I have to give credit to the Democrats running for governor in the recall election--there are no hidden agendas in their campaigns. Sure, we've got the usual "I will work with the other side" and "I balanced all of my budgets while keeping collective bargaining" stuff in the TV and radio ads--but when pressed for details at debates and news conferences the candidates are very clear why they are running.
Secretary of State Doug LaFollette wins the Most Honest Award for his answer at a debate in Green Bay to the question "What is the first thing you would do if elected Governor?" His reply: "The first thing I would do is raise taxes." No minced words there. That should be on his campaign yard signs and bumper stickers.
Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett have decided to be more "targeted" in their tax increase pledges. They are jumping on President Obama's bandwagon by promising tax increases on private sector employers and high-income earners--all 100-thousand of them.
Falk decided to up the ante this week by promising to remove property tax limits on local units of government. I want you to take a look at the current makeup of the Oshkosh School Board and try to guess what they would do if there was no more revenue cap. Maybe we could break even if we were to invest in a moving truck business to meet the demand of people trying to get as far out of town as possible. Anyway, Barrett--showing why he's the only one in this race with any kind of chance--isn't taking the bait on that one. He won't make such a promise.
Barrett is throwing his bone to the public sector unions who aren't getting on board with his campaign this week. Barrett is promising to call a special session of the Legislature to take another vote on Act Ten--meaning another chance to hold protests at the Capitol and rain down threats on Republicans. Tom likes to say that he wants to end the "Civil War in Wisconsin". The question is, does he plan to end it like General Sherman did in the real Civil War--by employing a slash and burn strategy to demoralize all of us? Or is he General Lee about to surrender all of the troops at Appomattox Courthouse?
I guess we should be glad that the discussion will no longer be about the phoney-baloney issues of "job creation" and "not working with Democrats".