Monday, April 18, 2011

Governors like Scott Walker and Rick Snyder, Taking their country back…to Kings and serfs?

Soon, maybe (see below) even Wisconsin will be under the iron fist of one party rule. We really do have too many locally elected officials, don't we.
WNDU-Michigan: Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris unexpectedly pulled the rug out from under Benton Harbor's city leaders this weekend. 
A couple of commissioners support Harris, but others are up in arms. Dennis Knowles said, "It's really an insult. You're talking about piracy, the government has done it in the state of Michigan. The people have been extracted by way of not having a voice, and so now has the government." 
No one even knows why the state rescinded the city commission’s voting power.
Even though it seemed like a typical debate between differing local officials, Republican City Commissioner Bryan Joseph apparently has had enough of the “sausage making” aspects of coming to a consensus, and likes the idea of preemption.  
According to the Detroit News: "It doesn't bother me," said City Commissioner Bryan Joseph. "I'm in favor of it." Joseph said he has watched financial mismanagement for decades … Benton Harbor has struggled with a controversial trash hauling contract, lawsuits related to the contract, new competition for water services and city officials who sometimes clashed to the point that meetings dragged on for hours, Joseph said.
Outrageous! All that bickering and vitriol. Sounds pretty much like a representative democracy to me, but apparently, these “Constitutional conservatives” believe tea party rule and big government czars have a leg up on what was envisioned by the founding fathers.

And get this; Czar training to take over local governments only requires TWO DAYS.
 Harris' order comes before two days of training for prospective emergency managers and turnaround experts.

With low and middle class Americans seeing a decline in their paychecks, higher health care costs, and high jobless numbers that immediately followed the Great Recession, is it any surprise poverty is up?

Apparently so, because instead of trying to create jobs, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is taking over their local government. Care2 had this: 
Benton Harbor is in an extremely dire financial situation, with over 40 percent of its population under the federal poverty line, and a median household income of less than $18,000 a year.  But is the solution to fixing its problems to effectively dismantle the entirety of its local government and replace it with a governor's appointee?  And is that the plan for the other 100 local governments also on the "fiscal watch" list? 
Are these governors doing away with local government all together?
UPDATE-Forbes: Appearing on Wisconsin radio station WTMJ today, Governor Walker has denied the truth of this story.
No truth to it whatsoever.  Absolutely a bogus story. 
Absolutely false.  The interesting part is that it’s false in both contexts.  One: There’s nobody on my staff, nobody in my administration, I’m certainly not working anything remotely close to that.  Secondly, it begins with the fact that he said the next Democratic assault.  I’d like to know what the first one was.
The first was collective bargaining, idiot. But the wording "nothing close to that" doesn't cut it. Here's what Ed Garvey wrote, and said about the "false" plan, in all its details:
Walker wants to have this same power (see Walker's denial in editor's note at end of this column). According to our sources, he got lawyers at Foley & Lardner to draft the Wisconsin version of the financial emergency bill behind closed doors; got former legislator Mary Panzer to map the legislative strategy; and persuaded the Greater Milwaukee Committee to pave the way. The word is that they are all set to fast-track the bill in May. Is this incredible or what? 
We announced the plot on Joy Cardin's "Week in Review" public radio show last Friday. 


  1. We can all rest easy. Walker just told Charlie Sykes that him working on a "financial martial law" thing is "Absolutely false." There. Now don't we all feel better?

  2. I like the way you put it better than my own response. Yes, I feel sooooo much better.