Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maybe Doyle got the idea from Van Hollen himself

Our state attorney general is upset with Governor Doyle for cutting the budget for the state attorney general's office:

Van Hollen's letter criticized, among other proposals, Doyle's plan to release well-behaved felons from prison early, saying it would gut the state's truth-in-sentencing laws.

He also complained about cutting district attorneys' funding by 6.5 percent. Scaling back around-the-clock GPS monitoring for released sex offenders and slicing district attorneys' funding by 6.5 percent in the face of overwhelming case loads are terrible ideas, too, Van Hollen said.

He also took Doyle to task for setting up what Van Hollen says could amount to $7 million in cuts to the Justice Department's budget, including nearly $260,000 earmarked for local police training. And he ripped a plan to cut state aid to municipalities, saying the move could hurt local police.

I understand Van Hollen's complaints and I think Doyle is handing the Republicans a valid issue to fight over in the 2010 election, especially if the Republican nominee is Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker who sponsored the "truth in sentencing" law as a member of the legislature.

However, for Van Hollen to protest the cuts to his own budget is a little much. After all, he probably gave the idea to Doyle when the attorney general bragged about the $1.2 million he gave back to the state. This, of course, was after he received an extra $7.7 million to his budget to start with, and does not even include the budget increases since he took office. And all of those increases came after a campaign in which he told the voters asking for more money was not "the conservative thing to do."

Sure would be nice if some member of the media actually asked the attorney general if he has any credibility left on his budget. The man is spinning like a top.

Doyle has nothing to fear from Van Hollen because Van Hollen will soon be bragging about how he was able to cut his budget.