We know that the Republicans are running six fake Democrats in the Senate recall elections to confuse voters, help their own candidates organize and raise money and generally gum up the works to try and tilt these pivotal elections.
I thought that was the party hitting bottom, but now I see another low-water mark has been set, and here's how it went down:
The Assembly Republican Joint Finance Co-Chairman, Robin Vos, inserted a sweetheart amendment into the just-approved state budget that forces Milwaukee, and only Milwaukee, to keep on its payroll fired officers until their appeals are exhausted.
Those often lengthy and contentious appeals have cost Milwaukee millions of tax dollars, and though it was removed in 2008 from the state budget (and why it was in state budgets and law is testament only to the power of the Milwaukee police union, not the validity of the issue), Vos and his Senate co-chair, the recalled Republican State Senator Alberta Darling slipped it back in late on a Friday night when virtually no one was looking.
Vos' explanation: the Milwaukee Police Chief has a unique power to fire officers without cause.
Which is false.
Noted succinctly by PolitFact.
And admitted to therein by Vos.
From the PolitiFact posting:
When the amendment was adopted at a June 2, 2011, committee meeting, Vos said the change was needed because Milwaukee is the only city that allows its police chief to fire officers "for basically no cause."But neither Vos or Darling or the GOP as a group had the decency pull it from the budget - - where it remains.
He continued: "That’s an awful lot of power we don’t grant to any other police chief in the state."
That caught our attention, especially since the earlier changes were billed as putting Milwaukee more in line with other communities.
Does the Milwaukee police chief really have such unbridled powers? Can he really fire someone for no reason?
The short answer: No.
The longer answer: State law spells out how the Milwaukee Police Department is organized and managed...
Asked about the statement, Vos aide Kit Beyer said: "He misspoke. He hasn’t said it since then."
When Vos returned our call, he said: "Do I understand that you have to have a reason (to fire an officer)? "Yes."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has asked Walker to use the line-item veto to remove it.
And by the way, here is the data from the City about which officers have been removed by Chief Ed Flynn, all for cause:
POLICE OFFICERS DISCHARGED SINCE CHIEF FLYNN TOOK OFFICE
1. Brown, Antonio, AWOL
2. Carr-Winding, Tamecka C., Off-duty employment, suspended registration, untruthfulness, AWOL
3. Cates, Ladmarald, Untruthfulness, idling and loafing (Sexual misconduct)
4. Corn, Jeffrey J., AWOL
5. Elm, Patrick R., Untruthfulness, disorderly conduct while armed-off-duty
6. Garcia, Michael G., Disorderly conduct while armed-off-duty
7. Gonzalez, Martin R., Failure to obey order
8. Jenkins, Jr. Roosevelt, Untruthfulness
9. Karr, Ryan D., AWOL
10. Moeller, Joel A., Failure to be honest and accurate in report
11. Morsovillo, James M., Untruthfulness
12. Vasquez, Mark, Residency