Walker is claiming that he needs to sell what he can to pay down an $8 billion debt. Amazingly, neither the corporate media, the radio squawker or the right wing blarghers mentioning the fact that a quarter of that debt is from Walker borrowing from our children and grandchildren. Nor do they mention that Walker had just been touting having a great bit surplus not too long ago.
One of the stories is based on a 16 month old article from Mother Jones which discusses Arizona's folly of having actually selling their capitol building only to end up buying it back for a loss of $24 million. It seems that this story would be warning enough to keep the legislators from rubber stamping such a bill.
The other story is written by Charles P. Pierce at Esquire. Pierce's story is a tongue in cheek piece in which he claims that Walker is treating the state as one giant yard sale.
Sadly, neither story is very off the mark.
While Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he did something akin to both of those stories.
Walker was claiming that the county had a $15 million deficit (it later turned out that the county actually had a small surplus). To help cut into that deficit, he sold the county grounds for a fraction of its worth. Along with that sale of the land, Walker did everything but throw in a free vacuum:
That's enough to tick off the ecologically-minded, but what about the ones who only care about the money? Well, there's this tidbit from the deal that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel deemed not worthy of mention (emphasis mine):To top it off, Walker also wanted to take any left over proceeds from the sale and use it on one rapid transit route instead of using it to pay down the deficit (which didn't really exist.
The county land sale includes the Eschweiler buildings and the Parks Administration building. The county will lease back the Parks building for the next 20 years. The transaction is expected to close during 2010, with construction beginning in the fall of 2010. The County Board also approved a sale price of $13.55 million for the 89 acres.And for those not familiar with the history of the county grounds, the Parks Administration building is the old county orphanage. The county just got done spending millions of dollars in renovating and upgrading the interior of the building. And now we are just going to sell it at a sweetheart price. Again, Walker fails to look out for the taxpayers.
We are selling our building just so we can sign a 20 year lease to rent it? And just like the St. Michael's fiasco was a bad idea, what happens when the private developer decides to sell off their end of the contract? How badly are we going to get beaten up when that happens?
As I described it at the time:
That would be the equivalent of you fixing up your house and then selling it at about a third of its value. Then you take the proceeds from the sale and rent the house from the people you just sold it to. You also take some of the money (if there's any left after paying the rent on the house you just owned until recently) and a large inheritance from your Uncle Sam, and buy them a chauffeured limo. Meanwhile, you have a patch of land (like the Park East corridor) that is only good for building an engineering campus on, but you won't even try to sell that.And in case the gentle reader was wondering, that is indeed the same county grounds that is now a wasteland. Even better is that the land developers, many of whom are members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee are saying they might not be able to make the payments as promised and our looking for a discount.
Given that GMC were the ones that wrote and paid for the passage of the usurpation bill, I doubt that Milwaukee County
The county ground giveaway isn't the most recent example of Walker's generosity with our public assets. In February 2012, Walker was trying to push pre-certified site locations in an effort to draw companies to the state. Considering the job losses that we have been having, we can safely assume that this program was a flop as well.
While Walker wanting to sell off anything that isn't nailed down is nothing new, here are some sobering thoughts about what we might be facing:
- Walker has already asked the feds for permission to make all of the highway work to be made into tollways. Add to that the fact that they already approved selling state assets to foreign interests, and you have an instant formula for Walker selling the new tollways to foreign investors, a favorite stunt of Republicans across the country, for which the taxpayers pay dearly.
- Walker already has gotten a lot of support from Correction Corporation of America (CCA). Walker could easily sell off some prisons to CCA for whatever
campaign donationprice that they agree upon and no one could say anything.
- There's the old speculation about the Kochs and the state's power plants.
And that's just to name a few.
We have to remember, Walker wants to be president, even if he can't spell it. That means he needs really big money. He needs amounts of money that is exponentially higher than what he got when he was facing a recall and needing to feed the legal cooperation fund. After all, not only is he running a nationwide campaign, but he has to cover up his history of corruption, his failure to get anything more than a high school diploma and his inability to create jobs of take the economy in anything but a nosedive.
And if he is going to pull off that kind of scam across the country for three years, he is going to need more than Charlie Sykes and a couple of hacked off hack blarghers and "reporters."
That is going to require wholesale corruption and selling the state as a whole. The amount of smoke and mirrors he'll need won't come cheap.
*Vacs are not included in the purchase of Republican (and some Democratic) politicians, since they already suck.