July 14, 2009

Lehman makes his case to Racine Taxpayers Assn.

Like Daniel cast into the lions' den, John Lehman appeared Tuesday before the Racine Taxpayers' Association.

Racine's ranking Democrat on the state budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, Lehman did not have an angel watching over him, as Daniel did, and came away from the encounter somewhat mauled. In all fairness, of course, the group has rarely encountered a tax it likes, and in these wrenching economic times the state budget has a lot of them.

Sen. Lehman, D-Racine, spoke for 15 minutes, trying to put the $62 billion budget into perspective. "It has been cut, cut, cut, cut, cut," he said. "If you summarize it, it's bad, it's difficult, it's a struggle." Later he added, "We're in very bad times. But we kept our priorities, we're keeping the ship running."

No "big" taxes were increased, he said, referring to the sales tax, the income tax (except for those who earn more than $300,000 per year), the payroll tax, the gas tax. Lehman conceded that smokers will pay more, and there's a new tax on phone lines. "And the average home in Wisconsin -- worth $167,000 -- its property tax will go up $93 the first year, and $123 the second."

Things could be much worse. "We're not in as bad shape as California, issuing IOUs," he said. Or Oregon, where the fee for auto license plates just went from $54 to $162 per year. Or New Jersey, where property taxes in one community went up 100%.

The Legislature, in fact, made $1.6 billion in state spending cuts, he said, including imposing 16-day unpaid furloughs on state employees. "No Republican administration has ever done what we've done, this level of cuts," he said, acknowledging that "Democrats are everywhere" in Madison -- the Assembly, the Senate, the Governor's office. Although it is illegal to change a legislator's salary during his term of office, Lehman said he is "voluntarily" turning back 3% of his own paycheck each month.

His audience appeared unmoved. The first question involved state debt, and questioned the widely accepted figure of a 6.2% increase in state spending over the next biennium. The questioner insisted the state budget is really going up $19 billion over the next two years -- closer to 30% -- and said he got the figures from Gov. Doyle's own website, perhaps including federal stimulus funds. "I'd have to examine that," Lehman said.

The next two questions concerned the change in the state's "prevailing wage" statute, which is expected to increase the cost of construction in-state, and the elimination of the QEO, which many credit with keeping a lid on teacher salaries and benefits. Lehman, a former teacher, objected to the questioner's characterization of teacher benefits as "Cadillac," but agreed "they do seem to exceed what many people have." He said "teachers have better than average health care" because benefits were protected by the QEO, "but they are not under the new system. I have said to my teacher friends, 'Recognize that these are tough times and don't get greedy.' "

And then things got really nasty. "You seem to have a fear of cutting services," a man told Lehman, calling him out for "your generally Socialist ideas." That remark was met with both agreement and hisses, although Lehman tried gamely to answer the question it led up to -- how to attract businesses into the state -- with a response about how education and quality of life "are major, major considerations." Later he said, "I'm not a Socialist; I'm a fairly centrist member of the Democratic Party."

Then came a softball from a Lehman loyalist who noted the deficits left by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and said of Lehman, "we're lucky to have you; you're the best thing to come along since Les Aspin." If he had stopped there ... but he didn't, adding that the anti-Lehman/ Mason/ Doyle banners flown over the July 4th parade were "very tacky." As for the people who paid for the display, "Shame on them!"

Someone in the audience of about 35 hollered out in response, "Praise to them!" and someone else insisted, "That's why we're letting you speak."

Lehman, noting he marched in the parade with his wife, daughter and granddaughter, responded that the anonymously-sponsored banners "are not analogous to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with John Hancock's big signature. The cowardly person who put this up..."

That statement was interrupted by Jody Harding, one of this spring's candidates for mayor, who yelled out, along with a few others, "I paid for it!"

Lehman said, "The stuff is destructive to you and your liberty." There's a difference, he said, between "being out there in public and being a patriot."

When the discussion got back to taxes, Lehman received thanks for the "1/2% sales tax you didn't give us." That one would have been for KRM, about which Lehman said, "I don't know whether I'm happy with how that ended up."

Lehman noted that 55% of all the money collected by Madison goes back out to county and local municipalities. Wisconsin ranks 4th in the U.S. in the portion of local government spending that is furnished by the state, he said. "When you call for cuts in Madison, it will be passed on. We cut, cut cut ... and now the news is, 'What do we do with the local budgets?' "

One man told Lehman, "You should be more concerned about the 45% that stays in Madison." Another suggested the Legislature do something about "the old boys' club" that runs the technical colleges (which only receive 10% of their budgets from the state). Someone else complained about all the closed sessions that led up to the budget, which Lehman defended as "strategy sessions."


  1. Jody - did you use vacation time to attend this meeting or did you just screw CNH again going on their time?

  2. The Tax Payers Association is open to all people of Racine county. It is a non-partisan group.

    The story didn't cover the gentleman who helped get Lehman elected who now is looking at not being able to stay in his home. He cannot afford the property taxes.

    No we are not as bad as the worst cases in America. But should we be happy with what is happening? They could do a lot better.

    Lehman also talked about how the democrats alone decided the whole budget because of their majorities. They had virtually zero input from republicans.

    He did promote Wisconsin Eye as a good place to get information and videos of what is happening in Madison.

  3. Someone is obsessed with Jody. She has a stalker.

  4. Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hoo


    The true story of the banner.

    The Joker

  5. FYI Lehman should read the copies of the old style broadsides from the 1700 both the ones printed in England and here. If he thought the banners where bad.

  6. Agree with Lehman or not you have to admit it tooks guts to go up there and face a hostile crowd.

    All politicians should be willing to hear from their constituents and not just take the easy road out. Stand behind your decisions, put the info out there and let the people decide. One sided conversations are not productive.

  7. At last, Darth Jody has revealed herself to the public. She funded the banner and left bad taste in our mouths.

  8. Nothings says I want to be your mayor more than taking a dump on the 4th of July parade.

  9. Stay classy Jody

  10. He holds that microphone so lovingly. Lots of practice I'll bet.

  11. anonymous 5:06 - it was my impression this was during lunch hour. Is it not possible Harding took her lunch break at the Y?

  12. What did the banners say? They seemed to hit a nerve.

  13. Can't wait to vote him out next time around.

  14. Anon, 7:25. You must be new here. I put a link in the story, but here it is.

  15. The meeting was today, Tuesday, not Monday. What's with the obsession with Jody, Anonymous?

  16. Anon, 7:55. Thanks. How time flies, eh?

  17. Lehman and Mason raised your taxes. They did.
    Hope the Union hacks are ready for not only the shows going on CAR 25 but You Tube and the podcastcoming out on why these two need to go.
    We can even do low power A.M and F.M. radio with that message too. BTW the teck exists to override pa too. Good chance come the big labor day speech you could here that message broadcast over Lehman better yet Corry's speech " Yes I rasied your taxes"

  18. John Lehman, of all people, should be pretty careful throwing around the word "coward."

    I contributed to the banner.

    Unlike Lehman, who shirked his duty as a citizen and a man and cut and ran when his country called, I served my country.

    One of us is a coward, John - and we both know which one.

  19. The banner was an objective statement of fact. Doyle Lehman and Mason raised your taxes. Not only did the raise taxes, they also incorporated anti-business, anti-job creation measures - in a recession, in which our citizens are already suffering more than others in the state and in the nation.

    If Lehman thinks that the message was negative, perhaps he should not have voted the way he did.

    Can anyone seriously argue that this state was UNDERTAXED before this budget? Then why raise it?

    Lehman did so because he represents, not the taxpayers of Racine, but the public employee union members of Wisconsin, especially WEAC.

    John Lehman - He's nobody's Senator but WEAC's.

  20. JJ McAuliffe7/15/2009 4:07 AM

    While I have not seen eye to eye with John Lehman over the years. You seriously need to give him some credit for going before a group of people who he knew damn well were going to rip him apart. He still had guts to face them. Like him or not, that is admirable. Again I do not agree with him in many aspects. Yet he has the courtesy to explain himself on many issues. The fact that he went before a group that he knew damn well would rip him to shreds, says more then many of the other sheep in Madison. Democrat or Republican.

  21. Jody Harding help pay for the tacky banner flown over the parade, I just knew that woman had a screw loose and hasn't a bit of class or family values.

  22. Am I reading this correctly? Did Lehman actually say, "The stuff (flying banners with political messages) is destructive to you and your liberty." ?

    That actually sounded like a threat. I get the impression that Mr. Lehman is saying, "Try that again and I'll help create a law that will destroy your liberty to protest so freely."

    If that wasn't meant to be a threat, then that was perhaps one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard from a politician.

  23. "Like Daniel cast into the lions' den"

    "give him some credit for going before a group of people who he knew damn well were going to rip him apart."

    Cry me a river for his "courage". He stands there and spews his liberal policy for an hour, doesn't have to think too much while takingthe "tough questions" and will have articles/blogs written about him saying how courageous he was for speaking to those evil taxpayers. Where can I sign up for a job that takes this kind of courage? Go ahead and write back to tell me to run against him if I don't like it - I don't have a million bux laying around or a bunch of rich buddies or a rich social justice machine that can raise me a cool million.

  24. Jody is a knucklehead that works at CNH. When she was running for mayor, she was using company time to run her campaign. Now we find out how extreme she really is - tea party, paying for banners etc. She is just waiting to run for the next mayoral election. Please remember her whacy ways when this happens.

  25. Pete it is unfair, and shows ignorance, to demonize the Racine Tax Payers Association. The Association is not just a few vocal people who may or may not be members. The meetings are open to the public. You got in. There were some members there who disagreed with the banner. But still they are "Lions den".

    Every one should be clear by now that the banner was paid for by private citizens not an organized group.

    Lehman has come to Racine Tax Payer meetings many times. He knows it to be safe. Yes, this one had the banner controversy. Racine Tax Payers meetings are a place to discuss these sorts of issues. Where else is it being done?

    Lehman opened up for the attack when he said the people who paid for the banner are cowards because they won't show themselves. Did he really think they would sit sweetly and silent? Of course they yelled out, "Hey, here I am." He was not talking to a group of Pete's.

    Hey, would speaking to democrats also be entering a lions den because they want to string him up for KRM? They are petitioning to recall him right?

    You have a website that lets all sorts have a say. Does that mean you are synonymous with all the comments made here? Think about it,
    it is ignorant of you to continue to take cheap shots at The Racine Tax Payers Association.

  26. Downtown Denizen7/15/2009 9:35 AM

    There were 3 banners flow over the parade on July 4th. Jody donated to the one that said, "Doyle, Lehman and Mason raised our taxes." That banner was simple a statement of FACT, not an opinion, and the people of Racine have a right to know who is raising their taxes in this time of extreme financial difficulty.
    On the other hand, the other two banners touting Lehman and Mason are "bad for Racine" was sponsored by another group totally independent of the tax banner(which Jody had no knowledge of), yet no one seems very concerned about who funded those "opinon" (not fact) banners.
    Did it take guts for Lehman to face the Taxpayer's Assoc., or was it knowledge of the fact that if he didn't face them that it would be an acknowledgement from him that he screwed the Wisconsin taxpayers and property owners once again? I think the latter.

  27. Wow, I think it was quite brave of Jody to shout out she paid for the banner, when Lehman thought no one would admit to it. We need someone not afraid to speak up. Jody has some great qualities.

  28. Rich Harding (Jody's husband)7/15/2009 9:49 AM

    "When she (Jody) was running for mayor, she was using company time to run her campaign," is an outright lie.

    The jealous, ignorant jerk that keeps referring to this seems to be totally unaware that management at CNH gave Jody their blessing to run for mayor and was kept fully informed of when and where she'd be at any time. Jody has a habit of arriving to work 20-30 minutes early most days and working past 5:00 almost every day, and in some cases LONG past 5:00.

    If you're so concerned about this issue, why didn't you say something to Jody's boss during the campaign? I'll tell you why; because there's no truth to what you're saying. I think you're noting more than a snivelling liberal b**ch who loves to lie and stir up trouble. So get this; the Taxpayer's Assoc. meeting was attended by Jody during her lunch hour. If you were so concerned about her and defending the socialist Lehman, why weren't you there?

  29. Another Socialist for Liberty7/15/2009 10:29 AM

    Rich you and your wife are a joke. You'd make a lousy "first lady"-both you and your wife are polarizing. If you want to play with the big boys and girls, then you better be able to handle the heat. Darth Jody dishes out worse about current politicians but you don't see their spouses getting on here to rip their opponents. Maybe Jody and you should give it a rest-clearly you can't handle the pressure and if she was mayor she would be under plenty of pressure.

  30. Rich - she posted to blogs during works time, I don't believe that was a lie. Did she leave her office at 12:00 and get back by 1:00 when she went to the meeting? I think not. These are not lies, this is just the way it is. By the way did you two clean up your yard and house yet - maybe we need some guidelines for your neighborhood. jody will never be mayor - she's goofy.

  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  32. made many hard cuts to who ?? The city,county,RUSD,Gateway? All are crying how much state aid was cut, and how much your property tax bill will have to go up. Just wait till you get your property tax bill !!Valuations down ? I doun't think so, but mill rate up,they need YOUR tax money

  33. Rich Harding7/15/2009 5:33 PM

    To the chicken that posts anonmymously about Jody, I suppose I should apologize for coming to the defense of my wife. How dare I do such a thing when you shoot off your mouth and make personal attacks on her. You're probably also one of those who mercilessly attack Mrs. Dickert, for no good reason and with nothing to substantiate it. Should I apologize for defending her rights as well. Why don't you crawl back under the rock you came from and examine your own life. You obviously don't have the guts to fess up about who you are, so why not just keep your mouth shut.

    The proof of how hateful you are is that you can do nothing better than attack Jody when the topic is about Lehman and the Taxpayer's Assoc. Get a life!

  34. Another Socialist for Liberty7/15/2009 7:38 PM

    Richie, Richie, Richie or may I call you Dick...

    1. Mrs. Dickert is not a candidate for mayor nor does she run off at the mouth like you and Jody do.

    2. Like it or not Jody runs off at the mouth and as a result is open to criticism.

    3. Jody backers post anonymously all the time-get a grip.

    4. You and your self rightous wife are critical and Negative towards elected officials-calling them socialists, tax and spend liberals etc. what has been said about her that is not true? easier for you to call people Names.

    5. Jody hid behind anonymity when she paid for the airplane ad-where was the disclaimer? Perhaps the DA should investigate.

    6. Richie,if you and Jody wanna be players, you need a thicker skin. God forbid she ever gets elected to something are you going to run to her defense each time she's criticized?

    7. Jody's a joke-she has no credibility. Run Jody run but you'll get 18 % of the vote.

  35. Rich Harding7/15/2009 8:21 PM

    To "Another Socialist for Liberty" 1. I guess you can't properly interpret what you read. I NEVER attacked Teresa Dicker, I defended her against those who WERE attacking her for no good cause.

    2. If Jody were in public office or in the midst of a campaign, I would not run to her defense everytime someone said something negative about her. But, when someone fabricates lies and attacks her on a personal level, then you'd better bet I'll come to her defense.

    3. NO ONE complains about anyone posting positive remarks about anyone or anything, EVER. But when lies are spread by that cowardly, anonymous, hypocritical a-hole about Jody campaigning and blogging on company time, when that person is doing exactly the same thing, then something needs to be said.

    4. Jody did not hide behind anonymity when she contributed a measley $25 toward the "tax" banner. She told Lehman at the Taxpayer's Assoc. meeting that she proudly contributed. If she had wanted to remain anonymous, that would have been her right to do so!

    5. During her last campaign no one ever heard a word out of me, regardless of what was said to or about Jody. That was business. But, IMHO, any man that doesn't stand up and defend his wife against lies and personal attacks is not a man. Evidentally, you qualify as that type of coward if you wouldn't do the same for your wife.

    You liberal mudslingers are all the same. You pay no attention to the facts (historical or otherwise) and when you can't fight back with facts of your own you resort to personal attacks. The lot of you ain't worth the powerder to blow you to hell.

  36. Great, now the Harding family is advocating the murder of liberals. Another fantastic campaign move. First she insults this city and the people living here by saying all of the smart ones left. Then she gets a group together to attack unknowing reps in front of their families, effectively taking a dump on the 4th of July parade, and now she wants to kill people.

    Great resume she's building here. What's next? Is she going to burn down all of the Christmas Trees at the festival of lights?

  37. At least John had the guts to face the people and stand by his actions, unlike Jody Harding and her gang of vigilante thugs with their tasteless low blow, hit and run tactics.

  38. "Now she wants to kill people."

    Here is a perfect example of just what Rich is talking about. You liberals have the mentality of slugs. Just saying someone isn't worth the powder to blow them to hell is not advocating murder. You nailed it Rich, when these idiots can't come back with logic or facts, they make personal attacks and blow things way our of porportion, and then they have to do it anonymously because they don't have the guts to face you.

    Because of this particular idiot, Jody just got my vote in the next election!

  39. You know, I don't know Mr. Harding but what really bothers me is that he decides to get into the fray and becomes kind of off balanced. Jody has made some outrageous statements and her outburst in a taxpayers meeting is another example of uneven and unstable behavior that would be unsuitable for an elective office.

    I am not a liberal or a conservative but I didn't like the banners, any of them flying over the parade. I had plenty of kids there and thought it was in poor taste and yes, inappropriate.

  40. Maybe it is my inferior slug mind, but blowing someone to hell and referencing gun powder sure seems like murder to me.

  41. Senator Lehman showed great courage in speaking to the "non-partisan" Taxpayers Assn. And in return they showed how "non-partisan" they are by admitting they funded those very partisan banners on the 4th of July. They are a joke.

  42. Hey dummy, Anon 10:36 pm People in the audience of the Tax Payers Forum admitted to funding the banner. The Tax Payers Association had nothing to do with it. Go reread the article. Geeez. What don't you get?

  43. Well said Anon 10:06

    Unstable is a good word for it. Based on the words of her husband, I'm concerned for his mental well being. Sounds like he is right on the edge. I just pray for him to get help before someone gets hurt. I hope he finds God and abandons his lust for violence.

  44. Seems to me Jody Harding is becoming the liberal's answer to Sarah Palin in Racine County. What's next - going after her kids?

  45. Where can I contribute my $25 to fly banners over Labor Fest?

  46. Richie - settle down. The two of you are unstable and she has no business even thinking about running for mayor. Someone said 18%of the vote - maybe 8%. The thing is she'll probably have her own time to campaign and not CNH time since she'll be gone by then. And lastly, I am a Repubican, but certainly not a unstable Jody Harding exteremist Republican.

  47. Anon 8:11 AM, you seem to be the one that is unstable. You and the woman who is obviously trying to get Jody fired from CNH. Both of you have obviously missed the whole point of this article and have decided to slander and attack Jody and her husband out of some twisted sense of unity. The topic is Lehman addressing the Taxpayer's Association. I think what you and that rotten woman are doing is exactly what Pete and Dustin are talking about in their article on posting on RacinePost. Get off the hate wagon and back on the to topic at hand.

    Concerning the banners, kudos to Jody for not being afraid to own up to donating. Everyone who contributed to them has a right to remain anonymous to protect themselves from jerks like you two who would skin them alive for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.

    And like Anon 9:49 PM, you just convinced me to vote for Jody if she runs in the next election.

  48. Graham - but it sure is fun!

  49. I'm glad Jody FINALLY owned up to the banner hit job. It's a shame she only did it to score some points in front of a sympathetic crowd and try to get some media attention.

    Let's get one thing straight. The banner people had every right to do what they did. Most just found it to be in bad taste.

    For example:

    I could go into a restaurant and yell out - "Wow that woman is fat!" right in front of her family. While it may be free speech and factually true, any decent person wouldn't actually do it because they have some shred of dignity and respect.

    None of these banner people want to own up to that and admit while they excercised free speech it was a mistake and done in bad taste.

    Since Jody Harding is apparantly stepping up and taking claim here, then she should not cry when people voice their disgust. Her name is in the article and thus is part of the story.

    These "don't attack Jody" people are hilarous. I think Jody will stop getting attacked when she stops attacking Racine.

    Even when she was running for mayor her message was really degrading to the people that actually live here. As long as she is willing to run her mouth in public then people have the right and obligation to fight back.

    Her husband wants to kill people and some are upset about calling Jody out for posting on company time.

    Jody and her band of hit and run thugs are trying to lead this city and country into civil war. That's not my opinion. Go back and look at the comments on the banner story. These Jody Harding led whack jobs want to take to the streets with guns and start shooting up liberals because they lost an election.

    Their hate speech around the so called socialist agenda will eventually inspire one of their whack job followers into hurting someone. These people are actually talking armed revolution! What? Wake up Racine. These people are dangerous. When they find out they can't win elections, things will turn violent.

  50. RACINETRANSPLANT7/16/2009 11:06 AM

    My problem with this whole back and forth is the fact that both sides attempt to use hate language.

    Whatever happened to stating your view and allowing people to judge based on that alone without attempting to sway people through fear?

  51. RACINETRANSPLANT said... - what fun is that?

  52. Jody Harding's group doesn't want to vote their way into power, they want to shoot their way into power.

  53. RACINETRANSPLANT7/16/2009 12:26 PM

    "Jody Harding's group doesn't want to vote their way into power, they want to shoot their way into power."

    It's ignorant statements like this that I was talking about. Why not point out the FACTS about Jody that you don't like???

    I just don't understand, and to be clear I lean pretty left in most of my values.

  54. Read the banner story comments anon....it's all there in print.

  55. I suggest Lehman have security detail with him when addresing certain crowds. Rich Hardings comments prove that out when he talks about blowing liberals to hell with his gun. The only thing stopping him is the cost of the gun powder.

    This is no joke. These people are angry, dangerous and vocally willing to be violent.

    Several comments in the 4th of July story from banner funders mention taking up arms against Liberals. The public should be on their toes when Jody Harding and her group is around. Read the comments and judge for yourself.

  56. get back to the subject-Lehman, not Jody.
    How courageous he was with closed door,back room, late night budget deals ??

  57. Lehman faced a hostile crowd, took the questions and gave answers. A lot better than what Paul Ryan gave us.

    Fact is the WI Republicans did not issue an alternative budget. There was nothing to choose from, so if you are angry about the budget call Vos and the other Republicans and ask them where the hell they were when the state needed them the most. Republicans voted present and just stood back while the house was burning down.

  58. Rich Harding should apologize for making a very stupid comment.

    Jody Harding loudly proclaimed from the safety of the audience that she funded the banner. Lehman responded to the comments and was correct in calling Jody Harding a coward.

  59. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  60. Anon 1:35 - let's not forget the Democrats that were on the Finance Committee met in close session without the Republican representation to hammer out this spend and tax bill.

  61. The Republicans didn't offer anything to be discussed. They totally checked out of the process.

    The strategy is simple. Don't participate and then flame the Democrats for whatever they come up with and don't offer an alternative solution.

    The Republicans played it smart. By not going on the record with any alternative, then there is nothing to criticize right? They get to take the "I told you so" position while getting a free ride from the people who are focused on what did get passed.

    Their dirty little secret though is that they would have had to raise taxes to make up the budget shortfall. They knew this and that was a big reason they did not come out with an alternative plan. You see, that would lessen the outrage and offered them no political advantage.

    Hence voting present.

    I'm an independant. I would have a ton more respect for them if they actually came to the table with something other than political posturing and the endless "no" chant. It is ok to say no, but then you better damn well deliver something as an alternative. The fact that they didn't speaks volumes. Oh - they will complain that they weren't part of the process but if that is true then they certainly had a ton of time on their hands to come up with something better. Am I wrong here? You don't have to be a party hack to call that one out.

    They played politics while this state was in crisis. We haven't seen anything this dramatic in years! Republicans sat it out and just complained from the sidelines.

    Now they will want you to vote for them, but really do you know what you are getting? How would they have delt with the huge shortfall? You think you know, but nobody will ever know since they did nothing. Put up or shut up.

    But come election time that's when all of a sudden out of the blue they will have had the answers to everything. How lame. I would have cut spending! I would have decreased taxes! Really? Prove it! Don't just say it - put your plan on paper and prove it!

    I swear these parties think we're stupid.

  62. The Democrats on the Finance Committee met in closed sessions and hammered out this bill - the Republicans on the committe were not allowed to put their touches on it. Let's get that facts straight - The Democrat's railroaded this through the Democractic House and our illustrious taxing crazy or fee crazy governor.

  63. That's what the Republicans would love for you to believe!

    Truth is they were not going to participate at all because they could not gain anything politically from it. Do you want to be a Republican that voted for tax increases? Heck no!

    Tax increases were going to have to come one way or the other and there was no way in hell any of them were going to put their signature on it. Their mission was obstruction right from the start so they could be the heroes in the next election cycle.

    Democrats knew this but couldn't afford for the budget to come in late since we would lose millions of dollars. Republicans forced their hand since Democrats have the majority and said here - you fix it.

    The proof is in the pudding. They had no alternative plan. It is just that simple. You can love their slogans of low taxes and small government but I'd rather have tangible actions that I can evaluate rather than campaign garbage.

    Hate the budget all you want, but Republicans totally checked out.

    But wait till election season, they David Copperfields of magical budget fixes known as Republicans will be coming out of the woodwork with their great but way too late ideas.

    All you'll hear is I would have done this, I hate that, They shouldn't have done this......well, what the heck was your great idea when it actually mattered?

    It is not too much to ask I think. I'd be much more willing to go after the Democrat budget if I knew what the alternative was.

  64. I wonder if Jody Harding or her other banner funders ever asked their beloved party what their solution was to the budget.

    Probably not, but they felt ok putting up a banner that said Doyle raised taxes.

    Republicans would have raised them too if they were in the majority. I hate to break it to you die hards. They're just hoping you wouldn't notice and do your homework.

    If you think that the Republicans weren't playing the game then you are incredibly naive. Both parties do this, it isn't new.

    Go ahead and vote Republican, but at least make them honest and tell you what their plans are before you blindly follow them. "No" doesn't balance the budget. Make them get specific - hold them to a higher standard than the normal campaign garbage and maybe we can all get somewhere.

    Jody Harding and her supporters should take all of that energy they have and start getting some real answers from this party so they know what exactly they are supporting before they fly another banner.

    None of us - Republicans, Democrats or Independants should take any of this crap from these parties anymore. Make them step up with solutions! We'll all be better off for it.

  65. Chief Dog Catcher7/16/2009 3:31 PM

    Jody should run for alderperson so we can see her get her but whipped again -she couldn't even get elected dog catcher.

  66. Maybe the Racine Taxpayers should bring in Robin Vos and make him outline an alternate budget that would not have raised taxes! Love to see it!

    At least Lehman came out and stepped up to the plate with answers.

    There were cuts - all over the map. Just look at the JT on any given day and you can read about the school funding going down and other programs facing big reductions.

    Then you have Jody Harding doing her best Monday Morning quarterbacking when not only wasn't she in the game, but she didn't even know the plays! Go ahead and ask her what Republicans would have done different and she will not have an answer because she didn't bother to ask. She will have no specifics because there aren't any.

    But she still felt ok flying a banner and attacking a man in front of his wife and kids at a parade. Unreal.

    Jody Harding has ruined her political future in this town. The more she acts, the worse it gets. She started off ok with the early entry into the Mayor race and pulled in a decent amount of votes for a newcomer. But once the race started it was all downhill and picking up speed.

    Top that off with her husband running his mouth off and not even having the fortitude to apologize for a very ridiculous remark.

    I don't know what Jody Harding offers Racine at this point. It has gone beyond embarassment and into concern for her emotional state.

  67. I have gotten to the point where I have stopped reading all the ANONYMOUS snide comments that make up this site. It is always filled with vitriolic smears and snarling which gets none of us anywhere. There are distinct differences between the progressives and the conservatives - and always will be. We see the world and our politics through entirely different lense. But I feel compelled to mention how 99% of the posters do so under the fog of anonymity. If you are such patriots why do you refuse to identify yourselves? Stand up for your beliefs. Own your comments!

  68. TrueBlue.Glenda - you first, plus the snide remarks are fun especially when speaking about our wonder girl Jody!

  69. Anonymous 10:08, I am not so troubled at what you sling at Jody Harding. I certainly have no interest in defending her. My point is quit hiding behind the curtain and take ownership of your comments. Anything less is just plain cowardice, which is what the 4th Of July banner people did. Apparently they were ashamed of their comments otherwise why weren't they identified immediately? They are right - we all have a right to free speech (as long as it doesn't expose children to crude, unwarranted, name calling). Whether the parade was a wise choice or not to display their displeasure with elected officials will vary from group to group and person to person. But why were those folks so afraid to say who they were? Why did it take John Lehman's personal voice to make them stand up and be counted? They should have been willing to do so the entire time. Folks, patriotism is NOT speaking out while hiding behind a curtain, it is having the courage to speak out in your own voice and under your own identity.

  70. TrueBlue.Glenda - Why are you so afraid to put your name out here - big talker?

  71. There is video of Lehman not so humbly admitting that The Dems were the only ones who mattered when it came to this budget. In answer to the question of closed door back room meetings.

    In the open in the close it didn't matter they had all the power.

    Words right out your leaders mouth. Call him I am sure he will tell you like he told the whole room. Republicans do not have a majority in either area so there input was strategically ignored.

    The Dems take full credit for budget, doing it behind closed doors, because they can.

  72. Pete was there he heard what Lehman said. This is not republican propaganda. This is not conspiriacy theories. Lehman boasted about it.

  73. Anon, 11:15 How on earth do you say I am afraid to put my name out there? My name is there loud and clear: TrueBlueGlenda. I'm haven't added any comments under anonymous. And I haven't made scurrilous remarks. If I had (or if I do) you can be damned sure I will stand up and own my voice. But this is the main reason I avoid reading these comments anyway. 99% are posted by unknowns who lurk under the the cloak of anonymity. Empty statements by gutless posters.

  74. TrueBlue.Glenda - you are even dumber than I thought - which is your 1st and 2nd name? You call posting under an alias having your name out there loud and clear!

  75. Anon 3:34, you sure are quick at throwing around personal insults while hiding behind your mamas apron. And you are even dumber than I would ever have imagined if you think that I would put my full name on this website with all you angry wingnuts that hang out here. Those who know me, know well who I am. I'm not ashamed to put my name GLENDA out there. But I'm not going to disclose my full name to anonymous fools who lurk in dark corners. Step forward coward.

  76. "I didn't like the banners, any of them flying over the parade. I had plenty of kids there and thought it was in poor taste and yes, inappropriate.

    Appears you had no problem with all with all the drinking in front of the little kiddies. How about all the garbage after?

    "Where can I contribute my $25 to fly banners over Labor Fest?"

    Watch all the liberals become violently unhinged.

    I don't know you Jody & Rich, but I will also send a contribution after reading posts here.

    BTW Larry B., you are truly an immature donkey.

  77. This was John Lehman's third appearance before the Racine Taxpayers Association. He has always been straight forward with us and we appreciate that. He does not come before us and start changing his tune to appease our preferences.

    Many of those attending last Tuesday were not RTA members and we appreciate their coming. It was one of our more lively events. Of the half dozen attendees that raised their hands in response to Lehman's charge of anonymity, four were members. Here is the entire clip:

    You can see it on the RTA website also.


    No one person claimed to have paid for the whole thing, as John indicated happened. It was a spontaneous event. Done over a two or three day period. I don't know how we could have filled out the paperwork John wanted that fast. It was not a Republican thing either as John seems to indicate. And the RTA certainly had nothing to do with it. It was done by email.

    Some of the contributors are talking about putting up a similar sign, on a billboard, with all our names on it. If it can be afforded, I think it would be a good idea. Much more powerful than a one hour plane banner. Some are really ticked off about the tax increase.

    BTW, don't attack anonymity too viciously, you patriotic bloggers. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay all wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Cato." Because of the dangerous times in which they lived, except for the Declaration of Independence, which would have meant death to the signers of the document had we lost the war, political pamphlets were distributed anonymously.

    Anonymity has the advantage of taking personality out of the statement and, IMHO, leaving one with just the statement and it's subject matter to deal with.

    Next month the RTA will have Dave Hazen, RUSD Finance Director, in who will explain how RUSD hopes to deal with the Democrat's cuts in funding to the school districts. You are all invited.

    BTW, John Lehman, in his aforemention straight forward manner, did say that it is a matter of Wisconsin politics that the minority party is basically out of it in the budget preparation stage, and that the Republicans need not to have shown up to the budget conference. I believe I have that on video and, if I do, will get it up when I get back in town.

    George Meyers

    Programs Chairman

    Racine Taxpayers Association