Along with other bogus accusations, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett accused Gov. Walker of making a political payoff to the Milwaukee Police and Fire unions when the Governor proposed lifting residency requirements for city employment. Barrett, who ardently defends the residency requirement, said, "by abandoning the Republican mantra of local control, [Governor Walker] is paying back supporters with a political favor."
Both the Milwaukee Police and Fire unions endorsed Governor Walker in 2010 and 2012.
But Barrett’s accusation of political payoff falls really flat, really fast.
The Mayor should jog his memory about two other organizations who support ending the residency requirement and who they supported in 2010 and 2012.
In a statement released on Thursday, President James Palmer of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA) said, "Gov. Walker’s proposal to end stringent residency requirements will allow law enforcement agencies to draw from a larger pool of candidates." Palmer went on to say, "this change in the law will substantially provide law enforcement agencies around the state with the flexibility they need to ensure Wisconsin’s success in remaining a safe place in which to live, work, and raise a family."
In 2012, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association President Jim Palmer said, "our board has determined that Tom Barrett is far and away the strongest candidate to reclaim our state."
And back in 2011, a WEAC spokeswoman said, "we’ve traditionally come out to say [residency requirements] are not in the best interest of students, being that it places an obstacle to attracting and retaining qualified teachers." WEAC went on to say, "it simply has limited the pool of qualified applicants."
Like the WPPA, they also opposed Walker in favor of some other guy.
"WEAC will immediately unify our membership to support Tom Barrett as we stand together the reclaim Wisconsin," said a WEAC endorsement in 2012.
So: is Gov. Walker’s proposal to lift the residency requirement a political payoff to supporters?
And, as it turns out, it is backed by Walkers political supporters and opponents alike.