This time it's AM620 WTMJ's afternoon conservative Republican talk show host Jeff Wagner, who was ripping MATC today in the wake of a report about its salaries and finances that was put out by the Public Policy Forum.
"If this doesn't get your blood boiling, I don't know what will," said Jeff, as the 1:00 p.m. hour approached. (I was taking notes in the car, and I think I have this right, but if I need to be corrected, please let me know.)
Now I understand that talk radio's role is to get the audience riled up, but could we at least stick to facts?
Describing the MATC Board, Wagner piled on by saying:
"The Mayor pretty much controls it."
That didn't sound right to me.
I took Wagner's jab to mean the Mayor of Milwaukee - - whom Wagner often disses while praising Scott Walker, the Republican candidate for Governor - - but, in fact, the MATC board is not chosen by Mayor Tom Barrett, or any Mayor - - and the board selection process is well-known.
All Wagner had to do was to read to page 14 (follow the footnote #3 to the bottom of the page) in the Public Policy Forum report (and in other references through the Google) and the essential and simple facts about board selection are provided:
"A committee of members of K-12 school boards within the [technical college] district boundaries makes the appointments."
A conservative publication last year included a longer description of the state-mandated board selection process - - here - - and I would have thought that Wagner would have remembered the facts as they were laid out in a publication with which he's in sync.
Here's how Mike Nichols, that story's author, had put it:
"The MATC board is appointed by a committee of 21 representatives of local school districts who, based on state law, must select two “employers,” two “employees,” a school district administrator and an elected official.There are also vague geographic requirements and—in a twist that is unique—at least three of the nine MATC board members must be minorities. At least three must be female and at least three male."
I think that Wagner knew he was on thin ice when he threw a gratuitous slap at the Mayor, and tried to clean it up a little by saying the city has four appointments, but the appointment rules designate board member categories categories by geography, race, gender, and employer/employee status - - but give none to Milwaukee's Mayor.
We'll see if Wagner fixes this tomorrow - - but like so much misinformation thrown out on talk radio - - there it was, and there it goes into the ether, and who knows how many heard it, their blood boiling - - mission accomplished - - but in part over something false.
Waukesha County, Republican pols failed to kill it.
The Calatrava Addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum
Sunset on the lakefront, summer 2018
Milwaukee River empties into Lake Michigan
Wisconsin wind farm, east of Waupun
86 turbines overcame Walker's blockade
Skylight illumination in Milwaukee City Hall
The historic 19th-century building has stone floors, copper decoration, and iron work by the famous artisan Cyril Kolnic. Stop in and walk around.
What water, wetland protection is all about
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its 1960 opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC and buttressing The Public Trust Doctrine, Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution.
Lake Michigan in winter
James Rowen's Bio
James Rowen is an independent writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He worked as the senior Mayoral staffer in Madison and Milwaukee and for newspapers in both cities. This blog began on 2/2/ 2007.