Gov. Scott Walker continues to distance himself from a suburban Milwaukee GOP lawmaker who has some strong words for Wisconsin’s largest city.
On Tuesday, state Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, put out a press release saying the state might cut funding for Milwaukee unless the city dramatically reduces crime. But on Wednesday, fellow Republican Walker said there won’t be a cut in state shared revenue .
“Are there problems in certain parts of the city of Milwaukee? Absolutely. I don’t think the answer is cutting resources to the city of Milwaukee,” Walker told reporters. “I think it’s working together so the resources the state provides are used in the most effective way possible, whether it’s for law enforcement, programs working with nonprofits, or strengthening families. There’s no one simple answer here to combat crime in the city.”
Walker said the state may be willing to increase money for Milwaukee, for programs the state thinks are effective, like ShotSpotter, a system that tracks the location of gunfire and reports it to the police. State officials recently helped ShotSpotter expand to more Milwaukee neighborhoods.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, a Democrat, said he’s troubled by Brandtjen’s remarks, calling them divisive.
‘I’m sure Rep. Brandtjen values the fact that, yes, she represents and lives in her district . But she also lives in the state and lives in this country. We have to work together,” he said.
But Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said Brandtjen performed an act of political courage by raising concerns about crime in the city.