FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SaveOurBucks
Here is the news update for July 9, 2015.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has informed the 33 members of the State Senate that they should report to Madison next Wednesday, July 15th. Presumably it is because he wants to see the arena funding plan introduced and voted on. This is big news in that it is the first time we’ve had a definitive schedule from the State Senate. So here is our Q & A for tonight.
Q: Does Fitzgerald scheduling something mean the Senate has the votes to pass this?
A: We have no idea. As of tonight no Democratic State Senators have publicly said they support the plan. This is the major holdup right now. Read more about how you can contact these Democratic Senators and urge them to support the plan from our update last night at this link.
Q: Is it good for the Senate to vote even though they might not have the votes?
A: We think so. As long as there is no deadline, these Senators who are on the fence won’t feel any need to declare a position. We’ve debated the issue to death. Time for people to show their cards. We have a scorecard of who we think supports the arena funding bill at this link, but this is very unofficial and speculative.
Q: Could the State Assembly vote on this next week also? Can they pass it?
A: Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) was on with Mark Belling tonight on WISN 1130. Vos told Belling he believes needs 15 Democratic Assembly votes to get the measure passed. That said, he thinks the Assembly can and will pass the bill IF the Senate can approve it. Again the Senate is where the stalemate on the bill has been for some time now. This is why we want you to focus on calling the 33 State Senators this week and next. If we can’t get this through the Senate, approval by the Assembly is a moot point.
Q: We are hearing from some Democratic leaders they don’t like the bill. Will there be changes to it?
A: Vos tonight said that he has been in contact with minority leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and that Senator Fitzgerald has been talking with Senate minority leader Jennifer Shilling (D- LaCrosse). We don’t know what was discussed or what if anything might be changed in the bill. What we do know is that any changes that shift more of the costs to the State of Wisconsin will risk the bill losing support of certain GOP legislators who are now on board.
Q: Since we are focused on calling, is there anyone in particular we should call tomorrow?
A: For tomorrow, let’s focus on three things:
1. Find two friends or family members who support the arena and the Bucks. Have them read our tutorial (link here) on how to call your legislators and guide them through the process. If each of you can get just TWO more people to call their reps, you’ve increased your influence on the process massively.
2. We heard tonight on the Mark Belling Show that Milwaukee Suburban State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) is leaning towards voting “No” on the bill. She’s in a very safe Republican district and given the many Bucks fans that reside in her district and the fact many of her constituents work downtown should make her a “Yes” vote. We need a targeted calling effort with her office tomorrow.
Find out if you live in her district at this link:
But even if you do not live in her district but live in the Metro Milwaukee area, give her local office a call at (414) 425-9452 or her Madison office at (608) 266-5400. Let her know that the new arena plan is essential for the entire Metro Milwaukee area, including residents of her district.
3. We had a few of you call Mayor Barrett’s office today. The feedback we received was that the Mayor says he supports the arena funding plan. That we expected, he helped craft it.
What we need you do though is ask the aides at Mayor Barrett’s office what he plans to do to help get Democratic State legislators onboard with voting for his plan. Will his aides have an answer? We don’t know. The point of the exercise though is YOU letting the Mayor know we need him visibly involved in this process.
You can suggest to Mayor Barrett that he invite the 11 Democratic Milwaukee area State Assembly members and 4 Democratic Milwaukee area State Senators to dinner tomorrow night. The Mayor needs to ask the 15 of them what they intend to do if the plan is put to a vote. What is their end game? How do they plan on making the arena and the related development, property tax base and union jobs happen if they vote down this current funding plan?
You can contact Mayor Tom Barrett at 414-286-2200
With all of these calls, please be very polite and courteous. Our calling effort will be negated if some of you aren’t courteous and respectful. Please report back on twitter how these efforts are going as it is helpful for all of us collectively involved in these efforts. Additionally, expend your effort working with fellow Bucks fans and elected officials versus getting involved in Facebook/Twitter debates with some of the “trolls” out there. You aren’t going to convince the guy with the Sonics logo in his avatar of the merits of the plan, nor do we need to.
Our spokesman Paul Henning just wrapped up a one-hour radio show on 105.7FM The Fan. The station should have the podcast up at this link shortly. The show will run every Thursday at 6:00pm until we get this arena approved. Give it a listen and give Paul a call next week.
We wish we could have spent more time today celebrating the two major free agent signings the Bucks made, but there is work to do. We appreciate all the time and effort you have devoted to keeping your team in the State of Wisconsin. Keep the faith and let’s make sure our politicians know we are watching them. Reach out and contact them.
Your SOB Editor