wisconsin capitol
Press Release
September 23, 2010

Questions for Walker to Answer at Tonight’s Debate

How Will Walker Pay for Tax Cuts for Rich? How Many People Does He Want to Cut From BadgerCare? Can He Explain County Failure, Mismanagement?

MADISON, Wis. — In advance of tonight’s first debate between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, One Wisconsin Now offered the following questions for County Executive Walker to answer about his tax cut plan for the rich and big business, his support for cutting children and working families from BadgerCare health coverage and his failed management of Milwaukee County.

“Scott Walker has called for nearly $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts that unfairly benefit the rich and big business and he needs to come clean about the drastic cuts to education, health care and police and fire protection he’ll need to make to pay for them,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Scott Walker owes the people of Milwaukee County real answers about his failed mismanagement and the harm caused to his constituents.”

One Wisconsin Now’s proposed questions (sources provided below):

  1. With a projected $2.5 billion budget deficit, how can you pay for $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts that benefit the rich and big business without slashing education, health care, police and fire protection?
  2. Why was it only after negative media coverage that you transferred the head of the Milwaukee County mental health division and why is the private attorney you have hired refusing to allow release of a critical report to your own audit division?
  3. Do you still support your policy of housing sexually-violent males with female mental health patients as a “tradeoff” to reduce violence between male patients, and why only now are you considering badly-needed funding (for next year) when the real problem has been your failed policies of mismanagement and short-staffing of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, which have resulted in tragic consequences, including deaths and sexual assaults?
  4. You originally proposed time limits for the state’s BadgerCare program that could cut 350,000 children and working families from health care coverage and have now proposed even more drastic cuts to BadgerCare that would result in the loss of health care for nearly 400,000 working women, men and children. Will this continue to be your position to pay for tax cuts for the rich and big business?
  5. You have punted responsibility or mismanaged three job creation and economic development offices as County Executive. You were caught lying about your role in creating jobs at the Milwaukee County Airport. How can anyone actually trust you to create jobs when you failed to do so as County Executive?
  6. As a member of the state legislature, you voted for five straight budgets that increased spending 84 percent – a $22 billion jump. As county executive, you proposed spending increases totaling 35 percent. How can you claim you will control spending?
  7. Due to your failure to properly manage Milwaukee County’s food stamp call center, one in five deserving applicants was denied aid, 90 percent of calls were unanswered and the state had to take control of the program. What responsibility will you take for the failed management of the program?
  8. How can you justify increasing your taxpayer-financed county pay by $50,000 a year in the midst of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression?
  9. Are you at long last willing to admit there is nothing you can do to stop the job-creation of the high speed rail project?
  10. You have opposed investment through the Recovery Act, so would you have rejected the recently passed federal aid to education and Medicaid which provided Wisconsin with $365 million?

For more information on Scott Walker’s record of failure as Milwaukee County Executive, visit www.ScottWalkerFailureFiles.com.

Question Sources:

  1. Walker’s nearly $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts include a first-of-its-kind income tax cut just for the top one percent, those earning more than $225,000 a year ($287 million); reopening the Las Vegas corporate loophole for banks ($187 million); repealing changes made to the capital gains tax deduction that provides 70 percent of benefits to those making more than $200,000 a year ($243 million); sheltering the assets of the wealthiest Wisconsinites even more by a radical end to tax paid on retirement income, regardless of income ($920 million); and shifting tax revenue from new car sales into the transportation fund ($1 billion). [Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2/23/09, 7/8/09, 1/25/10; “Upfront,” WISN-TV, 11/8/09; La Crosse Tribune, 11/24/09; Wisconsin State Journal, 6/20/10]
  2. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/25/10; 9/24/10
  3. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/19/06; 3/29/06; 2/13/10; 5/8/10; 9/23/10
  4. WISC-TV, 10/09/09, 9/22/10; Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  5. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/26/2008; Milwaukee County Executive Recommended Budgets: 2003-10
  6. 1992 WI Act 269; 2001 WI Act 16; WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau; Milwaukee County Division of Fiscal and Budget Affairs
  7. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/3/09
  8. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/19/08
  9. Associated Press, 8/26/10
  10. Wall Street Journal, 2/28/09; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/1/10
# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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