Walker Weekly- June 22, 2009
In this Edition…
• Pork-Barrel Spending
• Countdown to Newt Gingrich
• Join MyScottSpot!
"If you add it all up, it adds up to three-one-hundredths of 1%," said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), co-chairman of the Legislature's 16-member Joint Finance Committee. "When you look at the grand scheme of the ($62.2 billion) budget, it's not that substantial."
That’s how State Rep. Pocan characterized the $36.7 million in special favors that Assembly Democrats added to the state budget last week. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, some of these “non-substantial” expenditures include:
• $5 million in bonds for the Bradley Center
• $46,000 to purchase recycling bins for a town
• $500,000 to renovate an opera house
• $50,000 for a shooting range
• $250,000 for the Madison Children’s Museum
• $500,000 to fund the Aldo Leopold Climate Change Laboratory
• $400,000 for Native American Tourism
• $110,000 for the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools
They’ve even labeled some of these items as “targeted investments.” If that’s not doublespeak for pork-barrel spending, I don’t know what is.
As the Chief Executive of the state’s largest county, I take issue with Rep. Pocan’s claim that $36.7 million is not a substantial amount of money—especially as families, employers and local governments across the state struggle to make ends meet. But there’s something even more disturbing. Many of these expenditures seem to be aimed at getting anxious legislators to vote for a budget that contains dozens of costly and highly controversial policy changes.
Many of the policy changes in this budget have far-reaching implications and probably would not pass the Senate or the Assembly as separate pieces of legislation. For example, repealing the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) for school districts and requiring local governments to pay prevailing union wages for virtually all government contracts will mean higher costs for local governments and even higher property taxes for Wisconsin homeowners.
I believe we should strip policy items and pork-barrel projects from the state budget. The budget process should be about funding essential government services based on the taxpayers’ ability to pay. It should not be about horse trading for special interest groups, establishing talking points for the next campaign, or bribing individual legislators to support bad public policy.
Countdown to Newt Gingrich
Last week, my campaign manager called to say he had good news and bad news. Since I like to leave things on a positive note, I told him to give me the bad news first.
He said the bad news is that we have to change locations for our June 29th event with former House Speaker Gingrich. The good news is that we’ve already sold so many tables for the event that our first location wasn’t big enough to accommodate the crowd!
If you haven’t signed up for the event with Speaker Gingrich, there is still very limited space available, so contact Mary Stitt today at 262-268-6859 or via email at email@example.com.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Hilton Milwaukee City Center
509 West Wisconsin Avenue
Speaker Gingrich’s visit will help us reach an important milestone as we build the resources necessary to defeat Jim Doyle next year. I hope you will join me in welcoming one of the brightest minds in American politics back to Wisconsin.
MyScottSpot is an online grassroots support tool that allows you to share your story, invite your friends and connect with other supporters, locate events, join groups, and even earn points for your actions.
Once you’re there, be sure to invite 5 of your friends, and return often for all the latest updates from the campaign.
In fact, we are excited to announce this new and important feature. The MyScottSpot Tech Team has developed a new function that allows you to send personalized e-mails to your contacts, and when they donate - you get points added to your MyScottSpot personal impact score.
As you encourage your family and friends to donate to the campaign, watch your personal impact score grow by 5 points for every donation e-mail you send out and 50 points for every donation made. Go to the "MyScottSpot Help Scott" link (or cut and paste this link into your browser: www.supportwalker.com/helpscott) located on yourMyScottSpot personalized page.
Your browser will load the log-in page, click on the "Register" link at the bottom right of the log-in box. Simply input your MyScottSpot e-mail address and password. You will instantly be sent an e-mail confirming that you have signed up. Then, click the link in the e-mail and you're all set. Once you're there, open the "Settings" tab, add your contacts, create a personalized message, and click "Send."
Thank you for all that you have done for our campaign! I truly appreciate it.