Monday, April 17, 2006

Green is firmly squishy on TABOR

Mark Green, who pledged Monday to support a constitutional amendment to limit government spending, known variously as TABOR, TABOR II, Bride of TABOR, Son of Bride of TABOR, and by wingnuts as the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, doesn't know exactly what plan that is he supports.

It's no wonder, with a new version being rolled out every other day, and still not enough support among Repubs in the legislature to pass it.

WisPolitics reports:

Mark Green did not commit to the language currently in the Taxpayer Protection Amendment before lawmakers. He called TPA "a work in progress" in an interview with WTMJ-AM's Charlie Sykes. He said that ``as long as it's easy to understand'' and does something to control taxes and spending it's ``likely to have my support.''

Sykes asked about troubles TPA was encountering in the Legislature: "Again, it's a work in progress. I'm confident they're (legislators) are on the right track.''

Sykes suggested GOP leggies need some leadership on the issue. "That's part of what I'm trying to do today.''
That sounds a lot more like followership -- More like, "Whatever anyone else comes up with, as long as it has a catchy name, it's likely to have my support."

Sykes is calling it Green's first real test of leadership:

Assembly Speaker John Gard is setting a floor vote on the Taxpayer Protection Amendment for April 27.

By then, hopefully, they will have worked out the kinks, because right now it has the smell of jet fuel about it -- as in crash and burn. The problem is that it is too long, complicated, and riddled with loopholes, which gives critics from both the right and left something to snipe at.

Glenn Grothman and Jeff Wood have their hearts in the right place, but there is a reason they are not in leadership positions; they are not leaders. As one insider says: "So they end up developing this overly-complex, 'bill by committee' jumble that is too tough for the public to latch onto, too easy for the opponents to shoot at, too tough to build or force a coalition around, and no competent leader in the legislature to carry the ball for the issue."

That's what makes Mark Green's announcement today so potentially important; he has a chance to provide much-needed leadership on this issue and get the squabbling factions on the same page. He may have to step in quickly next week if and when the current version melts down, but it is probably going to an uphill struggle, especially in the senate. This is Green's first really tough test.
If he doesn't do any better than he did today, Green flunks. Can you say F-minus?

Dave Diamond, a new anonymous lefty blogger, says Green has joined the Silly Party, by endorsing the "Roommate Of The Cousin Of The Boss Of The Bride Of TABOR".


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