Monday, June 26, 2006

Green Weak on Signature Issue

A Journal-Sentinel article today demonstrates clearly just how wanting Mark Green's campaign is in the message department.

The whole article centers on how vague Green is regarding the state budget, which is at the heart of his campaign's focus on public revenue in Wisconsin. The only aspect of Green's plan that is defined, the article notes, is his pledge to not recommend any increase in taxes.

And...?

Of course, Green is still pushing for a constitutional amendment to restrict public revenue in the state, but -- as the article points out -- that measure couldn't even pass the Republican-controlled legislature this year. And while the governor can provide leadership and arm-twisting on such an issue, actually passing it is completely up to the state legislature.

Another undefined idea out of the Green camp includes further usurping local control by mandating that property tax levy increases don't surpass the rate of inflation plus population growth. A property tax cap was already signed into law by Doyle, but it seems likely Green's plan would be harsher for local communities by forcing them to include debt payments in the levy limits and not exempting the state technical colleges (these were the two major differences between Doyle's freeze and the one pushed by the GOP-controlled state legislature last summer).

Green and the state's Republican Party have been doing everything in their power to keep the conviction of Georgia Thompson on the front page, but that now desperate campaign is loosing steam as the prosecution chooses not to charge anyone else in the case.

What Green has been unable to do thus far is criticize Doyle and simultaneously demonstrate how choosing him as governor would better the state.

Meanwhile, press coverage around the state for Doyle over the past week has included positive columns and editorials on his health care initiative, BadgerCare Plus, (see here, here, and here) and embryonic stem cell research (see here).

And now today we have the biggest newspaper in the state opting to do an article on Green's signature issue and he comes up with vagueness and recycled (and rejected) proposals. This article in the JS was the definition of a media softball lob, and the Green Team swung and missed (and it's not the first strike).

It appears Green is still struggling with his message less than one week after the right-wing Wisconsin Policy Research Institute released the results of a survey that left much to be desired in the area of name recognition (only 45% knew him) and voter approval (only 26% support him).

And all this with the election clock ticking down at just over four months.

UPDATE: Xoff has more on the JS story.

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