A couple of days ago, both Scott Walker and Mary Burke launched new video advertisements in their snorefest of a gubernatorial race. Interestingly, Burke's was a positive ad touting her family's bicycle company and Walker's was an attack ad based on some news from eight years ago. (It's not a good sign for Walker to have to go negative while he is the incumbent and it's still fairly early in the campaign.)
I will not get into doing any fact checking on either commercial, per se. I'll leave that to the able hands of others. But I will discuss the hypocrisy of Walker's ad.
In his attack ad, he points out to an alleged incident in which Burke, then head of the Department of Commerce, saying that she "wasted" $12.5 million on a vacant lot for a company that never used it to build a facility and create jobs. I guess we're supposed to just ignore that Walker had four years to do something about this, but has apparently chosen not to.
But the real kicker is that when it comes to land deals, Walker doesn't have any ground to stand on while hurling mud.
In fact, his problems go all the way back to his days as Milwaukee County Executive.
Milwaukee County owned a large parcel of land in Wauwatosa, which was one of the most unique spots in North America due to having a naturally occurring haven for migrating Monarch butterflies. When Walker took office, he vowed never to do anything to harm the land and even talked about asking to make it a state park.
Like everything else Walker says, this proved to be just another lie. He not only sold the land to wealthy land developers, but he sold it for a fraction of the worth of the land. On top of that, he also sold the Parks Administration building with a promise to lease it for the next twenty years. The land was supposed to go to building an extension for the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. So far, everything has been built there but that.
When Walker became governor, his bungling of land deals only got worse.
If the gentle reader would recall, within a month of taking office, Walker set about paving over wetlands in Ashwaubenon to build a store for Bass Pro Shop. However, when the company learned that Walker was damaging wetlands for the store, they pulled out of the deal.
In 2012, Walker promised precertified land to companies willing to come to Wisconsin. This gimmick was to be administered through Walker's newly created WEDC, which has gone on to lose tens of millions of dollars and to give money to companies that used it to outsource jobs to foreign countries.
As a final example, it was just reported that Walker is set to sell off several state assets in a no bid process and won't even reveal the fair market values of said assets so that the taxpayers won't find out how badly they're getting ripped off. Any bets on the buyers of said assets turn out to be campaign donors?
And do I even have to mention iron mine, frack sand mining or pipelines?
At first, I was amazed that Walker would try to attack Burke from such a weak position. But after a few moments of reflection, I realized that as weak as a position as this is for Walker, it is one of his strongest ones. After all, I can't imagine anyone would take him seriously if he started talking about creating jobs, stimulating the economy or helping the working class.