Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker, received his largest campaign contributions from the founding family of the notoriously anti-employee, but taxpayer subsidzed, Wal-Mart Corporation.
Jim, Christy and Lynne Walton, residents of Arkansas, contributed $7,500 to Walker. The trio is bankrolling Walker because of his support for the Milwaukee private school voucher program according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Walton’s $7,500 contribution pales in comparison to the $54,120,825 million Milwaukee’s taxpayers are shelling out for this program in fiscal year 2008.
That’s a return on investment that would make even Warren Buffet salivate!
The voucher program is partially financed by a reduction in state aids to MPS of 45% of the total cost of the program. But MPS is allowed to levy property taxes to make up for the amount of aid lost due to this reduction. So the state pays 55%, the voucher program takes the other 45% from MPS, and MPS turns around and raises the lost 45% by increasing local property taxes on some of Milwaukee County's poorest residents. In effect, Milwaukee's property taxpayers are financing two school systems!
Walker poses as a friend of the taxpayer. But his support for the Milwaukee voucher program has caused property taxes to soar. Next year, the city’s taxpayers will be forced to raise their taxes another $5 million as the program's cost to MPS grows to $59.5 million.
It’s not surprising that heirs to the founder of Wal-Mart are Walker backers. Wal-Mart is one of the world’s most profitable corporations, generating $315 billion in revenue and $11.2 billion in profits in 2006. Yet, the company is notorious for using legal loopholes to avoid taxes and regularly feeds at the public trough!
Wal-Mart sticks it to Wisconsin’s beleaguered taxpayers by transferring ownership of its stores to in-house real-estate investment trusts (REITS). It then cuts its taxes by taking deductions for rent payments that never leave the company. A North Carolina Judge recently ruled that Wal-Mart owed that state millions in back taxes because REITs were little more than tax avoidance schemes.
It is well documented that Wal-Mart’s employees are poorly paid, part timers. As a result, 1,673 of Wal-Mart's Wisconsin employees and their dependents are enrolled in BadgerCare, the taxpayer financed medical care program for low-income families. The cost-$3.7 million dollars!
Wisconsin taxpayers have also shelled out $22 million in various subsidies to Wal-Mart.
The Walton trio aren’t the only ones from outside Milwaukee County financing the County Executive who is being challenged by State Senator Lena Taylor.
Fully 62% of the $360,000 Walker raised in the second half of last year came from outside the county. Taylor, on the other hand, raised more than 80% of her campaign funds from Milwaukee County residents!
Republicans like Walker talk about local control and holding the line on taxes. But they don't walk the walk!
It's not locals who control the Walker campaign. But, it's locals who pay the bills he runs up.