The Milwaukee County Board Flushes Away Another $160,000 Of Taxpayer Money
This November, voters in Milwaukee County will help decide who the next Governor is and will elect various office seekers to various offices.
Voters will also be asked a series of questions including whether the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10 an hour; whether Wisconsin should use federal medicaid funds to expand Obamacare; and whether the Constitution should be revised to make clear that "money is not speech" ( the so-called "anti-Citizens United question"). Due to printing and advertising expenses, the cost to put these various referendum questions on the ballot will exceed $100,000 and could potentially cost as much as $160,000.
That's right - $160,000.
Here's the kicker. Unlike the races for elected offices (where the votes make a difference), all referendum questions are non-binding. In other words, the results don't matter at all.
I seriously doubt that the United States Supreme Court cares what voters in Milwaukee County think about its rulings on the meaning of the Constitution. The same is true for Congress.
If voters want to increase the minimum wage, they should vote for candidates who support an increase. Again however, I seriously doubt whether a State Representative from Appleton cares what voters in Milwaukee County think about the question in the abstract.
To his credit, County Executive Chris Abele vetoed these various exercises in intellectual self gratification as being a gross waste of money. Unfortunately, the clown car act that is the soon to be replaced Milwaukee County Board overrode his vetoes.
Some cynics (and many savvy political observers) believe that the County Board has included these questions as a way of trying to boost liberal turnout in Milwaukee County on Election Day - and therefore help Mary Burke in her effort to unseat Scott Walker. I wouldn't be surprised if there's something to this - especially knowing the current make-up of the Board. My tax dollars at work.
Look, I recognize that the County Board has never been anything close to fiscally responsible. That said, this takes the cake, Think of all the uses $160,000 in taxpayer dollars could have been put to.
On second thought, the County Board would have probably just blown the dough on some other frivolous expense.
Still, this is yet another reason why the County Board deserved to have its salary cut in half - and why most Board members need to be voted out in April of 2016.