Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Green Plays Politics with People's Careers

Just last month, Mark Green again went after Governor Doyle for allegedly "play[ing] politics with people's careers" by pledging in 2002 to cut 10,000 state jobs in two terms.

I seem to recall some months back Green promising he would "never" do such a thing with people's lives.

Yesterday, though, Green said at a press conference that, if elected governor, he would move the Department of Workforce Development -- and its hundreds of employees -- from Madison to Milwaukee.

Considering Milwaukee already houses a regional office of the DWD, the intent of the proposal was clear, even to the Journal Sentinel, which wrote: "[Milwaukee] is typically Democratic turf, and if [Green] blunts Doyle's expected victory margin here, it would help his chances."

I wonder if Green would care to revise his past comments on playing politics with people's careers.

Side-Note: It should be noted that most of the state job cuts under Doyle have come from positions not being filled after vacancies arise, usually a result of retirements, as opposed to direct lay-offs.

Green's plan, conversely, would move existing jobs 90 miles to the east, undoubtedly disrupting the lives of people in them. Although, if elected governor, it seems highly questionable that Green would go through with the proposal once the election spotlight is dimmed and the need for plans with little value beyond cheap campaign symbolism no longer exists.

UPDATE: For the sake of clarity, I want to add that I don't agree with Doyle's pledge to cut 10,000 state jobs in two terms; in fact, I've criticized the move on this blog in the past.

In this post, I'm objecting specifically to two things: 1) Green's characterization of Doyle "playing politics" with people's careers considering much of the cuts have not come from lay-offs, and 2) Green's hypocrisy when it comes to his own proposals that do, in fact, play politics with people's careers.

While making state government more efficient is a noble goal, I don't believe setting an arbitrary figure of jobs to cut, whether they're filled at the time or not, is responsible public policy. As I've noted before, arbitrary cuts are part and parcel of the same fiscal conservative ideology that spawned the likes of TABOR, which is opposite of the way we should be crafting fiscal policy in this state.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It should be noted that most of the state job cuts under Doyle have come from positions not being filled after vacancies arise, usually a result of retirements, as opposed to direct lay-offs."

You are obviously not a state employee if you can assert this. But thanks for you other point!

October 24, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Thanks for your comment.

According to an article that appeared in the Journal Sentinel in May, "the Doyle administration will have reduced by 3,847 the number of full-time employee positions by the end of the current two-year budget." The article went on to note that only 264 are related to actual lay-offs.

Surely, for those 264 people, the number is significant, but, all-in-all, it amounts to just under 7 percent of the total.

Nevertheless, I'll gladly post a retraction if I see evidence of different numbers.

October 24, 2006  

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