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Sunday, March 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 18.0° F  Overcast
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Basford's Spin City: Something wicked this way comes
There will be no joy in Madville this weekend.
There will be no joy in Madville this weekend.

Wherever Bud Selig goes, skies darken and rain falls. Crabgrass grows in the fields. Apple pies and Crackerjacks sour and babies wail. Bats go dead and pitchers blow out rotator cuffs. Peanuts get too salty and beer becomes too prohibitively expensive to quench the thirst.

Why should you care? Because the one man who may kill baseball if we let him is coming to town to be the guest speaker for the UW Spring Commencement ceremonies. There will be no joy in Madville this weekend.

I wonder if Bud gets wistful when he returns to the scene of one of his greatest crimes - where he, in the Fall of 1995, held our Republican-controlled state government emotional hostages with talk of the Milwaukee Brewers leaving Wisconsin. This caused the State Senate, in the middle of the night, to agree to "Stick it to 'em!" -- the "'em" being the residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Racine and Ozaukee Counties -- by allowing an unelected taxing authority to levy a sales tax without so much as an advisory referendum (not counting the one held to fund the stadium with a statewide sports lottery in April, 1995 that failed 2-to-1). Petaxation without representation.

Remember this when some so-called small-government "conservative" yelps about "Basic Human Services!" or shrinking government or less taxes or some other such drivel. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported a couple months ago that the Miller Park Tax could be extended to 2018 - for a grand total of over a half-billion dollars!

I'm a Chicago Cubs fan and for me that means that for the next nine years (at least!), whenever I go to Milwaukee to take in an exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, or get my herbs and spices at The Spice House, or go shopping with my wife in the Historic Third Ward, or cheer my Cubs on when they play at Miller Park, I'm supporting my team's rivals without so much as a say in the matter.

Now, tell us how horrible a proposed RTA is again.

Wild in the Streets

And, by the way, Miller Park was quite the scene last Friday night when I went to watch my Cubs and the Brewers. The stadium was packed with a very drunk crowd, there were several brawls in the stands and I saw people too drunk to stand being carted away. After the game, groups of drunk fans went around the stadium screaming "F--k the Cubbies!!! - *clap, clap, clapclapclap*".

However, since the crowd was almost 100% white with the means to purchase tickets to a Major League Baseball game, enough stadium beer to tranquilize an elephant and $150 Rickie Weak jerseys to wear, you sure won't hear any tut-tuts about poor manners or commentary about how bad society is getting from your Sykes, McIlherans, McBrides, Bellings and Blaskas.

Democrats Welcome Lueders

Wednesday night's Democratic Party of Dane County meeting featured a resolution that was unanimously passed in response to a story about Bill Lueders being banned from Dane County Republican Party meetings. It was an excellent resolution. How do I know? I wrote it.


WHEREAS, the Republican Party of Dane County recently banned Isthmus journalist Bill Lueders from covering their public events due to his coverage of their behavior at their November Election Night party (Isthmus, 3-19-2009); and

WHEREAS, this ban is part of an ongoing campaign by the Republican Party to blame the media for their unpopularity; and

WHEREAS, the Republican Party's campaign against the media is an anathema on our nation's cherished values of freedom of speech and freedom of the press; and

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of Dane County understands that a vigilant press is necessary to ensure our democracy continues to thrive - even when they report things we don't agree with;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Democratic Party of Dane County, in continuing our tradition of allowing access to the media, extends an invitation to Bill Lueders to cover our meetings; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this invitation is also extended to other reporters.

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