Report Says Milwaukee County Could Be Going Bankrupt, But It’s Being Kept From Public
Conflict-of -Interest Raises Questions: Is Walker Campaign Blocking Public Release of a Blistering Report of Scott Walker’s Fiscal Mismanagement?
MADISON – Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate today urged a high-ranking member of Scott Walker’s campaign to either help release the full report from the Greater Milwaukee Committee about Milwaukee County’s looming fiscal crisis – or resign his chairmanship of the civic organization.
The full report on Milwaukee County’s fiscal crisis – which could lead to the county’s bankruptcy – is being kept from the public until after the November 2nd gubernatorial election. The Chairman of the Greater Milwaukee Committee is also Chairman of the Walker Campaign, raising concerns that the decision to delay the report’s release isdesigned to spare Scott Walker scrutiny for his eight years of poor performance and fiscal mismanagement as Milwaukee County Executive.
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The full letter can be read below:
Oct. 12, 2010
Friends of Scott Walker
Mr. Grebe –
Many across Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin were stunned by the new summary report of the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s “My Milwaukee County” Initiative, which found that Milwaukee County is facing “unprecedented fiscal challenges and structural challenges,” and its future fiscal condition is “grim.” Multiple media outlets have reported that Milwaukee County may even be forced to go bankrupt.
It was also surprising and disappointing to learn that the Greater Milwaukee Committee has decided to delay full public release of this report until after the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election. The State of Wisconsin faces enormous fiscal challenges, and our next governor must be prepared to meet these issues head on. It is important for the public to have all the facts about the candidates’ records on management and fiscal matters. In light of the descriptions in this new report, full understanding of Scott Walker’s stewardship of Milwaukee County’s finances during his eight years as County Executive is relevant – particularly when the report emphasizes the need for “real reform,” and determines that the “short-term solutions and one-time fixes have been exhausted.”
These concerns are exacerbated by the apparent conflict-of-interest presented by your dual roles as chairman of both the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the Walker campaign. The appearance that the decision on when to release the full report has been manipulated for Scott Walker’s political gain is troubling, and is one I am sure you agree should be avoided and rectified. That conflict became even more apparent yesterday with your decision to serve as the official spokesman for the Walker campaign in discussing the report you commissioned as Chairman of the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
To that end, I am calling for the full and immediate disclosure of the “My Milwaukee County” Initiative report. If you continue to refuse to share the complete report with the general public, I am calling for you to resign your Chairmanship of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Continuing to serve in both capacities while withholding the release of a report that appears to raise questions about Scott Walker’s fiscal record and performance severely compromises your objectivity and appears, instead, to be a political decision to help Walker’s campaign for governor.
I urge you to take immediate steps to avoid the appearance of political manipulation, and to give the voting public more information, not less.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin