Thursday, November 02, 2006

Is MATC the Journal Sentinel's whipping boy?

The Journal Sentinel today gave big play to a blatantly biased report of the Milwaukee Area Technical College that was conducted by Citizens for a Responsible Government, a group that is known for shooting wildly an inaccurately from the hip. I don't know much about MATC's salary structure, but I know a hatchet job when I see one, and the JS and CRG each has a hand firmly gripping this particular ax handle.

The report includes lines like these:

There is also evidence to suggest that the (levy) increase is due to some school boards using Fund 80 as a "slush fund" and diverting it to illegal uses.

(Fund 80 is MATC's community services fund. The report doesn't offer evidence of illegal use of the funds.)

Mandated revenue caps control spending. When mandated caps are not in place, governments use taxpayer dollars irresponsibly. State legislators must recognize this and work to restore fiscal responsibility

and

The MATC Mafia at work?

Lie to politicians, the elected representatives of the taxpayers, tell them what they want to hear so they go away. That is the Board's idea of political "sophistication."

Yes, Citizens for a Responsible Government spearheaded a major recall effort in Milwaukee County, and the JS seems to believe that gives the group status as a research organization. CRG also has unsuccessfully attempted to recall Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz in part because he supported a smoking ban. Does that subtract from CRG's (already non-existent) status as a research organization?

What are the JS' standards for giving big play to any particular report? The political orientation of its finding?

No comments: