Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Scott Walker Wants Four More Years

Or at least two more -- the next gubernatorial race is in 2010.

It's officially unofficial, but it seems pretty clear Scott Walker is getting set to run for Milwaukee County executive again next year.

I don't want to harp on the fact that Walker suggested on a number of occasions that he wouldn't run for another term as county executive beyond this current one. After all, minds can change. Heck, he probably thought he'd be governor by now.

But what did peak my interest in the Journal Sentinel article on his teaser announcement this morning was the response he gave to why he ended his doom-and-gloom tour last year on the county's fiscal situation. According to the article, the fiscal outlook got a lot brighter, in Walker's view, because of "a new labor agreement that included health care concessions."

What's interesting about this is that the structure of those health care concessions was actually the idea of Dave Riemer, who was Walker's opponent in the county executive race in 2004. Riemer was also the major consultant behind the changes in the state health plan that has saved the state tens of millions of dollars in recent years.

GOP state Senator Alberta Darling even called the new state health plan designed by Riemer "a shining example" and "the best in the country." It seems based on Walker's comments yesterday that Milwaukee county is now noticing similar benefits of the plan.

But what's even more interesting is that Riemer has acknowledged as recently as last September that he's considering another run at the county executive post in 2008.

I imagine Walker's campaign team will find a better way to explain the transition from doom-and-gloom to sunshine (or at least overcast) if that match-up materializes.


Side-Note: It's also worth noting that AFSCME District Council 48 has been pushing for Riemer's plan since September 2004, but the county always rejected it until the latest negotiations this past December. Perhaps the support the Greater Milwaukee Committee gave the plan in September 2006 finally changed some minds...including, quite likely, Walker's.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't that the County Exec rejected Riemer's plan from the beginning, it was that the Administration wanted all the unions to have the same contract and before they could get at health care they had to tackle the pension sweeteners. Had they gone after the whole shebang from the start, faced arbitration and lost, they would have been completely hosed.

May 10, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

I see your point, but the union was pushing Riemer's plan since September 2004 -- how would it have blown up in the administration's face if the union wanted it? Unless the union was just dangling health care out there as a substitute for pension concessions, but I'm skeptical.

May 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a good question. I just know the pension sweeteners were the top priority.

May 10, 2007  

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