Monday, August 6, 2007

Does the "hippie mayor" confuse Jim Doyle for a Republican?

Perish the thought.

Yesterday I exposed the fraud Paul Soglin, Madison's former "hippie mayor", tried to pull off when he singlehandedly blamed "Reagan-Bush" for the I35W crash and the "Assembly Republicans" in Madison for allowing the state's infrastructure to crumble.

I pointed out that while Soglin's correct that infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation hasn't been adequately addressed, his facts were way out of line. For example:
  • Wisconsin has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the nation -- now ten cents a gallon more than Minnesota -- because of automatic indexing which was the brainchild of a Republican, Lowell Jackson, who was Republican Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus' transportation secretary.
  • The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel blasted the indexed gas tax, saying legislators should have the guts to take the heat for every tax increase.
  • At the same time the newspaper warned that the proclivity in Madison to raid the transportation fund -- that's where gas tax money is supposed to go to fund only highway construction and repair -- could endanger the state's infrastructure.

But the erstwhile "hippie mayor" says it's all because Republicans don't want to raise taxes, conveniently forgetting that the Journal-Sentinel is hardly the GOP house organ and the state's chief raider, er, chief executive, is a Democrat. I mean, when was the last time anyone accused Jim Doyle of being a Republican? Heaven forbid that he'd shed the Wisconsin Education Association Council for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

But today Soglin is at it again, noting Republican Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's apparent epiphany because Pawlenty now says he'd go along with a gas tax increase. The clincher is that Soglin again blames infrastructure deterioration on "Bush, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and the Wisconsin Assembly Republicans."

This revisionist history is even more appalling when you consider that on November 20, 2005 Mark Green (remember he's the Republican who challenged Doyle the last time around) challenged Doyle: "Will Governor Doyle's raid of over $1 billion from the Transportation Fund put Wisconsin in the position of having to raise gas taxes in the future or risk delaying needed infrastructure projects? If a delay is needed, which projects would Governor Doyle put on hold?" Green went on to say that "Doyle has taken over $1.1 billion from the Transportation Fund in his two budgets and used it for general state spending."

So, to recap, we have the Journal-Sentinel on the left and Mark Green on the right both warning that raiding the transportation fund threatens the state's infrastructure.

To be fair, sometimes things happen with advanced age. Maybe Soglin suffers from presbyopia where his vision is so bad that he can't read the fine print that would remind him that our gas tax indexing was the brainchild of a Republican, that the biggest raider of the tranportation fund happens to be a Democrat, that both a Republican gubenatorial candidate and the state's largest newspaper, which has met few Democrats it didn't like, concur that raiding the transporation fund for other purposes is hazardous to our streets, highways and bridges.

If it's presbyopia, then maybe some reading glasses could fix Soglin's vision.

On the other hand, if it's myopia -- having a vision that only sees Republicans as incapable of doing anything right and Democrats as unable to do anything wrong -- then there's no cure for fried brains which, unfortunately, can sometimes lead to rectal-cranial inversion.

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