Saturday, April 26, 2014

Milwaukee Business Community Dug Itself Arena-Sized Hole

The Milwaukee business community correctly sees the downtown development/big picture opportunities that could flow from a new Milwaukee Bucks arena.

But the obstacles to moving that larger vision to brick-and-mortar arise in the anti-urban Republican party that those same business leaders have helped install at the controls of the state government where some element of financial support will need tapping.

GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, (Rochester), is already saying "no" to state tax revenue support for a new arena, and I can't imagine Scott Fitzgerald, his GOP State Senate counterpart from Juneau suddenly joining the Congress for the New Urbanism and taking any different position.

And Governor Walker? The man who told a Waukesha County crowd on the eve of the 2012 recall election to get out and vote so Wisconsin wouldn't become another Milwaukee?

By and large, the Republicans running the state right now represent smaller-town, suburban constituencies and have no use for cities - - even though it is the cities in Wisconsin that support higher education, provide the most jobs and business opportunities and finance the state's economy.

As the GOP sees it, there are too many Democrats in cities, so the party in charge cut the state's second-largest city off from Amtrak connections to Milwaukee and Minneapolis (more cities: ugh) and is busy diminishing Madison's biggest asset - - the UW campus - - by turning it into a work-experience diploma mill with more business-centric management and programs.

And the only value the current GOP sees in Milwaukee is a pool of workers available at the lowest of minimum wages, and land to take and pave for more freeway lanes and ramps.

GOP anti-urbanites blocked light rail for Milwaukee and are monkey-wrenching a downtown streetcar - - transportation systems that work well moving arena-event audiences and add value to businesses along the rail lines and at the stations.

The GOP which the Milwaukee business community is trying to turn 180 degrees on the worth of Milwaukee's downtown simply isn't a fan of cities.

The short-sighted business leaders who backed the state GOP and its anti-urban agendas have made it harder to keep Milwaukee in the NBA.


Gareth said...

Seattle Ho!

Anonymous said...

Change the name to the Wisconsin Bucks and move them to Waukesha!
Or, just call them the Waukesha Bucks.

Boxer said...

Thank you, Tim SheeHee, and assorted MMAC suck-ups.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Right on the money a James. I'm especially looking forward to the backflips and pretzeling Sykes will have to pull, since his station won't want to lose the Bucks broadcasts, and Chuckles is a front man for the Milwaukee oligarch community that wants this arena.

I find it both hilarious and sickening how the MMAC can get behind politicians and policies that make Milwaukee less desirable for growth. Is it just that greed and power conquers all for those scumbags?

James Rowen said...

@Jake: i remember when the Sykes initially opposed public financing for Miller Park - and then he was turned by station management, I was told, who reminded him that Journal Communications in fact had hired a lobbyist to work on the issue and even guaranteed a small portion of the loan package - - $500,000 comes to mind - - that helped get the project into the ground.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

They probably also reminded Sykes that half of his ratings are due to the fact that he's on the station that has Bob Uecker on it.

Not an ounce of independence with ol' Chuckles, is there?