Thursday, January 19, 2006

Republicans try to camouflage TABOR

WisPolitics confirmed in its Wednesday report what the Alliance of Cities has been saying, as we reported -- TABOR, the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights, is about to get a new name.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, who unseated Mary Panzer because, among other things, she couldn't deliver on TABOR, is still trying to put together a proposal that can get 17 GOP votes in the Senate. He says now he'll have something by the end of the month.

WisPolitics says:

But don’t be too quick to call it the Taxpayers Bill of Rights – or TABOR. A name change could be coming that pays homage to Wisconsin taxpayers.

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, is taking the lead on the issue in the Senate, with some help from Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz of Richland Center. Grothman tells WisPolitics the draft is in the works. “I think you’ll see a draft in two weeks. I’ll be disappointed if you don’t,” Grothman said, adding Wisconsin’s version of the government spending limit will be different from current TABOR policies. “It’ll be different from the Colorado thing. Colorado made some errors, and we’re not going to do those errors.”

Last night in an interview, Schultz said Senate Republicans “believe very strongly that a constitutional amendment ought to have the right to be voted on.” He said he was letting Grothman take the lead on the draft’s introduction date. “You can expect us to have a constitutional amendment without arguing the slogan,” Schultz said.

And last week WMC's Jim Pugh said it's up to legislators what the plan should be called but added "this idea is so popular that the name of the proposal is somewhat irrelevant.”
The truth is, it has been all about the slogan. But now that TABOR's reputation has been tarnished in Colorado, where it originated, the GOP wants to get far away from anything that can be tied to Colorado's TABOR. Opponents aren't likely to let that happen.

A name to "pay homage" to Wisconsin taxpayers? What would that be, The Wonderful Wisconsin Taxpayers Amendment? Give us a break.

As for Pugh's insistence that the idea is so popular the name doesn't matter -- if that's true, why don't we just call it TABOR?


At 9:56 AM, Blogger James Wigderson said...

Hey, I'm all in favor of that. Provided, of course, that it's really TABOR and not some watered-down version.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Sven said...

Oooh boy. Ironically, the name TABOR was chosen in part because of its allusion to a local historical figure.

I wonder what Grothman thinks those "errors" are. The problems were rooted in the very premise of the idea. It was sold as a way to give local taxpayers control, when in fact it handed budgetary power over to a non-local, non-accountable bureaucracy and led to hundreds of lawsuits (paid for by taxpayers). It also made a king of the activist who authored the amendment, who set himself up as the sole arbiter of what its provisions meant.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger christopher robin said...

Colorado's TABOR law has/had flaws which tied spending limits to the states economy. The taxpayers of Colorado voted to lift those limits. This has been characterized as the problem with spending limits by TABOR's critics when in reality it is one of the best parts of it because voters not some political hack decided to raise the spending caps. TABOR forces politicians to make hard choices and set priorities rather than simply raising taxes, fees, or other forms of reaching into our pockets.
Or in the case of wisconsin where the governor moves money from one part of the government to another to help lay a big wet sloppy kiss on his favorite contributor. A family member of mine who is a member of WEAC refers to Doyle as the best governor money can buy.


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