Thursday, July 16, 2015

Strange Bedfellows

One  of the most interesting things about the debate over funding a new Milwaukee arena is the "strange bedfellows" that have been created in the negotiations to provide taxpayer money for the project.  Governor Scott Walker--who has been accused of "hating Milwaukee" and "trying to destroy the city" is teaming up with Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett--who twice ran against Walker for Governor on a platform that would "not reward billionaires and corporations with tax breaks".  And yet, there they were at at least one public rally for the arena just about holding hands and singing the praises of giving the billionaires that own the Milwaukee Bucks about 200-million dollars in state, county and city taxes and credits.

And one of those Milwaukee Bucks owners--Marc Lasry--is a campaign contribution "bundler" for Democratic candidate for President Hillary Clinton.  He was able to convince his friends to give Clinton 270-thousand dollars to the Clinton campaign in just its first "official week".  That cash could later be used against Scott Walker if he were to become the Republican nominee to challenge Clinton next year.  (Of course, who is to say that this Bucks arena deal might not include a little back door, unwritten agreement that Lasry and his friends might throw some difficult-to-track-down cash toward the Walker For President campaign as well.)

And now you have high profile liberals like John Oliver of Last Week Tonight taking aim on the liberal leaders of Milwaukee for their desperate pleas to give those billionaires the taxpayer money to build the new arena:

If he would have had his own show a couple of years ago, Oliver would have been hailing Tom Barrett as a national hero as he sought to "bring down the evil Scott Walker".  But in the world of doing everything you can to keep a semi-popular sports franchise in your city, the regular rules of politics apparently go out the window.

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