I only have time for a handful of rather random observations after the Milwaukee County Board voted on Scott Walker's vetoes for the 2010 budget.
In the first line of the story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comments that Scott Walker "won half a loaf" regarding his vetoes. It may be a minor point but actually he "won" 38% of the "loaf" because 21 of his 34 vetoes were overridden by the board. Also it is wrong to claim that the board "backed Walker" simply because they didn't have enough of a majority to override some of his vetoes.
While I am talking about this "win/lose" approach, I would just like remind everyone that these decisions have quite an impact on real lives. So when Walker is quoted as bragging about "winning" on the veto to privatize housecleaning services, he is bragging about sending already lower-paid workers to the unemployment line. There is something wrong with looking at that as a "win" for anyone (other than the private contractors).
Walker provided more proof that his actions around this budget were (once again) more about his political future than about the well-being of Milwaukee County. The County Board barely finished the session and he was already trying to compare the Milwaukee County tax levy increase to that of the City of Milwaukee.
I was only able to watch the votes on vetoes 17-27 on the City Channel, but one thing was striking to me. The Walker Rubber Stamps on the County Board (Borkowski, Cesarz, Rice and Sanfelippo) just voted to sustain his vetoes and rarely made their case. The other supervisors often stood to make outstanding cases for their votes. It should be noted that of those Walker Rubber Stamps, Rice was the only one to slightly break ranks by voting against Walker three times.
Speaking of the Walker Rubber Stamps not defending their votes, the one time that I saw one of them say anything, was when Paul Cesarz decided to stand to advocate for parking meters on the lake. What does it say about him that (of the 10 votes that I saw), he stood only to advocate one of the most absurd measures in Walker's 2010 budget? Exactly what constituency was Cesarz standing to speak for, the parking meter lobby?
The adopted tax levy for the 2010 budget will be $263 million. Scott Walker and his CRG bullies were fighting tooth and nail against that evil number (or anything above $258 million). If he follows his pattern of behavior Walker will now proceed to use that same evil $263 million number as his own starting point for his budget next year. Apparently that increase won't be so bad after all, next year at this time.