Was it a faux pas on Barrett's part? One could definitely call it that.
Was it worth two days of news coverage? No.
Especially when one considers that the two days Mercure spent haranguing about Barrett is two days more than what he spent discussing the fact that we have the only sitting governor in the state's long and storied history to have a legal defense fund to help deal with the fact that he ran a caucus scandal-type of campaign machine out of his executive suite at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.
And if Mercure was really concerned about the police who sacrificed their all and their families who survived them, why didn't he report about how the Republicans who threw these brave men and women, and their families, under the ALEC-driven bus, as one of our bravest and finest, and my friend, Brian Austin, reported. The state legislature was preparing to pass a bill that would have provided health insurance protection for the surviving spouse and children of a fallen officer. Firefighters already had that protection, but omitted the police. They were aiming to fix that. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Then it went to the State Assembly where things went bad fast:
At the last minute, the Republican legislators in control of the Assembly blocked the bill from being brought to a vote. Blocked the bill that unanimously passed the Senate. From what I have discovered, the Birkholz family was given the choice of coming to the Capitol for the resolution only, but understandably opted not to attend. In a horrendous display of partisan politics in what should have been a unifying issue, John Jagler, spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, called SB 18 an "unfunded mandate" on local governments that "isn't ready to become law." "We're looking at a more fiscally responsible way of funding it," he added.
These officers, and their families, have given everything in service to the people of the state of Wisconsin. Lives are lost, and countless others are shattered. The least we could do for them, on behalf of a grateful public, is to give the survivors the peace of mind of health care. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask, but the Assembly Republicans apparently believe it wouldn't be "fiscally responsible." Since that unconscionable decision last year, there has been no progress made in convincing the Assembly Republicans to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
The contract broken.
To the people who blocked this bill: It isn't enough to attend the funerals of fallen officers in your districts, or memorial services during Police Week. It isn't enough to get teary-eyed when the bagpipes play, and to talk about how grateful the citizens of Wisconsin are for this ultimate sacrifice. Your words are hollow, because your actions have broken the contract. These families are trying to put their shattered lives back together, yet all you can talk about is fiscal responsibility. For the sake of decency, please do not attend another officer's funeral, or another police memorial service, until you make this right. You are not welcome to share in our grief until that happens.
You know, Jagler used to work for TMJ as well. There is no reason why Mercure couldn't call up his old coworker and ask him what this was about.
Or he could have asked Scott Walker why he didn't push to have this law pass. Doesn't Walker care about the police either?
Well, there is one reason. Because, like 99% of everything the Republicans have done in the past eighteen months, this would have made them look bad. And considering that Walker is just weeks away from being recalled, if he doesn't get indicted first, he can't afford any more bad press.
So Mercure spent two days attacking Barrett for no other reason to give cover to Walker's shame and the Republicans' abandonment of Wisconsin's finest.
I sure hope Walker is claiming all these in-kind contributions on his campaign finance reports.