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Walker’s Water-loos?

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on April 25, 2010

It was an admittedly crappy day for progressives in the Milwaukee area.

The State Assembly couldn’t seem to get their collective heads out of the sand and just do what the voters told them to do more than eighteen months ago, which was to simply give Milwaukee County to enact a dedicated sales tax for the transit and parks systems, with a corresponding reduction in property taxes.

Instead, we saw the Republicans do whatever they can do to sabotage the bills from happening and the Democrats too spineless to stand up and do what was right, and now the dedicated funding fight is over for now..

I noticed many Republicans are already crowing about their “success” in stopping these bills. I am sure that Walker will use this on his campaign bike ride next month and at the Republican convention.

But did Walker and the Republicans really win? Now Walker has no one to pull his bacon out of the fire and he will be forced to make some very difficult decisions as he tries to put together his 2011 budget. Will he raise taxes, which is against his entire mantra, or will he allow the county to spiral nose first into the ground, which will really show how incompetent and what a sham he really is?

The pros are saying that the transit system, without the dedicated funding, could be cut by as much as 35% by this time next year. That equates to tens of thousands of jobs being lost as workers will not be able to get to work. That won’t sit well with Walker’s laughable promise to create 250,000 jobs. At the rate he is going, he will have to create 250,000 jobs to just make up for the ones he has caused to go away.

On a local level, the progressives also having a bad day. The County Board woefully failed to take action, misguided as it was, to hold Walker and his administration for the woes that they have caused at the Behavioral Health Division. On the bright side, it appears that this was only a temporary setback and one that can be rectified in a month.

But the real interesting part of today’s events is when the Board passed a resolution to oppose Waukesha’s plan on using Milwaukee County waterways as the dumping field for their waste water:

The Milwaukee County Board voted Thursday to oppose Waukesha’s plan to use county streams to send treated wastewater to Lake Michigan, with concerns raised over potential pollution and flooding damage.

The board’s 13-3 vote came after supervisors said waiting to take a stand on the plan was unwise. Waukesha officials had asked Milwaukee County to hold off on a decision for a month so they could make a detailed presentation of a plan to purchase lake water from the City of Milwaukee and pipe back treated effluent to the lake via Underwood Creek.

This vote, which was passed on a veto-proof margin, puts Walker into a very difficult position.

The people in Milwaukee County, especially those in Wauwatosa, where Walker lives, don’t want Waukesha’s refuse water to come pouring through their streams. On the other hand, the people in Waukesha arrogantly feel that they are the chosen ones and have the right to dump their water any which way they want, without having to participate with any sort of reciprocal regional cooperation.

So who does Walker support? His friends and neighbors in Tosa and his supporters in the suburbs who elected him three times to be county executive or his well-moneyed campaign donors from Waukesha?

It didn’t take Walker long to decide where is loyalties lay. As is the usual case with Walker, just follow the money. From the same article (emphasis mine):

County Executive Scott Walker said he would veto the board’s move, calling it a “knee-jerk reaction that flies in the face of regional cooperation.” Nonetheless, enough supervisors oppose the Waukesha water plan now to override a Walker veto.

So much for Walker, Tosa Ranger.

As I have been saying for a long, long time, Scott Walker doesn’t care about Milwaukee County and only saw it as a stepping stone for his goal of becoming governor.

Now that Walker has thrown his neighbors and long-time supporters under the bus, he will be really feeling the pressure to win his perpetual race for governor. With the decisions he has been making lately, I doubt that it will be very long before Walker will be persona non grata in Milwaukee County, much less Wauwatosa.

Heck, he’s most of the way there already.


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