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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Janesville Economic Director: Downtown Activity Is So Promising, Core Businesses Are Leaving


Kool-Aid is served.

After hearing Chase Bank will be closing a major branch in Downtown Janesville, the city's economic director chimed:

JG Excerpt:
“I'm disappointed Chase is choosing to leave downtown, because anytime you have a financial institution in a downtown, that would seem to say it's your core service," Price said. "But the whole retail banking game is evolving so much. It's got to make sense to the bank to have facilities operating in a given sector of town. So on the other hand, I don't want to be too negative about this. They might have decided downtown is in a good place to sell now.”

Price of course is the mastermind of the recently approved Downtown TIF District. The TIF is designed to quarantine an estimated $30 million in future assessed property taxes from Janesville general fund operations over the next 27 years. The money will be used to fund Forward Janesville's pet project, ARISE, and to pad investor groups portfolios.

So have no fear Janesville taxpayers. The city administration will help the owners find buyers or tenants - even if it cost us millions.

Tunesday: Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little Wing


Monday, August 22, 2016

Smoke And Mirrors Hide City's Insider Deals With Investment Group


“There is a public interest in knowing who the state is meeting with over subsidies. If you want money from us, you should be willing to accept that the public has a right to know it.” -- Bill Lueders

The brave and honorable Bill Lueders. Yawn.

According to this article in the Janesville Gazette, the Janesville city council will be deciding tonight on whether to "loan" a private investment group $384,100. That should be - period.

JG Excerpt:
The owners of Prospect 101, a six-story office building at the corner of East Milwaukee and South Main streets, are seeking a tax-increment financing loan totaling $384,100 to help them renovate the vacant top floor of the building, according to a city memo.

For some reason, the award-winning Janesville Gazette could not find the simple journalistic curiosity to identify who the people are behind Prospect 101.

First of all, if they need a simple government loan - why bother to mention the term "TIF District?" It's like they're trying to give their awful downtown TIF District credit for something it doesn't deserve. A loan is a loan. A private entity borrows money. The private entity pays it back with interest. End of story.

But obviously, that's not what is going on here. The city has gone to great lengths in their memo (File Resolution No. 2016-1340) to muddy the public's understanding of this shady-looking deal.

Excerpt from city memo:
Tax guarantee payments will remain the same as those were associated with recovery of the $500,000 provided for development costs with the original agreement.

Help me out here. Can someone translate gobbledygook into English for me?

In a previous agreement from 2009 (File Resolution No. 2009-607) with the "building address," LOL - the city "borrowed" the building $360,000 while reimbursing the building $500,000 - how does THAT work? On top of that, the city repeatedly makes an unnecessary statement throughout the process, that the borrowers will make guaranteed property tax payments. What's the point of that?

Just try skipping your property tax payments even once. The city or county doesn't care about your ability to pay your mortgage or home renovation loans - they'll tax foreclose on your property in a heartbeat if you don't make the "guaranteed tax payment."

Again, the city gives the impression that the building's "guaranteed" property tax payments are in lieu of the loan payments - therefore, according to their logic, the loan is NOT a forgivable "freebie hand-out." Also, the city doesn't clarify whether their use of "rising property tax payments" are payments made exclusive from property assessed value. Hmmm. Got it?

Truth is; both the city and the enabling Gazette are doing a major disservice to Janesville taxpayers, the building owners and their readers for not setting the record straight. At the minimum, the Gazette needs to get their google fixed so they can at least identify the people the city is meeting with over subsidies and loans. If you want money from us, you should be willing to accept that the public has a right to know it.

The city should report on the loan deals they make with private parties openly and clearly. If it's not a freebie forgivable loan, they should lay out the collateral, the term, interest and payment plan and most importantly, an open book into what account the payments are made to.

Anything less should be unacceptable. But in Janesville, we're used to unacceptable. Or in other words, the system isn't rigged if it's designed to be that way.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wisconsin Carnival Barker Laments: Trump Is Running On Our Kool-Aid


It's like ...what do you mean? You mean Barack Obama really isn't the socialist Kenyan Marxist Muslim founder of ISIS from the planet Obumbus? Or that Hillary Clinton really isn't a Russian communist vampire coming to devour our children and take our guns away?

Here's a short story worth reading.

In a nutshell, right-wing extremist Wisconsin radio yam, Charlie Sykes, admits 20 years of spewing garbage on the Fourth Estate with the purpose to either delegitimize them or force them into submission worked so well, that Donald Trump is now running on their juice and there's no media authority their brain-washed listeners will trust as credible enough to set the record straight.

TPM Excerpt:
The Milwaukee radio host, who has been strongly anti-Trump, told Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy that conservative media talking heads, himself included, have “spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media.” While Sykes argued some of the criticism is “justifiable,” he said those years of attack have destroyed the credibility of media companies trying to fight Trump’s fact-proof campaign with deep reporting.

Ironically, the "Never Trump" group-think in Wisconsin was the creation of the same bullshit artists who continue to prop up Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson. In Wisconsin, they have demonized the media to the point where no one wants to mediate, prosecution where no one wants to prosecute, petitioners where no one wants to petition, and a political environment no one wants to compromise.

My other point is; the "monster" they've created will not disappear when Donald Trump or Scott Walker leave the arena. Instead, the monster is an alarmingly large bloc of brainwashed Americans who at some point after Trump will wake up to the fact that they've been seriously duped into living the lies. That's the monster the self-described right-wing alternative media operators will have to reconcile with. They know it's coming.

ADDITIONAL:

Addicting Info - Right wing radio host regrets that conservatives were turned into fact free monsters

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Is Donald Trump Avoiding Wisconsin GOP To Avoid Koch Connection?


News Times Excerpt:
Donald Trump plans to return to Wisconsin next week for a pair of high-rolling fundraisers and once again the state’s top Republican leaders won’t be there.

So what is it they don't want anyone to see ... just yet?


Right now, the media consensus is the billionaire's dirty Koch brothers hate Donald Trump. I don't buy that message entirely right now. For one, it seems to be too loosely accepted and generic in reasoning. In my view, it's exactly what they want us to think.

But nobody ever said the Koch brothers were stupid. They know the last presidential campaign they meticulously planned for, openly funded and publicly endorsed - Romney and Ryan - miserably failed.

They also know that just months after they told media sources who their favorite was in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination - Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin - he became the second candidate to drop out from the field of sixteen.

Even Trump knew the public soured on the Koch brothers when he referred to the GOP's top-tier candidates (at that time), Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina for attending a Charles and David Koch's donor conference, as "puppets" in a tweet.

They ALL know the American public of late doesn't take too kindly to political candidates groveling at the feet of billionaires.

Koch representatives also know that the further they can keep the brothers away from Trump, whether in public or in private, in speech or in writing, the better Trump's chances will be. Conversely, there are plenty reasons for Trump to believe that a Koch brothers endorsement or connection, at this critical stage, could become the final kiss of death to his campaign.

But even with that we know there still is a connection. Those who watch politics closely know that Wisconsin's top Republicans, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ron Johnson and RNC Chief Reince Priebus, all attaining national notoriety, are extremely heavy feeders of Koch industries.

Although Walker received the Koch's last public endorsement for president and Johnson is considered their "model legislator," it is Paul Ryan as House Speaker, who is the highest ranking national member in the Koch machine. Trump knows that too. That's why his painfully laughable endorsement of Ryan came about only after Reince Priebus, the other Wisconsin Koch puppet, threatened to pull party resources away from Trump's campaign.

It's also important to note that Ryan has steadfastly banked and qualified his endorsement for Donald Trump on a single motive - that if elected president, Trump will sign his agenda into law.

Keep in mind, Paul Ryan's agenda IS the Koch brothers agenda. They are inseparable.

Oh, and Koch clubber Diane Hendricks offered herself to help Trump break the "liberal" mocking of his all-men "six men named Steve" economic advisory team. The rule is; anything they can do for the Koch brothers.

So the Koch brothers so-called "hate" for Trump might be personal, but it certainly can't be political.

Simply put: He's their guy.

ADDITIONAL:

Madison.com - Scott Walker financial backers join Donald Trump's economic team

Alternet - Koch Brothers' Toadies Ryan and Pence Clean Up and Cover for Trump's Violent Rhetoric

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

So Why Did Paul Ryan Win?


Here's an interesting if not disturbing piece of information that shows how strong the GOP establishment is in the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin. If every voter for Russ Feingold in Rock, Walworth, Racine, Kenosha and Waukesha counties switched party brand and voted for Paul Nehlen - Nehlen would have still lost. That's right. Ryan won with 57,391 to Nehlen's 10,852. Those five counties gave Feingold 39,120 votes. Do the math.

As I had correctly deduced in my strategy to Rock The First, if 1st CD Democrats switched party brand Feingold would have still won the senate nomination in a landslide, albeit a lesser landslide. All theoretical of course.

But that also shows how Nehlen's campaign didn't help the situation with some of the far right rhetoric and edgy tactics they employed that in effect, turned off many not-establishment voters he absolutely needed to win. On a positive note, his introductory video was a blockbuster hit and he did stay on top of the TPP issue which played fairly well with the working class manufacturing sector in the 1st, but his campaign style kept getting more aggressive, dark and edgy.

I also think his fast endorsement of Donald Trump was a huge, huge mistake. It would have worked well in a district in Alabama, but Trump lost the 1st CD to Cruz and keep in mind this is a local, not a national race.

If you want to appeal to GOP voters in the district you're trying to win, pssst ...don't endorse the loser. Let Paul Ryan bury himself as the party hack Washington insider endorsing Trump and draw on that contrast. But it was a distinction that could never be made.

On the plus side, SOMETHING made more than 57,000 GOP establishment voters believe that they were going to lose their $100M Koch puppet Wall Street charlatan. That something was fear. They realized if the people wise up and Nehlen draws within 20 points of Ryan on his own, that a grassroots common cause strategy like Rock The First could potentially send him over the top for the win. They weren't going to let THAT happen. No way! Paul Ryan is the UNIVERSE to those folks.

The lesson for myself are the trends that show how both sides appear to be in this not for the common good. It's getting harder and harder to find candidates (or incumbents) willing to fight for their district and more difficult to message the truth in a sea of confusion and mindless chatter.

It's more like there really isn't much difference between most candidates on the Left and Right, GOP or Democrat, Progressive or Conservative - they want the power and money. In other words, they just want the other guy's job.

The issues and ideology are establishment props to make you think otherwise.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016