Sunday, August 06, 2006

A fund-raising idea for Milwaukee County

This is a sure-fire winner, a brilliant idea to solve the county's budget woes. It comes from my brother Larry, who is OK even though he lives in Illinois.

Milwaukee County can sell naming rights to months. Not all the months, mind you -- just the ones that aren't really named for anything but numbers that mark their places in a yearly rotation that doesn't even exist any more.

Take, for example, "September." It's a very nice month, with mild temperatures and fall colors. The word "September" refers to the seventh month, which is pretty silly because it is actually the ninth month. Let's say instead of being called "September," the ninth month instead is called "Potawatomi Bingo Casino."

What would that be worth to the Potawatomi?

October, which is the tenth month misnamed for the eighth month, might become known in Milwaukee County as "Miller Beer." Thus, the World Series would be held in the month of Miller Beer, which also would make for some natural advertising tie-ins.

"November" in this election year could be known either as "Republican" or "Democrat," depending on the highest bidder. And "December," in keeping with the solemn holiday spirit, could be re-christened "Playstation 3."

Maybe next year the months could be re-auctioned.

Since no one really owns the naming rights to months, this could be used to raise funds for all sorts of financially-strapped governmental units. There may be some confusion if the ninth month is "Potawatomi Bingo Casino" in Milwaukee County and "Modine Manufacturing Co." in Racine County and "Give Me Your Water" in just part of Waukesha County, but we'd manage somehow, and it would give an economic development boost to the calendar printing industry.

No downside.

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