The Best Budget You’ve Ever Seen?

I was astonished to see Sen. Darling recently comment that “this is the best budget (she has) ever seen since I entered the legislature”...

I was astonished to see Sen. Darling recently comment that “this is the best budget (she has) ever seen since I entered the legislature” before voting to slash $1.7 billion from our public schools. And I was equally shocked to hear her proclaim that allowing unelected bureaucrats to slash roughly $500 million from state health care programs behind closed doors “is going to be a very exciting period of our history.” 

Like many other members of our community, I am becoming increasingly concerned with the destructive effect this budget will have on the quality of our schools, services within our local communities, and programs provided to some of our most vulnerable populations. Rather than standing up to her party bosses, Sen. Darling – who chairs the powerful budget-writing Joint Finance Committee – has displayed a blatant disregard for our shared values while rushing through an extreme agenda. 

The fact is that this toxic budget shifts hundreds of millions of dollars from our communities – our classrooms, our police and fire stations, and our access to healthcare – to fund tax cuts for corporations and handouts for special interests.  Budgets are about priorities, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that Sen. Darling has misplaced the priorities of her constituents while marching lock step with her party bosses.

With the Government Accountability Board now certifying more than 23,000 signatures collected by volunteers during the recall campaign, I am excited to present our community with a clear contrast to Alberta Darling and the disastrous policies she is describing as the “best she has ever seen.”

Last month, about 30,000 people in the 8th Senate District signed petitions to recall Sen. Darling after the 20-year career politician stopped listening to her constituents and marched in lockstep behind the extreme, divisive agenda that pits party bosses and special interests against our working families and Wisconsin values.  Sandy Pasch is running to fight for the health of our communities and defend our shared values.

1Bauer, Scott. "GOP Mostly Goes along with Walker's School Cuts." BusinessWeek. Associated Press, 27 May 2011. Web. 31 May 2011. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9NG2L7G0.htm

2Wisconsin Eye.  Joint Committee on Finance.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeff Lawson June 06, 2011 at 02:32 AM
Pasch, what kind of a budget would you like? A budget where the local governments can keep blaming the state and take no responsibility like the budgets we've had for the last 10 years. You and Ruble are worst kind of disease for Wisconsin.
Matt June 06, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Now the GOP is going after craftbeer makers and microbrews to appease their donors. I thought republicans were against market and competition barriers. I guess it depends on who owns Walker/Darling...."Why would the WBDA and Miller-Coors be pushing this? To eliminate competition. It is no secret that craft beer is gaining market share while Miller-Coors market share is declining. The WBDA can eliminate future serious competition by prohibiting craft brewers from getting together to open their own wholesalers" http://community.sportsbubbler.com/forums/p/97363/1197779.aspx
Craig June 06, 2011 at 02:48 AM
Lyle: Apparently you have not followed the School District of Menomonee Falls budget issues. You must drink the same flavor of Kool Aide as State Rep Pasch.
Lyle Ruble June 06, 2011 at 02:48 AM
@George Mitchell...You must be pleased that Walker and the legislature is going to pay you off with expanding choice schools and vouchers. Of course you would agree to the Walker Plan, you get what you want. Take money out of public schools and give it to the private schools. Not good for the students and not good for Wisconsin.
Lyle Ruble June 06, 2011 at 02:50 AM
@George Mitchell...Supporting Darling is protecting your investment.
Lyle Ruble June 06, 2011 at 02:53 AM
@Raptor...They would love to have jobs. Corporations are not the answer, it is small business, but who controls the capitol? The only thing corporations want is more public money subsidies. Corporate wellfare needs to stop.
Lyle Ruble June 06, 2011 at 02:58 AM
@Joe Peterlin....It's one thing to be rich but quite another to be without morals and values. To enjoy your wealth while others go without. Great system.
Lyle Ruble June 06, 2011 at 03:02 AM
@Jeff Lawson...What don't you understand about recession bordering on depression. You can't judge the past ten years budget process given the state of the economy. We are in a major period of deflation and the budget didn't project such an event.
Lyle Ruble June 06, 2011 at 03:07 AM
@Craig...I know what happened in Menomonee Falls. Do I agree with how the school board handled it; NO! I don't know all the details and I'm sure that the next school board election will find some changes made.
Matt June 06, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Kool Aide Funfizz Giggling Grape is Awesome!
Matt June 06, 2011 at 03:32 AM
Joe, Paul Ryan was also a recipient of Medicare (entitllements). "Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's most outspoken advocate for cutting and privatizing Social Security, has already benefited from Social Security himself, in the form of survivor benefits he received after his father's untimely death. From the age of 16, when his 55-year-old father died of a heart attack, until he was 18, Ryan received Social Security payments, which, according to a lengthy profile in WI Magazine.... http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/04/20/paul-ryan-already-benefitted-from-the-social-security-fund-he-now-wants-to-gut/ Matt
Dave June 06, 2011 at 01:14 PM
Pasch just wants to raise your taxes, what a new idea she is bringing to the table
Craig June 06, 2011 at 01:38 PM
Dave: She brings a very large glass of Kool Aide to the table- apparently to share with Lyle. I think everyone can agree that quality of education has degraded over the past years and not 100% of the blame should be placed on the teachers. BUT, throwing more money after bad is not going to fix our problems. We have many years of history that shows this doesn't work. If it DID work, we would be having an entirely different debate because there is no money left of the money tree to p*ss away!
CowDung June 06, 2011 at 01:57 PM
The first Amendment is about establishing a state religion--if people choose to attend a religious school, it isn't a matter of the state forcing it upon them. People can also choose to attend non-religious schools. Since people can also choose to attend whatever religious school they want--the vouchers are not force them into a single religion. Since there is no single religion that is being endorsed by the vouchers, it cannot be a matter of a religion being established as a 'state religion'...
Keith Schmitz June 06, 2011 at 02:03 PM
The mature among us realize that you have to raise some taxes in order to close the gap. Taxes are lower than they ever been. Funny. Health insurance has been rising much faster than taxes and how come we don't see any anguished bitching about that? How come we never see T-Party rallies on Wall Street against bad actor bankers? Can't keep going in this direction. Infrastructure and even food stamps pump up the economy to a much greater extent that tax cuts.
ike June 06, 2011 at 05:41 PM
@Craig - Not sure why you could say that the quality of education has degraded. On what are you basing that comment? I think kids in Wisconsin get an excellent education, especially compared to states where school staff have no representation. No one is asking to throw more money at schools, rather, they're asking that the current administration leave our schools alone. Our current administration has made no indication that they are trying to fix school-related problems, they know that's contradictory to their actions.
Craig June 06, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Ike: Test scores have degraded, and behavioral issues have continued to increase. I don't like to compare our schools with those in another region of the country, rather I like to look at the trends in test scores for the same school over a period of time. To compare our kids to those of areas where teeth are a luxury is not a fair comparison. We have been throwing more money into the schools since the Thompson was Governor. All the while School taxes were going up- none of that additional funding actually went to anything that helped educate the kids. We now have multiple assistant principals and more administration than ever; yet we have had declining student populations for 20 years. We have Principals who's contracts were not renewed, a replacement was hired and the former is now a 'consultant' for the District. We have assistant principals doing attendance clerk's jobs, at 3 times the rate of pay for a clerk. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, continually pouring more money into a broken system has not worked- time to try a new approach. Rather than the Pasch mentality of tax and spend, and spend even more...in fact, spend more than what you have coming in until there is no funds left to educate anyone.. We need to be diligent and responsible. If your car doesn't run, you don't get a new paint job just to make it look good, especially if you don't have the funds to fix it in the first place.
ike June 06, 2011 at 08:27 PM
@Craig - Good point about comparing cross-country, funny too, but sad. Do you really believe what you wrote when you wrote, "School taxes were going up- none of that additional funding actually went to anything that helped educate the kids." Students have not benefited from the additional tax dollars for 20 years? You make it sound like school administrators are out-of-control. Can you imagine the power they'll have when their staff is no longer unionized? You must be as concerned as I am about the potential for them to abuse their power. Regarding behavioral issues, we can't put that entirely on the schools and there's no way to know if those are worse, more common, both, or due to LACK of funding for school counselors. Most of that onus is on the parents. Regarding test scores, I haven't seen the statistics, but there's a lot that goes into those. To say that schools are failing because test scores are worse is not a fair assumption. Our schools have been doing very well and I compared them earlier to other states because Wisconsin ranks very high (even compared to states where kids have teeth) in almost any category of performance assessment which tells me that our education system is not a broken one, yet.
Craig June 07, 2011 at 02:05 AM
I do think the increased funding from our taxes have been fruitless. Administrators are overabundant now, school counselors are also overabundant: When I went to MFHS- we only had three of them- now there are seven. (bear in mind there are only half the number of students) I do agree the discipline issues start with parents and the school system can't be 100% to blame. I also agree test scores only tell part of the story. But go to any kid running a cash register and if your bill is $17.51- hand them a 20. Then after they punch in the $20, give them another penny.... I am not opposed to spending money on programs that work, but I do question how it can cost nearly $15,000 per student to attend our public schools? The University of WI-Madison is $9,800 !
Don Jacobs June 07, 2011 at 05:09 PM
There is a stark contrast between these two candidates. The election will be illuminating.
Tom McMahon June 08, 2011 at 07:04 PM
It would probably be too much to expect to have Sandy Pasch ask her supporters (both paid and unpaid) to stop protesting the Special Olympics. <sigh>
The prosser-cuter June 08, 2011 at 08:10 PM
You nailed it George. Pasch has never seen a tax increase she didn't like. Just go check out her voting record.
The prosser-cuter June 08, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Bob, we must be on the same phone list. I received two of those annoying calls in the last three or four days. I specifically asked what Sandy's plan was for balancing the budget. The person on the other end of the phone could not answer.
The prosser-cuter June 08, 2011 at 08:15 PM
@Robert - It would be nice if some of that money actually went to programs or things that benefit the children. It just goes for overpriced benefits for the teachers union. It's interesting to see that the districts that have "rammed" through contracts in advance of the BRB taking affect do not have to lay off any teachers or cut programs even with the anticipated cuts in school aid. This just proves that Walker and the republicans are right!
George Mitchell June 09, 2011 at 01:59 PM
What will it take for Sandy Pasch to distance herself from the Capitol hooligans that back her campaign?
ike June 10, 2011 at 02:37 PM
@Joe Peterlin - You definitely seem very worried about the state's current economic problem. However, you and other conservatives support a party that is forcing the state to flip the bill for unnecessary primaries. It doesn't make sense, is bad for the state, and is contradictory to everything your party has been preaching and whining about for the past several months. It really bodes poorly for the republican party.
ike June 10, 2011 at 08:18 PM
@Joe Peterlin - You are mistaken and you must not have read what I wrote clearly. The point of what I wrote is actually opposite of your interpretation... I was showing the hypocrisy of the current republican party, THEY were the ones complaining about the Dems wasting money and now THEY are the ones wasting money. I am not complaining about it, just calling them out. As long as this isn't considered misrepresentation by a candidate, thus making it illegal, I believe they have every right to do what they want. Keep in mind, not only does it cost money to run a primary now, but their actions are legally quesitonable worthy of being challenged, costing more money. But they/you dare not complain any more about the Dems wasting money on all of this for risk of looking like a hypocrite. What I find priceless, and sad rather than funny, is a far-right conservative making snide comments towards people with other views other than their own. That is so unusual from people on your side like Grothman, Vukmir, etc. I'm not going to sit here and take those comments from you without throwing it back. If you want to continue like this, fine, but I'd rather make this more civil. your call.
Lyle Ruble June 10, 2011 at 08:49 PM
@ike...Joe Peterlin vacillates in his approach to his postings. Of all who regularly posts, he is quick to take it to another level. There are times when he is clear, concise and makes his points without rancor. Other times he rambles and rolls with suppositions and assumptions, leaving the reader mystified as to what is the main point. You have to admire Joe for his absolute commitment to everything conservative. From some others who know him, he has been a challenge to the Shorewood School Board for quite some time. I have to admit, I enjoy reading his posts along with those of Bob McBride IIs. Hang in there and try to stay to the higher path. When Joe levels his guns at me, I don't take it personally.
ike June 10, 2011 at 09:14 PM
@Lyle Ruble - I hear ya' and I've noticed that pattern with your responses and admire that. They have both made very clever and civil comments before. I remember one conversation with Joe (if I remember correctly) specifically when a reader commented on how impressed she was with the constructive style of the conversation about poverty. Those interactions are great, but I'm still at a maturity level where I fight fire with fire, not water like I should. These are such personal issues and I find everyone's reactions very interesting. I appreciate your advice; they should pay you as a mediator on here =).
Lyle Ruble June 11, 2011 at 06:08 PM
@Joe Peterlin...One thing is for sure, we share the same goals, which is to assure people's needs are met and that we create a society that has meaningful employment where people can earn a living wage. No matter what happens politically, we will still live on the North Shore as neighbors and life goes on. I too can get rather emotive when my perspective is ignored or completely discounted, but that rarely occurs. I enjoy our exchanges and always look forward to what you have to say.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »