MacIver Institute, June 12, 2019
By Ola Lisowski
MADISON, Wis. — The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) came one step closer to finishing work on the 2019-21 budget Tuesday, spending $1.88 billion more on building projects. That level of spending notches a new record, exceeding the previous high of $1.7 billion under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.
Republicans agreed to spend and borrow nearly $1.9 billion on statewide building projects Tuesday, blowing away the $1 billion spent on the Building Commission in the last budget.
The party-line 12-4 vote came after three and a half hours of debate. The University of Wisconsin (UW) System will receive the largest portion of the new funding, with $1.026 billion more for buildings across the system.
Gov. Tony Evers had requested $2.5 billion in spending and borrowing in his capital budget. That package increased spending by 2.5 times over the prior budget, which authorized $1 billion in bonding.
The Republican-led Building Commission rejected Evers’ proposal outright in a March vote, calling the largest-ever capital budget “unrealistic and unsustainable.”
Instead, Republicans Tuesday finalized a plan that authorizes nearly $2 billion in borrowing and spending for projects across the state. The package nearly doubles bonding over former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s last budget, for 2017-19. READ the REST
President Trump’s major win in his border-tariff showdown with Mexico is no skin off the Democrats’ nose.
by Jed Babbin, June 10, 2019 American Spectator
The extremism of the Democrats, their honed-to-a-fine-edge radicalism, is displayed almost daily on the subject of abortion. When anyone — like poor old Joe Biden — strays an inch on abortion, they’re quickly reined in as Biden was last week when he endorsed the Hyde Amendment and then was forced into a flip-flop.
Their extremism goes beyond abortion to other important issues such as illegal immigration. The Dems are committed to an extreme open borders position.
The Dems’ refusal to consider any legislation to stop the flow of illegal immigration across our southern border was, to their outrage, end-run by the president in his deal with Mexico last week. The deal resulted from Trump’s threat of presidentially imposed tariffs under his national security authority. It was a beautiful sharp stick in Nancy and Chuckie’s eyes.
Since he was inaugurated, President Trump has been searching for solutions to the immigration problem and most — nearly all — of what he’s tried to do has been thwarted by the Dems and court actions. The threat of heavy tariffs on Mexican exports — most of which come into the U.S. — was Trump’s attempt to use the economic sanctions weapon that he’s used to great effect on nations such as Iran and Russia to tackle illegal immigration.
Trump threatened five percent tariffs on Mexican goods if they didn’t do more to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the U.S. The tariffs would have increased by five percent per month until Trump was satisfied with the Mexicans’ actions. About 80 percent of Mexico’s exports come to the U.S., so the Mexicans were facing a huge decline in trade they cannot afford.
LAREDO, Texas—Pulling up in an SUV outside the 10-foot-tall fence at Laredo College, Narcizo Ramos recalls the problems the school used to have with unwanted visitors.
“I actually came to this college as a student,” Ramos, a special operations supervisor for the U.S. Border Patrol, told The Daily Signal. “I can tell you, this little fence that seems like it’s small—before that, you would actually see illegal immigrants and drug mules running through the school campus.
“And you would see Border Patrol agents and you would see campus police chasing them,” Ramos added.
The local college, with an enrollment of 12,000 students, finally had enough, said Ramos, a Border Patrol veteran of 19 years.
“It became such a nuisance to the college that they said, ‘We’ll erect our own fence,’” Ramos, 41, recalled. “It is actually pretty tall. It served its purpose. It did push the traffic they were seeing around it.”
Border Patrol officials and other advocates for a security wall along the southern border contend that although it wouldn’t stop illegal immigrants, it would slow them down and force them to cross the border in areas where they can be captured more easily.
Laredo, a city of 250,000, is a densely populated urban area along the southwest border that has no sections of wall to block entry by illegal immigrants who cross the Rio Grande River.
“We have no wall at all,” Joel Martinez, the Border Patrol deputy chief for the Laredo sector, told The Daily Signal during an interview at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo station.
By Victor Davis Hanson| May 26th, 2019 American Greatness
Before the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the idea that the Russians or anyone else could warp or tamper with our elections in any serious manner was laughed off by President Obama. “There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America’s elections,” Obama said in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.
Obama was anxious that the sure-to-be-sore-loser Trump would not blame his defeat on voting impropriety in a fashion that might call into question Clinton’s victory. After Clinton’s stunning defeat, Russian “collusion”—thanks initially to efforts by Obama holdover Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to go after Michael Flynn and the successful attempts of the CIA and FBI to seed the bogus Steele dossier among the government elite—became a club to destroy the incoming Trump Administration.
How ironic that Russian “collusion” was used as a preemptive charge from those who actually had colluded with Russians for all sorts for financial and careerist advantages.
The entire so-called Uranium One caper had hinged on ex-President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their Clinton Foundation uniting with Russian or Russian-affiliated oligarchs to ease restrictions on the sale of North American uranium reserves to a Russian company with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Coincidentally what followed were massive donations from concerned Russian parties to the foundation, as well as a $500,000 honorarium to Bill Clinton for a brief Moscow speech. Note that no more money has been forthcoming from Russia to either of the Clintons or their foundation.
MacIver News Service | May 20, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON, Wis. — America’s drinking water “crisis” didn’t just pop over night.
Yet, Democrats on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee would lead you to believe that their conservative colleagues are to blame for Milwaukee’s lead problems. More so, they believe taxpayers from Superior to Kenosha should have to pick up the tab for Milwaukee’s failure to prioritize a basic local government function: Providing clean drinking water to its citizens.
Five years after Flint, Milwaukee city officials are scurrying to catch up in the heat of public pressure, scandal, and increased scrutiny.
“This crisis isn’t going to go away. It’s only going to get worse,” state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) admonished the committee’s Republican majority members last week.
While no one denies the dangers of lead in drinking water and that children in Milwaukee and other U.S. communities have been poisoned by unacceptable lead concentrations, what also cannot be denied is the fact that Democrats — and socialists — have been in control of Milwaukee for the better part of a century. And those city leaders could have made replacing lead laterals, the lines that connect the public water main to some 70,000 homes, a top priority years ago.
“One reason the Flint disaster should not have happened is that drinking water experts have known all about these problems, generically for a long time,” according to the Society of Environmental Journalists. “As far back as 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued something called a Lead and Copper Rule using the authority Congress gave it under the Safe Drinking Water Act … In another set of amendments in 1996, Congress tried to ratchet up pressure to solve the problem. Those amendments banned lead materials in water systems.”
Five years after Flint, Milwaukee city officials are scurrying to catch up in the heat of public pressure, scandal, and increased scrutiny.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the city Health Department’s lead abatement programs. In January 2018, Bevan Baker, Milwaukee’s health commissioner, resigned a day before word came down about the department’s myriad failures to attack the lead pipe problem.
Baker, it should be noted, was appointed to the commissioner post in 2004, when Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, began his mayoral tenure. Activists have demanded Barrett follow Baker out the door.
Opinion Column by Ryan J. Walsh, April 25, 2019 Wisconsin State Journal
Walsh served as chief deputy solicitor general for Gov. Scott Walker
Candidates for state attorney general like to promise that, if elected, they will stand up for all legally defensible laws passed by the voters’ representatives, whether Republican or Democrat. This pledge is rooted in principle: an attorney general is the chief lawyer of the people, not a party, and so, like any lawyer, he ought to put the interests of his client first.
Yet recent practice suggests that whether a state’s top cop will enforce or abandon a particular law depends more on its partisan flavor.
Josh Kaul, the newly elected Democratic attorney general of Wisconsin, is no exception to this new trend. Leading up to last November’s election, his oft-stated position was clear: “The AG’s job is to defend state statutes and state agency actions if there is a legally defensible position to take.”
Now ensconced in office, Kaul has taken a new tack. In a closely followed labor case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, Kaul quietly informed the justices recently that Wisconsin no longer objects to a lower-court ruling striking down a key part of its “right-to-work” law.
Adopted by 27 states, “right-to-work” laws free private employees not to pay a union that they do not wish to support. They do this mainly by forbidding unions from adding what are called “agency shop” provisions to their collective bargaining agreements. Those clauses say that every worker must pay union dues, even if they choose not to formally join the union. READ it HERE
Thanks to all the volunteers who joined us in the fight!
We've been working hard to get out the vote in support of Judge Brian Hagedorn and those efforts paid off. Thank you to everyone who made time to help this campaign cross the finish line. We didn't win Dane County but we helped win Wisconsin. A couple percentage points in Dane County really can make all the difference.
In the previous Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Dane County finished with 19% of the vote. This spring we finished with 21%. Yes, Dane County turned out even more Democrat voters than last time but we kept pace and improved our percentage of the vote. That two percent meant about 6,400 votes more for Judge Hagedorn this year. If that doesn't sound like a big number, look at the margin of victory.
I can't express how grateful we are to everyone who came out to write postcards, knock doors, put up signs, work the polls, and make phone calls for Judge Hagedorn. We should also thank David Blaska for running a good campaign for Madison School Board too. There is no doubt in my mind that his being on the ballot helped with those numbers too.
Let's keep moving forward and do it again in 2020!
Religious belief isn’t incompatible with public service.
Wisconsin supreme-court candidate Brian Hagedorn was supposed to lose. He was running in a state that had just ousted Governor Scott Walker. A year ago, a liberal supreme-court candidate had won her race by almost twelve points. And to make matters worse, the media had labeled Hagedorn as a bigot, a Christian hater outside the Wisconsin mainstream. Business groups had abandoned him. One trade association had even demanded a return of its donation, claiming that his “issues” directly conflicted with the “values” of its members.
The headlines were brutal. On February 14, one in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Hagedorn had founded a Christian school that “allows bans on teachers, students, and parents in gay relationships.” In other words, his school — like thousands of other Christian schools — banned sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Its statement of faith included the entirely orthodox declaration that “Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church.”
On February 20, another Journal Sentinal headline contended that Hagedorn had been paid $3,000 for “speeches to legal organization dubbed hate group.” The “hate group” was my former employer, the Alliance Defending Freedom. And who “dubbed” it hateful? The discredited and scandal-ridden Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association revoked its endorsement. Other business groups sat out of the race. The narrative seemed set. Wisconsin was drifting back to blue, business groups capitulated to the cultural Left, and the conservative majority of the court would remain at 4–3, with another election set for next year, on the day of the Democratic primary.
But the narrative was set before the voters had their say. When business retreated, the grassroots advanced. “They picked up the slack,” as Wisconsin pro-life activist Colin O’Keefe told me. They “went nuclear,” in the words of another activist I talked to this morning. Yet another used more colorful language: “People were pissed.” READ the REST
March 20, 2019 MacIver Institute
Special Guest Perspective by Dan O’Donnell
Lisa Neubauer is a Democrat. About that there can be no question. It’s not a stretch to say that Democratic politics is her life and has been for, well, pretty much her entire life.
One of her very first jobs was as a legislative aide to Democratic State Senator Fred Risser. She married Democratic State Assembly member Jeffrey Neubauer, who later served as chairman of both the Wisconsin Democratic Party and Democratic President Bill Clinton’s campaign in Wisconsin.
Democratic politics is such a part of the Neubauers’ lives that their daughter Greta followed them into the family business and now holds her father’s seat in the Assembly’s 62nd district.
The Neubauers, like many active Democratic families, have given generously to Democratic politicians, groups, and, of course the Democratic Party itself. “Generously” might actually be a gross understatement: Since 1992, they have given more than $92,000 to Democratic politicians, $7,300 to various Democratic Party committees, and $6,900 to former Senator Russ Feingold’s Progressives United political action committee for a staggering total of $105,660 in Democratic donations.
According to Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System (CFIS) records, $27,490 of that was in the name of Lisa Neubauer–including eight separate donations totaling $8,100 to former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle.
The Neubauers are both lifelong Democrats who have given to the same candidates and committees right up until the moment that Lisa became a judge. At that point, all of the donations from the Neubauers were in Jeffrey’s name only.
A little over a year after the last of those donations, Doyle appointed her to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals even though she had no prior judicial experience. Four months after the appointment, her husband Jeffrey donated an additional $250 to Doyle and then gave him a further $500 in 2009. READ it HERE
Pastor Jerome Smith Explains Why Attacks on Religious Beliefs Have No Place In This Race
March 18, 2019
[Madison, WI] – Over the last few weeks, Supreme Court candidate Judge Brian Hagedorn has come under fire from his opponent Lisa Neubauer, the Liberal Left, and the media because he spoke publicly about his faith and pro-life values. The Constitution does not have a religious test for public office, yet Lisa Neubauer and her liberal allies have tried to center this entire election around Judge Hagedorn’s faith. Pastor Jerome Smith explains why this type of discrimination and intolerance against religious freedoms has no place in this race.