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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Weak Arguments

Walker and the usual suspects from the right are starting to pour it on in his efforts to win the re-election bid he promised he would go after.

So far, their efforts have been rather feeble.

They try to argue about Senator Taylor's competence, highlighting a YouTube video lifted off of Eye on Wisconsin WisconsinEye, in which, during a moment of frustration, she states that she is "utterly confused." Of course, these are the same people that had no issue at all of Bush's ability to speak in public, which I highlight in this post at my other home away from home. That makes that point moot.

Next, they try to build up Walker with some silly video in which Walker is touting his ill-conceived plan to gut the Parks Department. Ken Mobile cites Mark Maley of the Parks People who highlights how dumb this idea is:
- Seasonal employees require copious hours of training before they are effective. In fact, nearly all of their training is currently conducted by a full-time Park Maintenance Worker, the same position that is proposed to be cut. The responsibility for competent training will fall to a greatly reduced force of full-time employees who will be asked to train an even higher number of these transitional employees. This is a recipe for further dysfunction.

- These temporary staffers require much more supervision than dedicated full-time staffers. In keeping with the continual reduction in field staff, the supervisory ranks are at an all-time low and struggle to keep a watchful eye on their charges while keeping up with their myriad other duties. A good work force is one that has a stake in providing a quality product while keeping on task. With an even greater dependence on a transitional workforce that has no real stake in the operation, creating that “buy-in” is a harder sell and keeping them on task over the long term is a wish.

- Because of low wages and lack of benefits a high percent of seasonal employees are college and high school students who are not available during the school year. This is especially problematic during the early- to late-fall period when park personnel have the task of mending the hundreds of athletic fields that were tortured during the main sporting season. Local sports enthusiasts have already taken note that their “fields of dreams” have turned into nightmares over the last number of years due to lack of maintenance. This bad dream will only be exacerbated by this further reduction of available, competent full-time staffers.

Then we have the usual mantra of she's gonna raise our taxes. Yawn. If one would look at the JSOnline bit on today's debate, they would have read this (emphasis mine):
After the forum, Taylor said she would look first at eliminating inefficiencies and mismanagement in county government as a way to come up with money for transit. She'll consider a sales tax later, in the context of a larger discussion about all county needs, Taylor said.

Of course, don't forget who already debunked that bit of humdrum weeks ago. Thank you very much.

What Walker's supporters don't mention is that Walker has already acknowledged that there is a need to increase taxes to save the parks. He does it every time he and the handful of friends he has left in Madison try to get the parks district off the ground. Nor do any of them ever mention the fact that Walker has yet to have a budget that didn't blow up by midyear, if not sooner.

I did find irony in the news tonight, that showed a clip of Walker speaking of the importance of education. I hope he was sincere in his statements, because he sure had shown that in his own academic career. I recognize that losing an election for student president, even if the loss was a landslide decision favoring a write-in candidate, Walker could be upset and even embarrassed. But to quit college over that doesn't show a lot in the way of personal fortitude.

The thing that bothers me the most is how low this race has already gotten, when I saw that someone had used a racial slur against Senator Taylor. I will not name or link to the site, as it is a respected conservative site, and I respect the proprietor of that site. But as disappointing that there are still such ignorant people out there, I am just as disappointed, if not more so, that the proprietor didn't even admonish the commenter for their vulgarity.

And, of course, I would be remiss, if I did not encourage you to show your support for Senator Taylor. You can help bring sanity back to Milwaukee County in many different ways. Please visit her website for more information.

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