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  • Quality of Life Alliance

Analyzing the “Results”

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on May 18, 2010

Scott Walker finally put up another commercial as he continues his downward slide in the polls. He calls this one “Results.” I first saw it up north over the past weekend, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. After being able to look at it again, I do believe the only thing he said that was honest is that his name is Scott Walker.

Here’s a break down of his claims and the truth that shows he is lying.

“In 2002, a pension scandal rocked Milwaukee County. The guy who had the job before me tried to grab millions for himself and his friends.”

Obviously, he is referring to Tom Ament. But if it was a pure money grab by Ament et alia, why did he sue and win a settlement from Mercer, the actuary company, for not providing accurate numbers? Was it Mercer’s fault or was it a money grab by Ament? His actions do not support his words.

“We had enough. We took back our government.”

Meh. He rode in on the coat tails of special interest, but I won’t quibble over those two lines.

“In fact, the first thing I did was give part of my salary back to the tax payers. $370,000 over eight years.”

Well, there is no denying he gave back that money. However, that is not what he promised. What he did promise to do was to “Voluntarily reduce own salary to $78,850, within 30 days.” He did not reduce it. His salary is still around $130,000. If anything it went up because he does get an automatic raise every year.

On top of that, the cut he promised was about $50,000 a year. Over eight years, that would have been $400,000. In his commercial, he tells us he is $30,000 short of that. Even the promised reduction would be insufficient, considering how much time he has actually put in the office over the last two years.

“I cut the government workforce by 20%.”

Yes he did. Again, the devil is in the details he is not telling you. Do to his cuts, the Income Maintenance Program was taken over the state, in order to save tax payers from having to pay for a multimillion dollar class action lawsuit. There was also issues of massive overtime and problems at both the House of Correction and the continuing problems at the mental health complex that are related to these cuts in workers and thus in services.

Whatever money Walker thinks he was saving was squandered, and even worse, people were hurt and killed because of his putting politics before the people.

“And I introduced eight budgets without raising the property tax levy from the previous year.”

I’ve already discussed this. Simply by the act of accepting the previous year’s budget as a starting point, Walker is tacitly accepting and approving of that tax raise. Or to be more accurate, if you compare apples to apples, in this case proposal to proposal from one year to the next, Walker has always included an increase of at least two or three per cent.

“While Washington and Madison run up big budget deficits, we had an $8.9 million surplus.”

Surplus? What surplus? Actually, it’s almost $1 billion dollars in the red.

“They say you can’t cut waste without sacrificing services; they’re wrong.”

See above, about the 20% work force cuts. Also note the hundreds of millions in deferred maintenance and repair of our parks and infrastructure, in which facilities have to be closed. Also, the delays at the courthouse due to the staffing shortages and furloughs, where things are not moving as smoothly as they should or could be. And I most certainly hope that he does not consider what is going on at BHD as being an acceptable level of service.

“We invested in our airport and today it’s one of the fastest growing in America – adding nearly 1,000 new jobs.”

What Walker forgets to tell us is that the money that was invested in the airport was stimulus funds that he did not want to accept. It was only the leadership on the County Board and from our Democratic leaders in the state and the federal governments that got the money here in the first place.

“We eliminated the waiting list for long-term care for our seniors.”

That would be through Family Care which was ordered by Governor Thompson while Walker was still in the state legislature. And when Walker took office one of the first things he did was cut their accounting staff which led to a multimillion dollar deficit which threatened the budget as well as the program itself.

“We even won the gold medal for the best parks in the country.”

Actually, not quite. It was for a video based on the management and vision of Sue Black. Not the parks themselves.

“Want less government and lower taxes?

I’m Scott Walker and I know how to get the job done. “

The only job that Walker has been able to get done is pulling a snow job on those that still believe that he can run the county, much less the state.

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