Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Democrats Consolidate Power Statewide; Locally, More Change Is Needed

Regaining control of the State Assembly is a real achievement for the state's Democrats and independently-minded progressives.

It offers hope and raises expectations that some needed services, like transit, can finally get more attention, and I expect to see initiatives from an Obama administration and a Democratic Congress to upgrade and stabilize Amtrak, launch high-speed rail in the Midwest, and substantially improve bus and local rail options in Wisconsin.

The local sales tax shift referendum that was approved yesterday in Milwaukee County could provide funding to save Milwaukee County Transit, though there has to be commitment in the County Executive's office to see the value of expanded transit - - including rail - - to create a viable and coordinated system.

That may require a new County Executive, because the backward-looking ideologue sitting there inert, except to salivate about running for Governor, is weakening county government, losing out on transit-related economic development and undermining the transit system every day he's in office.

So the state and nation are nack on the right track...we are on the road to coherence in state and federal policy-making on behalf of everyday people, but Milwaukee County still needs a people's champion and friend to the City at the helm.


Anonymous said...

f I think the sales tax increase and the sick leave laws will force many businesses out of Milwaukee/Milwaukee County.
Count on Marcus corp to leave thats 100+ jobs from there HQ.
Count on others doing the same.
Should the State go nuts on raising taxes we will see more companies leave or not relocate here. Taxes are a big issue for business.
As I woula agree that M-7 is a joke higher taxes are not helping them.
My bet is that Milwaukee both City and county will see a population drop over all and more houses turned into rental properties with lower value. My guess is that in 5 years Milwaukee will be more of a Detroit. Good luck keeping jobs in the city then.
Be careful of what you wish for

James Rowen said...

It's way too early to tell what these implications will be.

Everyone needs to take a step back. It's not clear yet if and when the sales tax takes effect, for example.

Michael said...

Yes, one party rule has worked so well for the city of Milwaukee (less than 50% graduation rate, high murder rate, etc). We should definitely have more of it.

Jason Lusk said...

Who is organizing to defeat Walker in 2010? Given the damage he's done to our County's aspirations, it seems that the seeds for a well organized challenge need to be planted now.

Anonymous said...

The argument that these liberal policies are anti business are hard to assess by cause and effect. The complexities of our economy do not allow for the direct relationships to be established.

Over the past couple of years, each change toward the support of workers in our economy have been met with the same argument - that it will be disasterous for business. I don't think that the reality proves that assertion.

When municipalites became fed up with minimum wages not being set at the federal level they began at the city level and then the state passed them and then we eventually got a federal law change. I see this as a great example of our democracy working - showing that there is growing sympathy in parts of the country that these issues should be addressed. I think a parallel issue has been the smoking laws.

While it is painful to move from our current, known situation and move to a new, unknown situation, the incremental changes in laws do not have the disasterous effect on business that the rhetoric would predict.

I think that, in fact, we all become better off locally and that it causes a healthier economic environment, an environment that more qualified workers would like to participate in.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:54

My wifes business all ready said that the paid holidays are gone with the sick day requirement.
I myself know two other business that are planing to relocate outside Milwaukee county with the sales tax increase the two companies only mean about 15 jobs still that is 15 jobs.
We the reaction when Marcus and other large companies leave.
Look at the population loss to as those who can get out, causing as I said before lower property vaules and a lower tax base.
Please understand that if you want to realy see change keep raising taxes and in two years see the GOP retake every office up for ellection.
You know that just might be why the GOP did not run a better campaine that Rove knows that the way to get voters realy pissed off is to raise and raise taxes.
In Milwaukee County .5% Sales tax 10% if not higher School tax (for a failing school system) Property tax increase. Wait until tax payers get those bills (followed by what Obama wants to do with 401K's and the like.) The only person fighting that is Scott Walker you guys gave him not only job sercity for County Ex but a nice road to Madison.
The Assembly follows as does the House.