30 March 2007

Glenn Grothman: can't win.

Hi folks,

I nearly fell over when I read March 24th's West Bend Express News. The "From the Hill" column -- where our local politicos say what's on their minds -- included an article from Glenn Grothman with the headline: Reviewing the tech schools.

Apparently the recent Legislative Audit Bureau report showed that:

[During] the past nine years, their (sic) property tax levy for technical schools has gone up an average of 6.6 percent per year -- well above the rest of your property tax bill.
And, therefore, Glenn concludes:
It's no wonder your tech school property tax bill is going through the roof.

The Technical colleges provide Wisconsin citizens with the kind of instruction that improves their lives, and provides Wisconsin manufacturers with the skilled labor force that helped us hold on to jobs here decades after the rust belt swallowed Detroit and Gary and Ohio.

We may need to "review" funding levels as the state undergoes a conversion to a knowledge-based economy. We'll have to figure that one out.... but ...

But what I'm really wondering is how someone with the word "tax cutter" abbreviated on his license plate missed roughly $783,000,000 (783 million dollars) a year in state income tax, sales tax, and property taxes?? Did $783 million just fly under his taxcutting radar?

During all the years of his Taxpayer's Bill of Rights shenanigans, how did he manage to miss it??

Inquiring minds want to know.


22 March 2007

Glenn Grothman: wrong on educational budgeting.

Okay, so I'm really harping on this wage thing.... but we've all been really really good sports about this for some years while Sen Grothman -- allegedly our representative -- has had a field day ragging on us.

From Milwaukee Magazine:

The study found the average base salaries of technical college teachers in Wisconsin are “among the highest reported nationally.” It also found average annual earnings of the technical college teachers exceeded those of full-time faculty at two-year University of Wisconsin Colleges by a jaw-dropping $22,000.


But Milwaukee has turned things completely upside down: Average faculty earn more ($89,850) than administrators ($86,556) at MATC.
I've been working here for the UW Colleges for 15 years, I have a PhD from one of the better universities on the planet, I love my job, get good student evaluations and, most importantly, provide a great deal in higher ed for the taxpayers, my real bosses.... and these tech school faculty earn on average $39,000 more a year than I do?

Doesn't that seem like a lot?

I note it in passing.

Okay, I think I'm done now.


20 March 2007

Glenn Grothman: wrong on education, again.

Hi folks,

A recent story in The Capital Times describing the lousy state of UW System faculty salaries -- something I'd suspected but hadn't been able to substantiate -- and the attendant legislative shenanigans.

Here are the juicy bits. For the entire article, follow the link:

David Olien: UW salary woes come as no surprise
By David Olien, March 19, 2007

Wednesday's edition of The Capital Times reported the results of a legislative audit revealing that generally faculty at the state's technical colleges are paid more than those on University of Wisconsin campuses.


...Wisconsin's legislators rank among the best paid in the nation when you examine their salaries, their generous per diem payments, their sick leave conversion privileges and their participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System.


Legislators indicating surprise at the audit finding are being disingenuous. The fact is UW System personnel and campus chancellors have been telling legislative leaders, members of Joint Finance and the rank and file for well over a decade that UW System faculty have fallen far behind their national peers. It should be no shock that faculty have been leaving UW two-year campuses for the technical colleges for over a decade. Legislators were also informed of that fact when the situation first developed.


For faculty at the two-year UW college campuses, the results were even worse, with a gap of over $12,500 annually behind national peers at the full professor rank, $9,000 at the associate rank and $10,000 at the assistant professor rank.

Not to mention that my salary trails the average UW system associate prof salary by about 8,000 -- and the tech school average by 11,000. I like my job, but that still seems like a lot to me sometimes.

Glenn gets a lot of the blame. For years he's railed against the UW System to make himself look like a neo-conservative purist and caused our little campus no end of grief -- even while hypocritically claiming to represent the residents of Washington County who benefit from our presence -- and while collecting, it now turns out, a pretty good salary.

He's used the excuse of university excesses, when there weren't any, to slash away at taxes for ideological rather than practical reasons.

The Devil is always in the details. Maybe Glenn can challenge him to a fiddling contest and have Charlie Daniels record it.


04 March 2007

Glenn Grothman: wrong on Tommy Thompson??

Hi folks,

Another installment of "When ideological purity trumps common sense."

Here's what Glenn said this week -- about Tommy Thompson this time.

[The former Governor was missing from last week's Conservative Political Action Conference beauty contest for the Republican presidential candidates.]

Craig Gilbert in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online writes:

"I think it's a great year for a dark horse," said Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman, referring to the "question marks" conservatives have about the frontrunners.

Asked whether Thompson could be his conservative "dark horse," the West Bend lawmaker said, "I'm looking for a conservative. . . . Tommy's not a conservative."

Tommy's not a conservative?

I'd love to try, but there's no way I can top this.