By Jeff Simpson
We already know the republican legislature is for sale, either as an individual sale, or as a whole package. Now Scott Walker wants the ability to start selling off our assets - Cheap(and unaccounted for)!
Gov. Scott Walker's administration would gain broad authority to sell state property - including prisons, highways, heating plants and university dormitories - under a plan legislators will take up Tuesday.What is the worse thing that could happen with this? O yea:
Proceeds would be used to chip away at the state's $8 billion debt, but the state entities that formerly owned the properties might not see any benefit from the sales. So, a dorm built with student fees could potentially be sold to pay down the debt for a highway expansion, or vice versa.
Critics say the plan that's part of the GOP governor's budget proposal could saddle the state with higher day-to-day costs - such as buying power and steam to heat prisons and dorms - after it sells the properties.
Under the governor's plan, the state also could negotiate sales with individual buyers without going through a public bidding process. Any sales would have to go through a "competitive and transparent process," though that process is not defined and includes no explanation of how negotiations with a single buyer could be competitive.
The plan has generated fierce opposition from supporters of the University of Wisconsin System, who say allowing the sale of UW buildings without the approval of the Board of Regents could be detrimental , especially if the buildings were paid for with the help of student fees or private donations. Currently, the regents have a say in the management of all UW buildings.
Student leaders worry that student unions, such as the landmark Memorial Union at UW-Madison, could be sold and no longer controlled by the university. Student unions, built with student fees, are central to student life, as are residence halls that also potentially could be sold under the governor's proposal, said Matt Guidry, communications director for United Council of UW Students.No need to worry though:
"Legislators have told us that selling these buildings isn't their intent," Guidry said. "We believe that's their intent today, but the next person down the road may feel differently."This group of republicans is ALWAYS up front, open, honest and transparent!
This bill is so bad it has upset some of his major contributors(who also contribute to their favorite university). Sheldon Lubar, who has donated millions to the Universities of Milwaukee and Madison, and apparently has not paid attention to Scott Walker's Governance the last couple years, was not very happy:
"I really don't think (Walker) thought this through and understands the negative impact this would have on the university," Lubar said.Has walker thought ANYTHING through in two plus years? Well, true to form, if a republican donor is unhappy, so is his/her employee:
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chairwoman of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, said she was surprised the proposal would allow the sale of highways and prisons and believed legislators would change it to provide more legislative oversight.
"I'm very reluctant to give up any authority that the Legislature currently has," Darling said.
The Democrats response, typically intelligent, thought out, logical and meek:
Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee), a member of the committee, said he opposed the plan.
"I don't think we should be rushing to have a fire sale on state property with no bid-contracts," Richards said. "That is not good long-term stewardship of state property."
Things to look forward to under republican rule:
Walmart Memorial Union - $50/join, $5 entry fee when its not closed for private parties.
Rent A Center Randal - where the Badgers can pay a lease to rent games on Sunday, while losing all revenue from Sky Boxes.
ABC Supply Dorms where rent has tripled and security is a broken down phone in the hallway
Ronald McDonald Kohl center where the Badgers basketball teams will not be allowed to play a home game in January thanks to the long term commitment to Ronald McDonald on Ice (bring the kids)
You get the idea...but hey at least the money we get from selling our treasures will go to the Friends of Scott Walker campaign fund!
We can give up some conveniences to help Scotty get elected President can't we?