Dianne Hesselbein just came out with a TV ad which touts her support for UW, public schools and conservation. Her final claim, that she "saved taxpayers more than a half million dollars when we made a key purchase of the Ice Age Trail," has come under fire from the Hulsey campaign. Today it sent out a statement signed by George Mayer, the head of the Wisconsin Wildlife Foundation, Caryl Terrell, former director of the Sierra Club, and Kyle Richmond, a Dane County Board member:
Dear Hesselbein Campaign,
Your TV ad contains false statements about your role in purchasing the Ice Age Trail.
Your ad says you "saved taxpayers the more than half million dollars when we made a key purchase of the Ice Age Trail."
But the land has not been purchased, and the money is not saved.
And, as Hulsey referenced in the debate last night, the press release criticizes Hesselbein for voting against the purchase last year.
In July 2009, after the purchase passed through several county committees and to the Board floor for a vote on whether or not to purchase, you voted AGAINST the purchase.
In a phone interview, Hesselbein said the ad was made long ago, and she believed the trail purchase would be approved by the time the ad aired. She says the campaign will alter the ad to reflect the fact, but she emphasizes nevertheless that the purchase just passed the Public Works Committee 3-1, and has more than enough support among supervisors to pass when it comes before the board.
"I'm being attacked for voting against the Ice Age Trail. That's not true," she says, pointing out that the vote her critics reference was one to re-refer the bill so the county could get a better price on the land.
Last year's plan would have paid the developer more than $3,000 more per acre than the current proposal (in both instances you have to search "ice age trail" to find the relevant votes). Very few members of the Board's progressive caucus voted in favor of the proposal last year. In fact, of the nine who voted for the purchase, only Hulsey and Wyndham Manning were members of the board's liberal bloc.