Friday, October 12, 2007

The Fight for the Few

It's looking like Speaker Huebsch probably has the votes he needs in the Assembly to shoot down the compromise budget bill, but I'm sure the governor's office is going to be leaning pretty heavily on some Assembly Republicans over the next few days.

The Daily Cardinal highlights Rep. J.A. Hines (R-Oxford) and Rep. Brett Davis (R-Oregon) as two possible GOP votes for the compromise budget, although it seems likely that the Dems will lose at least one vote in Bob Ziegelbauer (D-Manitowoc). Sheldon Wasserman (D-Milwaukee) is the other Dem who signed a no-tax increase pledge, but he has already indicated a willingness to at least vote for the cigarette tax.

That means the governor would still need to flip 1-2 more Republican votes in addition to Hines and Davis, if those two are, in fact, flippable themselves.

Importantly for the governor, the compromise bill is getting some positive press around the state. By rejecting it, the Assembly Republicans risk getting viewed as obstructionists. To counteract that view, the GOP will scream "taxes!" as loud as possible, and the Dems will counter with the other side of the equation -- i.e., what those taxes will fund -- and the fact that not all taxes are created equal in the public eye.

To be sure, increasing the cigarette tax and imposing a hospital assessment to leverage more federal dollars for Medicaid just isn't the same -- for most people, anyway -- as boosting the income tax or the general sales tax.

At the end of the day, if the compromise bill does go down in the Assembly, it's surely going to energize the fiscal conservative base that'll show up for the Americans for Prosperity rally at the Capitol on Wednesday.

But I'm just not so sure the general public is going to look at it with as much excitement and adoration.



Blogger Al said...

A few thoughts:

-Brian Fraley, in the comments at the Capital Times, thinks Musser might do it as well.

-What if Musser, Davis, and Hines all voted yes, but Ziegelbauer voted no, making him the deciding vote against it?

-For whatever it's worth, here are the GOP people who voted no for all versions of TABOR last year and are still in the Assembly: Ballweg, Nerison, Ott, Petrowski. Interestingly, Ballweg, Ott, and Petrowski are in fairly conservative districts, and they might almost be hurt more by supporting Doyle's budget. If I had to pick four to watch, my money would be on Davis, Hines, Musser, and Nerison. I would throw Moulton in as a wild card as well, simply because his district is trending so Democratic, and Murtha, because UW-Stout is in his district and it's also trending somewhat Dem.

October 12, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

Thanks for your comment, Al. I've been thinking about the TABOR connection, myself, so I appreciate you bringing that up.

I think it's safe to say all of those legislators you mention will have an interesting next few days.

October 12, 2007  

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