Monday, January 9, 2012

Wanny Still Running At The Mouth...Still Not Telling The Truth

Aided by a compliant press (looking at you, Journal Times) who behave as if there are no other elected officials who represent the people of Racine besides Van Wanggaard and Robin Vos (as Randolph Brandt so blisteringly reminded the public this morning that both gentlemen represent little and none of Racine - by design - any longer). Wanny got himself another 700 word spot in Sunday's JT. 


The Siren has had a few laughs including Van's "notes" to each of his submissions to the press...it's fascinating to dissect the selective statistics, half-truth's and flat-out lies guys like Van tell. In yesterday's commentary, Wanny basically repeats his same dumb talking points as if repetition makes it all come true. So let's play a game of true, false or weasel (a statement that combines an element of truth used to make a false statement seem true)...


One year ago, I took office with one goal in mind — getting Racine back to work. True and False. True: One year ago Van did take office. False: He did not get Racine back to work. Racine remains #1 in unemployment in a state that ranks last in job creation. 
I campaigned on that issue and, a year later, that is still the No. 1 issue in Racine County. That’s why I have authored or co-sponsored over two dozen bills designed to get our economy moving again, and get people back to work. Weasel and Weasel. Weasel: Wanny campaigned more specifically on not raising taxes and cutting spending overall...which he said would create jobs. It is still the #1 issue because it is still our #1 problem. Weasel: Van has co-sponsored a bunch of bills...but they were designed to give money, incentives and tax breaks for big business owners while he cut services and raised taxes on working class people and the poor who are still not back to work. 
Wisconsin’s economy didn’t run aground overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight. True. 
Job creators must conclude that Wisconsin is a place they want to do business — and we’re making progress in that area. You’ve already heard about Wisconsin moving up 17 spots in CEO Magazine’s ranking of business-friendly states. You may have heard that this fall, 88 percent of business leaders say Wisconsin is on the right track (last year, it was only 10 percent). Weasel Deluxe! Wanny gets extra points here. Statements of truth: Businesses should want to do business here and the surveys he mentions are indeed true - but he hedges with the details and that's where the big fat weasels deluxe are found. Weasel: CEO Magazine did move Wisconsin up - great news - CEO Magazine is a vanity magazine for business CEO's that publishes their "magazine" 4 times a year. Not exactly Business Week. Deluxe: One of their main reason's for moving Wisconsin up in ranking was our highly educated and well trained workforce. Something Wanggaard spent a lot of time over the last year destroying and marginalized. 
Now the second survey is a beautiful: Weasel: Did you hear in an unnamed survey of 88% business leaders said Wisconsin is on the right track? Wow! Deluxe: The survey was conducted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce - who spent nearly $1,000,000 to elect Walker and are the biggest recipients of Wanggaard's tax breaks...no wonder Wanny didn't mention them by name. WMC also said in the same survey business owners expect to add less jobs than in the previous survey and more expect to shed more jobs. Ouch.
A local Chambers of Commerce survey last month shows faith in Wisconsin’s economic future. In 2010, 74 percent of local Chambers of Commerce thought Wisconsin was on the wrong track. In 2011, 74 percent say Wisconsin is on the right track — a complete reversal. Progress is slow, but it is steady. Weasel Deluxe with a twist. Weasel: The "local" Chamber of Commerce is RAMAC. Now they don't go by the name "Chamber of Commerce" nor are they a part of the national Chamber of Commerce or Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. Their 2011 survey saw moderate optimism in their future. Good. Deluxe: The reason Van misidentifies RAMAC is because the second statement that 74 percent of Chambers are once again from WMC...in fact he takes it almost word for word from their press release. Again, this is an organization in which nearly every member of their Board of Directors personally gave campaign contributions to Scott Walker - BIG contributions. Van wants you to believe that little town business groups like RAMAC are strongly behind him and his boss, so he juxtaposes two different results from two very different groups and tries to make readers believe they are connected. Bad form. Progress is just slow Van, very slow.    
Slow, steady progress will eventually turn things around, but the 21st Senate District can’t wait for “eventually.” Our unemployment rate has been too high for too long. Very, very true. Which 21st Senate District do you suppose he is reffering to? His new one or his old one?
As I’ve met with job creators around the district, common themes have developed as obstacles to growth — burdensome Wisconsin-only laws and regulations, lack of capital and a lack of skilled workers. Who knows? A completely anecdotal statement. However, if Van had actually read the WMC survey he cherry-picked from he would have discovered that Wisconsin businesses are spending less time and money to train their own employees:

Perhaps that is a job best left to the technical college system? If so, then is was less than wise to cut their funding by more than 30% wasn't it Van? 
We tackled regulatory reform in one of our first bills of 2011. My health care tax cut (2011 Act 49) is one example of fixing a situation that makes Wisconsin a difficult place to hire workers, and efforts to streamline Wisconsin’s mining laws are another. This is a doozy. True, false and wtf? True: Yes they did tackle regulation reform. "Reforming" the ability of independent government agencies to set their own standards and rules and placing them under the single veto power of the Governor. That is a "reform" but not in a good way. 
False: This is a dumb false statement because this was one bill in which Van had general support. Act 49 allowed people who had older children - who were no longer dependents - on their health insurance plans (which became possible through evil Obamacare) to not have to pay income tax on the additional coverage their non-dependent children qualified for. Maybe because this bill was designed to compliment the new federal law, Van needs to lie about what it did. Weird. In a rare opportunity to boast, he buries it in cat litter. 
WTF? After today's articles about how the new mining legislation will cost taxpayers millions because legislators like Van wrote in expense caps for mining companies, does anyone actually believe the mining law is streamlined for anyone's benefit beside the CEO's of the mine?   
As other issues surface, we will confront them as well. As will we...
For the coming spring legislative session, I am focusing my efforts on the other two major impediments — lack of capital and skilled workers. Suggestion: Since you received thousands of campaign contribution dollars from the folks at M&I and Johnson Banks, you might want to start there. Also, since your job creators don't want to spring to actually train workers anymore howabout you give Gateway and the other state technical colleges back all the funding you guys took from them so people can actually afford to go and get trained.  
A group of legislators is working on one area of this need — venture capital. In addition, I have authored a bill which offers a new model of capital investment. The Next Generation Jobs Bill takes the growth in the payroll tax from the bioscience industry and reinvests those funds in the bioscience industry. If this bill does what we think it will do, I’m confident we’ll copy this model for other sectors of the economy, too. Oh Van, this one again? Gambling with public revenue is more than risky...especially when those businesses get to keep the profits and don't even have to put up any of their own capital. Maybe you should put Tim Russell in charge of it...at least one taxpayer will get rich. 
I’ve also offered a bill allowing tax credits to be transferred between companies. An unused tax credit doesn’t grow the economy, and prevents other credits from being used. What could possibly go wrong here? OMG.
Connecting skilled workers with job openings is a multipart problem. At times, there may be workers and employers, but they aren’t finding each other. Other times, a particular skill set is missing, causing job creators to look elsewhere. I’ve drafted two bills specifically addressing this need. My first bill offers voluntary training to unemployed individuals with prospective employers. In exchange for this training, workers receive an additional stipend. Employers benefit by reaching a pool of potential workers. This proposal is a win-win. Retread from previous commentaries. False, this is not a win-win. Temporary work with no benefits and no rights is not appropriate answer to chronic unemployment and is only a win for employers. Giving away more public revenue to corporations for a less than permatemp-indentured-servant program is a lousy idea.
Another proposal is the technical education high school diploma. Because a four-year college isn’t for everyone, this bill gives students the chance to earn a diploma in technical skill, such as nursing, welding or carpentry — areas of need in our economy. This diploma will provide students with needed skills, and get skilled workers into the workforce quickly. False. Vocational diplomas do not prevent high school drop-outs...they proved it 20 years ago when this idea was last trotted out. Vocational diplomas are championed by students who already know what they want to do. These students don't drop out in the first place. Vocational diplomas are also not generally accepted by colleges as they indicate a course of study that is not well rounded. They do however create a second-class of student workers limited by a life-decision they made when they were 15 years old. 
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again — getting Wisconsin’s economy moving again isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s a Wisconsin issue. Political games and “gotcha” votes may get all the headlines from Madison, but I truly believe that people in both parties recognize this. True and true. People in both parties understand Van Wanggaard voted with his Republican friends 100% of the time.
Every bill I’ve authored this session has earned bipartisan support, including those mentioned here. In fact, despite the rhetoric and hyperbole you hear, 93 percent of all bills passed have had bipartisan support. And the reason is simple — getting Wisconsin’s economy back on track is going to take everyone working together. True, true and true. It is the other 7% that has compelled residents of the 21st Senate to insist on recalling Wanggaard from office. They are indeed working on it together.
State Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, represents the 21st Senate District.