Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bice finds vice in money

To Dan Bice, money is the root of all evil. He and his former partner got great mileage out of Congressman Sensenbrenner's wealth. Now Bice has turned his sights on former Alderman Tom Nardelli who just accepted a job with County Executive Scott Walker. (ht: Badger Blogger)

Talk about feeding off the public trough.

After putting in nearly 18 years for the city as an aldermanic aide and a member of the Common Council, Nardelli is paid just under $30,000 a year by the city pension system.

Before going to work for the city, he spent more than 25 years with the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He declined last week to say how big his monthly military pension check is, stating that it's a private matter.

Then, just recently, Walker announced that Nardelli, 63, will be starting next month as his chief of staff, which will pay him $73,153 annually. Under county rules, he will be eligible for a county pension as soon as he starts because he's over 60. If he works five years for the county without a pay increase, he could get a pension of $5,500 to $7,300 a year.

Betcha Nardelli is really glad that he reversed himself and decided to endorse Walker in his first bid for county exec.
So which pension should Nardelli give up? His monthly military pension?

Does Bice believe Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett should not collect his congressional pension?

If Bice worked for a newspaper before he came to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, did he tell his former employer, "That's alright. You can keep my 401k."

Let's deal with the second charge, that this was some sort of payoff from Walker to Nardelli for an endorsement over five years ago. How absurd is that? Five years? If contributors to the governor's campaign had to wait five years for a state contract they would demand a refund.

Notice Bice had to make the charge himself this time because he couldn't find anyone else to make such an absurd charge. Even the spokesman, Jeff Fleming, for Walker's opponent declined to take a shot.

What Bice neglects to mention is that Nardelli might also be collecting from a fourth source, Journal Communications. Nardelli was a traffic guy for WTMJ-AM before the government bug bit him. Perhaps Bice didn't want to draw attention to the number of former Journal Communications employees working in politics and the public sector economy.

I find it hard to believe some editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel didn't say to Bice to go write another column, even as it should have occurred to Bice himself.

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