Saturday, February 24, 2007

Scott Walker: County Executive of Fantasy Island

Politicians say the dumbest things when the spin machine is making too much noise in their heads.

Case in point: Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who trashed Mayor Tom Barrett's recently-announced bus-and-trolley transit improvement proposal.

In a County with a declining transit system organized around outmoded buses, why would the County Exec. dump on a plan that would benefit the system and the county, too?

Here's what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Walker told the paper's editorial writers Tuesday about why he opposed transit improvements in the county he purportedly leads:

"...Walker said he would like to grow the local economy enough so lower-income people don't have to rely on transit and could instead afford to buy cars if they chose."

As a friend quipped to me Friday night, right - - so they can drive their cars to jobs in Waukesha?

Walker even invoked the ghost of light rail, killed in Milwaukee by talk radio and the Thompson administration nearly a decade ago, to demagogue against Barrett's proposal - - which is not a light rail plan.

I know Walker knows the difference, but when have the facts ever driven the local debate about transit?

In Milwaukee County politics, talk radio sets the agenda, then Walker, knowing his lines, reacts with rigidity, fantasy and spin.

There's a slogan you can write down and put on your refrigerator.

No comments: