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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spinning Out of Control

by capper

It's no secret that I don't care for Scott Walker. However, when I have posted on Walker, I have had some interesting discussions with people that agree and disagree with what I wrote. I respect those opinions, even when they disagree, because, even though I don't agree with their reasoning, they are open and honest on what they say and why they say it. I can even handle spinning a subject or a certain point. (I'd better since I do it as much as anyone). What I can't respect is when the spin becomes out of control.

A fine example of this would be the post by Fraley at Daily Takes. He advocates for his boy Walker, which is fine and to be expected, since he did work on Walker's campaigns. But when he lists Walker's "accomplishments", I was simply floored by his audacity at playing with the truth. It's an amazing collection of, at best, gross embellishments, and, at worst, flat out lies. Here is a breakdown of some of the most egregious ones.

5 consecutive budgets with a $0 tax levy increase from the previous year.

But each previous year had a tax increase thus he was still increasing taxes.

Isolated large pension enhancements so not one new employee will receive them.

Most of these weren't allowed to new employees in the contract that allowed them. Also fails to mention how Walker failed to get several existing, non-represented employees to sign the waivers to remove the pension enhancements, and then lied about them.

Restructured the pension board by requiring appointees to possess financial literacy, having a retiree serve on the board and limiting the number of terms a board member may serve to two.

But still failed to notice and/or do anything about the buy back scandal.

Reduced the size of the County taxpayer-paid workforce by almost 20% .

But does not mention the closed swimming pools, the shoddy parks, and other failing services caused by this.

Updated ethics code and instituted new restrictions and reporting requirements, prohibited contributions from political appointments and those in active process of seeking contracts with the county.

He fails to mention the opening of a respite home for disabled adults that had to be postponed for almost a year due to Walker receiving contributions from the agency to which he awarded the contract.

He returns $60k of his salary every year ($300,000to date).

Unproven, but even if true, did he also give up the tax benefits for his "donation"?

Eliminated waiting lists for long-term care for seniors through Family Care; secured State grant to plan similar programs for persons with disabilities.

Family Care was created by Tommy Thompson in '98, implement in five pilot counties, including Milwaukee County's Department of Aging in 2001. The waiting lists are not eliminated, just moved on to the providers (Family Care is worthy of a post by itself, it's that bad). About a year ago, Governor Jim Doyle signed the law to extend it to all 72 counties in the next five years.

Created an Aging & Disability Resource Center that serves as a national model.

Again, per state regulations and created before he was elected. Not to mention the financial troubles it was in, due to poor fiscal oversight (a common theme in Walker's administration).

Negotiated multi-year agreement with municipalities to enhance our county-wide EMS system. Partnered w/ local hospitals to maintain and improve General Assistance Medical Program (GAMP). Spearheaded community partnerships to improve care for the mentally ill including increasing the number of housing units .

A three-for-one. Walker was originally against all of these until faced with overwhelming public pressure and/or press coverage.

Helped stabilize Midwest Airlines by using our financial tools, helping to keep nearly 3,000 jobs in the Milwaukee area.

Huh? The jury is still out on how smart the sale of Midwest was, or how it will turn out.

Last, but not least...Established County Executive’s annual Harley Ride to promote Milwaukee County and regional attractions.

And his gubernatorial campaign.

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