Thomas Nelson Cost Taxpayers $37 Million

Like a tried and true career politician, Thomas Nelson will say and do anything to get elected. Nelson claims to be a lot of things but facts are stubborn and Nelson’s record of reckless spending has cost Wisconsin taxpayers their incomes, jobs and livelihoods. The numbers speak for themselves.

When Thomas Nelson was the Assembly Majority Leader, he approved $37 Million of pork and earmarks in the 2009-2011 state budget. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the earmarks were added in secret, closed-door sessions and were never explained or justified in public by lawmakers.
For context…

While Nelson was recklessly spending taxpayer money on earmarks for an opera house in Oshkosh, and a climate-change learning center in La Crosse, Wisconsin’s economy was abysmal:
  • Unemployment in the state was at nearly 8%.
  • Labor force participation decreased by nearly 7,000 from 2008.
  • Wisconsin faced a record $6.6 billion deficit – the largest deficit gap in state history!

Here is what media outlets were saying at the time…

  • Herald Times Reporter, Feb. 20, 2009: “The bill will raise taxes on businesses by $215 million over the next three years. It also creates a tax on hospital revenue.”
  • Associated Press, June 13, 2009: “There’s plenty not to like in a budget that raises $2.1 in taxes and fees, lays off up to 1,400 state workers…”
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 27, 2009:  “The Legislature on Friday sent Gov. Jim Doyle a budget that closes the biggest deficit in state history with tax increases, federal stimulus cash, aid cuts for schools and local government, and furloughs of workers.”
  • Associated Press, June 27, 2009: “Lawmakers gave final approval to a state budget deal early Friday evening, ending a messy process marked by days of secret meetings and all-night debates.”

In response to Nelson’s record, Mike Gallagher released the following statement:

“My opponent has a dangerous record of irresponsible spending, and raising taxes on Wisconsin individuals, families, and businesses every time he could. We simply cannot afford expensive career politicians who cost taxpayers money and jobs. In Congress, I will put to work my Wisconsin common sense and conservative values, and fight every single day to make it easier to do business and raise a family in Northeast Wisconsin.” – Mike Gallagher