Another Day, Another Bernier Broken Jobs Promise

Deficit-Hiking Votes; Flip-Flops on Elected Office Provide Inauspicious Start

MADISON, Wis. — After abruptly announcing her inability to “fairly represent” taxpayers and planned resignation as Chippewa County Clerk due to her election to the State Assembly, Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) has now filed papers to run for president of the Lake Hallie Village Board. Bernier followed up this embarrassing flip-flop by breaking her promise to create jobs and reduce the state’s deficit, instead voting for $140 million in new special interest spending which will not create jobs.

“Kathy Bernier has been in office about a month and she’s already broken enough promises to last an entire legislative career,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Her personal power grab notwithstanding, Kathy Bernier has wasted no time in Madison breaking her promise to her constituents by supporting $140 million in new special interest spending that will not create any new jobs.”

Bernier has helped balloon the deficit $140 million by supporting a series of costly special interest giveaways, including:

  • Bernier voted to spend $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million in it, due to a lack of job creation. Bernier voted to create a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs. If it had created any jobs, they would already have applied for and received the tax credits, because there’s plenty of money already in the program. [Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 1/7/11]
  • Bernier is spending $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants. [Government Accountability Office, 4/1/08; Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 1/11/11]
  • Bernier is spending $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at-best the benefit provided to job creators would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day. This is hardly an incentive that will lead to new family-supporting jobs being created in Wisconsin. [Associated Press, 1/28/01]

“Kathy Bernier promised to focus on job creation and deficit reduction, but it hasn’t taken long for the party bosses to get her in line,” said Ross. “We’ll anxiously await Kathy Bernier’s next broken promise. Looks like it won’t be long.”

Bernier announced in December that she would resign her elected position as Chippewa County Clerk. In her letter, Bernier specifically noted she was unable to handle additional responsibilities given her election to the state Assembly, writing, “My time does not allow me to fairly represent the citizens of Chippewa County while working hard for the citizens of the 68th Assembly District.” [Chippewa Herald, 12/15/10]

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.