Monday, October 31, 2011

Vos Sunday Commentary With Notes...

In Sunday's Racine Journal Times, Robin Vos submitted a masterpiece of double-speak that merits reprinting... albeit with a few notes from the Siren in red:

As we move through our second special session on jobs, (That actually contained only two bills that had anything to do with jobs and dozens that did not.) I frequently have to remind people that government doesn't create jobs; the private sector does. (Except for the 300,000 government employees - like me and my staff - in Wisconsin and tens of thousand contractors adjacently working with government.) That's why at the State Capitol this fall, we're focused on making a better business climate for the private sector. (Especially those who contributed to my campaign.) One essential part of that effort is to provide more litigation certainty for businesses. (And very uncertain for working people killed, injured or discriminated by businesses.) We need to make sure our job creators don't go out of business. (So they can keep the campaign contributions flowing.) We need them to create good-paying jobs. (Like the pennies I pay mentally-challenged adults at my popcorn business.) This fall there are several bills that address issues in the court room and directly impact businesses. (By several, I mean two and these aren't it.)

I'm sponsoring a piece of legislation in Gov. Scott Walker's Back to Work Wisconsin Special (Interest) Session. It sets factors for a judge to determine the reasonableness of attorney fees. Under the bill, attorney fees would have a recommended limit of three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in certain cases. (So they have zero motivation to take cases on behalf of working people going up against well-funded corporate lawyers who can string a case out for years.) (Jobs here?) 

There are numerous examples of where the attorney fees are off the charts. (And thousands where they collected nothing.) Earlier this year, a Janesville couple sued to have their car's transmission fixed (At a dealership who contributed to my campaigns.). The couple was awarded $17,000 in damages and $188,000 for the couple's attorney. (Because the car dealer refused to settle and was found responsible.) Another case in Waukesha County in 2010 dealt with a Mercedes-Benz owner who was looking for a refund for his car. The lawsuit resulted in $168,000 in damages to the car owner and $314,000 in legal fees to his attorney. In those two cases alone, that's a half a million dollars in attorney fees. (More campaign donors who strung the cases out, refused to settle and are so pissed they lost want to change the law so they won't get soaked again.) (Please explain how many jobs will be created by this bill?)

Another bill would improve the legal climate for job creators by changing the interest rate on judgments for the recovery of money in certain civil actions. The current rate is 12 percent, which is one of the highest in the country and was set in the 1979-1980 legislative session. The new annual rate would be 1 percent plus the prime rate starting on the day the judgment is entered. (Yes, the interest rate would drop for corporations and remain at 12% for working people who have to pay the same kind of judgement - 1% for corporations - 12% for you.) (Any jobs here? Anywhere?)

Legislation that's also moving forward is one that would allow people (Not people - CORPRATIONS) who sue the state to select where the case would be heard. (Called venue shopping, it's an ALEC favorite bill.) Current law requires all cases against the state to be heard in Dane County unless otherwise specified. It's unfair to ask individuals to travel to Dane County for a case that happened a hundred miles a way. (Naturally, they would prefer say, Waukesha County for example. This is written specifically for corporations not regular people to use the system and monetary resources to their favor.)

It's important to note that these bills are only part of our larger effort to improve our business climate. (Campaign contribution climate.) In the past two weeks, the Assembly approved the continuation of the Wisconsin Jobs Tax Credit, (Another tax cut for corporations.) one of state's most successful economic development tools as well as a number of transportation reforms to help businesses transport goods and services more effectively. (And lost 12,4000 jobs in September, 2011.)  That's in addition to what we accomplished during our first special session; (Massive over-reach, falling poll numbers and the loss of two Senate seats.) we created a tax deduction for small businesses for adding jobs and passed an incentive for new businesses to move to our state. (And slashed the income tax credit for poor people.) We also reorganized the former Commerce Department into a public-private entity to better market our state and promote business expansion. (And spent $60,000 on 71 iPads.) In order to give Wisconsin a competitive edge, we included a manufacturing tax credit in our budget for companies like Ruud Lighting and A&E Tools. (Who both contributed to my political campaigns.)

Our early efforts have paid off. (For me.) We're proving to the nation that Wisconsin is open for business. Wisconsin jumped 17 spots in CEO Magazine's list of business-friendly states. (A publication friendly to corporations with a survey conducted by WMC.)  There's renewed confidence with our job creators and in the first six months of the year, Wisconsin created jobs at nearly twice the rate of the nation. (Because of temporary low-wage summer jobs in the Dells, and then have fallen flat.) We all know there won't be a quick fix to revive our struggling economy but by making improvements to our business environment, we can provide a more solid foundation for our economy to grow and thrive for future generations to come. (BTW we are gonna come in at about half of the jobs we pledged to create...if we're lucky.)

State Rep. Robin Vos is a Republican from Rochester. (R-Koch, ALEC)