Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
UPDATE: Voters chose Pat Roggensack and Ed Fallone to advance to the April 2, 2013 spring election.
It is not often a state gets a do-over, but it looks like Wisconsin will have another opportunity to woo Gogebic Taconite to open an iron mine--with its 700 good paying jobs--in Ashland County.
With Republicans gaining a healthier majority in the State Senate, passage of the Assembly's mining bill for streamlining of the mining approval process is likely. And with a passed mining bill, Gogebic Taconite says they are still interested in Wisconsin.
Because State Senate Republicans are no longer dependent on their weakest link, Sen. Dale Schultz, they should be able to pass the streamlined mining approval bill. Ironically, now that passage seems inevitable, Democrat Senator Tim Cullen now invokes Thomas Jefferson's appeal for "broad support for sweeping change"! In Sunday's paper, Cullen made his plea for not ramming through legislation with a slim majority.
Cullen's plea, however, seems very out of character with Democrats' actions, both in state and in Washington. After all, didn't Cullen join with the other Democrat State Senators when the 14 fled the state to deny the Senate Republicans from having a quorum during the Act 10 battle? And though he flirted with leaving the Democrat caucus in July, 3 days later he rejoined them with a promise of chairing 2 newly created committees--one being Mining.
As for Democrats in the U.S. Senate, didn't Harry Reid tweak and torture Senate rules to pass Obamacare on the slimmest of majorities? Hardly following Thomas Jefferson's appeal for broad support for sweeping change! Cullen stood with both Obama and Tammy Baldwin in the last election, so I guess that shows how much Cullen really values Thomas Jefferson's words of wisdom.
Since the introduction of iron mining would be a great boon for all of Wisconsin, I would like to think Democrats could put partisanship aside and do what is best for the state. Keep in mind the mining bill includes environmental protections, and iron mining is akin to quarrying, which goes on all over our state, it is not toxic strip mining. And the 700 jobs? Those are promised to be 95% union jobs, certainly a boon to economically challenged northern Wisconsin.
However, putting partisanship aside doesn't seem to be the direction state Democrats wish to move in: they just named Democrat Chris Larson as their Minority Leader. (Larson is a true liberal, believing that reducing government is reducing democracy!)
No doubt a passed mining bill will end up tangled in the Madison courts, just as our passed Voter ID and Act 10 have. But at least we should be able to jump the first hurdle of passing the mining legislation. The court battle will have to be overcome another day*.
*Note: Wisconsin has an extremely important State Supreme Court race coming up in April 2013, where we must reelect Justice Pat Roggensack.
Walker: With new bill, mining company will return
Best mining bill would have wide support
UPDATE: Sen. Tim Cullen rejoins Democratic Caucus
Democrats elected Chris Larson as state Senate leader
Sen Chris Larson Says, "Reducing Government" is Reducing Democracy"
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
The importance of the upcoming WI Supreme Court race to Republicans
Wisconsin Justice Pat Roggensack
This just in, Gov. Scott Walker officially notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "that Wisconsin will not build a state-based health insurance exchange and will defer to the federal Government's insurance exchange."
Yesterday afternoon, talk show host Mark Belling talked about this, that the word was, Wisconsin would be joining with 19 other states opting out of creating their own exchanges.
The Governor's letter restates the dilemma: "No matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the health care policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents. If the state option is chosen; however, Wisconsinites face risk from a federal mandate lacking long-term guaranteed funding."
And if you called the Governor, you are mentioned in the letter: "...after much consideration and outreach with citizens across the state [that's you!], and in the best interest of the taxpayers of Wisconsin, we have determined Wisconsin will not develop a partnership or state-based exchange."
State Senator Leah Vukmir is on Vicki McKenna right now talking about this. I urge you to listen to the podcast when it becomes available: Hour 1, Part 1 11-16-12. Vukmir says there could be more states doing the same, and some Democrat governors have joined in the opt-out. She also mentioned a few mandates we would be spared from.
Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan are said to be setting up the exchanges, so if you are a mid-west business, where would you rather locate?
In a related issue, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius just announced she is "granting them [governors] an extension to Dec. 14 on the decision." Hmm, I wonder why she is doing that? I am sure they are hoping to peel off a few of those 20 resistant governors.
The 10th Amendment might be finally getting its day in the sun: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."
Here is another thought: If a state spends its own taxpayer money to fund their own exchange, aren't we still required to pay our federal taxes, a portion of which go to funding the federal health care exchanges? It's a variation of spreading the wealth around in my opinion. In effect, it would mean states with exchanges are paying twice.
If the 20 states stay united, thus not funding the government mandate, where is the federal government going to get the money to fund their mandate? (Republicans hold the majority in the House, where all funding bills originate.)
I am sure we will know more as time goes on, but at least we have dodged this first bullet. And taking a page from the Democrats, any measure to slow down the process is progress. This push-back could lead to more.
Gov. Scott Walker's letter to Secretary Sebelius
HHS Extends Exchange Deadline a Month
Analysis: 20 states will run their health-law exchanges .
In the wake of Tuesday's election results, the grim realization that we are not going to be able to escape ObamaCare started to sink in. But Vicki McKenna floated the idea last week that there was a backdoor way to prevent ObamaCare from taking root in Wisconsin--don't set up the state-run exchange.
Also last week, National Review posted an article by the CATO Institute informing us that Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable. The Obama "administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare's health-insurance 'exchanges.' States also have to decide whether to implement the law's massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no." (My emphasis)
In person absentee voting is over in Wisconsin, so this Tuesday, the big "E" day* is it! It's the day we can return the United States to its Constitutional roots. Voter turnout is key, so disregard the latest polling data, which is often very skewed (CNN called it a tie but used D+11 to get there. In 2008 it was D+7 !) Just go vote Republican to preserve liberty.
If you still need some inspiration, watch these young teens' plea in Voices Without a Vote.
Voting and Poll Information: If you don't know what districts you live in, specific directions for finding your specific ballot here.
This year, depending on where you live, you may need to vote for the same person in 2 different races on the ballot: Residents in Congressman Paul Ryan's Congressional District 1, MUST remember to vote Ryan for Congress IN ADDITION to voting for the Romney/Ryan Presidential ticket. If you fail to remember, the Democrat Congressman could win and Republicans will lose the seat.
Same situation for Wisconsin State Assembly District residents in Paul Farrow's District 98 and Chris Kapenga's District 99. Constituents must vote for them in TWO places on their ballots:Once in the Assembly race and again in the 33rd Wisconsin State Senate District Primary. If you forget to vote for Farrow or Kapenga in their Assembly races, the opposing Democrat candidates could prevail.
Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. If you aren't in line at 8pm, you will not be allowed to vote. Listed below are my picks for the major races on Brookfield's and neighboring areas Nov. 6, 2012 Presidential & General Election ballot. Being the conservative I am, I am voting for the Republican in all races, because we don't belong to the government as Democrats declared at their convention, the government belongs to us! However, you must vote for each individual candidate, because Wisconsin no longer offers a straight party ticket choice.
So here it goes, from the major races to the more specific in our area of the state, in the same order they appear on your ballot. Each race and candidate name will be in bold, so you can easily scroll down and find them, with candidate websites and pertinent links below.
However, before you scroll down the page to find your specific district races, Waukesha County voters should know the only contested county government race on their ballot is WAUKESHA COUNTY CLERK. Kathleen Novack the Republican is running against a Democrat. This might seem like an unimportant race, but as anyone involved with election observing, poll watching, or observing recounts knows, we need a Republican in this position! Vote Novack.
PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES: Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan (Republican)
This is the most important election of my lifetime. Like Ronald Reagan after Jimmy Carter, I believe Mitt Romney is the right man for such a time such this. Romney supports biblical values, repealing ObamaCare, lower taxes, energy independence, job creation, etc. He offers Real Change From Day One. In fact, Madison's liberal Wisconsin State Journal endorsed Mitt Romney: "Not enough hope and too little change. ...This is not an easy endorsement to make. ...We endorsed Obama for change last time around. Now we’re endorsing change again: Mitt Romney."
Romney for President
21 Newspapers Switch to Romney
Ann Coulter: Romney is what the country needs now
CNN's Erin Burnett fact-checked Obama's second term plan, it's old and doesn't add up.
US SENATOR: Tommy G. Thompson (Republican)
All of Wisconsin votes for US Senator. My vote goes to Tommy Thompson for a whole host of reasons but mainly to be the 51st vote to repeal ObamaCare and help Republicans gain the majority in the Senate. If they don't, the gridlock continues: Democrat Senate Majority Leader already said he won't work with Romney (or the Republican House). Tommy would also be another vote against Supreme Court activist justices (think Kagan and Sotamayor) and a vote for Supreme Court Originalist Justices, who would follow the Constitution.
Madison's Wisconsin State Journal: Tommy best to tackle Washington gridlock
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Baldwin's voting record places her among top liberals
Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin & all of U.S need you to stop ObamaCare
US CONGRESSIONAL RACES
CONGRESSIONAL - DISTRICT 1: Paul Ryan (Republican)
In addition to voting for the Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan ticket for President, residents in District 1 will vote for Ryan in the Congressional race. This is because Paul Ryan was picked by Mitt Romney for Vice President, and Wisconsin's Favorite Son Rule allows him to be on the ballot twice. If the Romney/Ryan ticket prevails, there will be a special election next year to fill his seat. District 1 includes parts of New Berlin, and fans out from there to cover the southeastern corner of the state.
Paul Ryan House Website
Paul Ryan for U.S. Congress
CONGRESSIONAL - DISTRICT 4: Dan Sebring (Republican)
Vote Dan Sebring so"In November we can say, 'No Moore'!" District 4 has been redistricted to now include Bayside, Fox Point, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, Glendale, Brown Deer, most of Milwaukee, and south along the shoreline to South Milwaukee. People I know in these areas are livid that they lost Jim Sensenbrenner and now have Gwen Moore as their representative.
Republican Dan Sebring hopes to change that with his candidacy. He says, "You have a choice of whether you would like to embrace my opponent’s collectivist vision that “it takes a village” and you need government assistance in order to succeed, or my vision that you, the individual should be making decisions that determine your own destiny, without government interference." Sebring is endorsed by 4 Pro-life groups, Senators Alberta Darling and Leah Vukmir, among many others. Check out his issues page. He has pledged to oppose any debt limit increases unless Congress adopts Cut, Cap, and Balance.
Even though we are bombarded with non-stop political ads, I never tire of hearing his 'No Moore' ad featuring Gwen herself screeching, "Scott Walker, you gotta go baby, cuz we don't want you no more!"
District 4 map
Dan Sebring for US Congress
Listen to Sebring's 'No Moore' ad on job creation
CONGRESSIONAL - DISTRICT 5 - REPUBLICAN - F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.
Jim Sensenbrenner is running unopposed, but he still gets my support.
STATE SENATE - Wisconsin needs to regain its majority here
STATE SENATE - DISTRICT 4: David D King (Independent)
Independent David King is running for State Senate against Democrat Lena Taylor in the 4th district. He would be a welcome change! Certainly more favorable to job creating, pro-family, and pro-business legislation.
David King for State Senate
Senate District 4 map includes Assembly Districts 10, 11, 12
STATE SENATE - DISTRICT 18: Rick Gudex (Republican) Sen. Leah Vukmir alerted me to Rick Gudex, a pro-jobs, fiscal conservative. He is in the Fond du Lac area running against the incumbent Democrat, who won in the 2011 recall election against Republican Randy Hopper. I would love to see this district return to the Republican column. We need to gain a healthy majority in the State Senate if we want to see good for Wisconsin legislation passed such as the mining bill. Don't forget voter ID and Act 10 are mired down in the Dane County Judicial snare.
Rick Gudex for Senate
Senate District 18 map includes Assembly Districts 12, 13, 14
STATE SENATE - DISTRICT 20: Glenn Grothman (Republican)
Grothman is a solid conservative in the West Bend area.
STATE SENATE - DISTRICT 28: Mary Lazich (Republican)
Lazich from New Berlin represents suburbs to our south.
STATE SENATE - DISTRICT 33: Vacant Seat - Primary election in District 33 between Republican Assembly Representatives Paul Farrow and Christ Kapenga.
Former State Senator Rich Zipperer resigned his Senate seat to join Governor Walker's administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Legal Counsel to the Governor. Residents of the 33rd Senate District will choose between Farrow and Kapenga, who presently each serve in Wisconsin's Assembly (If I lived in the 33rd, I would be hard pressed to choose between them.)
Chris Kapenga is a CPA and business owner, who states he's pro jobs, pro business, pro life, for limited government.
Paul Farrow platform is much the same. He is endorsed by Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, Sen. Leah Vukmir, and a host of others.
Senate District 33 map includes Assembly Districts 97, 98, 99 - Hartford, Lisbon, Pewaukee, west Brookfield, Waukesha areas.
WISCONSIN STATE ASSEMBLY
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 13: Rob Hutton (Republican)
This is an open seat due to redistricting, so there is no incumbent. However, Brookfield native Rob Hutton does have a very liberal Democrat opponent from Wauwatosa, who signed the recall, failed in bid for mayor, and is adamantly against voucher schools.
The new new district now includes southern Brookfield, Elm Grove, Wauwatosa, West Allis and Milwaukee. In Brookfield, it combined the southern half of the former 98th and former 14th Districts. I was not too pleased when I was redistricted out of the 14th Assembly District, because it meant losing my Rep. Dale Kooyenga. But Conservative businessman Rob Hutton will be a very worthy replacement.
Hutton is in fact endorsed by Representative Kooyenga, as well as former State Senator Ted Kanavas. Hutton ran a vigorous primary campaign by visiting over 7,000 homes in District 13, "...talking to people and really listening to what are their top-of-mind issues". By restructuring his responsibilities at his business Rock Transfer & Storage, Inc., Hutton is ready to make representing us in Madison his priority.
Rob Hutton Website: Conservative Republican for Wisconsin State Assembly 13th District
Facebook: Rob Hutton
Past Post: Rob Hutton for Wisconsin Assembly District 13
GOP Assembly Candidates from District 13, 14, 15 Share Belief Wisconsin is Headed Right Direction
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 14: Dale Kooyenga (Republican Incumbent)
Dale Kooyenga, served in Iraq, now is a Captain in US Army Reserve. He brings his CPA skills and small business experience to Madison. Kooyenga was my former representative prior to redistricting. He now represents northern Brookfield, Wauwatosa, and a small portion of Milwaukee. "On a daily basis I am working for fiscal accountability, freedom and liberty (e.g. free market principles) and for an overall strong Wisconsin."
In spring, Kooyenga was appointed as Vice-Chair to a Legislative Council Study Special Symposium Series to Study State Income Tax Reform Did you know Wisconsin was rated 43rd least favorable tax states for business, and that some Wisconsinites pay no income tax but still receive a tax refund? We need reform!
Past Post: Sept. 7, 2010 "I have decided on Dale Kooyenga. His platform and endorsements resonate with me..."
Representative Dale Kooyenga Home Page
GOP Assembly Candidates from District 13, 14, 15 Share Belief Wisconsin is Headed Right Direction
Dale Kooyenga For State Assembly Conservative Republican
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 15: Joe Sanfelippo (Republican)
Joe Sanfelippo, a voice of sanity on the Milwaukee County Board, states he is running for Wisconsin Assembly District 15 "To protect the future for our kids by building on the progress we have made so far." This is an open seat. He is endorsed by State Reps Kuglitsch, Craig, Knodl, Voss, Honadel, and Kooyenga.
Joe Sanfelippo State Assembly
Assembly District 15 map
GOP Assembly Candidates from District 13, 14, 15 Share Belief Wisconsin is Headed Right Direction
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 24: Daniel Knodl (Republican)
Dan Knodl, incumbent, currently serves as Assistant Majority Leader for the Republicans
Knodl for Assembly "Dan Knodl is somebody who understands that Madison had a spending problem."
Dan Knodl Assembly District website
Assembly District 24 map includes areas in Germantown, Menomonee Falls, River Hills, Glendale, Brown Deer
Don't forget, Assembly District 98 and 99 residents also must vote for Farrow and Kapenga respectively for Wisconsin Assembly
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 98: Paul Farrow (Republican)
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 99: Chris Kapenga (Republican)
That's it. The polls will be busy tomorrow; don't wait until the last minute, especially if you need to register.
*Nickname courtesy of Mark Levin
2012 Blog Posts:
- Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin & all of U.S. need you t...
- Top 5 reasons to vote Romney, short, simple YouTube...
- Understanding Romney momentum
- Clever, unique, homemade pro Romney campaign signs...
- Christian, don't sit this election out, vote God's Values...
- "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?"
- How ironic! Voter Fraud billboards pulled during Free Speech week...
- Still time to see 2016: Obama's America
- Ryan/Biden 'debate': What in the world was that?
- 'Big Bird' joins AARP in telling Obama, Don't mention us again...
- 1st Debate: Romney? Presidential, capable, Obama? ..clearly a drag.
- Max Lucado's 40 Days of Prayer For USA starts today...
- Middle East unrest: Romney? presidential, Obama? busy campaigning...
- Great 1st week for Romney/Ryan ticket
- Rob Hutton for Wisconsin Assembly District 13, ...
It may sound dramatic, but it is true: America must have a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, if we have any hope of repealing ObamaCare, reducing the size of government, and just plain getting anything done in Washington D.C. Though I supported another candidate in the primary, I wholeheartedly support Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate now. Most importantly, Thompson is a social conservative: pro-life, pro traditional marriage, and pro family. He has a record of being able to get things done, even with a Democrat controlled legislature.
In addition, Thompson pledged to be the "51st vote" to repeal "ObamaCare," something the majority of Americans consider to be a #1 priority. From his website: "The law isn’t even close to being fully implemented, but its flaws are already so clearly obvious and the threat to our economy so real that we must start completely over."
The economic threat Thompson referred to is the $716 billion Obama removed from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare, the $800+ billion in new ObamaCare taxes that will kick in on Jan. 1 2013, our rising insurance premiums to cover all the people included in ObamaCare, and my personal favorite, the IRS' latest intrusion coming into your life (and wallet) by adding a new tax form. It will require you to report what qualifying insurance plan you have, or pay the penalty tax--2.5% of adjusted gross income--for not being insured. (That is the fine; it doesn't purchase insurance!)
Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donavan, along with the MacIver Institute and Americans for Prosperity are holding a rally against Milwaukee's latest huge waste of money project, the Milwaukee Streetcar. I often refer to it as Barrett's Folly Trolley. Most know it as A Streetcar Named Disaster. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a very expensive, unnecessary project.
The purpose of the rally is to pressure the Milwaukee to put the 2 mile long downtown streetcar project on a binding referendum, so voters can have a say as to whether or not we want to pay for this.
There is also an online petition for you to sign. Because all of us in the southeast Wisconsin will be paying higher WE Energies bills to cover the $55+ million to relocate the utility lines, you DO NOT need to be a Milwaukee County resident to sign. AT&T customers will be paying more too. Sign here.
Attend the rally if you can. A strong showing is needed to send Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council an unmistakable message: WE DON"T WANT THIS BOONDOGGLE.
The rally will be held at Serb Hall from 5pm to 7pm, though Alderman Bob Donovan* said the doors would be open at 4pm and probably go past 7pm. Alderman Donovan will be addressing other issues besides the streetcar, but stopping the streetcar is the main focus.
Estimates are that the very short streetcar line will cost $64 million plus the utility relocation costs of at least $55 million. I have heard a figure of about $120 million in all. $3 million of that is just to operate the thing for one year. And remember all this money is just to build a 2 mile line!
Some of this money is Federal Money, some is local. Regardless of where it comes from, we cannot afford this. And to top it all off, I think we can be sure if this 2 mile leg is built, more will follow, just like the Milwaukee to Madison train project that Gov. Walker stopped was just the 1st installment. So speak up!
Serb Hall is located at 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53219
*I believe I heard him on Vicki McKenna's radio show last week.
More Reading: The Streetcar Scam: A report by the MacIver Institute
Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby
Stop the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train .
Elm Grove's new Culver's restaurant is conducting interviews at their new location on Bluemound Road this Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, from noon to 4pm. Or as Culver's would say, "Come join our True Blue Crew as a Team Member!"
If the major road construction on Bluemound Road, just east of Pilgrim Road and westward, has kept you from the area, you might not have realized a Culver's sprang up from the rubble of the razed UNO's restaurant this summer.
It has been fun to watch the building progress. I snapped the above picture on Aug. 9th; they are now working on finishing the exterior.
The new Culver's is on the northeast corner of Pilgrim and Bluemound, just east of Baker's Square. (Brookfield Square is on the opposite southwest corner.)
Listed below are my picks for the major races on today's Partisan Primary Ballot for the southern half of Brookfield. You can find your sample ballot, voting place, and status by filling out your information here, then click on your name, and then click on the View sample ballot link toward the bottom of the next page.
Since this is a partisan primary, a party preference must be declared. Crossover voting will not be allowed.
First race on the ballot and on everyone's mind is the US Senate race, so I will start there.
US SENATOR - REPUBLICAN - Eric Hovde
A month ago, I was pretty sure I was voting for Eric Hovde for U.S. Senate. Now it is the big day, and Eric Hovde still has my vote. If you still are undecided, the following is for your consideration. Not only is he the most likable of the 4 men running, I believe he is the best equipped to do the job in the US Senate and deal with the difficulties our nation faces. His strong business bent will compliment the Romney / Ryan ticket well.
A few days ago, I heard the first airing of Wisconsin State Senators Leah Vukmir and Glenn Grothman's radio ad endorsing Eric Hovde for U.S. Senate. I knew Vukmir was backing Hovde for months; Glenn Grothman's support was news to me. Since I consider Leah Vukmir and Glenn Grothman 2 of Wisconsin's leading conservative Senators in Madison, I value their opinions. Here is their radio ad:
Grothman also stated: "'I have gotten to know Eric Hovde quite a bit during the past eight months... His knowledge of the issues is amazing. His interest in small community banks gives him a special understanding of some of the bailouts of reckless and well-connected institutions. It also gives him knowledge of our monetary system that is probably unmatched in Congress. Simply put, we need Eric Hovde,' "
Vukmir and Hovde also made this ad. Listen as did State Senator Frank Lasee.
We need people who are well versed in banking and business practices in Washington. For example, Hovde has been criticized for not signing Grover Norquist's anti-tax "'Taxpayer Protection Pledge' which commits candidates to opposing any legislation that would result in any type of tax increase." The other 3 candidates have signed it. But when Hovde explained his reasons for not doing so, I realized just how complex this issue is and how right he was to reject it.
Here is Hovde's explanation to Green Bay conservative talk show host Jerry Bader:
"...Norquist’s pledge simply protects the status quo, in which politically connected corporations carve out giant loopholes in the tax code. When anybody attempts to close those loopholes, Norquist brands them as 'tax hikers.' ”
“Behind the story with Grover Norquist is he’s funded by giant corporations that have created loopholes in our tax system,' said Hovde. 'We need to lower the rates, but we also have to get rid of the corporate welfare. How is a small business going to compete if they’re trying to compete against General Electric, that in some years, pays nothing because they can buy off Washington politicians?' "
The thing that really made me shake my head in disgust was when Hovde cited this example: "...last year... Senate Republicans pushed to eliminate $6 billion in ethanol tax credits. ...but Norquist insisted that eliminating any type of tax credit amounted to a tax increase and thus opposed the measure."
WISN's Jay Weber interviewed Eric Hovde on his radio show last week. The interview was about 15 minutes long. Listen I think it will help voters gain a better sense of who Eric Hovde is, what he stands for, and how he is best suited for the job.
So by this time tomorrow, we should know who our candidate is for the November election against liberal Tammy Baldwin. The good news is that any one of the 4 Republicans running will be vastly better than Baldwin and than our current Senator Herb Kohl. But I hope Wisconsin doesn't just settle for the better when they could have the best.
Website: Eric Hovde U.S. Senate Issues page
Past Post: For me, it's Hovde, Fitzgerald, Neumann, Thompson, in that order
CONGRESSIONAL - DISTRICT 5 - REPUBLICAN - F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.
Jim Sensenbrenner is running unopposed, but he still gets my support!
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 13 - REPUBLICAN - Rob Hutton
This is an open seat due to redistricting. The district now includes southern Brookfield, Elm Grove, Wauwatosa, West Allis and Milwaukee. In Brookfield, it combined the southern half of the former 98th and former 14th Districts..
As I wrote before, I was not too pleased when I was redistricted out of the 14th Assembly District, because that meant I lost my Rep. Dale Kooyenga. But Conservative Rob Hutton seems to be a very worthy replacement. He is in fact endorsed by Representative Kooyenga, as well as former State Senator Ted Kanavas. And like Dale Kooyenga, Hutton is getting to know the residents in this newly drawn district by going door to door. Hutton has visited over 7,000 homes, because he believes that "The times we live in are difficult and people are weary of negative television and radio ads [and repetitive Robo-calls]. Physically talking to people and really listening to what are their top-of-mind issues brings our whole system into perspective."
For constituents who live outside of Brookfield and don't know much about Hutton's more prominent opponent, Tom Schellinger, let me just say he is Brookfield's perennial candidate, often running for multiple races--sometimes 3 at a time! In 2005, his antics captured the attention of Journal Sentinel columnist Laurel Walker. She poked fun at his efforts in a piece titled, If at first you don't succeed, run again. She referred to Schellinger as "Waukesha County's own Harold Stassen."
Things haven't changed over the years. This year he ran unopposed for Waukesha County Supervisor and Brookfield Alderman. Though there was little chance he would regain his twice lost Alderman seat, I believed if he won, the dual role would be a conflict of interest. So I wrote: Conflict of interest? Schellinger for County Supervisor & Brookfield
I believe being my County Supervisor AND Wisconsin Assembly Representative would also create a conflict of interest. Plus, what kind of person would run unopposed for County Supervisor, knowing he would win that race, and run for Alderman in that same spring election, while planning all along to also run for the Wisconsin Assembly?
Then there is the issue of his campaign style: Schellinger sinks to new low with misleading campaign literature (Includes many links to past posts)
But conflict of interest and misleading campaign literature aside, just what kind of Assembly Representative would Schellinger make? Perhaps his failed 2010 bid for Mayor of Brookfield might give you some insights. (He again was running for multiple races that year.) The Candidate Forum consisted of the 4 men in the race and questions were put to each one. I remember it became almost laughable when Schellinger answered many times that his idea, his solution to whatever the question was to study the issue.
For example, when the question was whether a high speed rail stop in Brookfield would have a positive or negative impact on our city, he answered, "'I think this is going to be a very interesting debate for the community.' He says he'd like to appoint a task force with voices from across the community to look at the positives and negatives.'" He couldn't give his opinion. Knowing what our Republican legislators went through in Madison this past term, the death threats, the occupation, the tension, I cannot imagine Schellinger being a good fit for the task.
Rob Hutton Website: Conservative Republican for Wisconsin State Assembly 13th District
Facebook: Rob Hutton
Past Post: Rob Hutton for Wisconsin Assembly District 13, Vote Aug. 14, 2012
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 14 - REPUBLICAN - Dale Kooyenga
Dale Kooyenga was my former representative in Madison prior to the recent redistricting. He represents northern Brookfield and Wauwautosa
Past Post: Sept. 7, 2010 "I have decided on Dale Kooyenga. Rarely have I ever seen a candidate campaign as energetically and effectively as Kooyenga has, which hopefully will translate into how hard he will work for us in Madison! It isn't just his energy though, it is his platform and endorsements that resonate with me..."
Representative Dale Kooyenga Home Page
ASSEMBLY - DISTRICT 22 - REPUBLICAN - Don Pridemore
Don Pridmore is a solid conservative: pro-life, pro-family, fiscally responsible and stood with Gov. Walker during the Act 10 ordeal. He represents the Menomonee Falls/Lisbon/Richfield area. Pridemore is endorsed by the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association MFTax.org
Don Pridemore for Assembly
WAUKESHA COUNTY CLERK - REPUBLICAN - Gina Kozlik
Gina Kozlik is endorsed by the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association MFTax.org
GINA KOZLIK The Right Choice
REGISTER OF DEEDS - REPUBLICAN - Michael Starich
Michael Starich is endorsed by the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association MFTax.org
There are a number of other races on the ballot unopposed. With little exception, I usually leave them blank unless I know who they are and support their candidacy.
I am curious what voter turnout will be compared to our spring primary. Polls close at 8pm., we will know soon after that.
With Wisconsin's Primary just a month away, it's time to focus on our ballot choices on August 14th. I live in the newly redistricted 13th Assembly District, and I was not too pleased when I learned I lost Dale Kooyenga with that swipe of the redistricting pen. But Rob Hutton seems to be a worthy replacement. He is in fact endorsed by Representative Kooyenga as well as former State Senator Ted Kanavas. If you check out his website, you can see his growing list of endorsements.
Rob Hutton grew up in Brookfield and graduated from Brookfield East. He is a Conservative, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. Hutton is President and CEO of a Wisconsin based company, Rock Transfer & Storage, Inc. and will bring that private sector experience to Madison. He has served on the Waukesha County Board as a Supervisor for 7 years.
Like Representative Dale Kooyenga, Rob Hutton has been knocking on doors and meeting the residents in his district. This is no easy task and it demonstrates a level of commitment to the job. His yard signs are popping up all over too, not just on the right of ways, stuck here and there, but in the front yards of real supporters in our district. Rob came to my front door 2 times and I found him to be just what I am looking for in a Representative.
So in the weeks before our primary, take some time and read over his positions, his concerns, his background and family, and endorsements. August 14th will be here before we know it.
Website: Conservative Republican for Wisconsin State Assembly 13th District
Facebook: Rob Hutton
I will be posting a pre-primary ballot pick piece in about 3 weeks...stay tuned!
Way back in October of 2011, Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald announced he was running for U.S. Senate. At that time, he was my likely pick over Tommy Thompson or Mark Neumann. I didn't want Thompson when he was toying with running in 2010. (Thank Goodness we had Ron Johnson step into that race.) I'm still not liking Thompson in this 2012 race, for the same reasons: he's not all that conservative, he was a big spender, and he is too old. Thankfully, Eric Hovde, the newest candidate to enter the 2012 race to fill Herb Kohl's vacant seat, is pulling ahead.
I have liked Eric Hovde ever since I heard him interviewed on Mark Belling's radio show some months ago. Hovde talked about how he was conservative, even in his college years. He mentioned how he was required to give 2 speeches for one of his classes and he chose to do both, extolling Reagan's policies. And that was in Madison! (Hovde's father worked for the Regan administration.)
I thought, there aren't many college students who are conservative (people tend to grow more conservative with time), much less at the University of Wisconsin - Madison! That indicated to me he was able to stand up for his convictions, which is an important quality in a U.S. Senator. His ads are hitting a lot of the issues important to me.
Needless to say, any one of the 4 in the running would be a vast improvement over what we had in Kohl and certainly over Tammy Baldwin.
So I am still deciding, but I think Eric Hovde will get my vote. Seems other people are thinking that too since he is giving Thompson a run for his money now.
Wisconsin's Primary is August 14th. The winner will go on to face Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November.
Website: Eric Hovde U.S. Senate
Today is Flag Day, a day that commemorates the Continental Congress' adoption 235 years ago, on June 14, 1777, "that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field [canton], representing a new constellation."
One would have to be living under a rock to not know the eyes of the nation are upon Wisconsin's Walker recall election on June 5th. It's not often the Weekly Standard covers our elections in such detail: Tom Barrett Fires Blanks at Scott Walker... and Barrett Can't Name Any Schools Hurt by Walker....
Emotions are running high with campaign ads bombarding the airwaves, the mailbox stuffed with politician post cards, and political phone calls (live and robo) taunting us from morning to night. Everyone in Wisconsin who votes needs to vote for 2 separate races: Governor AND Lt. Governor. For me that would be Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch. In areas where there is also a State Senate recall, they will need to vote for State Senator too. Without our Republican Senators holding their seats, Wisconsin can forget any major legislation passing. (Margins are already razor thin--remember the jobs creating mining bill defeat?)
One thing is for certain--I think we will all breathe a sigh of relief when this is over. I hope I will be smiling when the results are in.
But turnout is key to a Walker win. Though the latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Walker at 52% to Barrett's 45%, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1% points, I am very concerned about the percentage of fraudulent votes cast for Barrett. So we have to outvote the fraud. If you want to help get out the vote in support of the Governor, the GOP Victory Centers are still looking for people to man the phones from 9am - 9pm to make calls from now through Tuesday.
Americans for Prosperity is once again sponsoring a Tax Day rally at our state capitol in Madison on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 11:30am to 1pm--so even working folks can participate. Their invitation reads,
Tuesday, April 3, 2012, is Election Day in Wisconsin. We vote in the Presidential primary and for local non-partisan races. Click to view larger photo.
It is doubtful that our recently passed Voter ID law will be in effect, however, you will be required to sign the Poll List when you vote.
You can find your sample ballot anywhere in Wisconsin simply by putting in your address at this website: Wisconsin Voter Public Access Find your polling place here.
Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. District 7 voters, remember we vote in at St. Luke's Catholic Church on Greenfield Ave. and Davidson Rd. in District 6.
Take the time to be an informed voter. If you don't know anything about a candidate, don't vote in that race. The Wisconsin Conservatives - Vote April 3rd! site is a good source for many races in the southeastern quadrant of Wisconsin.
Most of the races on our ballots in Brookfield are uncontested, meaning the candidate will win regardless of your vote. I still cast a vote for some of these people if I support their candidacy; I don't if I don't know much about them or don't support them.
Going from the general to the specific on the front page of the ballot:
Party Preference: You must select a party for the Presidential Primary. For me that is Republican. (Last time, since McCain cinched the nomination, I selected Democrat and voted for Hillary, believing she was the less radical choice should she win!)
Presidential Preference Vote - I am voting for Rick Santorum. Considering his shoe-string budget campaign, I am impressed he is doing as well as he is with Romney outspending him 4 - 7 times to 1, depending on the state. More than likely, by the end of April, if not on Tuesday, results will show Mitt Romney will be our nominee in November, but I still am voting for Rick. His candidacy has made Romney a better candidate as Santorum pushes him more to the right. 2012 Primary Election Schedule
Waukesha County Board Supervisor: District 7 - Jennifer Grant She is running in the only contested County Board race in Brookfield in some northern Wards of our city. Jennifer Grant contacted me 2 months ago and we have emailed back and forth a bit. She explained, "I am running because I truly believe that we are at a crossroads and it is time for even the Waukesha County Board to represent conservative fiscal policy and reduce taxes (we are a red county after all). As a CPA and Benefits professional, I think I have the private sector experience needed for the position."
Jennifer Grant is endorsed by my State Assembly Representative Dale Kooyenga and the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association. She would get my vote too, but I live south of her district.
Jennifer Grant for Waukesha County Supervisor
Menomonee Falls Patch: April 2012 Election: Jennifer Grant
The other County Board races in Brookfield are uncontested. I am not voting for Tom Schellinger in County District 20. Possibly next time, in 2014, we will have a choice in southern Brookfield.
Municipal Races: City of Brookfield Aldermen
District 1 - Incumbent Dan Sutton - Though I don't live in District 1, if I did, I would be voting for Dan Sutton. He has been my ballot pick before mainly because he supports the residents and has good instincts. Retired Judge Dick Steinberg is challenging him this April. I do appreciate and thank Judge Steinberg for all the years he spent on the bench in Brookfield, but I would leave it at that. Dan Sutton is very popular in his district and he should be reelected.
BrookfieldNOW Alderman District 1 race
District 4 - Cathy Wolfla over Appointee Buck Jurken - I'm thinking I would vote for Cathy Wolfla if I lived in District 4. She seems to be very interested in keeping constituents informed on the issues, something I really appreciate with my 2 Aldermen Renee' Lowerr and Lisa Mellone. I also liked her last line in the BrookfieldNOW profile, "I am open to listening to what the residents think about bond issues and "specialty taxes," but ultimately, we must balance what we can have with what we can afford to pay." Now that is a refreshing concept!
BrookfieldNOW Alderman District 4 race
Brookfield Patch: Aldermanic Election: Wolfla Promises Greater Input; Jurken Touts Record
District 7 - Renee Lowerr - I have lived in District 7 for 26 years, and by this time, I know a good Alderman when I see one! Renee Lowerr takes her job as Alderman very seriously. She is hard working, energetic, listens to her constituents, and does not have divided loyalties. Her focus is on what is best for her constituents and the City of Brookfield. She is very sensitive to residents concerns with new development.
Her challenger is Tom Schellinger, who is and will be our County Board Supervisor. He was our Alderman from 2002 - 2006, but was voted out of office by Lisa Mellone in 2006 and by Renee Lowerr in 2008. Schellinger's performance aside, I believe serving in both positions would be a conflict of interest.
The thing that troubles me is that new to the district residents don't know the issues we have had with him in the past and might believe the very misleading campaign literature he distributed against Lowerr. I do hope they will do some research before voting.
Schellinger sinks to new low with misleading campaign literature, Vote Renee Lowerr!
Conflict of interest? Schellinger for County Supervisor & Brookfield Alderman with left-over Schellinger for Assembly signs
Brookfield Patch: Aldermanic Election: Challenged by Schellinger, Lowerr Focuses on Development
BrookfieldNOW: Brookfield 7th Aldermanic District
District 7 - Lisa Mellone - Lisa again is unopposed as she runs for the remainder of her term, but she does deserve our vote. I will quote my 2010 ballot pick post: "...she deserves mention as an outstanding Alderman. What a pleasant change from our former Alderman [Schellinger] often referred to as "Mr. Rolodex". Lisa Mellone works very hard for her district and follows through on resident concerns. Some day, I hope to draw that little connecting arrow next to her name for Mayor of Brookfield!"
Come back, Lisa Mellone, District 7 needs you!
For School District of Elmbrook School Board races, you must turn your ballot over. Everyone in the Elmbrook School District votes for both school board races, regardless of where you live in the district.
Area IV - Jean Lambert - Her background as a senior financial analyst for Froedert Health makes her a great asset to the board. She is a 40 year resident with 30 years private sector experience and 3 years on the Elmbrook School Board.
Jean Lambert summed it up well in Elmbrook incumbents face challengers: "'I'm running because we have, for the past couple of years, done a lot of heavy lifting with regards to Act 10 and decisions about Open Enrollment and the closing of Hillside,' Lambert said. 'Now we can concentrate on student achievement, acclimating the new superintendent and building our school communities as we have needed to redistrict.'"
At-Large - Meg Wartman - I have supported Meg Wartman in past elections, and I support her now. She, like Jean Lambert, has been a solid vote against adding expensive 4K to Elmbrook. Meg Wartman has lived in the district for 25 years and has served on the board 3 terms as treasurer, President, and Vice President. Her experience has helped her to understand that adding more students through Open Enrollment, 220, or even 4K does not help our district but rather just adds more cost to the taxpayers. Meg Wartman is one of that collective "we" Jean spoke of in the above quote. They have done heavy lifting. They have made tough decisions and our Elmbrook School District and the Elmbrook taxpayers are the better for it.
Please see 2012 Elmbrook School District election picks: Meg Wartman & Jean Lambert for more details from the Candidate Forum
So, there you have it: My ballot picks for April 3rd. Be sure to look into the issues and candidates for yourself and vote. Each of the links to postings I did on these candidates has numerous links to more articles and postings.
Voter guide to conservatives on southeast Wisconsin ballots
Election day is just a few days away now. Hopefully, you have been following the candidates running in your area, but sometimes, it is difficult to garner the information you need to make an informed decision when voting. Since these are non-partisan races, how do you know who is the more conservative choice?
If you live in the southeast corner of Wisconsin, you can take a look at the Wisconsin Conservatives - Vote April 3rd! Voter Guide*. It covers School Board Candidates, County Races, and Municipal Races, where identified Conservatives are running, from Appleton to Kenosha. There is even a spot to leave a comment on each of these web pages.
I live in Brookfield. So on this voter guide, my Elmbrook School Board incumbents Wartman and Lambert are named as the conservative choices. I heartily concur. In the County Races section, the only contested Waukesha County Supervisor race for us is for District 7 in northeastern Brookfield (also includes southeast Menomoneee Falls, Butler). The Voter Guide picks Jennifer Grant. She is endorsed by my State Assembly Representative Dale Kooyenga and the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association. She would get my vote too, but I live south of her district. Our Municipal Aldermen are not on the guide, but in the 3 contested races, I would pick Dan Sutton in District 1 and Renee Lowerr in my District 7. I know Lowerr to be Conservative.
For those living in Milwaukee County, the important Milwaukee County Conservative Candidates are listed:
- Milwaukee Comptroller: Bunting
- Milwaukee Judge 17: Nelson Phillips - JudgeNelsonPhillips.com
- Milwaukee 1: Cegielski
- Milwaukee 9: Taylor
- Milwaukee 11: Borkowski
- Milwaukee 17: Sanfelippo
- Milwaukee 18: Alexander
I received a robo-call last night inviting me to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha this Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 10am to Noon.
The event is free, but you must register in advance on their webpage.
Country Springs Hotel is located at 2810 Golf Road, Waukesha. Take I-94 westbound to exit 291, turn right, then take Golf, the frontage road to the hotel. (You will see the hotel from the Interstate.)
Though the primary process pretty much a foregone conclusion, this is still a unique opportunity to see these 3 candidates together.
They are expecting I received a robo-call last night inviting me to the Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Presidential Kick-Off at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha this Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 10am to Noon.
Sixteen Democrats and one Republican in Wisconsin's State Senate put a stake in the heart of the mining industry in our state on Tuesday, when the Senate version compromise bill was narrowly defeated by 1 vote. If Republican Dale Shultz or even just one Democrat would have voted in favor of this bill, Gogebic Taconite, G-Tac, wouldn't be leaving for more mining friendly, and also iron rich, Minnesota and Michigan.
It seemed any hope of streamlining the mining approval process with a mining reform bill was dead, because the Senate session ends on March 15th. But yesterday and today it seems there just might be a glimmer of hope to revive this job-rich bill.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp spoke on both the Mark Belling Show yesterday and Vicki McKenna's radio program today. She emphasized how the Senate Mining Bill did not circumvent DNR rules as opponents said; it just set a timeline, a shorter deadline, for a mine's approval process. Each specific mine proposal would still have to meet DNR, Army Corps of Engineers, etc. requirements.
So what wasn't to like? The failed Senate mining bill added improved wet land creation in its language over present legislation, it was backed by 9 private sector unions, and G-Tac assured 95% of the jobs created would be union jobs.
Vicki also emphasized today that iron mining is NOT strip mining, but pit mining. We are familiar with pit mining in almost every area of Wisconsin because it is the same type of mining that rock quarries use. The G-Tac mine pit would be 15 acres in size, about the size of the square block I live on. Once all the iron ore was extracted, it would be restored. In fact, beautiful Lake Wazee, the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin, is a good example of the aftermath of a former taconite quarry or pit mine.
If Democrat Senators like Tim Carpenter (608) 266-8535 or Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 will rethink their votes, since their districts could benefit from the increase in jobs at mine equipment builders Caterpillar or Joy Global in Milwaukee, the mining bill and the mining industry in Wisconsin could be saved. If not, we have just secured our place in the race to the bottom for the most unfriendly mine locations in the world.
So it is up to the residents of this state to make one last plea to their Senator to change their mind on voting for mining in Wisconsin. Hopefully, they will reconsider. If just one Senator does, the mining bill could make a miraculous recovery and all of Wisconsin will benefit.
Find your State Senator here. Be polite; you are making an appeal.
Gogebic drops plans for iron ore mine
And now we know
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
Wisconsin Tea Party Reaction to Mining Debacle
Past Post: Wisconsin Senate mining bill took wrong turn, now better
Voter ID is now in effect, so do remember to bring it to the polls if you live in a municipality holding a primary election tomorrow.
All of Milwaukee County will be voting for Branch 17 Judge in the primary. Judge Nelson Phillips is the Conservative in that race. His website is judgenelsonphillips.com but clicking that link gave me a Bandwidth Limit Exceeded message and suggested trying again later.
The following is from my fellow Conservative blogger, Randy Melchert:
"Tomorrow is the Nonpartisan Primary Election. Most of Waukesha County does not have a primary (except for a Western Waukesha County municipal judge race), but Milwaukee County and many other areas do.
"The areas below are having primaries where there are identified conservative candidates:
Wisconsin's Assembly passed AB 426, a Iron Mining Bill, in January. It essentially was designed to speed up the expensive, long drawn out 3-year DNR approval process to a 360 day maximum permit deadline.
Wisconsin's Senate came up with their version earlier this week, however, theirs was far worse than the long, drawn out process we presently have. Among other bad stipulations, it added a new $2 per ton tax on top of the present 15% of net proceeds tax. Since the mine would produce from 8 to 16 million tons a year, that new stipulation would cost the mining company from $16 - $32 million dollars of additional expense. So that Senate version of the the good Assembly Bill 426 would be far worse than the unfavorable process we currently have in Wisconsin.
Thankfully, many Wisconsinites contacted their State Senators, urging them to support mining in Wisconsin and not vote for this terrible Senate version, with its unfriendly business taxes and regulations. So many people called and emailed that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald disbanded the Senate mining committee, scrapped the Senate version, and sent the clean, better AB 426 Assembly version to the Joint Finance Committee, which will send it directly to the Senate floor.
So people, you made the difference. We are still not out of the woods though because the Assembly version can still be amended in the Senate. They can still add on the poison-pill provisions, but at least this way, those promoting those bad ideas will be known and each Senator will have to take a stand if they are for or against mining jobs in Wisconsin.
Just how unfavorable is Wisconsin for mining companies to do business here? Here is a little test:
What do Zimbabwe, The Congo (DRC), India, Bolivia, Honduras and Wisconsin have in common? They rank among the top 10 bottom scorers of 79 locations throughout the world--Antarctica excepted--friendly to the mining industry.
The Fraser Institute surveyed the opinions of mining executives, exploration managers and mining consultants from around the world and found Wisconsin scored the worst in Environmental Regulations and 2nd worst, only to Hugo Chavez' Venezuela, for "Uncertainty concerning the administration, interpretation, and enforcement of existing regulations". (Click link and scroll down to look at graphs)
How did this happen to Wisconsin? We're the Badger State. Badgers because they dig and burrow!
Wisconsin, with our flag depicting a miner standing to the right of the shield and sailor to the left, state products representing the state's major industries adorning the shield and badger on top: "In four sections surrounding the shield are representations of the states main industries: Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and navigation. The cornucopia and pile of lead represent farm products and minerals. (My emphasis)
Most of you have heard about these 2 transportation projects, the addition of pedestrian / bike lanes to the I-794 Hoan Bridge reconstruction project and the Milwaukee Streetcar project, sometimes called the Milwaukee Trolley. (I often refer to it as Tom Barrett's Folly Trolley.)
The 2 projects have little in common except that they are both located in Milwaukee, both serve a very tiny percentage of the population, both add to traffic congestion, and both carry a whopping price-tag! The public hearings on both projects have passed, but you may still submit your comments via email until Wednesday, November 30th for the I-794 Hoan Bridge Bike Path and until Friday, December 2nd, 5pm for the Milwaukee Streetcar project.
Since both of these projects are primarily Federally funded, you DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN MILWAUKEE to submit your comments!
Updates below. Please READ the post before commenting. Castle Doctrine gives the property owner immunity against an intruder. That means someone who is inside.
I heard this morning that Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald is going to run for United States Senate. H/T Jay Weber
If you are following this race, Fitzgerald's announcement makes it 3 for the Republican side of the ticket. (Former Gov. Tommy Thompson and former Congressman Mark Neumann are the other 2.) The winner of the Republican primary would face Democrat Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in November of 2012.
At this point, I think Fitzgerald would be my choice. I have also heard there are 2 other very wealthy individuals teetering on the edge of announcing, so I guess we have to stay tuned!
Fitzgerald for US Senate
If you haven't had occasion to travel on Bluemound Road on Brookfield's southeast side lately, you might not know that there's A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On down here!
If traveling from east to west, the former Quebecor site is getting its clean up in preparation for Underwood Crossing, where the Target store slated for opening in fall of 2012. (The dirt heap has grown considerably since I snapped this pic in July.)
If you recall, there was a mixed use plan for the site proposed back in 2007 that fell through. This included apartments and lots of small shops.
Just a quick post here--I am up to my elbows in paint brushes and sandpaper--but there were a few positive news items that should be noted from last week. I will start with the most recent first:
2012 Presidential Election
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he is running for President on Saturday at a RedState event. How refreshing to hear, "You see, as Americans we’re not defined by class, and we will never be told our place. What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights. As Americans, we don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility. And as Americans, we realize there is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens." (My emphasis)
Perry is being attacked by the Left, so I would say they are seeing him as a serious contender! One cannot help but make the comparisons to Ronald Reagan. In fact, Richard Cohen titled his piece on Monday, The Texas Gipper. "Here again was a governor declaring for the presidency and some very wise people cautioning us on the air and in print that what worked in Texas might not work in the nation. Perry is too conservative, too much a cowboy, too religious and, while we’re at it, too handsome. This, more or less, was what was said about Ronald Reagan. "
In other 2012 Election news, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll with 29% of the vote on Saturday. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race. Some are still holding out hope for Rep. Paul Ryan and Gov. Chris Christie to throw their hats in the ring. I am not a Christie fan as he is not as Conservative as I would like across the board.
On Friday, Appeals Court Rules ObamaCare Unconstitutional: "...the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law." They stopped short of declaring "the entire overhaul as unconstitutional".
Wisconsin Republican Recall Election
It would appear last Tuesday's recall results will be enough to repel Obama's Magical Misery Tour through the Midwest from crossing our border. "Obama’s bus trip this week will bring him to an Iowa town within twenty miles of the Wisconsin border on Tuesday. That’s the same day that two Wisconsin Democratic state senators who sided with labor last winter face recalls mounted by the Republican Party and national conservative groups."
Conservatives in Wisconsin are breathing much easier this morning, because 4 of the 6* recalled Republicans won their elections! Just enough victory to keep their majority in the Senate--important because the majority controls which bills come up for vote in the Senate.
Despite this being the best election paid political operatives could muster, the Democrats still couldn't pull off a win here. To me, that is huge. For despite all the out of state Union money flowing into anti-Republican advertising, phone banks, door-to-door canvassers, and BBQ for Votes parties, the Republicans still prevailed.
Since this is the 3rd election effort against the conservative agenda, and the conservatives won, I think it is clear Wisconsinites like this new less tax and less spend direction.
The whole country was watching these recalls--Conservatives hoping Wisconsin voters would uphold Walker's return to fiscal sanity so their state could do the same; Liberals hoping a Democrat victory would make legislators think twice about cutting spending and challenging the unions. Drudge posted this as his top set of links (before 9am): "Republicans take 4 of 6 in recall elections, hold Senate... (todaystmj4 GOP maintains control of Senate)
GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere...(Washington Times)" Drudge also characterized the Democrat loss as "Unions Lose in Wisconsin".
Well, the focus on Wisconsin's Republican victory didn't last long on Drudge. Now the headline link is More Slide. The Dow is at -377.62 at 9:20am--make that 389.58 at 9:29am. Can it be any more clear? Our nation needs to cut our out of control deficit spending lest we join Europe in their debt-fest. Maybe President Obama would like to have a chat with Gov. Scott Walker for some cost cutting pointers? ;-)
Next Tuesday, Aug. 16th, Republicans have a chance of capturing 2 more seats in the Simac and Steitz races against 2 Democrat Senators who fled the state rather than vote. I would think yesterday's results would energize their campaigns.
I want to thank talk show host Jay Weber for making a point to allow a caller yesterday make a plea for people to pray about the recall elections. Though I couldn't vote in yesterday's election, I and many others did pray for justice and fairness.
Today's TMJ4 GOP maintains control of Senate
Washington Times: Wis. GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere
AP Vote Totals
Wisconsin GOP holds on to Senate
*These results were not unexpected: Dan Kapanke is in a Democrat district. Randy Hopper's personal problems were seen as a big negative.
UPDATE: Milwaukee to see ["at least $11 million"] net gain from state budget [The Walker budget the 6 recalled Republicans voted for] Part of Republican Alberta Darling's Senate district is in Milwaukee.
Correction: Blog title has been changed from Wow! Wisconsin accounted for 1/2 of new private sector jobs in nation, as this was an inadvertent misinterpretation of the statistics. Wisconsin did see 12,900 new private sector jobs in June, for a net gain of 9,500 new jobs after losses are subtracted. Other states also experienced large job gains. These gains however were offset by other states huge losses. Correction also noted on closing statement.
Though our area State Senators Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer are not facing recall elections this August, the results of these recall elections on Aug. 9th and Aug. 16th are still very important for everyone in our state. These recall elections will determine if Republicans hold their majority in the State Senate or not.
I was pleased to learn that Northwoods Patriots Tea Party founder Kim Simac won over her opponent in Senate District 16 way up north (Rhinelander, Eagle River). Her election website Kim Simac for State Senate cleverly bears the subtitle: A Leader Who Won't Run Away, in reference to her opponent, Dem. Senator Jim Holperin, who fled the state rather than take a vote.
Obviously, Simac is a conservative! I first became acquainted with her and the Northwoods Patriots when Simac spoke at the Madison Tea Party rally in 2010. With that kind of grassroots support, I would think she has a good chance of defeating Democrat incumbent Holperin on Aug. 16th.
Former small business owner and attorney Jonathan Steitz won his 22nd Senate District primary yesterday. Much like U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who stepped forward out of the private sector to run against incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold, Jonathan Steitz has a business background. He will be running against Democrat Bob Wirch on Aug. 16th.
Jonathan Steitz has been sending me press releases since he announced his candidacy in mid May. "We need lower taxes, less government regulation, and common-sense policies that will encourage economic growth for our area," Steitz stated. And that sentiment has become the subtitle for his election website Steitz for Senate: Simplify taxes, reduce regulation and create jobs.
Wisconsin needs conservatives like Simac and Steitz in Madison. I wish them much success.
You can keep up with the latest election information at WisPolitics Election Blog
Don't forget that on Aug. 9th, 6 Republican Senators will be defending their seats in Madison against Democrat opponents. My blogging acquaintance Randy Melchert has posted an assessment of all 9 recall elections. His blog includes the vote total percentages Prosser received in April in their districts and his projections about wins and losses. Check it out.
Yesterday, was the first of the recalls with Democrat Hansen holding his seat in Green Bay against David Vanderleest, who Republicans weren't really promoting. (Republicans flubbed this recall primary big time by not submitting enough nomination signatures for John Nygren, who was the real contender. Thus it was the actual election instead of a primary.)
Aug. 9th is recall election day for Republican Robert Cowles for District 2 -- Shawano , for Republican Alberta Darling in District 8 -- Mequon (north shore, Menomonee Falls too), for Republican Sheila Harsdorf in District 10 -- River Falls, for Republican Luther Olsen in District 14 -- Ripon, for Republican Randy Hopper in District 18 -- Oshkosh/Fond du Lac, and for Republican Dan Kapanke District 32 -- LaCrosse. Kapanke is a good guy and unfortunately, he looks to be the most vulnerable.
Then there are the last 2 recalls on Aug. 16th with Democrat incumbents defending their seats against Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz.
I am sure any one of these candidates would appreciate a donation or volunteers to make phone calls, etc. Contact them by clicking the link on their name. And if you live in these districts, Don't forget to VOTE!
On July 4th, the Village of Elm Grove hosted a Revolutionary War camp complete with re-enactors as part of their 4th of July festivities. Unfortunately, I got there just in time to see them pack up!
But in talking to one of the soldiers, I found out that the group, The North West Territory Alliance - NWTA, would be holding a much larger event this coming weekend at Fox River County Park in Kenosha County, near Silver Lake, Wisconsin. Called Rebels and Redcoats on the Fox, this event will be a much larger encampment and would even include skirmishes. (Though the link was for registering for the event, it also includes a map and directions to the park.)
The NWTA is a "...non-profit educational organization that studies and recreates the culture, lifestyle, and arts of the time of the American Revolution, 1775-1783." They have over 500 reenactors from the Midwest and participate in reenactments in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin throughout the year. (Their next Wisconsin event is scheduled for Sept. 3&4 at Pioneer Village in Saukville, Wisconsin.)
So take a step back into history this Saturday and Sunday, July 9th and 10th, and witness Rebels and Redcoats on the Fox.
Sad but true, June 4th & 5th marks the 10th and final Reclaiming Our Heritage weekend at Milwaukee's VA Medical Center. (5000 W. National Ave. behind Miller Park) As the JSOnline reported in March, "In some respects the event is a victim of its popularity." The article mentioned that the reenactment weekend grew from just 50 reenactors with around 3,000 visitors in 2002 to hosting 700 war re-enactors and over 10,000 visitors last year.
I have been to a few Civil War reenactor events around the country, but Reclaiming Our Heritage was unique in that it hosted reenactors from many war eras at the same time: Pre Civil War, Civil War, WWI, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Iraq.
However, one drawback to all that variety is that all those groups need open space to set up their camps and conduct Living History demonstrations. And with the the VAs new building plans, vacant areas, large enough to house all those reenactor camps, is said to become too scarce for future events. (Many of the reenactors actually live in their camps for the weekend.)
So attend if you can, because this is your last chance to experience this Living History event at such a history rich location as the VA and National Cemetery.
Reclaiming Our Heritage is billed as Family Friendly and Positively Patriotic and seems to include events of interest for the whole family: plenty of music, dancing, fashions, soldier reenactments and demos, church services on Sunday, and more. Check out the Reclaiming Our Heritage events page for specifics.
The event is FREE, and activities begin at 9am both days.
Past Post: June 5&6, Milwaukee VA Center History Event: Reclaiming Our Heritage
JSOnline: Reclaiming Our Heritage ending after this year.
One version of Conceal Carry passed the Wisconsin Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. So will these signs soon be seen in various public places in our state as they are in Arizona, a state that allows Constitutional Carry?
We recently spent a few weeks in Arizona and I admit, at first those signs were a bit of a surprise. We soon became accustomed to seeing them though, and we also adjusted to seeing someone's firearm peeking out from a jacket or even openly holstered on the hip.
One Navajo woman, at dinner with her family, had a belt on with bullets sheathed around her waist and a derringer where the buckle would be! (That was on the Navajo Nation--they have their own regulations there.)
We also visited some folks we know in Phoenix and found that the husband carried. He frequently went target shooting to keep his skills honed.
Did I feel threatened by the people carrying? Not at all. In fact, since I was a bit unnerved knowing armed illegals travel at will in the southern portion of that state, it was somewhat comforting to know that many Arizonans pack a piece.
Concealed Carry will pass in some shape or form here in Wisconsin. The question is what version--Constitutional Carry like Arizona and 3 other states or Concealed Carry with a permit as Utah does along with 43 others. Wisconsin is one of 2 states in our Union that doesn't allow Conceal Carry in any form.
I am torn as to which type of Conceal Carry law we should have. Before President Obama, I would have said sure, by permit is fine. But since our President is so eager to over-regulate firearms, including by means "under the radar" as he recently told James Brady's wife, Sarah, I don't know.
Since any responsible person would go for training before carrying a firearm, and background checks are done at the time of purchase*, I think I could be OK with Constitutional Carry. Criminals will disregard any regulations for permitting or background checks for purchase no matter what the Conceal Carry law states.
If you are thinking of carrying, you should check with your homeowner's insurance carrier to see if you need some extra liability insurance. The insurance issue was raised by one of the attendees at the Kooyenga Town Hall meeting.
In Arizona, we saw the "Firearms are prohibited in this facility" signs posted at numerous National Park Visitor Centers. National Parks recently changed their policy and now allow concealed carry of loaded firearms in the parks, using the gun regulations of the respective state.
We also encountered one of those signs at the Courthouse in Phoenix, a beautiful building I would have liked to have toured but was prohibited from entering.
At long last, Wisconsin's Voter ID bill passed the Senate yesterday and now awaits Gov. Walker's signature. Hallelujah. No doubt it will end up in court, but Sen. Alberta Darling mentioned yesterday on Jay Weber that though she preferred passing 2 separate bills, at least the bill is severable. (The Voter ID portion, which has been upheld by the courts, can be separated from the more controversial portions of the bill.)
Voter ID will be in place for the 2012 elections. I wonder what those elections will look like with Voter ID in place and the end of mandatory Union membership for State workers. (Unions fund Democrat candidate advertising with their dues.) Though the Budget Repair Bill is stuck in the doldrums of the Madison court, the Republicans could just incorporate it into the overall Budget bill.
By the way, Voter ID does not eliminate same day registration, but that turned out to be the better avenue. If we had eliminated same day registration, we then would need to implement MotorVoter laws, which ties obtaining a drivers license with registering to vote. I don't think registering to vote should be such an autopilot arrangement. My understanding of same day registration is that it still requires an approved photo ID. If the person doesn't have this, then they cast a provisional ballot (sealed in an envelope) and are given an opportunity to bring back their photo ID for their vote to count.
Past Post: Call Wisconsin Legislature to move on Photo Voter I.D.
Rep. Dale Kooyenga Town Hall
I didn't know what to expect. Would protesters be there? Would the room be packed as Town Halls had been before the November elections? As it turned out, there were 6 of us there--8 in all if you count Dale and his assistant William Neville. The 6 citizens in attendance consisted of 3 men I didn't know and Elmbrook Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Gibson, Elmbrook Board President Tom Gehl, and little ole me.
The discussion was informal, with Kooyenga sitting with us in a circle of sorts. One man was talking about the concealed carry legislation when I cam in. Kooyenga briefly talked about the Combined Reporting changes, some which are addressed in the budget bill. Dale said rather than repeal the whole law, they would be looking at lowering the corporate tax rate.
Incidentally, did you know there is now a CPA Caucus? Kooyenga and his fellow CPAs now have their own group. He said they are working on a constitutional amendment to require a balanced state budget, applying business accounting principles to the state.
Dr. Gibson stated his support for the Governor's budget and appreciation for Kooyenga meeting with them regarding the coming budget changes. However, Gibson was looking to influence the per student dollar allocation. He mentioned working with the Fair Aid Coalition that represents property rich districts like Elmbrook (donor districts), who contribute to other school districts through their property taxes. Gibson said he was looking at increasing taxing authority as a possible solution to Elmbrook's shortfall.
It does seem like there might be some wiggle room in the state aid formula, "Some Republican legislative leaders say that they are working on a plan to lessen aid cuts for some Wisconsin schools. The legislature’s budget committee will take up the issue Thursday." I don't know if Elmbrook is included in that group, but it shows there could be some adjustments coming.
You can sign up for Rep. Dale Kooyenga's Legislative Wisconsin Capitol Update by contacting his assistant William Neville at William.Neville@legis.wisconsin.gov
Petitioning Waukesha School District subdivisions can't join Elmbrook School District
Don't know if you saw this, but those 3 subdivisions to Elmbrook's west lost again at the state level in their quest to be included in the Elmbrook School District. I blogged about this in February of 2011 in What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?
BrookfieldNOW reported in Neighborhoods lose bid to join Elmbrook, again that "The state's School Boundary Appeals Board last week denied the request of nearly 200 property owners in the Black Forest, Summit Lawn, Emerald Ridge and Shire subdivisions to leave the Waukesha School District and join Elmbrook.
This coming week, newly elected State Representative Dale Kooyenga will hold a Town Hall / Listening Session at the City of Brookfield's Safety Building Municipal Courtroom on Wednesday, May 18th, 7pm. (The Safety Building is just north of Brookfield City Hall on Calhoun Road.)
Kooyenga has been doing an excellent job keeping his 14th Assembly District constituents informed of what is going on in the Madison legislature via email alerts and also personal correspondence. I am pleased he is also doing the Town Hall meeting.
The legislators have been busy, passing the long awaited Voter ID bill just this week. It should be interesting to hear what else is on the horizon.
Talk show host Jay Weber has a Conservative Wish List posted on his web-page. Check out how many issues have been dealt with, those still pending, and the ones waiting for action. It is pretty impressive.
My wishes would be #10, "End all state mandates and subsidies for Ethanol", and #11, "Get rid of the mandatory emissions test for Wisconsin autos. (Kleefish working on it, vote not pending, though)" I heard one of the hurdles on emissions tests is the contract with the emission workers is still in effect. I would also like #13 dealt with: "Repeal the Planned Parenthood sponsored Sex Education bill."
Dale Kooyenga 14th Assembly District: Phone (608) 266-9180, Email: Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wi.gov
I am too busy to blog right now but too excited not to share the news (in case you live under a rock and haven't heard).
Here it is: The City of Brookfield's vote totals were not included in the Waukesha County vote total Tuesday night!
It was a clerical error, not a case of thousands of "found" ballots that were not counted on election day. No, these ballots were counted in Brookfield Tuesday night. That total, however, was not included in Waukesha County's grand total.
Ryan Morgan, blog contributor for Fairly Conservative and a man who clearly has a head for numbers, wrote Prosser lost the election in Waukesha county last night. Sensing something was amiss with Waukesha County's vote totals, he commented this morning, "Well, I have a theory that I want to be true… we really turned out okay and there are missing votes somewhere waiting to be discovered. "
In comment 22 of that post, Ryan gets specific after comparing other city's populations to votes cast to Waukesha's totals: "I could very well end up with egg on my face, but given we’ve already seen that AP can be inaccurate, I am starting to EXPECT that we will soon discover that there are 10,000 to 16,000 more ballots in Waukesha county than what AP has reported." (My emphasis)
And the exact number was 14,315. 10,859 for Prosser and 3,456 for Kloppenberg, netting Prosser a 7,582 gain. (Cindy linked Brookfield's election results in comment 26 on that same posting, so you can see for yourself.)
Now I know I already said this at the beginning, but I am going to repeat it again: THESE ARE NOT NEW BALLOTS THAT WERE NOT COUNTED TUESDAY NIGHT FOUND IN A BROOM CLOSET.
This was a clerical error of Brookfield's totals not being included in Waukesha County's tally. The Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus says she entered our numbers and hit save, but it obviously didn't save. (I can understand this happening. I have been working on an Excel spreadsheet for a personal project for several months now, know I have saved things, only to find them missing later.) Nickolaus' error was that she hadn't double checked the figures with a paper copy Tuesday night.
Nickolaus said she spotted the omission when she was uploading the data into the statewide canvass yesterday (Wednesday). When she opened it, she saw Brookfield's totals as being 0s. They then corrected the error.
She assured the public that there was a Democrat and Republican from the Board of Canvass present for all this. Ramona Kitzinger, the Democrat member of the Canvassing Board, who stood behind Nickolaus during the press conference, then spoke before the press and said, "we went over everything and the numbers jibed up ...we're satisfied they're correct". Watch for yourself.
In response to the suggestion that this type error might have gone unnoticed, Kathy Nickkolaus said they would have caught this as soon as they started the canvass because they take the tape from the polling place and check one by one with the returns.
Other errors were caught from other cities and counties, which is why they check the election results after every election, and why they caution that the results given on Tuesday night are not final. Which makes Kloppenberg's victory speech on an unverified sliver of a win, based on AP totals, all the more ridiculous.
All in all, a pretty amazing error extraordinaire.
As I sat at my computer at nearly 1am, the results were still not conclusive on Prosser/Kloppenberg, with 98% reporting and Prosser ahead by a slim 1,878 votes.
But one thing is conclusive... I just received an email about assembling a team of experienced election observers and lawyers to monitor the recount, as required by law with such a slim margin.
See sample ballot below: Prosser, Carter, Write-In Kormanik & Brunner
Tuesday, April 5th's election has risen in scope from being a typical sleepy non-partisan spring election to one gaining national attention. For the first time ever, I had an email from a person in California asking about where he could donate to help Judge David Prosser. (See links below.) And it is no wonder, for this election will mark a turning point in our state.
Depending on the outcome, Wisconsin's Supreme Court will remain dominated by 4 judges who believe in the rule of law or change over to become dominated by 4 activist judges, those who believe you can legislate from the bench. Judge David Prosser IS the swing vote.
The choice is between fair-minded, pro-life Justice David Prosser and Greeniac, Green Party backing, DNR Attorney Joanne Kloppenberg for this very important, 10 year term, position on the highest court of our state.
Joanne Kloppenberg has NO JUDICIAL experience and in fact has been turned down 3 times for state and federal judgeships by Gov. Jim Doyle and President Obama. For comparison, Kloppenberg is to the far left of liberal former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler who Doyle appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2004 and Obama nominated for Federal Judge in the United States District Court in 2009. (Butler, perceived as too liberal, was rejected by the U.S. Senate.)
Take a look at Judge David Prosser's Endorsement page, and you will see former Wisconsin Republican GovernorTommy Thompson listed there as Campaign Chair* and numerous Wisconsin State Representatives and Senators. Even The Journal Sentinel Editorial stated We Back Prosser in the primary. The Sun Prarie Star is endorsing Prosser on April 5th.
Tough on Crime Prosser also has Law Enforcement and experience on his side, having been "involved in more than 900 published decisions on the Supreme Court" alone and "authored at least 45 criminal case opinions", whereas Kloppenberg has only handled 51 overall cases ever in appellate and supreme courts, with only 7 being criminal cases, rightly acknowledges, "I never said I was tough on crime".
Between her statement that she would serve as a "check and balance on overreaching by the other branches of government" [the executive and state legislature] and her husband's public support of collective bargaining rights for public employees, it is difficult to believe she has or will remain "independent" on the collective bargaining bill.
If you wish to help David Prosser's campaign, you may donate to Citizens for Impartial Justice, Wisconsin Club for Growth to help them put ads on the airwaves, or volunteer at your local Republican Headquarters branch. The GOP is looking for people to man the phone banks, help put together yard signs, etc. In Waukesha, 1701 Pearl St., they are open M-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun. Noon - 8pm.
Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge
As for our more local race for Waukesha Country Circuit Court Judge, Branch 4, my vote is going for Lloyd Carter, as I stated in Lloyd Carter for Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge. Check out his page of endorsements and supporters.
ELMBROOK residents select school board representatives: April 5, 2011 Elmbrook School Board Ballot Picks: Brunner & Write-In Kormanik
Be sure to also read April 5, 2011 Judicial Ballot Picks: David Prosser & Lloyd Carter
Last April, I was privileged to visit my representatives after the April 15th Tea Party rally in Madison. It was my first time at our State Capitol (inside or out), and I was impressed by the artistry--its classic design, stonework, woodwork, sculpture, gilding, and murals.
Now to hear about the several million (now thought to be under a million)* dollars worth of damage from protesters taping protest signs on the Mankato limestone walls and marble trim, and to the floors from camping out, is heartbreaking. Marble and limestone are considered to be soft, porous stone, easily damaged by acids (spilled Coke is very acidic), staining, and glues. No wonder they have a "NO TAPING ON THE MARBLE" rule!
That is right. In Wisconsin, 4K costs taxpayers $222,000,000 a year. And if the D.P.I. has its way, that number will be increasing after their 4K recruitment effort.
I just got off the phone with Senator Glenn Grothman's office. His assistant urged concerned Wisconsinites to CALL the Governor to defund 4K in his budget.* Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 email@example.com
Taking state funding for 4K out of Wisconsin's budget would mean local districts would fund the entire cost of their 4K programs--no more state aid.
At the local level, presently, our Elmbrook School District does not have a 4K program. But our school board may vote on whether or not to begin a 4K program for the 2011-2012 school year at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, at the Central Administration Office, 13780 Hope Street, at 6pm. Please contact the board about this issue. (Info below)
According to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the Governor's next budget will reduce the shared revenue the state pays out and cut the per pupil dollar amount given to local districts for each student enrolled. Hardly an incentive for adding new students to a new, unnecessary and ineffective program such as 4K.
Why do I say unnecessary and ineffective? Because like many other studies, Elmbrook's own internal study showed no difference in the achievement levels of 2nd grade students between children who went to Elmbrook's own pilot program 4K, those who attended private 4K, and those who had no 4K at all!
On top of all that, as one board member stated, the increase to Elmbrook's budget by starting a 4K program does not "make a significant impact" on the "overall budget shortfall". Remember Elmbrook School's budget increase is at Elmbrook TAXPAYER expense: "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented." This would be at current state aid levels. If those levels are reduced, the cost for Elmbrook taxpayers would increase even more.
Combining the ineffectiveness of a 4K program, with that small financial gain to their budget , with the very real threat of decreasing state aids per pupil, makes voting against starting 4K in Elmbrook the only reasonable position. Contact the board.
*If defunding 4K doesn't make it into the Governor's February 22nd budget proposal, Senator Grothman will introduce defunding 4K in a stand alone bill.
Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl firstname.lastname@example.org
Meg Wartman email@example.com
Glen Allgaier firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Jones email@example.com
Jean Lambert firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Wilson email@example.com
Robert Ziegler firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents split on K4.
Who would have thought that the team that lost earlier this season to Detroit and only got in the playoffs via the wild card, would go on to win the Super Bowl? What a year it has been for our Packers. And then the Super Bowl game itself had a few obstacles. Greg Jennings sums up the game nicely.
Last week, State Senator Joe Leibham and Rep. Jeff Stone introduced a Photo Voter I.D. bill, a measure that most Wisconsinites agree is long overdue. It would be great to have this in place for the spring election, when we select a new justice for the State Supreme Court. But to do that, the bill needs to be scheduled for joint hearings a.s.a.p. That's where your phone call comes in--contact numbers below.
While I am pleased to see Photo Voter I.D.'s introduction, I think we could do much more to protect the integrity of Wisconsin elections from voter fraud. But at this point, all the bill deals with is the requirement that voters present an approved photo I.D. when they go vote. At present, it does nothing to stop same day voter registration or allowing a 3rd party, such as ACORN, to conduct voter registration drives.
Considering the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly both have Republican majorities, can we please clean up these other two potential voter fraud provisions too?
Those critical of the Photo Voter I.D. requirement say that requiring a Driver's License or State Photo I.D. would discourage voting if the person didn't have an approved I.D. This is a stretch, since most people over 18 years of age drive have a driver's license. In the odd case where an 18 year old doesn't have a drivers license (as was the case with my own offspring) a State I.D. was obtained. The bill has a provision to provide the appropriate I.D. for those who cannot afford one.
Last November, I volunteered to be a poll watcher with We're Watching Wisconsin Elections and was assigned to 2 different inner city polling places. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of voters during my 2 shifts voluntarily showed their photo I.D.s to the poll workers checking them in. Though the driver's license was not asked for, the voter usually started getting it out of their wallet as they approached the table. Sadly, some other voters needed someone to vouch for them as for their change in address.
Since I voted absentee that election, I did wonder if there would be some designation on the voter roll at my own polling place. I checked later in the day and thankfully, there was a notation next to my name. But not all City Clerks are as efficient as our Kris Schmidt! This is an area where fraudulent votes could be cast that Photo Voter I.D. would eliminate.
We need to get this legislation moving through the Assembly and Senate pronto. If it is to be in place by April's election, it must be passed and signed into law by February 15th, according to W.W.W.E.
Call your State Representative and Senator:
- Ask them to co-sponsor the Photo I.D. Bill
- Urge leadership to schedule joint hearing of both the Senate and the Assembly to expedite the Photo Voter I.D. Bill
- Make it clear to your legislators that you want to have Photo Voter I.D. in place by April 5th, 2011
- Explain that other election reforms need to be proposed and passed as soon as possible, but it is important to implement Photo I.D. NOW!!!
Wisconsin changed from a very blue state to very red one last November, with the election of Republican Governor Scott Walker and a Republican majority in the Assembly and State Senate. And from all appearances, it seems we will no longer continue business as usual (or more accurately spending as usual) on government programs that don't work.
Our state is in a serious fiscal crisis, being $3 billion in the red, in this budget cycle. We must look at how we spend our money and then eliminate those line items that do not show benefit. Just because we have had a program in the past is no longer reason enough to continue that program.
One such program is 4K. State Senator Glenn Grothman has talked about defunding 4K several times in recent weeks. His reason? It doesn't work, and it is EXPENSIVE!
Grothman states: "Recent studies have confirmed that any academic benefits of government funded preschool disappear by the fourth grade... Studies in Oklahoma, the state which has the model four-year-old program, show a decline in their fourth grade reading scores over the past eleven years, after benefits of their 4K programs should have been realized."(My emphasis)
Since 4K is one of the remedies being considered for Elmbrook's budget woes, it is important we consider the What if Wisconsin defunds 4K? before we rely on its curative powers for our budget.
The number of 4-year-olds in kindergarten has tripled in the last 10 years, and more school districts in our state are proposing it for this year. Last year alone, Grothman stated, "four-year-old kindergarten programs cost this state $140 million in state tax collections and cost local property taxpayers another $82 million." That adds up to $222 Million for a program that doesn't show long term educational benefit. And that is not FREE money, that money comes out of the taxpayers' pockets!
The Madison School District is starting a 4K program this year for an additional $10 Million, and other districts are considering it too. At present, 85% of Wisconsin school districts have a 4K program.
So why are these districts so gung ho on a program that doesn't work? Money. It is a school district budget funding tool.
In Campbellsport, for example, "The district receives an additional $423,000 in state aid for the 70 students enrolled. Cost to employ two teachers and two aides for the program is approximately $164,000." This doesn't reflect all the hidden costs of the program, but it does give you an idea of why 4K is so seductive.
Grothman writes: "For the past 15 years, Wisconsin has encouraged adopting four-year-old kindergarten by allowing school districts as much revenue authority for a four-year-old as they have for their more costly to educate high school students. "
But if there were no state revenue authority or funding for 4K, would Elmbrook still be casting an eye toward starting the program? I sincerely doubt it.
Our board will be discussing 4K and other budget enhancing options such as school closings and increasing non-resident enrollment very soon. I have heard we have our own study of how our pilot program 4K-ers perform, compared to Elmbrook students who didn't attend 4K.
Many of our board members are not in favor of 4K, but the make up of the board will be changing in April with Gary Jones stepping down and Kathryn Wilson up for reelection.
Please contact your representatives about this. Wisconsin and Elmbrook cannot afford to spend precious tax dollars on programs that don't work.
Elmbrook School Board Members
Representative Dale Kooyenga, 14th Assembly District, (608) 266-9180, Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wi.gov
Representative Paul Farrow, 98th Assembly District, (608) 266-5120 Rep.Farrow@legis.wi.gov
Senator Leah Vukmir, 5th Senate District, (608) 266-2512 Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Rich Zipperer, 33rd Senate District, (608) 266-9174 Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov
Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 email@example.com
More Reading: Time to Stop the Expansion of Four-year-old Kindergarten
Reason Foundation: Assessing Proposals for Preschool and Kindergarten
Yesterday, Scott Walker was sworn in as Wisconsin's 45th governor. For conservatives, this day was a long time coming. While I didn't watch the ceremony, I did hear some of it on the radio. As I tuned in, I heard a choir singing, of all things, The Age of Aquarius! It was such a bizarre choice that I scolded the car radio, who picked this? But it was indeed the Walker Inauguration, for soon the ceremony was under way.
If you didn't hear our new governor, do take a look at his speech. It seems pretty obvious that while this isn't the "dawning of the age of Aquarius" it is the beginning of an era of fiscal responsibility and limited government.
Walker quoted from our state Constitution a few times, going back to our roots. He said our Constitution "speaks to the source of our liberties: 'We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution.' Powerful words."
Then he added, "Our rights as free people are given by our creator, not the government. Among these rights is the right to nurture our freedom and vitality through limited government." (My emphasis)
Knowing he faces an uphill battle to turn this state around hasn't quelled Walker's enthusiasm in the least. He seems energized and ready to tackle the projected $3 billion dollar budget deficit. Job creation, sizing our govenment to what we can afford, and the economy are his top priorities.
As he said in his speech, "It is through frugality and moderation in government that we will see freedom and prosperity for our people."
Walker concluded with, "'Justice… Moderation… Temperance… Frugality… Virtue.' [from Article I, Section 22 of our constitution] These are the values upon which our state was formed and the values that will drive us forward."
Will we always like this new direction? Probably not. Belt tightening and being responsible is seldom pleasant or easy.
Can we who are Conservatives just sit back and allow the Republican controlled Assembly and Senate to conduct business as usual? No. We must remain vigilant. A Democratic Republic doesn't run on autopilot.
So Godspeed, Governor Walker, in the journey set before you. It's an uphill climb!
Most people know there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free puppy. Someone always has to pay for the free lunch (which often has some strings attached for the diner), and the free puppy has all sorts of long term costs. But these two freebies pale in comparison to the entanglements involved in getting a free pony.
When my other half was a teen, he loved horses. (We both still do.) He rode any chance he got and helped at an area stable for riding privileges. Seeing this interest, his great uncle offered to buy him a horse of his own. Wow, that was quite a gift: a free horse!
But like the free lunch and free puppy, there isn't such a thing as a free horse either. Yes, the free horse would have been fun. It would have been nice to have. The son really wanted it. Yet his parents had to be the grownups and tell the generous uncle, no.
Why? Because they couldn't afford to board the free horse. The maintenance cost of a free horse for boarding and vet bills was just more than a family of seven's budget could support. Before you are too hard on the parents, in today's dollars, could your family afford a $500-$600 per month boarding fee? And what about the vet bills?
Sure, the boy could have worked off some of those costs by working at the stable, but that still has a cost associated with that work, since he wouldn't have the time to do chores at home or work for his spending money. The only fiscally responsible decision the parents could make was to give the free horse back.
And that was the only rational decision Wisconsin could make. Like the free horse, free high speed rail was not needed, it would benefit only a small percentage of the people, and it cost too much to maintain. Governor Elect Scott Walker had to be the grownup and say, no, to the uncle. However, unlike my husband's uncle, our Uncle Sam can't afford it.
Wisconsin isn't the only state with a grownup governor, Ohio's Governor Elect John Kasich also opposed high speed rail. So between Wisconsin and Ohio, $1.2 billion of free money was taken back by the Obama administration. The money should go back to pay down the US debt; instead it is going to 12 other states for their rail projects. And maybe that is why this take back occurred now, before legislation requiring the monies go back to the Federal Treasury could be passed next session.
"In a joint statement, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan wrote: 'We support Governor-elect Walker's effort to put the brakes on the high-speed rail budget boondoggle, which is why we introduced legislation, today, that would give states the ability to return federal funds obligated to high-speed rail projects, and instead use this money to reduce our nation's $1.6 trillion deficit and $13.8 trillion debt. This high-speed rail project is a bad investment for taxpayers and our state simply cannot afford it.' "
And how is the Milwaukee to Madison rail line in effect an anchor baby? Because it was the foot in the door. Like illegal alien anchor babies, the short Milwaukee/Madison run would do the same. (Babies born in the US to illegal aliens often are rationale to bring in the whole family.) Take a look.
We dodged a big budget deficit bullet here in Wisconsin by giving back the free pony (anchor baby) high-speed rail. The short Milwaukee to Madison line was just the beginning when you consider the size and scope of the whole proposed rail projects in the works for Wisconsin. (Map from Vicki McKenna 11-30-2010 post.)
See how additional rail lines to Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire/Minneapolis are outlined on the map?
If we are in doubt as to how we could afford the short 70 mile Milw./Madison run, how would we ever afford these?
We aren't out of the woods yet, the pro-trainers are not going to give up easily. Plus, Wisconsin's commuter line between Milwaukee and Chicago is still to get $2 million, but for now, at least we have one less thing to worry about.
More reading: Wis., Ohio high-speed rail money goes elsewhere
Use rail funds for deficit?
Past Posts: Email Aldermen & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward
STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train.
Weigh in, become part of the public record against High Speed Rail. Call Governor Elect Scott Walker's Transition Office and register your sentiments on the train. This is important because it could help with diverting the $810 million train money to go toward Wisconsin road projects instead.
The phone number is: 608-261-9200. Call until you reach a live person.
This may take some effort as they have very few phone lines going to this government office, but make the call. The issue is too important to leave any doubt as to where you stand.
Lobbyist groups are staging pro train rallies this weekend.
Siemans would be one such participant. They have a lot at stake here since they make trains. (The photo left was taken at the Orlando airport.)
Wisconsin cannot afford high speed rail now and it certainly cannot afford to replace it all in 15 years according to Federal safety mandates, so make that call!
H/T Vicki McKenna today, end of 1st hour.
Watch this and see if you don't agree, "Those voices don't speak for the rest of us".
As JT Harris asked the crowd of about 150 people waiting to see US Senate candidate Ron Johnson at the Waukesha County Republican Headquaters Monday night, How many of you are asking God for one more chance to turn this around? My hand shot up as did most in the room.
Then JT asked, How many have been to a Tea Party? Again, hands waved in the air.
How many have been to a Town Hall? The room was full of upraised hands.
It was pretty obvious that this crowd didn't believe the voices of the Liberal Progressives featured in the above clip spoke for them.
I believe the majority of voters tomorrow will vote to "turn this around", but one never knows until the last ballot is counted.
As I mentioned, I already cast my votes, all on the Republican side of the ballot, and voted Yes on the Transportation Fund Advisory Referendum.
Why are they all Republican? Because the Republicans are Pro-Life. They are also fiscally conservative, against wasteful spending on trains, want to reverse ObamaCare, are pro business and pro voter ID, and are more inclined to adhere to the US Constitution...to name just a few reasons.
My Sept. 7th Primary Ballot Picks post goes into more detail on why I chose the candidates I picked. Posts relating to each race will be listed below the individual race; generic ones are listed at the bottom of the post.
Here is the list of my ballot picks for Nov. 2 in the order they appear on the ballot.
Governor & Lt. Governor: Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch
For shame, Tom Barrett, Scott Walker SUPPORTS Stem Cell research!
Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention
Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends
How is Barrett "knee deep" in sewer water yet squeaky clean? JournoList?
Attorney General: JB Van Hollen
Secretary of State: David D. King I heard David King speak at the April 15th Madison Tea Party.
State Treasurer: Kurt W. Schuller
United States Senator: Ron Johnson As one of the many who encouraged Ron to enter the race back in early April, he is everything I had hoped he would be as a person and more. It is gratifying to see him run such a fine tuned campaign.
Need a reason to vote Ron Johnson? Ask Michelle Obama
Ron Johnson, Feingold virtually tied in poll" November can't come fast enough!
Ron Johnson enters US Senate race
Ron Johnson would be my ideal candidate
Run, Johnson, Neumann, Grothman, Kanavas, Leibham, RUN! Spare us from Leinenkugel
Sen. Feingold turned deaf ear to 97.5% at Listening Session
Representative in Congress District 5: F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. As Congressman Sensenbrenner mentioned at the Ron Johnson rally Monday night, When a nation goes off course, the people are there to right it. Today's Tea Party movement is a good example of the people rising up to right the ship.
State Senator District 5: Leah Vukmir Leah Vukmir has been a solid conservative voice in the Assembly, soon she will be in the State Senate!
What a whopper! "Jim Sullivan supports law enforcement, Vukmir does not" Unbelievable
How sickening. Jim Sullivan & supporters slam Leah Vukmir with untrue attacks
Wisconsin Assembly Update: Working night & day The RTA was dealt a severe blow by Rep. Leah Vukmir
Senator Jim Sullivan's Town Hall.....GRILLING! OUCH!
Representative to the Assembly District 14: Dale Kooyenga Since Dale is running unopposed, CONGRATULATIONS is in order. Cast your vote for him anyway; he will be another solid conservative voice in Madison.
Wisconsin 14th Assembly Forum tonight in Tosa with Kooyenga...
Sheriff: Daniel Trawicki
Also on November's ballot, a Transportation Fund Advisory Referendum
Dem signs conspicuously absent from known supporting households
Wisconsin's primary is 3 weeks away, who are you voting for?
Another local source for candidate info would be Randy's Picks for 2010 Nov. 2 Elections.
Do vote early in the day if you are able. Sometimes long lines develop near closing time. According to election law, under normal conditions, unless you are in line at 8pm, you will not be permitted to vote.
City of Brookfield residents in District 7, remember you now vote outside your district at St. Luke's Catholic Church on Greenfield Ave. and Davidson Road.
Tomorrow morning I am off to do some poll watching in the heart of Milwaukee. I will be interested in seeing how turnout compares there with what I am used to in Brookfield.
Tomorrow evening it's the Country Springs Hotel for me to watch the election results and hear the speechifying. It is going to be a l-o-n-g but exciting day..
"They" say the race between Jim Sullivan and Leah Vukmir will be tight. Same with Russ Feingold and Ron Johnson. Scott Walker vs. Tom Barrett seems to be more predictible, after all, The Journal Sentinel endorsed Walker. (Chalk that up to Everybody loves a winner --they don't want to be on the losing side--or they were trying to show they were not always in the tank for the Democrat.)
I voted today.
Brookfield's City Hall had a room all set up, complete with voting booths, for those of us who need to vote early. (If you enter through the north entrance, you CAN'T miss it!)
Here I was all set to just quickly make my one mark on the ballot and vote straight ticket (Republican of course), but the ladies manning the voter rolls informed me there also was an Advisory Referendum question on the back of the ballot. That was news to me.
It is a separate question; you must complete the line for a Yes or No answer. It isn't on every county's ballot, but Brookfield is in one of the 52 counties that chose to include it on their ballots.
For your convenience, they had an explanation of the Advisory Referendum question posted on green paper in the room and at each voting booth.
The actual question reads: "Should the Wisconsin Constitution be amended to prohibit any further transfers or lapses from the state’s segregated transportation fund?"
The reason for asking is to hopefully put a STOP to RAIDING the fund.
The intent of our gas tax and vehicle registration fee money was to have it go into the Transportation Fund for road improvements. But since 2003, Wisconsin has siphoned off more than $1.3 BILLION from that fund, to pay for other non transportation related programs and projects in the state. This has got to stop. Our infrastructure is suffering.
"[St. Croix Highway Commissioner Tim Ramberg] pointed to reports that show $1.3 billion has been diverted since 2003. Over $850 million of that was replaced with borrowed money, but the net loss to the transportation fund was over $435 million." Raiding funds was one of Doyle's budget balancing tricks.
To get an idea of how this raiding has affected Wisconsin counties, read Referendum seeks to ban raids on state transportation fund.
This is only an Advisory Referendum, meaning if passed, it still needs to go through the amendment process where an amendment to the state constitution must pass 2 separate sessions in the legislature before going on the ballot for Wisconsin voter approval.
Getting a Constitutional Amendment through both houses of the legislature for those 2 consecutive sessions is not that easy. You may recall that the Constitutional Amendment for Voter Photo ID nearly made it through the last phase of the legislative amendment process. It would have made it to the voters, to decide the question once and for all, had it not been for the Senate Democrats in 2009. Read Dems Block Photo ID: The Roll Call. To save you the trouble, yes, State Senator JIM SULLIVAN voted NAY on bringing Photo ID to a vote. (Leah Vukmir voted YES in the State Assembly.)
Hopefully this advisory referendum on the Transportation Fund will pass. Too bad they didn't also include that Transportation Funds couldn't be used to study commuter and high speed rail in this referendum. But we may not need that language after all if Scott Walker is our next governor.
This is an important election. If you are in doubt as to if you will be able to make it to the polls on Tuesday, vote early. In Brookfield they certainly make it easy.
District 7 residents, on Election Day, remember you now vote at St. Lukes Catholic Church on Greenfield Ave. and Davidson Road.
Leah Vukmir does not"
But there it was, big as life, on the LED changeable billboard sign at Hwy 100 and Bluemound Road.
Did I read that right?
I saw the flashing sign last week but wasn't sure it really said what I thought it said. It just didn't ring true.
Plus, I couldn't read who paid for it. Was it from the Sullivan campaign or another group?
So I checked it out. Last night I managed to snap this picture. The disclaimer reads Paid for by Wisconsin Professional Police Association.
Who is the Wisconsin Professional Police Association? It is a Madison based group that also endorsed* other Democrats such as Russ Feingold and Tom Barrett.
So does Jim Sullivan also have the support of most of the police associations in his district?
No, but his opponent Representative Leah Vukmir does!
Leah Vukmir has been endorsed by the Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, and Brookfield Police Associations. She is also endorsed by JB Van Hollen and recently received the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association endorsement as well. Sullivan only has the West Allis Police endorsement from within his district.
So this is a perfect example of you can't believe everything you read, not even if it is in HUGE text flashing at you as you drive by.
UPDATE: Leah Vukmir Earned the Endorsement of Milwaukee Firefighters today:
Democrat Wisconsin State Senator Jim Sullivan is in the fight of his life to hold onto his 5th District Senate seat this November, and the tone of his campaign shows it. Having campaigned as a moderate Democrat, Sullivan's performance and voting record in Madison these past 4 years has been anything but moderate.
Jim Sullivan fancies himself as an independent, a maverick, yet Sullivan voted with Jim Doyle 99% of the time! (Sullivan rather reminds me of another so-called maverick in the US Senate: Russ Feingold. Maybe Sullivan is a Feingold wannabe?)
To the casual observer, Sullivan did vote no on the last budget, which might make you think he is a maverick. But his NO vote was only because the Democrats didn't need his vote. (Candidates facing a tough challenger are often given permission to vote no.) Sullivan still managed to bloat the 2009 budget at the committee level--not very maverick-ish. He also voted in favor of the 2007 budget and voted for expensive and destructive bills like Healthy Wisconsin, Combined Reporting, Badger Care Plus, etc.
Every day the airwaves, billboards, and mailboxes are being assaulted with misleading and downright untrue campaign pieces against Sullivan's opponent, Leah Vukmir, from PACs and Sullivan himself. Since I just blogged about Scott Walker's support for adult stem cell research and Tom Barrett's accusations to the contrary, we will start there.
As I mentioned,"there is nothing new here" in Democrats deception when it comes to stem cell research. Obama accused McCain and Palin of being against it. Feingold accused Ron Johnson, Barrett accused Scott Walker, and now Jim Sullivan accuses Leah Vukmir.
In all of these cases, the accusations were not true. Let's call these accusations what they are: they are out and out lies. All 5 of these Republicans support Stem Cell Research. They support the kind that works--the kind obtained from adult and umbilical cord stem cells.
Jim Sullivan's campaign piece goes a step further, however. He also accuses Vukmir of voting to criminalize stem cell research! "Vukmir voted to criminalize stem cell research that could help cure debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's (AB 499, 6/23/05)", Sullivan proclaims.
Now in the days before the internet, it would have been difficult to see if these wild accusations were true. But we do have the internet. So here is the bill Sullivan is referring to: "2005 Assembly Bill 499, AN ACT to create 146.347 of the statutes; relating to: human cloning and parthenogenesis and providing penalties."
We should be used to it by now, the misleading, or to put it politely, the pants on fire campaign ads that paint the opposing candidate as being heartless and against something as wholesome as Mom and Apple Pie.
In this case, it is Gubernatorial Democrat candidate Tom Barrett wearing the hot pants. He points the accusatory finger at his opponent Republican Scott Walker. The Mom and apple pie issue here is stem cell research.
Barrett's ad is intended to tug at your heart strings in hopes that you will make the leap that Scott Walker is heartless and against helping those in need because of his pro-life beliefs. The ad wants you to believe Walker is turning a deaf ear to the pleas of the featured mother, talking about her diabetic son and how embryonic stem cell research would help cure her son.
This ad was so outrageous in its claims that it prompted Gary Nosacek to write an outstanding piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Oct. 7th titled, The stem cell confusion. He states he is a "father, brother and nephew of diabetics, and the husband of a doctor, I'm really upset by this ad."
I also found out that Walker's own wife Tonette is "a type 1 diabetic" and she says, "I CAN PROMISE YOU, my husband is full of hope! Hope for me, hope for our family, and hope for Wisconsin!"
Tonette goes on to say, "Regardless of what Tom Barrett has said, Scott will NOT ban stem cell research. Scott supports adult stem cell research- research which science has shown to have the most promise to cure my disease and which does not destroy innocent human life. "
So what is going on here? Democrats support government funding for Embryonic Stem Cell research instead of Adult Stem Cell research. Why? Is it that Embryonic Stem Cells work and adult ones don't? NO.
In fact, Embryonic Stem Cell breakthroughs continue to be fraught with serious side effects such as tumor growth and rejection. They have shown very little positive results. There is not one cure confirmed to date.
Contrast that with Adult Stem Cell research and treatments, which have already helped 1,000s of people. Nosacek's points out that even with moral issues aside, the Embryonic Stem Cells are a waste of money.
He writes, "There are over 167 adult cell treatments and cures being used by doctors every day. There are more in clinical trials and in animal testing phases. As for embryonic cells, there is not one cure to be found. There are only two in human trials, but so far there are no results. As a rule, embryonic cells haven't done much of anything in any lab in the world other than promised to be promising someday in the distant future. Walker isn't against stem cell research. He's against spending millions on research that hasn't worked at the expense of what is working!"
He goes on to tell us that Adult Stem Cell research on diabetes was being carried out at Harvard but it has been a painstaking process because they couldn't get funding. All the government grants were going to Embryonic Stem Cell research. Finally funding came from "Lee Iacocca, who has a diabetic grandchild. Harvard is now in human trials. They are being bankrolled by anyone who wishes to contribute."
So why isn't the proven and more promising type of ADULT Stem Cell research being funded by Government grants? Because IF the Liberal, Pro-abortion advocates can get us all on board with using embryonic stem cells, we will have lost the pro-life, life begins at conception fight.
Just this month we learned there was a Baby Born From 20-Year-Old Frozen Embryo. This leaves little doubt that embryos, even ones frozen for 2 decades, aren't human. Here we have one born to a New York woman! Would she give up her son for stem cell research? Of course not. So why are we asked to accept that these humans be sacrificed for the sake of Leftist researchers?
This is nothing new here. In the 2008 presidential campaign Obama ads accused McCain of being against helping people through stem cell research, which was not true. Like McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin, Scott Walker and other Conservatives just favor life respecting ADULT Stem Cell research.
President Bush had to endure this criticism too with his position to not allow Federal funding to go toward Embryonic Stem Cell research. The Republicans were all Pro-Life.
I asked this question in 2008:
First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned for Russ Feingold Tuesday at a Milwaukee fundraiser.
She said, "even though change hasn't come fast enough for some citizens, it would be a mistake for voters to return Republicans to power next month."
..."This election isn't just about all that we've accomplished these past couple of years," she said. "This election, Wisconsin, is about all we have left to do in the months and years ahead."
..."But my husband can't do this alone," she said. ".... He needs strong leaders like Russ to help him." (My emphasis)
The leftist Liberal Progressives just don't get it, do they.
Ron Johnson for Senate
Did we enter an Alternate Universe since last Thursday? Maybe Mirror Universe would be a more accurate way to describe 2 Madison publications, The Isthmus and Wisconsin State Journal, going CONSERVATIVE!
Last April, I became acquainted with some local women* who launched We're Watching Wisconsin Elections. They created this group to help fight voter fraud in our state.
They are following legislation that affects voting and voter fraud and are also involved with educating volunteer Poll Workers and Election Observers.
While it is too late to become a Poll Worker for this election cycle, you may still become an Election Observer this November. (Deadline for the 2011/2012 Poll Worker registration is this November 30th.)
The group, We're Watching Wisconsin Elections already held a series of poll watching education sessions, but you can still take part in this important effort. They are holding a new series of training classes across the state, with 2 in our area on Oct. 18th at the West Allis Library at 6:30pm and on Oct 19th at the Waukesha Republican Headquarters on Pearl and HWY 164 at 6:30pm. (I am glad they are doing this since I was out of town for the previous ones.) Other dates and locations are listed here.
Election Observers can volunteer to watch at the actual Poll on Election Day, at the Poll AFTER the poll closes, and at your City Hall absentee ballot counting place. Since absentee voting just started, volunteers are already watching at nursing homes and City Clerk's Offices.
The Election Observer Sign-Up page states: "Election observers are integral to restoring integrity to Wisconsin elections. Your participation in the statewide election observer program will help to ensure that our elections are honest and without fraud. Please sign up below to be a part of the program. We will be providing training seminars throughout the state leading up to the elections. Once you are signed-up you will be contacted as to the training seminar in your area. You may also contact Jon Waclawski – Chief Counsel and Election Day Operations Director – with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org / 608-239-2996."
If you care about fair, honest elections, do sign up. Without a photo voter ID law in Wisconsin, this is one of the few tools we have to curtail voter fraud.
We're Watching Wisconsin Elections Campaign email alert
*News from Rally against Vote Fraud at Milw. City Hall Turns out, I knew 2 of the ladies in this group--in fact I rode the same bus to the Madison Tea Party with one of them the next day.
Before too much time goes by, I wanted to say, thank you Mayor Ponto, for delaying the decision on the Brookfield train station until AFTER the November election. Mayor Ponto informed the Aldermen of this delay Friday, Sept. 24th. He wrote, "I do not intend to place this matter on the Common Council agenda prior to the November 2nd election."
The Journal Sentinel article last Monday reported "Ponto said it makes no sense for the council to consider whether to endorse the station project without knowing its costs and without knowing who will be governor next year."
Mayor Ponto and I have emailed back and forth on this issue a few times. He wrote: "I must tell you that I would not recommend moving forward with a rail station in Brookfield on the information I have seen thus far." and "When we have a final proposal, I will tell the Council what I think and do so substantially in advance of the relevant meeting."
Right now we are debating if Wisconsin can afford this "free" short little rail line from Milwaukee to Madison, that will cost American taxpayers nearly $1 Billion dollars and Wisconsin taxpayers somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 Million a year to operate. (Let's see, that works out to how much per mile?)
That $10 Million a year that comes right out of Wisconsin's Transportation Fund to operate just 70 miles of track that only serves the Milwaukee/Madison area. How will our state, or country for that matter, afford the additional runs to Minneapolis, LaCrosse, KRM, and Green Bay, not to mention the other proposed rail lines in our nation? (The Wisconsin Transportation Fund was to pay for needed infrastructure like bridges, the Interstate, and Wisconsin highways that most Wisconsinites utilize, not a rail line that only a small minority will use.)
We must stop this train. It isn't a matter of wouldn't it be nice to have a train?; we simply cannot afford it! (It would be nice to have a solarium on my house too, but it costs too much.) Our state of Wisconsin is projected to be $386 Million in the hole by December 2010. We cannot afford what we now have, much less a whole new train system.
So how do we stop the train? Elect Scott Walker.
Last Tuesday, Gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker again stated his opposition to the Milwaukee to Madison train project at a press conference near the proposed Brookfield train station site. Walker affirmed he would STOP the train, should he be elected as Wisconsin's next governor. He has cited the Blue Shirt sculpture as an example of how it is possible to stop already contracted work.
We must knock "high" speed train off its rails before Wisconsin is railroaded into a new massive, wasteful spending project that we cannot afford.
In the meantime, thanks again Mayor Ponto for delaying the Brookfield train station decision. It was a step in the right direction.
If you have not contacted Mayor Ponto and your Aldermen, please do so.
More Reading: Brookfield Mayor delays decision on train station until after election
Mayor Ponto's September 24th memo to Aldermen
Past Posts: STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention
Do they still use that old typing exercise? Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party? It never made much sense to me when I was in high school. It sure does now!
Well, that time, the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party, is now. With just 31 days to go until the midterm elections, we are in the homestretch.
It's time to roll up your sleeves, dig in your wallet, and prepare to hit the streets to help your favored candidates win this November. They need help distributing literature, making phone calls, manning the office desk, and doing whatever else needs doing.
For example, Representative Leah Vukmir, running against Democrat Jim Sullivan for State Senate, sent out a help request last weekend and this for literature distribution. Click her volunteer link or come to campaign headquarters on Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 6pm.
Gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker is holding a fundraiser luncheon featuring New Jersey's Conservative Governor Chris Christie at the Country Springs Hotel on Monday. Maybe you would consider attending.
Senate candidate Ron Johnson, who is leading Russ Feingold by 12 points in the latest Rasmussen poll, could use your help too. He will be at the Trinity Bar on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 2:30 - 6pm for a fundraiser. (125 East Juneau in Milwaukee) You can watch the Badger game and help Ron at the same time!
At the very least, make a donation and put up a yard sign for your candidate.
Speaking of donations, you might consider helping Conservative candidates in other states too. Here are just a few: Sharron Angle in Nevada is running against the well funded Democrat Harry Reid. Michele Bachmann could also use your help in Minnesota. Joe Miller in Alaska won the primary but RINO Murkowski won't call it quits.
If you were interested in these out of state campaigns, talk show host Mark Levin frequently interviews many of these Conservative candidates, and Senator Jim DeMint has a PAC called the Senate Conservatives Fund. DeMint has been instrumental in helping true Conservative candidates get their message out.
So get involved. This is especially true for those of you who participated in Tea Parties over the last year and a half. Protect your investment of time and energy in protesting the current government by working on the behalf of candidates who more closely represent your views.
I have worked on various campaigns over the years and it is a worthwhile investment in time. This year, it is essential, if we are to reverse the Liberal/Progressive agenda and rampant, irresponsible spending. I don't mean to be dramatic here, but our future and our children's futures depend on the outcome in November.
It is time to decide! Wisconsin's Primary Election is Tuesday, September 14th. In Wisconsin, that means one party voting--no crossing over. I voted Republican.
Here are my picks in the order they appeared on my ballot: (I am voting for all running unopposed but will not mention them below.)
Governor: Scott Walker
Scott walker has run a very positive campaign, I think. His ads were upbeat and almost had an Andy of Mayberry quality to them. His latest ad, holding Neumann's feet to the fire for his vote for a pork laden transportation bill while in Congress was more pointed however.
Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention
Should Mark Neumann prevail, I will hold my nose and vote for him in November, but I do not like how he has run his campaign. His latest ad about career politicians going negative is absurd considering he was the first to go negative and only recently reinvented himself as the kinder, gentler Mark Neumann. Now he seems to be back in negative mode. In addition, I have a problem with a candidate who chides government spending but owns a business that benefits from government subsidies on green technology. Hopefully I will not have to hold my nose in November. Mark Neumann opposes Vermont-style concealed carry!
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch I also think Dave Ross would be a good choice, but it does not seem he has campaigned much down here--at least nothing has come to my mailbox.
Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends
More concerned what Brett Davis DID than what Lt. Gov. does
State Treasurer: I have not settled on a candidate. It is not an office I have followed, so I will leave it blank. (I do not vote for people I do not know anything about.) FYI, Randy Melchert picked Scott Feldt.
United States Senate: Ron Johnson If you remember, I urged people to call up Ron to encourage him to run for Senate back in April. In one early conversation with him, I think he joked I was his first fan. He has done well in his campaign and will do well for us in Washington.
Ron Johnson, Feingold virtually tied in poll" November can't come fast enough!
Ron Johnson enters US Senate race
Ron Johnson would be my ideal candidate
David Westlake should run for a state office if he is interested in serving. He is a good conservative voice and would be a good representative at the state level.
Representative to the Assembly District 14: Dale Kooyenga Dale Kooyenga is a solid conservative and will serve us well in Madison. He has run a very energetic, organized campaign from what I can see and is spot on on the issues that matter to me.
Wisconsin 14th Assembly Forum tonight in Tosa with Kooyenga, Coon, Maurer...
Waukesha County Sheriff: Daniel Trawicki I voted for Dan. He is endorsed by many legislators that I admire, such as Leah Vukmir. I was wary of his opponent, Tom Alioto, who was off of work for over a year due to a "hostile environment". How would he manage a larger department? I stuck with Trawicki.
Check fellow Conservative blogger Randy Melchert for more races (including Congressional races in other districts) and his insights: Randy's September 14th Wisconsin Republican Primary Voter Guide
His blog stated he would have State Senate and Assembly picks in the near future.
More past posts: Wisconsin's primary is 3 weeks away, who are you voting for?
Just a reminder that if you are still undecided about Wisconsin's 14th Assembly District race, there is a Candidate Forum at the Wauwatosa Public Library (76th Street and North Ave.) at 7pm tonight.
All 6 candidates are to be there: Dale Kooyenga, David Coon, Chris Maurer, Dennis Kaun, Michael Olen, and Ryan Shulander.
I admit I have been torn as to who to vote for in this race; I vascilated between David Coon, Chris Maurer, and Dale Kooyenga. It isn't often one has so many choices!
But I have decided on Dale Kooyenga. Rarely have I ever seen a candidate campaign as energetically and effectively as Kooyenga has, which hopefully will translate into how hard he will work for us in Madison!
It isn't just his energy though, it is his platform and endorsements that resonate with me. He has signed the American's for Tax Reform Pledge not to raise taxes and is endorsed by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life, and Wisconsin Family Action. Individual endorsements include Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto, Wauwatosa Mayor Jill Didier, and Elm Grove Village President Susan Freedy as well as past President Neil Palmer, to name a few.
So if you haven't decided, tonight would be a good opportunity to get to know the candidates.
NOTE FOR BROOKFIELD DISTRICT 7 RESIDENTS: Remember Heritage Christian School is NO LONGER our polling place! You must go to St. Lukes on Greenfield and Davidson Road to vote.
See all the candidates running for Wisconsin office with contact information at Wisconsin Vote
We have less than 2 weeks to go until Wisconsin's Primary Election and the campaign ads are in full swing. The Brett Davis ad I have been hearing is really something, proving that in this election cycle, saying you are a CONSERVATIVE is a must for the Republican side of the ballot. (The TV version is much the same but shorter.)
Representative Davis' ad features a glowing litany of what he did in the legislature, with a decidedly conservative, tax cutting spin. It claims he wants to transform the office of Lt. Governor into a taxpayer watchdog for the state. Great.
Trouble is, his complete voting record doesn't match his ad's promises. See what you think.
The Davis ad: In a lighthearted way, the Davis ad begins with a male voice asking a series of questions: For thousands of years, mankind has looked to answer the great questions of the day: Can we predict the end of time? When will Brett Farve retire? and What on earth does the Wisconsin Lt. Governor do?
Then a woman's voice comes on and seriously tells us the facts: Conservative Republican Brett Davis has a plan to end the days of Wisconsin's do-nothing Lt. Governor. Brett Davis will transform the job into the leading taxpayer watchdog in the state, with the chief mission of cutting wasteful spending in Madison. Brett Davis, a small businessman and legislator, who has voted 126 times to cut taxes by a total of $5 billion dollars. No one else running for Lt. Governor can say the same. Brett Davis has a 100% voting record with National Federation of Independent Businesses, is the only candidate with an A rated voting record from the NRA, and is endorsed by Wisconsin Right to Life. It ends with the usual vote Brett Davis on Sept. 14th....
Sounds good, doesn't it? Especially if you aren't familiar with Brett Davis' voting record in Wisconsin's Assembly!
When I look at a prospective candidate, I am far more concerned with what that person did in the past than the promises they make for the future. In fact, I will quote Mr. Davis' latest campaign email called "Home Strech" (Brett, you might want to make that stretch). He states, "But talk is cheap--actions speak louder than words."
First of all, since he is the only candidate that has been a legislator in Madison; obviously he is the only candidate with a legislature voting record!
And while in Madison, HE VOTED FOR THE FINAL DOYLE 2007-2008 BUDGET. Although Davis says the promise of a $4 Million dollar Soy Bean Crusher for his district (pork) to sweeten the pot on wasn't the reason, he was the "lone Republican" vote among the Democrats on an earlier compromise budget proposal just the same.
Davis' ad says he wants to "transform the job of Lt. Governor into the leading taxpayer watchdog in the state". In his email he promises, "I'm going to make the job meaningful by giving the office a purpose -- stopping wasteful spending."
Some Watchdog--seems more like a fox in charge of hen-house? Because by Brett Davis' vote in 2007, Davis approved of the $200 million dollar raid from the Patient's Compensation Fund and approved the inmates driver's license ID policy that he is now raging war against. And let's not forget his sponsorship of AB 15, a 2005 Ethanol Mandate Bill. Hardly the work of a true Conservative.
As for the endorsements, Ginny Marshman, a leader in Republican politics in Waukesha County, said this about Davis' pro life stance: "Brett Davis has a 75% pro-life record in the 2005-2006 session, voting against the Wisconsin Right to Life positions three times. His stance against the pro-life movement, including voting for Planned Parenthood's #1 agenda item in chemical abortion aka 'emergency contraception'." (Davis' voting record in 2007-2008 was 100%.)
Notice there is no Tax Hero status mentioned from Wisconsin Club for Growth as there is for real conservatives such as Leah Vukmir or Jim Ott or Glenn Grothman, to name a few.
Yup. You can dress 'em up and even call them Conservative in the ads, but their voting record remains. I can only hope voters this time around will do a little research before they cast their vote on Sept. 14th.
My vote is going for a genuine Conservative, Rebecca Kleefisch, for Lt. Governor. She is Pro-Life, Pro 2nd Amendment, and says NO to high speed rail, for example. If I were not voting for her, I would choose David Ross, Mayor of Superior.
Certainty we can do better than Brett Davis, a Madison middle of the roader for Lt. Governor.
More reading: Brett Davis doesn't want you to know THE TRUTH
Brett Davis is a grade-A hypocrite
We don't need another RINO in Madison zoo
My anti-ethanol [and Brett Davis soybean] rant
Past Posts: Wisconsin's primary is 3 weeks away - who are you voting for?
Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends
Although most of us are still in summer mode and don't really want to think about politics, Wisconsin's Primary Election on Tuesday, Sept. 14th is fast approaching.
If you are inclined to donate to a campaign, do it now. This is especially true if your candidate is the underdog, such as Rebecca Kleefisch*, who is running for Lt. Governor. She needs to get the word out and advertising is expensive. Donate here.
By the way, Kleefisch just received the endorsement from Conservative Republican Glenn Grothman. There are a total of 9 candidates running for Lt. Gov.: 4 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
Governor: Some of the primary choices are easy. In the race for governor for example, only 2 major Republican candidates are on the ballot. I am choosing Scott Walker over Mark Neumann**. Though the media only mentions Walker & Neumann vs. Barrett, there are actually 9 candidates on the ballot: 2 Democrats, 3 Republicans, 3 Independents, and 1 Write-in.
For U.S. Senate, there are 4 candidates on the primary ballot: 3 Republicans, 1 Constitution Party. Hands down, I am voting for Conservative Ron Johnson (R).
In Wisconsin's 14th Assembly District (the eastern part of Brookfield, where I live, Elm Grove, and parts of Wauwatosa), there are 6 candidates to choose from. The most prominent being candidates David Coon, Dale Kooyenga, and Chris Maurer. I have met Coon and Kooyenga, and from what I see on Chris Maurer's website, they all seem to be good, conservative choices. I am strongly thinking of voting for Maurer though, because he stated at a recent forum, "This isn't a part time job". He would treat his position in the Assembly as a full time job.
Brookfield's other Assembly candidates for the 98th District (west side of Brookfield) are Republicans Paul Farrow, and perennial candidate Tom Schellinger. (Yup, the Vote Schellinger signs are popping up all over Brookfield.) Unless the planets align in a very strange configuration, Farrow will win on Sept. 14th, to face Democrat Victor Weers in November.
View the list of active candidates here. (The number of people running might surprise you. This listing includes links to the candidates' websites.)
So in the next 3 weeks, you have the opportunity to investigate the candidates for yourself. Get to know who is on the ballot and what they stand for, then vote on Tuesday, Sept. 14th.
*Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends
**I heard today on Jay Weber that Mark Neumann's Kenosha Town Hall only attracted 30 people! As Weber pointed out, contrast that with Walker's more impromptu Hoan Bridge rally of 225 or so (my estimate). 2 points of contention: "Mr. Neumann promised he would stop the Milwaukee to Madison train [good, I'm glad to hear that] and return that money to Wisconsin residents in the form of a tax cut. How he can promise to give back these federal funds as a tax cut is beyond my ability to comprehend," [mine too] and in regard to Global Warming legislation, "Neumann did say he thought the free market would pass environmental breakthroughs and that he would not support any subsidies or government mandates on climate change legislation." That statement is also very puzzling since his company, Renewable Energy Solutions, accepts green energy subsidies all the time! (My emphasis)
Did you see this good news? Last week, U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson inched ahead of incumbent Russ Feingold in the latest Rassmusen poll of likely voters.
"The Wisconsin Senate race is still a toss-up, with Republican Ron Johnson and incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold in a near tie.
Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Gov. Jim Doyle visited Watertown, WI. They gleefully signed the papers in order to release $46.7 million out of the total $810 million dollar budget. That's Obama appointed stimulus money to build the rail line from Milwaukee to Madison.
For now, I will bypass the ridiculousness of spending that much money on a train that the majority of Wisconsinites don't want or need. What struck me was that LaHood sounded so giddy about making us create that rail line. LaHood said,"High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin. There is no stopping it."
The Journal Sentinel's opening line of LaHood, Doyle say there's no derailing high-speed rail line ended by stating the duo "portrayed" the "...rail line as an unstoppable train that Republican gubernatorial candidates can't derail."
Candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann disagree. Both said that they would shut down construction if elected. That is a relief.
I caught a bit of Scott Walker on Jay Weber this morning. He reminded listeners of the supposedly unstoppable "Blue Shirt" at the airport! People said we couldn't stop that too, he said. Estimated operation costs are $10 million a year that Wisconsin taxpayers will have to fund. Walker said something to this effect, Bottom line, the Federal government cannot obligate Wisconsin to spend $10 million a year to support / run the train.
Mayor Tom Barrett supports the train. After all, he also wants his Folly Trolley in Milwaukee --another expensive form of transportation that no one will use. Walker also brought up the fact that This isn't just Jim Doyle's train, it's Tom Barrett's train too. He was there since the beginning.
So one thing Wisconsinites can do to STOP the Drain on the Taxpayer Obama & Doyle Express is VOTE REPUBLICAN!
But you don't need to wait until November. You can also speak up on Aug. 3rd.
My Alderman Lisa Mellone sent a notice that the City of Brookfield is holding "A city-wide public workshop regarding this proposal is scheduled on August 3rd from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brookfield Elementary School, 2530 N. Brookfield Rd. We encourage you to attend and express your opinion on this issue.The Council will deliberate the placement of a train stop in Brookfield on August 17th."
She adds, "If you can’t attend the workshop, please give your alderman your questions and stance on the issue of High Speed Rail stopping in Brookfield before the 8/17 meeting."
All Wisconsinites should voice their opposition to their Aldermen, Mayors, State Representatives and State Senators. The operational funds come out of the transportation fund for the whole state, even though the train operates just from Milwaukee to Madison.
So, Taxpayers in Distress, speak up!
Listen to Vicki McKenna's Friday Show Hour 1 Part 1 She details the cost to ride, subsidies, and other horrors.
Hate the idea of a high-speed rail station in Brookfield? Blogger Cindy Kilkenny found a this nugget in the Brookfield Common Council packet: "1993 - Governor Thompson commits $50 million to build passenger rail between Milwaukee and Madison."
FEMA came to town yesterday; they will be assessing the flood damage over the next few days. Residents in Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, Milwaukee**, and other flooded areas, are still cleaning up (some for the 2nd and 3rd time) and hoping to get some help.
Tom Barrett campaigned for mayor "with a pledge to clean up MMSD*" in 2004. (Scroll down to 3rd entry: "Rains Bring Flood of Troubles for MMSD".) Since then, the sewers have been backing up, flooding, and sewage dumps into Lake Michigan have become more commonplace than ever, as in 2 Billion Gallons of Sewage!
I have heard horror stories of acquaintances living there. What a nightmare. A thought came to me: Since Tom Barrett is ultimately at the helm of the failed MMSD and these people from the more liberal area of the Metro Milwaukee area are justifiably fed up by the flooding and dumping, would their ire carryover to the voting booth in November?
But there doesn't seem to be any tie in to Barrett. Where is the criticism of the Mayor in the news media?
They were quick to jump on County Exec. Scott Walker for going on the campaign trail last Saturday instead of visiting the flooded as Mayor Barrett and Gov. Doyle did. No matter that Walker already visited the flooded areas and signed the documents declaring Milw. County a disaster area the day before on Friday. The Journal Sentinel article didn't mention that bit until midway down the page. No mention of Tom Barrett's pledge to clean up MMSD in his 2004 election in that article.
Why isn't Barrett held more accountable in the local news? He is in effect knee deep in the sewer water problem yet remains squeaky clean in the media and people's perception.
Nationally, Conservatives and Republicans ask this same question. They knew the news stories were skewed favorable toward Obama during the election while McCain and Palin were skewered. Nothing negative would stick to Obama, not Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, his radical positions...nothing. It seemed the media was and still is in cahoots: No negative stories on Democrats--eviscerate Republicans.
Then we found out our suspicions were confirmed with the now exposed "JournoList" group. (My emphasis) Outed journalist "Dave Weigel is a portal into the dark world of hardcore liberal bias in the media. This opening gives us a deeper insight into the insidious relationship between liberal think thanks, academics and their mouthpieces in the media." These people "form the narrative used by the press to thwart conservative messages. Like a ventriloquist’s dummy, the reporters on the listserv mimicked the talking points invented and agreed upon by the intellectuals...”
Barrett blamed mayoral opponent Marvin Pratt for the "overflows and inadequate sewer system" back in 2004. But we don't hear much about the mayor's responsibility regarding the MMSD from mainstream media now that the hip boot is on the other foot.
Could it be that Milwaukee's media has some sort of JournoList pact too?
*I wouldn't have remembered this because I didn't live in Milwaukee, but talk show host Mark Belling certainly does! He is one of the few media people discussing Barrett's MMSD tie in. Bloggers such as Freedom Eden have made a good case: 2 Billion Gallons of Sewage, Flood: Journal Sentinel Spins for Barrett, Slams Walker.
**The combined sewer in these areas of Milw. County are largely responsible for the dumps and sewer laden flood waters.
Wisconsin has 5 Republican candidates on the ballot for Lt. Governor. Like the office of Vice President, Lt. Gov. is often a position that is overlooked, that is until they are needed to step into the top job! Of Wisconsin's 5 candidates, Rebecca Kleefisch is becoming my favorite; she's conservative, articulate, and seems very capable.
Rebecca Kleefisch will be featured on FOX & Friends news show this Sunday, July 25, 2010, at 8:45am Central Time. She will be joined by CeCe Heil of Tennessee and Julie Parrish of Oregon. All 3 ladies are running for office in their states. They are to discuss "the rising popularity of conservative women - particularly mothers - who are running for office and the electoral success of Sarah Palin's 'Mama Grizzlies' ".
"Mama Grizzlies" was a term coined by Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin to describe women--mothers--who like the mother grizzly bear, rises up on her hind legs to protect her cubs. In the political arena, many women get involved in politics because of some issue that affects their children and family. Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann fits that description. (Locally, I would call Wisconsin's Rep. Leah Vukmir, who is running against Democrat Jim Sullivan for State Senate, a "Mama Grizzly" too. Vukmir began her involvement in politics on the Wauwatosa School Board because of some issues that affected her family.)
It would seem I am not the only one pulling for Rebecca Kleefisch, she is the top fundraiser in her field. She "raised $141,634.58 in the first six months, 27% more than her nearest competitor."
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner along with State Representatives Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer will hold a Town Hall meeting on Sunday, July 18th, at 7 pm at the Safety Building in Brookfield.
Congressman Sensenbrenner will probably explain how bad the newly passed Finance Reform Bill is. As Sensenbrenner remarked once about ObamaCare, no doubt, "We can only wonder what other secrets are lurking in the dark" with this new piece of legislation too. For one, the bill creates "more than 20 'offices of minority and women inclusion' " at various government agencies and will favor them for employment, grants and contracts. (What does that have to do with preventing a financial crisis?) See Finance Bill Favors Interests of Unions, Activists (such as ACORN!) for more information.
Leah Vukmir is running for State Senate against Democrat Jim Sullivan. If you are interested in helping her campaign, call 414-759-1100 or visit LeahVukmir.com.
Rich Zipperer is also running for State Senate to fill Ted Kanavas' seat. RichZipperer.com
By the way, Congressman Sensenbrenner was dubbed the "Town Hall King" by CQ and Roll Call for having 72 Face to Face Town Hall meetings this year. The most of any other member of the House. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, with 69 meetings so far, is Town Hall King of the Senate.
UPDATE: Act 1 of the Opera? "U.S Ex-Im Bank Reconsiders India Coal Project." See below for details.
This week, the Rasmussen poll showed Conservative businessman and Republican endorsed Ron Johnson (45%) "in a virtual dead heat" with incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold (46%) in the U.S. Senate race. Last month Johnson polled at 44%.
This is very good news for Conservatives and Republicans because Feingold has not been able to poll above 50%. And as Rasmussen noted, "Incumbents who earn less than 50% of the vote at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable. Feingold was reelected to a third term in 2004 with 56% of the vote."
Unfortunately, our Congress is working fast and furiously at passing bad bill after bad bill, and our President is using his Executive powers to regulate and shift our country drastically to the left in the remaining Congressional session.
One thing is for sure, neither branch of government has gotten the message that we are out of money--the spending must stop. As with bills such as ObamaCare and the President's $20 billion extraction from BP, Constitutionality is of little importance.
Here is just a sampling of bills and decisions on the horizon:
- The Disclose Act, which limits 1st Amendment rights and reverses a Supreme Court decision. This unconstitutional bill passed the House this week and now heads to the Senate.
- The just written, 2,000 page, Bank Bill will rush through the Senate. Like ObamaCare, "No one will know until this is actually in placed how it works," Chis Dodd told reporters.
- Immigration: Sen. Kyl says the President told him, "The problem is, if we secure the border, then you won't have any reason to support 'comprehensive immigration reform.' In other words, Kyl said, the president is holding border security hostage to comprehensive reform.'" Kyl's statement reflects 2004 Candidate Obama's position on borders and amnesty, where Obama said, "...solving the illegal alien immigration problem requires that 'the trade off is going to have to be improved border security'".
- Amnesty by Presidential Fiat: Now there is talk that Obama might circumvent the legislative process altogether via Homeland Security--Janet Napalitalno--to grant deferred action and parole for millions of illegals. 8 US Senators have urged him not to take this path.
- Illegals have right to fair wages: You can't make this stuff up, but Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says it herself! "You have the right to be paid fairly whether documented or not."
- Cap & Trade: Passed in the House last year, the Senate version is still viable. The President used the BP spill as rationale for passage. If not in the Senate, there is always the EPA for enacting carbon taxes and restrictions, thus circumventing the legislature.
Yesterday, 11 states held primaries for Governor and mid-term elections. For the most part, conservatives did well.
In Wisconsin, our primary is Sept. 14th, which is very late in the election season. But the Wisconsin GOP convention in May became a catalyst for thinning the herd for U.S. Senate from 4 to 2 candidates. At the convention, candidate Dick Leinenkugel only received .5% of the vote and so threw his support to Ron Johnson. Terrance Wall, who came in at 23% on the first ballot, withdrew from the race a few days later.
Wall told his supporters, "With a heavy heart, I am withdrawing my candidacy from the United States Senate race against Russ Feingold. I am so grateful for the support of Wisconsinites that are hungry for real fiscal conservatism and a change in their government.
No matter how much I want to stay in and fight, I feel the honorable thing to do is to exit...[If only Mark Neumann would do likewise!]
When I started this effort, I had two goals: first, to turn this country around before it's too late and second, to prove that Russ Feingold could be beat. ...I wish God's blessings on my two opponents, David Westlake and Ron Johnson."
Dave Westlake only received 15% of the vote, but has vowed to remain in the race because the vote represents "only a fraction of the voters in the state". [True]
Westlake said, "'If I stopped now, think about the tens of thousands of people who are Republicans, independents and Democrats who wouldn't have a voice anymore,' he added. 'I owe it to them, to all of Wisconsin to be the voice of the common guy.'" I do like Dave Westlake, his platform, and his Mr. Smith Goes to Washington persona, but because of his T-shirt fund-raising strategy, he has limited his viability.
There is also another 3rd party Constitution Party candidate, Rob Taylor*, who is being touted as the only one with experience by some conservatives. As I recently explained to a conservative friend (who was unaware of Johnson entering the race) I cannot support a 3rd party candidate in this election: 3rd party = Feingold reelected.
So who is Ron Johnson? Take a look. This video clip is from his Q&A after his announcement. When asked why he was running (at about 4:23 into clip) Johnson says,
"I'm not willing to give up hope.... This 234 year experiment we call America is just absolutely precious, and I'm watching that being squandered. So if I am fortunate enough to represent the people from Wisconsin, I would take a deep reverence for the genius for the founders of America, in terms of what they have given us in this country."
"There is a reason the U.S. that holds 5% of the world population, yet produces 25% of the worlds goods, that is really freedom. I think that kind of perspective, that kind of deep sense of how exceptional this country is, is a good perspective to take to Washington."
Johnson needs to get the word out that he is running and what his positions are on the issues. People are already in summer mode--more interested in vacations and picnics than politics. This bio video clip from Charlie Sykes will at least give you a glimpse into who Ron Johnson is as a person.
Unless something very unusual happens between now and the primary, Ron Johnson will be the Republican candidate. At the GOP Convention, Leinenkugel surprised everyone by withdrawing and supporting Johnson, "It is Ron Johnson's time, ...it is too critical, too important that at this time in our history, we unite against defeating Russ Feingold." I am hoping Conservatives, Republicans, Independents, and even Democrats will follow suit.
Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson formally entered the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate today, a fact that makes conservatives like me breathe a little easier.
I don't know Mr. Johnson personally, but I have spoken to him on the phone and emailed him a few times. I have found him to be thoughtful, measured, responsive, and conservative.
In some respects, he reminds me of our first President, George Washington. Like Washington, Johnson is not seeking to be a career politician. Instead he is answering a call to serve as a Citizen Legislator. Being a Citizen Legislator was one theme Johnson touched on in his speech at the Madison Tea Party in April.
One of the things I asked Ron when I called to encourage him to run against Russ Feingold was, did he have any skeletons in his closet? I believe Choir Boy was the term he used to describe himself. That made me smile. (I don't think I was the only one to ask that question.) Character is a very important element of a candidate to me.
I believe Ron Johnson has a very good chance of winning in November against Russ Feingold. He certainly has a lot going for him.
From the ISTHMUS, The Scons,
"He [Johnson] apparently has money, which unfortunately often translates into legitimacy in politics. The parties love a guy with money, not only because he can contribute to his own campaign, but because it relieves them from some fundraising duties, especially in a race against Feingold, who may be vulnerable but certainly is not worth the GOP attention that the governor's race or the two House races up North deserve. He's still the favorite by a long-shot."
Being able to self-fund a campaign is very helpful, especially since it is a bit late in the game to be running. (I blame Tommy Thompson for that.) But money alone doesn't guarantee success. Terrance Wall is wealthy and has contributed to his campaign, but he has some baggage in that he has avoided paying income taxes because of depreciation allowances. He is also not as conservative as Johnson. (In the Governor's race, Mark Neumann is self funding, but he is not an ideal conservative candidate either with his pro ethanol/ renewable energy stance. Neumann also seems to be hedging on answering some very simple questions lately.) So self-funding alone does not an ideal candidate make!
The following factors do matter to voters, as pointed out by Craver, "Last but not least, Johnson doesn't have any ideological question marks on his record. He has not served in a Democratic administration or headlined a fundraiser for Democratic candidates, and he has not made any contributions to Democrats in the past, unlike Terrence Wall. Johnson actually spoke at the Tea Party rally, unlike Wall or Westlake, and he can apparently give an OK speech. All you have to do is read a few conservative blogs [hey, that's me!] to discover that many conservatives feel the current primary field is neutered, and desperately in need of some right wing testosterone."
I don't see Johnson as being just right wing, to me he represents American values like hard work and living within your means.
Whatever happens in November, I have to say a big, thank you, Ron Johnson, for entering the U.S. Senate race. Our country and state need someone like you in Washington. I appreciate the huge sacrifice you and your family are making on our behalf.
One bit of trivia, Ron Johnson is brother to Home Time's Dean Johnson.
I had just come back from praying at City Hall Plaza and because I was wondering about the Greece debt ripple effect, I checked the stock market quote page. It was at -350. Ooh, that is not good.
Then I refreshed it: -468. Refresh: -800 something. -963 at 1:47pm, Central Time. Pretty surreal. Talk about Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!
Then it started recovering: -717. -697. -580. -472. At 2:10 back "up" to -338.95. In all, it fell 998.5 at about 2:45 pm Eastern Time, for its largest intraday drop ever, and recovered to close at -348.63. Who would ever think that number would look good?
Why? Blame it on bad news from Greece and maybe some China news too. After all, if China's economy crashes, who is going to buy our debt?
After the market rebounded back to the 300s, I checked Gold: $1,203.90 at 2:48pm ET, refresh, $1,204, refresh, $1207.10, refresh, $1,210.70 at 3:31pm ET
I don't believe gold has been in the $1,200 range since last December 2, 2009 when it hit $1,213. For metal market watchers, Mark Belling predicted during the summer of 2008 that gold would reach $1,200 by year end 2009. He then updated that prediction in Feb. of this year to be $1,325 by Labor Day 2010. (Silver to reach $19.75.) If the Greek debt problem expands to other downgraded countries of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, [Greece ] and Spain or PIIGS for short, Belling may need to make a new prediction.
I have long called our present recovery the falling in love with love recovery--something based on nothing more than a desire for a recovery--no real substance. Our unemployment rate is only under 10% because of all the government jobs created. The private sector still isn't really hiring.
Look at Europe with its PIIGS and huge debt. America isn't far behind--Moody's has threatened reducing our bond status. Investors look at what is happening in Europe and worry about what is happening here. In the meantime, our President, and you could add Governor Doyle and Mayor Barrett too, spend money like water. Even the CBO says our Fiscal policy is 'unsustainable'.
We cannot build a recovery on spending money we don't have. Economies at the state level aren't in much better shape. California and New York are near the brink; Wisconsin is not far behind. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs, yet we still push for High Speed Rail and a 3.8 mile trolley line to mention 2 foolish expenditures.
No real recovery? Roller-coaster stock and metal markets? I think we have to start saying it: It's the Spending, Stupid, both here and abroad.
Yes, it is true. Long-time Congressman David Obey announced today that he is not going to run for reelection. All I can say is, Thanks, David Obey, I needed that shot in the arm.
Mr. Obey is not my Congressman--I am in Jim Sensenbrenner's district--but Obey's name is known to most Wisconsinites and since the Stimulus, by many Americans.
Congressman David Obey is Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and helped craft the Stimulus Bill. One of the few areas of spending I wasn't totally against was the increase for the National Parks. What made that stimulus spending suspect was that his son, Craig Obey worked for The National Parks Conservation Association. After seeing how much time, preparation, and personnel was devoted to preparing for President Obama's visit to Yellowstone National Park last summer, the park service probably needed the increase! (Lucky us, we were there last summer during his visit--what were the odds of that?)
Obey's retirement certainly helps Republican candidate Sean Duffy. "'This move clears the way for Duffy to be the next congressman from northwest Wisconsin. His campaign has gotten national attention and he’s running a very well-oiled grassroots machine,' said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tom Erickson."
It also frees up National and State monies to support another Republican candidate, such as Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson, should he decide to run against U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.
No one can say this election year has been boring!
The big question on conservative minds in Wisconsin is, Will businessman Ron Johnson throw his hat in the US Senate ring this week?
Governor Doyle's Commerce Secretary, Dick Leinenkugel, announced Monday that he IS running, get this, as a Reagan Conservative! (He couldn't be any worse than Russ Feingold, and he promises to repeal ObamaCare and be against High Speed Rail--for now.)
State Senator Ted Kanavas, as expected, announced he is NOT running against Feingold.
What a great Earth Day; I got my wish and more: NO GLOBAL WARMING Bill, NO VOTER FRAUD PROTECTION Act, and NO RTA. I almost can't believe it.
And why did I receive such a great gift? Because of all the calls, emails, letters and visits to our State Legislators. You know, the calls that don't work.
Bottom line? We were spared these bills thanks to those of you who did waste your time calling and going to Madison. So THANK YOU.
Another thank you goes to Talk Radio* for getting the word out.
Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald mentioned yesterday** that it was the calls that made the difference. For example, in Democrat Jim Sullivan's office, the call record was running 10 to 1 AGAINST the Voter (Fraud) Protection Act.
The same was true in the Assembly. Representative Leah Vukmir stated, "Thanks to your calls and emails, we managed to stop some of the worst legislation of the session. ...The calls and email from constituents sent a very clear message through the halls of the State Capitol and legislators became very wary of taking bad votes on these bills."
I have to think the other sobering moment for our more liberal legislators was the size of the TEA Party crowd last Thursday (April 15) and the number of attendees who stopped into their representatives offices to leave their vote NO sentiments. (Photo: Tea Party attendees look up their reps. office number inside Capitol.)
Of course the Liberal Legislative Phoenix could always rise from the ashes to call an extra session and try and revive these top 3 bills (and others), but at least for now they are dead.
Some bad bills did make it through Madison. Maybe the worst being the Ethanol Mandate 408 / SB 279, which I think requires increasing the total % consumed for ethanol to 50% by 2015 and for bio-diesel to 25% by 2015. Nobody likes the stuff and since it is harmful to most engines and yields abysmal mileage, I don't see how this will work.
Increasing those covered under BadgerCare via BadgerCare Basic Plus also passed. (FYI, Medical Marijuana and the Green Cleaning Product mandate failed, but so did AR-21 to have Wisconsin challenge Constitutionality of ObamaCare. Raw Milk passed.)
So we cannot rest on our laurels. We must stay involved. Work for conservative candidates so we can Remove the liberals, Repeal the bad legislation, and Restore good LIMITED government!
Imagine the kind of government we would have today, if people were always this engaged at the State and Federal level?
Representative Leah Vukmir and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will be holding a Town Hall meeting at the Elm Grove Village Hall on May 1st at 9AM
Past Posts: Wisconsin Legislature's last stand - Global Warming, Voter Fraud, RTA - Call now!
News from Rally against Vote Fraud at Milwaukee City Hall
Follow the money: Why are Potawatomis pushing Clean Energy Jobs Act?
Call Now! We cannot afford Gov. Doyle's AB 649 Global Warming/Clean Energy Jobs Act
*I often listen to Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna. When legislation is pending, Mark Belling** is also helpful.
It was a l-o-n-g day, or should I say night, for Wisconsin's Assembly. They worked through the night and still were at it this morning, I heard on Jay Weber this morning. Remarkably, the bottom line is the 3 worst bills, Voter Protection, Global Warming, and Creation of RTA, weren't voted on. (Keep those calls coming--see below.)
The Voter (Fraud) Protection Act, AB 895 / SB 640 did not come up for a vote as expected, nor did the Global Warming Bill, AB 649 / SB 450. It seems the Democrats were too busy duking it out all night to bring them to the floor. (Thank heavens!)
The creation of a RTA was dealt a severe blow by my Representative, Leah Vukmir, who I am dubbing, Vukmir the Valiant. Vukmir pretty much killed the bill with an amendment that would require a binding referendum for Milwaukee County voters to approve raising the sales tax by .05% before a RTA could be created. She was joined by Democrats David Cullen (Wauwatosa, West Milw.) and Tony Staskunas (West Allis) in that amendment. It passed 52/46. That was encouraging.
This also puts Senator Jim Sullivan, who represents pretty much the same area, in an opposite position of his Assembly counterparts.*
Speaking of the Senate, it seems the Senate Democrats don't think they have the votes to pass Global Warming and Voter Protection. Since Leader Russ Decker wants to spare his Senate Democrats from voting on something they can't pass, these might not come to the floor either. (Oh, I hope, I hope.) At least that is what Jay Weber and J.R. Ross indicated on Jay's radio program this morning.
If you remember, I wondered yesterday if that was the reason Jim Sullivan was now against the Voter Protection act.
The other hot topic was what to do with Jeff Wood, the Democrat with 3 DUIs. The Assembly voted to censure him, not expel. (It's all about protecting the majority--they might need him to vote on Thursday.) "Disgusting"
The Assembly worked almost 24 hours straight, thankfully, they have to call it quits for the day. Voter Protection, Global Warming (being pushed hard by the Potawatomis) and RTA, among others, could all come back on Thursday.
The Senate isn't in session today but is meeting later this afternoon at 3pm to set the schedule for Thursday, their last day? Of course, the Senate could go into extra innings, so to speak. But at least for now, it is not as dire as I had thought.
But don't count these bills dead yet. Both houses could pull it together and pass it all.
Keep calling! The only reason these things haven't passed so far is the pressure from the public! Senator Jim Sullivan - District 5, (866) 817-6061 or (608) 266-2512.
If you don't live in Brookfield, find your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO, especially if your Senator is Jeff Plale-District 7, (608) 266-7505, John Lehman-District 21, (608) 266-1832, or Tim Carpenter-District 3, (608) 266-8535.
*Thanks Jay Weber and J.R. Ross! Listen to the first few minutes of each part of the 2nd hour for more details. Hour 2: Part 1 and Part 2.
This week might mark THE MOST COSTLY week in the Wisconsin Legislature; the week our Representatives and Senators vote on several very controversial bills. Our Legislators are wrapping up their last week in Madison for this session, rapid firing 80-some bills to the floor a day.
Oh, if we could just send them home today!
It is difficult to say which are the worst bills of the lot, but the Global Warming, now called Clean Energy Jobs Bill AB 649 / SB 450 is coming to the Assembly this morning. It is thought there are enough votes to pass the Assembly. This bill is not only costly in terms of increased utility costs for all Wisconsinites, it also will cost our state in LOST JOBS. NO manufacturing company will want to locate or stay in a state that has higher utility costs than its neighbor.
From Brookfield's Representative Leah Vukmir: (My emphasis throughout) "The legislation has been widely panned by business groups representing a large sector of Wisconsin's economy and scholars alike. By going it alone to curb global warming, Wisconsin stands to lose tens of thousands of jobs and increase energy prices for consumers - from the gas at the pump for your car to the natural gas to heat your home."
From Brookfield's Representative Rich Zipperer: "If enacted, this bill will require power companies to invest approximately $15 billion in new equipment, and it will increase their fees by $700 million annually. All of those mandated costs will be passed on to energy users, increasing the cost of electricity for families and businesses. Independent studies have suggested such increases will drive over 40,000 jobs from our state as companies move manufacturing facilities to states with lower taxes and lower energy costs."
In the Senate, passage is not such a sure thing. If you live in Senator Jim Sullivan's District, give him a call: (866) 817-6061. I spoke to the aids in his office last week, and they said he was still reading through the amendments. Some of the Senators, like Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510 are in swing districts and also facing stiff reelection. Call them!
Even worse than the Global Warming Bill, is the Voter Protection Act AB 895 / SB 640. This one has been dubbed the Voter Fraud Protection Act by many.
Rep. Vukmir calls it the Vote Fraud Encouragement Act:
"[A few] weeks ago, a group of Democrats introduced legislation that will discard and rewrite nearly all election law in Wisconsin in favor of so-called reforms to encourage higher voter turnout and address alleged "voter intimidation".The legislation can only result in government-encouraged vote fraud."
"In a letter to legislators, Attorney General, JB Van Hollen said that the legislation would make fraud more likely", because for one," 'It populates the registration list with unregistered voters, increasing the potential for fraud, when our desire should be to have an accurate list that is neither over inclusive nor under inclusive.' "
"Additionally, a last-minute provision added by Sen. Lena Taylor would allow national, not-for-profit, community organizations [like ACORN] to access sensitive citizen information from state databases."
When I stopped in to see Senator Sullivan after last week's TEA Party, his aid, Ashley, informed me that Sullivan was OPPOSED to this bill. This came as quite a surprise since when I had called the week before, he still was undecided. This change makes me wonder if, as with the State Budget, Sullivan was given permission to vote no, because he is facing stiff competition from Vukmir? Or, are there not enough Senate votes to pass and so no one in swing districts wants to be seen as supporting if they all aren't supporting? Or, is he truly against it? (I hope it is the latter.)
Anyway, the Voter Protection Act is THE MOST IMPORTANT of all the bills flying through Madison this week. If this passes, I believe it significantly reduces the chances of fair elections and encourages voter fraud.
There is also the RTA, which will add another .05% sales tax to Milwaukee County. Senator Sullivan favors creation of a regional RTA, which would include that .05% tax for Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties too.
Other bills include: Ethanol Mandates, Expanding Hate Crimes, mandating Licensed Dietitians be the only ones who can give aid at a health food store, and my favorite travesty, National Popular Vote.
All we can do at this point is call our Senators and Representatives and tell them to vote NO!
I know we are all weary with all the calling, but hopefully, it is the last week!
Sources: VCY Homefront Legislation pending for the week
Rep Vukmir's Legislative Update
Rep. Rich Zipperer's Taxpayer Alert
Yesterday came the no surprise announcement, Republic will rename Midwest, Frontier. I was privileged to fly Midwest 3 times in their grander days. Those wonderful Midwest meals and comfy wide seats vanished during the belt-tightening and take-over eras but still remain legendary. Who would have thought that in today's tightwad era, airlines would propose charging for a carry on or using the restroom!
Sadly, it was logical that the Midwest name be scrapped too, since the ammenities that branded them as something special had long since vanished. The only vestige to remain of their heyday is the chocolate chip cookie.
Also this week came the news that AirTran airlines was ranked as Number 2 in airline quality (For comparison, Frontier was ranked 7th).
This is good news because AirTran flies out of Milwaukee. In fact, AirTran announced last December that they were making Miwaukee a second hub. "AirTran Airways...announced that the airline will open both a pilot and flight attendant base in Milwaukee to support its increased operations. ... The flight bases will be opened in April 2010 and will consist initially of 50 pilots ... and a minimum of 50 flight attendants..." (My emphasis throughout)
The new AirTran Hub would add 100 jobs to start. AirTran's Marketing Senior Vice President said, "As we continue to grow our Milwaukee operation, we have reached a point where we need to add flight crew bases in Milwaukee to make our airline more efficient... These new Milwaukee jobs further demonstrate our commitment to Southeast Wisconsin."
I don't fly often - maybe once every 1 or 2 years? But I like AirTran because they offer inexpensive, nonstop flights to Orlando. They have been on time and my limited experience has always been good. Also, for people like me, who don't travel for business, they have a rewards plan to save up for a free flight. (My family flew free a few years back to Disney via their A+ Rewards program.) They also offer a credit card that offers points toward free flights. As I often say, AirTran: Great airline - Stupid radio ads!
A few years back, when Midwest spurned AirTran's take over overtures, I owned a bit of Midwest stock when there was that push for Milwaukeeans to buy stock to help the company. (It still remains my most fun venture in the stock market--ever. I am don't gamble Vegas or lottery style, but I invested a few hundred dollars when the stock was a dollar-something, held the stock for a while, and then sold it when it topped 2 digits.) At the time, I thought AirTran would be a good candidate for obtaining Midwest. They seemed committed to staying in Milwaukee.
I wonder if the former Midwest employees would agree?
UPDATE: April 14th Rally & April 15th Madison Tea Party against Voter Fraud Protection Act, Global Warming Bill & Taxes
UPDATE: This Just In from Kevin Fisher's blog, "Citizens for Responsible Government to Join with Other Concerned Citizens to Rally Against Vote Fraud" at NOON TODAY, April 14th at Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda. Contact CRG at 414-573-8709 for more information.
For the first time in a long time, Wisconsin's US Senate seat is there for the taking. All we need is a credible candidate. So where, oh where, is that candidate?
We have 2 in the running: Dave Westlake and Terrance Wall. Bless them for stepping out there but each has flaws: Westlake isn't doing fundraisers and Wall has a tax perception problem. (He is not delinquent in paying; he avoided paying state income taxes by using legal depreciation allowances.) Because Wall has run some good ads, he is better known than Westlake.
This week we learned that Dick Leinenkugel, Governor Doyle's Commerce Secretary, just announced he was throwing his hat in the ring...but as a Republican? The guy who went to Spain to buy the 2 choo-choo train engines from TALGO*, with no bids, is going to run on the more conservative side of the ticket? OH, PLEASE.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has been rumored to be our winning candidate for months, however, I don't consider him my ideal or even acceptable candidate. Could we have counted on Tommy, the creator of Wisconsin's BadgerCare health insurance plan, to vote against its BIG Federal brother, ObamaCare? Could we count on him to vote to REPEAL and REPLACE ObamaCare?
Thompson could win we are told, he polls at 45% to Feingold's 33% but he is NOT the conservative candidate I would embrace. Shame on him for putting his desire to bask in the lime light of will he run ? above what is good for our state and nation.
So who do we have as possibilities?
There is Ron Johnson, a 55 year old Oshkosh business man, who according to the JSOnline article is, ...president and co-founder of PACUR, a [plastics] manufacturing company in Oshkosh. He described himself as a conservative with no prior political experience who is fed up with the 'loss of freedom' in the United States, including passage of health care reforms under President Barack Obama. He said he had resources to help fund a campaign if he gets in." (My emphasis)
If Mr. Johnson is indeed as described above, I could get behind him. Maybe you would like to contact him? I found this phone number on the internet for Pacur - (920) 236-2888.
Who else? My first thought is Mark Neumann. He certainly has name recognition. Although I am not wild about his somewhat supportive ethanol stance (in that it is good for Wisconsin's corn producing farmers) and some of his campaign tactics against Scott Walker, instead of beating up Scott Walker, how about him setting his sites on knocking out US Senator Russ Feingold?
I do appreciate his petition against ObamaCare, which is both a Federal and State government issue.
Mark Neumann could really play hero here and graciously bow out of the governors race to enter the US Senate race, for the good of the people of Wisconsin.
3 State Senators also come to mind: Senator Ted Kanavas - Brookfield, Senator Glenn Grothman - West Bend, and Senator Joseph Leibham* of Sheboygan. Of the 3, Grothman is better known to me because he is often interviewed on local radio talk shows. Glenn seems very comfortable speaking out for conservative issues.
Charlie Sykes, WTMJ's talk show host was again mentioned by Mark Belling, and I don't think Belling is just trying to get rid of his competition. Instead, I think it shows how dire our lack of a real candidate is.
I would really hate to have Republican and conservative Wisconsinites snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory again by not having a great contender in this race against Feingold. The US Senate seat is ripe for the picking.
PLEASE, could someone viable run?
*Mark Belling was talking about Wall, Westlake, and Leinenkugel yesterday. I had forgotten Leinenkugel was part of the Spain enteourage. Mark also mentioned the 3 State Senators and Sykes as possibilities (though I thought of Kanavas and Grothman for some time). If no one else steps forward, I will vote for Wall in the primary.
Call before 9:45am! State election law reform AB 895 automatically registers voters & hampers poll watchers
Bill AB 895 is whizzing through the State Legislature at an alarming speed, considering the negative impact to voters in our state. The bill is still in committee for another hour. They plan to vote on it at 9:45am, today, April 1st. (No, this is not an April Fools joke.) CALL COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOW!
Sorry for the late notice; I only just found out about this: Tonight from 5:30 - 7 pm, 5th District State Senator Jim Sullivan is holding a Town Hall meeting at Wauwatosa's Public Library (76th and North Ave.) (Maybe I missed Mr. Sullivan's notice of his Town Hall meeting on his blog?)
This would be your chance to ask Jim about his liberal voting record in the state senate, his most recent big vote being the expansion of BadgerCare Basic Plus --Wisconsin's own version of ObamaCare. Since this Town Hall is being held in Wauwatosa, there might be more Democrats in attendance, thus a more supportive crowd than his Town Hall last May, held in Brookfield. (I attended that one and posted my impressions of it in Senator Jim Sullivan's Town Hall.... GRILLING! OUCH!)
Voters the last time tried to pin him down on his vote that help kill Voter ID, his support of Abortion, the RTA, excuses on the $6.5 Billion deficit, etc.
This time, maybe voters will want to know why he voted for the new Sex Ed. mandates, which allows groups like Planned Parenthood into the classroom and prohibits value judgments on student sexual behavior, to name a few negatives. Or why he expanded a very under-priced health insurance plan that doesn't follow Wisconsin mandates (private insurance companies cannot possibly compete). How about his position on spending money on "high" speed rail while our infrastructure crumbles? OR, does he plan on joining Senate Joint Resolution 62 that would allow Wisconsinites to opt out of ObamaCare?
During the last campaign, Jim Sullivan came to our home, promising he would better represent us in the State Senate. So far, I have not seen it. Maybe you just want to attend so you can see why so many people are supporting Leah Vukmir for State Senate*--someone who will actually represent your views?
If you live in Wisconsin, more likely than not, that question is answered, no, ...unless you live on a dairy farm. If you don't live on a dairy farm, a consumer must go through ridiculous contortions to procure raw milk.
Some years back, it was legal to get raw milk if you were part owner of a dairy cow. Then that was deemed unacceptable. Some creative consumers and farmers then entered into a I know nothing relationship of just come into the cooler room, pick up the milk, leave the money in the secret spot.
All of that subterfuge is about to change. The Wisconsin legislature is entertaining allowing the sale of raw milk once again in our state: Modified raw milk legislation moves ahead: "The legislation [Senate Bill 434] is expected to be voted on by the full Assembly and Senate before the session ends in April." I am amazed that in this Nanny State environment the bill is moving forward.
I grew up drinking raw milk even though I did not live on a farm--I was a city girl. The Golden Guernsey dairyman delivered it to our house every week. (Remember milk chutes?) The certified milk came in glass quart bottles and was not homogenized*. It was delicious. The Golden Guernsey Dairy Barns that produced our raw milk were VERY clean and subject to a rigorous testing schedule.
Raw milk advocates cite it is a healthier choice because it is a living food. Conditions such as asthma, allergies, eczema and even Autism are said to improve if raw milk is consumed. Those conditions are certainly prevalent today. Raw milk opponents say it is dangerous because it can carry bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella. I don't know if that was the case in the 1950s and 60s. Back then I just remember brucellosis being mentioned as a risk factor.
But is pasteurization a guarantee of safety? If you remember what we learned from the debate on whether to irradiate beef against E. coli, irradiation did not prevent post irradiation contamination. The same is true for pasteurization. Pasteurizing milk does not and cannot prevent post-pasteurization contamination, as evidenced by the periodic recalls of listeria and other bacterial contaminated pasteurized dairy products on the news.
The Real Milk website had an interesting paper on Raw vs. Pasteurized milk. I confess I did not read all 70 pages, but if this is a subject that interests you, take a look. Response to the FDA Anti-Raw Milk Point-by-Point Presentation "Between 1980 and 2005, 41 outbreaks were reported to the CDC attributing 19,531 illnesses to the consumption of pasteurized milk and milk products. This is 10.7 times the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk during the same period."
The key to raw milk safety is the cleanliness and quality of the dairy farm you are purchasing the milk from. The cows should be grass fed. The barn should be very clean (as was the case with Golden Guernsey). A smaller operation is probably better than bigger. The focus of their dairy should be selling milk raw. (I would not consume raw milk from a traditional dairy farm because their cleanliness standards are not the same.)
Are there risks involved? Yes. Are there benefits? Yes. Are there risks to consuming pasteurized milk products? Yes. Everything we do carries risk.
So, do some research and decide for yourself. I doubt any mainstream doctor would advocate consuming raw milk, but there are many D.O.s and Holistic type Doctors and Dentists who do. Interestingly, many of the voices I hear advocating raw milk do not approve of consuming pasteurized milk!
If this issue is important to you, contact your State Legislators: Assembly, Senate. We allow drug sales that carry benefit and risk; we allow selling cigarettes and alcohol that pretty much only carry risk. Shouldn't we be allowed to decide for ourselves on raw milk?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I in the health field. Outside of a college nutrition, physiology and anatomy, and genetics class, I have had no formal training in the health field. I do however use holistic and natural medicine practices for myself and family.
Look at California, where raw milk is legal: "Except for a brief hiatus in 1990, raw milk has always been for sale commercially in California, usually in health food stores, although I can remember a period when it was even sold in grocery stores. Millions of people consumed commercial raw milk during that period and although the health department kept an eagle eye open for any possible evidence of harm, not a single incidence was reported. During the same period, there were many instances of contamination in pasteurized milk, some of which resulted in death."
Real Milk Website
Raw Milk Is Gaining Fans, but the Science Says It's Dangerous
*Homogenization is thought to contribute to heart disease because the process makes the fat molecule so small, it passed directly through the gut into the blood stream.
There is still time to register and attend the Americans for Prosperity 3rd Annual Defending the American Dream Summit this weekend, March 12th and 13th. The event runs 2 days at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The event begins on Friday with registration and a reception. The speakers and seminars begin at 9:30am on Saturday and continue until 7pm, and then there is an After the Tea Party Party in the evening.
Some of the speakers include: Lord Christopher Monckton, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher (he gave that compelling speech warning of the US ceding our rights if we entered into the Copenhagen treaty last Oct.) , Grover Norquist - Americans for Tax Reform, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Representatives Leah Vukmir and Jim Ott, Niger Innnis-Congress of Racial Equality, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, Vicki McKenna, Michael Reagan, and Fred Kelly Grant of Stewards of the Range - land use rights.
Issues include Global Warming-Climate Change-Economic Suicide, Net Neutrality, Hands Off My Health Care, Voter Fraud, and Property Rights and Coordination, and more.
I attended this event last year and found it very worthwhile. In looking at the speaker lineup, I see some of last year's speakers will be there again. Of particular interest is Fred Kelly Grant of Stewards of the Range. Last year he told how a community stopped the NAFTA highway at the very local level by using land rights law. This process might apply to High Speed Train right of way too. I don't know if it would be of any help with the recent 10 million acre land and ocean/lake waters grab, via Executive Order, from the Obama Administration, but you could ask Fred.
If you are interested in the Conservative perspective on local and national issues, I urge you to attend. The cost is $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for students. Register here
Are you planning on seeing the special Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum? I have heard it is spectacular. It is the largest special exhibit our museum has ever produced. The Dead Sea Scrolls have been traveling the museum special exhibit circuit in the U.S., but this one, I have heard, incorporates even more artifacts into the exhibition.
OnMilwaukee.com has an in depth account of the exhibit in Stunning "Dead Sea Scrolls" a trove of history Their posting states "faith is not a prerequisite for marveling at 'Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures.'" In other words, it is an exhibit anyone can benefit from.
Usually I like to familiarize myself with the subject of a special exhibit before I attend. Knowing what to look for ahead of time makes my experience that much more meaningful. Sure, I have read one of the books and some info on the scroll discovery over the years, but knowing more of the background information enhances my exhibit experience.
Fortunately, my Sunday School teacher, Dr. Gary Gulan is presenting a special Dead Sea Scroll Seminar this weekend, with lots of slides. If you would like to attend, just contact me and I will give you the specifics.
I am going to see the exhibit mid March. (I'll try to do a follow up post.) You have until June 6th to see it. And speaking of seeing it, On Milwuakee suggest bringing your reading glasses. Good idea.
It sounds like the Milwuakee Public Museum outdid themselves on this one. It shouldn't be missed.
If you have never called a State Senator about a bill before, call about this one! * Why?
BadgerCare Basic Plus, Wisconsin's own version of a public option health insurance plan, has been called worse than ObamaCare for Wisconsin. So call before 11 am today, Feb. 25th to voice your opposition.
Now you would think at a time of raging billions of dollar deficits in Wisconsin that the Democrats in the legislature would hesitate to bring yet another expensive entitlement program to the floor. But then again, I said, you would think.
I heard Mark Belling say Wednesday, that the bill was on the Senate floor on Tuesday for a vote, but Decker pulled it back to committee after a few amendments failed to pass. He knew he didn't have the votes. (Lena Taylor was absent.)
But BadgerCare Core Plus will return to the State Senate floor, Thursday, Feb. 25th, at 11 am. That is why it is so important to call your State Senator before then--especially if he is Jim Sullivan or the other key Senators facing tough reelections.
In a nutshell, BadgerCare Plus Basic is a very inexpensive public option health insurance plan. It costs only $130 a month. It covers major medical, generic drugs, and a few other things. It is a no frills type policy. It also covers pre-existing conditions.
Now how on earth can our state offer this insurance at such a low price? They got a $1million dollar Federal grant to pay for it. Even with the grant, how can this work? How can this pay for itself as the pro Democrats insist? Rep. Mike Huebsch writes, "Enrollment in the state’s healthcare programs exceeds 1 million for the first time in Wisconsin history – about 18 percent of the state’s population." We cannot afford adding more.
There are 18 Democrats and 15 Republicans in the State Senate. Since 1 Democrat already said she isn't voting for it, that leaves just 1 making or breaking this bill. That is why it is so important you call! (Find your State Senator)
If you haven't called the key State Senators, you still have a chance before this is voted on. Senator Jim Sullivan (866) 817-6061 Remind State Senator Sullivan that he is facing a tough reelection race this fall from Rep. Leah Vukmir.
Senator Jeff Plale Co-sponsor of the bill, (608) 266-7505 He campaigned on a tax freeze and as a moderate.
Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510 Like Sullivan, he is facing a tough reelection.
Private insurance companies will be put at a disadvantage since they are not allowed to offer such a stripped down policy. They also are not allowed to reimburse Doctors and Hospitals at Medicaid rates--that means private payer rates go up to compensate.
According to Doyle pushing BadgerCare Plus-worse than Obamacare for Wisconsin-Call your legislators,
It is often said that politics makes strange bedfellows. Or as I often say, if you wait long enough, you will eventually find an issue you agree on, even with someone at the other end of the political spectrum.
Well yesterday, Governor Doyle and I had our first common ground victory when his veto on the bill to take the right to appoint the Secretary of the DNR from the Governor held, with a 58-38 vote. (They needed 64 yes votes to override; the 38 no votes came from Rep. 34, Dems 3, Ind. 1)
That seems a bit strange, that Gov. Doyle and I would want the same thing, doesn't it? Well, this is even stranger. About 3/4 of the Assembly Republicans voted against the veto override.
Here are some reasons why: (my emphasis)
Have you been following the Florida Senate race between Republican Governor Charlie Christ and Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio? For some time now, I have. If your are a conservative, it is very exciting. I first heard about Marco Rubio from my favorite national talk show host, Mark Levin, who describes Rubio as a solid conservative. (When Levin is in his quiet, serious mode, he is superb.)
I finally got to watch all of Marco Rubio's speech at CPAC and I have to agree--he is a solid conservative. Rubio believes that in the United States you can become anything you are willing to work hard to be. If he remains true to his conservative Tea Party roots, I would love to see him as President some day.
But for the present, he is challenging Gov. Crist for Senate. In case you don't remember, Gov. Charlie Crist gave John McCain the blessing during the primary and we pretty much have him to thank for pushing McCain onto the ballot, so to speak. Crist also supported for Obama's Stimulus bill before it was passed. Marco Rubio's rise in popularity shows that the conservative message resonates with voters. Rubio's poll numbers have grown from just 8% back in April 2009, to neck and neck in December, to taking the lead this year.
Although Rubio didn't get the network CPAC media hype that Ron Paul* and Glen Beck received (neither of which are consistent enough in their message for my taste) even non-conservatives are paying attention to Rubio.
See if you agree. Here is a sample of his speech that I transcribed:
Have you heard about this new bill in Madison, AB 751, The National Popular Vote Bill? I doubt that you have unless you listen to Vicki McKenna or WVCY. The Public Hearing is today.
But don't feel like you have been asleep at the wheel, the bill was only just introduced 2 days ago on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010. Also on Monday, they announced the Public Hearing for today, Wednesday, Feb. 17th at 1pm.
Think they are trying to ram this one through below the radar? (I heard Vicki mention it yesterday. She also talked about it today in her first 45 minutes. Do listen to the first hour for Wed. Feb 17. I then Googled the bill number and found WVCY's Homefront blog page on it.)
The actual bill proposes "entering into an agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by means of a national popular vote."
Now at first blush, that might not seem like a bad idea, to just count the popular vote. But think about it. If popular vote alone decided elections, the most population dense states would dictate who our president is. The top 3 states being California, New York and Texas. Urban areas would decide for us all. Even if you factor in the top 10 states, like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, etc. Wisconsin is still not a player. So what about the other 40 states in the Union?
If this change goes through, why would any presidential candidate bother coming to Wisconsin?
An even more insidious aspect of this bill is that
it calls for a Constitutional Convention (Correction, it doesn't call for it ) it SIDESTEPS the Constitution to make the change from the Electoral College to Popular Vote. (More on that below the legislator info.)
CALL YOUR SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE! Find your State Legislator
Ask them how this would help Wisconsin residents have any voice in presidential politics?
Brookfield's Representatives: Rich Zipperer (608) 266-5120 and Leah Vukmir (608) 266-9180
List of Representatives on the Committee of Elections and Campaign Reform: (From Homefront)
Rep. Jeff Smith (Chair) 1-888-534-0093
While driving home yesterday, I heard the Potawatomi's latest ad supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but it came to me, why are they pushing this so? In other words, if we follow the money--what is in it for them? Would they maybe be leasing land for windmills?
I emailed radio talk show hosts Vicki McKenna and Jay Weber when I came home to see if they knew. (Didn't hear back.) Later on, I Googled for some info and found this surprise:
Last night I attended the 3rd City of Brookfield Mayoral Forum. I am pleased to report the event was well attended by an audience of about 120 AND all 4 mayoral candidates!
There really weren't any surprises for me except a little tension between David Marcello and Steve Ponto with the what would your top priority as mayor be question. This was a forum format, not a debate, but even so, there was a little attempt at back and forth between Marcello and Ponto.
Candidate Marcello stated taxes were a key issue--we needed to return to a 1.5% of assessed value rate, that all of our taxing entities have to work together [to achieve this]. We need someone focused on it [low taxes] who won't buy into raising just a little each year. The reality is we can't support high taxes anymore.
Candidate Steve Ponto said his priority would be to maintain our level of services without raising taxes and do it through shared services. Regarding the 1.5 rate, he said he discussed it with Robert Scott, then added that the city couldn't function at that rate, it would reduce city revenue by $12 million and [the city] might lose its AAA bond rating.
Voters always like to hear about candidates who are interested in lowering taxes, but with our mayoral candidate selection, they all have been in local government and haven't exactly bucked the system to knock out spending. For example, although I am not sure about Schellinger's position, the other 3 candidates all supported the $62.2 million high school referendum--certainly a tax raising, not a tax cutting decision.
So I have to ask, how sincere are they about lowering taxes? I can't help but think if they had a finite dollar amount to work with, rather than waving the magic tax levy rate wand, they would be able to find programs or services to cut?
I'm afraid I still did not come away with any strong sense of who to vote for on Feb. 16th.
How about you?
Afterward, there was time for a little political schmoozing. There were a number of aldermen in the audience as well as candidates for aldermen. I happened to sit behind Sheila Buechel during the mayor Q&A. I noticed Sheila because she was taking notes during the forum, and I wondered if she might be a reporter. When we got up to leave, I noted she was wearing a button that stated her name and candidacy for District 5, so I introduced myself. I found out she is running against Gary Mahkorn.
State Assembly District 14 Candidates David Coon and Dale Kooyenga, both Brookfield residents, were also there. I've met with both David and Dale and like their platforms, so their faces were familiar. Chris Slinker, another 14th Assembly District candidate, (Tosa resident) introduced himself to me. Like I said, it was schmooze time.
I caught school board members Tom Gehl and Glen Allgiaer on my way out. As I mentioned before, Glen Allgaier has my enthusiastic support for the Area II school board race. (All of Elmbrook votes for all of the school board candidates, regardless of which area they are from.)
Enough of schmoozing; it was time for snoozing!
BrookfieldNOW Live Blog of Feb. 4th Forum
Now this is interesting: "State Senator Ted Kanavas announced today that he will not seek a third full term in the Wisconsin State Senate."* (Kanavas is not my State Senator, I have Democrat Jim Sullivan.)
Will Ted Kanavas announce he is running for U.S. Senate if Tommy Thompson decides not to run?** Thompson probably would like to bask in the Won't you run Tommy? limelight a bit more before announcing that he won't run. At least I hope he will say he is not running, because I am not much of a Thompson fan.
If you recall, Governor Thompson created BadgerCare in1999. Plus, who could forget last October when he was pushing for health care reform? (And I don't mean Congressman Paul Ryan's version of health care reform!) Thompson is too much of a McCain type Republican for my taste. I would swallow hard and vote for him if I had to, but can't we do better?
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner did hint last week on Mark Belling's talk show to be patient and that we still had time, regarding a worthy opponent to Senator Russ Feingold. Mark Belling was pushing Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann, and even Charlie Sykes.
Is the candidate Sensenbrenner had in mind Ted Kanavas or is there still someone else? Questions, questions, questions!
This November, we have a real chance to elect a more conservative Republican to the US Senate...should one step forward. It isn't often an opportunity like this comes along. I hope we don't squander it.
*Does this mean State Representative Rich Zipperer will be moving up from the 98th Assembly District to run for the State Senate? That would open the 98th Assembly seat to someone new too. UPDATE: Zipperer did start campaigning for State Senate in Menomonee Falls tonight. (Tip: Randy Melchert) See: State Senate: 33rd District - Rich Zipperer http://www.richzipperer.com/
Saturday, January 23rd, Congressman Sensenbrenner is holding 2 Town Halls: one at Pewaukee City Hall at 9am and another at the West Allis Public Library at 1pm.
The Liberal Political Action group MoveON.org sent out an email alert asking members to attend the Pewaukee Town Hall to show support for health care reform.
There is an old saying that if you repeat a lie often enough and it's big enough, people will believe it. Now, I am not saying Senator Russ Feingold is lying when he claims most people are for ObamaCare, because I think he believes it himself. It seems he just cannot fathom that the majority of Americans don't want a government take over of healthcare.
Despite being hammered at nearly all of his listening sessions, Feingold is still insisting, "'If you think all of those people that say they don't want the bill, are people that don't want health reform - there's a good chunk of them who want a much stronger bill,... I think the largest group is probably the people that are for the bill. The second largest group is the people that are against the bill because they don't think they want to do anything. And then there is a third group, which is significant because they want a stronger bill.' "
So maybe Feingold is thinking that if he repeats that mantra often enough, some will believe it?
Tuesday's Senate upset in Massachusetts, combined with Sen. Feingold's refusal to acknowledge most Wisconsinites don't want ObamaCare, makes him very vulnerable this fall. People are also angry about all the deal making fostered by ObamaCare.
While I am inclined to think the dog catcher might be able to win against Feingold in November, Senate races usually take a lot of money, good name recognition, and a well run campaign to be successful. So far, we only have 2 long-shot Republican candidates.
This afternoon I caught a bit of Mark Belling's radio show and heard Congressman Sensenbrenner and Belling talking about other possible Senate candidates. Belling was very impatient and negative on Wall and Westlake's ability to win. Belling was suggesting Mark Neumann or Tommy Thompson or even talk show host Charlie Sykes as possibilities.
Sensenbrenner said more than once, just be patient and that we still had time. That suggests to me there is someone more able to win that the Republicans have in the wings to challenge Feingold?
I hope that wasn't just wishful thinking on my part. Don't get me wrong, my hat is off to those 2 businessmen for rising to the occasion, but a stronger opponent would be wonderful. It would be great to turn half of our blue state red in the Senate. I guess we will just have to stay tuned on this one.
Well, it has been an interesting morning. Fox News, New York, is looking for the woman at Sen. Feingold's Listening session yesterday at WCTC, who was wearing a purple (actually it's blue)* beret.
I was there and heard her excellent question on the Constitutionality of the health care bill, but I couldn't see the woman who did the asking.
The reporter said her name is something like Anna or Hannah, but that is all she knew. They were running a clip of her question all day, she said.
If you know someone who was there in the lecture hall, or if you know who the astute questioner is, PLEASE let me or Cindy Kilkenny know?
By the way, the YouTube clip on Cindy's post shows a man asking the very thing I wanted to know.
Hey, our own Senator Russ Feingold says he will be listening on Monday, Janurary 11th, at 12:15pm, at WCTC. Amazing. He hasn't heard us so far, but on Monday, he is ready!
Other listening sessions have drawn 200 to 300 in attendance, I heard. I also heard Vicki McKenna say that he estimates the crowds were split 50/50 in favor and against ObamaCare. I find that very difficult to believe. So, I will go see for myself.
The listening session will be held in the Lecture Hall of the Business building at WCTC, at 800 Main Street, Pewaukee.
Regardless if you attend or not, still give him a call. Senator Russ Feingold: Milwaukee (414) 276-7282, Washington D.C. 202) 224-5323.
True, he probably won't listen on the phone any better than he does at a listening session, but I have to believe the calls are making a difference. Entrenched Congressmen like Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan aren't calling it quits because of all the positive calls their offices receive!
Wisconsin's State Assembly will vote on bill AB 458 today, Thursday, Nov. 5th. This bill would seriously alter Wisconsin's current human growth and development (sex education) statutes. If passed, AB458 would remove local school board's control over how sex ed is taught in each district.
Assembly Republicans were able to temporarily block the vote on Tuesday, but it will come to the floor today, the last day the Assembly meets for the year.
Considering the countless hours Elmbrook's Human Growth & Development curriculum committee spent on evaluating our proposed HG&D program, the state usurping our and other school board's local control, disregards the sacrifice of time and talent these committees invested in their programs. The bill disregards the right of local boards to make decisions for their districts.
I urge you to call your State Representative and tell them to vote NO on AB 458. My Rep. is Leah Vukmir 608-266-9180. Rep. Rich Zipperer 608-266-5120 represents the west side of Brookfield. (Even though the Republicans are against this legislation, I still call to voice my support for their position.)
What is so bad about the bill? Senator Glenn Grothman explained on Jay Weber's radio program Wed. morning how AB 458 would change HG&D instruction in Wisconsin (should it pass) Here are my notes:
- We would have to do [teach] it in a way that doesn't create any bias against those sexually active.
- It would ban abstinence centered and abstinence only teaching like Thiensville['s program.]
- This would force districts to allow Planned Parenthood into the classroom for condom demonstrations, starting at age 12.
- It would normalize teen sex, which is illegal according to state law for children under age 16.
Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner will be discussing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ObamaCare Health Care Reform bill today and tomorrow, all 1,990 pages of it!
Paul Ryan will be at the Franklin Library* today, Friday, Oct. 30th, at 11am, for a press conference.
Jim Sensenbrenner, along with State Representative Leah Vukmir, will be at the Elm Grove Library** at 12:30pm on Saturday, Oct. 31st. This was a regularly scheduled Town Hall meeting, but somehow, I think the discussion will be primarily about the Pelosi bill. Since Vukmir was a nurse, she will be able to add some insights into this so-called health care reform bill.
Not that Nancy Pelosi is rushing the 1,990 pages of regulation and spending, but the plan is that the House will vote on this toward the end of next week. (Can anyone even read and understand those 1,990 pages by then?)
I heard Paul Ryan on Mark Belling's show yesterday, hour 2. Give it a listen. It is a very straight forward discussion which begins at the beginning of the hour. Here are a few highlights:
- Pelosi's bill cuts $526 billion from Medicare, WITHOUT affecting services! (Why don't they do that now?)
- About 64% of Seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage private plans option.
- Pelosi's bill includes $572 billion in INCOME TAX INCREASES. This would put top earners and small businesses, who file on their personal returns, into a 54% tax rate. "Capitalism can't work" at this tax rate.
- Employers will be able to ditch their approx.15% of salary designated for providing health care and just pay the 8% penalty. This will dump private insurance company group coverage, provided by employers, to the government plan. (Which underpay doctors and hospitals, like Medicare/Medicaid.) So much for you being able to keep your plan. You can't keep a plan your employer is no longer offering!
- Pelosi's plan covers illegal aliens and abortion. Without any amendments to prohibit this coverage, all will be covered at taxpayer expense.
- The bill CLAIMS to be budget neutral, in fact, they promise it will REDUCE the deficit by $104 billion.(If you believe that, I would like to talk to you about The Great Pumpkin.)
Yesterday, I stopped in at Simons, our neighborhood farmstand on Greenfield Ave. and Vista View, for homegrown sweetcorn. Good sweetcorn is one of still remaining treats of summer. (Tomatoes would be another.)
I asked how much longer the sweetcorn season would last. The Simons lady said, through the weekend, maybe a few days longer.
She explained the length of the corn season all depends on when the first hard frost occurs. If we have some clear, cold nights, it will probably freeze, and that will be the end of it. The usual last day for corn is Oct. 16. (Certainly the weather has gone into full autumnal mode--I had to break down and turn the heat on last week!)
Simons has both the bi-colored and hard to find white corn. I bought both. (The white is even more tender than the bi.)
So if you love fresh homegrown sweetcorn like I do, stock up now. Homegrown sweetcorn's days are numbered.
We have all heard about the Jim Doyle recall effort by now, but there is another Recall Jim effort afoot: The Recall of State Senator Jim Sullivan! I am wondering if this attempt to recall Jim will have any affect on Sullivan voting for the $62.2 billion dollar budget that just went to the Senate?
The Democrat controlled Assembly passed Wisconsin's budget, with a 50 - 48 vote (big sigh), at 5:20 AM on Saturday. Voting pretty much ran along party lines, with the exception of 2 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in voting NO.
My State Assembly Representative Leah Vukmir sent me the following report on the budget session and vote. (Contact Rep. Vukmir if you wish to be added to her email alert list.) Republicans were able to make a few changes, but most of the bloated budget passed and is now heading to the State Senate. She urges, as do I, that you contact your State Senator and the Senate Majority Leader, Russ Decker, "and let them know how you feel." (Contact info at bottom of post.)
Here is the "Good News" according to Rep. Vukmir's report: (My emphasis throughout)
- They agreed to drop the Joint and Several liability provisions from the budget.
- The Milwaukee County sales tax proposal was dropped from the original 6.6% to 6.25%.
- Assembly Democrats, at the request of the U.W. System, removed a $28 million budget earmark for building a U.W. Madison School of Nursing.
- They also agreed to eliminate various other earmarks from the Joint Finance version of the budget.
UPDATE: Good news! The Assembly Democrats removed the Joint and Sevedral Liability Law reform from the state budget yesterday. I would wager that decision had something to do with negative constituent phone calls and emails? Don't relax just yet, as Boots and Sabers cautioned, "It’s not over yet, though. It could still be stuck back in by the Senate and end up in the final version. Keep vigilant!" (Thanks, Vicki McKenna.)
Curiosity won out last night, and so I went to Brookfield East's library for Sen. Jim Sullivan's Town Hall meeting. I didn't know what to expect; I have never been to one of his meetings. Would I be the lone conservative amongst liberals?
I just got a robo call from some young lady telling me of a State Senator Jim Sullivan Town Hall meeting tomorrow at Brookfield East High School's library at 5:30 PM.
Great news! Wisconsin State Representative Jim Ott has put all of his Hot Air Reports on the subject of global warming / climate change online. You may also subscribe to his weekly reports just by emailing him at Rep.Ottj@legis.wi.gov and requesting that he send you the reports via email. (I did need to include my home address in the email.)
All over the nation yesterday, average people gathered to peacefully protest taxation without representation at the local, state, and federal level! By all accounts, it seems the Tea Parties were a great success.
I just got my first report on the Madison Tea Party from a Brookfield lady I have known for years. She said it was phenomenal: Great speakers, lots of energy, fantastic!
UPDATE: See bottom of post for Milwaukee's Tea Party location.
If you have been following Governor Doyle's proposed budget at all, you know that it is filled with tax increases, unwanted new government programs, new fees, and a whole host of other overreaching legislation.
My neighbor, Mike Lilek, is involved with a local Frank Lloyd Wright group that is restoring one of these "American System-Built" homes in Milwaukee. He emailed me today to say he and another project member will be interviewed for a segment of the PBS "In Wisconsin" program on Sunday morning, Chanel 10, at 11:30 am.
$3/4 of a billion. High Speed (more like Amtrak) rail Milwaukee to Madison air port Talk about the train to nowhere! Jay Weber 8:15 Wed.The airport is out in the countryside on the northeast side of the city! The DOT says that if it went to Madison it would add 45 minutes to an hour to the commute time. (How long does it take to get to Madison in the first place by car?) They have already done the environmental impact study for the area. (ME Hmmm, more like this is a 1st step to the Milw to Minneapolis line?) It is not high speed. ARTICLE
and why do we need a train to Madison? We have the Badger Bus.
Yes, this week is a busy one. Tonight, Tuesday night, the Elmbrook School board decides on Pilgrim Park Middle School's HVAC replacement. Will they opt to include air conditioning?
Do you want a Supreme Court Justice to apply the law, not make it? To in effect umpire the baseball game by calling the balls, strikes, outs, and plays, not make up new rules as the game progresses?
By now you have heard of Wisconsin's new slogan: Live like you mean it. Besides the point that what in the world does that mean?, I have to ask, what did the committee do to earn their $50,000 to create that profundity?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123716798764436701.html Everyone hates ethanol. blends over 10% harm engines, etc. good
Our dear Governor Doyle must not think so, or he would be really using that additional $10 per driver's license renewal fee for the purpose it was created: to comply with the Real ID law. Instead, he is using it to fund his budget. Front and center today from the Journal Sentinel, Fees collected, but Doyle budget would put off Real ID:(My emphasis)
What ever happened to No means No?
Wisconsin has a primary election this coming Tuesday, Feb. 17th. On that day, Wisconsinites will narrow the field on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race. (Elmbrook School District residents will also choose which 2 candidates for the At Large and Area 4 School Board positions will face off in April. More about that later.)
UPDATE: Rep. Vukmir informed me that Rep. Rich Zipperer and Sen. Ted Kanavas will also be at the Brookfield Town Hall meeting on Sunday. Sen. Jim Sullivan, 5th District, was invited but has not confirmed.
Governor Doyle will be delivering his budget address very soon. We will be preparing our first legislative survey based on the agenda that the governor delivers in his Executive Budget.
I have set up a confidential, online survey system that will provide you with the opportunity to share your views.
Phone: 608-266-9180 or 414-453-0024EMail: Rep.Vukmir@legis.wi.gov
One of the sure signs of spring are the gardening catalogs that arrive in my mailbox. I received the first yesterday, and what a beauty! It was from Klehm's Song Sparrow Farm and Nursery in Avalon, Wisconsin.
Call this another soft tyranny!
Our state capitol in Madison has a Christmas tree (I am using last year's term), a menorah for Hanukkah, and I think something for Kwanza too. I am fine with that. They are holidays celebrated in December by people of various religions and cultures in our state.
Last year, the State Assembly had to fight to get the Capitol Christmas tree called just that, a CHRISTMAS tree. In our culture, if it were not for Christmas, whether you celebrate it as religious holiday or secular, why else would you cut down a tree and bring it indoors?
Of course the BIG deal of the day is the presidential race and Electoral College count. Will Obama win big? McCain squeak by? Will we even know today or this week?
I am happy to report that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will continue serving in the United States House of Representatives. He won with 36,665 votes to Jim Burkee's 10,080.
I don't know that many people are even thinking about voting today, but Tuesday, Sept. 9th is the primary election for the Nov. 4th election. As usual, we will go vote. (One of the joys of having an adult child is that our household vote total now is 3!)
I don't know that many people are even thinking about voting tomorrow, but Tuesday, Sept. 9th is the primary for the Nov. 4th election. As usual, we will go vote. (One of the joys of having an adult child is that our household vote total now is 3!)
Today is your last chance to weigh in on the Governor's Global Warming Task Force.
Here is a little news for residents to our north, Randy Melchert* is running for State Assembly, 24th District. That area starts just north of Lisbon Road on up to Pioneer Road and from 124th St. west to Hillside Road and includes Butler, Menomonee Falls (most), Germantown, Hubertus and Colgate.
I admit it. I was surprised when Elmbrook's $62 million dollar referendum passed last April 1st. Usually, it takes 3 referendum tries before one will pass.
The Assembly narrowly approved the state budget bill fix, 51 - 46. So now what?
Is it any wonder we are in the financial mess we are in with the state budget? The Senate passed the budget fix yesterday, the Assembly may vote on it today. Contact your State Assembly Representative and let them know your opinion anyway. They could use your support. (Contacts are at end of post.)
I heard the state is close to "balancing" our state $527 million budget deficit. Problem is, there are no real budget cuts, just plenty of bookkeeping tricks. Only 1/5th of 1% of the total budget is considered a cut.
Congressman Sensenbrenner brought up Senate bill S. 2191, the Lieberman/Warner "America's Climate Security Act of 2007" at his Town Hall meeting Sunday. He described it as a "disaster for Wisconsin."
It is nearing the big day for the 2008 spring election on Tuesday, April 1st. True, it is April Fools Day, but this election is no joke. There is a lot riding on the ballot this day, for one thing, a $62.2 million dollar school referendum.
FYI, Mark Belling, is talking about our referendum and Wisconsin taxes right now on his radio show at 4:35pm.
Dead In The Water: The State Legislature is finished for this term so those hot button bills, that never made it to the floor for a vote, are considered dead right now. I caught a snippet of Mark Belling's show yesterday and he mentioned a few of them that died in the legislature this session.
Yes, the bad ethanol mandate bill that just won't die is coming back to an Assembly near you.
My State Assemblyman Leah Vukmir sent me the following email today, which I am pleased to share with you.
UPDATE: Senate Bill 380 sponsor Senator Olsen removed his name from the bill and will abstain from voting for it due to a perceived conflict of interest. Vicki McKenna of WISN radio was kind enough to send me that tidbit. Senator Olsen, by the way, is a republican, which just goes to show we need to watch them all. She also sent this lint to an Ethanol piece Mark Belling wrote 2 years ago when this was heading to the senate. Very interesting.
The state budget passed. There was compromise. I am not happy about it.