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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 15.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily
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Blaska's Blog: Gov. Walker recall crew yells fire in a crowded swimming pool
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There is an inverse relationship: the more vituperative the language, the weaker the case. It is no coincidence that the recall movement uses doomsday language to describe what are, at root, merely policy differences.

The Recall Scott Walker movement is underway. Madison police are erecting orange cones to direct traffic around recall petitioners brazenly stationed in the roadway.

The recallers -- almost exclusively government employees, government contractors, students, dues-paying Democrats, and organized labor heavies -- are force-marching the English language to the margins of credibility.

"Every Wisconsinite has suffered" from the Walker administration, exaggerates The Capital Times, in goading the government classes to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

"Governor Walker is a failure,"" the former daily newspaper intones. (The non-union CT was against recalls before it was for them, infamously declining to endorse the recall of accused and ultimately convicted felon Chuck Chvala.)

True to type is the execrable Chris Liebenthal, a unionized government employee who has been disciplined for using his taxpayer-supported job computer to vent this kind of bile: The governor is, he blogs...

...a petulant, insecure bully-boy petty despot [with] tyrannical ways.

Another Moammar, he'd have us believe. Like the entire recall movement, this government employee has judged the governor guilty of "attacks on the working people of Wisconsin," by which he intends to say Walker has limited state and local government employees in Wisconsin to approximately the same rights as President Obama has limited federal government employees.

Why is the sky not falling?

The recallers tell us that Gov. Walker has gutted public education in Wisconsin. BlaskaFact labels that claim as "Tighty-whities on Fire."

The student/teacher ratio went from 13.27 last school year to 13.51 this. That's almost a rounding error! You'd have to add the students in four (4) classrooms to find just one extra kid this year over last school year!

Oh, the humanity!

Across the state of Wisconsin, K-12 school district tax levies for this school year dropped by 1% -- a $47 million savings. It's only the second time in 15 years that school levies -- which make up the majority of everyone's property tax bill -- have dropped.

Over the last ten years the tax levy, on average, increased by $162 million each year. Over the last five years the tax levy, on average, increased by $181 million each year. (Here's more detail.)

Let's see now: Gov. Walker takes office with a $3.6 billion budget hole bequeathed by the Doyle-Miller-Pocan regime that raided patient compensation and road and bridge funds. He balances the budget, ends the long-standing structural deficit, does so without raising taxes, without layoffs, without accounting tricks while maintaining essential services.

In fact, when the statewide K-12 school tax levy increased 8 percent in 2004, more classes were dropped and average class sizes increased more than it did in the 2011-12 school year. (Here is the comparison.) This cannot stand!

Deep divide won't soon be healed

For the record, I predict here that organizers will fall short of the necessary 540,000 signatures. This contest really is one between two different visions of America. The oncoming winter weather won't help the petition drive.

This latest round of recalls will only harden the division between two competing visions of America, no matter how it turns out.

The recallers believe that government exists to provide comfortable jobs (not like yucky mining jobs!) and benefits galore. These can be had by redistributing wealth from the undeserving to the deserving. Government decides which is which. The rest of us disagree. Dr. Tim Nerenz explains why.

The governing class requires high levels of taxation in order to grow the government. Much of this tax money comes back to the politicians in the form of campaign contributions coerced as dues from government employees. Marquette law prof Rick Esenberg makes a convincing argument that political campaign donations should be voluntary not compelled, as organized labor does in the government employee unions. Further, Esenberg blogs:

[About complaints] that Walker did not campaign on collective bargaining reform ... would [it be] appropriate to recall Governor Doyle for not campaigning on a tax increase?

Democrats will leave no stone unturned, even at the cemetery, as Brother Binversie explains. And no, I do not believe the St. Nubs poll showing Walker support eroding. Contradicts all other polls showing Walker gaining, including the Daily Kos pollsters' survey.

Wheel tax is broken

Hooray for the Wisconsin State Journal. I cannot remember a recent editorial as strongly worded as today's blasting the proposed wheel tax as "an unfair scheme," "sticking it to motorists," "regressive," and a "retread idea."

The State Journal did something it almost never does any more: pin the tail on the donkey. Five times it named Sup. Kyle Richmond, a seriously spooky guy, as the author of the wheel tax proposal. But here's the strange part: the editorial came the day after the vote! Can't the city's newspaper take a position before the vote? In any event, let's hope the WSJ is finding its editorial voice once again.

And why can't the newspaper report the roll call on seminal issues like this? I know there are 37 supes -- that really is too many. But use just last names and tiny type. The news outlet didn't even report the vote total. I'll do both here. The wheel tax was defeated (as I predicted) by a vote of 30 to 5, which surprised me by its lopsidedness. Only Bayrd, Eicher (campus), Hendrick, Matano, and Vedder voted for it. Richmond was absent (or did not vote)!

Wheel tax petition organizer Madame Brenda was "too angry to blog" the results. Talk about being out of touch with real people!

And why, oh why can't CitiCable telecast these annual budget meetings? By law, they are held on Mondays instead of the normal County Board Thursday meeting night but there's no mystery as to when they are held.

Quick, more Kool Aid!

A man walking in the 6200 block of Raymond Road Tuesday afternoon was punched and his cell phone stolen by a gang of five to eight teens. In the afternoon! (Here is the report.)

Thanks to the Stoughton Police

I took a wrong turn in Stoughton on my way to the Conservation Club for training on its indoor firing range rule review Monday evening. I've only been a member a short time and had never driven there after dark. Noticing my discomfort, Police Officer Wally W. helped me find the way. Much appreciated!

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