Yesterday we learned that Scott Walker was so busy running around the state campaigning in his endless quest for governor, that he screwed up one of his 2010 budget vetoes. So, was it simple Walker incompetence or hypocrisy?
As it turns out, one of his vetoes actually subjects sheriff's deputies and jailers to eight unpaid furlough days next year. This is after Walker attacked Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for managing the city budget like an adult and making the tough choice of furloughing police for only 2 days. Last I checked, 8 is 4 times as much as 2 (but Walker groupies could very well try to debate that). Given his attacks, it would seem that his actions qualify for hypocrite of the year, but we should withhold on our decision until we explore it a bit more.
Walker swears that he didn't mean to furlough those law enforcement officers for 8 days next year, honest! I could see why he would try to sell us that message given both his recent political attacks and his claim of making law enforcement one of his priorities in his 2010 budget. So if we simply take Walker at his word, then it would seem that his screwed up veto was just incompetence. Obviously that is not exactly a quality that you would like to see in someone that wants to run the entire state.
The only problem with the "incompetence-only" defense is that this is not the first time that Walker has screwed around with law enforcement in Milwaukee County. Anna Landmark at One Wisconsin Now has revealed, that in every budget but one Walker has "proposed cutting jobs from the Sheriff's Department and/or the House of Correction." So Walker attacks Mayor Barrett for two furlough days when his actions caused 8 of them AND he has a consistent record of cutting law enforcement jobs? That sounds like a hypocrite to me.
So which is it, Walker incompetence or hypocrisy? This is a hard decision and I think that I am going to take a page from Slippery Scott Walker's playbook. I'm going to try and have it both ways – I will say that it is both.