Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

MacIver Tuesday

3

Another application for federal Race to the Top money, another humiliating defeat for Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, while the legislature worried about team logos, other states worried about how to improve their applications for the Race to the Top program and passed real reforms. Wisconsin’s application was rejected again. Instead of competing as a finalist, Wisconsin again finished in the bottom half.

When Wisconsin’s application was submitted a second time in June, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers announced, “We looked at comments from the reviewers of our first application, and we have focused our efforts on improving and building a stronger application. It is very gratifying to see the overwhelming support from the local school districts, school boards, administrators, and teachers in this effort.”

Maybe a little less consensus building and a little more leadership would have served the state better. When everybody’s happy it means nothing has changed.

Last week we were in the thick of the great train debate and I took on Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman’s ridiculous memo to the candidates for governor advising them to sell out their principles:

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman has offered an instructive “strategy memo” for political candidates for governor concerning high-speed rail. Bauman’s memo is directed at the two Republican candidates, which should be news in itself. One should expect a press release from the Neumann and Walker campaigns for governor, “Milwaukee Democrat predicts Republican win in November.”

Bauman’s memo offers advice to the two candidates to cynically campaign against high-speed rail but then become a high-speed rail supporter once in office. It’s meant in sarcasm but even the sarcasm is revealing.

The first piece of advice by Bauman is to continue campaigning against high speed rail. Apparently Bauman believes the Republican candidates are as cynical as he is. Bauman says they should avoid any mention of people who are unable to get around by car because of “disability, age or economic circumstances.”

Perhaps Bauman should avoid mentioning them, too. The high-speed rail line isn’t targeted for those people. As Bauman explained in a previous press release, “intercity rail passengers tend to be middle- and upper-middle class persons who vote, including campaign contributing business persons.” The expected $33 to $40 one-way fare will put it beyond those who are hampered from travel because of economic circumstances. For those that can’t contribute to Bauman’s campaign fund, there is always Greyhound.

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