No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for the 'Politics – Milwaukee County' Category

October 1, 2013

Abele dumping county employees onto PlaceboCare?

Just a quick catch-up note or two; I’m BAAAAAACK! Also, a lengthier version of this was posted at Hot Air’s Green Room. You can thank (or curse, as the case may be), Ed later.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is including a proposal to dump all 4,400 county employees onto PlaceboCare, offering a “tax-neutral subsidy” to buy insurance on the exchanges. He claims that providing “subsidies”, really pay increases so he doesn’t have to go hat in hand to the Obama administration for the same exemption from the no-employer-subsidy law Congress got, for the employees to purchase insurance on the PlaceboCare exchanges will save the county $10 million per year. Even though the county is expecting to otherwise pay UnitedHealthCare nearly $14,000 per employee next year, I somehow doubt the math will work to that extent. After all, the not-exactly-functional exchanges will charge Wisconsinites some of the highest premiums in the country, with the “silver” plan having a Milwaukee-area retail (i.e. pre-subsidy) price of just over $11,000 per year for a family of 4. There are also open questions of whether units of government will be charged the $3,000 per employee tax fine other large employers not offering health insurance will eventually be charged and whether, to make it tax-”neutral”, the county can offer “pre-tax” dollars.

Even though earlier rumblings out of the Board had been negative toward this idea when it was merely a rumor floating around the courthouse, Board Chair Marina Dimitrijevic was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as saying she was “always interested in studying ideas that could expand health care options and produce savings.” That suggests that the Board might be on board this idea.

This is all possible without much fear of a union backlash because of 2011’s Act 10, which allows units of government in Wisconsin to dictate the terms of non-wage compensation to unions, just as they had to non-union employees. I know I’ve seen stories of other local governments nationwide at least threatening to end employer-provided health coverage, but I cannot remember what I’ve done with the links to the stories. Of note, the FY2014-FY2015 state budget did not take health insurance benefits away from state employees even though most of the same Republicans who passed Act 10 passed that budget.

September 7, 2011

Clueless – Milwaukee County Executive edition

by @ 10:18. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County.

Charlie Sykes received a letter from County Board Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo on the dysfunctional budgeting process that is happening under County Executive Chris Abele:


I heard you talking about Abele on your show today and how he will say one thing and do another. There is another problem with his leadership at the county; he has none.

Everyday I get complaints from department heads that tell me they are getting no direction whatsoever from the County Executive or his staff. Last week I had a meeting with the leadership at the War Memorial. They stated that by now, they usually would have met with the Exec’s staff to go over line by line their budget requests for the next year. That is just standard operating procedure. Abele will be presenting his budget to the board on September 29th. He or anyone from his staff has yet to return a phone call let alone meet regarding the War Memorial budget request.

I have heard that there are department heads that have yet to meet him at all. …

One of the issues he spoke of during his campaign was fixing the problems at the Mental Health Hospital. I have met with his Chief of Staff twice to discuss ideas for reform and there seems to be no interest in doing anything.

There is a real vacuum of leadership right now at the county. Even the career staffers who disliked Walker with a passion said at least when Scott was there they had a clear direction to follow. That is lacking. His inexperience at running anything is showing through and the board is smelling blood in the water. They feel they can lead him around by the nose.

This is going to be an interesting budget season. Taxpayers beware!


I wonder if the voters in Milwaukee County realized they were electing Cher Horowitz back in April…


March 11, 2011

“Shut up!”, they explained, MATC edition

by @ 10:33. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County.

Charlie Sykes got a hold of an e-mail circulated through MATC’s e-mail system calling for the boycott of the Shorewood Sendik’s because the owner committed the unforgivable crime of supporting Jeff Stone for Milwaukee County Executive. Below is the e-mail, complete with headers showing the misuse of MATC’s system for political purposes and multiple errors in grammar and spelling:

From: David Weingrod
To: Timothy Decker ; Charlie Dee ; John Eimes ; Amy Goldwater ; !Local-212-Full-Time-Faculty !Local-212-Full-Time-Faculty < !>; !Local-212-Full-Time-Paraprofessionals !Local-212-Full-Time-Paraprofessionals < !>; !Local-212-Part-Time-Faculty !Local-212-Part-Time-Faculty < !>; !Local-212-Part-Time-Paraprofessionals !Local-212-Part-Time-Paraprofessionals < !>; !Local-587-Full-Time !Local-587-Full-Time < !>; !Local-587-Part-Time !Local-587-Part-Time < !>; !Local-715-Full-Time !Local-715-Full-Time < !>; !Local-715-Part-Time !Local-715-Part-Time < !>; Richard Lokken ; Kevin Mulvenna ; Janet Nortrom ; Craig Smallish
Subject: Re: URGENT: Boycott Sendiks in Shorewood
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 07:28:47 -0600

Many of us live near or shop at the Sendiks in Shorewood and were told that Nehring was not giving funds to union busters, unlike the other Sendik owners, Balistreris. Please go to the Shorewood manager this weekend and tell him he needs to tell John Nehring that he either pulls his support from Jeff Stone or we will have a serious boycott of Shorewood. Tell him you shop ther but no longer unless he pulls his support–publically. Monday, there will be a protest in front of 2300 E. Kensington in Shorewood where. The fundraiser for Stone starts at 5:30 or please plan to be there by 5:00. More details to follow.

February 16, 2011

Post-primary wrap, 2011 edition

Sorry about not covering the primaries. I just had so much on the plate, and so little time. Oh well; let’s take a quick look at the results of the four races that were on my ballot:

  • State Supreme Court – Justice David Prosser easily outpaced the field, who to a person wanted to refight the Mike Gableman knockout of Louis Butler, with 55% of the vote. Out of that field, JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant Attorney General who interned with Shirley Abrahamson and clerked for Barbara Crabb (thus proving her liberal credentials), moved on. Unless something drastic changes, the norm of Supreme Court Justices having the seats as long as they want them will continue, and in this case, it would be a good thing.
  • Milwuakee County Executive – As expected, Rep. Jeff Stone (R) finished first, with 43% of the vote. Somewhat-surprisingly, liberal activist Chris Abele beat out former Sen. Jim Sullivan (D) for second by a 25%-22% margin. Very-shockingly, Milwaukee County Board chair and former acting County Executive Lee Holloway finished a very-distant fourth with 8% of the vote, while Ieshuh “Not The Whiteman’s Bitch” Griffin finished last with 2% (she also failed to move on in a county board special election).

    Those results beg a pair of questions. The first is whether Stone can somehow find another 7 percentage points in the general election to beat Abele. The one thing that is in his favor is that this is a non-partisan election, and the southeast-suburban labor union Democrats have shown a willingness to vote for conservatives in non-partisan elections. However, the fact that the (IMHO, necessary) dismantling of the public-sector unions is happening now, as well as the millions Abele sure seems willing to throw into the race (he threw in over $700,000 in the primary), works against him picking up any significant number of votes from the Sullivan/union camp.

    The second question is what happens to Holloway now, especially if Stone wins. I have to wonder whether 10 of his fellow board members will be willing to risk more than the usual political capital to oust him from the chairmanship before 2012.

  • Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 18 – I honestly know almost nothing about this race. Incumbent Pedro Colon, who despite getting the seat via appointment on his way out of the Legislature by fellow Democrat Jim Doyle, managed to get the endorsement of the three members of the Supreme Court who are in the middle of the Court (Prosser, Pat Roggensack and Pat Crooks) and turned that into a narrow primary win of 36%. Glendale municipal judge Chris Lipscomb moved on with 33%, while assistant Attorney General Roy Korte, who works in the litigation department, fell a bit short with 31%.
  • Oak Creek-Franklin School Board – Former alderman Mark Verhalen took first with 49% of the vote. Incumbent Sheryl Cerniglia also moved on, while Mary Becker failed to move on.

January 11, 2011

The Ame…er, Holloway House of Happy Hacks is now open

by @ 12:29. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported yesterday that acting Milwaukee County Executive Lee Holloway has appointed Renee Booker, who ran the county’s child welfare division so ineptly that the state shut it down and took it over in 2001, and who was fired from his “make-work job” at the House of Corrections once Scott Walker got settled into office, as the head of the Department of Administrative Services. Booker, who overspent the child welfare division funds to the tune of $6 million, is now responsible for, among other things, purchases the county makes and contracts the county enters.

County Board Supervisor Lynne DeBruin, an opponent of the move and one of those who pushed for Booker’s firing back in 2001, noted that when then-County Board Chair Karen Ordinans and interim County Executive Janine Geske served as temporary County Executives after Tom Ament resigned in disgrace, neither person made any major appointments.

I wonder if it was the crookedness of Booker or his common skin tone with Holloway that attracted Holloway to Booker. Given Holloway’s nature, I’d have to guess both played major roles.

December 29, 2010

It’s good to be king…just for a while – Milwaukee County edition

by @ 21:46. Filed under NRE Polls, Thug Holloway.

Noted slumlord and abuser of fellow Milwaukee County Supervisors Lee Holloway is now acting Milwaukee County Executive, and he hasn’t disappointed those who expected new lows to be set. Despite the 30-day tag on his rule (or at least this stage of his rule), he wasn’t satisfied with just one judge administering the oath of office, inviting disgraced former County Executive F.(U.) Thomas Ament (the guy who signed into law the multi-million-dollar pension grab in 2000 that, when it finally came to light in 2002, cost him and several supervisors their jobs in recall elections) to the ceremony as an honored friend, or summarily firing the housing director (highly ironic since Holloway and his wife are facing legal action from the city of Milwaukee for numerous code violatoins on rental property they own), or laying out a massive tax-and-spend agenda that will by necessity take far more than either the 30 days he has before he has to name an “interim” County Exec (most-likely himself because he temporarily gave up the Board Chairmanship) or the 3 1/2 months before an elected replacement takes office (yes, he’s running). The latest is the revelation that he assembled a 32-member transition team.

Revisions/extensions (7:03 am 12/30/2010) – In the 5 o’clock hour, WISN-AM’s Jerry Bott and Ken Herrera pointed out that, in Holloway’s announcement that he was running for the remainder of the term, he used street putdowns on his potential challengers, conservative and ultra-liberal alike. Since nobody hit the poll yet, I simply added it to the poll.

I guess it’s time for a new NRE Poll…

What is the most outrageous aspect of Lee Holloway's assumption of the powers of Milwaukee County Executive?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Despite the city of Milwaukee taking legal action against him for numerous code violations at his rental properties, he fired the county housing director. (38%, 5 Vote(s))
  • He invited disgraced former executive F.(U.) Thomas Ament to the swearing-in ceremony as an honored friend. (31%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Despite the 30-day nature of the "acting" title, he requires 32 people in his transition office. (23%, 3 Vote(s))
  • He laid out a massive tax-and-spend agenda that will take far longer than the 30 days he has as acting exec or the 3 1/2 months before an elected replacement takes office. (8%, 1 Vote(s))
  • He needed not one, but two judges to administer the oath. (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • He couldn't pass up using street putdowns of all his potential challengers. (0%, 0 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 13

Loading ... Loading ...

It’s also time for some appropriate music…


April 2, 2010

Milwaukee Dems growing more Astroturf than Textile Management Associates

by @ 13:01. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County.

Charlie Sykes found this gem of an “initiative” from the Milwaukee County Dems:

As of this month, the Dem Party’s Communications Committee is kicking off two media initiatives that could have a powerful effect on our success in the upcoming elections, from the local level all the way to the Governor’s office and the U.S. Senate: a Radio Monitoring Team and a Rapid Messaging Team.

The Radio Monitoring Team will be charged with listening to Mark Belling, Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner, the trifecta of radical right wing radio in Milwaukee. Each team member will take several listening shifts each week, and will make a brief report on each broadcast. We don’t expect you to call in to these shows. You’ll simply listen and report back so that we and our candidates can stay on top of the latest right wing talking points. Since the times of these shows range from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays, this would be an ideal activity for students, retirees, third shift workers and people who are able to make their own schedules.

The Rapid Messaging Team, on the other hand, will be charged with writing letters to the editor and posting online comments that support our Democratic values and candidates. Again, we’re not asking you to call in to radio stations — you’ll simply write a short letter or comment whenever you get an action alert from the Communications Committee. We’ll give you the topic and we’ll tell you where to submit it.

Please consider joining one or both of these action teams. Your service in defense of Democratic values is needed and appreciated. Please email Dave at (redacted e-mail) if you’d like to join, or if you have any questions. Or call DPMC headquarters at (redacted phone number) and leave a message.

A couple comments:

  • It seems they don’t trust their minions to actually get into a real-time debate. Given that, how can they trust those same minions to actually report on what Charlie, Jeff and Mark say? Wouldn’t grabbing the podcasts, all of which can be done automatically through iTunes, be easier?
  • I’m surprised they’re not explicitly offering to write the comments for the minions. Of course, I expect that instructions on what to say will be part of the Call to Two Minutes’ Hate.

November 18, 2009

Melt the phones – Milwaukee County edition

by @ 7:41. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County, Taxes.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker issued on Monday 35 line-item vetoes that, taken together, more-than-fully reverse the County Board’s decisions to raise the property tax levy 3.8% and make county government even less efficient. The Board will be meeting at 1:30 pm today at the County Courthouse (901 N. 9th St. Room 201) to consider overriding those vetoes.

Since it takes a 2/3rds vote to override a particular veto, and the budget as a whole was passed on a mere 10-9 vote, there is hope that we will get a zero-levy-increase budget. However, unless your Supervisor hears from you at 278-4222, they will likely regress to the mean. If you don’t know who your Supervisor is, head here for a map of the districts.

My Supervisor, Paul Cesarz, already knows I expect him to uphold all 35 vetoes. Does your Supervisor know? The sentence of the day is, “Be polite, but be equally firm in your request that the vetoes be upheld.”

October 22, 2009

Walker, 7 supervisors to furlough themselves

by @ 10:36. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County.

While the story in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is heavily-slanted in favor of the supervisors, so much so that they include three supervisors donating 4 days’ worth of pay to entities other than the county government, it is encouraging to see that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and several members of the County Board are taking the same 4-day lack of pay that they are having most of the county workers take, even though state law says that they cannot change their pay in office.

This stems from last week’s 16-1 vote by the County Board to order most of the county’s workers to take four unpaid days off between now and the end of the year. Supervisor Christopher Larson, in a moment of clarity, circulated a memo to the other supervisors asking they forego 4 days’ of pay (roughly $780 out of their $50,679 annual salary), and Supervisors Paul Cesarz (my supervisor), Mark Borkowski, Patricia Jursik, Joseph Rice, Joe Sanfelippo, and Jim “Luigi” Schmitt said they would do so. Borowski gave the following quote to the Journal Sentinel: “What’s fair is fair. I’m going to treat myself like a regular county employee.”

In a separate action, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said that he would return $1,936 (four days’ worth of the executive’s pay), in addition to the $10,000 he already returns.

Meanwhile, Supervisors Gerry Broderick, Lynne De Bruin, and Johnny Thomas said they would donate an equivalent amount to various charities and non-county-government entities. De Bruin noted that her donation to a Milwaukee County Zoo trust fund for animals could be deducted from her taxes.

Now, to the stupid statements uttered by some of the supervisors. First up, the aforementioned Schmidt. We actually have two of them from him; that he doesn’t have the spare cash to give up $780 in one fell swoop, and that he already “sacrificed” by giving up the enhanced pension benefits (a 25% boost in the payments plus an unlimited-time backdrop) that he voted for. Points of order #1 – the county workers aren’t being asked to give up those four days of pay in one fell swoop. In fact, it is spread over four biweekly pay periods. Somehow I think Schmitt can come up with four payments of $190.

Point of order #2 – the major long-term problem with county finances is due in large part to those enhanced pension benefits Schmitt voted for.

Next up on the stupid statement parade – Supervisor Theo Lipscomb, who said he gave up $25,000 a year to work in county government and is officially undecided on whether he’ll take some personal pain. What, he couldn’t figure out that being a Milwaukee County Supervisor means that he doesn’t really have to give up anything from his other job? Of course, considering his leanings, he seems to view government as a bottomless piggy bank.

Finally, we have the one person who explicitly rejected the idea of giving anything back, John Weishan. News flash for Karen’s little brother – that’s your budget that’s blown up since you overrode almost all of Walker’s vetoes.

October 9, 2009

The appropriate award for the Norwegian Nobel Committee

Charlie Sykes of 620 WTMJ here in Milwaukee named the Norwegian Nobel Committee the winner of this week’s Almost-Somewhat-Not-Quite-Deep-Enough Tunnel Award.

For those of you not familiar with the Deep Tunnel Award, it’s named after Milwaukee’s not-quite-deep enough Deep Tunnel, which was sold as a couple-million-dollar solution preventing sewage overflows into Lake Michigan and the local rivers during all except the 100-year rainfall while allowing portions of Milwaukee and Shorewood to keep combined sewers, and which turned out to be a $1 billion+ boondoggle that doesn’t even stop overflows from a twice-yearly rainfall and which is causing parts of downtown Milwaukee to sink into the ground. As Charlie says every Friday about 11:40 am when he awards it, it’s awarded to “the person, politician or institution who…is the most full of it”.

The Nobel Committee did beat out some stiff competition from:
– Wisconsin State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), who is using a toughening of the drunk-driving laws to raise taxes.
– Congressman Steve Kagen (D-WI), who doesn’t want you or his fellow Congressmen to be able to view bills before they’re voted upon.
– Milwaukee County Board Chair Lee Holloway, who doesn’t let little things such as Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker explicitly telling David Duke to his face that he has no place in the Republican Party get in the way of comparing Walker to Duke.

October 3, 2009

Support the 0%-tax-increase 2010 Milwaukee County budget

by @ 9:33. Filed under Politics - Milwaukee County, Taxes.

My friends at Citizens for Responsible Government are holding a rally at Serb Hall (5101 W Oklahoma Ave in Milwaukee) on Sunday between 2 pm and 4 pm to support Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s 8th consecutive 0%-tax-levy-increase county budget. Since there is no Packer game on Sunday, unless you’re out of town (like me; I won’t be back until about 5 pm), there is no reason you can’t attend.

In addition to Walker, there will be several citizens who have been forced out of business or their homes because of out-of-control tax increases at other units of government and by an uncaring County Board. It is time to demand that government live within the means that the rest of us have to live within.

I do recommend getting there early; the unions who only care about themselves will be showing up about 1:30.

June 26, 2009

The penultimate budget is in the pipeline

Revisions and extensions part 13 (7:09 pm 6/26/2009) – Since the DemoBudget has passed the Assembly 51-46, and we’re now at the final act of the biennial sign-and-hack from Gov. Jim Doyle, I’ll be updating a fresh post rather than this one.

Revisions and extensions part 4 (12:42 am 6/26/2009) – Moved up to the top (originally posted 6/25/2009 at 10:58 pm) with the 17-15 Senate passage (despite no bill text available). The most-vulnerable Dem Senator, Jim Sullivan, was again allowed to vote “no”. Start packing your bags.

R&E part 5 (12:59 am 6/26/2009) – Finally found the amendment text, which modifies the Senate version (as amended by a pair of amendments). Sorry I don’t have a clean-text version.

I have to thank Kevin Fischer, Sen. Mary Lazich’s (R-New Berlin) aide, for pointing me to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s comparison between the Assembly changes, Senate changes, and Conference Committee’s changes to the Joint Finance Committee Daughter-of-Necrobudget. This will be the version that Jim “Chainsaw” Doyle (WEAC/HoChunk-For Sale) will take his veto pen to because under state law, it cannot be amended by the full Legislature. Of course, as of 10:47 pm, WisPolitics’ budget blog doesn’t have the full text of the final substitute to AB75 (the budget bill), but apparently the 24-hour clock started ticking about 8:15 pm.

I haven’t done a hard analysis yet, but it just keeps on getting worse. From Sen. Lazich:

  • Total spending is up $4,000,000,000, or 6%.
  • The state-level/RTA-level increases in taxes are $2,100,000,000.
  • Total property taxes will go up $1,500,000,000, with the median home property taxes going up $90 at the end of this year and $130 at the end of 2010.
  • Borrowing increases by $2,900,000,000.
  • The structural deficit (how far in the hole the FY2012-2013 budget will start) is $2,300,000,000.

In case you missed the math, the total 2-year tax increase will be $3,600,000,000. There’s also a few kickers (straight to the nuts delivered with steel-toed boots) I want to get out there tonight:

  • The statutory general fund reserve will be halved to $65,000,000 for the duration of the budget. That is necessary because the FY2011 “net balance”, with that change, would be $149,100. No, that is not a misprint – that is less than the salary of the average full-tenured UW professor.
  • Drop the current 60% exemption on long-term capital gains to 30%, except for certain farm property/equipment. That represents a 2-year $242,500,000 tax increase from current law and a $72,300,000 tax increase from the Joint Finance Committee/governor version of the budget.
  • The KRM/SERTA Assembly provisions pretty much are final, except that it wouldn’t be the sole clearinghouse for federal grant money for the transit companies/authorities in southeast Wisconsin. To resummarize:
    • The car-rental tax in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha Counties would go up from the current $2 collected by the soon-to-be-replaced Regional Transit Taxing Authority (the one that used $450,000 of its $500,000 tax take to lobby for higher taxes) to $18, $2 higher than the JFC/Senate version.
    • The Racine bus system and Kenosha bus system would each get $1/car rental from that only if the host city matched the funds. Rep. Robin Vos (R-Racine) told me earlier this evening that the only acceptable method would be a $10/car wheel tax.
    • Any other community in either Racine County or Kenosha County that wants a stop on the KRM would need to dedicate a “sustainable funding mechanism” to their respective county seat’s bus system. I failed to ask Rep. Vos what that definition was, but I suspect that it would also be a $10/car wheel tax.
  • The “prevailing wage” provisions would apply to both SERTA and the Milwaukee Transit Taxing Authority (the former was added by the Senate, the latter by the conference committee).
  • Speaking of the Milwaukee Transit Taxing Authority, the Assembly 0.65% sales tax plan is adopted, with Lee Holloway getting a third person on the board.
  • The Chippewa Valley and Chequamegon Bay (Bayfield/Ashland Counties, which I somehow missed in the Senate version) RTAs live on, but the Fox Valley RTA is dead.
  • Sen. Jeff Plale’s last-ditch attempt to get the state to pay for 75% of a I-94/Drexel Interchange instead of the usual 50% (since Franklin and Northwestern Mutual reneged on verbal agreements to pay for 25% and Oak Creek will not pay the full 50% local cost) is out, which means no I-94/Drexel Interchange.

There’s a lot more, but I’m too tired to keep going.

Revisions/extensions (11:15 pm 6/25/2009) – I decided to add the major points of the KRM tax to this post.

R&E parts 2 and 3 (12:36 am 6/26/2009 and 12:37 am 6/26/2009) – Good news/bad news on the illegal alien front – the illegal-alien drivers’ licenses are out, but the illegal-alien in-state tuition is still in.

Also, despite the continued lack of the actual bill over at WisPolitics, the Senate has taken this up, mostly because Alan Lassee (R-De Pere) is absent attending to his ill wife, and thus two Dems can safely vote “no” lost track of the math.

R&E parts 6 (8:26 am 6/26/2009) and 7 (8:31 am 6/26/2009) – Jo Egelhoff (who gave me entirely too much credit) found that card-check union organizing for UW research assistants is in the budget. AFSCME and SEIU bought this government, and the Dems, specifically Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan and Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, who snuck it in in conference, are bound and determined to give them their moneys’ worth.

Meanwhile, Christian Schneider found that the chiropractors got another leg up on regular doctors. Any bets on the donation splits from them in the 2010 election cycle?

R&E part 8 (9:03 am 6/26/2009)As noted above, the mandate for a UW-Stevens Point school of nursing and the requirement to spend just over $3 million for advance planning for a new UW-Madison school of nursing building, slated for construction in the FY2012-2013 budget, is in there. Paging East Side Plale.

R&E part 9 (2:34 pm 6/26/2009) – Brett Healy over at the MacIver Institute lists the dirty dozen items in this version of the budget. Items I haven’t listed yet:

  • Use $3,333,400 in general revenues to provide “engineering services” in Milwaukee, made out of whole cloth by Decker and Sheridan.
  • Rob $1,800,000 from five Milwaukee-area school districts, Oconomowoc, Mequon-Thiensville, Fox Point-Bayside and Nicolet, and give that to the Madison school district, again created out of whole cloth by Decker and Sheridan.
  • Full-speed death of the Qualified Economic Offer, same as Doyle’s, the Senate’s, and WEAC’s wishes (once again, the purchaser of this government gets what it bought).
  • Again out of whole cloth by Decker and Sheridan, extend in-state tuition benefits in the UW system to all foreign nationals, not just the illegal aliens I noted earlier. Supposedly said foreign nationals will need to swear that they either applied to become permanent residents or that they will once and if they become eligible to do so.
  • Make sure the portions of state government that get shut down as the result of either the hiring freeze or a furlough stays shut down, just as the Senate and AFSCME ordered (again, the purchaser of this government gets what it bought).
  • Again out of whole cloth by Decker and Sheridan, move up the start date of the new $0.75/line/month 911 fee from the later of 10/1 or 3 months after the budget is signed to 9/1, for an additional $5,000,000.
  • Again out of whole cloth by Decker and Sheridan, redirect $9,200,000 of a $37,000,000 raid from the Petroleum Inspection Fund (funded by a $0.02/gallon tax on gas and diesel) from the transportation fund to the general fund.

I can only wonder just how much more will be found after the 24-hour circuit breaker the Assembly has gets reset. In fact, I’m surprised that in their rush to remake the entirety of state government into a secretive chamber of lawmakers lawgivers, the Democrats didn’t get rid of that circuit breaker.

R&E part 10 (3:22 pm 6/26/2009) – While mandatory auto insurance, first put in by the Senate, as well as the highest minimums in the country, first put in by Doyle, is part of this, Recess Supervisor found a pair of stinkers added in out of whole cloth by Decker and Sheridan at the insistence of Pedro Colon and the Legislative Black Caucus – new insurees can’t be put into a high-risk category because they never had insurance before, and insurance companies can’t assign risk based on where a vehicle is kept. That’s right, those of you upstate and in the burbs get to subsidize the accident- and theft-prone in the hearts of Milwaukee, Madison, and Racine. Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) has more on this, including the fact that the soon-to-be-law Wisconsin ban on area-based risk will be the the only one of its kind in the nation, and that other states (like Michigan) rejected it. Once again, Michigan beats us.

R&E part 11 (yes, we are that far, and there’s still time before the Assembly rubber-stamps this, 4:58 pm 6/26/2009) – Cathy Stepp found a stinker of an item from the Assembly version that popped back in – the allowance of the Department of Commerce to promulgate the initial rules for the new construction contractor registration program as “emergency rules without the finding of an emergency”, with the rule lasting . Using the emergency rules power under s. 227.24 of the state statues means no prior consideration for small business as provided by s. 227.114, no review regarding its effect on housing as provided by s. 227.115, no economic impact report as provided by s. 227.137, no advance copies provided to the Legislative Council staff as provided by s. 227.15, no prior hearings or notice thereof as provided by s. 227.16, 227.17 and 227.18, no prior legislative review as provided by s. 227.19, and no time to prepare for its implementation between its publication in the official state newspaper (or state website as provided by other provisions in the budget) and the first day of the following month as provided by s. 227.21.

There’s more agencies that get to implement “emergency rules” without the finding of an emergency, including the Department of Revenue’s new requirement to impose a 1% tax withholding on independent contractors (originally in the Assembly version).

R&E part 12 (5:03 pm 6/26/2009) – Greg Bump, who has been the on-the-scene man, reports that, after agreeing to waive the 24-hour rule, the Assembly will begin their rubber-stamping process at 5:30. He also posted the request from the little piggies known as the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities to Doyle to use his veto pen to eliminate the 7/1/2011 sunset of the $0.75/line police/fire protection tax (formerly known as the 911 tax) and eliminate the loosening of fireworks laws. I’m shocked, SHOCKED to see the spenders squealing for the continuation of a brand-new tax.

As an aside, I will be creating a fresh post when the Assembly does rubber-stamp what Kevin Binversie has freshly deemed the DemoBudget. Very apt name, don’t you think?

June 17, 2009

RTA Madness – Senate edition

The Senate passed their own version of Daughter-of-Necrobudget on a virtual-party-line vote (Jim Sullivan, the target of a recall, was allowed to vote no along with every Republican). Others will cover the rest of the changes, but since I’m a laser on the RTAs, I’ll distill the differences between the Assembly version and the Senate version (thanks again to Greg Bump over at WisPolitics for doing the dirty work):

  • The Chippewa and Fox Valley RTAs are out.
  • The provision to allow Dane County to use its sales tax to fund roads is also out.
  • The Southeast RTA is once again solely focused on the choo-choo, with all funding to the existing Racine and Kenosha buses (i.e. the additional $2 car-rental tax to make the total $18) as well as the requirement of Racine’s and Kenosha’s suburbs to fund the bus systems to get a KRM stop out.
  • The Milwaukee County Transit Authority gets the “Regional” title back, with the sales tax bumped up to 1.0% and the “parks, culture and (county) emergency medical services” joining transit in the 85% (no percentage specified for each category) not allocated to municipal police, fire and EMS (allocated on a per-capita basis).

On to conference, where I expect nothing less than the worst of all worlds.

May 26, 2009

NML wants to soak you so it doesn’t have to pay

(H/T – Patrick McIlheran via Dad29)

Edward Zore, CEO of Northwestern Mutual Life, had perhaps the dumbest letter ever published in yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Let’s start by fisking said letter:

I am writing to express my support for the creation of a three-county Regional Transit Authority and a viable, dedicated funding source for transit and Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail. As CEO of a major business in Milwaukee County, I know dedicated funding for transit is critical to the future success of my business.

The local business community in Milwaukee is solidly behind the current RTA’s recommendations to shift funding for transit to a dedicated sales tax. Many opponents of this transit proposal argue that shifting transit from the property tax to a sales tax is anti-business or will drive business away. That is categorically untrue.

As one of the commenters over at P-Mac’s place said, I wonder if Zore’s attitude would change if insurance premiums on NML policies were subject to that sales tax. Dad29 notes that businesses like NML pay a lot in property tax, but don’t exactly pay a lot in sales tax.

A quick point or two of order – while there is a 3-county transit authority in the state budget being worked ov…er, on now (and indeed, there is a nascient 3-county RTA now), its sole purpose will be the KRM, and its major funding source would be a massive increase in the car-rental tax (from $2/rental to $16/rental). There also is in that budget a Milwaukee County-only RTA, which would be funded by a 17+% increase in the sales tax (from 5.6%-5.85% to 6.6%-6.85%).

What that sales tax will kill is retail businesses, especially those near the county borders and those specializing in high-cost items. It doesn’t take all that much for someone living in, say, Wauwatosa to go to Brookfield for a fine four-star dinner or a camera and spend less money.

Let’s continue…

Northwestern Mutual has two major offices in Milwaukee County and employs a significant number of residents of Wauwatosa. Our current transit system is so inadequate and obsolete that my employees cannot get from our downtown office to our Franklin location on the Milwaukee County Transit System. The lack of available transit in this region has a much greater impact on my company than a shift in how we pay for transit.

P-Mac points out that the beautiful and recently-expanded Franklin campus is 1 1/2 miles away from the nearest bus stop (Route 27), and well past the point where the sidewalks on 27th St. ends (1 mile, to be exact).

I do have a point of order – there was, for a while, a limited-schedule extension of Route 27, Route 227, that went past the NML Franlkin campus to the Franklin Industrial Park south of Ryan Rd. between 46th St. and 60th St. However, that route was cancelled due to low ridership. Guess not many NML workers rode the bus out to Franklin.

Let’s continue…

Of the top 50 most populated U.S. cities or regions, only seven do not have or are not developing rail transit. Wisconsin is already behind other regions in this regard, and without a stable bus transit system – much less improved transit and commuter rail links connecting Milwaukee to other regions – southeastern Wisconsin will be left behind as the state’s talent pool is attracted to other developing regions. Those remaining in Wisconsin cannot get to their jobs.

STOP THE TAPE!!! Just how are enough NML employees making it out to Franklin for not one, but two good-sized office buildings if one can’t take a bus, train, or sidewalk there? I believe I forgot to mention that there are enough NML employees getting there by car that they built a parking ramp.

As for a commuter train, the closest point of approach for the westernmost rail line, which is used by AMTRAK, is just under 1 1/2 miles. The closest AMTRAK station is 4 1/2 miles away. The closest the KRM, which would be on the easternmost rail line, would get is 4 1/2 miles, with the station being roughly 5 miles away. Further, neither AMTRAK nor the proposed KRM serves (or would serve) Wauwatosa.

P-Mac also hacks away at the idea that light rail would work. Anybody care to guess how much it would take to run a light rail line between Wauwatosa, the downtown Milwaukee NML campus (because we can’t expect NML employees to be bothered by transferring to the streetcar) and the Franklin NML campus?

May 1, 2009

Here come the trains and taxes

(H/T – Charlie Sykes, who properly invokes the BOHICA acronym)

Greg Bump at WisPolitics stayed up late so I wouldn’t have to, and he documented the extent of the screwing of the taxpayers regarding transit by the Democrats of the Joint Finance Committe last night and early this morning:

  • The requirement to get Milwaukee County Board and residential approval to build a light rail system in Milwaukee got stripped out on a party-line 12-4 vote. A related resolution to require a countywide referendum for any entity wanting a light rail system fell on a party-line 4-12 vote.
  • An unelected Milwaukee County Regional Transit Tax Authority, with 2 members selected by the county board chair, 2 by the Milwaukee mayor, and a member selected by the governor (and notably, no members appointed by the Milwaukee County Executive, a theme that selectively repeats itself), will get the authority to create a brand-new 1% sales tax, with 15% going to the city of Milwaukee, and the money going to transit, parks, cultural, and emergecy medical service programs. That went through on an 11-5 vote, with Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) joining the Republicans.

    Do note the 15% that goes to the city. The current Milwaukee County Transit System has expressed its desire to not operate any light-rail system, and specifically the “Downtown Collector” that got rammed into the federal budget. The city is likely to use that 15% to fund the starter light-rail system.

    Also note the entites that get to appoint the unelected taxing authority. Not only is there no guarantee that a suburban resident will get a seat as no suburban municpality has appointment power, but the executive of Milwaukee County, unlike the executives of the city of Milwaukee and the state, gets no voice.

  • A separate unelected KRM board to run the bigger choo-choo, funded by an indexed-for-inflation $16-per-transaction car rental fee (an 800% increase in the current $2 fee going to the existing Regional Transit Authority) applied to Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha Counties, with 2 members selected by the Milwaukee County board chair (and 0 by the Milwaukee County Executive), 1 member selected by the Racine County board chair (and 0 by the Racine County Executive), 1 member selected by the Kenosha County Executive (and 0 by the Kenosha County board chair), 2 members selected by Milwaukee’s mayor, and 1 member each selected by Racine’s mayor, Kenosha’s mayor and the governor. That passed on a party-line 12-4 vote.

    An attempt to exempt the portion of Racine County west of I-94 (a minimum of 7 miles west of the KRM line, with no transit service between the area west of I-94 and any of the KRM stations) fell on a party-line 4-12 vote. (Revisions/extensions, 11:45 am 5/1/2009) This area, along with the part of Kenosha County west of I-94, was exempted from governor Jim Doyle’s RTA reorganization proposal.

    I wonder why Kenosha County’s executive gets appointment authority, while Racine County’s executive and Milwaukee County’s executive doesn’t. Indeed, that was reinforced on a party-line 4-12 rejection of an amendment to make the Racine and Milwaukee County executives equal to Kenosha County’s. I wonder if there’s a court case to be made here.

    Again, note that there is no guarantee that there will be anybody from a municipality other than Milwaukee, Racine or Kenosha on this unelected taxing authority.

  • Dane County also gets its own unelected Regional Transit Authority. While that also passed on a party-line vote, there are a couple of key differences between it and the Milwaukee County version that really makes my blood boil over the fisting I’m taking in the ‘burbs:
    • The funding sales tax, which would be 0.5%, would require a non-binding referendum.
    • The appointment authorities are vastly different:
      • Two Madison metro residents appointed by the county executive and approved by the county board
      • Two members appointed by Madison’s mayor and approved by Madison’s Common Council
      • One member each from Fitchburg, Middleton and Sun Prairie, appointed by the respective mayors and approved by the respective Common Councils
      • One member appointed by the governor
      • One village member appointed by the Dane County Cities and Villages Association

    You notice anything different between the makeup of the Dane County RTA and the Milwaukee County RTA and the KRM board, like the guaranteed presence of suburban members, or the requirement of approval of the legislative branches, or a role for the county executive?

I’m not exactly hopeful my state Senator, Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) will either remember that he once wanted to get rid of sales taxes entirely or kill the RTAs. He is far more afraid of the East Side/UWM liberals than he is of outraged taxpayers. After all, someone who had to drop out because he committed vote fraud got 26% of the vote in the 2006 Democrat primary.

April 6, 2009

NRE recommendations, 2009 spring general election edition

I haven’t been paying nearly enough blog attention to this election. The robo-calls that have just started to come in like the snow that was supposed to be here yesterday have reminded me that the spring general election is tomorrow between 7 am and 8 pm. I may as well fire off my recommendations:

State SuperintendentRose Fernandez. Education in Wisconsin needs an outside-the-box perspective, and who better than someone heavily involved with “virtual” schools? Fernandez recognizes that no one schooling solution works for every student, and that, outside merit pay, money is not the answer. Her opponent, Tony Evers, does have a lifetime of experience in the publicc-school structure. Sometimes, that can be a good thing; however, it usually, and in this case, is not. Evers is wedded to the idea that more money, especially more money to WEAC, is the answer.

State Supreme CourtJudge Randy Koschnick. This one is quite simple. Judge Koschnick’s opponent, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, is so liberal that even Bill Clinton could not nominate her for the United States Supreme Court. Justice Abrahamson simply went even further to the left since then.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Branch 15Daniel Gabler. He and opponent J.D. Watts have engaged in a “spirited” campaign (identifiable by the local deciders’ focus on only one side of said “spirit”). Both have attempted to reach out to local conservatives; however, Watts’ attempt to justify oral sex as not harmful, especially without offering what the judge in the case deemed any real basis belies that effort.

Oak Creek Mayor – I’ve tossed this one around quite a bit. I was quite disappointed when Mark Verhalen didn’t make it out of the primary, and almost as disappointed with his decision to press on in a write-in campaign. I see the two candidates on the ballot, Dick Bolender and Dimity Grabowski, as unsuited for the office; Bolender for his “spend every dime we can get away with” attitude, Grabowski for her general anti-business one. I honestly cannot recommend anybody.

Oak Creek-Franklin School Board – Again, no recommendations. None of the three candidates for the two seats, Thomas Robe, Kathleen Borchardt, or Jim Gilmeister, offer more than empty words on the need to live within the means of those that live in the district.

January 8, 2009

Scott Walker – Man of Principle Part 2

Yesterday, I had a brief piece on Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s refusal to belly up to the bailout teat. Predictably, ALL the teat-suckers, from the usual suspects with Ds behind their name (or those that would have Ds there if the County Board were a partisan office) to the opportunistic “business leaders” who have become dependent on the teat, attempted to throw Walker under the bus. Let me put it this way; they don’t know Scott. He launched a two-front counterattack this morning with WTMJ-AM’s Charlie Sykes. While you listen to a poor-quality rip of the interview (the better-quality version starts at the 37:39 mark of Part 1 of the official podcast), you may as well read the e-mail (“borrowed” from Charlie):

How many people would take a gift of $1,000 and go out and buy a $60,000 sports car? While the gift is nice, it will not make the monthly car payments that are too large for the average budget. The same is true with the (so-called) stimulus package.

Federal money nearly always comes with strings attached. In fact, most federal transportation grants require a 20% (or greater) local match. "Free money" sounds nice but what happens when state and local governments cannot afford the match? If Milwaukee County receives $50 million for infrastructure projects under this formula, taxpayers in the county would have to come up with an extra $10 million. Does anyone think we have an extra $10 million in this budget climate?

A real economic stimulus will put money in the hands of consumers – and not the government. Tax cuts work. They did for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and they are exactly what John F. Kennedy called for in the 1960s. Each time, our nation got out of a recession by putting more money back into the hands of the taxpayers. The choice is simple: do we bail out failed governments with budget deficits or do we stimulate the economy and put more people back to work with real tax cuts at the federal, state and local levels? I choose the program that truly puts people back to work!

For the “benefit” of the outstate critics (I’m looking directly at you, Recess Supervisor), I’ll twist the knife just a bit – if adding “infrastructure” for the sake of adding “infrastructure” or creating make-work jobs were the solution, northern Wisconsin would be the economic magnet of the world.

I do need to give a shout-out to my county supervisor, Paul Cesarz. At the end of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story linked to above, he shows that he also gets the fact that resurrecting the Works Progress Administration will do no better the second time around.

January 7, 2009

Scott Walker – Man of Principle

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that, unlike Gov. Jim Doyle (looking for $3.7 billion) and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett (bellying up to the teat with a $599 million “wish list”, quoting the story), Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker isn’t asking for any federal money despite some serious funding “dilemas”, including the unmentioned multi-hundred-million-dollar pension fuckup from prior years. Quoting Walker:

All we are asking for is “do no harm”. I’m not asking for any nrew projects or things to be done here.

The last thing you want to do is put money in the hands of government (in a recession).

That was in response to Doyle’s and the Wisconsin Counties Association’s request for all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to belly up with their own wish lists. Of course, the County Board (the ones who gave us that pension fuckup) will likely send their own “wish list”, and thanks to the stupidity of the voters, the spend-and-tax-and-spend-some-more faction does have nearly a veto-proof majority.

November 5, 2008

Very painful night

Welcome to the Wisconsin Socialist Collective of the United Socialist States of America. Yes, the people have spoken, and by a margin that, at least in Wisconsin, is beyond the margin of fraud, we’re about to head down the path of Eastern Europe circa 1985.

The Democrats have handily taken over the Assembly. Even without the still-close races in the 43rd (the Dem is leading by 304 votes with a precinct still to report), 47th (the 28-vote margin the Republican has will in all likelyhood be challenged), and the 67th (where ex-“Republican” Jeff Wood, whose future caucusing preferences are unknown, won by 175 votes), they have a 6-seat margin. Here comes the tripling of the sales tax the voters of Milwaukee County demanded. Here comes the socialization of health care the voters of Oak Creek and South Milwaukee demanded. The school referenda that are a mixed bag will be no more; those spending and tax increases, forced in large part to the suddenly-disappearing QEO, will simply fly through without the voters’ say.

The voters have also proven that Wisconsin is as reliably ‘Rat Red (I refuse to call the Dems’ color “blue”; just be thankful I don’t call it the Communist Red that it should be) as Illinois in a statewide election. I can’t argue with the numbers and history. Outside of Tommy Thompson, who had the incumbent factor working for him since 1990, and the fluke of J.B. Van Hollen in 2006, the Republicans have not won a meaningful statewide election since 1986 (no, state treasurer is not meaningful and besides, we now have a part-time Boston Store clerk Dem as state treasurer). Moreover, Barack Obama’s 376,000-vote margin was well beyond the 55,000 fraudulent vote estimate from John Fund.

On to the national scene – the Dems proved that popularity is extremely overrated. They were rewarded for being at the helm of the “least-popular” Congress ever with an absolute, no-Joe-Lieberman-needed majority in the Senate, and an increased majority in the House. When combined with two of the most-liberal of their number in the executive branch, that means every liberal pipe dream will be enacted, from the overturning of every previously-allowed limitation on abortion (which Obama promised will be the first thing he signs), to a forced increase in union rolls, to the elimination of the private retirement system. While the damage to the Supreme Court, at least in Obama’s first term, will likely be limited to granting the liberal seats a 30-year extension (barring something happening to either Justice Kennedy or the 4 conservatives), the lower courts will become far more liberal as the Dem-caused vacancy crisis is suddenly filled with Lawgivers-In-Black.

Still, the night’s biggest losers weren’t conservatives, Republicans, or even the people of this country. They were Jeff Wood and Joe Lieberman. First, I’ll take the case of Wood. He burned his bridges with the Republican Assembly caucus when he decided to bolt. Because the Democrats won’t need his vote to get anything they want done in the Assembly done, he’s a man without a caucus.

Similarily, Joe Lieberman is no longer necessary to keep the Dems in power in the US Senate. While, at the moment, the filibuster survives because the Dems didn’t get to 60 in their caucus, and won’t regardless of where Lieberman caucuses, I don’t expect the filibuster to survive the next Congress. The Democrats will be under enormous pressure to get their one-party socialism agenda done before 2011, partly because that is what the nutroots demand, and partly because without a quick-cementing of power, the pendulum will swing back and smack them upside the head.

I can’t be all negative, however. Paul Ryan handily won re-election, Michelle Bachmann in Minnesota hung on, Mark Honadel made a miraculous comeback to hang onto his seat (I thought it lost when he was down 10 points with 16 of 24 precincts reporting), Bill Kramer and Leah Vukmir will be back in the Assembly, and there is one last day of sunny Indian summer left in the land of cheese and beer. If we are going to truly repeat American history, which has twice rejected permanent one-Democratic Party rule, we have to build on those few successes.

November 4, 2008

Election Night Drunkblog

I’ll be starting at the Sam Adams forward observation post, and moving to Papa’s for Drinking Right somewhere around 7. Since the first polls close at 6, that’s when the fun starts.

I’ll be taking requests for races to follow (or at least try to follow between drinks).

Election Day plans

I will be working with the Sam Adams Alliance and several other bloggers to report on voter/election fraud in and around Milwaukee until about 7 pm. Please stay tuned to this place, Vote Fraud Squad, and the #voterfraud hashtag on Twitter.

If you have any tips, please e-mail me at

November 3, 2008

The not-so-awaited Egg endorsements

I’ll start down the ticket because I can with a quick revision/extension at 9:55 pm 11/3/2008 to add most no-challenger races

Various advisory referenda in Wisconsin asking for government-provided health care, including Oak CreekNo. This is a back-door attempt to try to bully the Legislature into adopting universal health care in Wisconsin. The one plan that meets the suggestion of the standard referendum, Healthy (and Depopulated) Wisconsin, comes with a price tag that would double the tax burden in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee County sales tax advisory referendum asking for a tripling of the county sales tax to 1.5%No. Even the supporters admit that this is a $65 million-$80 million tax increase. That is assuming that, if that tripling is authorized by the state, half of the receipts would go to property tax “relief”. If not, and all indications including historical are that it won’t, it’s a $130 million-$160 million tax increase in a county where a $200 item would become cheaper to purchase outside the county.

The city of Milwaukee direct legislation asking for paid sick leave to be imposed on all businesses in the cityNo. Another 9 days of vacation will drive what’s left of business out of Milwaukee. How bad is it? Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel came out against it.

Various school building and tax-increase referendaNo. At the risk of being called Dr. No, a time when the economy is at best tightening is not the time to be building new Taj Mahals for the teachers and administrators. Kids won’t know the difference between a 40-year-old building and a shiny new one, at least if the school districts wanted to do maintenance instead of create a “crisis”.

21st Assembly DistrictMark Honadel The math is simple; Honadel wants a stable-to-lower tax burden. Brower wants an ever-higher tax and regulatory burden.

14th Assembly DistrictLeah Vukmir

57th Assembly DistrictJo Egelhoff

97th Assembly DistrictBill Kramer

Any other Assembly or state Senate race I missedThe Republican Folks, I’ll put this in simple terms. The Democrats, should they gain complete control of state government, will make this a regulatory and tax hell. From Healthy (and Depopulated) Wisconsin to Gorebal “Warming” to a complete lifting of whatever property tax limits are in place, they promise more-expensive government.

Any other race where only one party or the other is represented except the 5th Congressional (specifically the Waukesha County District Attorney race)Dave Casper (write-in) Asian Badger pointed out in the comments I missed the idiot DA in Waukesha County. That’s probably because I don’t live there, but I’ll correct that oversight and give Dave a second chance for a victory party.

1st Congressional DistrictPaul Ryan Yes, Ryan is my Congressman. He is also a visionary who isn’t afraid to touch the third rail of entitlements.

8th Congressional DistrictJohn Gard Gard frankly got screwed two years ago. Those of you in northeast Wisconsin have seen subpar representation out of Kagen, and this is your best and probably last chance to oust him.

Any other Congressional race out thereThe Republican (with the exceptions of Don Young and Ted Stevens, where I recommend a write-in) This will be much like my state Legislature endorsement. The current crop of Democrats are chomping at the bit to turn us into Cuba; don’t reward the leaders of the worst Congress ever with more seats.

President/Vice PresidentJohn McCain/Sarah Palin I know I’ll probably be fighting a McCain administration more than I’ll support it. The alternative, a socialization of this country, is too frightening.

August 26, 2008

Scott Walker on Jim Doyle and the Vice President nominees

Revisions/extensions (11:37 am 8/27/2008) – As noted below, WisPolitics was there, and filed this report. They also rolled video (yes, the sound quality isn’t the greatest, but my low-budget equpiment wouldn’t have done any better, and I don’t see anything up at WISN-TV’s site) –


Due to poor timing on my part, I was a bit too late for the meat of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s press conference on Gov. Jim Doyle’s speech before the Democratic National Convention, so I don’t have audio. WISN-TV and WisPolitics were there on-time, the former with a camera, so they’ll have more extensive coverage.

First, allow me to post Walker’s pre-buttal, with an additional note from something from Doyle’s 2003 State of the State address that Walker stressed at the press conference:

"Jim Doyle will address the Democratic National Convention today with the theme of Renewing America’s Promise. Let’s take a look at Jim Doyle’s promises.

Before the last election, Jim Doyle told the people of Wisconsin in his State of the State address that, "˜We should not – we must not – and I will not – raise taxes.’ After the last election, he introduced a state budget that raised taxes and fees by more than $3 billion.

Now he’s pushing Senator Barak Obama for president. In his three short years in the United States Senate, Senator Obama has voted against tax cuts and for tax increases 94 times.

He says he’s for the middle class, but Senator Obama voted to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 per year. He wants higher taxes on income, investments, savings, businesses, Social Security and energy. He promises a better economy but taxing our way to prosperity just doesn’t work.

Jim Doyle’s failed slogans and broken promises have not worked for Wisconsin. Voters should remember that when they hear Senator Obama’s promises as well."

Walker also contrasted the following statement from Doyle’s 2003 State of the State address with the actions of both Doyle and Obama – “Obviously, raising taxes is not the answer. Holding the line on taxes helps our businesses grow, makes us more competitive with other states, and creates job opportunities for our families.” (emphasis in the original)

I did get to talk with Walker a few minutes on both Democratic Vice Presidential nominee (presumptive) Sen. Joe Biden and the field for the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. Repeating a theme that I first noted with Asian Badger, Walker called the choice of Biden “manna”. We shared stories of gaffes on Biden’s part, from the plagiarism that forced him out of the 1988 Democratic Presidential primary race, to the multitude of attempts to appease Iran. During an interview with the WisPolitics reporter I overheard, Walker was thinking that Obama would choose Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (I won’t go further than that; it wasn’t my interview).

On the Republican side, Walker believes that Governors Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney would make a good fit for Sen. John McCain, as they’re both outside of the Washington power structure, and both have executive experience. Indeed, he sees little chance that McCain can mess up the choice as badly as Obama did.

August 1, 2008

Where’s that property tax “freeze”?

I could’ve swore that local governments were supposed to be capped to a 3.86% increase in property-tax levies last year. Imagine my surprise when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that property tax levies actually increased by 6.1% in southeast Wisconsin last year, with municipalities increasing their levies by 5.2%. I don’t know what’s worse; the fact that they busted the cap by 33%, or the terming of that 33% busting as a “hold” by the presstitute who wrote the story, Mike Johnson. Hell, I wouldn’t even term the average county increase of 3.4% a “hold”.

July 19, 2008

More infamous thugs

by @ 11:20. Filed under Compassionate Lieberals, Thug Holloway.

Guess I must have missed the memo that a certain local lefty put out about “thug” being limited to a certain race. Funny thing is, Merriam-Webster also missed this, as their definition of “thug” is “a brutal ruffian or assassin”. I don’t seem to see any mention of race here, but Lee Holloway’s repeated use of physical violence against other members of the County Board qualifies him as a ruffian and thus a thug.

Since that local lefty seems to think that “thug” only applies to African-American gangsters, I decided to put together a small gallery of those that cannot be declared “thugs” anymore, at least if we listened to that local lefty instead of the fine folks that put together Merriam-Webster:

Eugene “Bull” Connor, racist who ordered the
Birmingham, Alabama Police and Fire Departments
to brutally break up civil rights demonstrations.

Members of the Birmingham, Alabama Police
Department, who used dogs and batons to
brutally break up aforementioned civil rights

Members of the Birmingham, Alabama Fire
Department, who used fire hoses to brutally
break up aforementioned civil rights

Salvatore “Sammy The Bull” Gravano, former
Mafia Underboss who killed at least 19 people.

Idi Amin Dada, former leader of Sudan who
oversaw the mass murder of hundreds of

Pol Pot, former leader of Cambodia who
oversaw the creation of the Killing Fields.

Adolf Hitler, former leader of Germany
who oversaw the creation of numerous
concentration camps and the near-
extermination of the Jews in Europe.

Iosif Stalin, former leader of the
Soviet Union who practiced his
“(T)he death of millions is a statistic”
quote many times over.

I think I’ll stick with Merrian-Webster. By the way, thanks for finishing my initiation into the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

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