Monday, October 24th, 2016

Why Republicans drive me crazy


Yesterday we learned Congressman Mark Green, Republican candidate for governor, flubbed the gas tax question.

While Green would not state flatly whether he would raise transportation-related taxes or fees if elected, he indicated a reluctance to raise the taxes. “Any tax increase is the last thing to look at,” he said.

Look, if you’re a Republican candidate for anything and the reporter calls and asks, “Do you think this tax might need to go up?” just say no. When they ask about some committee in the state legislature studying increasing taxes to pay off the road builders, you just say no.

No, no, no, no.

It isn’t that hard.

People ask why I’m supporting Chris Lufter for state assembly in Waukesha when the Republican establishment is against her. That’s a reason to support Chris.

Because if you were to ask Chris Lufter one hundred times what her view is on raising taxes, she would tell you 100 times she will not vote to raise taxes. No nuance, no waiting to see what a committee thinks, no waiting to hear from a favorite lobbyist, the answer is no. And if you ask her to play shell games with different taxes, she won’t do that either. I think you could threaten to drown her in ethanol and she won’t support raising taxes (she’s opposed to the ethanol mandate, too).

Her opponent is Waukesha County Supervisor Bill Kramer. He’s a nice guy and he reads my blog. You know he’s a nice guy because I haven’t made any Seinfeldian Cosmo Kramer jokes about him.

However, County Supervisor Bill Kramer has a record of supporting county budgets that raise taxes. I’ve seen it, and I’m sure the Democrats have seen it. And if we send him to Madison, I’m really afraid he’s going to be another one of those guys that complain when he gets attacked by talk radio for being wishy-washy on the issues. And if you think I’m being hard on him, here is what he said March 27th about reducing the size of the Waukesha County Board:

Kramer said the board was told to downsize for efficiency and we need to be more efficient because we cancelled 28 meetings. Why is canceling meetings a sign of inefficiency? He heard a radio host talking about reducing the county board and staff but he doesn’t see that in the ordinance. The media talks about getting rid of internal audit or moving it to the county executive’s office. Do you want the auditor auditing itself? He’s been in favor of reducing the board since he first ran for office. He finds it odd that here is a situation where you have people you agree with calling you names and putting you in a situation you can’t win. No matter which way he votes, he will lose. The board won’t win by reducing. If he votes to reduce the board to whatever number, he will be called names. The media says he gets benefits. He can get health insurance from the county at 100% of the cost or $430 per month versus the $88 he pays on his own. He has the benefit of being in the state retirement system but it will take 15 years to vest. He makes $8.77 per hour for this job and he does it to be called names and a liar. Maybe we aren’t the smartest people in the county if we are stupid enough to do this job.

What’s even funnier he’s now claiming he led on the issue. Do you really believe if he “led” on the issue, the mercurial County Supervisor Walter Kolb would be supporting Kramer? Kramer’s leadership on the issue: Number of petition signatures gathered, 0. Number of speeches in support, 0. Number of op-ed pieces written in support, 0.

What’s even more amazing to me is how little Republican party members have learned from past campaigns. The playbook for the Democrats is the same: claim they will hold the line on taxes and blast the Republicans for any tax increases they may have voted for. Brian Manthey did it to Mary Lazich (who escaped thanks to Charlie Sykes), Jim Doyle did it to Scott McCallum and here in Waukesha Larry Nelson did it to Ann Nischke, whose embarrassing loss in the mayor’s race is a perfect example of what could happen if County Supervisor Bill Kramer is nominated.

Fortunately, I don’t believe that’s going to happen. I’ve seen the party favorite lose before (Kent Woods, Scott Allen). I’ve been hearing positive news about Chris Lufter’s campaign everywhere I go. Unlike her opponent, Lufter has high name recognition throughout the district, and among Republican voters it’s mostly positive. She is the only candidate with a proven track record of fighting higher taxes. She has elective office experience and experience working as volunteer leader for conservative causes.

I admit I’m partisan. But if we had a Republican Party worth anything, they would’ve been recruiting Chris Lufter to run for state assembly instead of working against her.

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