Monday, July 30, 2007

Scott Walker, Reformer? Bring On a Real Reformer

Scott Walker has been County Executive since replacing Tom Ament in 2002 on a reform agenda driven by the first pension scandal.

So while we dissect the Journal Sentinel's great investigative reporting on a new pension system scandal, it's not too early to ask this political accountability question:

Why has the money for special deals for some employees' retirements been allowed to flow in the last five years when Walker was in charge - - a period subsequent to Ament's demise ?

Ament, his staff and the county board deserve whatever brickbats are still coming their way - - but Walker cannot say he's shown the kind of leadership the public deserves in the two areas most associated with Walker's rise to County power:

Pension system reform, and;

Fiscal responsibility to manage the pension abuses that began under Ament's regime - - but which we now know have been allowed to flourish on Walker's watch.

If that's reform, then we need another reformer.

Update: The Journal Sentinel agrees that Walker has some explaining to do. Let's hope they apply the pressure to Walker outlined in this editorial, published Tuesday,

The key sentiment, and one that needs widespread follow-up:

"Walker also has called for a review of all of the county's benefits to search for other "land mines." He's right.

"But it's also legitimate to question what Walker or his department heads knew about these buybacks and, if they didn't know, why not?

"The first buybacks predate Walker's election, but some occurred on his watch. Walker was swept into office as a result of the pension scandal that occurred when other county officials were in office. He should have found all the land mines then."

In other words, the investigative line first made famous during the Watergate hearings:

"What did you know, and when did you know about it?"

And add this: "What did you do about it?"


Michael J. Mathias said...

Of course, as well know, he never really wanted the job—it was just a stepping-stone to the governor’s mansion. So, he used his political talents to beat David Riemer, someone who actually did have the brains, skills, and experience to run the government, balance budgets, and manage the politics. So, now, we’re stuck with a County executive who doesn’t appear able to run a coffee stand in the basement of the courthouse. Just picture if it was a Democrat holding the position after this kind of news. Sykes, Fraley and the rest of Walker’s apologists would be frothing at the mouth. As it is, they just have to keep drinking the Kool Aid. The only positive is that Walker now has a record that should disqualify him from higher office.

Anonymous said...

MIKE D'AMATO should run.

Anonymous said...

This is just more of Scott Walker floundering about. He is a candidate, trying to run for Governor, going nowhere. We have to live with his garbage. What about light rail, what about his trips out state to run for Governor? More importantly, what about our parks and services? Nothing happening. Talk radio is a has been. Jay Webber is beating down Sykes, Wagner is preempted by the Brewers and Belling is living in the past and must be bored out ofhis mind as he collects a good paycheck.