Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scott Walker's Measured Take on the Budget

I was wondering how Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker was going to respond to the shared revenue and other county aid cuts in the Assembly GOP budget. Here it is, in its entirety:
Both the Assembly and Senate versions of the state budget have items that are good and bad for Milwaukee County. Now, I want to encourage the members of the Conference Committee to do more for local governments than just create a committee on mandates. We need relief from state mandates or the resources to meet them during the next two years, specifically in areas like juvenile justice and mass transit.
I can't blame Walker for the ambiguity or brevity. Milwaukee County arguably has more riding on this budget than any county in the state due to its tenuous fiscal position, and it isn't difficult to see that the budget passed by Walker's own party would only add to the problems.

The "do more for local governments than just create a committee on mandates" line is the only explicit shot at the GOP budget, but the lack of details about what's good and what's bad about each version speaks volumes.

If Walker wasn't a GOPer with aspirations for running the party from the governor's mansion someday, you have to imagine he'd have a little more to say about decisions that could either help float or help sink the county he's running today.

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Blogger capper said...

It sure didn't bother Walker (can we start calling him Scooter too?)to short change Milwaukee County when he was in the legislature.

I remember that when Milwaukee County and the State were getting sued in federal court over the poor shape of child welfare, Scooter, Alberta Darling, Margaret Farrow and the rest said that the county was being shorted money, it was just mismanaging what it had. This was in the face of three independent audits, all of which said that the county was underfunded.

July 11, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

It is quite a tangled web. Walker needs to at least control -- if not noticeably improve -- the fiscal position of Milwaukee County if he wants to have a reasonable shot at the governor's mansion. Yet, the party he wants to get there through just passed a budget that would make it impossible for him to improve the fiscal position of Milwaukee County and would likely make it noticeably worse. And, to top it all off, when Walker does run for governor, he'll likely run on the promise of passing a budget much like the one that would sink his hopes of becoming governor.

I don't blame Walker for being an ambitious politician with aspirations that span beyond his current position, but trouble does arise when realizing those aspirations requires placing allegiances elsewhere than Milwaukee County.

July 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question must be...who is working for NOW? He was selected to represent the best interests of the residents in Milwaukee County. If he can truly look at this budget and say that we are adequately represented then fine. However, unlike you Seth, I do not give him a pass in the name of higher aspirations. Walker needs to step up and say what he REALLY thinks of this budget and how it will affect HIS constituents. Who elected him anyhow, the republicans in the state or the republicans from the county? It is more self serving politics that we simply do not need! Where IS the leadership?

July 15, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

I agree, Anon. I don't give Walker a pass on his weak-handed response to the budget; in fact, I wrote this post because think that response is a bunch of crap.

Having aspirations for higher office isn't a problem. Having aspirations for higher office that conflict with the interests of your current office is the problem.

When I wrote, "I can't blame Walker for the ambiguity or brevity," it was intended as a (admittedly veiled) shot at the inevitable pickle Walker has himself into by catering to the ideology of a party that doesn't offer any meaningful options for addressing the issues of the county that Walker current runs, and, in fact, clearly makes those issues worse.

July 16, 2007  

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