Last Wednesday was Denim Day, an international campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault and rape. The campaign was in reaction to the Italian Supreme Court’s ruling overturning a rape conviction based on the fact that the victim of the rape was wearing tight denim jeans.
In his usual vainglorious, hypocritical way, Scott Walker pretended to commemorate the day and National Victims Rights Week by signing into law a bill called the Wisconsin Crime Victim Rights Preservation Act. The law is designed to protect victims who were maltreated by public officials and stems from the behaviors of Republican Calumet District Attorney Kenneth Kratz, who was sexting a victim of domestic violence and trying to seduce her.
But there was one problem for Walker though. He forgot to pay for it:
One prosecutor, though, accuses the Walker administration of posturing on the topic. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco says it comes at the same time the state has cut funding for the victim/witness advocate programs around the state.
“This critical program, mandated by state statute to be provided by county government, and which provides safety, security and services to victims and witnesses of crimes, has had its state reimbursement fund cut by some $400,000, leaving counties holding the bag without the means to obtain the necessary funds to cover that gap,” DeCecco stated, referring to the ACT 10 prohibition against any county’s raising property taxes.
“Once again,” DeCecco said, “county budgets providing state-mandated essential services are nothing but pawns in an administration’s game of hypocrisy.”
DeCecco noted that when the state’s victim/witness law took effect in 1979, counties were reimbursed 90% of their costs. Now, he said, the rate has dropped to about 40% even while the size and costs of the programs have grown.
The hypocrisy gets worse when one takes into account that Walker also started a legalized cronyism program, spending more than three quarters of a million dollars, almost twice what he took from the victim witness programs, to reward cronies and lackeys.
But Walker’s hypocrisy grows even more due to the fact that as Milwaukee County Executive he was constantly blaming his budget woes on unfunded mandates and even promised to end such things when he was running for governor.