Monday, October 25, 2010

Walker, Johnson, GOP Theme: 'You Don't Need To Know'

The top GOP statewide candidates In Wisconsin must have made a pact to withhold information:

On where he'd cut the federal budget, Senate candidate Ron Johnson says no details until after the election. Which we presume, means he presumes he will win.

Rebecca Kleefisch, the candidate for Lt. Governor, refuses even a single debate with her Democratic opponent, Tom Nelson. She speaks through Facebook.

And Gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker is hiding behind concentric rings of stone walls.

On whether he's trading Milwaukee public safety union endorsements for a repeal of city residency? No comment.

The audit of the County mental health complex - - where patients have been raped, assaulted, impregnated and starved to death? Walker won't release it.

On the County's wrecked finances, and possible bankruptcy or dismemberment - - with huge implications for local and state taxpayers?

More obfuscation.

It's a Greater Milwaukee Committee report - - a summary was released by Dan Bice - - but I haven't seen Walker demanding making the full report public, or even a working draft.

Why the secrecy?

GMC honchos - - including key Walker allies - - say the committee writing the report over the last year agreed unanimously to hang onto to it through the campaign for a number of reasons.

These paragraphs from Bice's story are instructive:

"Michael Grebe, the head of the conservative Bradley Foundation, is chairman of both the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the campaign for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Walker is taking on Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic nominee.
"Did Grebe have a hand in making sure the report - which could be used against Walker - didn't come out before the Nov. 2 election?
"It's a fair question," Grebe said Friday.
"But it was Julia Taylor, president of the committee, who recommended delaying release of the report, Grebe said. He then presented it to the full board, which agreed.
"'The group - and it truly was a group decision - felt this report would get lost in the commotion of the election year, and it would be more effective for us to release after the election," Grebe said."

So what Walker,Kleefisch and Johnson are saying to the electorate is: 'Tut, tut...nothing to see here...move along to the voting booth...we'll let you know what's important when we decide it's important... ' which could mean after the candidates had made their getaways to Madison or Washington, DC and absconded with the facts.

Several newspapers endorsing Russ Feingold for Senate noted Johnson's lack of transparency.

But some editorial boards endorsing Scott Walker - - such as those at The Wisconsin State Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - did not apply the same standards of accountability and disclosure to Walker.

The newspaper industry's Sunshine Week rolls around in March; too bad it wasn't schedule before the elections, and it's even more regrettable that every week isn't Sunshine Week in Wisconsin.

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