Thursday, October 11, 2007

Governor Doyle and the Extremes

Governor Doyle's constituency groups are whining, and Doyle responded by lashing out at "extreme Republicans" in the legislature.

“Whenever both sides are close to an agreement, extreme voices in the Republican caucus let out a howl and the leaders shy away.” Governor Doyle said. “If the Legislature has not come to an agreement by Monday, then I expect both houses to pass this compromise bill – because Wisconsin families cannot afford to wait any longer. Every additional day that the Republican leaders play politics and ignore their responsibility, real people suffer. It is time Speaker Huebsch and extreme Republicans put partisan interests aside and do what’s best for Wisconsin.”
Excuse me? Who are the extremists?

That's the question I take up in this week's column for the Waukesha Freeman (always worth the 50 cents).
Gov. Jim Doyle blames the "extreme Republicans," the "right wingers," for preventing a state budget agreement. Wow, they must be really extreme. They must be outrageous. Because the last I checked, many of the Republican positions are those that the governor has taken in the past or is currently adopting,
Republicans don’t want a tax increase. Until this year neither did Governor Doyle. As recently as his State of the State address in 2006, Governor Doyle bragged about not raising the sales tax, the income tax and excise taxes. "All together, I have signed into law tax cuts worth more than $660 million. That’s right, more than half a billion dollars in tax cuts."

Then Doyle was re-elected and proposed $1.7 billion in new taxes.
Just how far to extremes are the governor's minions willing to go to try to put pressure on Republicans? They're even willing to raid the personal files of college kids just to find a few props for Doyle's "extreme Republicans" rant.
Let’s talk about some real extremism, and decide whether it’s a vice. After all, most of us would find it pretty extreme to have private records invaded to find potential "victims" of the budget impasse.

Allies of the Democrats did just that when they dug through the financial aid files at the University of Wisconsin-Madison looking for students whose financial aid requests were delayed because the state budget has not passed. The students were then "invited" via e-mail to attend Governor Doyle’s rally Tuesday at the Memorial Union where Governor Doyle complained of Republican extremism.

Who exactly ordered the file dive is still a mystery, although university spokesman John Lucas told "the university followed the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to protect student privacy." We might question if Lucas’ statement that the students’ privacy remained inviolate is extremely disingenuous.
Local politicians would be recalled if they tried this. Pewaukee's mayor was recalled for less. For Doyle's people, it's just one more petty act of extremism.

Find classic movies at