As an excuse for his veto, Abele trotted out the old, tired line that it would cost too much, endanger services and harm the people that it was meant to help. This is the same claptrap that Big Money has always used whenever the subject of raising the minimum wage is brought up, even though it has been repeatedly been proven to be a false claim.
Ironically, Abele says he would prefer the federal government or the state government to raise the minimum wage, but then vetoed another resolution from the Board which would show support for that very thing.
Supervisor David Bowen, who has been leading the move for a living wage in Milwaukee County, responded to Abele's veto with this tweet:
Looking fwd to veto override vote tomorrow that will turn 1000's of poverty jobs to good jobs w/Living Wage! Action not lip service!Indeed, the Board should override this veto.
When one looks past Abele's inanity, his message becomes painfully clear.
He is saying that the person taking care of your grandmother isn't worth $11.32 an hour, although he is willing to pay his personal friend and crony, Amber Moreen, $81.73 per hour to translate his drunken emails.
He is saying that the people who will care for the people he is kicking out of the mental health complex aren't worth $11.32 per hour, but that Don Tyler, his administrative director, should get $81.73 an hour to flat out lie to the county board to cover up the cause and cost of Abele's courthouse fire.
I spoke to Boyd McCamish, Executive Director of AFSCME District Council 48, regarding this. AFSCME, along with other unions and grassroots groups, has been a strong proponent of the living wage. McCamish put it in clear terms what Abele's veto was saying.
McCamish said that this was a chance for Abele to do good. He pointed out that the number of people in Milwaukee County who are living under the poverty line has only grown under Abele's administration. McCamish said that with his veto, Abele was making the conscious decision to keep thousands of people in poverty. McCamish added that this was not an economic question, but a moral one.
In summary, the message the Abele is sending to the people is the same one that the aloof and the elitists have been saying for centuries: "Let them eat cake!"
As I said above, the Milwaukee County Board should override his veto. Not only is economically responsible, but it is morally imperative.
It is sad that Abele is either unable to understand this or he just doesn't care.