Tag Archives: New Arena

Victory! Bucks Plan Passes Final Hurdle!

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With today’s 12-3 vote in the Milwaukee Common Council, the Bucks arena plan has now cleared its last legislative hurdle. All the major stakeholders involved have approved the measure and we head into the design and development phase.

We want to thank the State, County, City, Bucks organization and taxpayers for negotiating this exciting partnership that will secure the future of the team in Wisconsin for many years to come. We also want to thank you the fans who supported the project via the many letters, emails and phone calls to your respective elected officials over the past six-months. There were a few points along the way where things got a bit dicey and you helped stiffen the resolve of the politicians as to the benefits of this project. We hope this project can be a case study for bipartisan cooperation as political leaders on both sides of the aisle took courageous steps that made the new arena a reality.

Also take some time in your day to remember two partners we all worked with in this process. Marc Marotta, former chairman of the Bradley Center board and Don Walker, longtime reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. These two were as involved as anyone with the new arena but unfortunately were taken from us unexpectedly last Spring at too young an age. We know somewhere they are both smiling upon today’s events.

Most importantly we want to thank Senator Herb Kohl. This website began two years ago with one important goal and that was change. Change in the status quo. As fans we knew that our organization was living on borrowed time and something had to happen to set things on a different path. While this site was not without controversy, our goal was to initiate a much needed conversation on the future of the team.

Senator Kohl reflected on the situation and made some critical decisions that made today possible. He located a top tier ownership group and creatively transitioned the team in such a way that ensured the franchise would remain in Milwaukee. Along the way he made sure the new seeds he planted would take root with his $100 million contribution for the new arena. He can now enjoy the Bucks future in Milwaukee and his personal legacy in securing that future for a new generation of Bucks fans.

With today’s vote, we will wind things down here and start to enjoy the actual basketball games soon to come. This website will keep going with the occasional tweet or update during the construction process. As a word of caution, projects this large always seem to hit a few snags. So be prepared for a lawsuit, construction delay or political squabble as specifics of the arena lease or other issues such as the potential closing of 4th street are decided in the months ahead. This is a normal part of the process with a project this large and with this many stakeholders involved.

On a personal note, as your SOB editor I want to thank Paul Henning and Paul Cousins who played huge roles that helped make the SOB movement possible. Paul Henning who most of you already know was our spokesman and the key driver at endless meetings, rallies and talk show appearances to keep the momentum going. He was the man on the ground helping to tie all of you together in a relentless effort to Save Our Bucks.

Less known is Paul Cousins, a Bucks fan from Australia who runs a website development company and has donated countless hours of time, expertise and hosting capacity for everything that SOB has done online. I knew when this thing started we needed a website that wasn’t flashy but at the same time helped present our message professionally and reliably. Paul Cousins continues to donate his efforts there. Our goal is to get him over here to the States for a Bucks game in the new arena after it opens.

Finally a thank you to the Milwaukee Bucks online combillboardphoto-editmunity at over at the RealGM Forums. The SaveOurBucks.com website germinated from ideas stemming from long discussions that took place in the RealGM forum over a period of years. The posters over there helped at every step of the way in driving this movement, including the creation and funding of as Darren Rovell called it “Bucks fans controversial billboard“. Kudos to all at RealGM who stepped up and assisted whenever and wherever necessary.

Training camp begins next week and the first exhibition game is only two weeks away. The team enters the season with arguably as much momentum as any time since the 1980’s. The new ownership group has done a magnificent job in transforming the organization both on and off the court. We are thrilled that we can now 100% emotionally invest in the Bucks knowing they will be in Milwaukee for generations to come!

Go Bucks!

PaulPressey25
@PaulPressey25

Your SOB Editor

 

One last push – State Assembly Vote July 28th!

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It is expected that the 99 members of the Wisconsin State Assembly will discuss and vote on the arena bill this Tuesday, July 28th.

We are only TWO days away from successfully concluding things at the State level. We need a simple majority or 50 votes for this to pass and have the arena bill move onto Gov. Walker’s desk for signature.

Q: IS THIS THE LAST SET OF CALLS I NEED TO MAKE?  

A: Elements of the plan still need to be approved by the Milwaukee Common Council, but that vote isn’t until September. The belief is that Milwaukee will support the plan when it comes to a vote there.

One regional note for those living in Milwaukee -> State Senator Tim Carpenter (D- Milwaukee) who voted AGAINST the new arena last week is now running for the Milwaukee Common Council in a special election on August 18th to fill a vacant seat. As many of you recall, Sen. Carpenter made a blanket statement that “his constituents were against the bill”.  If you live in his district in Milwaukee you may want to research whether he would vote “no” on the arena plan in September should he be elected to the Milwaukee Common Council. Find out if you live in the 11th Aldermanic district at this link.

Q: DO I REALLY HAVE TO PUT MY ADDRESS IN AT THE LINK AND CALL AGAIN?

A: All involved in the process in Madison said that YOUR calls from two weeks ago were what made the difference in the successful passage of the arena bill in the Senate last week. Our guess is that as we come closer to Tuesday’s vote there will be plenty of political hijinks. Reinforce with your representative that you do not want them playing politics. Vote “Yes”! Continue reading

The Petak Paradigm Dead – Long Live the Fans

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Your SOB editor promised his wife and children he’d keep it brief tonight. So here it goes— Thank you to the 21 fabulous Wisconsin State Senators who stepped up today and voted “YES” on the arena funding bill.  Milwaukee Bucks nation is forever grateful to you for doing your part in securing the future of our NBA franchise in Wisconsin – where it started and where it belongs.

We hope that with today’s Senate action we can once and for all put an end to the Petak Paradigm. For those of you too young to remember, in August of 1995, then State Senator George Petak (R-Racine) cast the deciding vote to approve the funding and construction of Miller Park in the wee hours of the night. Miller Park went on to be a resounding success but before construction could really get underway, Senator Petak was recalled from office by certain voters in his district. More than that, control of the State Senate shifted from Republican to Democrat with his recall. It created a situation where all legislators in this State would become paralyzed whenever the issue of public funding for sports facilities was to be brought up.

The arena deal approved today could have provided $50 kazillion dollars in benefits to the State and we still would have some legislators cautious about whether or not to vote for the deal because of the Petak Paradigm. Where YOU came in was providing critical air cover for those 21 who voted “Yes” today. All the jobs, benefits, economic development and lobbyists in the world couldn’t have gotten this past the Senate unless you the voters/Bucks fans weighed in. Continue reading

The Senate Vote on Wednesday – The Final Push

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It is expected that the 33 members of the Wisconsin State Senate will discuss and vote on the arena bill this Wednesday, July 15th. We do not yet have a time when they will take the floor. It is expected that both the Democratic and Republican caucuses will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss where things stand and set a time to meet.

We need 17 votes for this to pass and move on the State Assembly. While there are other approvals required, the conventional wisdom is that if the arena measure passes the Senate, the other needed approvals will fall into line. The Senate has always been our toughest step in the process.

Right now the feeling among arena supporters in Madison is that they may indeed have the votes. This feeling was further buttressed by a positive tweet that Sen. Lena Taylor sent out earlier today that she feels she may be close to voting “Yes” on the bill.

We need to take this optimism and momentum and use it for one last day of calling your State Senators. As Mark Cuban learned with DeAndre Jordan, things can change at the last minute. Let’s not take that chance.

What can I do tomorrow (Tuesday)?

Call your State Senator and afterwards call other State Senators. Call them all if you have the time. If not, then call the State Senators in your region (see below).

Let’s go all out! Don’t worry about getting in theoretical debates about stadium funding with British comedians or trying to convince your uncle Louie this is a good deal. We are past that point with only 36-hours to go until this hits the Senate floor. This is all about reinforcing in the minds of each State Senator that they have constituents who really care about this issue and that you will follow through in the voting booth on this matter in the future (either positively or negatively)

The script for tomorrow is easy.  Call your (and other) State Senators and say the following:

“My name is ______________ and I live in/at ____________(address).  I would like Senator _______ to know that I strongly support the arena funding bill that will be debated tomorrow in the State Senate.

I would like Sen. __________ to vote FOR this proposal as it makes great economic sense for our State.  I will be very disappointed if Senator _________ is not able to vote for the arena funding proposal “

That’s it. That’s all you need. Thank the staffer for the time and move on to the next call.

If you’ve called already, you have our permission and encouragement to call again as this time the actual bill is now in place. No reason why you can’t makeWisconsin Capitol Bldg that second call to cement things. For those whose Senators have publicly said “no” already? Make them re-think their decision with your calls. Chris Paul was able to sway things back with DeAndre so you can as well.

IF YOU STILL DO NOT KNOW WHO YOUR STATE SENATOR IS, HERE IS A QUICK LINK TO FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

Just call the State Senator that comes up at the link after entering your address. We will call the Assembly person later after we clear the Senate hurdle.

FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO CALL ALL THE SENATORS OR GROUPS OF SENATORS BY REGION, CONSULT THE TABLES BELOW – >

Milwaukee Metro – Let’s go 9 for 9 with these folks on a “Yes” vote!

Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee, District 3) – 608-266-8535

Alberta Darling (R-River Hills, District 8) – 608-366-5830

Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee, District 33) – 608-266-9174

Nikiya Harris Dodd (D-Milwaukee, District 6) – 608-266-2500

Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee, District 7) – 608-266-7505

Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin, District 28) – 608-266-5400

Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville, District 20) – 608-266-7513

Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee, District 4) – 608-266-5810

Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa, District 5) – 608-266-2512

SE Wisconsin

Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau, District 13) – 608-266-5660

Richard Gudex (R-Fond du Lac, District 18) – 608-266-5300

Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg, District 9) – 608-266-2056

Steve Nass (R-Whitewater, District 11) – 608-266-2635

Van Wanggaard (R-Racine, District 21) – 608-266-1832

Robert Wirch (D-Kenosha, District 22) – 608-267-8979

Madison Metro

Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton, District 27) – 608-266-6670

Mark Miller (D-Monona, District 16) – 608-266-9170

Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville, District 15) – 608-266-2253

Fred Risser (D-Madison, Dstrict 26) – 608-266-1627

SW Wisconsin

Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green, District 17) – 608-266-0703

Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse, District 32) – 608-266-5490

NW Wisconsin

Janet Bewley (D-Ashland, District 25) – 608-266-3510

Shelia Harsdorf (R-River Falls, District 10) – 608-266-7745

Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls, District 23) – 608-266-7511

Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon, District 29) – 608-266-2502

Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma, District 31) – 608-266-8546

NE Wisconsin

Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay, District 2) – 608-266-0484

Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay, District 30) – 608-266-5670

Frank Lasee (R-De Pere, District 1) – 608-266-3512

Roger Roth (R-Appleton, District 19) – 608-266-0718

Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst, District 12) – 608-266-2509

Central Wisconsin

Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point, District 24) – 608-266-3123

Luther Olsen (R-Ripon, District 14) – 608-266-0751

Remember, be polite, clear and concise. And if the staffer tells you that they aren’t taking down your name since you might not live in the district of the Senator you are calling, tell the staffer you understand that, but you feel this issue is so important for the ENTIRE STATE that you felt compelled to call.

Let’s Do This!  One Final Day!  One Final Push!

Go Bucks!  Go Arena Funding Bill!

Your SOB Editor

 

 

 

Save Our Bucks

Thursday Night Update

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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.

Go Bucks!

Your SOB Editor

Save Our Bucks

Wednesday Night Update

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The Senate approved the budget last night and has adjourned. Senate Majority leader Fitzgerald has told the Senators they should hold their calendars open for a special session that might take place next week to vote on the arena funding package.

The only way that session happens though is if some Milwaukee area Democratic legislators publicly come forward and support the funding plan. To date, none have.  We predict if a few key ones would come forward, the floodgates would open and this project would quickly be approved with a bipartisan majority. 

We aren’t sure where this political game of chicken will lead us, but it might lead the Bucks to Seattle.

We’ll need your help tomorrow calling your legislators as you’ve done but also calling the Milwaukee based State Senators. For many of you, they are one in the same as you live in Milwaukee or Milwaukee County.

Focus on calling:
Sen. Chris Larson (608) 266-7505

Sen. Lena Taylor 414-342-7176 or 608-266-5810

Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd (608) 266-2500

Sen. Tim Carpenter 608-266-8535

Based on today’s calling efforts, these folks are starting to realize many of you want this project approved before everything runs off the rails and legislators head home for the summer. They are hearing you and your calls. But perhaps we need another day of it.

Be polite, be respectful, but let them know you don’t want them playing politics with something that will be a huge economic success for Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin. We frankly do not understand how a $1 billion dollar economic redevelopment project that will be constructed with union labor and Milwaukee labor is being allowed to flounder like this. The Park East has sat vacant for years and now we have the new Bucks ownership group who want to come in and develop  it.

We also do not understand how the the Milwaukee legislative contingent will explain their lack of arena plan support to thousands of children in the city who are fans of the team and future stars such as Giannis and Jabari, should the team leave. More importantly, we want those children to grow up in a thriving Milwaukee community with business and jobs, things this project will contribute greatly to.

Let these Senators know they can be the hero and save the day for us all. If they wanted to hold out for more State funding, unfortunately we don’t see that happening. Governor Walker tried to get the entire thing funded. That got push back to the point where the best option on the table is the current plan, which by the way a majority of GOP legislators in both houses support, just not a large enough majority to pass the bill.

If the Milwaukee area Senators want credit for coming in and saving the day, yes, we CAN and will do that! We aren’t asking you to compromise your values but rather embrace a rare bipartisan win-win project. Leave the other battles for a different day.

For our SaveOurBucks.com supporters, after you’ve made your calls to your reps and the Senators above, then 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.

Thank you for all of your work. This isn’t easy, but worthwhile things never are. You’re crushing it, and we’ll need you a few more days it looks like. We’ll get there.

Go Bucks!

Your SOB Editor

Save Our Bucks

Tuesday Night Update & FAQ

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We are grateful for all the work you have done the last 48-hours. We are making progress on a number of fronts in getting the arena funding bill passed. We put together a new FAQ below to help keep you informed as to where we stand as of 8:30pm on July 7th— and what to do next. Read on!

Q: Will there be a vote in the Senate tomorrow (Wednesday)?

A: Given that the State Senate has not put this on the calendar yet tonight, the bill might not get introduced and heard tomorrow. However, we wouldn’t necessarily read anything negative into that. The GOP has been bogged down trying to sort out their own issues over the Open Records Law and Prevailing Wage the past 24-hours. We wish that weren’t the case, but it is.

Q: Why are we so focused on the State Senate and not the State Assembly?  Both Houses must pass the bill for it to become law–right? Continue reading

Arena Week – Now Is The Time!

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EDITORS NOTE (Update Tuesday, July 7th at 8:30pm CT)

We have an updated FAQ on where we stand now posted to the site. Read in conjunction with this piece. 

 

Let’s begin this piece with some all caps shouting to emphasize the importance of the moment:

WE ARE LESS THAN ONE WEEK FROM POTENTIALLY HAVING A NEW ARENA APPROVED

THE ARENA COULD GET BOGGED DOWN IN “POLITICS AS USUAL” UNLESS YOU CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS STARTING TODAY – MONDAY MORNING JULY 6th

THE JOINT FINANCE COMMITTEE (“JFC”) WILL HOLD THEIR IMPORTANT HEARING ON THE ARENA BILL TODAY – ON MONDAY, JULY 6TH AT 11:00AM

IF THE MATTER MAKES IT OUT OF THE JFC COMMITTEE, THE FULL WISCONSIN STATE SENATE AND WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY COULD VOTE TO APPROVE THE BILL LATER THIS WEEK

We have all talked the arena issue to death for the past six months. We have now reached the critical point where the arena funding bill will be debated in Madison and voted on this week.

Even if you have already called your representatives, you will need to CALL THEM AGAIN starting TODAY, Monday morning, July 6th at 8:00am when their offices open. Below is an FAQ we would like you all to read on how to contact your representative and a timeline of the legislative process we hope results in passage of the bill this week. Continue reading

When Will They Vote On This?

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QUICK LINK TO FIND MY LEGISLATOR: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU CALLA PRIMER

Here is our FAQ on where things stand right now 

Q: Why am I making all these phone calls?

A: Because right now legislators in Madison are debating whether or not to include the arena funding proposal in the State budget. They are talking about it while you are reading this piece. That is why calls now are critical. Don’t wait to make the calls.

Q: Can’t I just email my State Assembly representative and my State Senator?

A: You can, but legislative staffers tell us that calls carry far more weight than emails. Think of all the spam you delete everyday from your inbox versus someone calling you on the phone.

Q: Are they voting on it yet? Continue reading

Contacting Legislators – A Primer

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Members of the Wisconsin State GOP legislative caucus have been talking privately the past two weeks about the arena financing proposal and whether or not to include the proposal in the State’s two-year budget (2015-2017). The thought goes that if the arena proposal is in the State budget to be passed later this month it will be approved more quickly and with less political theater.

There also is a fiscal argument from the standpoint that the State’s portion of the bonding results in an annual debt service cost of $4 million per year. That represents only .001% of the Governor’s overall proposed $35 billion in State spending in FY 2015-2016.

You’d think from some of the hysteria over the past ten days that the arena proposal would comprise 5, 10 or 20 percent of the State’s annual budget. But no, the proposed spending is only .001% of the annual budget. Additionally, that $4 million in state spending on the arena bonds is covered by the estimated $10.5 million the State will annually receive in jock tax money from NBA player salaries in FY 2016-17.

Over the next few days we are going to ask you to contact not only the legislators that represent your district, but key people on the fence that we’ll suggest contacting via updates in our Twitter feed. We may even ask you to do some “flash lobbying” this way in order to focus a group of Bucks fans to contact these folks at certain times.

The Wisconsin Legislature consists of two bodies: The Senate and the Assembly.  Everyone in the State is represented by one of 99 members of the State Assembly AND one of 33 State Senators. Use the link below to go to the legislative homepage and there you will find a query box allowing you to search for the member of the Assembly and the member of the Senate that represent you, based on your address.

QUICK LINK TO FIND MY LEGISLATOR: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

There are two ways you can contact them. Either via email or via a phone call. Continue reading