Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Owen’s a self-described "yahoo"

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But Owen Robinson notes how the party structure is keeping the pressure on GOP legislators to not support higher taxes, including a letter to State Rep. Al Ott asking him to withdraw his support for higher tobacco taxes.

This is a UNANIMOUS motion by the 6th District GOP Executive to essentially publicly censure one of their district’s elected representatives for advocating for tax increases. This is serious stuff. It’s one thing for some yahoo like me to hammer on Ott. But these are the people to whom Ott goes for money and organizational support when he campaigns.

Closer to home, the Waukesha Freeman praised State Rep. Bill Kramer for his continued stand against higher taxes in Saturday’s editorial “Laurels and Darts.”

LAUREL. To state Rep. Bill Kramer. Waukesha’s representative in the state Assembly might be The Lone Clapper once again. Republicans say they would compromise and agree to a $1.25-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes as part of budget negotiations. Kramer says he won’t go along with that. The reality is that in order to get some type of budget deal done, there will probably be some type of deal struck and a cigarette tax is seen as the easiest tax to raise. But we appreciate Kramer’s firm stand on principle. More than a dollar a pack is a huge increase, but it probably isn’t enough to make everyone quit. So the state will essentially be profiting from people smoking – the very thing the tobacco industry is vilified for doing. We don’t like smoking and we wish people would quit. But we don’t like the government gouging taxpayers – we wish the government could quit that habit.

Here’s my advice to liberal Democrats living in Waukesha who might be unhappy with Kramer’s bedrock stand on taxes. When you call him, try to be personally insulting. Try to get under his skin by interrupting him and not letting him get a word in edgewise. Then he’ll know just how seriously committed you are to higher spending.

(I suspect I might get an e-mail from Bill’s aide suggesting that this isn’t the kind of support they’re looking for. On the other hand, I’m guessing these are exactly the kind of calls he’s already receiving.)

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