Monday, August 11, 2014
Community Quotes #3
On Latest WalkerDocs Release:
✦ Contrary to earlier reports, Scott Walker's statements claiming he cooperated fully with investigators ring hollow. New internal memos show Walker’s then chief-of staff was hostile to their motives from the beginning. When will Walker's lies and deception finally come to an end?
✦ Although Walker claimed to have requested the investigation, his office staffers were suspicious of investigators motives for taking the John Doe secrecy route. A secrecy Scott Walker seemed to relish in from the beginning, as he used it often as an excuse to avoid answering questions from the media and keep hidden his executive role in the criminal scheme.
✦ So it turns out prosecutors were targeted by conservatives and GOP partisans from the very beginning and not something that grew out of feeling wrongly accused. That's what the guilty do.
✦ New documents show Scott Walker was operating a political campaign "war room" from taxpayer paid county office. Fool us twice, shame on us.
On Local Power Players Dishonesty and Deception:
✦ So typical. How self-serving business groups like Forward Janesville have claimed higher taxes, wages and benefits are a burden on local economic development and then lobby for tax breaks for themselves. But here they are endorsing a local tax hike on everyone else to pay for employee training at a technical college. The keyword: self-serving.
✦ I think members of the business chambers in Beloit including Forward Janesville are completely dishonest for supporting Scott Walker's budget cuts on schools/technical colleges. Cutting revenue that came from a much larger tax base but now spin around promoting local tax hikes to restore those funding cuts. They'll use the same strategy to promote raising local taxes for Janesville streets. Lots of people blind to the politics, fall for it every time.
✦ Never underestimate the power of Forward Janesville, Rock County five-o or their Janesville Gazette media flacks. They're a big "connected" club with a political agenda and operatives in every part of local government.
On 15th District Senate Candidates:
✦ Which candidates for the senate seat does Forward Janesville endorse? What's that? ...they don't endorse candidates? Yet candidates for public office endorse Forward Janesville or support their political agenda? Particularly democratic candidates whose base are under constant attack by the group. That doesn't make sense to informed voters. You can't have it both ways. Forward Janesville isn't running for office. There's no excuse for dems to support FJ unless they're completely detached from reality.
✦ The poor, disabled, seniors, women, minorities, the working poor, middle-class taxpayers and all wage earners should avoid any politicians like the plague that support FJ's legislative agenda. If that means avoiding most of them - so be it.
✦ I'm old enough to remember what republicans used to be like, and I swear all three democrats running in the senate primary are moderate republicans. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing considering today's off-the-rails GOP, but they're all slaves to the establishment system.
✦ Progressives and #NextGenDems, you're left with no choice but to vote for one of the three democrats running in the 15th senate district democratic primary. Just remember to hold your nose.
✦ I attended one 15th district senate candidate forum and listened in on another. When they both came to a close, I asked myself, "when will the Democratic Party hold a forum?"
✦ They're kidding me ...right? The three Dems vying for Cullen's senate seat argue against each other's record or lack of record, then each one explains how willing and better they are suited to reach across the aisle and work with the republican majority - a gerrymandered majority that doesn't need them or their vote to pass legislation. Still shaking my head.
The Blackhawk Technical College Tax Hike Referendum:
✦ Did anyone else notice Janesville's road tax hike referendum never made it to the August ballot? Guess they didn't want to compete for the cobwebs in my empty wallet with the BTC referendum. So thoughtful. Only one tax hike per ballot at a time, folks.
✦ If it's approved, Gov. Scott Walker says "thanks" in advance.
✦ So all four wannabes for our state senate district must believe we have a skills gap to support raising taxes by $4 million annually without a sunset clause on home owners for Blackhawk tech college. That, while the area elite lobbied for, and won large income tax cuts, tax credits and forgivable loans for themselves. No referendum required.
✦ I wouldn't expect the lone republican senate candidate to stand up for wage-earning taxpayers, but I find it very disappointing not one democrat was willing to draw a contrast from the others to articulate why passing local tax hikes through referendum is not only the mark of politicians too coward to take a stand or too lazy to do their jobs, but a divide and conquer strategy to reinforce regressive tax shifts that continue the march toward greater wealth disparity. They all lockstep support for the BTC referendum. Voters shouldn't complain about economic justice if they don't get it.
✦ A dear friend, a proud self-described righty-libertarian, told me that everything we do from free will is our God-given right ...until government takes that right away - usually by force. He said those rights include those created by approving a charter for union representation, collective bargaining or taxation. He said that is how the Constitution was approved by our forebears and nobody alive today signed or voted on the Constitution. Yet we all support and abide by its principles because it is a form of contractual law. He also said restrictions on rights are sometimes justified by a common code of morality, but never justified by way of oppression or discrimination. His understanding of this was a welcoming surprise and we both found tangents of libertarianism to agree on, only distinguished by his righty, my contemporary lefty, and that we both oppose authoritarians. But that doesn't mean we don't have major differences.
✦ Conservatives have had single party rule in Wisconsin going on four years, and not only is the budget a mess, but look around. People don't trust one another, hatred for others with different views is on the rise and local governing bodies are acting just as arrogant as the single-party state authority in Madison. Roads and infrastructure are crumbling because state-sponsored funding to the top never trickles down and is a pathetic failure every time it’s tried.
On Governor Walker:
✦ Walker's two budgets did not contain overall cuts to lower state spending. Fact is, each budget actually increased state spending from the previous. The money for increased spending however did not come from Walker inspired growth, but a combination of borrowing, withholding of state aid from communities and national recovery efforts. Walker's budgets confound the natural principle that increased spending fuels growth, because his are also about selectively taking more from working class pockets that spend, to fund tax breaks and credits for those who never have enough - his donor base. More spending by the state, but only to those who can afford to hoard capital - not recirculate it for the benefit of the whole. It's classwar trickle-up austerity.
✦ Amazing paradox. Scott Walker said his campaign will be expanding on social media and posting only the facts. But all I’ve seen are trolls twisting Wisconsin stats resulting from Bush’s national economic disaster into Doyle/Burke “facts,” while riding the coat-tails of Obama's national economic recovery and giving that credit to Walker’s "reforms."
✦ So we have Tea Party Governor Scott Walker, who promised to create 250,000 jobs and not spend more than we have. Yet, Walker borrowed billions to spend and we will be lucky if the state reaches half of those jobs, while many states grew faster. If that isn't enough, communities across Wisconsin are holding tax hike referendums to restore lost funding that he withheld and distributed to his campaign donors. So the question is how many times Charlie Brown are you going to trust Lucy to hold that football.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:02 AM