interCHANGE | Program | #1827


HELLO.
I’M MARK SIEGRIST, SITTING IN FOR DAN JONES. THANKS FOR JOINING US.
THE ISSUES KEEP PILING UP FOR BARAK OBAMA. IS HE ALREADY A LAME DUCK PRESIDENT?
AND HOW TOUGH IS TOO TOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO CRACKING DOWN ON DRUNKEN DRIVING?
THE UW SYSTEM’S RAINY DAY FUND COMES UNDER FIRE.
AND A NEW KIND OF BOOT CAMP IS BEING HELD THIS WEEKEND IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN.
AVI INSISTED THAT WE DO THAT TOPIC TODAY. BUT FIRST LET’S MEET OUR ROUNDTABLE.
KEVIN FISCHER IS A FORMER BROADCAST JOURNALIST, NOW POLITICAL ANALYST, AND A FREQUENT HOST
ON NEWS/TALK 1130 WISN. AVI LANK IS A LONG TIME MILWAUKEE BUSINESS
REPORTER, NOW AN ESSAYIST FOR WUWM MILWAUKEE PUBLIC RADIO.
GERARD RANDALL HAS YET TO LAND HIS OWN SYNDICATED TALK SHOW, BUT HE IS AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT
AN JOB CREATION EXPERT. RICK HOROWITZ WILL BE CONTRIBUTING SOME SPECIAL
THOUGHTS AT THE END OF THE SHOW. OKAY.
TOPIC NUMBER ONE. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS ON THE DEFENSIVE.
POLITICAL FALLOUT FROM THE ATTACK ON THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BENGHAZI IS STILL THICK.
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEIZES PHONE RECORDS FROM AP, RAISING ISSUES OVER FREEDOM OF THE
PRESS. AND THE IRS IS ACCUSED OF UNFAIRLY TARGETING
CONSERVATIVE GROUPS FOR EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING. SO WHAT’S GOING ON, AVI?
>>WELL, YOU KNOW, THIS IS PART OF THE FRUIT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA RUNNING SUCH A CLEAN ADMINISTRATION
FOR THE LAST FIVE OR SIX YEARS. MY FRIENDS OVER HERE AND THEIR COLLEAGUES
ON THE CONSERVATIVE PART OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM HAVE BEEN TRYING TO FIND SOMETHING
THEY CAN BITE INTO THIS MAN SINCE EVEN BEFORE HE TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE, AND HE’S FINALLY
GIVEN THEM SOME AMMUNITION OR HIS ADMINISTRATION HAS GIVEN THEM SOME AMMUNITION.
WHAT IS GOING ON AT THE IRS IS SO STUPID I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE
IT CAME OUT OF THE OVAL OFFICE AND IT LOOKS LIKE HE IS TAKING THE STEPS TO CLEAN IT UP.
AND YOU’VE GOT YOU KNOW, SHOOT ME, BUT I HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF SYMPATHY FOR THE IRS OFFICIALS
IN ALL OF THIS BECAUSE THEY WERE CONFRONTED WITH TRYING TO ENFORCE A LAW THAT WAS BEING
MANIPULATED, NOT ILLEGALLY, BUT MANIPULATED BY SOME VERY SHREWD LEGAL MINDS WHO WANTED
TO KEEP A WAY FOR DONORS PRIVATE AND FOLLOWING THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION OF THE SUPREME
COURT SAYING PEOPLE COULD SPEND UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF MONEY ON POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS.
A LOT OF CORPORATIONS DIDN’T WANT THEIR NAMES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS.
LAWYERS FOUND A WAY TO SAY USE THIS PARTICULAR SECTION OF THE LAW, 403C4, AND THEY DON’T
HAVE TO YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY IT. THESE ARE VENERABLE.
THEY’VE BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG TIME. THE ACLU IS TAX EXEMPT UNDER THIS.
BUT IT WAS BEING INUNDATED WITH AN AWFUL LOT OF APPLICATIONS.
THEY HAD TO TRY TO DECIDE WHETHER BECAUSE IF YOUR PRIMARY POLITICAL DESIGNATION, YOU
HAVE TO APPLY UNDER ANOTHER SECTION WHERE YOU DO HAVE TO REVEAL YOUR DONORS AND AS BUREAUCRATS
SOMETIMES DO, THEY STARTED ASKING QUESTIONS THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE ASKED.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE’S NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE AT ALL THIS IS GETTING ITS WAY TO THE WHITE
HOUSE. IT JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE HAPPENED AT THE SAME
TIME AS SOME OF THESE OTHER THINGS. AND, YOU KNOW, I HAVE A FEELING THAT SIX MONTHS
FROM NOW MOST OF THIS IS GOING TO HAVE GONE AWAY AND THE PRESIDENT WILL BE ABLE TO GET
BACK ON HIS HORSE AND RIDE FORWARD.>>INCIDENTALLY, RICK HOROWITZ HAS AN INTERESTING
TAKE ON THIS VERY TOPIC IN JUST A LITTLE BIT, BUT IS THIS IS THE ADMINISTRATION BEGINNING
TO UNRAVEL A BIT?>>YES.
UNLIKE, AVI, I’M NOT GOING TO BE AN APOLOGIST FOR THIS ADMINISTRATION.
I THINK IT RAISES THE SPECTRE, EVEN IF YOU WANT TO BLAME IT ON INCOMPETENCE OR OVERREACH,
IT RAISES THE SPECTRE THAT YOU’VE GOT AN AGENCY THAT’S RUN AMUCK, THEY’VE ABOUT TO GET EVEN
MORE RESPONSIBILITY WITH REGARD TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW.
PEOPLE ARE ALREADY ON PINS AND NEEDLES REGARDING OVERREACH BY THE IRS SHOULD THEY STEP IN AND
WANT TO AGGRESSIVELY ENFORCE THAT LAW. I THINK WITH REGARDS TO HOW MANY HEADS ARE
GOING TO ROLL, THE PEOPLE THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT ARE, FIRST OFF, THOSE FRONT
LINE FOLKS THAT SUPPOSEDLY MADE THE MISTAKE. BUT THEN YOU HAVE THE NOW RETIRED INTERIM
HEAD OF THE IRS SAYING HE DIDN’T THINK ANY LAWS WERE BROKEN.
THAT VERY WELL MAY BE THE CASE. BUT HE CERTAINLY DIDN’T MAKE ANY SINCERE APOLOGIES
ABOUT WHAT HAD TAKEN PLACE. SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
WITH A COMFORT LEVEL WITH THE IRS AND ITS INVESTIGATIVE POWERS.
UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN THEY DID GO AFTER OR DELAYED THE TIME FOR THESE 501(C)(4)S BEING ABLE TO
GET THEIR APPLICATIONS APPROVED, YOU LOOK AT THOSE CONSERVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS AND THOSE
THAT WERE NOT, AND IT’S A STRIKING IMBALANCE IN TERMS OF TIME TOWARDS APPROVAL.
AND I THINK THAT TOO LEAVES PEOPLE WITH A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING ABOUT THE POWERS
AND, IF NOTHING ELSE, THE IRS’S ABILITY TO LEAVE POLITICS OUT OF IT AND LOOK AT SOME
OF THESE APPLICATIONS ON THEIR MERITS.>>KEVIN, BACK IN THE DAY YOU HAD A REPUTATION
FOR BEING A MOTHER HEN FOR YOUR NEWSROOM. I MEAN, YOU STUCK UP FOR YOUR NEWSROOM.
WHAT WOULD YOUR REACTION BE IF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT STARTED PULLING RECORDS OF PHONE
CALLS FROM YOUR REPORTS?>>MY REACTION WOULD BE JUST WHAT THE AP’S
REACTION IS NOW. THE PRESS HAS BEEN, YOU KNOW, CARRYING WATER
FOR THIS PRESIDENT SINCE SINCE HE STARTED RUNNING, AND ANYBODY WHO CRITICIZED HIM OR
BLOATED GOVERNMENT OR OVER REGULATION OR INTRUSIVE GOVERNMENT WAS ONE OF THOSE CREEPY, OLD, RACIST,
BIGOTED WHITE GUYS WHO PROBABLY IS RUNNING AROUND IN THE TEA PARTY.
BUT NOW THE PRESS IS THE VICTIMS OF BIG GOVERNMENT AND THEY DON’T LIKE IT.
SO SUDDENLY THAT ALLIANCE IS SHAKEN A LITTLE BIT.
IT MAY COME BACK. IT MAY COME BACK TO A LOVING, ADORING PRESS,
BUT RIGHT NOW YOU HAVE THE PRESS AND EVEN SOME LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ON CAPITOL HILL ATTACKING
THIS PRESIDENCY. AND WHY NOT?
WE HAVE ANOTHER WEEK OF, AGAIN, LAWLESSNESS AND CORRUPTION.
AND IT’S SERIOUS. AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT, AND ESPECIALLY
I THINK AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, THERE’S A PROCESS OF TRANSACTIONS.
AND THE CURRENCY USED IN THOSE TRANSACTIONS, THE MAIN CURRENCY, IS TRUST.
>>RIGHT.>>AND ONCE THAT CURRENCY IS DEBASED, AS IT
HAS BEEN HERE, FAITH, CONFIDENCE IN THE SYSTEM IS LOST.
IT’S ERODED. AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THIS
ADMINISTRATION, WITH THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, WHICH ISN’T STUPID.
THEY SEE THE PRESIDENT, HILLARY, THE AG, THE OUTGOING, OUSTED IRS OFFICIAL SAYING NOT ME,
I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE, I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
AND MY FAVORITE, I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT UNTIL I SAW IT ON THE NEWS.
PEOPLE JUST AREN’T GOING TO BUY THAT. THAT DOESN’T BODE WELL FOR THE REST OF THIS
LAME DUCK’S PRESIDENT’S TERM, OR HILLARY CLINTON, WHO DIDN’T LOOK VERY PRESIDENTIAL WHEN SHE
WENT ON A RANT IN THAT HEARING, AND I THINK WE’RE LEARNING NOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN MISLED
AND LIED TO ON ALL OF THESE SCANDALS.>>NOBODY HAS SHOWED US WHAT WE MIGHT HAVE
CALLED A SMOKING GUN IN ANY OF THIS. YES, THERE ARE PROBLEMS.
THERE’S PROBLEMS IN EVERY ADMINISTRATION.>>THAT DOESN’T ABSOLVE THESE.
SAY EVERYBODY ELSE DID IT.>>NO, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN MANY FEWER IN THIS
AND THEY JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE COME AT THE SAME TIME.
THERE IS ONE THING ABOUT THIS AP BUSINESS THAT I FIND SORT OF INTERESTING.
>>WHICH MIGHT BE THE BIGGEST SCANDAL OF ALL.>>YOU WERE A JOURNALIST, I WAS A PRACTICING
JOURNALIST FOR 40 YEARS, I’LL ADMIT IT, AND I WAS ALWAYS VERY NERVOUS ABOUT READING ANY
STORY THAT WANTED ME TO RELY UPON SOME ANONYMOUS SOURCE.
BECAUSE IT’S ALMOST A LAZY WAY OF DOING JOURNALISM. SOMEBODY TELLS YOU SOMETHING AND YOU CAN’T
FIND OUT THAT HAVE SOMEBODY TELL YOU ABOUT IT ON THE RECORD, SO THAT I CAN READ JOE SMITH
SAYS THIS.>>WE GOT THAT.
I MEAN, WE AGREE ON THAT.>>BUT THE UNDERCURRENT OF THIS IS THE WAY
THAT THESE RECORDS WERE TAKEN FROM THE AP IS TO TRY AND CHILL ANYBODY BECOMING AN ANONYMOUS
>>THAT SHOULD BE OF GREAT CONCERN TO ANY JOURNALIST.
>>BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? IF IT’S HANDLED CORRECTLY, IT WILL MAKE FOR
STRONGER JOURNALISM. I NEVER LIKED THAT KIND OF JOURNALISM EITHER.
>>YOU’RE SUGARCOATING IT. I’M NO APOLOGIST EITHER.
EVENTUALLY THE BUCK STOPS AT THE OVAL OFFICE.>>AND WE HAVE TO MOVE ON TO TOPIC NUMBER
TWO. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD WANTS
TO LOWER THE BLOOD ALCOHOL DEFINITION OF DRUNK DRIVING.
THE AGENCY THINKS IT COULD BE A BIT OF A LIFESAVER. THE LEGAL LIMIT NOW IS .08, BUT NTSB THINKS
STATES SHOULD DROP THAT TO .05. TAVERN LEAGUE OFFICIALS IN WISCONSIN ARGUE
THAT’S EXTREME. ARE WE SAVING LIVES WITH THIS IDEA, GERARD,
OR STEPPING CLOSER TO PROHIBITION?>>WELL, I DO SEE THIS AS A REAL CREEP TOWARDS
PROHIBITION. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS VAST POWERS TO
COMPEL COMMUNITIES TO GET ON BOARD WHATEVER POLICY THEY CHOOSE TO IMPLEMENT, SIMPLY BY
SAYING IF YOU WANT THE MONEY, YOU’VE GOT TO COMPLY WITH WHATEVER THIS POLICY IS.
AND IF THE POLICY DIRECTION OF THE FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO BE THAT WE WANT
TO REDUCE BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS BEFORE YOU CAN BE CONSIDERED LEGALLY INTOXICATED BEHIND
THE WHEEL, I THINK THEY MAY PUSH IT. NOW, THE PROBLEM THAT I SEE IN THIS STATE
IS THAT WE DON’T DO ENOUGH TO GO AFTER THOSE WHO ARE MULTIPLE VIOLATORS OF THE CURRENT
BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL BEFORE GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL.
AND SO IF WE’RE GOING TO HAVE .5 AS THE LEVEL AND YOU’VE GOT FOLKS WHO ARE NOT JUST VIOLATORS
ONE TIME, BUT MULTIPLE TIMES, AND WE HAVEN’T TOUGHENED THOSE LAWS UP, THERE’S BEEN SOME
MOVEMENT TOWARD THAT, BUT I DON’T THINK ENOUGH HAS BEEN DONE TO GO AFTER THAT GROUP.
THE OTHER, I’D LIKE TO SEE AN EXPANSION OF THOSE WHO ARE ALLOWED TO DRINK, NOT DRINK
BEHIND OR DRINK AND GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR, BUT I’D LIKE TO SEE 18 YEAR OLDS DRINK,
BECAUSE I THINK THAT IS WHAT PROMPTED THIS FEDERAL OVERREACH IN THE FIRST PLACE AND LED
THEM TO PUSH USING TRANSPORTATION DOLLARS TO RAISE THE DRINKING AGE TO 21.
THEY’RE NOT SATISFIED WITH THAT. NOW THEY WANT TO REDUCE THE BLOOD ALCOHOL
LEVEL.>>IS THIS EXTREME, AVI?
>>NO. MOST OF THE WORLD, THIS IS THE STANDARD, 0.5.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO DRIVE, DON’T DRINK, AND DON’T CALL A LAW THAT DISCOURAGES THAT PROHIBITION.
THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LAW THAT STOPS YOU FROM DRINKING.
DON’T DRIVE IF YOU DRINK. IF YOU LOOK AT THE REPORT THAT THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT PUT OUT THAT RECOMMENDS THIS, THERE ARE REAL CONSEQUENCES, THERE ARE REAL IMPAIRMENTS
ON THE LEVEL OF 0.5. AND YOU CAN’T ARGUE OTHERWISE.
THE SCIENCE IS THERE. IT’S SIMPLE.
IT SHOULD BE DONE BECAUSE IT’S THE RIGHT THING. AND TO THINK, BY THE WAY, THAT THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT WILL BE ABLE TO COMPEL THIS THE WAY IT DID A LITTLE BIT WHEN THE LAST TIME
IT WAS LOWERED, THE OBAMACARE CASE THAT THE SUPREME COURT DECIDED IS GOING TO MAKE IT
HARDER FOR THEM TO DO THAT. YOU’LL REMEMBER THAT THEY SAID THAT THIS THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULD NOT BE PUNITIVE TOWARD STATES WHICH DECIDED NOT TO EXPAND MEDICAID
LIKE GOVERNOR WALKER MADE THAT DECISION. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THAT DECISION, IT STARTS
TO CHIP AWAY AT THE ABILITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PUT A BIG FINANCIAL CARROT IN
FRONT OF SOMETHING IT WANTS DONE. IT YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT’S A PROBLEM.
I THINK CALLING IT PROHIBITION IS A PROBLEM. BUT I THINK IT SHOULD BE DONE BECAUSE I THINK
IT’S THE RIGHT THING. IT’S SIMPLE.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO DRINK, DON’T DRIVE.>>NOBODY DISAGREES WITH THAT.
HERE’S MY TAKE. IT’S NOT PROHIBITION.
DARN CLOSE. DARN CLOSE.
NOW, I WORKED IN THE STATE SENATE LAST TIME THIS ISSUE CAME UP, AND THE DEBATE WAS WHETHER
WE SHOULD LOWER THE DRINKING THE BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL CONTENT FROM .10 TO .08, AND THERE WERE
A LOT OF PHONY SPEECHES IN THE LEGISLATURE ABOUT THIS WILL BE A LIFESAVER AND WE NEED
TO MAKE OUR ROADS SAFER AND GET THESE PEOPLE OFF THE HIGHWAYS AND FREEWAYS.
LET ME TELL YOU, THE REAL, REAL MOTIVATION TO PASS THAT BILL AND PUT THE LAW INTO PLACE
MAKING WISCONSIN .08 WAS NOT, YOU KNOW, POSING FOR HOLY PICTURES AND SAFER STREETS.
IT WAS THE FACT THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DID INDEED HAVE A GUN TO THE HEADS OF WISCONSIN,
SAYING THAT IF YOU DON’T PASS THIS, WE WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR FEDERAL HIGHWAY AID.
AND I’M SORRY, AVI. WITH WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN WASHINGTON D.C.
AS OF LATE, I HAVE NO FAITH OR CONFIDENCE THAT SUDDENLY THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
IS GOING TO RELINQUISH THEIR STRONG ARM TACTICS. I BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL INDEED FORCE STATES
TO GO ALONG WITH .05. AND I AGREE WITH SHERIFF DAVID CLARK, WHO
THIS WEEK SAID, LOOK, THIS MISSES THE POINT. MY DEPUTIES ARE NOT OUT ON THE HIGHWAY PULLING
PEOPLE OVER FOR .05. THEY ARE PULLING OVER PEOPLE FOR PROBABLE
CAUSE AT AN AVERAGE ALCOHOL BLOOD LEVEL CONTENT OF 1.5.
THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WE SHOULD BE GOING AFTER, NOT CASUAL DRINKERS WHO LIKE TO GO OUT AND
HAVE A DRINK OR TWO AT A FISH FRY OR A DINNER. WE’RE GOING TO TURN INNOCENT PEOPLE, CASUAL
DRINKERS, UNDER THIS NEW RULE OR REGULATION INTO CRIMINALS.
I THINK THAT’S WRONG.>>KEVIN, IF YOU DRINK A BEER AND YOU GET
IN YOUR CAR AND DRIVE IT, YOU MIGHT BE THE NICEST PERSON IN THE WORLD, RAISING A FAMILY,
PAYING TAXES, GOING TO CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY, BUT YOU’RE NOT INNOCENT.
>>IT’S NOT A CRIME TO HAVE A DRINK AND GET BEHIND THE CAR THE WHEEL OF A CAR.
>>NOT NOW, NO.>>BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT IMPAIRED.
I’M SORRY. THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO CAN DO WHAT
YOU JUST SAID, AVI, AND THEY GET BEHIND THE WHEEL AND THEY ARE JUST FINE.
THEY ARE NOT A MENACE ON THE FREEWAY.>>THE SCIENCE IS AGAINST YOU, KEVIN.
>>WITH THAT WE HAVE TO MOVE ON TO TOPIC NUMBER THREE. GOVERNOR WALKER WANTS TO FREEZE TUITION IN
THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS.
HE ALSO WANTS TO IMPOSE SOME ADDITIONAL SPENDING CUTS.
AND HE ALREADY HAS SOME BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. WHY?
BECAUSE AN AUDIT REVEALS THE UW SYSTEM HAS BEEN KEEPING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
IN RESERVE, WHILE STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES HAVE BEEN DIGGING DEEPER TO PAY FOR SCHOOL.
UW MADISON ITSELF IS ALSO FEELING SOME PUBLIC PRESSURE TO GIVE MORE STATE STUDENTS A SPOT
IN FRESHMAN CLASSES RATHER THAN GRANTING A GOOD PORTION OF THOSE SEATS TO KIDS FROM OUT
OF STATE, EVEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY. KEVIN, UW SYSTEM OFFICIALS HAVE SOME EXPLAINING
TO DO ABOUT THIS SURPLUS.>>WELL, THEY DO HAVE A LOT OF EXPLAINING
TO DO, AND THEY’VE HAD TIME TO EXPLAIN IT. BUT LIKE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DOES THIS,
NOT ME, WE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG, EVERYTHING’S OKAY, WHEN, YOU KNOW, THE HOUSE OF CARDS IS
FALLING. OVER THE YEARS HISTORICALLY, THE UW SYSTEM
HAS PLAYED THE WOE IS ME, THE POVERTY GAME. OKAY?
THEY’VE BEEN CRYBABIES, WHEN OVER THE LONGEST PERIOD OF TIME, WITH ALL TYPES OF LEGISLATURES
AND GOVERNORS, THE STATE HAS BEEN VERY KIND AND GENEROUS MONETARILY TO THE SYSTEM.
AND WHAT HAPPENS? WE HAVE THIS SLUSH FUND.
AND IT IS A SLUSH FUND. AND AT THE EXPENSE OF MOM AND DAD AT HOME
PAYING THESE HIGH TUITION RATES THAT WEREN’T NECESSARY.
I DON’T THINK THE GOVERNOR GOES FAR ENOUGH. HE’S SAYING FREEZE TUITION.
I SAY TO MAKE AMENDS TO THE FOLKS THAT YOU BASICALLY ROBBED, I SAY LOWER TUITION LEVELS
OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS TO MAKE UP FOR WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE.
BECAUSE THERE’S NO EXCUSE TO BE SITTING ON THIS STASH OF MONEY, THIS HUGE STASH OF MONEY,
AND TO SAY IT’S NOT ENOUGH, IT’S NOT ENOUGH, WE NEED TO RAISE TUITION AND THEN, AFTER THIS
REVELATION COMES COMES IS REVEALED, THEY STILL DON’T GET IT.
WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY. WE STILL NEED MORE MONEY.
AND WE MAY HAVE TO RAISE TUITION AGAIN. DO THEY THINK WE’RE STUPID?
THEY DO.>>KEVIN, KEVIN, THEY HAVE THREE MONTHS CASH
RESERVES.>>THAT’S TOO MUCH.
>>EXCUSE ME. ANY WELL RUN ORGANIZATION IS GOING TO.
WHAT WOULD THE LEGISLATURE HAVE SAID IF THEY’D COME TO THEM AND SAID, WHOOPS, WE DON’T HAVE
ANY MONEY. I’M WONDERING WHAT THE FORMER REGENT, MY GOOD
FRIEND HERE, MR. RANDALL HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS.>>THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH KEEPING A CASH
RESERVE.>>IT’S NOT A SLUSH FUND.
IT IS VERY PRUDENT.>>THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN WITH THE TRANSPARENCY
WITH WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION, THE UW SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION, FIRST OFF CREATED THOSE RESERVES
AND THEN HOW THEY TRIED TO ARTICULATE THOSE HOW RESERVES WERE GOING TO BE SPENT.
YOU HAD IN THE LAST TWO YEARS, BEGINNING WITH THE TIME GOVERNOR WALKER WAS ELECTED, THESE
RESERVES EXPLODE. AND THERE WAS NO REAL EFFORT ON THE PART OF
THE UW’S LEADERSHIP TO EXPLAIN WHY THEY DISBURSED THOSE FUNDS IN THOUSANDS OF DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS,
NOT IN JUST A HANDFUL OF ACCOUNTS, BUT THOUSANDS OF ACCOUNTS, AND THEN THEY COULDN’T EXPLAIN
WHY THE AGGREGATE HAD BALLOONED SO MUCH IN THE LAST TWO YEARS.
AND THAT LEFT SUSPICIONS WITH THE LEGISLATURE THAT STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ADDRESSED.
I THINK>>WHEN YOU REMEMBER THE BOARD DID YOU
>>THERE WERE RESERVES. THERE WERE NOWHERE NEAR
>>THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY.>>WELL, TRANSPARENCY?
NO. THE RESERVES EXISTED.
THEY CERTAINLY WEREN’T SUFFICIENT RESERVES. BUT WHAT MADE THIS PROCESS THAT THEY ARE UNDERGOING
NOW ONE OF SUSPICION LEADING ULTIMATELY TO A LOT OF MISTRUST OF THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION
WAS THE EXPLOSION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE RESERVES AND THEIR INABILITY NOT TO BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN
HOW THOSE RESERVES>>THAT IN A NUTSHELL.
>>HAVING WORKED IN THE LEGISLATURE, I CAN TELL YOU THAT, NO MATTER WHAT STATE AGENCY
YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, UW SYSTEM, IF YOU ARE NOT FORTHCOMING AND HONEST AND ANSWER QUESTIONS
AND SUBMIT DATA, YOU’RE GOING TO RAISE SUSPICION.>>ALL RIGHT.
BUT>>AND YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE LEGISLATORS WHO
ARE NOT GOING TO LOOK KINDLY UPON YOUR OPERATION.>>MONEY ISN’T HIDDEN.
IT WAS A LEGISLATIVE AN ARM OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT FOUND IT AND SAID IT WAS THERE.
>>ALL RIGHT. BUT WAIT A MINUTE.
>>TO UNCOVER THIS.>>THAT’S FINE, BUT IT’S NOT HIDDEN.
IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S IN SOMEBODY’S BACK POCKET AND WE DON’T KNOW IT’S THERE.
FURTHERMORE, IF YOU WERE RUNNING UW AND HAD SEEN WHAT THIS GOVERNOR HAS BEEN DOING TO
EDUCATION FUNDING IN THE STATE>>STOP RIGHT THERE.
>>WAIT A MINUTE. WAIT A MINUTE.
AND YOU WANT TO PRUDENTLY BE SURE YOU’RE ABLE TO FULFILL YOUR MISSION, WOULDN’T IT BE PRUDENT
TO TRY AND PUT AWAY A LITTLE MORE MONEY THAN PERHAPS YOU WERE ON THE BOARD AND HAD A GOVERNOR
THAT WAS MORE FRIENDLY TO HIGHER EDUCATION?>>MOVE ON TO TOPIC NUMBER FOUR.>>HELP THEM OUT NOW.
LOWER THE TUITION.>>A DIFFERENT KIND OF BOOT CAMP IS BEING
HELD THIS WEEKEND IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN. ABOUT 90 ACTIVISTS ARE GATHERING NORTH OF
WAUSAU TO LEARN THE LATEST TECHNIQUES IN PASSIVE RESISTANCE.
THE EVENT IS SPONSORED BY A GROUP CALLED CENTRAL WISCONSIN ACTION CAMP.
THE WORKSHOPS WILL INVOLVE A VARIETY OF TRAINING, FROM STAGING BLOCKADES TO CLIMBING TREES.
IT’S ALL DESIGNED TO PROTEST AND INTERFERE WITH PLANS BY A COMPANY TO START DRILLING
FOR A MINE IN ASHLAND AND IRON COUNTIES. YOUR TAKE ON THIS, MR. RANDALL.
>>WELL, THEY’VE GOT EVERY RIGHT TO PROTEST. THEY’VE GOT EVERY RIGHT TO GO OUT AND GET
THE TRAINING THAT THEY THINK WILL LEAD TO AN EFFECTIVE PROTEST.
I JUST DON’T THINK IT’S GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL. NO MATTER HOW MUCH TRAINING THEY GET, IT’S
IT’S STILL GOING TO BE A MINE THAT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED AND ULTIMATELY I THINK PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO SAY THEY WISH WE HAD GOTTEN THIS THING GOING SOONER WITHOUT THE IMPEDIMENTS
THAT SOME OF THESE PROTESTORS WOULD LIKE TO SEE OCCUR.
>>ANY CHANCE OF SUCCESS?>>WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO DO.
HISTORY WOULD TELL US THAT GERARD IS RIGHT, THAT CHANCES OF SUCCESS ARE MINIMAL.
THE CHANCES OF THEM SLOWING IT DOWN ARE PROBABLY FAIRLY HIGH.
AND IT OUGHT TO BE SLOWED DOWN. YOU KNOW, THIS WAS RAMMED THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE
THIS TIME, NOT LAST YEAR, BUT THIS TIME. THEY NEVER WENT UP THERE AND HAD A HEARING
TO FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT. THERE’S SPLIT OPINION UP THERE.
I UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT SOME OF THE PEOPLE UP THERE DON’T LIKE
IT. THIS MIGHT BE A WAY OF THEM TELLING YOU.
YOU CAN LOOK AT THIS AS SAYING WISCONSIN IS A BAD PLACE FOR BUSINESS IF THIS STUFF IS
ALLOWED TO HAPPEN. BUT IF IT RESULTS IN LESS POLLUTED DRINKING
WATER OR NOT HAVING THE KIND OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS WE SAW IN TEXAS, WHERE THE FERTILIZER
PLANT EXPLODED, BY GETTING PEOPLE TO SLOW DOWN, TAKING A LITTLE TIME AND GETTING IT
RIGHT, MAYBE SOMETHING GOODWILL COME OF IT.>>YOUR THOUGHTS, KEVIN?
>>LET THEM PICKET ALL THEY WANT. I’M SURE THEY WILL BE MET BY A LARGER FORCE,
BY THE PEOPLE UP THERE WHO ARE DESPERATELY CRYING OUT FOR JOBS.
THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO. THIS WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF HIGH PAYING
JOBS. THAT SHOULD BE OUR PRIORITY.
THOSE PEOPLE UP THERE HAVE YOU WANT TO HAVE A HEARING UP THERE?
FINE. BUT THOSE PEOPLE HAVE MADE THEIR VOICES HEARD
LOUD AND CLEAR THAT THEY WANT THE JOBS.>>SOME OF THEM.
NOT ALL OF THEM.>>ALL RIGHT.
NOW A FEW MORE THOUGHTS. RICK COUNTS HIMSELF AMONG THE APPALLED, BUT
HE’S NOT AS QUICK AS SOME TO JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS. OR MAYBE I SHOULD SAY HE’S JUST KEEPING MORE
OPTIONS OPEN. RICK.
>>OKAY. LET ME SAY IT AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE.
ONE SYLLABLE WORDS. YOU CAN’T DO THAT.
IT’S WRONG. YOU CAN’T SINGLE OUT ONE SIDE OF THE POLITICAL
SPECTRUM. EVEN IF YOU DO IT AS A SHORTCUT, IT’S WRONG.
OR BECAUSE YOU’RE OVERWHELMED BY THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS AND YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH
STAFF AND YOU SUSPECT LOTS OF THOSE GROUPS ARE DODGING THE RULES.
IT’S WRONG. IT’S ALSO STUPID.
OUR TAX SYSTEM IS BASED ON VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE. YOU DON’T GET THAT UNLESS PEOPLE CAN BE ABSOLUTELY
CONFIDENT THAT THE IRS IS ABSOLUTELY IMPARTIAL. THE PEOPLE WHO VIOLATED THAT TRUST NEED TO
BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, PROFESSIONALLY, MAYBE EVEN CRIMINALLY, AND THE IRS SUPERVISORS WHO
LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPROPER TARGETING TRIED TO REIN IT IN AND LOST CONTROL, THEY NEED
TO BE GONE TOO. CLEAR ENOUGH?
OKAY. IT’S JUST LIKE NIXON AND WATERGATE.
ACTUALLY, IT’S NOTHING LIKE NIXON AND WATERGATE. I REALIZE THE WORD GETS THROWN AROUND THESE
DAYS, AS AN ALL PURPOSE, OVERHEATED INSULT. IT DOESN’T MAKE IT EVEN CLOSE TO ACCURATE.
THEN YOU’VE GOT PEOPLE LIKE KARL ROVE SAYING BARAK OBAMA IS A DISENGAGED AND DISTANT PRESIDENT.
THERE’S NOT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE THAT OBAMA HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS MESS OR EVEN
KNEW ABOUT IT. OF COURSE, IF OBAMA HADN’T BEEN DISENGAGED
FROM THE IRS, HE WOULD BE CALLING HIM THE MICROMANAGING MASTERMIND.
SO WHO WAS BEHIND THE WHOLE TARGETING THING? IF YOU’RE DOING THIS AS A LAW AND ORDER EPISODE,
YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT MOTIVE. WHO WOULD WANT TO STICK IT TO THE TEA PARTY?
THE WHITE HOUSE? SURE.
CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS? SURE.
THE PEOPLE MOST WORRIED ABOUT THE TEA PARTY ARE OTHER REPUBLICANS, ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS.
THEY’RE THE ONES WHO HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT PRIMARY CHALLENGES.
THEY KNOW THAT TEA PARTY CANDIDATES PROBABLY COST THEM CONTROL OF THE SENATE.
BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. KARL ROVE HAS SAID THE SAME THING PLENTY OF
TIMES. THAT’S RIGHT.
GEORGE BUSH’S TOP STRATEGIST HAS BEEN ONE OF THE TEA PARTY’S LOUDEST CRITICS.
DID I MENTION THAT THE HEAD OF THE IRS WAS A GEORGE BUSH APPOINTEE?
I’M JUST SAYIN’.>>THANK YOU, RICK.
THAT’S IT FOR “INTERCHANGE” THIS WEEK. IT WAS GREAT HAVING YOU WITH US.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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