Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Same Ole Song

By Jeff Simpson

The Madison School District passed its $433.6 Million annual budget with a 4.47% hike in the levy

In two separate votes, the board passed the budget and tax levy 6-1, with member Mary Burke casting the no votes.

The $433.6 million budget includes a $260.4 million tax levy. The levy means homeowners will pay $12.03 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 51 cents from last year. That translates to a $119 increase over last year on the average $231,000 Madison home.

The 4.47 percent increase over last year’s $249.3 million levy is smaller than what district officials originally expected to seek from the school board. After losing $8.8 million in general state aid, the levy was expected to increase 7.38 percent according to Mike Barry, assistant superintendent for business services.
The Madison School District had to pass a tax hike levy to replace SOME of the money that Scott Walker and the republicans stole from the public education funds and Mary Burke said NO.  
It is not like it is an extravagant budget as the  teaches are only budgets a 1% pay raise.  After being frozen and forced pay cuts the last few years, along with the rising costs of living, it is hardly something that is out of the ordinary.   In Monona Grove, we gave our teachers the maximum amount allowed by Scott Walker's law (This year 2.07%).    

Then after mary Burke was the lone dissenting voice, she went into witness protection and issued NO statements whatsoever on her vote or feelings about the budget.  

That is a sure fire winner in a statewide election, vote to cut teacher pay then go into hiding as far away from the people of Wisconsin as you can. 

Can we please put an end to the Mary Burke for Governor talk? We saw what happened in the recall election when we had an anti labor candidate running against anti labor Scott Walker.    


  1. Thank you, and the fact that Burke is allegedly trying to push other candidates like Vinehout and Harris out of the race is not a good sign either, as it shows she isn't confident in being able to survive the comparison.

    WE will decide the candidate, and by proxy, the positions that candidate backs. Mike Tate's slide rule won't make that all, and neither will the backroom dealers.

    1. Allegedly, heh? The more I read what the citizen-led changes to re-districting and primaries is accomplishing in California, the more I think Wisconsin should adopt a similar model. Both sides of the aisle would benefit and especially the entire citizenry - not simply segments. But in the case of state Democrats, we might actually produce a candidate for governor who can, you know, win.

  2. And don't you just love how some in the media are making it sound like Walker and his troops are afraid of Mary Burke? I really like the thought of Vinehout. Down to earth, working class background, honest, and forthright.

  3. I will not work for the Democratic party if they choose to give this woman support, because the Democratic party will not be representing my interests. I want to see a TRUE PROGESSIVE. Feingold better run, or he will be running for Senate in a bama-nation. This state is in critical condition and if we don't get REAL BIG LEADERSHIP, we will need life support to live like most RED STATES in the South.

    1. How would you know the party won't be representing your interests? Burke's not begun to campaign - isn't that sort of like stating you won't see a movie because you heard the trailer wasn't very good? And who the hell do you think you are? Should a candidate only represent your own personal interests? Better get your sloppy, selfish thinking together or Walker will easily win.

  4. Here in a nutshell is why despite growing unpopularity, corruption, and failure, Walker may still skate to re-election. Getting Wisconsin Democrats to think strategically and behave wisely is very nearly hopeless. It's why Walker got to the Governor's office in the first place, really. So Burke votes against a property tax increase as she's about to announce a run for Governor. Well, of course. Duh. And screw you, just screw you for deciding that another $119 on top of a huge property tax bill for what in Madison is a very modest house would be no big deal. Property taxes are terribly high in Madison, a huge burden on a family of regular income, and the city is hard-pressed to expand its tax base surrounded by Middleton et al. Many of us work huge hours, under difficult conditions, making life sacrifices along the way and we're also going to get a 1 percent increase if we're fortunate. That doesn't make it right but it does suggest that true progress will be found in growing the pie for everyone and not just a couple of the Democrats traditional groups. It's the height of immaturity to write off Burke before she starts campaigning - let's hear her ideas first. It's suicidal to discount the importance of building a war chest to win back the Governor's Office. Independents are needed to win and this will require money above all else - yes, above all else. Harris can probably fundraise given his past. Can Vinehout? We'll see.

  5. Where in the world did I say that the property tax increase was ok? I said its NECESSARY! Schools do not run themselves.

    Yes if we have a candidate who does not understand that schools are an INVESTMENT then i am not much interested in anything else that they have to say.

    By the way, this is not a property tax increase as I also pointed out in the story -

    he Madison School District had to pass a tax hike levy to replace SOME of the money that Scott Walker and the republicans stole from the public education funds

    If you look at it like its a tax hike then we lose....if you get across the point that this governor has STOLEN money from our children to fund his donors in the most right wing radical budget in history, it makes a difference.

    Its a different more accurate perspective.

    1. What Walker did, what schools and our kids deserve is all a separate issue and not what her vote represents - it represents political astuteness. You'll get your answers to what she believes about education when she really begins to campaign and if not, then just ask her or her team after she announces. Guessing about what she believes is pretty unhelpful. Here's what you wrote: "The $433.6 million budget includes a $260.4 million tax levy. The levy means homeowners will pay $12.03 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 51 cents from last year. That translates to a $119 increase over last year on the average $231,000 Madison home." I'm reading this as an increase in tax on my property for the year. Am I wrong? Of course Walker has made irresponsible cuts to education. It's harmful and it's dangerous to our state's future. How is the answer tearing down what might be the most viable candidate to beat him before she's even begun going to solve anything? Let's hear what she has to say first. Let's see how independents and centrists respond. Let's evaluate her against the other candidates on all aspects - fundraising or size of the war chest being a critical factor - and then by all means have a go if you feel she comes up short. Your perspective right now is just emotional.

  6. Her vote represents political astuteness ---to party insiders and consultants maybe. The same way the vote for AB110 did. Both were wrong and both need to be answered for.

    Every story written about her contains no quotes from her and talks of her meetings with party insiders.

    So Peter Barca approves....whoop de doo. How successful has barca been?

    I am trying to avpoid another disaster candidate, the likes of which we saw in the recall.

    Its not emotional it comes from paying attention.

    also its not a seperate issue its one of the top 2-3 issues!

    1. But political astuteness wins elections - over and over again. Great to be idealistic but our state is under attack, so how about being strategic? No story written about her yet will contain quotes. Her entry into the race will be carefully managed and scripted with so much at stake. You can't complain about how poorly Democratic strategy has been done in the past (and you have, I'm a faithful reader) and then complain when someone is making the smart moves to fight an all out war. I agree that Barrett was a disaster - he had already been beaten by Walker (as had his campaign staff), he's in charge of a crumbling city, and he's a good man but anemic campaigner. He was also hurt by the unions themselves who turned off many voters with their poor messaging and the ease with which Walker could typecast them as villains to centrists and independents. A candidate from prosperous and growing NE Wisconsin, with more presence(or at least more apparent drive and focus), with no history versus Walker, limited union ties, and centrist positions could have won. Hmmmm. I'm prepared to listen to Burke, Harris (who I'm very interested in hearing more from) and Vinehout first and then decide versus the other way around. I just hope Progressives can get a grip, wait, and listen - really listen - to all the candidates after they announce and in the end unite behind a candidate who can win. Progressives will really only move the dial by putting more Progressives in the legislature, moving the discourse over time, and then a Progressive will have a snowball's chance of winning state-wide. Won't happen in time for this next election.

  7. *political astuteness wins elections - agreed how have we done lately? 2012 we had 200,000 more votes and lost more seats. Its not working.

    * Democratic strategy has been done in the past (and you have, I'm a faithful reader) and then complain when someone is making the smart moves to fight an all out war. --- see that is it. I dont see us making the smart moves for the all out war. I see us doing more of the same of what we did the last two elections.

    * he's a good man but anemic campaigner. -- so how is mary burke staying away from grassroots and only doing party insider meetings making her a real campaigner?

    * limited union ties --- if we run an anti labor candidate again we will lose again. Plain and simple.

    The way to move the dial is to get a progressive message out statewide. Ask Tammy Baldwin. The silliness of not having a candidate now, and the pushing of anti labor candidates as legit are sure recipes for disaster. @014 is too important to listen to the party insiders and pollsters, time to engaged the elctorate for a change!

    1. On political astuteness - I would say lack there of was on clear display nationally in 2012. In our state, Baldwin ran a smart campaign and came out ahead. So far Mary Burke is wisely not saying anything until she announces. Why give Walker's people something to attack right now?

      DPW's approach seems completely different, already. They seem very focused on encouraging a candidate or candidates who possess or can raise the money to win. Without a war chest, you can't message out to Independents and most Centrists and simply can't win. It sucks, yes, but it is the reality.

      Burke is quite clearly building her platform and plan. When she announces, doubtless she'll make herself available as that's what candidates do after they announce. I generally like your blog entries, but quite frankly, today your entry smacks of a whining 2-year old demanding to have his ice cream before dinner. I'd expect this sort of thing from that horrible Blaska or the creature Widgerson (albeit on issues they care about on their side). But you too? Maybe Mary Burke running for governor just ain't about you.

      Run an openly pro-labor candidate and game over. Sorry, I'm pro-labor too and I hate what's happened. But Walker's strategy was flawless and now Wisconsin's Independent and Centrist voters will punish such a candidate in the general election. Tammy Baldwin played all sides beautifully (talk about political astuteness) by building a broad coalition, casting herself as more of a centrist, and picking issues to champion that most everyone can get behind now that she's in office. Ever read the Harry Potter series? Greatest line from the series is, "The world is not split into good people and Death Eaters." If we truly want to see a worker resurgence and shrink income inequality in our state we must be more subtle, find middle ground, and not cast the election in pro- and anti- terms. Fail to do that and WI's electorate at this point in time will only perceive a choice between two evils. And they will vote for the devil they already know. Sorry - I like your posts generally. I think today's was terribly myopic and misguided.