Monday, February 28, 2011

Consequences of Politically Motivated Layoffs

Scott Walker has been jet setting all over the state and appearing on national media outlets. Lately he has used that time and profile to issue threats, saying that he will start laying off thousands of people. It seems that the number keeps growing along with his political desperation. But everyone should know that this is a sick strategy that he had used in Milwaukee County

Earlier today One Wisconsin Now reminded us about Walker's "Koch" call and how he described that it was part of his political strategy to threaten more and more layoffs. They also went on to remind us of Walker's misuse of layoff threats while he was still destroying Milwaukee County.

In November 2009 Walker was being interviewed on WTDY's Sly in the Morning radio show. During that interview Sly asked about the various budget issues in Milwaukee County and Walker described how he issued layoff threats just to "get their attention". So to get what he wanted politically from the Milwaukee County Board, Scott Walker used the threats of layoffs.

Listen for yourself and pay specific attention to how Walker appears to take joy in using the threat of layoffs as a political weapon.

Using the threat of layoffs gave Walker some of what he wanted in the budget but that was not enough for him (it never is). Only a few months later he unilaterally declared a budget crisis (sound familiar?) so that he could bypass the County Board and layoff the county workers . Those layoffs included 27 courthouse security personnel that were replaced by a questionable private security company.

Nearly a year after Walker sent these workers to the unemployment line a ruling came down that Walker in-fact did fake the fiscal crisis. As such his layoffs were ruled illegitimate and the county was not only ordered to offer the jobs back but also to provide back pay. Walker had already been sworn in as governor at the time of this ruling and probably didn't care that his arrogance and political game playing cost Milwaukee County dearly.

State workers, their unions and the public at-large should take note of how Scott Walker abused Milwaukee County, its people and its public employees. He is repeating that pattern right now in Madison.

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