Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Racine Harbor Reacharound - Wisconsin Style

Alternate title: How  Get Things Done In Wisconsin When No One Gives A Shit What You Want

So, the city of Racine needs a new boat launch. The present one is old and the water level of Lake Michigan has never been lower. The City of Racine owns the launch and Racine County owns the basin - both need to addressed and are governed by entities who don't necessarily see eye to eye. Fixing it will cost money - $750,000 - and that isn't the Walker way.

A boat launch that doesn't work is a problem for the city who need boaters to stock up on sunblock and booze, go fishing, get drunk and pee in the lake - the Siren knows of what she speaks. The county, who is now saddled with running the marina, needs those drunk urinators to continue to park their boats in Racine and not Kenosha.

What they need is someone in Madison who loves rivers and lakes to introduce an amendment to Scott Walker's budget to cover the cost to fix it. It can't be a Republican - because who wants to get caught having suggested something to benefit people in a city who didn't vote for Walker - either time. 

It has to be a Democrat. 

The problem is no amendments offered by Democrats ever pass - never. Not for domestic violence or infant mortality - nuthin'. But perhaps if the stars and moons are in just the right alignment, the heavens might support what has never been done before in this administration...

State Representative, Cory Mason, who is also a member of the Joint Finance Committee and a defender of water ways, introduced an amendment to the budget for the repairs. We salute you, sir.

Normally crypt-keeper, Alberta Darling, would have cackled - drank some more virgin blood and moved on to the next item - if it wasn't for one not so small thing. Racine County Executive, Jim Ladwig, who wants that boat launch fixed is Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos' college roommate - back in the day when he wore a mullet and got all the girls. 

Now, Mason's first amendment of $750,000 didn't pass. We imagine Vos and new little buddy, Tom Weatherston, went around and cracked a few skulls and gave the nod to try again. Mason reintroduced the amendment at the reduced figure of $700,000 and surprise, surprise - it passed.

Ladwig praised the "bipartisan" work, apparently with a straight face - which is why he always got the girls, unlike smirky, smuggy-pants Vos.

The result is a win for Racine - however, if the County Exec had not been the college roommate of the Assembly Speaker who is currently in a business partnership with the last County Exec - none of this would have happened. 

That is not not good governance, it's called a reacharound which is generally performed by a different kind of vendor...or not.