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Walker’s Front Group Shows True Colors

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on November 12, 2009

From Milwaukee County First:

To be honest, I am flabbergasted at Scott Walker’s audacity.  It has become increasingly obvious to even the most casual observer that he has completely put his own personal and political aspirations before the common good of Milwaukee County.  His level of personal responsibility to Milwaukee County has deteriorated to the point that even his proposed budget is nothing more than a campaign statement.

Now he has a special interest-funded group acting as a front for his campaign by staging events promoting his budget proposal/campaign statement, sending out mass mailers and doing robocalls on his campaign’s behalf.

This special interest group, the ironically and highly inappropriately named Citizens for Responsible Government, has now resorted to coercion in an effort to force some County Supervisors to forsake their duties and responsibilities to their constituents and to Milwaukee County as a whole, and to endorse Walker’s campaign.

But their motivations are easily seen behind their false statements and outright lies.

The most clear cut example of this is that they have announced their threat towards  Supervisor Patricia Jursik.  They state that their reason for this act of extortion  “was the tax increase positions of local county supervisor Patricia Jursik.”  However, one look at the actual results of Monday’s budget session show that Jursik voted against the wheel tax, against the increase of the tax levy, and against the budget as a whole.

The insanity continues when CRG spokesman Chris Kleismet stated that they were also upset about Jursik’s backing of the sales tax, which passed in referendum last year.  Kleismet also failed to mention that the sales tax would actually lower the property taxes of Milwaukee County citizens.

Would a true anti-tax group be against something that would lower people’s property taxes?  I would think not!

They have also announced that they are targeting Supervisor Theo Lipscomb, who handily won his seat as a write-in candidate.  As Supervisor Lipscomb points out in the article:

“There’s no mandate in Glendale that I’m out of step,” Lipscomb said. He said he was accountable to his constituents, “not to special-interest bullies.”

The article also reports that they are hoping to target Supervisor Lynne De Bruin, who, like Supervisor Jursik, voted against the tax increases.  This only is another example of the special interest group’s hypocrisy.

But the most egregious statement from Kleismet was not his laughable accusations, but this bald faced lie:

“CRG has no relationship with Walker, but we like a lot of his policies,” Kliesmet said.

There is more than enough evidence to make an independent mind suspect that there may be some collusion between CRG and Walker’s campaign.  But leaving that aside, Kleismet is still lying.

In 2005, Kleismet told the Milwaukee County Journal that he was working with Walker to install some warped version of Six Sigma, and that he was hoping to parlay that into business selling it to other governmental bodies.  I also distinctly remember that there was a great deal of controversy after Walker won the recall election in 2002 because he wanted to give office space in the County Courthouse to Kleismet and CRG.

Perhaps if CRG wanted to actually live up to their names, they would  want to pressure  Supervisor Paul Cesarz.  Cesarz has not only failed to pay his own taxes, but has caused tax increases through his actions and non-actions.  Cesarz was the only Supervisor to vote against an audit to determine if tax payer dollars were being wisely spent in the privatization of the food services at the mental health complex.  Cesarz, as Chair of the Personnel Committee, has failed for the last fourteen months to even offer a labor contract proposal like the one CRG is supporting.  In fact, his failure to get a contract with the unions has cost County tax payers millions of dollars this year alone in lost savings.

CRG, if they were genuine, would also being putting Walker’s feet to the fire.  Walker has refused to take any action regarding John Chianelli, the head of the Behavioral Health Division, who single-handedly is responsible for thescowling walker most recent budget crisis.  They would also go after Walker for his continuing efforts at privatizing everything, even though the things that he has already privatized has proven to be more expensive than if they were kept in the public sector.  Furthermore, Walker has also failed to offer a reasonable or viable budget, but instead offered one that is guaranteed to fail and cause a fiscal crisis on the very first day that it is enacted.

What is also ironic is that CRG, who advocates for transparency in government, a good thing, continues to veil themselves in secrecy, especially in regards to their funding sources.

But then again, if CRG were to do these things, that would mean that they were putting Milwaukee County first, and that is not their true intentions.


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