Friday, April 28, 2006

Pandering to Nobody

A few quick thoughts on the big news of the day, which is that the state Assembly passed an amendment capping state revenue at the wee hours of the morning today (4:37 am, to be exact).

One, although local governments are technically excluded from the caps, I wrote yesterday about how in practice under this amendment they would be impacted.

Two, I think the likelihood of this amendment getting through the state Senate is very much in doubt. If we can take Senators Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Ron Brown (R-Eau Claire) at their words from just last week, they won’t approve of writing any sort of fiscal policy into the state constitution. Assuming they still feel that way, it would only take one more Republican defector to tank the amendment in the Senate.

Three, to be quite honest, I’m trying to figure out exactly why this amendment passed the Assembly. Those on the far fiscal right, whose idea it was to have an amendment in the first place, aren’t even happy with it.

Diehard TABOR proponents Rep. Alan Lasee (R-Bellevue) and Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), along with seven other Republicans, didn’t even vote for it. And the megaphones on the far fiscal right I’m sure will not like it. Owen at Boots and Sabers, who has made getting fiscal policy written into the constitution a mission, calls this amendment a "disaster." I can only imagine what Belling is going to call it.

So why did it pass? I guess the only reasonable explanation is to have a gimmick to talk about during the election season this fall.

But how successful of a gimmick could it be when those who really wanted to see an amendment passed can’t even stand the one that did?


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