Walker Uses the Phone Pulpit to Trash Working Men and Women

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Smug Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has made a career of using government to the benefit of those who support his right wing agenda. We remember when for instance, while taking money from the private Corrections Corporation of America while authoring truth in sentencing legislation that would grow the need for private prisons as the former chair of the Assembly Corrections Committee.

He also casts away those who’s work doesn’t enrich his coffers, for instance the many Milwaukee County citizens forced to endure his endless and ill-advised cuts to critical programs that provide a safety net for those in need.

But in the three-legged stool of Walker’s incompetence, venality and corruption, there is nothing as unseemly as his willingness to use his authority to punish those he sees as enemies.And that boils down to one word: Union.

Walker has such a seething and palpable contempt for working men and women who organize, he can barely contain his rage.

It turns out, Walker hates union men and women so much, that he’s making it the cornerstone of his latest run for the right-wing teabagger fest that now constitutes the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

And he made it a heavy point of to the press listening in yesterday on his state-of-the-art phone call. As Wispolitics.com reported: “I don’t think any level of government these days can look at its future and be sustainable unless they get wage and benefits for public sector employees under some degree of control,” Walker said.

Yep. Wages for working people. That’s why he thinks our economy collapsed. Not George Bush handing our treasury over to the top 1 percent ($790 billion in tax breaks) or corporate America. Or ending regulation and enforcement of regulation on our banking industry.

Nope. It’s the working people make too much.

In fear, my personal disgust at Walker’s unflinching $120,000-a-year-on-the-public-dime-hypocrisy, will cause me to type in incomprehensible metaphors or rage, I’ll defer to the more reasoned and responsible thoughts of Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, who sent the following press release out today.

As Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker continues to drive the machinery of government that is his responsibility deeper into dysfunction — despite the often-heroic efforts of front-line workers to save a sinking ship — his ambitions clearly are set on destroying public services statewide.
 
In a Nov. 2 conference call with reporters, Walker makes clear his first priority if somehow elected governor wouldn’t be to find innovative new ways to make government work better.  His first priority would be to go after the wages of front-line workers while handing out tax breaks to rich people and big banks.
 
“Walker might think that the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect the health and welfare of Wisconsin citizens deserve a pay cut so Walker can give tax breaks to the wealthy, but he could not be more out of touch,” said Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24.
 
“His prescription for Milwaukee County has been to wreck services so badly that the state has had to step in repeatedly just to make sure vital functions don’t collapse completely.  Who can we call on to save us when he starts destroying the entire state?” Beil asked.
 
“We know he thinks the private sector can do no wrong while public employees aren’t worth paying a decent wage. Perhaps once he wrecks public services he can call on his buddies at AIG or Goldman Sachs to use some of their federal bailout billions to bail him out of trouble,” Beil said.
 
“Of course, in Walker’s world, bailouts and tax breaks are for CEOs, not working people.  I’m surprised he didn’t suggest outsourcing all state workers to China.  That’s the logical extension of his thinking — to the extent there is any logic there at all,” Beil said.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.