Saturday, June 27, 2015

State Rep. Andy Jorgensen helps break down how screwed up things are

Here's a really good and wide-ranging interview between radio host John "Sly" Sylvester and State Rep. Andy Jorgensen (who's great and deserves an even more prominent role that he has). It starts with Jorgensen talking about the recent meeting he had in Gov Walker's office to go over state budget issues and seeing what the Dems could get in return for some concessions or support for some of the Governor's initiatives. This caused some headlines this week when Jorgensen claimed the Governor needed Dem votes outside of the City of Milwaukee on the Bucks arena, which Scotty's office tried to weasel out of admitting.

3:20 Jorgensen says Walker did not have a formal Bucks bill or plan written down on paper, which Jorgensen found to be "very unusual," and that the details on the Bucks bill are still being worked out in the GOP caucus. Later on (around 7:00), Jorgensen says Walker doesn't care whether the Bucks arena bill is or is not in the budget, just that it gets done. This prompts Sly to remind Jorgensen about the bitter fight 20 years ago regarding the Miller Park funding for the Brewers, and that former Gov Tommy Thompson was so angry about what he felt was deception by Bud Selig about the Brewers' situation that Tommy has never stepped foot in Miller Park as a result!

10:00 Sly brings up the interesting sidelight that there was a Journal-Sentinel report indicating the Bucks arena wouldn't even be multi-purpose, and that the Admirals (or any future NHL team) wouldn't even play there.

11:30 Jorgensen says Walker told him that the I-39/90 expansion south of Madison and the Zoo Interchange are "on the same plane," but that "delays are inevitable.", If that's true, then why is Walker also saying he'll defer to the DOT's plans where the Zoo Interchange is not part of any cut, while the I-39/90 expansion, which the Legislative Fiscal Bureau says will be delayed if the amount of spending is reduced... which would have to happen if borrowing is reduced because Walker is insistent on not raising taxes or registration fees to fund transportation. So our Governor is either disconnected from reality, or he lied to Jorgensen's face about the two projects being equal priorities.

15:45 Jorgensen says Walker stated there was a "long list" of vetoes he is considering (not gonna do it, just gonna think about it), and then Walker seems to equate the skill of teaching is no different than someone explaining what they do to their kids on career day. And you wonder why Gov Dropout sucked at school?

20:00 Jorgensen relays the story of State Rep. Mary Czaja telling her constituents up North that her bill to reduce teacher licensing standards came from "leadership." This leads to some very interesting talk about how things work inside the party caucuses on how much influence the leadership gets over individual members on votes.

23:00 Some damning statements on how the is really working in the Capitol, including Sly charging that Robbin' Vos tells legislators how to vote, and shakes down both legislators and lobbyists for money and "controls everything." And Jorgensen notably doesn't deny it when Sly calls former State Rep. Michelle Litjens is Vos's girlfriend and has undue influence inside the Capitol (she certainly gets a lot of attention for being a one-term state legislator and current "self-employed lobbyist.") Around 27:00 Sly adds that "a lot of people don't like Speaker Vos," due to his bullying and crookedness, including many Republicans.

Around 28:20 begins some tough talk from Sly where he mentions that Dems ran both houses of the Legislature after the 2008 elections and didn't use that opportunity to pass non-partisan redistricting, anti-corruption measures, and other moves that would have pre-empted many of the abuses of power we've seen from WisGOP over these last 4 1/2 years. He then follows up by asking Rep. Jorgensen why Dems aren't being harsher on the failings of WEDC, as he worries that not enough people know just how crooked WEDC is, and that they don't realize how many millions of taxpayer dollars have been pissed away on this slush fund. It culminates around 34:15 where Sly says "What business would run themselves like this without going to jail?"

At the end around 38:00- Jorgensen says to watch for the Omnibus motion at the end of the Joint Finance Committee's last budget meeting (whenever that is), as it will feature plenty of "surprises", and not in a good way. And once that ends, the two houses of the Legislature will try to jam through the budget bill at "lightning speed."

It's well worth the listen, and it shows that despite the fiscal year ending on Tuesday, this budget has a whole lot of remaining questions left in it. Which demands that we raise, and not lower our vigilance as we wait for decisions to be made and policies to be put in place.

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