Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What Local Officials Are Really Saying About the Revenue Amendment

An article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the negative local government reaction to the proposed constitutional amendment to restrict public revenue in Wisconsin is not surprising.

It is not surprising because numerous local officials and the organizations that represent them have released press statements denouncing the amendment since it was announced less than two months ago.

What is surprising is that some amendment proponents are actually trying to make it out like local officials support this amendment.

A recent press release by the corporate special interest and pro-amendment group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce was titled: "People Are Talking About the Wisconsin Taxpayer Protection Amendment...And They Are Saying Good Things."

The release provides statements of support from a total of six local leaders (one retired): New Berlin School Board member Art Marquardt, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas, Superior City Council vice president Kevin Norbie, former Antigo Mayor Michael Monson, and Monona City Council member Lisa Nelson.

This display of six local leaders by the WMC can hardly hold a torch to the 64 municipal officials and 45 county officials who have signed formal statements opposing the amendment, plus the opposition by the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and the Wisconsin County Executives and Administrators Association. And this doesn't even include the many more who have spoken out against the amendment in newspaper articles like the one in the JS today.

There is no doubt local officials are talking about the revenue amendment--what they're saying, however, is anything but good.


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