Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WisGOP dysfunction on budget now complicated by unpopular Fox-con

Well, looks like the plans of Governor Scott Walker and Assembly Speaker Robbin’ Vos to slam through the Fox-con as fast as possible is hitting a bit of a roadblock. Jesse Opoien of the Capital Times reports today that Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald says perhaps the state should finish its work on the state budget (which is now 40 days overdue), before it gives away more money with the Fox-con.
Assembly Republican leaders said Wednesday they expect to vote next week to approve a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn, which plans to open a massive manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, told reporters it is "absolutely" his plan to delay action on the Foxconn bill until work on the state budget is complete. The two-year spending plan is now more than a month overdue.

"I'm not doing it just to do it," Fitzgerald said. "I think it's a necessity to try and get the state budget in a good place."
Molly Beck in the Wisconsin State Journal then went further into Fitzgerald’s statements to the press, where Fitzgerald said the Senate is being shut out of discussions about the Fox-con
Assembly members who are making changes to that package have not involved Senate Republicans, Fitzgerald said.

"It's not something we're working together on right now, that's for sure," he said, adding that the bill's passage "absolutely" could be delayed without the Senate's participation now. "It certainly creates a different process than otherwise we're typically used to working (with), especially on a bill this size."
Those amendments and other proposed modifications on the Fox-con haven’t come out yet, but the Senate and Assembly would eventually have to agree to all of the changes for the Foxconn package to pass.

Also telling in Opoien’s article is why Fitzgerald wants the budget cleared up first - because the Fox-con could prove too costly to fit under the 2017-19 budget. Fitz even reopened the possibility that the Senate would do its own budget bill without an agreement in place with the Assembly.
"We're getting closer, but I feel like I'm kind of negotiating with myself [on the budget] at this point, just trying to get the caucus to a position on (eliminating the) personal property tax, how much cash we should have in the balance after this budget is completed, some of the transportation projects that would have a direct effect on the level of bonding, and how all of this relates to Foxconn," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said he is hopeful the Joint Finance Committee will meet later this month. It would be a "last resort" for the Senate to take action on the budget on its own, but Fitzgerald said he wouldn't rule it out.
If the Senate did eventually say “screw you”, and go ahead with passing the budget on their own, it would likely differ from what the Assembly would come up with, leading to a Conference Committee, and even more delays.

With the budget, you’re seeing where the GOP’s promises to multiple puppetmasters are landing them in a pickle. The $239 million-a-year exemption for the personal property tax is something that the GOP promised for the oligarchs at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, but Fitzgerald and Gov Walker have previously ruled out tax increases to fix the roads because they don’t want to get on the wrong side of the Kochs and DC lobbyist Grover Norquist. But cutbacks on road projects will put the GOP on the bad side of the Road Builders, so instead the Senate GOP wanted to borrow into oblivion in their budget, which is something that the Vos and the rest of the Assembly GOP don’t want.

And some of those puppetmasters are clearly counting on the Fox-con as well, no matter what damage it does to the rest of the state. Look at what happened when Fitz decided to go on Mark Belling's radio show to explain himself this afternoon.

Followed very quickly by this.

Something really stinks with those 2 statements. That was clearly a hit job being carried out by Belling, and it makes me wonder who would hand out the "hell to pay" if WisGOP doesn't get the Fox-con into law by Labor Day. And which GOP donor/cronies/politicians stand to get massive kickbacks from the Fox-con? You know there are some of them, just who and why is what we need to find out.

It's not like Wisconsinites with real jobs and lives are falling for the Fox-con, as shown by these awful numbers from a PPP poll that was done last weekend.

Poll answers from Wisconsinites, August 2017
Fast-track Foxconn package? 24% yes, 69% no
Change enviro protections for Foxconn? 25-68
Do you believe Walker’s claim that environment will be protected? 33-57

In addition to Wisconsinites’ desire to go “slow and smart” on the Fox-con, the budget mess and the arrogance and cynicism of the WisGOPs in charge seems to be ticking off an increasing number of people.

Do you approve of Wis Legislature? 33% yes, 51% no
Do you approve of Gov Walker’s performance? 41% yes, 53% no

I guess that explains why Scotty Walker and Scotty Fitzgerald and other right-wingers are going into the cocoon of right-wing GOPper-ganda in the last few days to try to hang on to the dwindling amount of supporters that the Fox-con has. They always do this when they can't win the argument on merit.

Regardless of the wants to Walker and Robbin' Vos, the dual messes of the state budget and the Fox-con don’t look like they will be resolved any time soon. Even while Assembly leaders planned a full floor vote for next week, a committee meeting that was supposed to happen tomorrow has been pushed back to next week to look at more ways the Fox-con can be made more palatable. On the other side, the state’s Joint Finance Committee hasn’t met to discuss the budget for over a month, and no meetings seem to be slated for next week.

Maybe these WisGOP “leaders” need to head to the sidelines for a while and maybe we should put some people in charge that actually will deal with the needs of the real world, and not wreck the state’s finances through giveaways to donors and other selfish interests. Just a thought.

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