WI speaker to Bucks owner: Quit hanging with Dems or my GOP friends won’t let you eat lunch at their table

Wisconsin assembly speaker Robin Vos is a Republican, and supports the Milwaukee Bucks owners’ attempts to get public funding for a new arena. So, he tells Milwaukee Business Journal, he was aghast when Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry appeared at a Democratic campaign stop with Barack Obama, because none of his Republican friends are going to want to give Lasry money now:

“If you’re looking to people for support, you certainly don’t want to poke people in the eye,” Vos told the Milwaukee Business Journal Wednesday.

Wisconsin representative Mandela Barnes, who is a Democrat and supports the Bucks owners’ attempts to get public money for a new arena, says this is unfair:

“Personally I feel that that just because the legislature is controlled by Republicans doesn’t mean it should only be open to republicans and their supporters. Marc Lasry expressed his freedom of speech and may now see the Milwaukee area and entire state of Wisconsin be held hostage,” Barnes said.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is extremely a Republican, has said he’d consider kicking in state tax money toward a new Bucks arena.

What are we arguing about again? Oh, right, whether or not Obama is evil. Carry on.


7 comments on “WI speaker to Bucks owner: Quit hanging with Dems or my GOP friends won’t let you eat lunch at their table

  1. As a larger aside, the state legislature will do anything to put the screws to the city of Milwaukee. While I agree that we shouldn’t fund the arena, the reasons for it are widely divergent; Republican’s in the legislature somehow magically believe if they “starve” the city of Milwaukee of projects (from frustrating the efforts to construct high speed rail, to public transit, to cutting off various funding mechanisms) that the city of Milwaukee, the most populous city by a long stretch and the economic engine of the state, will somehow turn into a Republican voting wonderland. But I digress!

  2. Why is a Democrat supporting public funds for a new Bucks arena since that money would be better spent towards schools, police, etc?

  3. Mp34,

    Because some Democrats (though not many, judging from recent results) like staying in office.

  4. I’d say its closer to “politicians prefer dramatic, short-term “signs of progress” to actual boring programs that bring progress.” After all, how much can you graft off having a good school system?

    Any politician in Wisconsin who believes that the prosperity of the state or Milwaukee has anything to do with the Bucks is, in a word, a fool.

    Owners are figuring out that in a fragmented entertainment marketplace, going to the game really doesn’t matter much to most people, and in fact most people don’t care about their sports team, except maybe in the rare instance (in Milwaukee’s case these days) that they are any good. That’s why the focus is all on the passive income streams–arenas that pay money whether they are full or not, and cable contracts that charge everyone who watches TV, whether they want to or not. Politicians have a lot more leeway than they think.

  5. “…is, in a word, a fool”

    Poor indefinite article, doesn’t even get ‘word’ status.

  6. Given their prior history of Journalistic integrity, I am at a loss to understand why the MBJ’s headline didn’t read:

    “Democrats are not People – Vos”