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05
Jun
2015

milwaukee_bucksMILWAUKEE - Boy, the Milwaukee Bucks must really be feeling the love.

Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens think of their club and their dream of a gleaming new palace for the franchise as a “transformative economic and cultural asset” for Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin. But when Governor Scott Walker and top legislative leaders announced yesterday that they intend to put taxpayers on the hook for half of the cost of a new arena, they stood behind a sign reading “Cheaper To Keep Them.”

Now there’s a marketing slogan. The Milwaukee Bucks: Less of a burden if they stay.

Walker and his allies insist that taxpayers will be better off footing the bill for $250 million of the cost of building a new arena because they claim the Bucks pulling up stakes and moving to another city would cost Wisconsin even more in lost tax revenue. They pluck a number – $419 million over 20 years – out of thin air to justify their claim.

Of course, the very same kind of argument could be made against other budget decisions the governor and legislative Republicans are making. Applying the logic used to defend a taxpayer subsidy for billionaire owners and millionaire basketball players, it would undeniably be cheaper over the long haul to keep the University of Wisconsin System fully funded. The UW System is a proven economic engine that not only employs large numbers of taxpaying faculty and support staff but also spawns countless start-up companies that end up being big revenue producers as well. But the UW is in line for a $250 million budget cut, exactly the same amount the Bucks are in line to receive.

It also would be cheaper in the end to keep state parks as they are instead of eliminating all state funding for them as the governor and legislative budget writers aim to do. The parks are fuel for the tourism industry, another proven economic engine.

There is a virtually endless list of things in the state budget that are being cut sharply or eliminated altogether but would be cheaper to keep. Funny how this calculus is only used to justify feeding billionaires.

Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
 
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03
Jun
2015

domesticviolenceDELAVAN - Governor Scott Walker, a likely Republican presidential candidate, reaffirmed Monday that he'd sign a 20-week abortion ban even if it doesn't include an exemption for rape or incest.

scott_walker_pressWalker was asked by reporters about the bill after a speech at a Boys and Girls Club event in the Wisconsin city of Delavan, according to the Associated Press.

Legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday in Madison, the AP said. The bill doesn't include exemptions for rape or incest.

He had said as much in March, when he sent an open letter to the Susan B. Anthony List trying to calm concerns among those frustrated by what they saw as Walker's vagueness on the issue during his 2014 reelection race and in some interviews.

In a statement released Tuesday, State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Madison) said on the SB 179/AB 237 Abortion Ban:

jon-erpenbach“We have heard heartbreaking stories in this public hearing. Every single person, on these committees and in this Legislature, should recognize that these decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor, not by me, not by any politician."

Erpenbach continues:

"There is not one recognized medical organization that supports this bill, and the reality is, in Wisconsin it will affect a small number of women, less than 100 in 2013. Every single one of those 100 women, faced difficult, distressing and often heartbreaking decisions with their families.

"Doctors should not be made criminals, women’s lives should not be put at risk, all for the sake of politics. I cannot believe that my fellow legislators would ever interfere in the lives of their constituents in such a dangerous, irresponsible way.”

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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