts would use stimulus money to buy buses, the transit system issued a request for proposals Feb. 18 in the hope of getting to the front of the line for bus orders. It will take at least a year from the time of the order to delivery of the buses, and delivery time could grow if demand strains bus manufacturers’ capacity, said Brian Dranzik, the county’s transportation budget and policy chief.

But then again, it does take a long time to get a bus down here from Canada. After all, they Canadians are busy picking up all the money that Walker and Sarah Palin are throwing at them.

It should also be noted that while the rest of the country is still enjoying a boom in their public transit systems, our continues to lag, due to Walker’s mismanagement. He still hasn’t figured out that cutting routes and raising fares is a good strategy.

All of this only proves that if it weren’t for hypocrisy and incompetence, Walker wouldn’t have any skills at all.


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