Monday, December 5th, 2016

Barrett’s evil twin

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Last week Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett looked at the Ohio election results and, ignoring the rejection of Obamacare, issued a statement demanding Governor Scott Walker restore collective bargaining privileges on benefits for public employees. Some other version of Mayor Tom Barrett has had a different opinion of that issue, even praising Ohio (and New Jersey) for including firefighters and police in the collective bargaining reforms.

Is Milwaukee’s city hall housing Mayor Tom Barrett’s evil twin?

In fact, Barrett had previously praised Ohio for including police and firefighters in the collective bargaining changes.

“Republican Governors in Ohio and New Jersey who are facing similar budget crises have moved to increase public employee contributions for health care and pension as well,” Barrett wrote previously. “However, unlike Governor Walker, those Governors have chosen not to exempt police and fire unions from the collective sacrifice that must be made to bring state and local finances under control in this economy.”

Barrett did use the changes to the collective bargaining law to his advantage in the city of Milwaukee budget process. The city of Milwaukee expects to save at least $25 million per year from the employee health benefit savings. Perhaps Barrett would like the taxpayers in the city to give back the savings so he can have a clear conscience?

Or perhaps those savings were why, when the Democratic members of the state senate stalled the state budget repair bill containing the collective bargaining changes by leaving the state, Barrett challenged the Republicans to pass the changes separately. Ironically, the Republicans followed Barrett’s advice by passing what is now known as Act 10, the law that Barrett incredulously now claims he wants to repeal.

At least, if that press release was sent by the real Tom Barrett.

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