Scott Walker, champion of the mentally ill | WisCommunity

Scott Walker, champion of the mentally ill

Scott Walker's cynicism knows no bounds.

Walker, on the road to Damascus -- well, Madison, he hopes -- would have us believe he has seen the light on the need for better treatment of Milwaukee County's mentally ill.

First came a campaign commercial in which Walker tells the camera how much he cares.  "If just one person falls through the cracks, that's unacceptable to me," he says.

If that's the standard, you have to wonder how he's been able to sleep nights for the past eight years, as the mentally ill have been ignored, neglected and victimized on his watch.  Patients have starved to death, been raped by a security guard, and sexually assaulted.  Walker has defended the policies and administration of the facility, cut staffing, and opposed funding for increased security, as a commercial from the Greater Wisconsin PAC points out.

Now, fearing that his actual record might get in the way of his rhetoric and cost him the governorship, Walker the budget cutter announced he will include an additional $5.5-million in his next budget for added nursing staff, training and outpatient programs for the mentally ill, and more security.

That represents a complete reversal of what he's done in the past. Since he became county executive, more than 200 positions at the mental health complex have been eliminated, and he opposed creating secure wards to separate violent patients from others.

Walker's clearly feeling the heat from continued media coverage of problems at the facility, and now from the TV commercial.

Will voters believe his miraculous conversion?

Well, it worked for Paul.


September 23, 2010 - 9:34am