Thompson’s March Toward Exploratory Committee: Day 8
Committee Scheduled to be Up and Running by End of Month
MADISON – Eight days ago, while appearing on Mike Gousha’s “UpFront” television program, longtime Secretary Tommy Thompson (R – DC) aide and fellow health insurance industry “uber-lobbyist” Bill McCoshen, said that there will be an exploratory committee set up by Thompson before the end of March.
“Is Secretary Thompson going to explore the budget deficit he walked away from when he left Wisconsin for Washington?” asked Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate. “Or is Thompson going to explore his legacy of sticking it to taxpayers”
Walking Away from Deficits
As Wisconsin Governor, Thompson expanded the size of government and left the state with budget deficits. According to news reports, “figures show that debt rose the most – by $1.8 billion- under Thompson between 1996 and 2001” and state spending doubled in the 1990’s when Thompson was governor. Conservative Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Columnist Patrick McIlheran, in a 2006 column, even credited Thompson as being responsible for the “birth” of the states “structural deficit.”
According to a 2009 report, instead of putting Wisconsin on a path toward fiscal stability when the economy was in better shape, Thompson left lawmakers, Governors McCallum and Doyle, as well as taxpayers, unprepared to confront a financial crisis when he left in 2001 to join the Bush Administration. In fact, “officials had just $49 set aside to cushion the state budget in hard times.
The Green Bay Press Gazette recently highlighted the Secretary’s tenure stating: “The Wisconsin budget’s $2.3 billion structural deficit has its roots in the Thompson years.”
“Stick it to ‘em Taxes
In 1995, Thompson jammed through a special sales tax on the people of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Ozaukee and Washington counties to fund a new stadium for the Brewers and famously said “Stick it to ‘em,” referring to the $310 million in tax increases he assigned to residents of Southeastern Wisconsin.
As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week, Thompson is still sticking it taxpayers ten years after he left Wisconsin for the Bush Administration, “New financial projections released Tuesday suggest the sunset year for the Miller Park stadium sales tax will be between 2016 and 2018, at least two years later than originally thought.”
Exploratory Committee by End of March
An exploratory committee would allow Thompson to raise money from many of the corporate interests he represents. Politico recently reported that Thompson has already collected over $200,000 in pledges from donors. Thompson has spent the last five years as a Washington D.C. insider who has made millions of dollars working on behalf of special interests – including health insurance and pharmaceutical companies and the finance industry. Thompson recently told the media on camera he doesn’t know how many corporate interests he works for. He has refused to release his current list of clients.