The Other Half of the Wanggaard Story
Randolph D. Brandt, treasurer for the Committee to Recall Wanggaard, takes a critical view of Sen. Van Wanggaard's record.
Politicians are fond of telling half-truths, but in the “Year in Review” report by Sen. Wanggaard on his legislative record, he didn’t even succeed at meeting that 50 percent standard. Indeed, Sen. Wanggaard falls well below having any standards at all.
What’s missing from Sen. Wanggaard’s litany is the rest of the truth about his record, the vast majority of it.
Van Wanggaard has consistently voted to reward himself and his friends, particularly his friends who have rewarded him.
That shouldn’t be surprising from a politician who spent decades feathering his own public-employee retirement nest egg by using collective bargaining to gain his own generous public retirement income.
That would have been OK – people often look out for their own interests. But when Wanggaard then turned around to disable the collective bargaining system for other public employees in need of such support, he crossed the line from self-interest to double-dealing.
That’s not surprising either. Let’s look at how Sen. Wanggaard’s dealt from the bottom of the deck all along to make sure he and his new-found friends win, and the rest of us lose:
- He accepted nearly $15,000 in campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry, their lobbyists and suppliers, then voted to cripple consumer protections previously built into the telecommunications law.
- He voted for a budget that raised taxes on working families, while giving his new friends in industry hefty tax breaks, including industries that contributed nearly $15,000 to Wanggaard’s campaign.
- He voted for a budget that cut nearly $2 million from the City of Racine, while many of the people who voted him into office in the first place got stuck with higher local tax bills based on over-inflated property assessments.
- He voted to cut nearly $17 million from our local public schools, while turning over a good chunk of that money to private and parochial schools.
- He voted to delay unemployment benefits for the jobless in Racine and elsewhere, hardly the mark of a representative who’s just oh, so concerned for folks who are out of work.
- He voted to cut millions from long-term care for seniors, then tried to take credit for restoring the money when, in fact, the federal government ordered Wisconsin to do so. In effect, Sen. Wanggaard and Gov. Walker lied and then tried to cover it up when they got caught in their lie.
For all Sen. Wanggaard’s claims to sponsoring and passing jobs bills, the fact remains that Racine still has the highest unemployment rate in the state, and he’s failed to get any of his legislation passed nearly two-thirds of the time.
We need more than a senator who fails well over half the time, then tells half the truth by trying to champion such a poor record as some kind of major success.
We need a real leader in the 21st District, and Van Wanggaard simply doesn’t measure up.
(Randolph D. Brandt is treasurer for the Committee to Recall Wanggaard.)