For Immediate Release: October 18, 2011
Contact: Rebekah Sweeney, (608) 266-3790
Jorgensen’s Journal: Special “Jobs” Session Feels like False Advertising
When you see a commercial for laundry detergent, promising to lift grass stains from your son’s football uniform, you might believe you’ll get those results.
When a big star calls a cheeseburger “juicy with a straight-from-the-grill flavor,” that’s the taste you might expect.
But then again, you might not.
We’ve all been duped by a good advertisement at one time or another. Maybe the miracle detergent only did a so-so job cleaning our clothes, or the burger disappointed.
False advertising leads to letdowns, no doubt about it.
I’m feeling pretty letdown right now, at the start of what Governor Walker and legislative Republicans are marketing as a “Special Session on Jobs.”
Don’t get me wrong. When I first heard of their plan a couple of weeks ago, I was optimistic. My colleagues across the aisle were talking about bipartisanship, and a singular focus on Wisconsin’s economy. That’s just what I wanted to hear, and I had high hopes.
But, as this so-called special session gets underway – during a time we were already scheduled to be on the floor - I’m realizing the agenda is far from special.
Tuesday’s calendar of bills includes proposals to lift limitations on the use of natural gas for things like decorative lighting or outdoor space heaters, to repeal a ban on the sales display of environmentally-controversial phosphorus-based lawn fertilizers, and to prohibit the DNR from making certain restrictions on deer hunting. These bills are not meant to get Wisconsinites back to work; they’re giveaways to Republican-friendly businesses and special interest groups. And, it’s important to note, only one of the 13 bills on the calendar was authored by a Democrat; while important, the bill combats drunken driving, not joblessness.
If legislative Republicans and Governor Walker were serious about tackling our economic problems, they’d devote this session period solely to job creation. They’d call a time-out on passing divisive, political proposals crafted to please their donors and their base. They’d follow through on their big talk of bipartisanship and consider common-sense Democratic proposals like my plan to boost mid-sized Wisconsin manufacturers by promoting their products and developing supply chains, a plan which has languished in committee since January.
It’s time Republican lawmakers worry a little less about how they’re marketing themselves, and worry a bit more about the people they’ve been elected to serve. Since Governor Walker declared Wisconsin “Open for Business,” our state unemployment rate has increased five times the national rate. 7.9% of our friends and neighbors are without a job today, and they are struggling.
Republicans, remember: false advertising will only get you so far. Only a good, solid product keeps folks coming back for more.