Tag Archives: Wisconsin

We’ve Got Spirit Yes We Do! We’ve Got Spirit How ‘Bout You?

Minnesota has seen a democrat resurgence of late.  What once was a red governor and house and senate is now blue through and through; fitting for the state that had voted for the democrat presidential candidate for the most consecutive elections.

And Wisconsin isn’t that.  We all know the battles that have been waged in the badger state.

But this is awesome:

A Wisconsin legislator is using Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal to try to lure business across the state border.

Republican Rep. Erik Severson, of Osceola, has sent a letter to hundreds of Minnesota businesses, including Best Buy, 3M and UnitedHealth Group.  Severson urges the businesses to relocate to Wisconsin and avoid higher taxes.

Dayton’s proposal raises about $2 billion in additional tax revenue by lowering the state sales tax, but expanding it to more items and to services. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Dayton’s office has responded to Severson’s letter by saying job growth is not dictated by taxes and that Severson should focus on his own state. The statement from the governor’s office also says Minnesota’s economy has fared far better than Wisconsin’s in recent years.

For what it’s worth, the Minnesota Wisconsin football rivalry is the single longest consecutive years played match-up in college football.

2012 Election: Obama 271 Romney 267

Razor thin margins everywhere.

Back in August I had this to say:

I’m out on a limb with Virginia and Colorado while Obama is pretty much a lock in every state going blue in the map above.

I no longer think I’m on a limb in Virginia, possibly Colorado.  But Romney seems to have stolen New Hampshire.  And I think Iowa breaks Red.

Again, there is plenty of “limbness” going on here, but…and this is a significant but, if Romney moves even one single state such as Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio or Pennsylvania, it’s over.  Going back to August again I said this:

I think Obama will carry the big Ohio and Pennsylvania states with Florida going for Mitt.

I’m now more sure of Florida and less sure of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Net/net – I am really demoralized that the Union states of Michigan and Ohio are supporting Obama as strong as they are.  The President made a clear power play there with the auto bailouts and then the ensuing bankruptcy that he totally manipulated.  Add in Wisconsin to that Union dominated list of states and you have an election dictated by Unions.


One At A Time: Taking Schools Back From Teacher’s Unions

It’s no secret that teacher’s unions don’t serve the interest of the students; they serve the interest of the union.  They’re about power.  Power to influence how their members are protected and compensated.  As more and more people come to this realization more and more people are beginning to realize that taking schools back from those unions is a good thing:

(Reuters) – Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed “parent trigger” laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.

Now, guess who opposes these types of laws?

Such laws are fiercely opposed by teachers’ unions, which stand to lose members in school takeovers.

I know you’re shocked.  Shocked that a union would oppose a law that diminished its influence.  But, has this process worked?

Parent trigger laws are in place in several states including California, Texas and Louisiana and are under consideration in states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. So far, though, the concept has never successfully been used to turn around a school.


But why not?

Parents in two impoverished, heavily minority California cities, Compton and Adelanto, gathered enough signatures to seize control of their neighborhood schools but the process stalled in the face of ferocious opposition from teachers’ unions. Both cases are now tied up in court.

Ahh, not because they were given the chance and then failed.  Rather, they haven’t worked because the unions fight ’em every inch of the way.

The good news?  The power of the unions have continued to fade:

But in a sign of the unions’ diminishing clout, their traditional political allies, the Democrats, abandoned them in droves during the Orlando vote.

Democratic Mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Kevin Johnson of Sacramento led the charge for parent trigger – and were backed by scores of other Democrats as well as Republicans from coast to coast.

“Mayors understand at a local level that most parents lack the tools they need to turn their schools around,” Villaraigosa said. Parent trigger laws, he added, can empower parents to do just that.

Let’s hope that the victory in Wisconsin will usher in a new era not just in fiscal reform but in actual education reform.

Scott Walker: Election Vote Totals

Scott Walker won his recall race going away.  I though it would be much closer than it actually was, but am happy to be wrong in this case.  However, I do find it interesting that that vote total for Barrett was as close to the signature total in the recall petition:

Total Signatures:  900,938

Total Barrett Votes: 1,162,785

Mr. Barrett didn’t get that many more votes for governor than he did signatures for the recall.


Scott Walker: Wisconsin Wins

Scott Walker Wins Wisconsin Recall

I predicted a 2-4 point loss.  The emotional game goes to the challenger in recalls.  Further, the unions that are dependent on this election have decades of built in ground game.  I was listening to the radio and I heard that they knocked on thousands of doors and called even more.  Walker was ahead in the polls, but he was slowing down in the final days.

I had the ill luck of having to drive to Charlotte tonight, so I wasn’t able to watch the election results at all.  I tried keeping track on my phone, but that proved to be untenable on the road.  So I called family and friends and asked them to keep me up to date via texts.

What a great trip!

Walker took a massive lead early and never really was challenged.  Fox called it when 25% of the vote was in, the rest soon followed suit.

What Does This Mean

Wisconsin has now elected their governor twice.  Twice, and he still has another term to run for.  Mr. Walker was clear about what he was gonna do when he ran the first time.  Then, when in office, he did them.  Rather, he TRIED to do them.  When faced with a vote that they didn’t like, the Democrats ran from their job, ran from their capital and even ran from their state.  All to prevent a vote.

An interesting functional filibuster don’t ya say?

Then, when the democrats tried to take control of the senate by recalling a number of members, they lost.  The senate remained in control of the republicans.  Finally, after the requisite number of months in office, the democrats tried to recall him.  While they were successful in forcing the election, they were unsuccessful in their bid to unseat him.

The people have spoken.  Spoken at least three times.  They want this governor, they want this senate, they want these reforms and they are tired of the status quo.

The reforms that the legally elected republicans moved into law through a legally sanctioned vote have worked for the state.  Budgets have seen significant relief, many have been balanced.  School districts have been able to obtain fiscal flexibility while not having to lay off teachers.  In short, Walker works.

Finally the people of Wisconsin are not pleased that the recall election even took place.  The recall process is meant to force out a governor that has been guilty of some crime or of some ethical lapse.  Mr. Walker is guilty of neither.  The only thing he did was pass legislation that made the liberals mad.

So they sulked and pouted and wanted a redo.

And the good folks of Wisconsin didn’t appreciate that.

Does This Have Implications Nationally

I don’t think so.  I think that Wisconsin remains steadily blue.  The folks there are liberal at heart but simply found that they need a dose of fiscal reality.  The continued spending and taxing of the past finally caught up.  They’ve had enough.

As I’m listening to the news now I am hearing that a large number of folks who voted for Walker will continue to support Obama in the upcoming election in November.  I think the number is 18%.

That’s big.

Wisconsin will roll blue for the President this fall.

Scott Walker: Wisconsin Recall

On almost double the volume today Intrade has Walker at 93% and going away …

Maybe the good people of Wisconsin really do understand that what he did has helped the state save money and save jobs.  Let’s hope so.

Scott Walker: Wisconsin Recall

Tonight is Wisconsin Eve.  The whole nation is watching the freakin’ Cheese Heads to see which way they’ll go.  Tomorrow is the recall election of Governor Scott Walker.

We all know the issues, we’ve all listened to the talking heads from both sides and most likely, we’ve all made up our minds.  I know I have; it was over before it started.  But what interests me is not only who SHOULD win, but who WILL win.

And I think I gotta give the edge to the Democrats.

The unions are going to be out in full force.  They’re gonna have every member from Green to Bay out shaking voters from anywhere they can find ’em.  Walker’s going away in the polls, but Barrett has the built in “feet on the street.”

I give it to the Unions by 3 points.





Wisconsin: Recalling Governor Walker

We all know the story. The elections of 2008 led to the elections of 2010.  And the 2010 elections were of epic proportions.  Republicans on the federal and state levels dominated and it ushered a new world order in many governing bodies.  Here in North Carolina we see the first republican controlled senate and house for the first time in  more that 100 years.  And in Wisconsin, we see a republican governor, a republican senate and a republican house.

Some excellent things were about to happen.

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Collective Bargaining Changes In Wisconsin

It’s been a while since we checked in on how things are going in Wisconsin since the state passed the law restricting collective bargaining.

Let’s check:

Before the reform, many districts’ annual union contracts required them to buy health insurance from WEA Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the state’s largest teachers’ union. Once the reform limited collective bargaining to wage negotiations, districts could eliminate that requirement from their contracts and start bidding for health care on the open market. When the Appleton School District put its health-insurance contract up for bid, for instance, WEA Trust suddenly lowered its rates and promised to match any competitor’s price. Appleton will save $3 million during the current school year.

That’s a win.  Before the law the districts had to negotiate with ONE insurance provider.  Now they can shop.  The savings?  $3 million.

At the outset of the public-union standoff, educators had made dire predictions that Walker’s reforms would force schools to fire teachers. In February, to take one example, Madison School District Superintendent Dan Nerad predicted that 289 teachers in his district would be laid off. Walker insisted that his reforms were actually a job-retention program: by accepting small concessions in health and pension benefits, he argued, school districts would be able to spare hundreds of teachers’ jobs. The argument proved sound. So far, Nerad’s district has laid off no teachers at all, a pattern that has held in many of the state’s other large school districts

Because teachers are now required to contribute to some of their health care and retirement, the districts are able to save jobs.  So far 289 in one district alone.  A win.

Another example of saved jobs:

The Wauwatosa School District, which faced a $6.5 million shortfall, anticipated slashing 100 jobs—yet the new pension and health contributions saved them all.

Boom goes the dynamite.

Beyond the cost savings, districts are able to implement policies that encourage better educational outcomes:



Wisconsin: Thoughts On An Election

So it turns out that the Wisconsin Democrats didn’t win as much as they wanted and, more importantly, as much as they needed..  They fell short of taking back control of the Senate.  Now, to be fair, a 17-16 majority is razor thin and in truth is probably better for government than a very large majority.  For example, who can argue about the damage the the US Senate did to the nation as a result of their super-majority in 2009-2010?  No one.

However, what is the impact?  The read?  What does this mean?

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