Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No Results, Just a Nasty Attitude

During the defining moment of last week's gubernatorial debate Mayor Tom Barrett called out Scott Walker for being uncooperative and downright nasty regarding a joint-effort to create jobs in Southeastern Wisconsin. Specifically Mayor Barrett quoted Walker's response when the Milwaukee 7 (M-7) effort was first announced in 2005. While Mayor Barrett was busy cooperating with business leaders and other local officials, Scott Walker sniped from the sidelines saying that the effort was akin to "putting lipstick on a pig". Contrary to Walker's negative outlook, M-7 has gone on to have a tremendous impact on economic development and the creation of jobs in Southeastern Wisconsin.

An internal Walker administration email reveals that this nasty attitude toward the constructive work of others runs far and deep. On June 1, 2009, a Walker administration official forwarded a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story to Walker's Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli.

The story was about Visit Milwaukee and their efforts at bringing big events to Milwaukee. Specifically the story addressed Visit Milwaukee's Opportunity Fund which helps entice potential events by offering some of them funds to help offset their costs. In the story, Visit Milwaukee officials comment that the payback of the fund is enormous.

It seems like a worthy investment and a constructive effort to bring more business/jobs to Milwaukee right? Not if you are a high level member of the Walker administration. Tom Nardelli quickly responded to the forwarded Visit Milwaukee story saying the following (emphasis is mine):

I saw the story, but I'm not a supporter of the fund. It's just another
way for Visit Milwaukee to get their hands on even more of the revenues generated from hotel/motel taxes, rental car tax and food and beverage tax in the county, which were also intended to bring business into the Midwest Airline Center. In my opinion, they could cut half of their bloated staffand use those salary savings to support an "opportunity fund." They wouldbe swimming in money given their inflated salaries!All this is BS whenyou consider that the money Visit puts in actually comes from the District to start with!Their track record under this management team is
horrific.They have been unable to draw flies
, even before the economy tanked.

See what I mean? What a nasty attitude! Especially when Visit Milwaukee helped the Walker administration with their motorcycle ride earlier this year. We know that event was certainly geared to help Walker's campaign for governor but I have to wonder if it was even able to "draw flies" to Milwaukee County? In any case, here we have behind-the-scenes confirmation that this nasty attitude from the Walker administration runs strong and deep. They obviously spend a lot of time attacking the constructive efforts of others but what exactly have they done? They certainly have not taken the lead and they definitely have not been supportive.

As Mayor Barrett said in the debate last week, you don't sell something by saying how lousy it is and running it down all the time. Unfortunately that seems to be the only response from Scott Walker and his administration. Do nothing (other than planning for the next election) and snipe at everyone else from the sidelines. No results, just a nasty attitude.

This is what a real leader sounds like:

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