Tag: transportation budget

Democratic Party of Wisconsin officials are at it again with horrible political messaging

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of this blog post is not interested in being hired Communications Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and is not interested in any other position involving being an official spokesperson for a political candidate, party, or group.

Melissa Baldauff, the communications director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW), wrote this piece claiming that Scott Walker won’t run for the Republican presidential nomination, when, in fact, Walker has not officially said whether or not he’ll run for president in next year’s election:

Speaking with reporters today at a rare stopover in Wisconsin, Scott Walker commented that he’s “going to keep [his] campaign promises” – which if true means the governor won’t be seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 after promising to serve his full term.

Last October at the gubernatorial debate in Eau Claire, Walker said his “plan if elected is to be here for four years” when asked whether he’d serve a full term if re-elected. And last November following his re-election, Walker commented in an interview with WITI (FOX affiliate in Milwaukee) that “Right now, I still feel called to be the governor of the state of Wisconsin, and I’m going to do the best job I can over the next four years.”

While Walker did, in fact, promise at least twice that he’d serve a full second term as Governor of Wisconsin, once before the 2014 election and once immediately after the 2014 election, the headline of Baldauff’s piece, “Scott Walker Won’t Run For President in 2016”, incorrectly implies that Walker had made an official statement that he won’t seek the presidency in next year’s elections. As of this writing, Walker has not yet issued an official statement as to whether or not he’ll run for president. In fact, the (Eau Claire) Leader-Telegram article that Baldauff cited referencing Walker claiming that he wants to keep his promises pertains to Wisconsin’s transportation budget, where Walker and his fellow Republicans have fought against each other over how to eliminate a massive transportation budget deficit. The article Baldauff cited did not mention his well-known ambitions of wanting to be President of the United States so that he and his far-right Republican cronies can turn America into a third-world country. I’m not defending Walker by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, Walker has repeatedly broken promises to the people of Wisconsin and has repeatedly proven that Wisconsinites can’t trust anything he says.

If I were writing that piece, I would have written the headline of that piece as “Scott Walker has Twice Promised Not to Run for President in 2016…Will he Break yet Another Promise?”, “Scott Walker has Effectively Promised that he won’t Run for President in 2016”, or something else that makes it 100% clear what the article is about. In the past, people have pointed out to me on this blog that I’ve written an article that contained a headline and/or passages that implied something different than what I intended to claim, and, when that happens, I make the appropriate edits to the blog post in question. Unlike Republicans and establishment Democrats, I learn from my mistakes.

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Wisconsin Republicans propose the dreaded Mary Burke Tax

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin state government has floated yet another ridiculously bad idea…a $25 fee on new bicycles, or, as I like to call it, the Mary Burke Tax. Burke is a former Trek Bicycles executive who ran a horrible campaign for Governor of Wisconsin in 2014, losing to Republican incumbent Scott Walker. This proposal, along with the repeal of the Wisconsin Complete Streets law, which requires bicycle and pedestrian uses to be factored into transportation projects in Wisconsin, is part of a political war on cycling in Wisconsin.

More than anything else, this is clearly the Republicans’ way of getting political payback at Burke for running against Walker. After all, the Republicans usually don’t support anything that could even be remotely interpreted as raising taxes….except, of course, if the new tax or tax increase primarily affects Democrats, liberals, progressives, environmentally-conscious people, women, minorities, businesses they don’t like, and/or the poor.

While I’ve not seen Republicans in Wisconsin use this talking point, at least one Republican in the State of Washington tried to claim that, because people breathe out carbon dioxide, bicyclists cause more pollution than people using other forms of transportation, while trying to defend a proposed bicycle tax in Washington state. That’s a false argument, since it doesn’t factor in the fact that plants breathe in carbon dioxide as part of the carbon cycle.

While I’ve not been on a bicycle since I was five or six years old, and I’m too clumsy to ride a bicycle because I have Asperger’s syndrome, waging a political war on cycling will lead to more pollution and more traffic crashes involving bicyclists, something that Wisconsin, Washington state, and the rest of this country simply can’t afford. Should state governments need to fill transportation budget deficits, I recommend enacting taxes on automobiles that get very poor gas mileage and taxes on gasoline-powered automobiles (i.e., automobiles that are not electric or hybrid) worth more than $50,000, if a particular state doesn’t already collect such taxes.

Bruce Rauner and his allies raided Illinois transportation funds

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of this blog post has no intention whatsoever of running against Republican Illinois State Representative Chad Hays and is not in any way affiliated with Better Roads Ahead.

My governor and state representative, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) and State Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin, IL), helped raid hundreds of millions of dollars from funds collected from state gasoline taxes, which are supposed to be used to pay for road construction and maintenance. In typical Illinois fashion, Rauner, Hays, and their ilk decided to use the money for other purposes.

A political front group called Better Roads Ahead, an organization that supports repairing and replacing Illinois’s structurally deficient bridges, sent my household this mailer attacking Rauner and Hays for putting the lives of Illinoisans at risk:

Better Roads Ahead Flyer - Front
Better Roads Ahead Flyer – Front
Better Roads Ahead Flyer - Back
Better Roads Ahead Flyer – Back

To give readers of this blog post a general idea of how terrible the condition of our nation’s infrastructure is, I strongly recommend reading and viewing this 60 Minutes feature about our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. You’d be absolutely shocked at how terrible the condition of our nation’s roads, railroads, and bridges are.

I find it highly disgusting that Rauner, Hays, and their ilk would use taxpayer money collected from state gasoline taxes, which are supposed to be used to fund road construction and maintenance here in Illinois, and use the money for other purposes. I would only support raiding transportation funds and using them for other purposes if our state’s politicians literally had no other option available to them to balance the state budget. The actions of our state’s politicians could result in bridge collapses that could kill tens of people. After all, if it happened in Minnesota, it could certainly happen here in Illinois.

To put it mildly, Illinoisans simply cannot afford the Rahm-Rauner-Hays corporate agenda, especially when it comes to transportation.