Falk Raised Taxes By Millions As County Exec

Politifact has rated that claim by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch as true.

“In a national economic downturn, Wisconsin families cannot afford to have a leader with an addiction to taxing and spending,” Kleefisch wrote in an opinion piece published by Madison’s Capital Times on Feb. 3, 2012. “The failed policies Falk has consistently stood for throughout her career are exactly the same policies that led Wisconsin down an irresponsible path to a $3.6 billion budget deficit.”

Kleefisch went on to cite chapter and verse:

“As Dane County executive, Falk raised taxes by millions of dollars every year, most notably in 2010, when she increased taxes by 8 percent, the second highest increase across the entire state of Wisconsin.”

The op-ed piece contrasts these claims with Walker’s state budget, which Kleefisch says was balanced “without raising taxes on Wisconsin families.”

The proof behind this truth?

Asked to back up the claim about Falk, the Walker campaign — speaking for Kleefisch — pointed us to property tax figures compiled by Dane County and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, a nonpartisan research group.

Falk’s approach as executive from 1997 to 2011 was to limit increases in the property tax levy to inflation with a factor built in for population growth. It was an effort to tie increases to service demand, said Scott McDonell, chairman of the Dane County Board, which largely approved of Falk’s approach.

Did Falk’s budget raise property taxes by 8 percent in 2010, “the second highest” in the state? Yes.

In 2010, Falk busted past her self-imposed levy limit of 1.19 percent for that year. She blamed lagging sales tax and other revenue due to the Great Recession, and said higher property taxes, a 3 percent wage cut negotiated with county unions and efficiency moves would preserve needed services.

Head to the source to see Politifact’s full assessment.

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Santorum:”It takes a family”

Great analysis of the record of Rick Santorum.

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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It is hardly surprising that faith and family would be at the core of who Senator Santorum is. He is a very devout Catholic. Anecdotally, Brian Wilson — formerly Fox News correspondent and now co-anchor of The Morning Majority on Washington’s WMAL AM/FM — saw the candidate in an unguarded moment.

As Wilson was in South Carolina covering the primary there last month, it was very early in the dark of morning that he saw Santorum stop in what the senator thought was a private moment, and bow his head in prayer. “He didn’t know that I was watching him,” Wilson reported. The senator was unaware anyone had seen him. The point: When you don’t think anyone is watching, that’s the time when the authentic in you emerges.

Such a moment certainly adds credence to the label of “social conservative”.  But Rick Santorum isn’t exclusively focused on social issues.

On National Security:

The Pennsylvania Republican was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee for eight years, where he earned a reputation as a “hawk” in the sense that Americans deserved no less than a first-class military capable of providing the maximum strength to protect our homeland.

Santorum advocated an aggressive military posture toward regimes in Iran, Syria, and China. All three, in different ways, pose a threat to the United States — more so today than at that time.

As a senator, Santorum promoted support for opponents of the Iranian regime which today threatens Israel and the U.S. with nuclear weapons. In his presidential bid, he has laid out a 15-point plan for dealing with Iran’s current nuclear muscle-flexing.

On Terrorism:

In July of 2006, Senator Santorum delivered a major foreign policy address at the National Press Club where he said that America is not at war with “terror” per se. Terror, he explained, is merely the method of our enemies. The definition of our enemy, he stressed, is Islamic fascism, and we need to start calling it by its correct name.

Jobs and the Economy

The Santorum campaign advocates a zero tax on manufacturing industries. That should appeal to blue-collar workers.

Other proposals include cutting $5 trillion in federal spending in five years; repeal and replace Obamacare with market-based healthcare innovation; improve quality and access to healthcare; cut EPA resources for job-killing regulations; and eliminate funding for Dodd-Frank regulatory burdens.

Certainly proof that Rick Santorum is not just focused on social issues, with substantive views on a range of issues.  And if he were to win the GOP nomination and the Presidency he would join some elite company.

If he ultimately wins the White House, Mr. Santorum will be only the third president in history to achieve that goal after having been defeated for a lower position. The previous two were Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and Richard Nixon in 1968.

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Advantages Santorum Has Over Romney

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

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Following his sweep of contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, Rick Santorum may

have momentum on his side.  The key is sustaining that momentum going forward into Super Tuesday and beyond.  There are some things Santorum has in his favor that could sustain it, things that also show why he is a force to be reckoned with.

1. Santorum is not Romney

It may seem tough to start off with a negative but Santorum’s success perhaps says more about Romney than Tuesday night’s victor himself. Indisputably, Romney is a hard candidate for grassroots Republicans to love and his conservative bona fides will always be open to question.

Though many Republicans respect Romney or can tolerate him or can calculate in their heads that he should be their nominee, they can’t fall in love with him. Ultimately, they may not need to. But this makes the road to the nomination a rocky one for Romney, involving a series of candidates in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) slot, the latest of whom is Santorum.

2. Santorum is a movement conservative

Santorum is a genuine conservative, socially, fiscally and in terms of foreign policy. He speaks the language in a way that Romney doesn’t.

As Rush Limbaugh put it recently: “He [Romney] just doesn’t have conservative reflexes. It’s like trying to learn golf late in life: The reflexes just aren’t there. You’ve got to have a foundation, a basic understanding to have the reflexes, and they just aren’t there. And I don’t know if he can learn ’em.”

Santorum has the foundation and the reflexes and he talks the language that conservative activists understand and can relate to.

3. Santorum has remained positive

Going negative on Newt Gingrich in Florida was good in the short term for Romney and he probably had no other realistic option. But it carried medium-term consequences (last night) and perhaps long-term ones as well.

Gingrich’s angry, peevish and intemperate responses to Romney did him a lot of damage. Romney got under his skin and it was not attractive to see. Floating above all this was Rick Santorum, campaigning largely positively and based on his ideas rather than on what a bum the other guys were.

4. Santorum is a happy warrior

Romney is much improved from 2008 but he remains a somewhat robotic candidate who finds it difficult to achieve a gut connection with voters. Campaigning sometimes seems almost painful to him

A big part of this may well be Romney’s background. As Naomi Zeveloff argues in this illuminating piece, he’s the “ultimate Mormon male” – with all the very good that entails but also the downsides: “The very qualities that make a good Mormon man, however, make for a poor campaigner.”

Santorum, by contrast, is at home on the campaign trail – as well he should be, having virtually taken up residence in Iowa for the caucuses – and that makes him a lot easier to relate to. In the Senate, Santorum had a reputation as a prickly character but he has become noticeably more relaxed and affable as the 2012 race has progressed.

5. Santorum is a Tea Partier

There have been plenty of Tea Party obituaries written but the Tea Party, whie amorphous and diffuse, is not dead. It was the motive force behind the Republican wave in 2010 and it is a major factor this time around as well. Doubtless with an eye on the general election, Romney has done no serious Tea Party outreach.

The Tea Party is populist and to a large degree blue collar. Although best known as a social conservative, Santorum’s blue collar roots and populist economic message makes him a natural Tea Party figure – whereas Romney is in many ways the epitome of the establishment candidate.

Of course, there are complicating factors in this – particularly Santorum’s record on earmarks – but for the time being Santorum is a more natural fit with the Tea Party than Gingrich, never mind Romney.

Head to the source to find other reasons why Rick Santorum shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to the race for the Republican nomination.

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Obama’s Sneaky Treaties

Seems the current administration is working to advance European liberalism in America.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are entering negotiations over — or seeking ratification of — five treaties that could radically limit our national sovereignty and the reach of our democratic institutions. Particularly scary is that the treaties, once signed and ratified, have the same status as constitutional law and cannot be altered or eclipsed by Congress or state legislatures. And their provisions must be enforced by U.S. courts.

Those who wish to preserve our sovereignty and democratic control over our future must rally to block these treaties, either by pressing Obama and Clinton not to sign them or by blocking their ratification.

One of the treaties deals with offshore oil drilling.

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) has been signed, and the Obama administration — with the aid of RINO Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.) — will push for its ratification as soon as Lugar’s primary in Indiana is over this year. LOST requires that the United States pay an international body half of its royalties from offshore drilling. The body would then distribute the funds as it sees fit to whichever nations it chooses. The United States would only have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money goes. LOST will also oblige us to hand over our offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it … for free.

A second treaty deals with children.

Rights of the Child — Even more fanciful is a treaty Clinton plans to negotiate setting forth a code of rights for children, to be administered by a 14-member court set up for the purpose. The draft treaty obliges rich nations to provide funds for shelter, food, clothing and education for children in poor nations. This provision could create grounds to litigate to challenge the level of foreign aid we give as inadequate to meet our treaty obligations. Already, leftists in the United Kingdom are using the treaty to attack welfare cuts by the Cameron government.

Head over to the source to learn about the other treaties being worked on that could threaten our sovereignty.

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