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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Saturday, August 28, 2010

    Wisconsin Focus: Republican Scott Walker's Record of Failure

    There is a very valuable website that documents all of Republican Scott Walker's fiscal failures. Walker is yet another example of the fiscal irresponsibility of the modern Republican Party, the party that brings us the worst deficits in history. Here are some examples of what a failure Scott Walker is and the kind of damage he will do to Wisconsin's economy if he is elected governor.

    Scott Walker's record on deficits: A Total Failure

    Walker promised fiscal responsibility but his track record as Milwaukee County Executive is riddled with financial mismanagement and busted budgets. Unlike the state, which under Governor Doyle’s leadership has ended every year with a balanced budget, Scott Walker racked up budget deficits in 2003 and 2004.

    Milwaukee County has also faced huge mid-year budget deficits every year Walker’s been in office due to his mismanagement. Those deficits have resulted in draconian cuts and big fee increases to vital services like public transportation. The county's public institutions have also faced neglect and closures -- including the park system and the county’s once-vibrant community pool system.

    This is so typical of Republicans. They go on and on and on about fiscal responsibility but they are the party that consistently runs the worst deficits on local, state and federal levels. They talk the talk but the do not walk the walk. Scott Walker, like a typical Republican, is fiscally irresponsible every time.

    Scott Walker has committed waste, fraud and abuse:

    * A "glitch" in the county's pension system computer software deposited some $10 million in pension payments to the county's retirees. That was after a $10 million computer system upgrade paid for just a year earlier. http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/83572597.html

    * And now, the pension cuts that Walker was pushing earlier this year will cost the county another $580,000 in computer upgrades, according to the pension board. http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/91722969.html

    * A county audit found that errors and omissions resulted in estimated annualized overpayments of $328,000 in the $11.9 million Milwaukee County Rent Assistance program.

    * A county audit found that Milwaukee County Program Integrity Unit needed a more comprehensive, strategic approach to detect and pursue child care fraud, and weak child care authorization and payment controls result in overpayments caused by excess authorizations.

    * Another county audit found that Walker, through staffing reductions, had concentrated the county purchasing power in the hands of just two people, overseeing approximately $50 million in purchases ($19 million centralized, $31 million decentralized), a disturbing sign of inadequate management oversight and a huge opportunity for fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

    This is just five examples of the waste, fraud and abuse perpetrated by Scott Walker as Milwaukee County Executive.

    The Republican Party has for about a decade been synonymous with fraud and corruption. Scott Walker is just another in a long line of corrupt Republicans.

    Scott Walker's record on jobs and economic development: a total failure

    "Jobs, jobs, jobs. … As President Bush said on Friday, 'the American economy heads into 2006 with a full head of team.' Thanks, in part, to the tax cuts pushed by President Bush in 2001 and again in 2003, the economy is headed in the right direction. Most importantly, Americans' businesses are headed in the right direction." [Scott Walker Blog, 1/7/06]

    On no other issue has Scott Walker provided less leadership than jobs. In 2009 alone, Milwaukee County lost over 30,000 jobs. Walker’s failure to prioritize job creation and economic development has devastated Milwaukee County’s workers. Walker has punted responsibility or mismanaged three job creation and economic development offices. After several years of cutting funding by almost 50 percent to the Office of Community Business Development Partners, the County Board took control of the division in 2006. In his 2007 budget, Walker first stripped millions of dollars from the Department of Administrative Service’s Economic and Community Development Division, and then completely eliminated the division in 2009.

    In 2007, due to Walker’s inaction, the state was forced to strip authority from Walker over the Private Industry Council and give it to the City of Milwaukee after complaints about its effectiveness and loss of funding sources.

    Learn More: (all PDFs)

    Walker dismantled Milwaukee County economic development programs

    Vetoed using a $2 million gift for economic development, instead used it to claim a “surplus” for 2008 budget year

    Walker failed to market job-creating financial aid and take advantage of federal lending programs

    Walker hired inexperienced campaign staff to run economic development programs

    Walker took credit for jobs program he vetoed, County board overrode

    Once again, for at least a decade, Republicans have had a horrible record on job creation, sacrificing job programs for tax cuts to the richest Americans. Scott Walker is just one more Bush-style Republican who prefers helping out the rich oil and bank executives while hurting the working and middle class Americans that are the backbone of this country.

    Wisconsin has to realize that Scott Walker offers nothing but the same kind of corruption, deficits and job loss that Bush gave all of America. For more about Scott Walker's economic failures and corruption, check out this website.


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