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Urban Scrawl Event is a Winner

Event, Jerk and Winner of the Week

Aug. 20, 2008
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N E W S  I N  R E V I E W

Blog of the Week

Institute for Wisconsin's Future blogging at One Wisconsin Now
(www.onewisconsinnow.org) Accurate Tax facts: Wisconsin Is Middle of the Pack

Once again, elected officials have pounced on a report by the Tax Foundation to mislead taxpayers into thinking that Wisconsin can't afford to adequately fund its public institutions.

The latest cases are Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), who separately cited a new study by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation, claiming Wisconsin is among the top ten states in tax effort. Not so! Indeed, the latest U.S. Census Bureau data show that taxes and fees for state and local government are 3% lower in Wisconsin than the national average. The national average is $5,803 per person; Wisconsin's figure is $5,607.

The truth is that when it comes to how much revenue we collect for state and local services and infrastructures, Wisconsin ranks 21st among the states. […] By misusing the facts, Nass and Lazich would have us believe that properly fund ed public institutions are beyond our reach. They're wrong. It would be a shame if important policy debates were premised on this kind of shoddy claim, so we take this opportunity to clear the air. (To read more local blogs, go to blognetwork.expressmilwaukee.com)

Event of the Week

Urban Scrawl: Graffiti and Murals of MilwaukeeSaturday, Aug. 23, 6-9 p.m., Bucketworks, 1340 N. Sixth St.

The Why Not Gallery is presenting this one-night-only art exhibition dedicated to art graffiti and public murals. In addition to the photography by the Milwaukee Guerilla Artists, there will be live, on-site graffiti demos. It's free and open to the public. For more information, call 460-7259 or e-mail info@whynotgallery.com.

(To find more cool events, or list your own, go to www.expressmilwaukee.com)

Hero of the Week:

Epic Systems' CEO Judy Faulkner

Unhappy with the hard-right turn of the state's largest business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), Epic Systems' CEO, Judy Faulkner, said that she couldn't do business with com panies that were WMC members. Shortly thereafter, J.P. Cullen & Sons' CEO David Cullen resigned from the WMC's board of directors.

(Cullen's company just happened to have a big contract with Epic.) We enthusiastically support Faulkner's willingness to buck the system and call out WMC on its divisive, unproduc tive role in the state's politics and economy. WMC is attempting to raise $1 million before Labor Day to spend on negative adver tising-usually false or mislead ing ads-in this fall's campaigns.

We believe that Faulkner's brav ery and independence are just what Wisconsin needs.

Jerk of the Week:

Marquette University's Rick Esenberg

Rick Esenberg, an assistant law professor at Marquette University, has again let his right-wing ideology crowd out his rational thought processes.

In an editorial in the Journal Sentinel on Sunday, written from his safe home in Mequon, he describes how to revitalize urban areas. He down plays or summarily dismisses the programs that definitely work-such as smaller class sizes in schools, social services and regional government- and instead recommends arresting more black males. He does admit that he is "not an expert in law enforcement," and we appreciate that bit of candor, but his professed ignorance doesn't stop him from setting out the simplistic solution: "high er arrest and incarceration numbers for certain demographic groups." At the same time Esenberg is promoting the Dick Cheney approach to law enforcement, we have Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm reorganizing and reori enting that office and so it can have a real impact on curbing crime in Milwaukee. Perhaps Esenberg could actually follow Chisholm around and learn that crime issues are complex and bigger thinkers-like Chisholm-will have a real impact on crime if the Milwaukee County board supports his initiatives. It is unfortunate that a good school like Marquette has a professor like Rick Esenberg, who should be leading students to search for the truth rather than reinforcing racial stereotypes.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "We talk about how there's only one president at a time, so the idea that you would send your own emissaries and really interfere with the process [in Georgia] is remarkable."-Lawrence Korb, former Reagan Defense Department official, on Sen. John McCain sending his advisors to Georgia


Rolling back Barack Obama’s reforms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors to seek the harshest sentences for drug offenses. Is it bad policy to fill the prison system with nonviolent offenders?

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