I apologize to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel political writers, Mr. Joel Stein and Mr. Patrick Marley, for being so tardy in making this post. I have been critical of them for ignoring two of the candidates in the Democratic primary for governor in a number of their posts (my post one and two). But on April 22, 2012, they published another article in their series on the gubernatorial recall race about the candidates positions on restoring budget cuts made by Governor Walker. So to be fair, I feel I should discuss their efforts!
This time they included a more significant mention of Senator Kathleen Vinehout’s position and a brief mention of the alternate budget that she proposed in 2011 that has become a focus in her current campaign.
Vinehout last year offered an alternate budget in which over two years she would redirect $589 million from Walker’s priorities to new ones. To free up that money, she proposed rolling back transfers of tax dollars from the state’s main account to its road fund; eliminating tax breaks for multistate corporations and investors; undoing expansions of taxpayer-funded private voucher schools; and scaling back support for the state’s quasi-public jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
With the new money, she would restore part of the state funding cuts or restrictions to schools, technical colleges, tax credits for the poor, and long-term care for the elderly and disabled outside nursing homes.
She acknowledged in a recent interview some of her plans could not be pursued now that Walker’s budget has been enacted. For instance, she opposed expansions of voucher schools but said she would leave them in place because they have been approved.
If elected, Vinehout said, she would push for emergency funding that would provide schools with tens of millions of additional funding for the coming school years. She would then repeal Walker’s tax changes and try to restore funding for education to pre-Walker funding levels as much as possible, she said.
Unfortunately Secretary of State La Follette earned only a cameo appearance in two sentences in the very last graph.
La Follette has his own plan to help fund education by increasing the state sales tax to 6% from 5%. That would work out to a rough increase of $873 million a year, or a 20% increase to $5.24 billion from $4.37 billion, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Their open spring glasnost lasted just long enough to accommodate this article but since then most Democratic primary recall coverage has reverted along the lines of: “Also running in the Democratic primary are state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma and Secretary of State Doug La Follette”.
And in an attempt to continue in some type of fairness doctrine, MJS has done an article or two focused only on Senator Vinehout. And two articles about Sec. of State La Follette’s advertising campaign (one and two)!
And since this is a blog and not a hypocritical mass media outlet that restricts employees Constitutional rights, in full disclosure, I have endorsed Senator Vinehout!