Matt Rothschild was the latest liberal victim of the Squire's perspicacity on this morning's Wisconsin Public Radio Week in Review program. Here's the audio (mp3).
Matt, who infamously called for making the state we love "ungovernable," this morning celebrated the pouring of beer on State Rep. Robin Vos, one of the most thoughtful and caring public servants in the Legislature. Matt said something about a long tradition of peasants throwing tomatoes at the king, blah blah blah.
Rothschild encouraged more such action: "I'm surprised there hasn't been more of this going on."
Did not realize the position of state representative from Racine County was hereditary. Thought Rep. Vos was elected by (ahem) the people.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Comrade Nichols, Fighting Ed, the Slymer or any of the Jeremies to decry this hooliganism. Not after excusing, ignoring, or participating in the boycotts, horn-blowing, profane heckling, and mob intimidation of the Siege of the Capitol. The bar (so to speak) has been set and it keeps getting lower.
Should the tea partiers douse Mark Pocan with amber waves of malted grain? Outraged teaching assistants would pour (it's unavoidable) down State Street! The Solidarity Singers would observe that in heaven there is no beer.
Should Justice Bradley confront Justice Prosser? ("This Bud's for you, Buddy.") Should Sen. Miller get a Miller shower? Hell, let's make the annual Mifflin Street drunkfest look as sober as a Havens Center lecture.
Because that's the great thing about the kind of situational ethics that Matt Rothschild espouses: works for both sides.
Boss Tweed, meet Boss Mathiak
I suspect that Lucy Mathiak is an intelligent person but the Madison school board member missed the civics lesson on Tammany Hall.
She argues that the City of Madison should greatly reduce its tax assistance in expanding the Edgewater Hotel because she does not like the politics of its developers. Seems Hammes Co. employees have contributed money, legally and above board, to the political campaign of Scott Walker, Sen. Alberta Darling, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson, among others.
If we are not supposed to be eating Johnsonville brats, shouldn't we also be asking why we would ever want to take our TIF money and give it back to this developer?
The issue here is well beyond whether it makes sense to throw $16 million in tax incremental financing at a classy hotel on the lakeshore. (It does not and Mayor Paul Soglin is correct to challenge it.)
The issue is not economics but ethics: should political beliefs decide who gets government assistance and who does not. Because Lucy Mathiak is exercising the raw power of a Chicago ward heeler. She is a throwback to the corrupt era of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.
Of course, Dave Cieslewicz did the same when he rushed -- quite literally -- to reward his union friends with a fat contract in the weeks before the closely fought mayoral election in April.
It's the old Chuck Chvala line: Do we have a working relationship? Translation: I better see your campaign donation in my account and not my opponent's. I give credit to the Capital Times for breaking the story but don't hold your breath for any editorial comment.
Tea partiers hate Big Government for precisely this reason. They quote (of all people) Gerald Ford: "a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have away."
America is beginning to catch on. Sitting in on Wisconsin Public Radio's Friday morning Week in Review program, I cautioned host Joy Cardin to poise her finger over the seven-second bleep button because I was going to unleash a verboten word. Joy gave me a look of suprise as I uttered the forbidden term: stimulus.
President Obama's (don't use the word) Stimulus II is evoking big yawns from a once-burned, twice-learned public. They know another half a trillion in borrowed dollars will make no more difference than the $800 billion in Stimulus I. The projects weren't shovel ready then and they aren't now.
Crony capitalism does not work. Barack Obama bet $535 million of our money on a start-up company called Solyndra because it's green as Kermit the Frog. Now Solyndra is bankrupt and taxpayers are on the hook. Big government sure can pick 'em. In today's Wall Street Journal: "(Government) Loan was Solyndra's Undoing."
Boycott Lena Taylor
Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator out of Milwaukee, wants one and all to boycott products produced by Georgia-Pacific paper mills in Green Bay. They're owned by the wrong people, it turns out, they being supporters of Gov. Walker. No word from recall survivor Sen. David Hanson, D-Green Bay, on what a boycott might do to the 2,300 employees of Georgia-Pacific who are, for the time being, his constituents. Not to mention another 1,800 in Neenah, Oshkosh, Phillips, and Sheboygan. (Brother Binversie has a take on this.)
Sen. Glenn Grothman is co-sponsoring a Resolution recognizing the contribution Georgia-Pacific has made to the state of Wisconsin "and making it clear that Senator Taylor's hatred of Georgia-Pacific is outside the mainstream of political thought in Wisconsin."
Sign Sen. Grothman's "Thank you Georgia-Pacific e-card".
Quick, more taxes
Brenda Konkel and Progressive Dane are supporting a new tax on Dane County residents: a wheel tax -- $10 to $20 bucks a vehicle. (But not bicycles?) Purpose is to offset projected cuts in social services. Too bad The Kathleen and Scottie McD gave away the store to the employee unions.
The letter is signed by a constellation of Leftists, including Ben Manski, Basford, Andy (I'm) Heidt, Dace Zeps, Rebecca Kemble, Tom Mertz, Marj Passman, Buzz Davis, and Z! Haukeness.
It will be entertaining to watch county board chairman Scottie McD and the new county exec feint and weave around this issue. Wait a minute, did you say Z! Haukeness supports it? Well, consider it done!