By Jim Hightower
The Hightower Lowdown (9/3/15)
The Wisconsin governor says he should be America’s president because he’s a proven budget whacker who, by gollies, has dressed down teachers, slashed funding for higher education, busted unions, and gone after welfare recipients. He’s the Koch brothers’ favorite because he’s tough on government “moochers” – unless, of course you’re a corporate moocher. If a corporation wants public money… well, then Walker’s your go-to Wisconsin whore.
Wesley Edens could vouch for the governor’s willingness to bestow public favors on big men with big money. Edens is a New York City hedge fund gazillionaire who bought the Milwaukee Bucks pro basketball team last year. Showing the usual ethical perversity that afflicts “private-enterprise” sports owners, this flim-flamming carpetbagger immediately demanded a $250 million subsidy from Wisconsin and Milwaukee taxpayers to build a sparkling new sports palace for him.
Oh golly, Scott squealed with unseemly delight, it will be my exquisite pleasure to ramrod the deal through my Republican legislature for you, and I’ll also schmooze secretly with Democratic officials of Milwaukee County to get them to put out for you! Edens did his part to consummate this back alley affair by doling out ownership shares of his basketball team to prominent Republicans, including Jon Hammes, a developer who just happens to be co-chairman of the national finance committee for Walker’s presidential run.
Sure enough, in mid-August, the beady-eyed governor signed this $250 million giveaway of public money into law. Compounding his sleaziness is the fact that, only one month earlier, Walker had slashed $250 million from the budget of the University of Wisconsin. So, if you’re keeping score on Scott, corporations get the goldmine, students get the shaft.
“Bucks’ Owners Win, at Wisconsin’s Expense,” The New York Times, August 15, 2015.