Broken Promises and Failed Reform Calls Into Question Scott Walker Latest Pension Claims

Jun 16, 2010

After Breaking His Promise and Giving Himself a $50,000 Raise, Scott Walker’s Panders and Claims He Will Pay for His Own Pension


MADISON — Even though he broke his promise about pay raises and gave himself a $50,000 pay raise, in the midst of a national economic recession and budget deficit Scott Walker is fresh on the trail issuing new sham promises, claiming this time that he will pay for his full employee pension costs as a state employee.


Never mind that he still won’t come clean about taking a massive pay raise in 2008 after promising in 2003 to return 47 percent of his pay, a practice he ended without explanation two years ago, giving himself a huge pay raise while his County struggles with massive debt and working and middle class families toil through the Great Recession  [Source: “Walker would lower salary givebacks,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/19/08, http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29505169.html]


At the same he was breaking his salary promise, Scott Walker took on $400 million in borrowing — rather than make the hard choices to fix Milwaukee County’s Pension System, he opted for a fix that it will take future generations years to repay.


“Over and over again, Scott Walker’s shown that he says one thing and does another. It’s no wonder double talking Scott Walker traveled to Green Bay to make his announcement – Milwaukee County Voters have seen this stunt before and they aren’t buying it,” said Mike Tate, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Years after promising to reform Milwaukee County’s pension system, Scott Walker borrowed recklessly so he could kick the can down the road to future generations rather than actually doing anything.”


Scott Walker’s Record of Failure on Pensions


FACT: Despite running on a platform to reform the County pension system, Walker has failed to deliver the promised change. He didn’t make at-will employees waive lucrative pension deals as he promised until political pressure finally compelled him to – TWO YEARS after he took office. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Riemer blasts Walker on waivers,” 3/18/2004; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “2 aides in line for big pension payouts,” 4/18/2004; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Walker’s unfulfilled pledge,” 4/22/2004).
FACT: In 2007 there was an additional pension scandal on Scott Walker’s watch. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that more than 350 workers could reap at least $50 million because of a “buy back” feature that Walker failed to properly address some 5 years after taking office. Even Walker begrudgingly admitted that they had not done enough to prevent this next chapter of the pension scandal. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Pension twist costs county millions,” 7/29/2007); (Milwaukee Magazine, “New Pension Scandal: Who’s to Blame?” 7/31/2007)
FACT: In 2008, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Milwaukee County voluntary submitted a correction filing with the IRS reporting that they mistakenly overpaid several former county workers. They did this filing to prevent any audits and possible revocation of tax-exempt status. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “County reveals raft of new pension gaffes,” 3/27/2008).