Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Gee, I would think with all the crying from the Janesville establishment about how terrible I39/90 chokepoint conditions are from the state line to Madison including their bellyaching over the urgency for reconstruction to expand the interstate to three lanes wide each way, that the interstate would have made the nation's top 50 bottlenecks for congestion.
Sorry. Not even close.
According to a new report by the American Highway Users Alliance, they identify the very worst bottleneck, as measured by hours of delay, is in Chicago, IL. Los Angeles, CA owns the next six of the top 10.
In fact, the stretch of I39/90 between the stateline and Madison doesn’t even pick up a dishonorable mention anywhere in the report including their "other zones" in Appendix B for delays and congestion. Beyond the 50 worst bottlenecks, only two areas in Wisconsin receive mentions. They are both in Milwaukee, US41 between W. Watertown Plank and W.Bluemond Rd. and I43 between W. Canal St. and SR145.
Washington Post - Unclogging America's Arteries 2015 (Viewable in Browser)
Posted by Lou Kaye at 7:24 PM
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
But that's not the Web headline posted in the Janesville Gazette. Theirs is "Janesville City Council passes 2016 budget, ditches downtown coordinator idea."
The 2016 budget will result in an $89 increase in city taxes and fees for the average Janesville homeowner.
Wow. The Gazette dedicated a whole sentence to the tax hike but wasted most the budget story on the city providing $50,000 to help fund grant writers and consultants for red state Forward Janesville's downtown "revitalization" ARISE gimmick. What a complete media farce.
But the tax hike is substantial because excluding the new hike in the Janesville wheel tax and recent hikes in water, sewer and waste facility fees to be followed soon by yet another water bill increase, the $89 increase represents an approximate 9% increase in taxpayer obligations for the city's portion of your property tax bill.
Keep in mind folks that these are all highly regressive income blind increases meant to offset cuts in state aids, aids primarily funded by the state's sales and income tax.
That the city is tacking on a 9% increase is extra troubling considering administrators have been saving allocated dollars with substantially lower gas prices for its fleet of police, fire and utility vehicles.
A major red state tax shift in funding is happening right before your eyes ...and it's working.
You can hear it: drip, drip, drip.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:50 PM
Friday, November 13, 2015
Over the last several months, state democrats missed two golden-rare opportunities to let the single-party ruled GOP state houses led by Gov. Scott Walker reach their full potential and to be perfectly honest, it's been all downhill from there.
The first missed opportunity happened when Democrats failed to make substantial demands in return for their votes on Walker's $400 million state welfare package for the Bucks arena. That should have been a huge warning sign for democrats' supporters.
But the epic fail wasn't over as weeks later Democrats folded like a cheap tent yet again when they "saved" major roadwork projects including the I39/90 expansion from delays and future higher costs at the hands of the majority red state ideologues. All six senate republicans on the joint finance committee voted against the borrowing. The problem is, despite large GOP majorities, voters will remember that it was democrats who pushed another $350 million on the state's credit card and that because of their votes - 21% of the state's gas tax will go to repay debt.
That will pose huge talking points' problems in the near future for state democrats trying to convince Wisconsin voters that they are NOT the party of corporate welfare and state debt.
But state Republicans are not yet done tapping Democrats for as much stupidity as they can and I don't blame them one bit. When your mortal enemy is that willing to commit suicide - you probably should just give them a loaded gun and be done with it.
Because if missing those two opportunities weren't enough, members of the GOP majority are now "pledging to work" with the wayward feckless democrats yet again, for get this - to create a sustainable transportation budget - whatever THAT means. Point is; that means very different things to the different parties and the majority republicans know they can rely on democrats for revenue legislation.
Believe it or not, minority democrats have already taken the bait and swallowed it whole as they are vowing ...vowing to introduce legislation to raise the gas tax and/or registration fees AHEAD of republicans ...while the same republicans are messaging bi-partisanship, "pledging to work" with them, but are saying policy-wise that spending, spending, spending is the problem. See what I mean?
You know, I can't get over some of the rhetoric used by Democrats to explain their votes on borrowing for transportation. Seriously, why are democrats complaining about republicans "not doing the right thing" on transportation when republicans can rely on democrats, as sure as the Sun rises every morning, to do the wrong thing? Dems said 71 percent of Wisconsin roads are in poor or mediocre condition, making us one of the three worst states for road conditions in America, so they had to approve the borrowing. Never mind that the borrowing restores the timetables for the road builders expansions and not crater maintenance.
But hey, we're a red state now - our roads are supposed to be crumbling, our schools are supposed to be in shambles, our workers are supposed to be skill gapped, our jobs are supposed to be leaving, our government is supposed to be corrupt and our trains are supposed to derail. Yet, it's the democrats (and locals) at every turn working to prevent those policies from going full metal jacket as intended. Don't democrats get it that Wisconsin business chambers endorsed and voted for a single party ruled republican majority to carry out those policies and a GOP executive to sign them into law?
If everything goes by the hands of their own making, and it is their own making, state Democrats, even under full red state majority legislative rule, will not be viewed as saviors. Instead, they will be the party identified with corporate welfare, debt and now higher taxes. Whoopeee! Voters will certainly gravitate to that. LOL.
But it's not over, folks. Because yet another group of legislative democrats have come up with a rebranding scheme to prevent the failed corrupt red state donor redistribution network (WEDC) from collapsing onto the majority party and Scott Walker's delicate reputation. You can't have that happening, huh? It's like the state's democratic party have become the republicans catastrophic insurance policy.
This in my opinion is an unbelievable string of one folly after another. It's like a runaway train going downhill without any brakes.
One small bit of advice for Democrats that will surely be ignored: don't fight it because you'll feed it and if you feed it, you will be surrendering. In fact, unless someone steps in really soon in the democratic party with strong messaging abilities and electoral strategies to win back the hearts and minds of voters, state Democrats will most likely remain in the minority not for years in Wisconsin, but for decades.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 2:22 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
The Rock County Progressives present an educational forum:
This is a free event open to the public.
Jay Heck on Democracy Under Attack: GAB, John Doe and Campaign Finance
Jay Heck, Executive Director, Common Cause in Wisconsin
“The GOP is fast-tracking several damaging, partisan measures. One will destroy the non-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB). Another will deregulate Wisconsin campaign finance law and allow unlimited money – most of it secret – to flood our elections.”
On WPR: Four Perspectives: Jojn Doe and campaign Finance reform
On WORT: GOP Fast-Tracking AB388 and Other Partisan Measures
Wednesday, November 11
6 PM-6:30 PM cheese & cracker reception (nonalcoholic potluck)
6:30 PM- 7:45 PM, speaker & discussion
Basics Cooperative Natural Foods Store
1711 Lodge Dr.
This is an independent event NOT affiliated with Basics
From Madison route 90 until 1st Janesville exit, south on Route 26 past route 14, look for Toys R Us on the right, right on Lodge Drive, on right across from Toys R Us.
The Community Room is to the left when you come in.
Visit Rock County Progresives for additional information.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:27 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2015
We have what many political watchers acknowledge is the most dysfunctional congress in modern history controlled by a bought-and-paid gerrymandered GOP majority being led now by the Koch-owned Ayn Rand surrogate, Paul Ryan.
What more could we possibly want?
Posted by Lou Kaye at 6:25 PM
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
At Monday's Janeville council meeting, a handful of area residents spoke up passionately in favor of placing the Move To Amend Citizens United question on the 2016 Spring Ballot.
On Placing Move To Amend On The Ballot
"Whether you are for this or against this, I care not - it matters not. All that matters in things of this much importance; it is a requirement that the people's voice be heard. All that we ask is this is placed on the ballot and allow for the voice of the people of Janesville to be heard."
- Rick B******, Oct. 26, 2015
Not too long ago, Janesville's city council turned its back on the people when the council, under advice from the city attorney, unanimously blocked a petition question supported by 3,500 signatures from being placed on a ballot for consideration. For me and many others, it was never about the question, or opposing or supporting a particular issue.
It was about letting the people be heard.
Just like Bill McCoy's petitions on the city's fire station and project spending, the question before the Janesville council during Monday's meeting is not about the pros and cons of the issue, party politics or whether the council agrees. Yes, Citizen's United is the subject of the referendum question this time, but it's about allowing the people to be heard on an important issue. If council members have strong feelings for or against Move to Amend Citizens United, they could vote their voice on the ballot just like everyone else.
I highly recommend readers play the short speech below from the council meeting given by the gentleman from Beloit. It's a good one for the archives. Watch it:
RNR - Janesville's City Council Likes Things Just The Way They Are
Posted by Lou Kaye at 5:12 PM
Friday, October 23, 2015
“This expansion is yet another excellent example of the successes that WEDC has seen at the local level in their partnerships with private businesses,” said Senator Fitzgerald.
In the above quote, Fitzgerald was raving about how Scott Walker's flagship agency, the WEDC, rewarded John Deere's growth and popularity of their Gator utility vehicles with $2M in state tax credits for a net twenty fewer incomes. Just peachy.
The expansion is projected to create 80 new full-time jobs in 2016 in order to meet the company’s assembly and shipping needs. John Deere currently employs more than 1,100 people at its Horicon location.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the $42.9 million project, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch announced $2 million in tax credits provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to assist with the company’s investment.
But according to this story from the Janesville Gazette, John Deere will be eliminating about 100 jobs and vacate its Beloit Ave. Janesville warehouse when they move those operations to the new tax incentivized expanded facility in Horicon.
As far as the old John Deere facility in Janesville goes, the soon-to-be-vacated building will come in handy for the next group of welfare recipients to hold hostage as they look to leverage local tax treasuries for a "free market" advantage and begin the whole money laundering "incentive" cycle all over again.
In fact, Janesville's director of economic development already has that ball rolling.
He said the city is offering assistance to the owners to find renters for the Beloit Avenue facility.
And that's a "Bingo!" folks.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 10:59 PM