Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MMSD, Barrett Show Public, Walker How Stimulus Funds Should Be Spent

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, obsessively-politicized and contemptous of the voters, should take a time out from his 24/7 sprint to the 2010 gubernatorial race and read about how Milwaukee's mayor and sewerage district suggest spending some stimulus funds to add jobs, save local tax dollars and conserve energy in the the city, county and region.

The details are here, thanks to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Mayor Tom Barrett and Journal Sentinel reporter Don Behm, a long-time staffer who has revived environmental reporting at the paper.

In a nutshell, the MMSD aims to capture methane gas at its Muskego landfill - - some intergovernmental cooperation linking Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties - - put it in a 17-mile pipeline and send it into MMSD operations at Jones Island.

Hundreds of jobs would be created in the pipeline construction, so the project would be good for the workforce, air quality, and property taxpayers.

It is this inter-governmental creativity, big-picture, pragmatic, Smart Government approach to stimulus dollars that Walker blew off with his "no thanks" approach.

It's what real leaders practice - - easier when not in full-time campaign mode - - as stewards of public funds and other shared resources, like air quality and natural resource supplies.

Never mind that Walker backtracked and said, yeah, I'd take money for new buses - - because we're in line for those dollars anyway.

He's got a crumbling parks and transit systems, open space in the Park East he doesn't know how to develop, and a host of under-funded and antiquated programs across the board, yet he preferred to ape his seniors in the Congress and now in some state houses who will turn their backs on stimulus funds to make am incoherent political point.

They think they are knee-capping President Barack Obama, but by channeling Bobby Jindal, Walker and the rest of the "No" Party are only stiffing their constituents and further isolating and marginalizing what remains of the GOP.

So kudos to Mayor and the sewerage district for getting this one right.

And what do you want to bet that if there's a ground-breaking soon should this methane pipeline project get green-lighted that Walker will be there bright-and-early for the photo op?

Big smile now, shovel in hand, camera-ready for the campaign brochure.

I'd say the odds are about 99-1 in favor, unless Walker is back in Washington, DC, raising more campaign cash at events hosted by other Republicans who opposed stimulus funding, hoping for national financial failure.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious if this ends up playing into the water discussion and all... But yea this is a good plan.

Anonymous said...

"Big smile now, shovel in hand, camera-ready for the campaign brochure."

That is closer to reality than most people know.

I understand that Walker will cancel/reschedule if the media shows no interest in what he is up to.

If you look at his record in Milwaukee County a "Camera Ready" campaign is all he's got.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. The article is written like Walker rejected the idea, and yet he could very well be considering it.

It would appear that liberals aren't willing for him to reject a project that isn't shovel ready before they start griping about what a buffoon he is.

I don't understand the hateful Walker obsession. Can't liberals just disagree with a politician without making it so personal?

James Rowen said...

To Anon: I'm not sure where the hate and obsession is in the posting. i think you are over-reacting.

Secondly, Mr. Walker absolutely flipped on the issue, after his "no thanks" position earned him so much disapproval.

So he did what polticians often do: parsed and spun and said, well, I'll be for bus aid, since we're in line for that anyway, so I'm not anti-stimulus after all.

Walker is extremely focused on his run for Governor, to the immediate detriment to his constituents.

And we'll see his flipping again when stimulus money comes to the County, is approved by the board, and signed by Walker.

Just watch.