Joan Walsh has an excellent piece in Salon this morning, in Scott Walker’s little-known scandal: When he treated welfare recipients like dogs.
Among the racist jokes and emails found in recently released documents connected to the criminal probe of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign, one stood out: A “joke” about a woman trying to sign up her dogs for welfare, because “my Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty.” The punchline: “My Dogs get their first checks Friday.” ... Walker’s deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch replied: “That is hilarious. And so true.”
This joke has been reported here, but it is interesting how Joan Walsh notes that this racist joke is bad enough, but what is worse is that back when Walker was the Milwaukee county executive, and Rindfleish was one of his top aides, he treated welfare recipients so badly the state had to take over the program. “They didn’t just call people dogs, they treated them like dogs,” one Milwaukee elected official recalled angrily. ...
At the height of the recession, in 2008 and 2009, requests for aid in Wisconsin, and throughout the country, soared. But in Milwaukee, where 41 percent of African Americans live below the poverty line, people had trouble getting help. Roughly 95 percent of calls to the county’s client-intake call center went unanswered in 2008, a state probe later found.
The social services department budget funded 25 positions at the intake center, but a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter found only seven staffers working among empty cubicles when he visited. Advocates and the county workers’ union complained, but Walker stonewalled. Aided by the outcry, Walker began arguing for privatizing the social services intake unit. “He was managing it to fail,” charges AFSCME contract administrator Dave Eisner.
Isn't it a pain in the ass, when one's "karmic chickens come home to roost?" This seems to be a theme of the day everywhere we look.