Friday, May 26, 2006

Mark Green Defies Bishops Again

Earlier today Xoff pointed out that since the Catholic Bishops of Milwaukee and Madison have decided to get political, that perhaps they should send a letter to Mark Green voicing their dismay in his support for the death penalty. It sounds like a very reasonable and consistent act doesn’t it?

As I pondered these things I happened to read the latest press release from the Mark Green Campaign. He was basically denouncing Governor Doyle for vetoing Senate Bill 567. This bill was sponsored by Sen. Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis) and would have required “proof of citizenship” to receive public assistance.

In a letter to Governor Doyle earlier this month, leadership in the Catholic church in Wisconsin asked him not to sign SB 567. By some strange miracle THIS letter did not make it to the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (as did the one critical of Doyle earlier this week). In any case, their sound reasoning in this matter went something like this:

According to four separate audits of Department of Health and Family Services and Department of Workforce Development programs, illegal or fraudulent use of public assistance programs by undocumented immigrants is rare. At the same time, these audits revealed that requiring additional forms of documentation discourages people who are entitled to social services from applying in the first place.

As Executive Director John Huebscher wrote, “A significant number of those affected by SB 567 would be among our most vulnerable residents—elders, individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, and children. Some of these children were born in the US, but their parents were not, thus their parents will be more fearful of seeking help for their children.”

“In addition,” he continued, “we share the concerns voiced by others regarding the bill’s impact on public health. Children and others who decline to seek immunization and health care services may in turn spread diseases that might otherwise be treated and checked. This will adversely affect the wider community.”

As we learned today, Doyle DID VETO the bill and then Mark Green proceeded to criticize him for doing it. So it appears on this subject that Mark Green is once again in defiance of the Catholic leadership of this state. First on the death penalty, then on SB 567. Now I wonder if Green is going to get a critical letter on this position from the Bishops in Milwaukee and Madison. Furthermore, I have to wonder if the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would bother covering it, much less putting it on the front page.

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