Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Green, the gas tax, and getting it wrong

I mentioned Congressman Mark Green's fast shuffle on the gas tax question yesterday, but didn't really do it justice. The story below pretty much speaks for itself. Green didn't mention that he wanted to reduce the gas tax during two interviews because he was "rushed." He has no idea how rushed he'd be if he were governor.

Clearly, Green's not ready for prime time. Maybe he should just let Mark Graul to all of the interviews, news conferences, and debates. Then he wouldn't have to go around behind Green trying to clean up his messes.
Madison - Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green said Monday that he would lower the gas tax by 2 cents a gallon if elected.

Green, a U.S. representative from Green Bay, issued a statement on the gas tax just hours after the Journal Sentinel reported Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle had promised not to raise the 32.9-cent gas tax over the next four years.

In two earlier interviews, Green declined to say what he would do with the gas tax, noting he would wait on the recommendations of a legislative committee on transportation that will come out after the Nov. 7 election.

In his statement Monday, Green said he would stand by a November 2005 pledge to eliminate a 2-cents-a-gallon gas tax used to clean up leaking underground fuel tanks and for other environmental programs. The remaining 30.9 cents a gallon goes toward transportation.

Trimming the 2 cents would leave no revenue source for those programs. It also would mean $273 million in bonds would have to be paid off with other funds. Green's campaign would not say how he would pay off the bonds or fund the programs. Together, the bond repayment and programs cost $79 million a year.

Dan Leistikow, a Doyle aide, said Green's plan was irresponsible and would lead to cuts in education.

"It's pretty clear he's trying to govern by press release and blow a huge hole in his budget," Leistikow said.

Until this year, the tax for environmental work was 3 cents a gallon, but Doyle and the Republican-run Legislature trimmed it by a penny. Doyle vetoed a Republican budget provision to explore phasing out the remaining 2 cents.

Green's campaign manger, Mark Graul, said Green did not bring up the 2-cent reduction recently because he was "rushed" during two interviews that centered on other subjects.

"Mark Green is not saying he's going to raise the gas tax," Graul said. "In fact, the only thing he has said for sure is he wants to lower it by two cents. . . . He will say categorically that he will not raise the gas tax unless it is accompanied by some other kind of relief for Wisconsinites."
Green has a real dilemma on the gas tax. He's promised the roadbuilders he'll "be there for you," so he can't take away any money from road-building. Instead, he'll just gut the environmental cleanup fund. Brilliant.

Afterthought: Remembering the way Graul handled his own ethics violations in the press, maybe he's not the answer.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger Harry Walker said...

Yet another example of why a primary would have helped Mark Green. They would have had to get their act together better by this point if Scott Walker had been breathing down their neck all summer.

Instead, Green is all over the place with his campaign re-explaining his shifting positions, spinning and over-spinning wildly different poll results, trotting out warmed over legislative proposals as his vision to "make Wisconsin great again", fudging responses to candidate questionnaires and hiding the candidate from the media with lame excuses like--he can't be reached because he's "campaigning".

Yikes. What are these guys going to do when Doyle really takes off the gloves?

At 2:51 PM, Blogger redvest said...

"I'll be there for you," I thought that was what Doyle told the road builders? I mean Knioght Infrastructures, a company tied to Hurtgen accoring to news reports, was the Number One earner of State contracts last year. BTW why is Phil Prange's partner Ed Apprahamien giving thousands to Doyle? Is it because Prange, Hurtge's brother in law, is Jessica Doyle's cousin?

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Other Side said...


At 11:39 AM, Blogger redvest said...

So? Hurtgen is under indictment and, accoring to some sources cooperating with the feds, why is Gov Doyle, according to Spivak and Bice, meeting with him and Prange? Litsten this isn't about Rep or Dem it's about the State of Wisconsin which is now, under Doyle, as corrupt as it has ever been. Tommy did too many favors for friend yes but Doyle has taken Pay-to-Play to a whole new level. the fact that he's meeting with Hurtgen and Prange means that he is taking lessons from them.

Andso now I will ask the same innane question you did, "So?"

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Anonymous said...

Redvest you are are a brilliant conspiracy theorist.

Like all good conspiracy theorists you have assembled tiny facts, many suppositions and grand lies to explain the universe.

Bice and Spivak said Hurtgen and Prange attended an event for Doyle FOUR YEARS AGO. Neither contributed cash (source: Wis Democracy Campaign). Thus there is no "Pay-To-Play" by Hurtgen nor can it mean Doyle is "taking lessons" from them or Tommy Thompson.

Get real.

PS Hurtgen represented BearStearns, this company has been a banker to Wisconsin for three generations. There is nothing sinister about him or any vendor meeting with their client. It would be a surprise if the state's bankers didn't.

Only a conpspiracy nut looks at common business practice and sees sinister plotting.


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