November 13, 2009

Mason asks state-county sit-down on Wisconsin Shares

Lost in the misdirected obfuscating shots over Cory Mason's remark about the county's inadequate Wisconsin Shares oversight is this:
  • Fraud in Racine County was the centerpiece of the Journal-Sentinel's first investigative article, back on Jan. 25. Refresh your memory here and re-read how county workers continually missed warning signs and kept the checks flowing for years. Part 2 of the series raised the county's fraud ante to about $1 million in just the handful of cases the newspaper investigated.
  • And then three days later came County Executive Bill McReynold's reaction, in a Journal Times article whose headline said it all: "No county inadequacy over child care system, says McReynolds." He went on to give a more nuanced response than that -- "I don't condone fraud," for instance -- but at the same time seemed more interested in investigating how the newspaper got its facts than stopping the fraud.
Taking those two points into account, we saw nothing out of the ordinary when Mason said on the Assembly floor, that county officials "failed to take full responsibility for the child care fraud that's been going on in Racine."

But county officials -- um, mostly Republican county officials or those reporting to them -- were shocked, shocked!

So now we've had a week of potshots taken at Mason, D-Racine, for stating the obvious: dueling commentaries on the JT's editorial page, two County Board members taking sides, a JT editorial calling for everyone to make nice, accept responsibility and fix the system.

Mason today made his own effort to tone down the rhetoric and make peace. He invited county officials to sit down with him and state officials for a discussion about Wisconsin Shares. That could be more promising and less like the invitation to a hanging county officials earlier extended to Mason -- to have him come to a County Board meeting to explain his votes and defend his criticisms.

“The issues surrounding Wisconsin Shares are too important for us to discuss through the press, as has unfortunately happened in recent days,” said Mason. “Both County officials and legislators must work together to ensure the program’s success. I am interested in a productive, respectful dialogue about Shares to guarantee that we can meaningfully pair tougher state laws with effective County enforcement.”

Mason proposes a meeting with McReynolds, Board Chair Peter Hansen, and Human Services Board Chair Mike Miklasevich, Rep. Peter Barca who co-chairs the Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee, and Rep. Tamara Grigsby, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. "Rep. Barca will bring the details and experience of the Legislative Audit Bureau’s recent and ongoing audit of the Shares program. Rep. Grigsby can bring her insight as the lead author of the bill passed last week by the Legislature cracking down on Shares fraud," Mason said.

“I hope we can convene as soon as possible," Mason said, "and meet for as long as necessary to ensure that we get to the bottom of current state-county tensions related to the Wisconsin Shares program. I am looking forward to this important and hopefully productive conversation. I hope that Racine County’s officials share my desire to work together to ensure the integrity of Shares and preserve this vital program which serves so many of the Racine-area’s working families.”

It'll be interesting to see whether this meeting takes place, and whether anything comes of it. For now, it appears that Republicans are having too much fun trying to make Mason the scapegoat and planting seeds for the next election.
Full disclosure: As most readers of this site already know, my daughter works for Cory Mason; she had nothing to do with this article. -- Pete Selkowe


  1. This is truly precious.

    Racine Post has not covered this at all.

    Mason votes against funding for Racine County to combat fraud, Racine Post absent.

    Mason votes against tough amendments on wisconsin Shares reform, Racine Post absent.

    Mason makes up idiotic claim blaming the county for his votes, Racine Post Absent.

    Mason votes yes for every piece of pork and every tax increase in the budget, Racine Post absent.

    Ordinary citizens hire a plane to tell parade participants about Mason's record, Racine Post goes crazy.

    Mason, after getting blasted for his truly bizare partisan behavior and denying resources to his home county pretends to be the great moderator and the Racine Left Post buys it hook line and sinker.

    Pete, I understand you daughter works for Mason, could that have anything to do with your ridiculously biased coverage or non-coverage of Mason?

    If you would like to see what has really been going on, I highly suggest you read Debra Jossart's comments on the matter.

  2. Isn't this just hilarious!
    First he starts a fight, gets his puches in, and when the otherside begins to repond in kind the troublemaker pretends to be the mediator and peacekeeper.
    What an Ass

  3. I have to admit, this article has a strong slant to it. If you are going to write articles like this (which you can since this is your news site) at least label it an opinion piece.

    If you guys want to be seen as a credible news site, act like it. Otherwise you're no better than the other news organizations that you two continually trash.

  4. Mason has done more harm to Racine IMHO then RCEDC or RAMAC.

  5. Sisters, sisters...11/13/2009 2:24 PM

    How can anyone (like Mason) vote against closing the loophole where two sisters can watch each other's kids and get paid for it by the state. Mason needs to come clean on that.

  6. Pete and Dustin - please rename your paper to the Racine Democrat/Socialist Post. At least you could maintain some credibility when you write pieces like this. Am I not correct in assuming you were journalists at one time?

  7. While all this was going on the Racine Left Post did two puff pieces on Mason...

    Now they come late to the table claiming some made up Republican controversy.

    Admitting your bias would make this a better website.

  8. Little slime-ball didn't fall far from the family tree.

  9. If you want to talk about fraud in Racine County - look no further than Cory Mason - the biggest fraud there is. I self puffing egotist pretending to be a man of the people.

  10. While we're talking about Mason, he and his pal John Lehman just got a ban approved on phosphorus dish soap.

    You know, the kind that works...

    What's our unemployment rate?

  11. I don't subscribe to or buy the JT. I seldom read an Opinion piece on the JT's website- last time was 2+ weeks ago I'd guess.
    All I know about this WI Shares thing is what I've read here and on the JT's website.
    I couldn't tell you who the head of any of the County/Region political parties are.

    All that being said, it sure seams to me like Mason should have talked it all over with the County and State when the County and State were talking it over in Madison, before that (you know, be proactive...), or as the Statute was being written. Constituents get lambasted for "sitting on their hat" until the very end of discussions, immediately before a vote is taken; a Legislator doing exactly the same thing is well beyond a "Freshman stunt", an "oops", and is at the very far end of being a stunt. A legislator that sits on his hat and then explodes does so to grandstand over a vendetta and is extremely immature.

    The "think positive" side of me wants to say "at least he's come to his senses" but come on, to convince myself of that would be extremely naive. The cynical side of me says " this guy is a complete and utter *ss". Somewhere in the middle of those two is the truth; nothing in the middle is "good".

    That's the way I, a side-lines conservative/libertarian/constitutionalist/whatever, see it. I think someone on the other "end" of political philosophy would think the same, since to me it is reasoning when emotions are removed, unless they are brainwashed or "in the pocket of" the Democrat Party.


  12. If the post wanted to do a fair report. They would've checked to see that Mason yesterday was invited to the Dec. 8th county board meeting. This is attempt to have a behind close door meeting to try to save face.

  13. Do not "beat him up". He was not all wrong. The County could have kept up their welfare fraud efforts without extra funding from the state.

    Welfare fraud is against the law and should be investigated and prosecuted just like any other crime. Racine County should not choose what laws they will or will not enforce based on available funding from the State. Our tax dollars that go to the county should be used for all crimes!

  14. I am always amused with mr "real debate" Fred Dooley when he accused others of bias.

    This from a guy who posts nude photos of opposing parties leadership as his version of "journalism".

    Hypocracy, thy name is Fred.

  15. Speaking of Real Debate's bias ("While we're talking about Mason, he and his pal John Lehman just got a ban approved on phosphorus dish soap. You know, the kind that works...") why not look at the story below. The soap that's banned -- not just here but many other states -- may clean dishes, but it's also high-polluting. Two sides to every story, Real.

  16. Michael Kroes11/13/2009 10:25 PM

    Pete, quite frankly, I think that if McReynolds was a Democrat, Mason would not have taken the position that he did. Unfortunately, Mason appears to be letting politics guide him versus trying to effectively serve the individuals that he represents. Although I knew your daughter worked for Mason, I still appreciate the disclosure. I do have to agree with others who view this article as being strongly slanted.

  17. Left is Right11/13/2009 10:50 PM

    Maybe if Corey actually lived in Racine, he would better grasp what we need as a community. He is very disconnected and only looking to make his way into congress like his counterpart Dickert. Both are looking to be professional politicians, probably due to their lack of successes in the private sector.

  18. anon 8:29 - here's the HUGE difference between Real Debate and this website: This is primarily a conservative blog but we always welcome input from all points of view. A disclaimer of the philosophical bias of the owner of Real Debate is clearly stated in the blog's banner.

    However, Racine Post purports to be a news website with the absence of any such disclaimer when it is obviously a philosophically based opinion clearly evidence by this article.

  19. Has anyone noticed how the JT has actually, become a better newspaper over the past several years. Might it be that since the firing of Pete, Dustin and Randy the JT is actually a newspaper now.

  20. Hey Post, you reporting your incomw .....

  21. At least get it right.

    The Democratic party chairman was in his underwear, not nude.

    I had nude pictures, I didn't publish them. That never stops a seemingly unending supply of liberals who misrepresent what I did.

    Perhaps your ire should go to him for taking and sending them out instead of me for telling the truth about the leadership the local Democratic Party had..

    And you might want to look up how to spell hypocrisy.

  22. And for the record, I admit I am partisan unlike our buddy Pete who pretends to be objective but is far from it.

    There is a significant difference there.

    But then you are a coward who hides behind an anonymous tag so I am sure you would not understand.

  23. I seem to remember looking up in the sky not long ago and seeing something that said, "Cory Mason is bad for Racine." It should have read, "Cory Mason is bad for everybody and everything." What a jerk.

    Oh! Ditto for John Lehman and John Dickert.

    Pete, Dustin, I think your remarks concerning Republicans in this article was wholly uncalled for. Please don't try to blame Republicans for Mason's bad judgments, inactions and grandstanding.

  24. Mason can ignore this problem. He can protect the votes he may get if these cheating loafers actually ever go to the polls.

    But....Tax payers are not going to tolerate this theft for very much longer. The mood is changing. We all have it rough. Fraud is going to be met with hostility and justice sought.