Now we have Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele saying basically the same thing.
The local would-be overlords at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) (WMC's little brother), who are allies of Chris Abele and his Greater Milwaukee Committee, have decided that the Milwaukee Bucks need a new arena to play in. Not that there's really a need. They just want to rake the taxpayers over some more so they can increase their own wealth.
At the time, I thought that MMAC had screwed themselves over by backing Scott Walker in the general election and again during the recall. Surely, Walker wouldn't back this idea.
But now that we see Walker and his right wing minions embracing of creating
MMAC is getting serious about this idea as well, getting ready to make the big push for it. They even glommed onto the way that they recently built a new arena in Oklahoma City, although that might not be the best example for them to use.
On Monday, Abele was interviewed by John Mercure, afternoon propagandist at WTMJ-AM. Mercure asked Abele about the proposed 1% sales tax for a new arena.
Abele, an admitted owner of season tickets for the Bucks, gushed over the idea. Throwing all his anti-tax statements out the window, he couldn't emphasize enough how much he liked this idea. He did not say whether he supported it because it would make his friends even richer or if it was that he wanted to have a new arena to sit in for his season tickets.
The really sickening part about this is that even while Abele was on the air to promote the sales tax for the new millionaire's playground, people were gathering to discuss the impending collapse of the Milwaukee County Transit System. If a dedicated funding source is not found and implemented in the next year, the transit system could face up to a 30% cut in service and/or a huge fare increase.
This could separate tens of thousands of transit-reliant workers from jobs. And that does not go to mention the elderly and disabled riders who would have their independence severely curtailed.
Needless to say, such a severe cut to the transit system would have a devastating affect on our regional economy as people are no longer able to get to work or get to the stores.
Oh, rest assured that Abele has a plan to save transit. His plan is to ask Walker - the guy who had already cut the transit system by 20% and raised fares through the roof, and who is doing even more damage as governor - to give Milwaukee County a few more dollars to keep the thing afloat.
Talk about clueless.
If Abele is so keen on having a new arena, he should but some of his personal tens of millions of dollars into the kitty. He then can have his multimillionaire friends at GMC and MMAC also pony up some of their lucre.
And then let the sales tax go to something that is both useful and sorely needed, like transit and improving our local economy.
It would be really nice if we ever had a county executive that wanted to stick up for the people instead of the usual sticking it to them.