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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Promise Bites The Dust

by capper

I've often heard the right complain about liberal politicians who would make unpleasant or controversial announcements late on a Friday afternoon. In their conspiracy-filled world, they thought the politician would be doing this hoping that the public wouldn't notice, or if they did notice, that they would forget by Monday.

I can't say that they are necessarily wrong, with the exception that almost every politician, of either party, pulls the same kind of stunt. However, perhaps Republican politicians are better than the Democratic ones. I say this because of the stunt that Scott Walker pulled today, and I am not aware of one of the right wing watchdogs saying a word about it.

While all of Milwaukee was busy celebrating the Marquette Interchange, or the statue of Fonzie Lt. Commander Data, or the Brewers, or summer in general, Scott Walker thought he'd pull a fast one.

Walker took the time from emailing Charlie Sykes, complaining about how people are on him for emailing Charlie Sykes, to appoint a crony to his administration. From the All Politics blog at JSOnline:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker today said he hired his campaign manager to a county job as an assistant in Walker's office.

Tim Russell, a real estate agent who most recently served as Walker's campaign manager for his spring re-election, will be paid $75,982 a year. Russell is temporarily filling the vacant post of community liaison, but will likely shift to another job in his office soon, Walker said.

"Where he's at right now is just a place-holder" position, he said. Walker said he expects to use Russell to help with developing his 2009 county budget. Walker said he wanted to tap Russell's expertise and said he would maintain a clear separation between county and campaign duties.

It's Russell's third stint with the county. He formerly worked as operations director for Walker and as county economic development director.

Supervisor John Weishan Jr. said Walker's hiring of Russell was disappointing, calling it political patronage.

As Dan Cody points out, this is the definition of cronyism. Of course, Walker has a history of trying to repay favors to supporters, but never this disgustingly blatant.

And of course, just to remind you Walker supporters that may have forgotten, Walker had promised not to do this sort of thing:
Implement a program to eliminate cronyism and nepotism in county government, including a review of all management and supervisory functions under the executive. Within 60 days.

And this promise stemmed on a platform of promises demanded by the misnamed group Citizens for a Responsible Government. Yet apparently, this is no longer a big deal for them either, judging from their website. So much for their pretense as well.

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