MADISON, Wis. — At a Madison press conference Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos revealed the full details of a secretly negotiated deal to help build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks and claimed he could pass it in the State Assembly. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross denounced Republicans’ hypocrisy for benefitting from attacks against Democrats over $5 million for a scoreboard for the current Bucks arena and apparently now throwing their support behind taxpayer funding for a new, $500 million arena.
“Republican leaders are claiming they can pass a taxpayer subsidized arena deal for the Milwaukee Bucks that dwarfs the $5 million scoreboard they and their special interest allies attacked Democrats on in 2010,” commented Ross. “That means Republicans in the legislature are ready to vote for a Milwaukee arena that will cost 100 times more than the scoreboard funding the Democrats who used to hold those seats lost over.”
A news report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recounted how in 2010, Democrats across the state were attacked by the Republican candidates, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and special interest allies like the American Federation for Children whose Wisconsin operations are overseen by disgraced former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen. Democrats held the Assembly majority in the 2009 session but lost it the 2010 election cycle. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and Wisconsin Club for Growth also attacked Democrats for the scoreboard spending in 2010.
Current Assembly Republicans benefitting from the attacks include current Representatives Jacque, Tranel and Bernier. In addition, GOP members Macco and Jarchow now hold seats previously held by Democrats in 2010 that were attacked over the scoreboard.
Ross also noted that the tens of millions in state money for a Bucks arena deal may be part of a state budget that fails to restore any of the recent record cuts to K-12 public schools while draining resources for an unaccountable private school voucher program, slashes funding for the University of Wisconsin system by $250 million, could delay road and bridge repairs around the state and fails to help student loan borrowers by allowing them to refinance their loans like you can a mortgage.
He concluded, “The hypocrisy of Republican legislators voting to build an arena for the Milwaukee Bucks after attacking Democrats only adds to the outrageousness of their budget scheme. Republicans are draining resources from our public schools for private schools, cutting our UW schools and ignoring nearly one million hard-working student loan borrowers. Now they’re poised to send tens of millions in our tax dollars to Milwaukee to build an arena.”