No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for July 22nd, 2010

Your local taxing officials don’t give a damn about you

by @ 22:00. Filed under Miscellaneous.


The following blog has the dullest opening in the history of the Internet, but is relevant and significant nonetheless and will become quite apparent as you read along and you know you will. Here is our guest blogger, Kevin Fischer:

According to the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), “Municipal operating expenditures in Wisconsin’s 237 largest cities and villages increased an average of 3.7% per year for the five years ending in 2008.”

That’s it? No jail photos of Lindsay Lohan? No close-ups of her fingernails? No Wisconsin candidate for higher office using the words “bitch” and “ho?”

No. I’m afraid not.

However, let’s talk about an issue just a bit more important than the food Lohan is eating while incarcerated…..your pocketbook.

That 3.7% figure cited by WISTAX might seem small and insignificant. Keep in mind it’s an average. The trend is that locals, your counties, cities, towns, and villages keep spending and spending and spending and spending and spending.

They will hide behind their notorious and tired old whine that the big, bad, state of Wisconsin simply doesn’t give enough assistance. This is especially true of local school boards. At budget time, school board members, not a single one of them truly fiscally conservative, will stand up in their best Oscar performance, tears rolling down their cheeks, and proclaim that they hate what they are about to approve, but they must for the children, and that they have no other alternative but to increase the property tax levy. That, of course, is baloney. Forget all those phony speeches, door-to-door promises, pamphlets and brochures that got them elected.

Like an Easter ham and a Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas presents under the tree, jacking up taxes and spending is tradition for county, city, town and village officials. It’s like a disease. They simply can’t help themselves. It’s all they’ve ever known. Suggest another course of action? That might cause cardiac arrests. All they’ve ever done is vote yes to send taxes skyward. The only question is by how much.

At the risk of being simplistic, let me assert, and I’ve worked in government for some time so I ought to know, that the public sector does not operate like a business. Hell, it doesn’t even come close to operating like your household.

America, and that includes Tax Hell USA, aka Wisconsin has been wrapped firmly in the grips of a long, brutal recession. How has Washington responded? Spend, spend spend. Hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars… jobs in return.

How has the state of Wisconsin with Democrats in control responded? Spend almost 10% more in the last state budget and create a bunch of new programs that normally have warm fuzzy names like BadgerCare, only to find ourselves $2.5 BILLION in the hole.

How have the locals at your town, village, or city hall responded? With people sitting at home having been handed pink slips? They jack up taxes and spending. Why?

1) Because they can.

2) Because that’s the only “solution” they know.

3) Because they don’t care.

4) Because you will re-elect them anyway.

Oooooooohh. That last one hurt. Sometimes the truth does.

OK, property taxpayers. The last couple of years, be honest. How did you respond to the economy that found itself sharing company with the Tidy-Bowl man? Did you:

A) Run out and buy a new car?

B) Book a trip to the Bahamas?

C) Put in a glamorous new rec room in the basement?

D) Have a family discussion and resolve that certain frills and luxuries needed to be cut back until things turned around?

I think I know your response.

You probably cut back on expenditures and have survived. Government could, too, but refuses.

Government officials with taxing authority will use that power because they can. Very recently, I asked a local official to endorse a property tax freeze. After all, if hard-working families have cut back and are getting by, why can’t City Hall.

Are you ready for the weak-kneed response?

No can do, baby!

Property tax freeze?

Here’s what I was told:

“Which politician that ever proposed a tax freeze actually carried it out? – it’s just rhetoric and playing politics.”

Translation: I don’t support such an idea and I dismiss it outright. Won’t even think about it.

That’s very revealing. Why? Because moms and dads all across Wisconsin have done what many officials with taxing authority would consider unthinkable: they have cut back on their expenses. Would it be too crazy to think taxpayers spent this year what they spent last year, in effect a spending freeze? I certainly don’t think so. But suggest that at a budget meeting? Suddenly it’s Armageddon. Blood will flow down the streets. People will die. Life as we know it will end.

So while the locals won’t even fathom the thought of a freeze, can you imagine tax/spending cuts? OH MY GOD, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

The big, bad state of Wisconsin is a villain, having increased spending by close to 10% in the current state budget and increasing taxes and fees by over $3 billion. Let’s not forget those directly capable of jacking up your local property taxes: your mayors, your village presidents, your aldermen, your county supervisors, especially your school board members.

This December, your taxes will go up again. While you are deciding whether it’s a brat or an Italian on the grill this weekend, your local officials are already calculating how much they will screw you.

You can do something about that this November 2, and next April when some of your locals are up for re-election.

And now the guest-blog lamp is lit

by @ 8:17. Filed under The Blog.

I’ll be at RightOnline in Las Vegas this weekend, so blogging on my end will be non-existent. Fortunately, Shoebox and I have put together a family of great guest-bloggers (which, coincidentally, was added to this morning) so things won’t skip a beat here.

Here we grow again

by @ 8:13. Filed under The Blog.

Partly because it’s been so long since I invited in a guest-blogger, but mostly because he is that good, I’d like to welcome Kevin Fischer to the NRE family. Kevin, whose home blog is This Just In, is a prolific defender of taxpayers on the far side of 27th Street (Franklin, Wisconsin for those of you not familiar with the area), a veteran broadcaster who still occassionally does guest-host duties at WISN-AM, an aide to state Sen. Mary Lazich, and most-importantly, a great and proud husband and father.

Welcome to the party, Kevin.

Thursday Hot View – Ald. Jim Witkowiak’s testimony to GAB regarding vote fraud

Kevin Fischer points to a rather remarkable presentation by Milwaukee Alderman Jim Witkowiak during yesterday’s Government Accountability Board hearing. Wisconsin Eye brought its cameras to the meeting, which first dealt with challenges to the nomination papers, and moved to an indepemdent candidate for state Assembly who wanted to put “NOT the ‘whiteman’s bitch'” as her statement of principle on the ballot (the GAB board narrowly did not overturn the staff recommendation of not allowing it, with 3 of 5 present board members voting to allow it and the potential 4th/deciding vote for allowing it absent).

Immediately after that, the GAB began taking open public comments. Ald. Witkowiak was second on the list, and he explained how both same-day registration and a lack of an ID check can and does affect elections, even to the point of changing the results. I do recommend watching the entire appearance, which begins at the 1:50:50 mark of part 2 of WisEye’s coverage and runs to the end of part 2. A quick summary:

  • In the spring 2000 election, Witkowiak lost his re-election bid by 17 votes.
  • During the recount, after the campaign of Witkowiak’s opponent admitted to him they caused irregularities, Witkowiak found about 200 people who didn’t exist yet voted in the election, scattered between those who registered at the polls and those who claimed to be somebody they were not. The Milwaukee Election Commission did disallow a bunch of votes, but because there is no way to tell who the disqualified voters voted for, it was a random vote removal and thus did not change the result of the election.
  • An assistant city attorney who sat in on the 2000 recount process said that Witkowiak, “There’s more meat in this sandwich than I’ve ever seen before in my life.” Of course, this is Milwaukee, so nothing was done..
  • Witkowiak thought he was done with politics after 2000, but the residents of his district pulled him back into the race in 2004, and he once again became an alderman.
  • Fast forward to 2008. Witkowiak found that 400 people had registered at the polls in the spring primary, which for the first time in Wisconsin also included the Presidential primary (previously, the Presidential primary was held with the spring general election). Since Witkowiak had a spring general election to run in, he wanted to get a hold of those 400 to campaign to them. After a bit of a delay, the Milwaukee Election Commission gave them to him.
  • Witkowiak did a mailing to those 400, and about 80 of those mailings came back as undeliverable. He then went out to try to find those 80, and while he did find a few that existed, he couldn’t find about 75, with reasons ranging from people living at or managing apartments at the location never hearing of the alleged registered voter to the address being a non-residential property to the address simply not existing.
  • Witkowiak turned over the evidence to the Milwaukee County District Attorney and the Milwaukee Police Department. Guess what happened? If you said, “Nothing,” give yourself a prize.

[No Runny Eggs is proudly powered by WordPress.]