'Save Our Bucks' group sparks major discussion among lawmakers in Madison

MILWAUKEE -- A group of basketball fans has become a lobby in Madison. Now, its members are making a final push.

The group "Save Our Bucks" has been calling lawmakers for weeks, asking them to support a new arena. They hope to sway officials with the Assembly set to vote on the plan Tuesday, July 28th.

Typically, a discussion among Bucks fans online might revolve around how many minutes each bench player should be getting. But over the past couple of months, you're more likely to see posts about caucuses than crossovers.

Scroll through the Twitter feed of "Save Our Bucks" and you'll find a steady stream of messages encouraging followers to call lawmakers and messages from fans relaying what they heard from officials they reached.

Paul Henning, a Save Our Bucks spokesman, says members believe influencing one lawmaker can go a long way.

"We think there's a domino effect when one person supports it, others can support it," said Henning.

On the group's website, there's even a script for fans to use when they call a legislator's office.

"A lot of people don't know what to do because this is the first time a lot of people are engaged in the political process so a lot of people don't know exactly what to say," said Henning.

Whether it's coming from a script, State Representative Christine Sinicki says it's easy to notice these aren't the usual lobbyists.

"I'm hearing from people that have been calling and e-mailing that I've never had any contact from before," said Sinicki.

As far as pure citizen involvement goes, Sinicki says this is unique.

"I have been in local politics for 26 years and I don't think I've ever seen an issue like this spark so much discussion, and attention and passion," said Sinicki.

Henning says the movement is now even larger than a $500 million arena. It's a chance to keep people involved with their local and state governments.

"You're getting young people involved in politics that are interested in the Bucks but once this dies down, at the town hall meeting, they were talking about homelessness, they were talking about violence. I think you're going to see a lot of spillover where people are going to continue to be involved," said Henning.

Sinicki says she wants to hear more from the public and will hold a community meeting Saturday morning, July 25th in Saint Francis to talk about the arena bill.

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