As published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway referred to Scott Walker as "Howdy Doody" and a "David Duke-style politician". Holloway elaborated further on his comments saying,
(Walker) "reminds me of a David Duke - he's good looking, he's smooth talking. (Walker) says he's not part of any race baiting; David Duke says the same thing,"
What?!? Is this man serious? Already, Milwaukee County Supervisors Joseph Rice and Joe Sanfelippo have responded in a letter to Holloway asking that he apologize for his remarks comparing Walker to a Ku Klux Klansman. The letter said,
"Your decision to inject race politics into the budget debate was wholly inappropriate and set exactly the wrong tone. Your comments serve to further erode the credibility and trust that the public has in the Milwaukee County Board. We urge you to issue a prompt apology to the County Executive and the people of Milwaukee County for your unfortunate comments and to refrain from similar intemperate remarks in the future."
A good question for county residents to ask is why only two Board Supervisors have challenged Holloway on this? Just yesterday, Board Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic condemned a man for shoving a woman and throwing another man into a bush. Dimitrijevic said,
“It is unfortunate that what could have been an honest debate on the budget was tainted by the violent actions against two protesters. This is unacceptable. We all need to work together to get through the 2010 County Budget process, and these actions were wrong and divisive. Anytime one resorts to violence, it is a cowardly alternative to the real debate. I hope that those who organized and participated in this rally join me in publicly condemning this violent act.”
It was quite noble of Dimitrijevic to call out someone for being "divisive" and for "tainting" honest debate concerning the county budget, so I'm now calling on Dimitrijevic to join Board Supervisors Rice and Sanfelippo in doing essentially the same thing. I'm calling on Dimitrijevic to condemn Holloway for being divisive and to require teamwork "to get through the 2010 County Budget process". After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Some are probably wondering way Lee Holloway injected racial politics into the budgetary process. Well, the image below is part of the reason why Holloway isn't exactly pleased with the "Citizens for Responsible Government" (CRG). This was found on the CRG website.
In Holloway's remarks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he said that the CRG was race-baiting by using a photo of Holloway in their advertisements. We believe the above photo is what Holloway was referring to. The photo is funny, but one can hardly say that it was a ploy meant to race-bait.
Also, the CRG has distributed fliers that accuse Holloway for wanting to raise property taxes to fuel out-of-control spending. We believe that Holloway is feeling the pressure and that he may have lashed out at Walker as a result. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Holloway suspects that Walker is using the CRG as a catalyst for his gubernatorial campaign. Is Holloway making a giant logical leap? Let's look at his reasoning in a simple syllogism.
1. Using a bobble-head doll of a black man in politics is race-baiting.
2. The CRG used a bobble-head doll in their ads.
3. Therefore, the CRG was race-baiting.
4. Walker is using the race-baiting CRG as an apparatus for his campaign.
4. Therefore Walker is race-baiting through the CRG.
I have two questions. First, where on earth does Holloway get the idea that using a bobble-head doll is race-baiting? And second, where is Holloway's proof that Scott Walker has employed or has collaborated with the CRG in these advertisements? Speaking at an event hosted by the CRG is no more proof that Walker is using them for campaigning purposes than speaking at a local church means that the congregation is working for Walker. If Holloway doesn't have evidence for his accusation, he needs to retract his remarks before he begins to regret it. Or he can just "keep it classy" as ScottForGov.com would say.
In Scott Walker's response to Holloway's accusation, he says,
"His comments about race seem to reflect an abandonment of an argument for an alternative budget from the county board for a strategy of personal attacks on me."
Walker hit the nail on the head. In my opinion, Holloway is having a difficult time critiquing the current budget proposal with any real substance. Sure, County Supervisors can always resort to hyperbole when attacking an overture, but how much of what they say is grounded in sound reasoning and disciplined judgment?
Furthermore, Holloway used the wrong example when he compared Walker to Duke. In 1992, Walker actually criticized Duke during a debate saying there was no place in the Republican party for men like him. Duke's response? He said "Shame on you Scott Walker. Shame on you." Apparently, Duke thought it was a low blow for Walker to bring up his Klansman history. But Walker thought it was perfectly legitimate to criticize a man for being a Ku Klux Klansman. Sorry Lee, as irony would have it, you chose the wrong example.
By now, it should be no surprise to learn that Milwaukee Journal's Steve Schultze is no fan of Scott Walker. Mind you, this was a reporter that Governor Tommy Thompson banned from the Capital due to his slanted coverage of republicans. He has also had his fair share of skewed coverage of Walker as well. In January of this year, Schultze wrote a piece that only published snippets of Walker's statements concerning the federal stimulus - a ploy that succeeded in creating a ruckus with local politicians. Schultze didn't necessarily lie, he just didn't tell the whole truth. In my article, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Hit-Job on Scott Walker's Stimulus Position, I laid out exactly how Mr. Schultze was creating the news rather than reporting it.
Even more egregious, Steve Schultze was caught working with the Doyle Administration trying to ambush Walker over the Milwaukee County Call Center takeover by the State. After a open-records request was made, public emails were seized showing that the Department of Human Services privately regarded Schultze as "a sympathetic reporter" for their cause. Yes, they considered him a friend from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that would report what they wanted him to say. Therefore, it is quite relevant to keep in mind the impartiality of Schultze when reading anything that originates from his pen - especially about Scott Walker.
In this past instance, Steve Schultze reported that Holloway accused Walker of race-baiting, but Schultze offered up no counter questions; nope, not one. He didn't ask the Chairman if he could provide evidence for his claim of race baiting; he didn't ask why it was appropriate to compare Walker to an Ku Klux Klansman; nor did he ask for proof that Walker was using the CRG as a campaign catalyst. In fact, he didn't do what he typically does to Walker, which is to find a person of some political clout to disagree with the interviewee's position. This is what we refer to as rotten and impartial journalism. When Walker makes statements, you can bet your butt Schultze either provides a counter question or provides a person who will counter what Walker says.
In the past year, Schultze has written several articles where he provides counter-points to Walker's assertions, but I only have room to reference one. In this article, Schultze says this,
"Walker said employee concessions were necessary to avoid plunging the county into insolvency. Raising taxes 'is simply not an option I am willing to consider,' he said.
However, the county executive is calling for higher bus fares and installation of parking meters along Lincoln Memorial Drive and other spots along the lakefront for 2010. The higher fares would yield $3.6 million, and the meters would bring in $450,000.
This is what you call ideological bias. Walker isn't talking about fees; he's talking about taxes. Fees are based on direct usage of a service for the purposes of financially propping up or preserving a used product, whereas taxes generally applied for budgetary purposes. In this case, Steve Schultze is trying to rebut Walker rather than just report the facts. Oddly, this is not something he is willing to do in his latest piece with Holloway.
It's somewhat pathetic when a black County Board Chairman is reduced to playing the race card in order to discredit Walker. There is not one solitary statement made by Walker that could be characterized as coming remotely close to race-baiting. Holloway is throwing a Hail Mary, and there is nobody there to catch it.
Part of the problem is that Walker is getting good press and is looking like a champ. A few weeks ago, the Milwaukee County Board complained about his press coverage saying that Walker is trying to make himself look like a "knight in shining armor." They are referring to Walker agreeing to fund virtually every discretionary county program in the past month, including the County EMS program, Disability Aid, the Family Care Program, the homeless shelters, and the vast majority of bus routes with only a few minor adjustments. This is a remarkable feat considering the economic times we're in and the major pension scandal a few years back that has cost the county $50 million.
In closing, I am joining the two County Supervisors asking Holloway to apologize for his remarks. Holloway making a "no comment" will not do, so I am urging people to pick of the phone and call (414) 278-4222 to let Holloway know that inserting racial politics into the budgetary process will not be tolerated.