After helping to bloat the state corrections system (in the 1990’s prison spending rose 246%), and taking political contributions from the for-profit private prison industry, Walker has now created a $5 million hole in Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s 2010 budget in his zeal to lie about raising the property tax levy. To cover this hole Clarke is proposing fewer highway patrols, more early releases, and cuts to programs to help rehabilitate inmates and reduce the numbers of re-offenses.
While Walker’s spokesperson claims he ‘takes a really strong stance on public safety’ (and thanks to Capper, let’s not forget his faux “Safety, Affordability and Pride” theme from his 2007 budget), a review of all of Walker’s proposed budgets shows he actually proposed cutting the numbers of sheriff’s deputies and House of Correction officers in all but one of his proposed budgets from 2003 to 2010. And all those budget and staff cuts resulted in record-setting overtime spending. Walker also mismanaged the House of Correction so poorly that Sheriff Clarke had to take the department over.
Sure sounds like someone who takes a “really strong stance on public safety.”