Big Talker Scott Walker’s Very Bad Week:
Turning Tail on Public Safety, Crisis-Causing “Management” Exposed
MADISON – It wasn’t a good week for Scott Walker. His efforts to gin up good press by making grandiose speeches at the State Capitol and staging campaign events across the state were overshadowed by a tidal wave of negative news about the mess he’s made back home in Milwaukee County.
“Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Scott Walker merely skips town and poses for the press,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday.
The news this week for Walker – and, more importantly, for his constituents – was grim.
On Tuesday, Walker staged a press conference to revel his “plan” for job creation in Wisconsin.
Walker failed to explain how he would pay for his “plan” – a $2 billion tax giveaway to major corporations.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Walker’s failure to market financial aid and take advantage of federal lending programs intended to create jobs in Milwaukee County. [i]
On Wednesday, a report – commissioned by Walker’s own campaign chairman – revealed that the $2 billion pension and health care crisis has boiled over to an outright emergency under Walker rule. [ii]
It also noted Walker’s failure to fix the structural deficit – an erstwhile campaign promise.
The report by the Public Policy Forum and commissioned by Michael Grebe – Walker campaign chairman and chairman of the Greater Milwaukee Committee – contemplated whether Milwaukee County government should be abolished. Despite Walker’s big talk about reforming the structure of county government and its pension obligations, the report concluded that Walker’s Milwaukee County is near full-scale crisis. [iii]
“Walker never really bothered this week to answer urgent questions about his mismanagement that were raised in the report, but he’s not one to take responsibility,” Tate said.
Then on Thursday, while Walker was traveling on political business and two weeks after embarrassing revelations of Walker’s public safety hypocrisies, the GOP candidate had to get political cover from the very same political ally who first made Walker’s dangerous and shifting public safety priorities known. Sheriff David Clarke earlier had denounced Walker’s bungling that blew a nearly $5 million hole in Milwaukee County’s public safety budget, a failure which would reduce patrols and rely heavily on furloughs for deputies. After the public outcry, Walker went on to tell talk radio host Charlie Sykes that he and Clarke were working something out. The results of their political damage control were reported yesterday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. [iv] “Scott Walker was not too busy campaigning this week to got his political wing man back in line after David Clarke had a brief moment of clarity,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said. “But it’s too little and too late to hide what most people in Wisconsin could see this week – that Walker’s incompetence is an even more defining trait than his cynical political ambition.”