OPINION: Time for a clean sweep at the Capitol

Wisconsin needs to recommit to clean and open government

When I arrived in Madison in the early 1990s from the mean streets of Philadelphia, I thought Wisconsin’s commitment to clean and open government was quaint, charming — at times a little irritating. Badger Rules, the state ethics code, meant that legislative staffers like myself couldn’t even take a cup of coffee from a lobbyist, and I remember one lowly public official was nabbed for using a state phone for a few private calls.

My, have things changed. The lame-duck power grab in the Capitol, which weakened the powers of a newly elected governor and attorney general, blocked their ability to withdraw the state from a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act (a key campaign promise) and limited early voting, is the pinnacle of arrogant corruption — undoing the will of the people literally the week the results of the election were certified.

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Ken Notes: An interesting read and some very good points, BUT it is not that easy. We have created systemic opportunities for many of the problems she suggests are there with no systemic way to correct them. Bipartisan leadership has been my dream for 30 years -- we are now farther away than we have ever been with no chance to improve in the near future.

Also once again we see a call for the elimination of WEDC which is wrong! We need a WEDC, just not the WEDC we have. It could be independent and work with the State in the light of day -- It does not. As a development professional I promise it was worse and will be a mess once again without an organization in place to guide business through the bureaucracy. To suggest we throw it out is pointing fingers not solving problems. I challenge the legislature to create one piece of bipartisan pro economic development legislation. I have two suggestions:

1. An income tax credit for all businesses expanding their employee count with good paying jobs...

2. A new TIF law that allows a community to offer an individual project incentives based on a guaranteed increase in taxable value.

Both would be fair to ALL businesses, create new jobs, establish a level playing field, and not require state intervention if the companies regress...



- - Volume: 7 - WEEK: 1 Date: 1/3/2019 10:58:20 AM -