First Scott Walker announced that he was going to end all unemployment in the State of Wisconsin. Then he hatched an imaginary plan to "save" money by eliminating state positions that are already vacant. Now Scott Walker has made a big deal (and went as far to produce an ad) about his latest substance-free "plan".
Walker says that he is going to form a commission to study waste and fraud in state government. He pulls a number out of nowhere saying that his commission will somehow save the state $300 million. He doesn't state specifically how he came up with that number. In fact his campaign spokesperson admitted that the commission wouldn't know all the areas that they could cut until after the November election.
Of all the examples that Scott Walker could have pulled out of thin air regarding his new phony plan, he chose state overtime costs. What was he thinking? Shortly after Walker announced the "plan", One Wisconsin Now pointed out that the percentage of overtime costs in Milwaukee County have been much higher than they were in the state. The obvious question is if this is Walker's big plan for the state, why couldn't he get his own house in order first? Could it be because it is just another election year gimmick? Yes.
In fact there are two areas where massive overtime have caused major problems for Milwaukee County. In 2007 and 2008 Walker failed to fill fully funded positions out at the House of Correction and overtime costs ballooned. In fact a Milwaukee County audit found that from 2003 to 2007 overtime had absolutely exploded at the House of Correction by over 218%. Walker's vicious circle of dysfunction and poor management at the House of Correction spiraled out of control leading to a nasty federal audit and to Walker totally losing control of the facility.
The troubled Behavioral Health Division is another area that has constantly suffered from exploding overtime costs during Scott Walker's administration. Walker has repeatedly and drastically cut staff at BHD. In addition he has failed to fill fully funded positions. So there should be no surprise that overtime costs at BHD have gone up from $2.8 million in 2001 to over $4.7 million in 2008.
Scott Walker owns this kind of overtime record and he has the nerve to lecture us about overtime costs? Scott Walker's spin machine will certainly have to work some serious overtime to sell this hypocrisy to the public.