Friday, May 16, 2014

Scott Walker's Shameful Treatment Of Veterans

When the news broke in 2012 that longtime Walker aide and confidant, Tim Russell, had stolen tens of thousands of dollars from a veterans charity that Walker had personally appointed him to lead - it should have been enough for veterans in Wisconsin.

Then, the arrest of another Walker appointee, Kevin Kavanaugh, stole even more. These guys wouldn't have even had access to stealing money from the veterans charity had it not been for Scott Walker.

As unsavory as the whole episode is, it largely remains forgotten by Wisconsin veterans as a whole.

Then legislation this passed March, which Walker signed into law, that makes it harder for people to pursue legal remedies and compensation for repeated exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma is the rare form of cancer which occurs - and disproportionately affects veterans.

Veterans groups condemned the bill, but Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce loved it - and even had a hand in writing it. See, many of their members are the source of these lawsuits and they really hate to pay out cash for killing people - even veterans.

A number of veterans groups have sworn they won't forget come election time. We've heard that before.

So, this week comes the news that Wisconsin ranks #10 in the top ten states for unemployment rates of veterans. Higher than the national average by a percentage point.

While Scott Walker keeps telling us that unemployment rates are down since he took office (and very careful not to mention that they are not down as much as in other states), Wisconsin's record of hiring veterans is even worse.

Minnesota, who is very similar to Wisconsin demographically, has a veterans unemployment rate 5.0% compared to our 7.6%.

Veterans wield strong influence in elections and the political process. It make the Siren wonder, what is going to be the tipping point for Wisconsin veterans groups to finally see that Scott Walker doesn't give a shit about them?