What Scott Walker Doesn’t Want You To Read
Posted by Chris Liebenthal on August 26, 2009
Scott Walker is obviously feeling very nervous lately. Doyle announced he is not running for a third term now Walker’s entire campaign strategy has become null and void. To add to this is Walker’s ethical problems, the fact that his primary opponent has a ton of more money, and a potential Democratic opponent is whooping him in popularity, even though this person has not even talked about whether he even wants to run.
Now, Walker’s campaign is trying to get sympathetic bloggers involved in bolstering his campaign with a blogging blitz. So far the only ones that I’ve seen bite is Patrick Dorwin at Badger Blogger, and Aaron Rodriguez at The Hispanic Conservative. The story line is that Walker claims he was asked by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to write a column to argue on why he feels that the county government should be dismantled, but they wouldn’t print it. Once you read the letter, you realize that if this story is even true, they most likely didn’t print it because it is not about what they asked for, but just a campaign stump speech, and one full of lies that are easily disproved.
It is worth noting that this is also a tweaked version of a post he put up last week at the Inside Scoop. In this article, he does not mention the paper, or any supposed rejection of this letter. Why would that be, unless he is again lying through his teeth.
But let us put that aside and see what he writes.
After the usual self-congratulatory paragraphs, Walker writes:
How did we control government spending? We told department heads how much money they would have and asked them to prioritize spending based on available revenue. Together, we crafted seven straight budgets with no increase in the property tax levy from the previous year. In 2008, when other state and local governments faced massive budget shortfalls, Milwaukee County had a budget surplus of more than $4 million.
What he doesn’t mention is that the tax levy is over 17% higher than when he first took this office. Another thing he misses is that the County Board had to fix the budget every year. And the four million dollars he claims is more like two, which came from a windfall inheritance that the County received, and by law, has to be applied to the 2009 budget, which he claimed to be $15 million in the whole, when there is actually a surplus again.
Of course, no budget looked as good at the 2007 budget, which had a surplus of $7 million. that was the year Walker took himself completely out of the budgeting process.
I suppose this would be a good place to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars of neglected maintenance work that Walker has accumulated, the health risks that this neglect has caused, or the risky pension obligation bond scheme that he got passed, which has a 60% chance of failing.
But to carry on, is the doozy of his whole article:
And we did it without sacrificing quality.
Oh my. That is such a frickin’ lie, even I can’t believe he was dumb enough to put it in there.
Perhaps, since he has made it painfully obvious that he doesn’t care about anyone that is not rich and a donor to his campaign, he might have forgotten a few things. Like the fact that he kept cutting mental health services until he was shamed into restoring them. He was screwing things up at the House of Correction that when the federal government did an audit, it was so bad that Walker abdicated his duties and handed the whole thing over to the Sheriff’s Office. And who can forget the most recent event, that Walker mismanaged the income maintenance program so much that the County was faced with a multimillion dollar lawsuit and the State had to take it over to protect our most vulnerable citizens from Walker’s willful negligence. And this is just to name but a few. The list is almost endless.
Walker then goes on to brag about the parks. He fails to note that the award is not for the parks, but for the video of the parks. He also seems to have forgotten the half a million dollars needed to just fix six bathrooms, leaving five so poorly maintained that they had to be closed.
And does Walker really want to talk about the transit system, which is facing a cut of up to thirty to forty percent within the next year? That the ridership is dropping, the fares are among the highest in the nation, but offer no where near the same level of service?
Another alarming statement from Walker comes regarding the airport (emphasis mine):
General Mitchell International Airport is another award-winning county asset. In 2008, Mitchell International served a record 7.95 million passengers and received the Transportation Safety Administration’s Partnership Award. Since 2002, we have invested $199 million dollars in airport renovations and improvements without increasing the property tax levy.
Clearly, our investment has paid off for passengers and airlines alike, but we can do more. By contracting with a private vendor to manage airport operations, the county can actually turn a profit and use the revenue to pay down debt and help fund our mass transit system.
Excuse me, but do we want the government to be making a profit of off people? Ideally, they should be breaking even. And the funding for the airport comes directly from either federal funds for from the airlines who then pass the cost on to their customers. So in other words, he is having the airlines impose a tax on travelers in order to make a profit to support the failing transit system that he just said was doing fine.
Why his head doesn’t explode with all these lies and hypocrisy, I’ll never understand.
The last couple of paragraphs are saying, yeah, let’s get rid of county government, but he doesn’t say how it would be done, or how it would supposedly save money. Probably because he doesn’t know and because it really wouldn’t.
Wait a minute! Now I get it! Walker is correct.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wouldn’t would be afraid to print this. If they did, they know that they would lose readers and revenue when people got sick and tired of the blatant lies and hypocrisy.