Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Walker responds to his critics

I'm not sure we learn anything new from Walker's e-mail to Charlie Sykes other than he likes camping. Some relevant passages:

First, we made a mistake in not {pursuing} more information on the buy back/in program when it came to light in {one} case involving Sue Baldwin’s former employment with Milwaukee County. Based on the information we had at the time, we believed that it involved special treatment given to her by the past administration.

Our mistake was in not being more cynical about the possibility that others had dreamed this up and let a larger group know about it. The people who are wrong in this are the bureaucrats who dreamed it up and enacted it without formal approval from the former pension board.

By the time Baldwin was no longer an employee, the person most responsible for this idea was out of the county government.

The issue next came to light in 2005, when another individual sought to get the approval of the new pension board to do what Baldwin did. They were surprised and said no and took action to end the program, but they did not understand the IRS implications.
Finally, we addressed the pension issues that were presented in the 2002 and 2004 elections. We got waivers from cabinet, executive and new employees. We ended the backdrop for non-represented employees years ago and finally got the last union to agree to the cap.

We enacted reforms to the pension board so new benefit proposals get a {thorough} review in the future and we proposed a plan to remove the unfunded liability of the pension system.

Still, we have work to do as it becomes clear that previous administrations left even more land {mines} in the system than we originally thought when we first came into office. Unlike the people of Milwaukee County (for whom I am eternally optimistic), many of the bureaucrats from the past require me to be completely cynical about {their} actions and motives.
{spelling corrected}

Given the spelling errors, I'm guessing the e-mail was written in a hurry. That suggests the reaction to the latest pension scandal caught Walker by surprise. It shouldn't have.

We'll see how quickly Walker's review of the pension system moves and what else it finds. He can't let there be any more surprises.

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