Chris Abele, who is the plutocrat's plutocrat, is besides himself in rage and self-pity that the County Board aren't falling all over themselves to bow down to his delusions of superiority. He's besides himself that the Board stood up for the taxpayers, the vulnerable citizens and the county workers and didn't just rubber stamp his austerity budget, even if it was illegal and immoral.
Abele attacked the workers in ways Scott Walker only dreams of, doubling down on Act 10. Despite his claims otherwise, Abele has single-handedly caused the highest rate of staff turnover the County has seen in decades. Staffing is so low that Abele has hired dozens of county retirees back as contract workers - paying them twice what they made as county workers, and that's on top of their backdrops, pensions and free healthcare - to fill the gaps he has created.
No group of county workers has been attacked as much as the sheriff's deputies. Not only do they get gouged as other workers, but Abele has moved to lay off over a hundred deputies in the past two years.
Amazingly, despite laying off so many deputies, Abele still has the brass to say he is concerned about public safety.
So, it was rather shocking when State Representative Josh Zepnick (DINO - Milwaukee) came out with a most disingenuous and insulting press release thanking Abele for attacking the deputies and misleading the taxpayers:
Zepnick totally disregards the fact that the Board took away the House of Corrections from Sheriff David Clarke due to the incompetence and corruption in his administration. Not exactly a move that I would call defending the sheriff.
Really?! Shifting a few dozen deputies out of several hundred is “decimating” an agency? How are we supposed to treat this body seriously when people make these over the top comments and give taxpayers a tab of over $1 million? The web page for the Sheriff has a quote at the very top from “Reinventing Government” authors David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, stating “there is nothing so foolish as to do more efficiently something that should no longer be done.” Maybe we could actually put those words into action and have the Board and County Executive revisit this proposal and develop some compromise.
Furthermore,the cavalier and dismissive way that Zepnick dismissed the laying off of dozens of deputies made me wonder how I missed his switching sides to the Republicans.
It was then that I remembered a tip left by a commenter on a post four months ago. Said commenter made note that Zepnick was part of a group called "Democrats for Education Reform."
And indeed Zepnick is involved with the group and their agenda to sell our children's future to the highest bidder.
Hmmm, apparently having seen his fellow school choice proponents - like Elizabeth Coggs, Jason Fields, Jarett Fields and Tracy Dent - get routed in the last elections failed to teach Zepnick that his sort of attitude is a losing one in Milwaukee.
So here is what I am asking you to do:
Call and or email Rep. Zepnick and politely tell him that you don't appreciate his disrespectful attitude to the brave men and women of the Sheriff's Office who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.
Also tell him to be thankful this Thanksgiving Day that he somehow escaped our notice during this past elections season. And remind him that he might not be so lucky next time, especially if he keeps taking the wrong side in the war against our children and against workers.
His Madison numbers are (608) 266-1707 and 1-888-534-0009. His Milwaukee district number is (414) 727-0841.
His email address is Rep.Zepnick@legis.wi.gov. or you can use his page's contact form to get your message to him.
The elections are over and now our job is to hold the elected ones' feet to the fire, whether they are friend or foe. And I can't think of a better place to start than with Zepnick's duplicity.