Saturday, September 24, 2011

Walker & Cronies Live Large, Workers Get Shaft

Yesterday Representatives Mark Pocan, Brett Hulsey, Terese Berceau and Chris Taylor wrote a guest blog posting on Blogging Blue. In it they go into some detail about how Scott Walker has given irresponsible and unjustified raises to his political cronies. This while he is calling for "shared sacrifice" from front line and more modestly paid state employees.

I highly recommend the item as must-read material but as I read it I also wondered how many people across the state know that Walker has a long history of doing this kind of thing? As with almost everything else that Walker is doing in Madison today, he did (or tried to do it) first in Milwaukee County. For example, while he was threatening layoffs, proposing drastic cuts in critical services and calling for "shared sacrifice" in Milwaukee County, he was also planning to give his closest cronies huge raises. Remember this story?
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker wants a 26% pay raise for his chief of staff, former Ald. Tom Nardelli, while bypassing traditional County Board approval in quietly issuing large pay raises over the summer to several other top aides.

Nardelli would get the biggest pay increase of top-tier county officials, a nearly $20,000 raise to $95,000 a year. Seven county administrators also scored increases of up to 12.5%.

Some supervisors are upset about being left out of the decision-making process for many of the raises and say Walker's timing couldn't be worse. Heavily rewarding a few top managers while Walker puts final touches on a 2009 budget that's expected to call for scores of layoffs of union workers sends a message of callous disregard, critics of the raises say.
We should certainly be outraged at Scott Walker's disturbing double standards in Madison but we certainly shouldn't be surprised. He has shown us a long pattern of giving workers the shaft while he and his cronies live large.

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