Tag Archives: Save Our Bucks

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

County Board Meeting and Press Conference Tomorrow

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ONE LAST REMINDER ABOUT TOMORROW – TWO EVENTS

June 9th – 5:00pm Press Conference regarding the new arena with the people from Play It Forward

June 9th – 5:30pm  – County Board Public Hearing at the War Memorial Center, 750 North Lincoln Memorial Drive

Here is what you need to know:

1- You can sign up at this Facebook Event Link if you so desire or just show up

2- Wear Bucks gear or Play It Forward arena shirts so that the media and County Board members know you support the arena

3- This is a public hearing with the County Board where they are requesting citizen input on the arena proposal and the sale of Park East land to the Bucks ownership for development. You will not be required to speak if you do not want to. The important thing is that you are there in Bucks gear

4- There may not be another event in Milwaukee that all Bucks fans can come to in order to rally for the arena. After tomorrow night, the action may shift back to Madison. This may be our only opportunity for an event like this.

5- The meeting may run a few hours, but if you can only come for the first hour, even that is helpful. It will be entertaining and interesting to observe.

Mark it down. Tuesday, June 9th at 5:30pm at the Milwaukee War Memorial on the Lakefront.

It will be a beautiful 80 degree night at the lakefront. Come down for the scenery and stay for the meeting.

Go Bucks!

 

County Board Meeting June 9th and Other Developments

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A great deal of arena news came down today and with it comes our first appeal to you. We’ll need you to come out in force next Tuesday for the special County Board hearing just announced.

June 9th – 5:30pm  – County Board Public Hearing at the War Memorial Center  

Today the news came out that the Bucks’ owners are looking to purchase the remaining Park East acreage west of the river for development of not only the arena but also a new practice facility, restaurants, a hotel, apartments, parking garages, etc. Tom Daykin with MJS first reported it here. This would be a $400 million privately funded development in addition to the arena itself.Park East Arena Development

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is proposing to sell the 10-acres of Park East land west of the river to the Bucks owners for development purposes for the price of $1. The County Board of Supervisors will need to approve the sale. To that end, the County Board has announced a public hearing on Tuesday, June 9th at 5:30pm to allow the public to weigh-in on the proposal.

The good news is that the location of this hearing will be at the War Memorial Center on the lakefront and free parking will be provided (750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive.) We anticipate that this hearing will garner significant media coverage. At this hearing there will be a veritable Star Wars bar scene of different people with different agendas. Some will be excited about the fact that Park East land west of the river is actually being developed after being on the market since 2002 with no takers. There will also be citizens who will insist the property is worth more than the island of Maui and that the County board should hold on to the land for another decade or more until they can find a new developer willing to pay an exorbitant price for it.

What we’ll need at this meeting is YOU!  We’ll need you in your best Bucks gear at the War Memorial to represent Bucks fans everywhere. Attendance at this meeting does not mean you will need to speak at the hearing unless you want to. The most important thing for us will be the number of people wearing Bucks gear at this meeting. Supportive signs are good as well.

We’re going to spend the next week in conjunction with the other members of the Bucks online community in getting the word out. This will be the first chance for local and State legislators to see if Bucks fans “care”.  If only ten of you show up? Well let’s just say that will embolden the arena detractors.

Since the hearing is going to start at 5:30pm, we’d encourage you to get there at 5:15pm. But if you can’t be there early, be sure to still come. The session may go on for a few hours.

Mark it down. Tuesday, June 9th at 5:30pm at the Milwaukee War Memorial on the Lakefront.

Follow us on social media for more updates and be listening for our spokesman Paul Henning on local radio this weekend as well.

Our Take on the Last 24-Hours

Many of you are asking where things stand with the arena. You are hearing a lot of hyperbole coming from a number of quarters. That tells us things are starting to get serious. Continue reading

True or False? – The Legislature Still Has to Pass the “Jock Tax”

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FALSE.  We already have the “Jock Tax” in place in Wisconsin.

After soaking up 72-hours of conversation on the arena among friends, relatives and people posting online, we’ve come to an important conclusion —- A segment of Wisconsin residents, certain pundits and perhaps even a handful of legislators do not understand that the “Jock Tax” is already in place and collecting millions in income tax from pro athletes who perform in the State of Wisconsin. As we highlighted in our piece the other day, Wisconsin has had what is known as a non-resident entertainer tax for decades now. Continue reading

A few thoughts for @SykesCharlie (Part II)

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When the conversation got rolling on a new Bucks arena in April of 2014, Milwaukee talk radio commentator Charlie Sykes came out with significant critiques as it related to public financing for a new downtown arena. With the details of a new plan leaking out today, he’s back at it again both on his talk show and at this link via his Right Wisconsin digital platform.

Last year in the spirit of good debate, we did a piece addressing some of his concerns. We’ll take a crack at his concerns raised today with the new financing plan. Before reading this piece, we’d recommend that for background you read our piece from last night – The Elements of The Deal if you have not already done so.

Continue reading

Save Our Bucks

The Elements of the Deal

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The news leaked out earlier this afternoon. First from local Milwaukee talk radio personality Mark Belling and then quickly followed up by the reporters at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The elements of a deal are in place to finance a new Milwaukee arena complex.

We are going to give it our best shot at explaining what the key moving pieces are and what to look for next. Before we begin, we’d like to offer our condolences to the family of Don Walker, the MJS reporter covering the arena issue, who passed away unexpectedly last week of a heart attack at the age of 62. Don and I (your SOB editor) had many email conversations on all things Milwaukee Bucks and the arena project over the past two years. I had known Don from assisting him with some prior stories on Miller Park many years ago. He was a very hard working reporter who was respected by all. As the excitement of the arena takes shape, we do so not only without Don, but also Bradley Center Chairman Marc Marotta, who unexpectedly passed away last month as well. The sad irony is that a key driver of the project (Marotta) and the key reporter covering the project (Walker) are not with us to shepherd things as we enter the home stretch. That said, we know they will be there in spirit when the first Bucks home game is played at the new building. Condolences for the families of both men.

Not a Done Deal Yet

When the specific details are announced in the next week, it is important for Bucks fans to realize that this is simply “the plan” for financing the new arena. This plan has many moving parts and will need a number of different constituencies to sign off on things. If some of these groups fail to go along with the plan, there might not be an arena. Thus it is critical that arena supporters convey to your elected representatives in the coming weeks that you want them to support the project.

Here are the important takeaways based on the deal specifics as outlined by MJS reporters Dan Bice and Patrick Marley this afternoon: Continue reading

A Wisconsin Tale – Part I

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Once upon a time there were three brothers, Christoper, Tom and Scott. The three boys had grown up on the shore of Lake Winnebago, raised by their loving parents Henry and Karen, who owned a beautiful house on the Lake. As youngsters the boys loved the lake and all it had to offer. Fishing, boating and swimming. One of their favorite activities was going out walleye fishing in their uncle Lloyd’s 16-foot Lund Fishing boat. The memories of those days on the lake were imbedded in them all. The three brothers agreed that as they grew up and built families of their own, they would always share this boating legacy with their children.

Lund Fishing Boat

Over time each of the boys married and transitioned into the stresses of normal adult life. Scott moved to Madison where he had built a lucrative career, Christopher moved into downtown Oshkosh, Tom elected to stay on the lake, inheriting the family home after the passing of their parents.

One day the three brothers were gathered at the park in Fond Du Lac for the annual boat show. A beautiful 24-foot pontoon boat with a 200 horsepower Mercury motor powerful was on display. The dealer was going out of business next-month and offering them a once-in-lifetime price of $22,000.

The three brothers knew Uncle Lloyd’s old Lund wasn’t cutting it anymore. They each had teen children who wanted to not only fish but waterski and inner-tube. Given the size of the families, it was impossible for them to all use Uncle Lloyd’s small fishing boat at the same time. Further, the families all wanted to have that boat that could be used for more than just fishing. The model on sale could also be used for water sports and cruising on the big lake. Scott suggested that he had the money to buy the boat, but it would need to be kept at the Tom’s house on the lake.

Pontoon Boat Water SkiChristopher seconded the idea and offered to purchase the lift, trailer and handle winter storage at his garage in Oshkosh. Continue reading

Save Our Bucks

State Budget Hearing – Support The Bucks

State Budget Public Hearing

Before the state budget goes to vote in April, the state holds public hearings to give the public an opportunity to comment, support or oppose parts of the state budget. There will be four such hearings coming up and we will be focusing on the one in the Milwaukee area at Alverno College, next Friday, March 20th at 10am. If you live outside the Milwaukee area and are able to attend a different hearing, we encourage you to attend and show your support for the Arena Funding Plan to support a new arena in Milwaukee.

We will be arriving before 10:00am on Friday, March 20th, and they are expected to deal with the New Arena Funding Plan of the state budget early so you will likely need to only stay an hour or so. We encourage supporters to wear Bucks gear, SaveOurBucks shirts or we will have PlayItForward shirts available to show your support.

For more information or to let us know if you are coming, please check out our Facebook page for the event at this link:

Here is the information on all the public hearings. Spread the word and show your elected officials there is support for the Walker Arena Funding Plan!

MADISON – The co-chairs of the state’s budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), are announcing four public hearings on Governor Walker’s 2015-17 budget proposal:

THIS IS THE ONE THAT WE HOPE TO HAVE BUCKS SUPPORTERS AT:

Friday, March 20 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Alverno College
Pitman Theatre
3400 South 43rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53234

OTHER HEARINGS AROUND THE STATE

Wednesday, March 18 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Brillion High School
Endries Performing Arts Center
W1101 County Road HR
Brillion, WI 54110Monday, March 23 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

University of Wisconsin-Barron County
Fine Arts Theatre
1800 College Drive
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Thursday, March 26 (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Reedsburg High School
CAL Center Auditorium
1100 South Albert Avenue
Reedsburg, WI 53959

Bucks Owners Honor Long-term Plan

Paul-Henning

By: SOB Spokesman Paul Henning 

Follow Paul on twitter @brewcitypaul

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The Milwaukee Bucks pulled off trade deadline deal that surprised fans and the basketball community by trading starting point guard and fan favorite Brandon Knight to the Suns and in return getting back 2014 Rookie of the Year point guard Michael Carter Williams from Philadelphia 76ers and PG Tyler Ennis and PF/C Miles Plumlee from Phoenix Suns.

This trade stunned not only fans but members of the national media who have been closely following Milwaukee’s Cinderella season led by new head coach Jason Kidd and the much improved play of the team led by Brandon Knight. Firmly entrenched in the Eastern Conference’s 6th spot with a chance to move up, many expected the Bucks to stand pat. But with Knight’s impending restricted free agency, it appears they made a move to get back assets instead of run the risk of losing him this summer to an offer sheet they did not feel like matching. Knight is widely expected to get a max contract offer from another team for his improved play this season and rising salary cap next season.

At face value, many fans are wondering ‘why’ or ‘how’ we could trade our starting point guard and risk ruining the chemistry right before we make a run at this years playoffs. Our owners know we are not winning the NBA championship this season. While the playoff run will certainly be enjoyable, we must look ahead and put down the foundation for a championship level caliber roster. That means making tough decisions. That means understanding your assets & their valuations. Buy low & sell high is a mantra in the financial world. A world in which Lasry & Edens attained their success. They sold high on Knight and bought low on longer term assets in MCW, Ennis & Plumlee who are all under contract for between 2-4 more seasons on rookie scale contracts. Continue reading

Q & A: Tribal Gaming and the New Arena

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EDITORS NOTE: Since we published this piece earlier this morning, a spokesman for the Governor said the decision to not approve the Kenosha casino is final and will not be revisited. For those looking to understand all angles of this decision, this Q&A is still helpful for many trying to learn more about a complicated issue. Since initial publication, we’ve added a spreadsheet below to weigh out the benefits and risks. 

By now you’ve all heard the report from WISN AM1130’s Mark Belling that reportedly the two tribes involved in the proposed Kenosha casino project will offer to pay the public portion of a new arena, which could be as much as $220 million dollars or more. In exchange for this “donation” to the new arena, Governor Walker would need to reverse his decision last month and approve the Hard Rock Kenosha Casino project that is being sponsored by the Menomonee Tribe of Wisconsin in conjunction with the Seminole Tribe from Florida.

We could have written a 10,000 word essay on the history of tribal gaming and how we arrived at this point, but for now let’s go with this Q&A.  Please read it in its entirety as we try to walk through the entire situation in a logical flow.  Continue reading