2018 November

Monthly Archives: November 2018

‘Dark store’ referendums receive widespread support


Voters in more than 20 counties, cities and villages across the state threw their support behind referendums to urge lawmakers to pass legislation closing the so-called “dark store” loophole.

The measures received widespread support. The narrowest margin — 19.5 percent — came from Jefferson County, where around 60 percent of respondents there voted to back legislation on the topic, while 40 percent opposed it.

The biggest margin of victory came from Dane County, where 91.8 percent of voters backed legislation and only 8.2 percent didn’t — a margin of 83.6 percent.

The advisory referendums — from two villages, four cities and 17 counties across the state — came after lawmakers earlier this session debated legislation to prevent stores from basing their property value off of vacant properties or “dark stores,” which have lower property value and can be taxed less. Two bills on the issue each failed to clear the Legislature, including a last-ditch effort in the Assembly to amend a bill to include language on the topic.

The ballot asks followed a campaign from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association and Wisconsin Towns Association against the so-called loophole, which included a “call to action” component for local governments to pass resolutions this fall.

Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark O’Connell touted the widespread support in a news release, saying the results “show that this is a common-sense issue.”

“The voters have spoken and now we encourage the Governor-elect and the legislature to take up this issue and close the dark store loopholes,” he said. “This is a tax shift, mainly to homeowners, and we encourage our state officials to act in January.”

But Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Director of Tax, Transportation and Legal Affairs Cory Fish countered in a statement the results “proved nothing more than the fact that municipalities and counties have a talent for writing biased and factually inaccurate questions for the ballot.”

“The so-called ‘dark stores’ loophole is a myth,” he said. “In reality, the tax shift is from homeowners to businesses, and these proposals would simply legalize the unlawful actions of overly aggressive assessors who are looking to increase taxes on businesses of all sizes in their communities.”

‘Ignite the Spirit’ Milwaukee Firefighter calendar release party 🗓


WHAT: After 25 years, the Milwaukee Firefighter Calendar is
back; however, this time it is a fundraiser open to the

WHO: Milwaukee Firefighters
WHEN: Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Merriment Social – 240 East Pittsburgh Avenue,


DETAILS: Ignite the Spirit is a charity that was created to raise funds for
Milwaukee firefighters and their families in times of need due to
unforeseen circumstances. Tickets are available in advance at
IgnitetheSpiritMke.org or at the door and include food and drinks.

A private dinner experience cooked by Ignite The Spirit-
Milwaukee will be served by firefighter calendar models. Raffle

items will be available and include a YETI Cooler, airfare,
staycations at Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, and more! Many
thanks to the following sponsors who helped to make this event a
reality: Tactical Athlete Health and Performance Institute,
Accurate Basement Repair, Dunn’s Sporting Goods, Guidance
Mortgage, Rescue My Roof, Realty Executives – Team Perzacki,
Jennifer Brindley Portrait, Quad Graphics, and Fuse Creative.
While this event is organized by volunteers of the Milwaukee Fire
Department, it is not an official Milwaukee Fire Department

‘UpFront’ panel: Millennials tired of division, becoming more politically involved

Millennials are tired of political fighting and division and may play a role in moving beyond gridlock, two millennial-aged lawmakers said.

State Reps. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton, and Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee, joined Steven Olikara, the founder of the Millennial Action Project, for an interview that aired Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Neylon said millennials see the division in the country, predicting they will help it “swing back” in the future.

“Eventually people are going to be tired of that, and I think that’s going to start at a grass roots level in a younger generation,” Neylon said.

Stuck said millennials have not voted as much in the past, because “they feel like it doesn’t matter.” She said younger voters are now starting to become more involved.

Olikara said voters aged 18-39 turned out at much higher levels in the November midterm election. He said the youth vote nationally was 31 percent, the largest in a quarter century.

In Wisconsin, millennials made up 14 percent of the electorate, Olikara said, and they played a decisive role.

While young voter turnout was greatly improved, “it’s our view that it’s still too low,” Olikara said.

Stuck said it’s up to millennial-aged lawmakers to reach out to younger voters and show them why “it’s important to be involved.”

Stuck and Neylon are the co-chairs of the Wisconsin Future Caucus, which Neylon said is the only bipartisan caucus in the Legislature.

In another segment, Stuck and Neylon looked ahead to a possible extraordinary session in December.

Leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature have talked publicly about ways to codify some GOP rules and initiatives before Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers takes office on Jan. 7. Democrats have characterized that as a power grab.

Stuck said if Republicans move ahead with that in a lame-duck session, it would get their relationship with Evers “off on the wrong foot.”

“We can either set a tone now, that we’re all going to be adults in the room and show up and work together. Or we can show that some of us want to act like children and make it be about power instead of really working together,” she said.

Neylon said Republicans and Evers can find common ground in several areas, including some issues Evers ran on. Neylon said those areas include school funding, transportation funding, and economic development.

Also on the program, UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields said Platteville’s integration of the UW Colleges in Sauk and Richland counties is “going very well.”

The UW System is in the first phase of a plan to merge the two-year UW Colleges with four-year universities. The system proposed the mergers as a way to address declining enrollment at the colleges.

Shields said UW-Platteville plans to develop specific, applicable academic programs that can support business and industry in the areas of the colleges it has integrated.

In Richland County, that will include new agriculture programs. And in the Sauk County – Wisconsin Dells area, that will include business, tourism and hospitality-focused programs, he said.

See more from the show:

‘UpFront’: Darling, Hintz differ on GOP idea to move presidential primary date

State Sen. Alberta Darling defended a Republican idea to change the date of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential primary, a move that could help a conservative Wisconsin Supreme justice keep his job.

The April 2020 primary could be an election with high Democratic voter turnout. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, appointed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2016, will be up for election at that time.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate to put the burden of a presidential primary on top of our local races, so that’s what that’s all about,” Darling, R-River Hills, said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

“But why was it appropriate in 2016? In 2016, Rebecca Bradley was running, we had a presidential primary. You could argue she benefited from that. Why was this not an issue then?” Gousha asked.

“Well, the issue is we found from that election that it really didn’t benefit a lot of other (non) partisan races. And we want to make a statement that we need to change the national influence on local elections,” Darling said.

Darling, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Finance, also acknowledged the Kimberly-Clark incentive bill lacks votes to pass the Senate at this time. Several Republican senators have stated their opposition to the bill.

Darling said previous incentive packages to help retain large employers have passed with bipartisan support. She said Democrats should “dig deep” to find support for the bill, which would help consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark keep jobs in the Fox Valley.

“The fact is, these are $72,000 (a year) jobs we’re talking about. If they leave, where are these people going to find $72,000 jobs?” she said.

Also on the program, Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said the idea to change the date of the 2020 presidential primary shows Republicans are “more interested in power and control” than in democracy.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy when you think about the fact that, just a year ago, (Republicans) wouldn’t fill seats that were vacated for people who went to the administration because of the cost of those elections,” Hintz said.

“Now, they’re talking about changing the rules to add additional elections that will cost millions of dollars of taxpayer expense,” he said.

“This is exactly the brand of politics that that was rejected by the voters, who really selected Tony Evers to really move away from this brand of politics,” Hintz said.

In another segment, Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said Wisconsin will once again be a battleground state in 2020.

See more from the show:


‘UpFront’: Vos seeks to prevent Evers from undoing GOP reforms

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he is trying to protect Republican-passed laws from being undone by Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers, and suggested some media outlets sensationalized his comments about the balance of power between the governor and lawmakers.

In an interview that aired Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” Vos said he wants to codify some things outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker did through executive order, like implementing aspects of the Voter ID law.

“If we don’t put those into the statutes on day one, Tony Evers undoes that executive order, and Voter ID is in jeopardy,” Vos said on the program, produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

“People saw you talking about limiting powers of the governor. I guess my question would be, is that what the people of Wisconsin want you to do?” Gousha asked.

“The fact that the Journal Sentinel chose to sensationalize the idea that we should look at the balance of powers, make sure that things that were done under Gov. Walker remain; that’s what my voters elected me to do,” Vos said.

Besides Voter ID, Vos said the Republican plan to create work requirements for welfare, which just received a waiver from the Trump administration, is another thing Evers could undo if Republican lawmakers don’t act.

“Current law allows Gov. Evers on day one to eliminate those work requirements for anybody on welfare. I strongly believe in that. Those are the kinds of policies I want to put into place, make sure that Gov. Evers can’t repeal them on day one without the cooperation of the Legislature, and make sure that we keep the success that Wisconsin has had going forward,” Vos said.

Vos said his “number one priority” for the lame duck session is to put protections for people with pre-existing conditions into state law.

Gousha asked why Evers shouldn’t have a say on some of these issues. Vos responded that Evers didn’t win a mandate Nov. 6 in the close election.

“There is no mandate for his agenda. He won the election and I congratulate him on that. The outcome is not what I wanted,” Vos said.

“But I certainly am not going to forget that the rest of Wisconsin, outside of the people who live in Dane County and Milwaukee, want to make sure that we have that balance. And my job is to make sure that the policies that have made Wisconsin successful stay on the books, and that we don’t roll back all of the reforms that have us as one of the most successful economies in the country,” Vos said.

Vos also said he would not let Evers “screw up” the Foxconn deal. During the campaign, Evers was critical of the contract and the amount of money the Walker administration committed to the Taiwanese tech giant for creating jobs in Wisconsin.

“I represent the area where Foxconn is,” Vos said.

“I am not going to allow incoming Gov. Evers to screw up the largest economic opportunity for the region that I represent in the state. So yes, I want to make sure the deal that we have for Foxconn does not all of the sudden get changed,” Vos said.

In a web extra, Vos said Foxconn executives hoped to “show (Evers) why, perhaps, his rhetoric was wrong.”

“My hope is that (Evers) opens his mind and ignores his base and says ‘Let’s learn about why this Foxconn investment was so important,’ and why it’s going to be transformational for Racine, Kenosha and all of Wisconsin, as opposed to just being a knee-jerk liberal saying ‘We gotta eliminate this deal,’ like many in the Assembly and the Senate said,” Vos said.

The speaker did say there are issues on which Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature could work together, including the opioid crisis, foster care and transportation.

“I think that we have an opportunity to reduce the amount of borrowing that we have, potentially raise some revenues, and put it into what he said, that I agree with, during the campaign, and that’s going into roads and bridges and infrastructure,” Vos said.

In another segment, Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul discussed his priorities upon taking over at DOJ.

Kaul said he wanted to build on relationships between DOJ and law enforcement agencies around the state. He said he wanted to tackle the opioid crisis by making sure law enforcement is “targeting large-scale traffickers” to “slow the supply of heroin, and fentanyl and meth” into the state.

Kaul also said another early priority would be justice for sexual assault victims, and preventing another backlog of untested rape kits. A backlog of untested kits was an issue in his campaign against Republican incumbent Brad Schimel.

“We still have not had a single conviction resulting from the testing of the kits in the backlog, and only three people have been charged with a crime,” Kaul said.

“I also want to take action in my first hundred days in office, and I hope to work with the Legislature on legislation that will do as much as we can to prevent there from ever being a backlog from happening again,” Kaul said, adding that would involve “clear guidance” to law enforcement about the timeline for submitting kits.

Gousha asked Kaul if he would join other Democratic attorneys general around the nation in pushing back against Trump administration policies.

“If there are federal policies that are harmful to Wisconsinites, and that are either unconstitutional or illegal, I think that the attorney general absolutely should stand up for the best interests of Wisconsin,” Kaul said.

Gousha also asked Kaul what his mother, the late former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, would think of his winning the office she held from 2003 to 2007.

Kaul said it would mean a lot to her “that I am going to have a chance to go to work to do what I think is going to move the state of Wisconsin forward and make our communities stronger.”

Watch the show: https://www.wisn.com/upfront

‘UpFront’: Walker, Evers trade shots over taxes, pre-existing conditions coverage

Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Democrat Tony Evers will “return us to a recession,” while Evers said Walker is lying about protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Both candidates offered their closing arguments to voters in interviews that aired Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Gousha asked Walker about the biggest difference between him and Evers.

“Well, it’s simple. If you want more jobs, and higher wages, I’m your guy. If you want more spending and higher taxes, which will lead to fewer jobs, then you should vote for Tony Evers,” Walker said.

“It’s not personal. We get along. We work on stuff together, but that’s the classic difference,” he said.

“We have more people working in this state than ever before. Our wage growth far exceeds the rest of the nation, including most states around us,” Walker said.

“And at the same time, my opponent’s talking about $7 billion in new spending. That’s higher property taxes, higher income taxes on farmers and manufacturers, and a gas tax as high as a dollar a gallon. That will cost us jobs; that will return us to a recession,” he said.

Walker also said his recent statement about taking the same language on pre-existing conditions from the federal Affordable Care Act and enacting it in state law is not new.

“I actually said it in both the debates,” Walker said.

“We can protect people with pre-existing conditions without protecting the failure that is Obamacare,” Walker said.

Gousha asked Evers why he is the better candidate for governor.

“Certainly, after eight years of divide and conquer, what I bring to the table is someone that learned, living across the state, is that what unites us is much bigger than what divides us,” Evers said.

“I’m going to work hard to find common ground. Make sure that those important issues that we’ve talked about in this campaign, we actually attack and take care of those issues for the people of Wisconsin,” he said.

“People in Wisconsin are tired of the polarization, and we’re going to change that going forward,” Evers said.

Evers said Walker was “talking out of both sides of his mouth” about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, while he’s “working hard to gut the entire Affordable Care Act” in a federal lawsuit.

“If he really wanted to do this he’d drop out of that lawsuit,” Evers said, adding that as governor, he would guarantee protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Evers denied Walker’s claim that he will raise taxes if elected.

“I’m planning on raising no taxes,” Evers said.

He called Walker’s claim that he would raise the gas tax a dollar a gallon “laughable.”

“For crying out loud Mike, I wouldn’t vote for myself if that was the case,” Evers said, and reiterated his previous statements that he will seek a bipartisan solution to the state’s transportation funding needs.

Also on the program, the major-party candidates for state treasurer, Democrat Sarah Godlewski and Republican Travis Hartwig, sparred over their competing visions for the office.

In other segments, Jeff Mayers, president of Wispolitics.com, and Emilee Fannon, Capitol Bureau Chief and the host of “Capitol City Sunday” on WKOW-TV, offered analysis of the races for governor, U.S. Senate and attorney general.

See more from the show:

‘WisBiz: The Show’ – Features Rock Riber Capital’s Andy Walker, Tech Metrics and lates Tom Still commentary


Contact: Tom Still or Julie Johnson at 608-442-7557

To learn more online: www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com

MADISON, Wis. – The latest episode of “WisBusiness.com: The Show” features an interview with Andy Walker, partner at Rock River Capital Partners, which recently closed on its first fund and is now looking to invest in young Wisconsin companies.

Also, Liz Schrum presents Tech Metrics, which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy.

In a separate commentary, Tech Council President Tom Still talks about the 2018 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, which attracted more than 520 investors, entrepreneurs and others over two days in Madison.

Click here to view the biweekly show and Still’s commentary, produced by Red Arrow Production for the Tech Council and WisBusiness.com, as well as archives of past shows. The show is sponsored by UW-MilwaukeeBDO and Exact Sciences.

Miss a show? Visit our archives at https://wisconsintechnologycouncil.com/newsroom/wisbusiness-the-show/

Julie Johnson

Operations Director

Wisconsin Technology Council

455 Science Drive, Suite 240

Madison, WI 53711

608-442-7557 x 1

14th AD Dem Vining declares win over Adamczyk


Dem Robyn Vining is declaring victory in her race against GOP state Treasurer Matt Adamczyk for the open 14th AD after she trailed in the initial count by 21 votes.

The declaration comes after returns were updated in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, the two that make up the district. The results put Vining 132 votes ahead of Adamczyk, per a WisPolitics.com check of the two counties’ sites.

Vining in a statement late Wednesday night thanked her family, friends and campaign volunteers for the win.

“Yesterday, I promised that I would not stop until every vote was counted. Today, we see the results,” she said.

Adamczyk in a statement Thursday morning noted the new discovery “is the reason we have a canvass.”

“I will wait until after the official canvass results to announce my decision whether or not I pursue a recount,” he said.

The results would give Republicans a 63-36 majority in the Assembly.

See Vining’s release. 

See Adamczyk’s.


2018 Alix Olson Award: Winner is Holly Storck-Post


Contact: Gloria Reyes
November 14, 2018 608-266-4611

Holly Storck-Post will be honored with 2018 Alix Olson Award for the Promotion of a Tolerant and Just Community at the City of Madison Mayor’s Neighborhood Conference “Shaping Community/Driving Action” at Monona Terrace on Saturday, November 17, 2018. The award is being presented by STAJOH (Seeking Tolerance and Justice Over Hate “stay-joe”).

As a librarian in the Madison Public Library system, Holly Storck-Post is passionate and committed in her work to promote diversity, equity, tolerance, acceptance and inclusion for all. She is dedicated to helping to make this world a better place, one book and one program at a time, through her work with Madison Public Library, within and outside the library walls. Holly delivers anti-hate messages in everyday library transactions, providing children, families and caregivers with accepting and inclusive learning opportunities, tools and resources that affect the outlook of a generation of Madisonians.

Storck-Post brings her welcoming message of diversity and inclusion with her wherever she goes, from the numerous daycare facilities and outreach locations she visits regularly, sharing stories directly with children and providing tools and resources for caregivers. She connects book displays to larger campaigns for equity and acceptance, hosting public screen-printing events featuring the message “Libraries Are for Everyone” in multiple languages and bringing Drag Queen Story Time to Madison Public Library.

Storck-Post’s dedication to building relationships, increasing literacy, tearing down barriers to access and honoring the lives of all make her an ideal recipient of the 2018 Alix Award.
“Especially in these trying times, as our country is fractured by politics, it’s refreshing to applaud the work of an employee like Holly,” said Mayor Paul Soglin. “Her efforts to support diversity and inclusion are even more important and appreciated.”

STAJOH is an anti-hate crime group composed of representatives of government agencies from the City of Madison, Dane County, State of Wisconsin, Madison Metropolitan School District and University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as other community-based agencies throughout Dane County.

The Alix Award recognizes contributions of individuals who make a difference by promoting tolerance and justice in their community. Retired Madison Police Department Detective Alix Olson was the heart and soul of STAJOH and this award is given in honor of her service.

2018 New North Summit: Program to feature business leaders from region


Contact: Jeff Blumb
Office: 920.328.5454
Email: [email protected]

Schuler, Flynn and Goggans to discuss the importance of connection to the community

NEW NORTH, November 7, 2018 – Three business leaders from the region highlight the program for the 15th annual New North Summit, set for Thursday, Dec. 6, at the new Fox Cities Exhibition in downtown Appleton. Speaking at the 2018 Summit, which is themed “Net-Work,” will be Michelle Schuler of TechSpark Wisconsin at Microsoft, Phil Flynn of Associated Bank and Mary Goggans of Encapsys, LLC.

The three speakers will follow the popular ‘ED Talk’ format utilized at the Summit since 2015. ED Talks are the New North version of TED Talks, focusing on Economic Development themes from the perspective of business leaders in the region. The speakers will engage the audience through a storytelling format to expose them to new ideas. “We are excited to have the insights of Michelle, Phil and Mary on talent development and being aware of and connected to the community,” says Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North Inc.
“All three maximize networking each day in their business and can share how they successfully leverage it.”

Along with the three dynamic presentations, the full-day event is designed to also provide attendees with extensive networking opportunities and the sharing of regional success stories. New North Inc. also will provide an overview of economic- and talent-development initiatives in the region over the past year with a look ahead to 2019. Online registration continues at www.newnorthsummit.com. The registration fee is $90, increasing
to $100 at the door on the day of the event. Student tickets are available for $15.
Schuler is manager of TechSpark Wisconsin at Microsoft, a position she began last July. She leads this multi-disciplined initiative focused on the impact of technology disruptions, while also helping Microsoft to learn more about the New North region. Schuler also is co-founder and outgoing president of Women in Technology (WIT) Wisconsin, a start-up organization with the goal to attract, grow and retain women in technology. Her ED Talk will highlight civic engagement activity in the region and how the talent shortage in technology careers is being addressed.

Flynn has nearly 40 years of experience in the financial services industry and is the current
President and CEO of Associated Bank – one of the top 50 publicly traded U.S. bank holding
companies, headquartered in Green Bay. Phil’s ED Talk looks to the regional, state and national landscape for perspective on what’s driving economic development; and provides a unique view of the connections businesses, community organizations and other groups can create to drive opportunity for our region.

Goggans brings the perspective of an innovator within the manufacturing space. She is president of Encapsys, LLC, a global manufacturer of encapsulated products. Encapsys, LLC formerly was a division of specialty papermaker Appvion before spinning off as a new venture. Goggans also has spent 25 years in leadership at Kimberly-Clark Corporation following graduation from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Her ED Talk will engage the audience with Encapsys technology and present the opportunity to provide college students with high-tech internships to keep high-potential talent in Northeast Wisconsin.

The New North Summit is geared towards business leaders, educators, non-profit heads,
manufacturers, IT professionals, elected officials, community members and other stakeholders from around the region and state. Networking begins at 8 a.m., followed by the start of the 2018 Summit program at 9 a.m. Additional programming elements of this year’s Summit will be announced later this month.

WHERE: Fox Cities Exhibition Center
355 W. Lawrence St.; Appleton, Wis.
WHEN: Thursday, December 6, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A tale of two parties


While those at Gov. Scott Walker’s party are intently watching returns — breaking into cheers when tonight’s seesaw returns tip in the guv’s favor — supporters at Brad Schimel’s party next door are dancing as the incumbent AG lays down bass lines for his band, 4 on the Floor.

With 93 percent of the vote in, Schimel was leading Dem Josh Kaul by more than 6,700 votes.

Absentee ballots cast already 46 percent higher than 2014


The number of absentee ballots cast is already 46 percent higher than in the last guv election, according to the latest update from the Elections Commission.

So far, 547,954 ballots had been cast through Sunday, the last day available for in-person absentee voting, and that number is expected to climb higher.

In 2014, there were 374,294 absentee ballots counted out of the 2.4 million votes cast in the November election, and they accounted for about 15 percent of turnout. Two years ago, 830,763 of the almost 3 million votes counted were cast absentee, or 27 percent.

Compared to 2016 numbers, Dane, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties all had have already tallied more than 70 percent of absentee ballots cast compared to two years ago. Dane is already at 85,268, or 70.8 percent of the 2016 total. Meanwhile, Waukesha was at 63,866, 70.7 percent, and Milwaukee at 91,549, 70.2 percent.

Statewide, the number of absentee ballots cast is already about 66 percent of 2018. Turnout is typically up significantly in Wisconsin during presidential years.

Other notable counties compared to their number of absentee ballots cast in 2016 include:

Washington County, 16,705 (65.7 percent).
La Crosse County, 14,059 (64.2 percent).
Eau Claire County, 8,326 (60.7 percent).
Racine County, 20,254 (60.7 percent).
Winnebago County, 16,259 (58.2 percent).
Outagamie County, 18,935 (54.1 percent).

Two years ago, GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson won Waukesha, Washington, Racine, Winnebago and Outagamie counties.

Dem Russ Feingold won Dane, Milwaukee, Eau Claire and La Crosse counties.

The final number of absentee ballots for the 2018 election is expected to climb higher. The Elections Commission noted some may be behind entering totals. Meanwhile, those who have requested absentee ballots have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to return them to municipal clerks.


Adamczyk campaign: Statement on the 14th District canvass


Matt Adamczyk (262) 278-0585

Wauwatosa…Matt Adamczyk released the following statement regarding the completion of the canvass for the 14th Assembly District:

“I would like to begin by thanking all the people who supported me in my election for the 14th district, especially my family, friends and the voters. This was a very close election. The official canvass has been completed and my opponent, Robyn Vining, received more votes than I received. I do not plan to request a recount. I recently called Robyn to concede and wished her well.”


Adamczyk campaign: Statement on the 14th District canvass


For Further Information Contact:
Matt Adamczyk (262) 278-0585

Wauwatosa…Matt Adamczyk released the following statement regarding the completion of the canvass for the 14th Assembly District:

“I would like to begin by thanking all the people who supported me in my election for the 14th district, especially my family, friends and the voters. This was a very close election. The official canvass has been completed and my opponent, Robyn Vining, received more votes than I received. I do not plan to request a recount. I recently called Robyn to concede and wished her well.”

Adamczyk campaign: Statement on the 14th District election and canvass


For Further Information Contact:
Matt Adamczyk (262) 278-0585

[Wauwatosa] Matt Adamczyk released the following statement regarding the recent reports of a new vote total discovered in Wauwatosa:

“I’d like to thank all the people who supported me in my election for the 14th district. I’m heartened by all the people who have reached out offering their support as we await the formal result. This new unofficial result discovery is the reason we have a canvass. I will wait until after the official canvass results to announce my decision whether or not I pursue a recount.”

Adamczyk concedes in 14th AD race


Republican Matt Adamczyk has officially conceded in the 14th AD race, nearly a week after Dem Robyn Vining declared victory for the seat.

Adamczyk in a statement this evening said he also won’t be requesting a recount in the race following the official canvass.

“This was a very close election,” the outgoing state treasurer said in a statement. “The official canvass has been completed and my opponent, Robyn Vining, received more votes than I received.”

The initial count in the race showed Vining behind by 21 points. But updated results from the city of Wauwatosa last Wednesday put her ahead of Adamczyk by 132 votes.

AG race remains uncalled as it sits in recount territory


The race for attorney general remained uncalled early this morning as preliminary results showed Dem Josh Kaul barely edging out Republican Brad Schimel.

The results — which give Kaul 49.5 percent of the vote to Schimel’s 48.7 percent — put the two in recount territory, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Under the state’s new recount law that was just changed this session, any candidate seeking a recount must finish no more than 1 percentage point behind the leading candidate in an election with more than 4,000 votes cast.

The law also says a candidate seeking a recount must pay the fee to perform one if the winning margin is more than 0.25 percent of the total votes cast in the race.

The race is currently at a margin of nearly 21,000 votes, per unofficial returns.

Both candidates around midnight disbanded their election night events and urged supporters to go home.

Ahead of poll closure, clerks report surge in turnout


Polls have closed across the state as clerks are reporting a surge in turnout, with some counties nearing presidential numbers.

Meanwhile, some polling locations reported seeing ballot shortages as voters weighed in today on contests in the governor’s race, U.S. Senate, Congress, the Legislature and constitutional offices.

Dane County turnout figures were tracking those of the 2016 presidential election as of this afternoon, according to the Dane County clerk; while staff in the Waukesha County clerk’s office suggest turnout in the GOP stronghold could end up surpassing presidential levels based on anecdotal evidence.

And in Milwaukee, Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht is anticipating a turnout of around 200,000, or 65 percent of registered voters. Albrecht said that number could inch higher based on how busy poll workers are. In the 2016 presidential election, about 241,000 voters cast a ballot.

Meanwhile in Beloit, the city clerk reported ballot shortages because officials hadn’t run enough copies in anticipation of today’s election, though the issue was resolved ahead of polls closing. Officials estimate turnout to be around 46 percent among eligible voters in the city.

Ald. Donovan: Marquette, a vacant Ramada Inn and homelessness


Last week, I sent a letter to the President of Marquette University, Dr. Lovell, regarding homelessness in Milwaukee and proposed the possibility of opening up the vacant Ramada Inn as a temporary homeless shelter. I want to take a moment to clear up some of the misconceptions that have arisen regarding my proposal.

For the record, I wrote and sent this letter to Marquette’s president on Monday of last week. Shortly thereafter, University representatives reached out to me and said Dr. Lovell was out-of-town, but they would set up a meeting with me to discuss the letter’s contents.

On Tuesday of last week – the very next day – Ald. Borkowski and I held a press conference at the homeless encampment at Sixth and Clybourn calling for a community response to the problem of homelessness. And at that press conference, the subject of the letter I sent to Marquette was raised.

Very shortly after the press conference ended, and very much to my surprise, Marquette issued a statement dismissing the inquiry made by my letter out-of-hand.

With that chronology in mind, I want to say categorically and, again, for the record, that my letter to Marquette did not state or suggest that the University should open up and take on the responsibility of running a permanent homeless shelter at the Ramada Inn property. On the contrary, it was my hope that Marquette would recognize the unique set of circumstances presented by this situation and agree to allow the temporary use of this property, which was the only contribution that I was asking of them in regards to this proposal.

As for the security, liability, maintenance, staffing, upkeep of the property and all other services needed, my hope was to work with the City, the County, the State, and homeless outreach groups to pool our resources with the goal of opening a temporary homeless shelter – a safe, warm place where the homeless can stay while the County and other social service agencies work to find them permanent housing and other assistance that they may need to get back on their feet.

The unique circumstances surrounding this issue, leading to my proposal, remain. I know, however, now, that I made a number of erroneous assumptions when it comes to Marquette University – assumptions that I can assure this community I will never make again.

*I assumed that Marquette could see that there is a sizeable and growing homeless encampment literally feet away from the Ramada Inn property. What is more, I am informed by police and others that there are as many as 100 homeless individuals within walking distance of this encampment and this vacant hotel.  Whatever might be its present condition the Ramada Inn was designed and built to temporarily house people. Marquette representatives have said that the University has no plans for the site other than the demolition of the existing building sometime in the future.

*I assumed that Marquette, given its nature, would be a more flexible and open problem-solving partner with the City than is the typical private, for-profit business or corporate entity. Moreover, as the University’s own statement points out, it does much in the community to address the challenges of poverty and homeless – for which it is to be commended.  The suggestions raised in my letter seemed congruous to Marquette’s mission, and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank them for all of their ongoing outreach effort to help the homeless.

*I assumed that an institution that just recently persuaded the state legislature to increase its tax-exempt footprint within the City from 80 to 150 acres would be open to putting to better use a facility that, until its closing, paid more than $100,000 annually in taxes. What I am proposing would not put any financial burden on the University and their tax-exempt status for this property would remain.

* I assumed that my letter and proposal would receive serious consideration not only because it was coming from a long-standing public official, but also one who has represented a portion of the Marquette campus for more than 18 years and I have never, ever – ever – denied any request they have made of me.

* And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that as a Roman Catholic, I cannot help but be a little disappointed that Marquette chose to end this conversation before it even began – before the City even had the chance to gather other resources and leverage them into a project of which I feel Marquette might have been extremely proud.

I believe that with all of us working together toward the common goal of eliminating homelessness in Milwaukee by addressing both the immediate needs and eventual long-term permanent housing, we can solve this problem. It is my hope that Marquette will reconsider being a partner in this effort but if not, we will move forward and continue this effort at another location.

Ald. Murphy: Final report released by Heroin, Opioid and Cocaine Task Force


Contact: Ald. Michael J. Murphy
(414) 286-3763

The final report of the City-County Heroin, Opioid and Cocaine Task Force was released today and includes an attack plan to end the heroin, opioid and cocaine epidemic that has spread across Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, and the region. The solutions offered include a detailed list of recommendations, ongoing prevention initiatives, and community resources including overdose emergency management guides and trauma response team handouts. Task Force Co-Chair Alderman Michael J. Murphy calls to attention the positive changes taking place throughout the city and county and the increase in community and government collaborations to put an end to this tragic epidemic.

The final report – released by the task force today during its final meeting at City Hall
– offers a final set of recommendations to address the fatal and non-fatal overdose epidemic in Milwaukee and Milwaukee County involving heroin, opioids, synthetic analogs and cocaine (in both powder and crack form). “Since the Task Force began its work 18 months ago, we have seen some positive developments that are encouraging, but we need to continue to work collaboratively to address this epidemic,” Alderman Murphy said. “The Task Force has been concentrating on the long narrative and the recommendations are
focused on fighting drug use and addiction – and overdoses – for many years to come.”

Recommendations focus on aspects related to policy, primary prevention, treatment, community collaboration. The report consists of various items including but not limited to:

  • Advocate for and support provider and social networks focused on long-term recovery including those leaving the prison system.
  • Conduct widespread public health education on the risk of substance abuse, targeted to potential users beyond traditional outlets –emphasizing fentanyl, opioid overdose, and other relevant substances.

Final report/ADD ONE

  • Build community capacity to recognize and prevent overdose deaths caused by opioids.
  • Support evidence-based harm reduction strategies to reduce overdose related deaths beyond Naloxone (Narcan).
  • Ensure substance abuse resources are deployed to high need areas of the community.

Task Force Co-Chair Mike Lappen, Administrator, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health
Division, said the panel’s work was rewarding and for an urgent crisis requiring all hands on deck. “This was a very collaborative effort,” he said. “The findings reinforce that we can reduce the terrible toll substance use has on our community by connecting people with high-quality resources early to prevent substance use and to support recovery.”

Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik said the report has the
appropriate focus and holds promise for addressing one of the most profound public health crises in recent memory. “I am pleased to support the implementation of the City-County Heroin, Opioid, and Cocaine Task Force Report. These community-driven and focused recommendations are necessary to evoke true change including the need to address the Social Determinants of Health (e.g. housing). We are committed to reframing addiction as a disease—barriers to recovery must be eliminated,” Dr. Kowalik said.

Alderman Murphy, the primary sponsor of the Common Council legislation creating the task
force, said multiple community listening sessions were held across the community during 2018 to gather input before the final report was drafted.

The task force has been hard at work during the past year to shape the policy recommendations and drew members from the Common Council, Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department, Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Intergovernmental Relations, the County Executive’s office, healthcare or hospital systems, the Medical Society of Milwaukee County, medical professionals, community organizations and the general public.

Alliant Energy Foundation: Hometown heroism gets support


Media Contact: Scott Reigstad (608) 458-3145

Public safety efforts in 13 communities receive over $12,000

MADISON, Wis. – November 1, 2018 – Emergency responders are neighbors and friends. Sometimes they’re even volunteers. They provide medical care, fight fires and protect our communities because they care.

Hometown Safety Grants from the Alliant Energy Foundation are our way of showing support. These grants fund specific tools and projects to help first responders do their jobs even better. That includes defibrillators in public buildings, personal protective equipment for police and more.

This fall, 13 communities across Wisconsin received grants.

Barneveld-Brigham Fire Department $1,000 Rescue task force team Barneveld
City of Beaver Dam $1,000 Ballistic shield protection for officers Beaver Dam
City of Madison Fire Department $1,000 Personal protective equipment (Tactical Medicine) Madison
Clintonville Area Ambulance Service $1,000 LifePak 15 cardiac monitor Clintonville
Grant Regional Health Center Foundation $1,000 AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) safety Lancaster
Hollandale Volunteer Fire Department $1,000 Natural gas detection meter Hollandale
Manawa Rural Ambulance $1,000 Powered stair chair upgrade Manawa
Middleton Emergency Medical Services $1,000 AutoPulse automated chest-compression devices Middleton
Monticello Fire Department $700 AED Monticello
New Chester Township Volunteer Fire Department $500 Wildland gear Grand Marsh
Rio Fire Department $1,000 Radio interoperability Rio
Saxeville-Springwater Volunteer Fire Engine Company $1,000 Safety vests, gloves and goggles Saxeville
Tigerton Area Ambulance Service $1,000 Stryker stair chair Bowler


Hometown Safety Grants are awarded for specific, one-time safety-related projects that benefit a wide range of people. For more information or to apply, visitalliantenergy.com/foundation.

Alliant Energy: 1 million electric vehicles now on U.S. roads


MADISON, Wis. (November 30, 2018)  Electric vehicles (EV) have hit a critical milestone of over 1 million EVs on the road. As demand increases, that number is expected to grow to 18 million by 2030.*

Federal tax credits and a discount for Alliant Energy electric customers are available for buying most electric vehicle models.

However, EVs have become so popular that some incentives are starting to come to an end. The tax credits are being phased out over the next 6 to 12 months. The timing will vary by manufacturer. Alliant Energy’s rebate is available through the end of 2018.

Though electric vehicles had a slow start with consumers, the market share has grown as technology has gotten better:

  • Instant torque makes them fun to drive.
  • They cost less to fuel, roughly $1/gallon equivalent.
  • Better batteries, longer range and more charging stations reduce worries.
  • They need less maintenance than a conventional vehicle.
  • They produce no tailpipe emissions.

Their popularity extends to the Midwest where there are currently more than 7,600 electric vehicles on the road in Wisconsin.

How to apply

Tax credits can be claimed on the federal tax form and Alliant Energy offers rebates toward the cost of a new or used EV.

 To learn more about electric vehicles and incentives, visit alliantenergy.com/ev.

American Federation for Children: School choice supporters victorious in Wisconsin elections


The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, congratulates the candidates who support educational choice on their successes in today’s election in Wisconsin. The election results are in line with numerous public polls that have found strong, bipartisan support for school choice.

Statement from Justin Moralez, State Director for the Wisconsin Federation for Children:

“Since its inception nearly thirty years ago, we have seen parents freely exercise their right to options, and school choice programs continue to grow. It should come as no surprise that voters all across the state continue to reject candidates that want to strip those rights away from families and compromise the education of children. We look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats on their efforts to ensure that all children, regardless of zip code, have the best access to quality education.”

Wisconsin Federation for Children Election Highlights

· SD 1 – André Jacque (R) – Challenger – WIN
· SD 17 – Howard Marklein (R) – Incumbent – WIN
· AD 13 – Rob Hutton (R) – Incumbent – WIN
· AD 14 – Matt Adamczyk (R) – Open seat – WIN
· AD 42 – Jon Plumer (R) – Incumbent – WIN
· AD 51 – Todd Novak (R) – Incumbent – WIN
· AD 62 – Robert Wittke (R) – Open seat – WIN
· AD 85 – Pat Snyder (R) – Incumbent – WIN
· AD 92 – Treig Pronschinske (R) – Incumbent – WIN
· AD 96 – Loren Oldenburg (R) – Open seat – WIN

AFC’s in-state committee, the American Federation for Children Action Fund – Wisconsin IE Committee supported the following champions of school choice who won their election based upon results posted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time of release:

André Jacque (R) defeated Caleb Frostman, who he lost to in the special election held in June. Jacque, who has been a staunch supporter of parental choice having used the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program himself, now moves from the Assembly to the Senate.

Despite representing a left leaning district, Sen. Howard Marklein (R) returns as the Senator for the 17th District, defeating Kriss Marion by a substantial margin.

Rep. Rob Hutton (R) defeated his challenger, Dennis McBride. McBride has been radical about denying educational options to parents and their children and lost 52% – 48%

Matt Adamczyk (R) replaces former State Representative Dale Kooyenga in a close race. Adamczyk leaves his position as State Treasurer that he has held since 2014.

Jon Plumer (R) once again defends his seat that he won in the special election held in June. Plumer, a Lodi business owner aims to bring fresh perspective and leadership to the assembly.

Rep. Todd Novak (R) narrowly defeated two-time opponent, Jeff Wright. Rep. Novak has been one of the most independent state representatives and has been rewarded by his constituents for another term.

Robert Wittke (R) won the open seat for the 62nd Assembly District by a healthy margin. Wittke, the President of the Racine Unified School District Board of Education, has made investing into K-12 education and opportunities a priority.

Rep. Pat Snyder (R) secured his second term through building good will and rapport with the community. He defeated Alyson Leahy, a first-time candidate who ran for the State Assembly just weeks after being elected to the Marathon County Board.

Volunteer firefighter and incumbent State Representative Treig Pronschinske (R) won reelection over Rob Groves 55% -45%.

Loren Oldenburg will replace retiring State Representative Lee Nerison to be the new 96th District Assembly person.

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations: Wisconsin voters reject anti-worker politics, show Walker the door


Contact: Karen Hickey
[email protected]

“Wisconsin voters have gone to the polls to reject Scott Walker’s union-busting style of politics and voted him out of office,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.  “Tony Ever’s victory is a clear signal that Wisconsinites will not stand for attacks on workers’ rights and our freedom to collectively bargain. We look forward to working with the Evers Administration to restore union rights to every Wisconsin worker, raise wages, fully fund our schools and invest in infrastructure so that we can finally fix our roads and bridges.”

“Union members have been doing the grassroots work of lacing up our boots and having conversations on front porch steps, in the workplace, over the phone, and at the mail box to ramp up the union vote for pro-worker candidates,” continued President Bloomingdale.  “The ground work of labor activism made the difference Tuesday.”

American Heart Association: Commends Common Council for attempting to lay groundwork to expand healthy food access


The organization calls for a veto override  

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The American Heart Association commends the Milwaukee Common Council, with leadership from Alderman Khalif Rainey, for supporting the Healthy Food Establishment Fund to assist in building a healthier Milwaukee.  Now the organization hopes members will override Mayor Barrett’s veto of this important initiative.

“We want to thank Alderman Rainey and the Common Council for investing in strategies to improve access to healthy and affordable foods in Milwaukee,” says Thomas Windsor, Milwaukee resident and Board Member for the American Heart Association. “We ask the Council to override the Mayor’s veto to ensure this remains a priority for the City.”

The 2019 City of Milwaukee budget amendment allotted $200,000 to create healthy food retail opportunities in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee that do not have access. These areas, commonly referred to as “food deserts,” are filled with fast food restaurants and other unhealthy options. This investment will help create more healthy outlets where residents can purchase food necessary for a nutritious diet. Unfortunately, the Mayor vetoed this appropriation.

“Tremendous progress has been made across the country to improve access to healthy foods, and best practice models exist for Milwaukee to replicate. Now we just need to ensure funding exists for this vital work,” says Windsor. “While we were disappointed in the Mayor’s veto, we are hopeful the Council will see the value in and need for this investment.”

As part of the MKE Elevate project, the Milwaukee Health Department conducted a survey of over 3,000 Milwaukee residents. Of those surveyed, nearly 40% responded that “access to affordable and healthy food” is the biggest barrier impacting their health. “We all know the importance of eating healthy, but nutritious options are not readily available in all parts of Milwaukee,” says Windsor. “It’s time we change that. Your access to healthy food should not depend on your zip code.”

American Majority Action: Conservative group’s ground-game hits 140,000 live voter contacts to get out the vote


Matt Batzel, American Majority Action
Mobile: (920)917-5860 E-mail: [email protected]

With only days remaining in the 2018 election cycle, American Majority Action (AMA) has just surpassed 140,000 live voter contacts focused on targeted doors of voters in Wisconsin. AMA’s ground game is creating a stir among voters in the Badger State as AMA staff and volunteers activate conservative voters.

Matt Batzel, the Wisconsin-based National Executive Director of American Majority Action Action, said, “Republicans can stop the Blue Wave in the Midwest with a strong showing in Wisconsin. The way conservatives can do that is through talking directly with their friends and family. Doors are the gold standard of campaign tactics. Wisconsinites have been inundated with TV commercials and radio ads, robocalls and campaign mail pieces.  While much attention is paid to the spending on the airwaves, those touches have fleeting impact.  But a personal contact at the door with a friendly face makes a lasting impression. We have found great reception on the doors to our message of the need to keep Wisconsin heading in the right direction.”

Face-to-face connections and live phone calls are the two highest forms of voter engagement and are shown to greatly increase election turnout. AMA’s activist groundswell is powered by Voter Gravity’s groundbreaking technology that allows staff to quickly and accurately get out the vote through micro-targeting voters.

American Majority: 56 trained New Leaders win


Media Contact: Nate Nelson [email protected]
November 7, 2018

American Majority Helps Change the Shape of State and Local Government

Mequon, WI – Following last night’s Fall Election, 24 American Majority Trained New Leaders were elected in the Fall Election, adding to the 32 New Leaders who won their Spring Elections. Congratulations to all of the winners on well run campaigns. American Majority trained new leaders had an excellent win ratio this year as 29 ran for office and 24 of them won their fall elections. The following New Leaders won their offices for the first time:

Kathy Bernier State Senate District 23
Dale Kooyenga State Senate District 5
Andre Jacque State Senate District 1
Gae Magnafici State Assembly District 28
Barb Dittrich State Assembly District 38
Jesse James State Assembly District 68
Tim Ramthun State Assembly District 59
Shae Sortwell State Assembly District 2
Robert Wittke State Assembly District 62

American Majority works to build a farm team of new leaders at all levels of government. Our trained New Leaders include 5 State Senators, 18 State Assemblymen and Assemblywomen and 1 County leaders. The farm team builds from the local and state levels of government. These leaders are also the folks who will hopefully take the next step to run for higher office down the road, creating a pipeline of conservative public service.

Nate Nelson, the Wisconsin Executive Director of American Majority, said “Congratulations to all the winners! Since opening our Wisconsin office in October 2010, we have trained 177 new leaders who’ve gone on to victory across Wisconsin. American Majority is helping to ensure that solid conservative candidates have the tools to be successful in their campaigns and we are thrilled to see these results in Wisconsin.”

Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin: Congratulates state Legislature victors, sets course for future wins


Contact: Eric Bott
[email protected]

MADISON, Wis. – Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin (AFP-WI) celebrated the policy champions who won election to the Wisconsin Legislature and looks forward to continuing working with them and other lawmakers to double down on policies that break barriers that keep Wisconsinites from improving their lives and communities. Every candidate for state legislature AFP-WI backed has won or is winning their election. AFP-WI had invested six-figures in grassroots activities and paid media to urge Wisconsinites to vote for these lawmakers.


AFP-WI State Director Eric Bott issued the following statement:
“These lawmakers have driven policies that have helped people improve their lives and we’re excited to build even stronger coalitions with them in the upcoming session. Wisconsinites have enjoyed historically low unemployment and more money in their pockets under the leadership of these lawmakers but there is still much work to be done. We applaud our activists for their tireless efforts in driving conversations about these reformers throughout the state and we will build on this momentum to continue breaking barriers to opportunity and building more policy champions in 2019 and beyond.”


The following candidates for state senate had earned the support of AFP-WI and won their elections:

  • Rep. Kathy Bernier currently represents Assembly District 68 in western Wisconsin and will now represent Senate District 23
  • Rep. Andre Jacque currently represents Assembly District 2 in northeast Wisconsin and will now represent Senate District 1
  • Sen. Howard Marklein currently represents Senate District 17 of southwest Wisconsin and was re-elected
  • Sen. Devin LaMahieu currently represents Senate District 9 and was re-elected


The following candidates for state assembly had earned the support of AFP-WI and won their elections:

  • Rep. Mary Felzkowski was re-elected to represent Assembly District 35
  • Rep. Rob Hutton was re-elected to represent Assembly District 13
  • Rep. Daniel Knodl was re-elected to represent Assembly District 24
  • Rep. John Macco was re-elected to represent Assembly District 88
  • Rep. Romaine Quinn was re-elected to represent Assembly District 75
  • Rep. Rob Stafsholt was re-elected to represent Assembly District 29
  • Rep. Shannon Zimmerman was re-elected to represent Assembly District 30


The following candidates earned the support of AFP-WI and are currently leading in their races, which at the time of this distribution have yet to be called:

  • Rep. Dale Kooyenga currently represents Assembly District 14 in southeast Wisconsin and is running to represent Senate District 5
  • Matt Adamczyk is currently Wisconsin’s Treasurer and is running to represent Assembly District 14
  • Rep. Jim Ott currently represents Assembly District 23 and is running for reelection


AFP-WI Announces Six-Figure Investment to Bolster Champions in Key Senate Races (10/9/18)

AFP-WI Announces Six-Figure Investment to Support Champions in Key Assembly Races (11/6/2018)


Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin: Thanks Sen. Johnson and Rep. Kind


CONTACT: Andres Malave at [email protected]

Grassroots effort launched to encourage bold leadership on key priorities

MADISON, WI. – Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin (AFP-WI) on Monday launched a paid media effort including direct mail and digital advertisements thanking Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Ron Kind for their leadership. Sen. Johnson is being recognized for his leadership on working to curb out-of-control spending; and both Sen. Johnson and Rep. Kind are being encouraged to keep speaking out against harmful tariffs.  AFP’s sister organization, The LIBRE Initiative, is also launching direct mail into the district of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan encouraging him to find a permanent solution to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The announcement is part of AFP’s end of year push that is dedicated to forging bipartisan compromise to address criminal justice reform, immigration reform, free trade and runaway spending.

View Spending Sample Here
View Trade Sample Here

AFP-WI State Director Eric Bott issued the following statement:

“It’s time to come together. Congress has an incredible opportunity to heal the partisan divide in our country by showing Americans that they can work together to curb out-of-control spending, put an end to a harmful trade war, and promote policies that empower individuals to achieve the American Dream. We want Wisconsinites to call on Senator Johnson, and Representatives Kind and Ryan to bring their chambers together to solve important issues before the year runs out.”


AFP is dedicated to building policy coalitions with members of both parties to help fix our broken criminal justice system, rein in spending, provide a solution for Dreamers, and promote free trade.

AFP is thanking the following U.S. Senators and Representatives for supporting U.S. jobs by opposing harmful tariffs and supporting American trade: Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Susan Collins, (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL), Greg Meeks (D-NY), Ron Kind (D-WI), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Don Bacon (R-NE), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Warren Davidson (R-OH), and Steve Chabot (R-OH).

AFP is also asking the following Senate and House lawmakers to step up and support U.S. jobs by opposing harmful tariffs and supporting American trade: Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Doug Jones (D-AL) and Patty Murray (D-WA), and Representatives Collin Peterson (R-MN) and Will Hurd (R-TX).

On the issue of out-of-control spending, AFP is thanking the following U.S. Senators and Representatives for voting to rein in spending: Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), John Barrasso (R-WY), David Purdue (R-GA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Mike Lee (R-UT), James Lankford (R-OK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Representatives Justin Amash (R-MI), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rod Blum (R-IA), Dave Brat (R-VA), Ted Budd (R-NC), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andy Harris (R-MD), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Scott Perry (R-PA), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Thomas Massie (R-KY), John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Mark Walker (R-NC).

For further information or an interview, reach Andres Malave at [email protected]

Annual Association of School Economics Teachers Conference 🗓


Join us for the 29th Annual Association of School Economics Teachers (ASET) Conference, November 29th at Briggs & Stratton in Milwaukee.
Tim O’Driscoll will be awarded the James Flora Teaching
Award for his lifetime achievements in economics education.

Topics and speakers will include:
Kris Bertelsen, Ph.D.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) Dashboards and
The Econ Lowdown: They’re the Real Deal

Doug Young
CEO/Head Coach, The Wiser Choice
Understanding Fiscal Responsibility: More Lessons to be Learned

Amanda Gasper
Financial Literacy Coordinator, UW-La Crosse
Financial Literacy: It Make$ Cents

AP calls 1st CD race for Steil


Republican Bryan Steil won the 1st CD race against Dem Randy Bryce, the Associated Press has projected.

Steil, a UW regent, won nearly 58 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns, while ironworker Bryce was at 39 percent.

Independent Ken Yorgan has nearly 3.1 percent of the vote, per the returns.

AP calls 6th CD for Grothman


Incumbent Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman has won the race for the 6th CD in northeastern Wisconsin, the Associated Press has determined. 

Per unofficial results, Grothman won the race against Democrat Dan Kohl with 56 percent of the vote, compared to Kohl’s 44 percent. Seventy-nine percent of precincts are reporting. 

The result follows polling in the district showing the two candidates in a close race as well as independent expenditures logged that favored Kohl.

Grothman, who previously served in the state Senate and Assembly, has served in Congress since 2015.

Assembly Dems re-elect Hintz as minority leader


Assembly Dems have re-elected Gordon Hintz as minority leader after the caucus gained one seat in the midterm elections.

The Oshkosh Dem ran for the post unopposed. But a motion to re-elect him unanimously was shot down following Rep. Christine Sinicki’s objection, leading to a paper-ballot vote.

The caucus also selected Dianne Hesselbein, of Middleton, as assistant minority leader over challenger David Crowley, of Milwaukee; and Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, as caucus vice-chair over Lisa Subeck, of Madison.

And members re-elected Mark Spreitzer, of Beloit, as caucus chair; Beth Meyers, of Bayfield, as caucus secretary; and Sinicki, of Milwaukee, as sergeant at arms. All elections — except Meyers and Sinicki, who were approved unanimously — were conducted via paper ballot.

Hintz, addressing the caucus after the elections, touted Gov.-elect Tony Evers’ win as a means of depoliticizing state agencies; safeguarding the state from “further damage;” and ensuring “the priorities of health care and K-12 education remain priorities going forward.”

He added Evers’ win “dramatically changes” Assembly Dems’ role going forward, pointing to the state budget, which he says will likely require support from the caucus.

“That presents an opportunity for all of us to impact positively the decisions made in our state,” he said.

Hintz also said Evers’ election means the state “won’t have rigged maps again,” adding that many Assembly Dem candidates who ran for office this year are interested in running again in 2022 “when we get fair maps.”

Assembly Republicans re-elect Vos as speaker


Assembly Republicans today unanimously voted to keep Robin Vos, R-Rochester, as speaker as the chamber prepares to come back next session with a 63-36 majority.

Members also unanimously supported Tyler August, of Lake Geneva, as speaker pro tempore; Jim Steineke, of Kaukauna, as majority leader; Dan Knodl, of Germantown, as majority caucus chair; Romaine Quinn, of Barron, as majority caucus vice chair; Jessie Rodriguez, of Oak Creek, as secretary; and Samantha Kerkman, of Salem, as sergeant at arms.

And they voted to elect Rep. Mary Felzkowski, of Irma, as assistant majority leader, an office previously held by Rep. Rob Brooks, of Saukville, who stepped down from leadership earlier this fall after news reports showed he made inappropriate comments to female legislators. Joel Kitchens, of Sturgeon Bay; and Scott Krug, of Nekoosa, also sought the post this afternoon.

The leadership elections this afternoon came after the Assembly GOP lost just one seat in last week’s midterms and prepare to work under Dem Gov.-elect Tony Evers’ administration following his inauguration Jan. 7.

Vos, who addressed the caucus following his re-election as speaker, touted Republicans’ accomplishments over the last eight years, including the state’s economy and low unemployment rate, as he warned his colleagues they’ll have to work to “protect that legacy (and) enhance it where we can.”

He added his colleagues would have a “front row seat to revisionist history” over the next session, “where people who are beginning to occupy the East Wing of the Capitol will want to somehow downplay the accomplishments we have put together over the past eight years.”

He also pledged the caucus would stand beside Evers when he’s right, but if that isn’t the case, “we are going to stand like bedrock to make sure that Wisconsin does not go back.”

“We are not going to roll over and play dead like they assume we probably should,” Vos said, noting that Evers’ win last week didn’t give him “a mandate” over state control.

Backline music accelerator cohort nearing end of program


Early-career artists in gener8tor’s Backline music accelerator are making industry connections and building their brands as they near the end of the program.


The 12-week course provides mentorship, travel opportunities, production assistance and a $20,000 grant.


“When you’re giving artists the tools they need to actually just create… it takes away all those barriers. You can actually just be creative,” said Spencer Mutsch. He’s otherwise known as Crystal Knives, a creator of electronic dance music, or EDM.


The program has diverse artists performing and recording rap, R&B, hip-hop, alternative and more. Some of those artists recently travelled to New York and Los Angeles to build a network of valuable contacts, as part of Phase 2 of the program.


That followed Phase 1, when artists had about five weeks to create new work with studio and writing help. One of the rap artists, Zed Kenzo, spent over 200 hours in the recording studio, according to program director Enrique “Mag” Rodriguez. (pictured here)


“I’ve actually been able to make more music,” Kenzo said. “It’s expensive to get studio time, it’s expensive to pay producers, it’s expensive to do the videos and all that. So it’s been very easy for me to create my music.”


Phase 3 of the program wraps up next week, and is focused on leveraging the new content and industry connections to boost the young artists’ careers. In that part of the program, artists learn about booking shows, publishing, distribution, legal and finances.


Aside from working on their brand, network and body of work, artists also get resources for personal development. A side program called Backline Vision connects artists to trauma therapists, personal finance advisors, fitness coaches, and more.

See more at WisBusiness.com.

Baldwin at Madison stop touts efforts to stand against special interests


U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin touted her efforts to stand against special interests and pledged to continue championing the state’s interests “with every fiber” as she urged students to head to the polls.

“I have never been afraid to stand up to those interests,” she told a group of college students at a downtown Madison field office this afternoon.

The Madison Dem also pointed to the outside spending against her in the race, saying she decided to use it as a “matter of pride” in her campaign.

Baldwin, speaking to reporters before heading to Memorial Union to cast her ballot, also knocked President Trump for using the ongoing news about the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico as a way to score “political points” instead of working toward a solution.

Still, she stressed the need to apply the country’s laws, adding, “There’s no exception whether there’s a group or single person that comes.”

Asked about national news reports that show Trump finalizing an executive order that would require asylum seekers to head to legal ports of entry, Baldwin expressed concern about temporary or permanent closures to those entry points that wouldn’t allow individuals to get processed.

“That’s a problem,” she said.

Baldwin’s comments to reporters were repeatedly interrupted by a man looking to ask the senator why African-American voters should support her “with the stuff that’s going on in our community.” After Baldwin addressed a series of questions from the media, she turned her attention to the man, and pointed to her bill, called “The Stronger Way Act,” aiming to make changes to the earned income tax credit.

A brief exchange ensued during which the man, who is African-American, interrupted Baldwin to continue to ask her what she would do for African-Americans.

“That’s got nothing to do with the black community, we’re talking about the black community,” the man said of Baldwin’s bill, adding: “We are property, we are property, when are we going to change the fact that we are property?”

At one point, Baldwin countered the man was “talking at her” rather than with her, to which the man again responded by restating his question: “Why should our votes go to you?”

Baldwin continued highlighting her bill, which she noted would also provide more money to lower-income households, expand the child tax credit and support transitional job programs; as well as a “ban the box” bill to compel employers to remove a question from applications asking if those applying have a criminal record and a federal-level criminal justice overhaul.

After Baldwin listed off her efforts, the man responded: “Thank you, that’s all we ask you,” and headed out the door as the remaining assembled students broke into applause.

After he left, Baldwin turned to the students and said, to laughs, “So I guess as an example, some voters you have to work harder for, and we got to be willing to do that.”

Baldwin campaign: Tammy Baldwin endorsed by Wisconsin State Journal 

Contact: [email protected]

Wisconsin State Journal endorsement follows other recent newspaper endorsements of Tammy Baldwin

MADISON — The Wisconsin State Journal today endorsed U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for reelection.

The editorial joins other recent endorsements from the La Crosse Tribune and Cap Times, all highlighting Senator Baldwin’s pragmatism, her work across party lines, and her independence in standing up for Wisconsin.

Below are key excerpts from each endorsement:

Wisconsin State Journal — Our endorsement: Tammy Baldwin is best choice for civility, cooperation

“Baldwin is showing more pragmatism as a U.S. senator who represents all of Wisconsin. She’ll be more independent than her opponent when it counts.”

Read the full endorsement from the Wisconsin State Journal here.

La Crosse Tribune — Tribune endorsements: U.S. Senate: Tammy Baldwin

“She listens. She tours health care facilities and farms and other businesses — often without fanfare — and we’ve seen her listen and respond to constituents.”

Read the full endorsement from the La Crosse Tribune here.

Cap Times — Editorial: Principled and effective, Tammy Baldwin merits second term

“For all the criticism of Baldwin from Republicans who want to defeat her on Nov. 6, they recognize the essential contributions she makes as a U.S. senator. They know she is a Democrat who is ready to work across lines of partisan and ideological differences to get things done.

“This is one of the many reasons why Baldwin should be re-elected to the Senate. No matter which party is in control of the U.S. Senate, no matter how deep the divisions, Baldwin is going to get things done — for Wisconsin and for the country.”

Read the full endorsement from the Cap Times here.

Baldwin in victory speech knocks outside spending against her


U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin credited her supporters for giving her a path to victory over Republican challenger Leah Vukmir, despite the third-party spending leveled against the Madison Dem.

Baldwin, calling out the outside group spending in the race in her speech at Madison’s Monona Terrace, added that she “had something that they (the outside groups) didn’t have: you.”

Baldwin was welcomed onto the stage for her victory speech by a crowd full of cheering supporters and Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” a song that serves as testament to what she describes as a “hard fought race.”

She also outlined several goals for her second term, including doing “right by Wisconsin” by fighting to maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions and “giving workers a stronger voice.” Baldwin referenced the U.S. economy at large, stating the need for “better trade deals, not trade wars.”

And Baldwin made a point of addressing the country’s political climate, saying that U.S. democracy “demands more than to simply beat the other side.”

The victorious senator also congratulated Vukmir and thanked her for her service in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, Vukmir in her concession speech in Pewaukee thanked God, her family, her supporters and her campaign team. She said she ran as an underdog and ran “as hard a race as you can run in Wisconsin.”

Despite their differences, she said she enjoyed debating Baldwin.

“Even though we don’t see eye-to eye on the issues — to say the least — she ran a hard-fought race,” the Brookfield Republican said. “I certainly enjoyed debating her the past few months.”

She said that while it’s a difficult night, she “wouldn’t change anything” about how she ran her campaign.

“While we may have been outspent, we were never outworked,” Vukmir said.

— By Brighid Hartnett and David Wise

Baldwin projected to win re-election


Multiple media outlets are projecting U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has won re-election over GOP challenger Leah Vukmir.

The call came shortly after the polls closed and before returns began trickling in.

Baldwin, D-Madison, was an early GOP target, and millions poured into Wisconsin ahead of the GOP primary, which featured Vukmir and business consultant Kevin Nicholson, a former Marine. But after Vukmir beat Nicholson, spending by independent groups slowed dramatically.

That helped amplify Baldwin’s significant financial advantage over Vukmir, who the Dem repeatedly knocked in TV ads over her health care voters and charged she would repeal protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Vukmir repeatedly pushed back on the assertion.

Baldwin raised $31.1 million since the day after her 2012 election through mid-October and reported net expenditures of $28.1 million.

By comparison, Vukmir, had $5.2 million in receipts since she got into the race in September 2017 and $4.1 million in net expenditures.

Better Pleasant: Village improperly wielded eminent domain power


“Village officials admit they had no jurisdiction over controlled access roads – took eminent domain actions against property owners for Foxconn development.”  

MOUNT PLEASANT, WI NOVEMBER 28, 2018 – On Monday, November 26, 2018, Mount Pleasant Special Counsel Alan Marcuvitz admitted to the Village Board of Trustees he had “recently learned” the Village had no authority to restrict access for properties along roadways designated as “Controlled Access Highways” by the DOT in the Foxconn development area.

Marcuvitz presented the Village Board with an amended Relocation Order for Hwy 11 which removed certain access restrictions the Village Plan Commission and Village Trustees approved in January 2018.

Marcuvitz also stated the Village had removed a Temporary Limited Easement (TLE) on Parcel 307 and was no longer seeking to demolish the Creuziger Farms house and barn.

Parcel 307 is one of several parcels of land comprised of nearly 400 acres owned by the Creuziger family – a century old pumpkin farm business known locally as “The Land of Giants.” Situated in “Area 2” of the Foxconn development project, the Village originally sought to deny all road access from the property to the improved roadway and demolish the Creuziger home and barn located hundreds of feet away from planned road projects.

After declining to sell their property to the Village of Mount Pleasant for the Foxconn development, the Creuzigers were served with jurisdictional offer under eminent domain in August and ordered to vacate the premises in October. The Creuzigers filed a lawsuit against the Village challenging their authority to deny them road access and the egregious taking of the home and barn which were not needed to complete the Hwy 11 road project. When the Creuzigers sought a restraining order against the Village of Mount Pleasant, the Village backed away from the order to vacate two days before the scheduled court hearing.

“Alan Marcuvitz is a leading authority on eminent domain law in Wisconsin,” said Kelly Gallaher, spokesperson for the grassroots community group A Better Mt. Pleasant. “The idea he did not know that only the DOT has jurisdiction over Controlled Access Highways is absurd. Resident’s have been questioning Village officials about this specific authority for months.”

Multiple properties in the Foxconn area have been served with eminent domain actions by the Village of Mount Pleasant. All actions were initiated citing “highway and transportation” projects as the condemning purpose.

“At least two other parcels on Hwy 11 were taken through eminent domain by the Village,” Gallaher continued. “Those property owners were told they would have no access to the road and, as a result, were left with no choice but to give up their property or go to court.”

Since April 24, 2018, the Village of Mount Pleasant has filed eighteen eminent domain actions against property owners in the Foxconn development area. None of the the eminent domain actions commenced against those residents were approved by the Village Board of Trustees – the legal condemning authority. Instead, they were filed with the County Clerk by the Village Administrator with no prior knowledge or input by Mount Pleasant Trustees.

“With this stunning admission of impropriety by Alan Marcuvitz, it is clear the people of Mount Pleasant have been misled for months,” Gallaher concluded. “Had Village Trustees not been kept in the dark by staff and contractors, it is likely that constructive conversations could have occurred and the appropriate questions asked which may have benefited these property owners. The people of Mount Pleasant didn’t elect Foxconn contractors to represent and make decisions for them.”

Bill Kaplan: Is GOP U.S. Rep. Gallagher a reformer?


The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

Democrats picked up nearly 40 House seats in the midterm elections. There will now be a Democratic-led House to provide checks and balances to Trump. Last week, prominent conservative lawyers announced why this was necessary. Calling themselves “Checks and Balances” they said: “Conservative lawyers are not doing enough to protect constitutional principles that are being undermined by the statements and actions of this president” (Trump’s attacks against the press, an independent judiciary and the Justice Department).

Leading centrist and conservative columnists are likewise sounding the alarm. Centrist Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum opined: Trump will try to protect himself “if the institutions of the state prove that he has broken the law. … (by attempting) to break the institutions… .” Similarly, centrist journalist Elizabeth Drew wrote: “Trump makes Nixon look like a pussycat.” She went on to say that Trump is moving toward “fascism”. Finally, conservative columnist Michael Gerson exclaimed: “Trump is a rolling disaster of mendacity, corruption and prejudice. … (A Democratic-led) House will conduct real oversight hearings and expose both Russian influence and administration corruption.”

Given this horrifying backdrop, Wisconsin GOP Representative Mike Gallagher’s reform agenda for Congress (Atlantic) seems well-intended, but mostly inadequate for the Trump initiated constitutional crisis. Many of Gallagher’s proposals such as giving House committees more power, requiring a real workweek from representatives and suggesting they actually live in D.C. and get to know one another are reasonable, but oblivious to Trump’s assault on our institutions.

Case in point. The day after the midterm elections Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, replacing him with an extremist toady to oversee and stymie Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation (32 indictments with 6 convicted and/or entering plea deals). Newly appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is on the record as to what he may do to curtail Mueller. In 2017, Whitaker said: “So I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.” Whitaker also demanded that the Justice Department “limit the scope of this (Mueller) investigation”. What to do?

Gallagher, a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, has to date resisted protecting the back of Special Counsel Mueller, a retired Vietnam War U.S. Marine Corps officer. It’s long past time for Gallagher to lead the charge by signing on and helping to pass bipartisan legislation to protect Mueller. The wolf is at the door. History will not be forgiving. Action not talk.

Similarly, why hasn’t Gallagher agreed to cosponsor (172 representatives) the bipartisan House Butch Lewis Act? The bill would allow the Treasury Department to make loans, secured by safe investments, to the troubled Central States Pension Plan and other plans, so that retirees and their families get their promised benefits. There are 25,000 Wisconsin beneficiaries, many living in Green Bay and who are veterans. Your constituents need your help. Lead the charge and be a reformer.

— Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

Bill Kaplan: Voting for change nationally and in Wisconsin


The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

On Saturday, in Paris to mark 100 years since the end of WWI, Trump skipped a visit to an American cemetery to honor U.S. war dead.  It was raining.  David Frum, conservative speechwriter to Bush 43, reacted: “It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary – and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to Americans who gave their lives in France… .”  Was Trump depressed and petulant?

It was a disastrous midterm election for Trump and the GOP.  “Democrats appear poised to pick up between 35 and 40 seats in the House, once the last races are tallied… . That would represent the biggest Democratic gain in the House since the post-Watergate election of 1974 …” (Washington Post).  A Democratic-led House will provide checks and balances to Trump.  Moreover, final returns may result in only a net loss of 2 Democratic Senate seats.  And, Democrats won 7 state legislative chambers, flipping more than 330 GOP seats (only one in Wisconsin).  Finally, Democrats gained 7 governorships, including Wisconsin.  Change.

Wisconsin Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers ended the reign of two-term GOP Governor Scott Walker.  And, Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin won with a double-digit margin.  Moreover, every other Democrat on the statewide ballot won: Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul, Treasurer-elect Sarah Godlewski and current Secretary of State Doug La Follette.  It was the “first time since 1982 that one party – the Democrats – won elections to all those offices” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

What do the midterm results mean for the nation and Wisconsin?  Well, GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s scheme to blame Medicare and Social Security, instead of GOP tax cuts for corporations and the rich, for soaring deficits is dead.  Likewise, congressional Republicans and Trump will no longer be able to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Health care coverage for 20 to 25 million, including over 200,000 Wisconsinites, remains in force.  And, ACA consumer protections, e.g., for preexisting conditions, will still cover millions (852,000 Wisconsinites).

However, there is still a threat from the Walker and GOP-led lawsuit to have the entire ACA declared unconstitutional.  Evers and Kaul will drop Wisconsin from the lawsuit as it proceeds.  And, Evers wants the federal funding (pays 90 percent) to expand Medicaid to 80,000 Wisconsinites.  State savings could be used for education and roads.  GOP-led Idaho, Nebraska and Utah passed midterm referendums to do just that.

But there are dark clouds on the horizon. After the election Trump fired Attorney General Sessions, replacing him with a partisan hack, to undercut the Mueller Russia investigation.  Note: Trump voters in a Wisconsin focus group warned the White House “not to fire Mueller” (Washington Post).  Similarly, Wisconsin GOP legislators are threatening to take power away from Evers before he is sworn in (January).

It’s time for the esteemed former Wisconsin GOP Governor Tommy Thompson to talk sense to the GOP state legislative leadership.  Wisconsinites voted for change and for the state to move forward.

– Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

Black Leaders Organizing for Communities: Statement on WI governor race


Contact: Angela Lang

STATEMENT: Wisconsin Voters Choose Progress, Reject Scott Walker “The block stays hot. We showed up and showed out. We’re ready for our seat at the table,” says BLOC Executive Director Angela Lang

MILWAUKEE,WI — The results are in and Wisconsin voters have brought on the most significant victory for progressive elected officials and policy in recent history. In response to the results, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC) has released the following statement, which can be attributed to Executive Director Angela Lang:

“In a rebuke of Scott Walker’s dangerous, racist policies, Black voters in Wisconsin have showed up in full force and have elected a wave of leaders that are committed to tackling issues of racial and economic justice. We celebrate the reelection of Tammy Baldwin.Tammy has been a fighter for issues like healthcare, and wage increases for our community. We are excited to send her back to the Senate to continue to have an ally in Washington fighting on our behalf. We are also excited about Tony Evers’ new leadership. Tony and Mandela’s win is a sign that Scott Walker’s policies have failed Wisconsin for far too long and our community voted to make sure our issues are at the forefront. With an increase in Black voter turnout, we look forward to working with Tony’s administration on tackling issues of mass incarceration, economic security, and racial justice. Leading up to the election, BLOC made 192,348 door attempts and spoke with 16,176 voters, leading to a rise in Black turnout. We will continue to organize and vote when politicians vow to support communities of color in Wisconsin.”

Board of Commissioners of Public Lands: Approves nearly $4 million for community projects


CONTACT:  Jonathan Barry, Executive Secretary (608) 266-8369

MADISON – Today, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) approved nearly $4 million in State Trust Fund Loans to support eight community projects in Wisconsin.  Board Chair Brad Schimel and Commissioner Doug La Follette voted in favor of the loans with Commissioner Matt Adamczyk voting against them.

The BCPL approved the following loans:

  • Village of Bloomfield, Walworth County / Finance 2018 budget shortfall / $600,000
  • Town of Freedom, Outagamie County / Finance road and stormwater projects / $370,000
  • Town of Hazel Green, Grant County / Purchase truck / $60,000
  • Village of McFarland, Dane County / Finance TID #5 land acquisition / $930,000
  • Mercer School District, Iron County / Finance building and equipment repairs / $139,000
  • Village of Mishicot, Manitowoc County / Finance asbestos abatement and demolition / $37,551
  • Town of Sheboygan, Sheboygan County / Finance roadwork, equipment and town hall repairs / $1,500,000
  • Village of Woodville, St. Croix County / Finance roadwork / $261,000

The BCPL operates entirely on program revenue, without taxpayer money, and distributes more than 96 cents of every dollar of interest earned on BCPL State Trust Fund investments to Wisconsin’s public schools.  The 2018 earnings of $35.7 million provide the sole source of state funding for K‑12 public school library materials.

A list of 2018 library aid received by each public school district is available at: (http://bcpl.wisconsin.gov/docview.asp?docid=28530&locid=145).

Established in 1848 by the State Constitution, the BCPL consists of the Secretary of State Doug La Follette, State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, and Attorney General Brad Schimel.  The BCPL manages the Common School Fund, which was created in Article X of Wisconsin’s Constitution, as a permanent endowment to benefit public education.

To learn more about the agency, visit http://bcpl.wisconsin.gov.

Bolen campaign: Statement on election results


Contact: 715.789.1825

Cable, WI – James Bolen candidate for the 25th Senate District released the following
“Thank you to all of my supporters, my family, and especially my wife, Heather. Despite the
enthusiasm surrounding our campaign and the tremendous grassroots support, we fell just
short. Congratulations, Senator Bewley.”

Brady Corporation: Elects Board of Directors and declares regular dividend to shareholders


MILWAUKEE, Nov. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brady Corporation (NYSE: BRC) (“Company”) announced that shareholders of the Company’s Class B Common Voting Stock have voted unanimously in favor of the election of the director nominees to a one-year term at the Company’s annual meeting of shareholders held today in Milwaukee.

At the Board of Directors meeting on November 13, 2018, the Board declared a dividend to shareholders of the Company’s Class A Common Stock of $0.2125 per share, payable on January 31, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 10, 2019.

Elected to the Brady Corporation Board of Directors are:

  • Patrick W. Allender, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Retired), Danaher Corporation
  • Gary S. Balkema, President (Retired), Worldwide Consumer Care Division, Bayer AG
  • Dr. Elizabeth Bruno, President, Brady Education Foundation; Research Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Nancy Lee Gioia, Director, Global Connectivity, Electrical and User Experience (Retired), Ford Motor Company
  • Conrad G. Goodkind, Partner (Retired) in the law firm of Quarles and Brady, LLP
  • Dr. Frank W. Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Akron Polymer Systems
  • Bradley C. Richardson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, PolyOne Corporation
  • J. Michael Nauman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Brady Corporation.

Brady Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect people, products and places.  Brady’s products help customers increase safety, security, productivity and performance and include high-performance labels, signs, safety devices, printing systems and software.  Founded in 1914, the Company has a diverse customer base in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, medical, aerospace and a variety of other industries.  Brady is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and as of July 31, 2018, employed approximately 6,200 people in its worldwide businesses.  Brady’s fiscal 2018 sales were approximately $1.17 billion.  Brady stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BRC.  More information is available on the Internet at www.bradycorp.com.

For More Information Contact:
Investor Contact:  Ann Thornton (414) 438-6887
Media Contact:  Kate Venne (414) 438-5176

Bryce Election Night Event 🗓


RACINE, WI – On Tuesday, November 6th, Randy Bryce will host an election night watch event for supporters at The Branch At 1501 in Racine.

The Branch At 1501
1501 Washington Ave, Racine, WI 53403

Doors open to the public at 7:30 PM CDT.

About Randy Bryce

Randy Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and union ironworker. He was raised in Southeast Wisconsin and went to public school. Randy’s father was a police officer, and his mother worked in a doctor’s office. After graduation, Randy enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was posted to Honduras, where he earned the Army Achievement Medal. After returning stateside, Randy was diagnosed with cancer, which he survived, but only after struggling through the bankruptcy that came with the medical bills. Once in remission, Randy found his way to an apprenticeship as an iron worker, a trade he’s now been practicing and fighting to protect from anti-labor laws for nearly 20 years. Randy currently resides in Caledonia, WI with his son, Ben, who attends public schools like his dad. Randy joined the race for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District in Summer 2017.

Bus Shelter Art Project: Artwork transforming bus shelters in downtown Milwaukee


Contact: Matt Sliker
(414) 937-3251
Milwaukee, WI  The Milwaukee County Transit System’s popular Bus Shelter Art Project is expanding to downtown Milwaukee for the first time thanks to a generous sponsorship from Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

Crews recently finished installing unique designs on MCTS bus shelters at Water & Wisconsin and Water & Mason.

“MCTS gives more than 15 million rides per year in the greater downtown area alone,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “As a longtime supporter of the arts, I couldn’t be more excited that so many additional commuters, pedestrians and residents will now get to enjoy and be inspired by the work of local artists.”

The installations were funded by a $1,000 donation from Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, which was matched by The Bus Art Project MKE.

“This program is a great way to activate existing bus shelters as engaging ‘third spaces,’” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “We’re thrilled to help bring these temporary art galleries to life in the heart of downtown.”

Artist Tzeng Lee’s piece, “The Collide,” which features colorful kaleidoscope-like patterns, transforms the shelter at Water & Mason. The shelter at Water & Wisconsin showcases a diverse photo collage by Dominic Inouye of ZIP MKE.

There are now nine original pieces of art on bus shelters in Milwaukee County with more planned next year.

About the Bus Shelter Art Project

The Bus Shelter Art Project is a collaboration between the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and The Bus Art Project MKE to spread art across the community. The Bus Art Project MKE, founded by Libby Olbrantz, works with the artists and raises money to pay for the production and installation of the art, then MCTS provides the space on its bus shelters. Visit RideMCTS.com/Art to see all of the designs and learn how you can help support the project.

About Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21

Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21, is an organization established in 1998 to support the interests of the downtown Milwaukee business community. Created through private sector leadership, Milwaukee Downtown is a management district organization that oversees 150 square blocks representing approximately 500 property owners in the center of downtown Milwaukee. The organization funds specific initiatives aimed at creating a clean, safe and friendly downtown. Visit MilwaukeeDowntown.comfor more information.

Charter Communications: Announces Spectrum Digital Education Grant recipients as part of $1 million committment


Media Contacts:

Digital Bridge

Jeff Hanson, Executive Director

(608) 751-9139
[email protected]

Charter Communications

Kim Haas, Sr. Director of Regional Communications

(608) 467-9220

[email protected]

-Milwaukee nonprofit Digital Bridge to receive $32,500 grant-

MILWAUKEE – Nov. 28, 2018 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today announced that Digital Bridge, a Milwaukee nonprofit that helps connect underserved individuals with technology and broadband access, is among the winners of its second round of Spectrum Digital Education grants, a philanthropic initiative designed to support nonprofit organizations that educate community members on the benefits of broadband and how to use it to improve their lives. The grants fulfill a $1 million commitment to provide digital education in Charter communities through financial grants to local nonprofit organizations.

Digital Bridge will use its $32,500 grant to connect underserved households in Milwaukee with digital resources like computers and wireless internet through a workshop series called the “Milwaukee Digital Inclusion” program.

The series will run from March through October 2019, with a goal of bridging the divide for low-income families by removing barriers to digital inclusion — affordable home broadband access, access to devices, digital training and technical support.

“Like Spectrum, we believe that access to broadband is now crucial and necessary for anyone to participate fully in modern society,” said Jeff Hanson, Digital Bridge Executive Director. “This investment will enable Digital Bridge to increase the capacity and scale of the Milwaukee Digital Inclusion program, and to work with nonprofit partners to bring this necessary and beneficial service to an even greater number of underserved families in Milwaukee who need a helping hand to overcome barriers to digital inclusion.”

“Charter is thrilled to work with Digital Bridge in Milwaukee,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President, Community Impact for Charter Communications. “We are confident their Milwaukee Digital Inclusion program will help satisfy our mission to provide communities in need with the necessary tools to grow and prosper in the digital age.”

Spectrum is committed to improving communities and impacting lives where our customers and employees live and work. The latest news, resources and information regarding Charter Communications’ philanthropic initiatives and events, can be found at http://communityimpact.spectrum.com.

Cheerful crowds at Baldwin’s, Evers’ and Kaul’s election night events


MADISON — Supporters filled into a series of statewide Dem candidates’ parties in Madison after the polls closed tonight.

At U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s event, where national media outlets called the race for the Madison Dem just minutes after polls closed, the Monona Terrace party was already in full swing.

Supporters there were enjoying the cash bar and free appetizers as a mix of folk music and pop played in the background while watching election night coverage on two large screens flanking each side of Baldwin’s podium.

Following the announcement of Baldwin’s victory, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan approached the podium and gave a congratulatory address, telling supporters to “keep enjoying the Wisconsin beer” until Baldwin’s arrival.

On the opposite side of the Square at Dem guv candidate Tony Evers’ election night event, the crowd was similarly upbeat.

There, scores of Evers supporters began filling into the Orpehum shortly after the polls closed, though the state superintendent has yet to make an appearance.

Former Dem guv candidates Andy Gronik and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin were among those in attendance. Gronik, a Milwaukee businessman, said he is energetic and hopeful. He called Baldwin’s early victory “really great.”

“We really need Tony to win,” he added.

Meanwhile, backers of Dem AG candidate Josh Kaul and state treasurer contender Sarah Godlewski filled into the Constitution Ballroom at the Madison Concourse Hotel.

As a Spotify playlist of blandly buoyant pop burbled in the background, Kaul supporters
clustered around the TV and scooped drinks from the complementary bar. The group, which skewed young, easily packed the room. Enthusiastic and chatty, an attendee could be heard confidently saying he believes “it’ll be a good night.”

Filtering through the room, chatting to supporters and colleagues were a number of Kaul’s staffers. One advised the night would be close. “Keep calm and count on,” he added.

Guests around the room also periodically told each other to wait and see, though they smiled when they said it.

— By Brighid Hartnett, Lawrence Andrea and Caroline Jackson

Citizen Action of Wisconsin: 2018 Election establishes mandate for bold healthcare reform


Contact: Robert Kraig
(414) 322-5324
[email protected]org

Citizen Action members help set agenda for health care, and show growing grassroots power, making tens of thousands of door knocks and phone calls

Statewide: Years of grassroots organizing by Citizen Action of Wisconsin members across the state helped build healthcare into the dominant issue in the 2018 elections. The election results create a mandate for Governor Evers to pursue Medicaid Expansion, a BadgerCare Public Option, Long Term Care Reform, and meaningful action on runaway prescription drug prices.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin members have been working to inject health care into Wisconsin elections for over a decade, and started campaigning on the dominant wedge issue of pre-existing conditions discrimination in the 2012 election cycle, and every election cycle moving forward.

Exit polling makes clear that health care played a dominant role in the historically close election of Tony Evers as Governor and Citizen Action Board Member Mandala Barnes as Lt. Governor, and in the resounding re-election of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin. The exit polling shows that a super majority of voters made health care their top issue (by a 26% margin over the 2nd issue) and want “major changes” in the health care system (67% of voters). These striking numbers establish a clear mandate that goes well beyond simply repudiating the policies of Governor Scott Walker.

Health care also played a major role in electing Citizen Action Organizer Jeff Smith to the State Senate in Western Wisconsin, and Attorney General Elect Josh Kaul. It also created a blue voting surge which helped elect Citizen Action member Sarah Godlewski as State Treasurer.

“One of the keys to the election was Scott Walker’s fundamental misreading of the public’s profound unhappiness with the health care system,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Pre-existing condition discrimination is not a small technical issue, it strikes to the heart of the problem with health care. It can only be meaningfully addressed by using our democracy to fundamentally reforming the entire system to guarantee everyone access to high quality coverage, no matter what. This starts with a more robust public role in the system through Medicaid Expansion to the full extent allowed by federal law, a BadgerCare Public Option, and taking on price gouging by prescription drug corporations.”

Citizen Action members played a major role in developing the major proactive reform proposal supported by Evers and Barnes, and by most Democratic legislative candidates, the BadgerCare Public Option. The popular reform would take a significant step towards Medicare for All by allowing individuals and small businesses to buy-into Wisconsin’s popular Medicaid program at much lower cost than corporate health insurance (up to $24,000 less for a family of four according to Citizen Action research). Citizen Action members also encouraged Tony Evers in his development of a robust proposal to take on prescription drug price gouging.

In the 2018 election, Citizen Action also continued to build its grassroots electoral muscle through its revolutionary organizing co-op model which has distributed our volunteer capacity across urban, suburban, and rural Wisconsin. Volunteer contacts from people who actually live in a community are the most persuasive and are the only way to counter the huge advantage right-wing candidates have in raising dirty money and attracting support from billionaire-funded dark money groups. Citizen Action members across Wisconsin volunteered to make tens of thousands of door knocks, phone calls, and text messages to voters in rural, urban, and suburban areas of the state.

Another health care issue that Citizen Action of Wisconsin members started injecting into the election discussion this cycle is the growing shortage of caregivers who provide in-home support to help seniors and people with disabilities live independent lives. Because of Citizen Action’s efforts, paying caregivers a living wage to address the shortage became an issue in Citizen Action Organizer Jeff Smith’s victory in SD 31, and Citizen Action member Julie Henszy’s close loss in the Milwaukee suburbs in SD 5. This could became a major issue in the next state budget.

Finally, Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s legal strategy paid dividends in the election result. Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s charitable arm, Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, joined One Wisconsin Now Institute in a successful lawsuit that overturned Governor Walker’s restrictions on early voting. (Attorney General Elect Josh Kaul was one of our attorneys in the suit). That victory became very significant early Wednesday morning when early votes in the City of Milwaukee put Tony Evers and Mandala Barnes over the top.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin: Recognizing Citizen Action members who challenged incumbents across Wisconsin


Contact: Robert Kraig
(414) 322-5324
[email protected]org

Statewide: In 2018 an unprecedented number of Citizen Action of Wisconsin members stepped forward as new candidates for state office. In all 18 Citizen Action members ran as challengers for state office, in many cases taking on entrenched incumbent Republicans incumbents in hotly contested races for State Senate, State Assembly, Lt. Governor and State Treasurer. In addition, member Randy Bryce ran a strong race for Congress.

This outpouring of leadership from members reflects both the growing statewide grassroots influence of Citizen Action, and a general upsurge in civic engagement among progressives. It builds on our Spring election successes, when 49 Citizen Action Members were elected to local office.

Citizen Action member who won challenger elections to state office in 2018 were Mandela Barnes (Lt. Governor); Sarah Godlewski (State Treasure); Marisabel Cabrera (State Assembly) and Jeff Smith (State Senate). (This does not include Citizen Action members in the Legislature who successfully ran for re-election). In addition, a number of candidates who lost ran closer than expected races in traditionally Republican districts

The Citizen Action candidates who did not win had to contend with highly partisan legislative maps which rigged the game against them. Despite this obstacles, all of the Citizen Action member-candidates made a difference both by turning out votes for Tammy Baldwin, Tony Evers, and Josh Kaul, and expanding the playing field for Republicans to create more electoral opportunities for progressive candidates.

“Citizen Action members across the state ran highly competitive grassroots campaigns in districts that were rigged against them by unfair maps,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Even when our member-candidates fell short of victory, their hard work and one-on-one engagement with tens of thousands of voters improved overall Democratic performance, helping swing key statewide races to progressive candidates.”

Full List of Citizen Action Member Challengers for State and Federal Office
(Not including Citizen Action members already in the State Legislature, running for re-election)

Lt. Governor
Mandela Barnes

State Treasurer
Sarah Godlewski

U.S. Congress District 1
Randy Bryce

Julie Meyers (primary candidate)

Senate District 5
Julie Henszey

Senate District 31
Jeff Smith

Assembly District 4
Terry Lee

Assembly District 9
Marisabel Cabrera

Assembly District 15
Lillian Cheesman

Assembly District 21
Gabriel Gomez

Assembly District 22
Aaron Matteson

Assembly District 23
Liz Sumner

Assembly District 24
Emily Segrist

Assembly District 28
Kim Butler

Assembly District 35
Mark Martello

Assembly District 60
Chris Rahlf

Assembly District 68
Wendy Sue Johnson

Assembly District 72
David Gorski

Assembly District 84
Erica Flynn

Assembly District 86
Nancy Stencil

Assembly District 88
Tom Sieber

Assembly District 89
Ken Holdorf

Link to news release https://www.citizenactionwi.org/recognizing_citizen_action_members_who_challenged_incumbents

City of Milwaukee: Amended 2019 budget creates watchdog position, adds health outreach positions, and establishes neighborhood COP houses


Contact: Brian DeNeve
(414) 286-3881

The Milwaukee Common Council today adopted an amended 2019 City of Milwaukee budget in the amount of about $1.54 billion. The budget would add specialized positions to tackle the most pressing health-related issues facing the city.

It establishes an Inspector General Position to act as a watchdog for city agencies including the Health Department and adds four Community Outreach Liaisons and one Health Project Coordinator while creating a $425,000 special purpose account to address elevated blood level follow-up and lead hazard remediation, family and community health visits and communicable disease prevention.

           “The struggles we went through this budget process speak to structural elements facing the City of Milwaukee including poverty, infrastructure issues, health and public safety,” said President Ashanti Hamilton. “Despite these challenges we worked collaboratively to allocate our resources in the most impactful manner possible. I hope the State of Wisconsin will be a collaborative partner as we continue sound fiscal stewardship while addressing those challenges.”

The budget also establishes four neighborhood COP houses in areas of high crime. Those centers will be operated in partnership with the Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee Promise Zones organizations.

The budget also adds $1 million to the Local Street Reconstruction Program to address areas plagued with potholes and pavement issues.

Additional budget amendments include a $200,000 seed fund to encourage entrepreneurialism in providing healthy food options in food deserts; $25,000 to expand Big Clean MKE from its inaugural four aldermanic district clean-up to a city-wide initiative; and directing city agencies to collaborate with community groups for better monitoring, security and maintenance of city-owned vacant homes.

Finance and Personnel Committee Chair Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs said she looks forward to the impact this budget will have on the City of Milwaukee. “And hopefully some of the things that we have added through our amendments will help to improve the quality of life for the people that we each represent and will help to make Milwaukee a better place.”

An average homeowner will pay $52 more compared to 2018’s budget. The levy total will be $280,995,907 which was a 3.4% increase from the year before.

The budget will now head to Mayor Tom Barrett who will have until the close of business on November 26 to sign the budget.

City of Milwaukee: Fire and law enforcement team up for fourth annual serving of Thanksgiving dinners 🗓


The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD), and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) will be preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinners over two days with assistance from Messmer High School students and staff from Wild Planet Hospitality Group. This event is possible due to the generous contributions of Wild Planet Hospitality Group and Reinhart Food Service, and is open to the public, free of charge.

WHAT: The MFD, MPD, and MCSD to assist Messmer High School students in preparing Thanksgiving dinners.

WHEN: Thursday, November 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. WHERE: Red Rock Saloon, 1227 North Water Street, 2nd Floor

WHAT: The MFD, MPD, MCSD, staff from Wild Planet Hospitality Group, and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be serving approximately 300 Thanksgiving dinners.

WHEN: Saturday, November 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. WHERE: Messmer Saint Rose School, 514 North 31st Street, cafeteria

City of Milwaukee: Milwaukee firefighters donating 8,000 new coats to “warm up Winter” for Milwaukee students 🗓


Contact: LT Mike Ball
Milwaukee Fire Department
Director Community Relations
[email protected]

WHAT: Milwaukee Firefighters will provide new winter coats to 8,000 school children in the City of Milwaukee.

WHO:Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing

Assistant Fire Chief Gerard Washington
Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley

WHEN: November 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Hawthorne Elementary School – 6945 North 41st Street, Milwaukee, WI

DETAILS: Milwaukee Firefighters and Milwaukee Fire Department Local 215 have been raising money throughout the year to support the “Warm Up Winter” campaign. At the conclusion of this year’s campaign, Milwaukee Firefighters, will have donated 38,000 new
winter coats to children across 74 Milwaukee-area schools over a six-year period.

Oftentimes, when children do not have proper coats they will either fail to attend school and/or will not participate in outdoor recess, which helps them burn excess energy and allows them to focus during class. Providing warm coats to these children protects them
from the harsh Wisconsin winter while helping them to be more attentive students.

This past June Milwaukee-area residents generously helped us raise nearly $89,000 when Milwaukee Firefighters collected donations at intersections throughout the city. Thanks to the generosity of both citizens and local businesses, Milwaukee Firefighters, through the “Warm Up Winter” campaign, will deliver 8,000 new winter coats to students at 22 schools in the City of Milwaukee this year.

City of Milwaukee: Municipal Research Center grand opening 🗓


Contact: Brian DeNeve
(414) 286-3881

Combines three centers in City Hall Complex

The Municipal Research Center (MRC) will be unveiled tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon in an open house to celebrate its grand opening. The MRC is located in the basement level of the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building in a space that recently underwent a major renovation to facilitate the consolidation of three separate sections: the City Records Center, Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) staff offices, and Municipal Research Library (formerly the Legislative Reference Bureau Library).

With the City Hall foundation restoration project, there was a need to permanently relocate the Municipal Research Library and HPC office out of the City Hall basement level. Deputy City Clerk Richard Pfaff says the consolidation of the three sections into one division under the City Clerk’s Office provides an opportunity to centralize and streamline access to and management of City records and documents, both those in active use and those with long-term administrative or historic value. “We looked at the challenges of relocation and consolidation as a great opportunity to instead improve employee and public accessibility to and awareness of the collections, information and services provided by the sections.  The vision for the MRC is to be a place where the City’s history goes to live. ”

Records Manager Brad Houston says the new MRC has the proper accommodations for the documents, some which date back to the 1800s, and is open to the public. “We have trained professional staff to assist with your research,” he said, adding that although the facility is not designed for browsing, staff is available to help locate the specific information one is seeking.

Library Manager Eileen Lipinski says that the formal opening of the MRC is only the beginning. “We are in the process of exploring strategies for organizing and promoting historical and contemporary records with high potential public interest, and to provide training on working with archival records. The MRC will serve in a unique role as an information resource.”

The merger was made possible by the efforts of Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton to realign the City Records Center under the City Clerk’s Office, and through actions of the Common Council and Mayor Tom Barrett to provide support for the reimagined MRC project and funding for its creation.

  • What: Municipal Research Center Grand Opening
  • Where: Zeidler Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway, B-1 & B-2 (Basement level)
  • When: Thursday, November 8 from 1 to 4 p.m.

More information about the MRC can be found on our podcast at https://youtu.be/5bfgaEcx4og .

Clean Wisconsin: Applauds Lafayette County Board members who stood up for clean water


Contact: Scott Laeser, Water Program Director, (608) 251-7020 x13 or [email protected]

Jon Drewsen, Communications Manager, (608) 251-7020 x28 or [email protected]

MADISON, WI —Clean Wisconsin released the following statement after the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology (SWIGG) Study in 2019:

“After a spirited debate and discussion, we applaud the many Lafayette County Board members who stood in strong support for clean drinking water by voting to fund the SWIGG study. Their leadership will help local residents understand the quality and safety of their drinking water.

“The standing-room-only crowd at the meeting clearly shows that issue is important to many people in Lafayette County, and it’s encouraging to see the many members of the board represent the interests of their constituents.

“Clean Wisconsin and the citizens of Lafayette County thank the following board supervisors for standing up for clean water: Steve Spensley, Leon Wolfe, Tony Ruesga, Bob Boyle, Kriss Marion, Bob Laeser, Ursula Fecht, Carol Korn, and Rita Buchholz.”

Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups: Announces new leadership


A.J. Nino Amato
(608) 514-3317 or [email protected]

WISCONSIN – CWAG’s board of directors is proud to announce that on December 1, 2018 Rob Gundermann will officially become the new executive director and president of CWAG and Nino Amato will be CWAG’s new board chair and CEO.
Rob Gundermann has been a Wisconsin lobbyist for Alzheimer’s issues for more than two decades, lobbying for both the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin. Most recently, Rob has become the chair of the Wisconsin Health Access Network (WHAN), which is formed to serve as a communications and resource network to keep its partners informed on access to quality healthcare issues. WHAN is also a medium for members to share best practices for ensuring quality care.
“Utilizing Rob’s vast experience with dementia and Alzheimer’s issues will give CWAG a new strategic initiative, which will focus on empowering communities, organizations and families to cope with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,”said Nino Amato, who has been at the helm of CWAG since being hired in the fall of 2009.
“CWAG’s longstanding coalition partners, along with WHAN, will be working on a number of cutting-edge programs, to be unveiled after January 1, 2019. We will be working with a number of organizations throughout Wisconsin to: (1) ensure adults and children have access to medication they need; (2) educating the general public about the importance of vaccinations; (3) addressing the immediate need to close the gap in health disparities among adults and children of color; and (4) to break down the cost barriers to affordable healthcare and the rising costs of prescription drugs for people of all ages,” Rob Gundermann stated.
“We are honored to have Rob Gundermann as CWAG’s new executive director/president and we look forward to Rob’s leadership role in shaping CWAG’s programs and strategies, which will bring together Wisconsin health care organizations, along with Aging and Disability Advocates, University of Wisconsin medical researchers and Wisconsin healthcare professionals;” said CWAG’s new board chair/CEO, Nino Amato.

Coalition of Wisconsin Healthcare & Aging Groups: Nino Amato named CWAGs new board chair & CEO and Rob Gundermann named CWAGs exec. director/president


The Coalition of Wisconsin Healthcare & Aging Groups Board of Directors, is proud to announce that on December 1, 2018, Rob Gundermann will officially become the new executive director and president of CWAG and A.J. Nino Amato will become CWAG’s new Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer.

Rob Gundermann has been a Wisconsin lobbyist for Alzheimer’s issues for more than two decades, lobbying for both the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin. Most recently, Rob has become the chair of the Wisconsin Health Access Network (WHAN), which is formed to serve as a communications and resource network to keep its partners informed on access to quality healthcare issues.

“Utilizing Rob’s vast experience with dementia and Alzheimer’s issues will give CWAG a new strategic initiative, which will focus on empowering communities, organizations and families to cope with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia,” said Nino Amato — who has been at the helm of CWAG since being hired in the fall of 2009.

“CWAG’s longstanding coalition partners, along with WHAN, will be working on a number of cutting-edge programs, to be unveiled after January 1, 2019. We will be working with a number of organizations throughout Wisconsin to: (1) ensure adults and children have access to medication they need; (2) educating the general public about the importance of vaccinations; (3) addressing the immediate need to close the gap in health disparities among adults and children of color; and (4) to break down the cost barriers to affordable healthcare and the rising costs of prescription drugs for people of all ages,” Rob Gundermann stated.

“We are honored to have Rob Gundermann as CWAG’s and we look forward to his new leadership role in shaping CWAG’s programs and strategies — which will bring together Wisconsin health care providers, along with Aging and Disability Advocates, University medical researchers and Wisconsin healthcare professionals;” said CWAG’s new Board Chair/CEO, A.J. Nino Amato

Common Cause Wisconsin: Election results underscore urgent need to end partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin


Evers Election Means Partisan Rigged Maps of 2011 Cannot Be Repeated in 2021

Tuesday’s state legislative and congressional election results demonstrate – clearly and convincingly – that the will of the citizens of Wisconsin at the ballot box will only be fully realized when the hyper-partisan gerrymandering of the state’s legislative and congressional districts, in place since 2011, is ended.

Only one incumbent elected official of either political party lost their re-election effort on Tuesday. And in that case, Democratic State Senator Caleb Frostman (D-Sturgeon Bay), had held office for only four months – having won a special election in June to fill a seat in a state senate district drawn to favor Republicans.

This means that almost all of Wisconsin’s state legislative and congressional elections were not competitive and that the outcome in virtually all of these elections was pre-ordained because of partisan gerrymandering.

“While Democrats swept statewide offices for U.S. Senator, Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer and Secretary of State, Republicans were able to thwart the will of the majority of voters in holding, virtually without change, almost the exact same number of state legislative and congressional districts that they held prior to the election. The sole explanation for this undemocratic disparity is the rigged, hyper-partisan voting maps rammed through the Wisconsin Legislature and enacted in 2011,” said Jay Heck, Director of Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI).

On the bright side, CC/WI State Governing Board Chair Tim Cullen noted, “the election of Tony Evers as Governor means that the one-sided, partisan redistricting process that happened in 2011 can’t be repeated in 2021 because Wisconsin will have split control of state government and of that process.”

Cullen also said that this split will necessitate a compromise between the two major political parties on voting maps, and failing that, would have to be done by federal judges.

Cullen and Heck said that it behooves both Republicans and Democrats to adopt a non-partisan redistricting process prior to 2021 to avoid costly (to state taxpayers) legal expenses and increased partisan acrimony in the two years ahead. The non-partisan redistricting system in place in Iowa since 1980, when a Republican Governor and Republican-controlled Legislature enacted it into law, is the best process for Wisconsin.

CC/WI and other reform organizations and pro-reform legislators are all united in support of the Iowa model.


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Companies driving down opioid prescriptions while overdoses are on the rise


Madison-area companies are finding ways to drive down the number of opioid prescriptions while overdoses are on the rise statewide.


Kiio is a business with a digital therapeutic system for managing back pain. CEO Dave Grandin, speaking at a Wisconsin Technology Council discussion held in Madison yesterday, said Kiio is helping employers save money on their health plans while improving outcomes for patients.


In a recent partner study with Quartz, Kiio brought in volunteer patients and split them between one group using the Kiio platform and another without it.


“We really were looking for what’s happening with their pain over time,” Grandin said. “We found great results for that. We looked in their claims data to see what was happening with procedures and processes… We also looked at what’s going on with opioids.”


He says Kiio users had a 78 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions, compared to 2 percent for the non-Kiio users.


Tim Bartholow, chief medical officer of Madison insurance company WEA Trust, says the opioid epidemic is “touching our communities in ways we can actually impact.”


See more at WisBusiness.com.

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Elects leadership for the 116th Congress


Contact: Ron Boehmer, 202-225-2906

Vedant Patel, 202-379-6013

CPC Members Also Elected to Democratic Caucus Leadership Roles

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) chose their leadership for the 116th Congress and re-elected Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) and elected Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) as Co-Chairs. Additionally, the CPC elected Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) as First-Vice Chair.

“Over the last two years, we’ve made remarkable progress in the fight to advance progressive ideas in Congress and I’m extremely grateful and excited to be re-elected as Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for another two-year term. With the Caucus set to have its greatest membership in its history – more than 90 Representatives – we can change the way Washington works and ensure that Congress writes legislation for every American – not just corporations, special interests, millionaires, and billionaires,” said Rep. Pocan. “The American people sent a Blue Wave – powered by progressives – to Capitol Hill and we fully intend to respect the electorate’s decision by presenting a bold, forward-looking agenda. I’m excited to welcome Rep. Jayapal as a Co-Chair of the Caucus and with progressives in Democratic leadership, we will continue to advance our ideas and shape policies that make a lasting and positive difference on the lives of the American people.”

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be elected Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The CPC is filled with incredible, dynamic, trusted leaders and I look forward to working hand in hand to ensure the leadership of each one of our members—including the newest members—is highlighted and shines through,” said Rep. Jayapal. “I am committed to ensuring our caucus is as bold and strategic as possible, and that our members have the resources and the ability to stand up for the chance for every American to have real opportunity, to take on the largest corporations and special interests who have corrupted our democracy and to bring real power to workers, women, immigrants and all of those most vulnerable and marginalized. The progressive movement is the strongest it has ever been and I, along with Rep. Pocan and the entire CPC Leadership, look forward to leveraging that power to deliver policies that benefit a diverse, inclusive and just America.”

“I’m proud to be elected by colleagues today as the next CPC Vice Chair,” said Rep. Khanna. “I look forward to working with Co-Chairs Pocan, Jayapal and all my colleagues to advance a progressive agenda in Congress.”

In addition to the Congressional Progressive Caucus elections, the following CPC members were elected to House Democratic leadership over the last two days:

  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Chair of the Democratic Caucus
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05), Vice-Chair of the Democratic Caucus
  • Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01), Chair of the Democratic Policy & Communications Committee
  • Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy & Communications Committee
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy & Communications Committee
  • Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy & Communications Committee
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Caucus Leadership Representative

The rest of the Congressional Progressive Caucus leadership for the 116th Congress is listed below:

  • Caucus Whip: Rep.-Elect Ilhan Omar (MN-05)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to the CBC: Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to the CHC: Rep.-Elect Veronica Escobar (TX-16)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to the Native American Caucus: Rep. Gallego (AZ-07)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to CAPAC: Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues: Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to the LGBT Equality Caucus: Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison for New Members: Rep.-Elect Joe Neguse (CO-02)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to the Seniors Taskforce: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
  • Vice Chair and Liaison to Labor: Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01)

Congressional Progressive Caucus: Leaders call for no border wall funding, humane immigration system in government funding


Contact: Ron Boehmer, 202-225-2906
Vedant Patel, 202-379-6013

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement regarding ongoing discussions about Congress’ December 7th deadline to fund the government.

“Congress cannot continue to stand by while President Trump relentlessly attacks immigrant communities. As negotiations continue over the FY19 DHS spending bill, we urge House and Senate Democratic leadership to hold strong in providing zero funding for Trump’s ill-conceived border wall, reducing funding for detention beds, and curbing inhumane border and interior enforcement.

“Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have been unwavering in our call for a fair immigration process that upholds the dignity of all individuals. We will continue to oppose policies and funding levels that move us away from this goal and perpetuate harm against immigrant families.”

Constitution Party of Wisconsin: Considers itself well-positioned to make significant impact in 2020


MADISON – The General Election on Tuesday, November 6, was dominated, as it always is, by only two major parties. Yet the field of candidates was rife with alternative political perspectives, chief among them being those of the Constitution Party of Wisconsin (CPoW). “Even though Republicans struggled to avoid it, social issues were definitely on the ballot in 2018,” said Andrew Zuelke, CPoW Chairman. “We are the only Party upholding the principles of constitutionally limited government that also ardently defends the rights of the unborn, proudly campaigns for traditional marriage and the natural family, and seeks to uphold the historic Christian moral order which has brought so much blessing to our nation and to the world.”

Responding to the commonly held notion that the Republicans are champions of these causes, Zuelke added, “Yeah, maybe that was the case two or three decades ago. But not anymore… Even when they win elections, they ignore important social issues in the legislatures. Social issues for them are often merely bargaining chips to be compromised away while negotiating over economic policies.”

Running as the only alternative candidates in their respective races, Terry Larson for Attorney General and Thomas Harland for Assembly District 64, campaigned with social issues central to their political message. Mr. Larson vowed to enforce Wisconsin Statute 940.04, which prohibits taking the lives of the unborn, and promised to uphold Article XIII, Sec. 13 of the Wisconsin State Constitution which limits marriage to one man and one woman. Thomas Harland championed traditional family values and called for an immediate end to the state-sanctioned murder of defenseless unborn children. None of their opponents offered any consolation to the many Wisconsinites having deep concerns over these vital issues.

And it showed at the polls. CPoW Communications Director Douglas Lindee noted that the returns indicated an encouraging trend. “When I started looking at the data, I found some interesting inferences regarding the level of disenfranchisement conservative voters seem to have with the Republican Party and the level of resonance with our political message that appears to be growing among them. Terry Larson received about 47,000+ votes – around two percent statewide. That may seem low, but we outperformed all of our ‘third-party’ competitors by over 100%. Indeed, the support Terry received from conservative voters in Wisconsin seems to have deprived the Republican Brad Schimel of victory.”

That remains to be seen, of course, as the count is very close and all the votes have yet to be tallied. But the support Terry Larson received, all by itself, is without a doubt, significant in terms of its impact on Wisconsin’s political landscape. Lindee continued, “Thomas Harland faced a single opponent in District 64, Democrat Peter Barca, and garnered twenty percent of the vote in that progressive district. But what is most telling of all is what happens when a Constitution Party candidate faces a single opponent who is Republican.”

“We had this scenario in two partisan local elections. Members of our Party – Tom Wakely of Oneida County, and Marion Shaw of St. Croix County – ran for county Sheriff against Republican incumbents, and both received around twenty percent of the vote. While some of that may be attributable to ignorant progressives desperately voting for “anyone but the Republican,” we are convinced that these results, in combination with the results from our statewide races, suggest that around eighteen percent of conservatives are voting for Republicans only in the hopes of keeping liberal progressives from winning the election, not from a loyal confidence in the Republican Party at all. In fact, they appear to be so dissatisfied with Republican compromises that eighteen percent of them would rather vote for a candidate from a Party having much greater integrity on social and constitutional issues,” Lindee concluded.

Wisconsin Constitutionalists agree that unless Republicans make a dramatic course change, they will continue to pay for it in future elections. Regardless, the Constitution Party of Wisconsin will continue to build upon its gains this year and improve its performance in terms of reaching Wisconsin voters with its message and in terms of turning that messaging into votes.

Douglas Lindee joined Chairman Andrew Zuelke in expressing delight in the Party’s performance statewide on Tuesday. “We are very pleased with our performance in this election, with the obvious gains we have made over previous recent elections. We are encouraged by the support we have received from many tens of thousands of conservative voters across the State of Wisconsin, and will be actively building on that support in future elections to have even greater political impact in 2020 and beyond.”

Criminal justice interests band together to push $70 million budget package

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Criminal justice interests band together to push $70 million budget package

Criminal justice interests are banding together for the first time to push a $70 million package that would add assistant DAs, create new positions in the state crime lab and boost the reimbursement rate for private attorneys who serve as public defenders.

Much of what the coalition is seeking was detailed in budget requests submitted to the Walker administration.

But the Department of Justice, court system, public defenders, DAs and assistant DAs plan a unique pitch for the package. Typically, the guv and Joint Finance Committee consider agency budgets separately. But coalition members want them to look at these pieces of their request as a joint package.

What’s more, they’re going to make an unusual request: if lawmakers decide the $70 million package is too much, the groups want the guv and JFC to give them a number that works and the opportunity to make a recommendation on how to divvy up the money among their priorities.

“We are not adversaries,” said Jordan Lamb, who represents the association for the state’s assistant DAs. “The system works when we are all together on the funding issue.”

Working on their own, the entities have had struggles getting the their priorities funded.

Two years ago, the Public Defender Board sought $7.6 million in the second year of the 2017-19 budget to increase the reimbursement rate for private attorneys who defend those the state office can’t. But Gov. Scott Walker didn’t include any additional money in his budget proposal, and lawmakers didn’t add any in as they re-worked the document.

Likewise, there was a request in the 2017-19 budget for adding 96.3 full-time equivalent assistant district attorneys and increasing part-time ADAs equal to another 5.4 positions. Neither was ultimately approved.

Portage County DA Louis Molepske, a former Dem lawmaker who now serves as president of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, argued lawmakers should consider the package as a whole, because each piece is intertwined. When private attorneys decline to take public defender cases because the $40 an hour rate is so low, it delays DAs getting their cases through the courts. That then doesn’t sit well with judges who see defendants waiting longer than they should for a resolution.

“The court system is like a stool. It can’t operate without one leg being addressed because it falls,” Molepske said.

WisPolitics.com subscribers first saw this story in the Nov. 16 Report. To subscribe, go to: https://www.wispolitics.com/subscribe/

Those who subscribe to the Budget Blog also can see the full story. To learn more, contact Colin Schmies at [email protected]

CUNA Mutual Group: Expands lending technology capabilities with acquisition of Compliance Systems, Inc.


Jess Noelck 608.665.7861 [email protected]
Wendy Serafin 608.665.7690 [email protected]

Compliance Systems Acquisition Enhances CUNA Mutual Group’s Document Processing and Compliance Technology Capabilities

MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group today announced the acquisition of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Compliance Systems, Inc., a privately-held technology company specializing in compliance technology for financial services, to expand the company’s lending technology capabilities.

Compliance Systems is a best-in-class provider of financial transaction technology and compliance expertise. The company provides technology that enables delivery of loan, deposit, and other transaction content in adherence with compliance regulations. Compliance Systems’ solutions complement CUNA Mutual Group’s long-running LOANLINER business that credit unions utilize to stay on top of regulatory changes related to their transaction content.

“Our vision is to transform and modernize our existing document services, elevating our ability to support the needs of credit unions through a simpler and more accessible solution for our customers,” said Robert N. Trunzo, president and CEO, CUNA Mutual Group. “At the same time, Compliance Systems will continue to expand and grow within the banking and lending industry that they serve today.”

With more than 25 years of experience, Compliance Systems currently supports content configuration, data analytics, and compliance risk management for more than 1,400 U.S. financial institutions with a warranty to cover all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“We’re excited to work alongside CUNA Mutual Group to bring Compliance Systems’ technology to credit unions,” said Dennis Adama, president and CEO, Compliance Systems. “The opportunity to bring our solutions to more than 5,600 credit unions, on top of our current growth trajectory in the industry, provides us with a path to grow very rapidly.”

Trunzo added, “This acquisition positions CUNA Mutual Group for the future and facilitates the growth of our existing business, while adding new innovative technologies, capabilities, and offerings to our portfolio.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cyber Monday puts e-commerce shipping woes in the spotlight


When you hear the phrase Black Friday, what do you visualize? Most likely, it’s the huddled masses waiting for hours on end outside of department stores, hoping for a chance to get the best deals on the must-have presents of the season. Year after year, the same song and dance marks the start of Christmas shopping for Americans across the country.


However, more and more people are ditching the camping chairs, tents, and overnight bags, looking instead to online retailers for their post-Thanksgiving deals. Cyber Monday, e-commerce’s answer to Black Friday, has entered the cultural lexicon.


The Monday after Thanksgiving, online retailers reward savvy shoppers with deals equally as competitive as those on Black Friday, but you can capture them from the comfort of your home. Cyber Monday has grown in size every year, with last year’s christening the largest online shopping day in U.S. history.


Experts are predicting this year will keep the tradition going and break last year’s record. Amazon has already said this Cyber Monday was its biggest shopping day ever, and Adobe Analytics says U.S. spending was up 19 percent from last year.


Yet, Cyber Monday’s overwhelming success shouldn’t be pigeonholed as some sort of fluke post-Thanksgiving occurrence. It’s indicative of a much larger trend in the retail industry: e-commerce taking over. If you look at the data, retail e-commerce is on an upward trajectory, gaining more steam with each passing year. In 2016, consumers spent around $390.5 billion on e-commerce. That number is likely to grow to a projected $500 billion in 2018 and a projected $700 billion by 2022.


This trend can be seen right here in Wisconsin. Facing a modern economy that has been unfavorable to department stores, the state’s largest employer, Kohl’s, has tapped into online sales. And it hasn’t just kept them afloat. According to Zacks, the company’s 2018 Q3 Sales & Earnings are projected to grow. At a time when competitors like Sears are filing for bankruptcy, Kohl’s is thriving.


There’s no question that the retail industry has had to adapt to changing consumer preferences to keep their edge. But these changes have also disrupted the retail transportation network and logistics sector as a whole. Just last year, Kohl’s opened its fifth e-commerce fulfillment center to keep up with demand. Not everyone has been so well equipped.


See more at WisBusiness.com.

Dane Buy Local: Small business Saturday 🗓


WHAT: Small Business Saturday; Shift Your Shopping press conference

WHEN: Friday November 16, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Dane County Credit Union, 709 Struck St. Madison

WHO: County Executive Joe Parisi, Dane Buy Local Executive Director Colin Murray and other invited guests.

WHY: Dane Buy Local joins other buy-local alliances and partner organizations across the
country as we celebrate Shift Your Shopping and Small Business Saturday with locally owned businesses, large and small who exemplify the depth, diversity, and economic impact of the business community in south central Wisconsin. These businesses are dedicated in making our communities unique and provide invaluable contributions to our economy.

CONTACT: Colin Murray, Executive Director
Dane Buy Local
2801 International Lane, Suite 110
Madison WI 53704
(608) 712-3440
[email protected]

Dane County Exec: Signs 2019 Dane County Budget


For more information contact:

County Executive’s Office: Casey Slaughter Becker, 608-267-8823

Dane County Board Chair Corrigan: 608-333-2285

$630.1 Million Proposal Invests in Key Priorities While Reducing Property Taxes

MADISON – Dane County Executive, joined by Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Corrigan, and Dane County Board Members, signed the 2019 Dane County Budget Wednesday. The $630.1 million proposal will lower property taxes while investing in a number of key areas including criminal justice reform, mental health services, housing, and youth trauma.

Parisi’s budget proposal, released in October, made historic investments in flood recovery and resilience, infrastructure, and mental health crisis response.

“With this budget Dane County continues to lead by example with our shared values,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “We’ve taken steps to improve our quality of life, increase opportunity for all, and invest in our infrastructure, all while reducing property taxes.”

The Dane County Board built on Parisi’s proposal by including additional funding for front-end justice initiatives, affordable housing, and lake health.

“The County Board really listened to the residents of Dane County and worked hard on their behalf,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “Individuals were able to testify at 3 public hearings of the full County Board as well as 17 committee meetings dedicated to review of the 2019 budget.  Supervisors also heard from their constituents throughout the process via phone calls, email, and social media.  We started with a strong budget proposed by the County Executive and, with community input, crafted a spending plan that earned a unanimous vote from the County Board.”

The 2019 Dane County budget increases the operating portion of the county levy by 0.8%, the lowest since 1991. The county share of property taxes on the average Madison home is estimated to decline $8.10 under this budget proposal. The operating budget totals $558.6 million, and the capital budget is $71.5 million, bringing the total budget to $630.1 million.

“The 2019 budget addresses clear needs in the Dane County community while actually lowering the property tax burden on the average homeowner,” said Supervisor Patrick Miles, Chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee of the County Board.  “We are fortunate to live in a county with strong growth in our tax base. But we recognize that economic prosperity is not equally shared and focused the budget on helping youth, immigrants, and the homeless,” he added.

Highlighted 2019 Budget Initiatives Include:

Flood Recovery and Lake Health

  • $3 million in capital spending to improve water flow in the Yahara River, and other “pinch points,” enabling water to move more quickly out of Dane County’s entire chain of lakes during and after high rainfall events.
  • A $1 million matching grant for park and trail repair, as well as a $500,000 stream bank restoration fund to help communities recover, reduce future erosion, and promote a healthy habitat for fish and other wildlife.
  • The creation of a new $750,000 program that will pay farmers and property owners to convert portions of their lands to permanent cover to keep water where it lands.
  • An additional $9 million to permanently secure properties that will improve the county’s ability to reduce stormwater run-off and improve water quality in key areas.
  • $12,500 to model algae-causing phosphorus’ flow into Dane County’s lakes.

Front-End Criminal Justice Reform

  •  $350,000 to reduce the overall population of the Dane County Jail through pre-trial assessment, bail monitoring, and a stress assessment of the County’s criminal justice system.
  • $30,000 to support violence prevention at LaFollete High School in Madison.
  • $125,000 to support Safe Communities’ Emergency Department to Recovery, Jail to Recovery, and Pregnancy to Recovery programs that help individuals get the treatment they need for opiate addiction.

Mental Health Services

  •  $320,000 to expand the emergency mobile mental crisis program created two years ago, and coordinated by Journey Mental Health. The additional funding will help mental health crisis staff respond to an emergency 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The addition of the Monona Grove School district as the 11th school-based mental health location for the “Building Bridges” program.
  • $25,000 to continue crisis intervention training of law enforcement and organizations that work with vulnerable populations provided by NAMI-Dane County.

Homeless and Housing Services

  • $6 million in capital funding to increase the development of affordable housing through the Dane County Affordable Housing Development Fund.
  • $60,000 to fund rapid re-housing support for veterans experiencing homelessness and individuals who are chronically homeless.
  • $60,000 in additional funding to bolster supportive services at the Rethke Terrace Apartments for individuals who have experienced homelessness, bringing the County’s total commitment to the project to $85,000 in 2019.
  • Nearly $200,000 to continue operation of Safe Haven, and $40,000 to continue the operation of the Off The Square Club, critical day supports for individuals with mental illness who are also experiencing homelessness.
  • $239,000 for The Beacon Day Resource Center for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
  • $70,000 to support community housing navigation services, including one full-time position to work with youth ages 18 – 24.

Support for Youth and Families

  • Four additional positions in the County’s Neighborhood Intervention Unit, including staff to assist in addressing youth trauma, and the prevention of sex trafficking.
  • $175,000 to create two new social workers who will work with families with children ages 5 and younger who workers will connect families who have been referred to Dane County Human Services for child neglect to stabilizing community resources, including employment, housing, and other enhancement services in the Early Childhood Zones and Dane County’s Joining Forces for Families service areas.
  • $30,000 to purchase a van for the County’s Land and Water Resources Department. Transportation to county parks has proven a barrier to a youth volunteer program established in 2018. Other programs and events related to community engagement would have use of the van, including watershed tours and committee tours.


  • $22 million for new road projects in 2019 – a record high for Dane County
  • $20 million for a modernization and expansion project of the Dane County Regional Airport’s Terminal.
  • $250,000 to complete a pre-design study for the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center as well as a storm water run-off analysis for the site.  This continues the work to redevelop this important county asset.

The 2019 Dane County budget will take effect on January 1st of 2019. More information can be found online at https://admin.countyofdane.com/budget/.

Dane County Republican Party: Announces Election Night Watch Party


Contact: [email protected] / 608-709-0478

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.
Kavanaugh’s Esquire Club
1025 N Sherman Ave, Madison, Wisconsin 53704

The Republican Party of Dane County announces our Election Night Watch Party for all Republican and conservative voters in Dane County.

Polls close at 8pm but our doors will open at 7pm. We will be at Kavanaugh’s Esquire Club at 1025 N Sherman Ave in Madison to watch the returns come in.

Did You Know? Republicans in Dane County account for the third largest number of Republican votes in the state of Wisconsin.

Dane County: Capital City Trail open


Contact: Alex DeSmidt, Parks Facility Planner
(608) 221-7212
[email protected]

First Phase of Pavement Restoration Project Complete

MADISON, WI –  The Capital City Trail is now open between Nob Hill Road and Fish Hatchery Road following the completion of a 6.5-mile pavement restoration project.

The pavement restoration project was the first major upgrade to the trail since it opened in 2000 and was the first phase in a multi-year, multi-phase effort by Dane County Parks to improve the safety and ride of approximately 10-miles of the Capital City Trail.

Phase two of the pavement restoration project is anticipated to start in 2019 between Fish Hatchery Road and Seminole Highway. Phase three from Seminole Highway to Verona Road is anticipated to start in 2020. All phases include pavement resurfacing, drainage improvements, ADA improvements, and signage upgrades including new wayfinding signage. Additional project information is available at: http://www.danecountyparks.com/Information/Planning-Development/Capital-City-Trail-Pavement-Restoration

The 10-mile county portion of the Capital City Trail through the Capital Springs Recreation Area and Lewis Nine Springs E-Way is part of the Wisconsin State Trail System and connects local trails like the City of Madison’s portion of the Capital City Trail, Fitchburg’s Cannonball Path, and Dane County’s new Lower Yahara River Trail with the Badger State Trail and Military Ridge State Trail.

“Dane County has a vibrant culture of biking, and we are home to some of the best bike trails in the country,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “We will continue to invest in our quality of life, our lakes, our parks and our trails. Whether it is the brand new Lower Yahara River Trail or the well-used Capital City Trail, Dane County will continue to lead the way on bike trails.”

A new trailhead parking lot was also constructed earlier this year at 3102 Lake Farm Road Madison, WI 53711 to provide trail users better access to the new Lower Yahara River Trail and Capital City Trail. Dane County is recognized nationally as a bronze level bike friendly community. For information about biking in Dane County, please visit: http://www.danecountyparks.com/Parks-Recreation/Biking

Dane County: Dane County’s work on renewables can be national template in wake of new national climate change report


Contact: Joshua Wescott

Dane County Advances Large Scale Solar Developments, Pursuit of Carbon Reducing Vehicle Bio-Fuels from Landfill to Confront Climate Change

“The scientific debate on climate change is over; what’s left is a political debate propped up by corporations and politicians who profit from the use of fossil fuel.”

In the wake of a new national report highlighting both the environmental and economic dangers posed by climate change, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi today called on local government leaders across the state and country to accelerate efforts at reducing carbon emissions.

“Based on the recent news out of Washington D.C. in the past few days, it’s clearly incumbent upon us all to take the reins on the issue of climate change and demonstrate the leadership needed to mitigate the impacts of flooding, extreme heat, and drought that even the President’s administration now says will be prevalent in our future,” Parisi said. “The scientific debate on climate change is over; what’s left is a political debate propped up by corporations and politicians who profit from the use of fossil fuels,” Parisi said.

Shortly after taking office, Parisi initiated a countywide effort to convert Dane County vehicles, including diesel powered snowplows, to run on cleaner burning compressed natural gas generated by rotting trash at the county landfill. To date, that effort that has resulted in the conversion of 70 county vehicles to fuel that reduces carbon emissions. By the end of next year, Dane County will have converted nearly half of its entire fleet of snowplows (29 of 60) that up until recently ran exclusively on diesel.

Beginning early next year, those plows and other vehicles will benefit from Dane County’s new bio-gas production plant being constructed at the county landfill. Construction of that nearly $25 million project is ongoing with the majority of the facilities constructed.

Dane County also continues to lead the state and region in solar development, culminating with the recent announcement of a partnership with MG&E to construct a solar field on over 40 acres of county owned land next to the Dane County Regional Airport. This solar development will have over 20,000 panels, generating clean power for the region. It will be the 16th solar development at a Dane County facility in the past few years.

Meanwhile, county government is set to invest dollars needed to spur other wind and solar developments in our county and region. Partnering once again with Madison Gas and Electric and Joule Energy, Dane County is committed to acquiring renewable energy credits (RECs) to bring planned renewable projects to the finish line in the coming year.

These projects are ongoing as Dane County’s Climate Change Council – another initiative spurred by Parisi – continues its work to model how to further the county’s carbon reducing work to other local units of governments and the private sector.

“From manure digesters that greatly reduce methane and carbon emissions from agriculture, to the work we’re doing to promote solar and wind development and bio-fuel production, everything we’ve accomplished we’ve done as a result of partnerships – people coming together, investing together, and benefiting together both economically and environmentally,” Parisi said.

Dane County: Looks to award affordable housing funds in support of Madison housing project


Over $400,00 from County to Help Develop 80 Unit Development on South Fair Oaks Avenue

Dane County will be a financial partner in helping bring a new affordable housing development on Madison’s east side to reality, County Executive Joe Parisi announced today. The county is looking to award $403,200 from its Affordable Housing Fund to Stone House Development for the project proposed at 134 South Fair Oaks Avenue.

As currently proposed, the project would have a total of 80 housing units, 68 of which will be reserved for those earning 30-60% of the area’s median income. 16 of them will be targeted for homeless families in need of services and veterans.

“Housing is the ultimate solution to addressing homelessness and that’s why county government will continue to be a willing partner on helping bring projects like this to reality,” Parisi said.

The project has already received funding from the City of Madison and low income housing tax credits by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). As part of the funding, the county will purchase a commercial condominium unit on the first floor that will be leased back to the developer.

“The county budget I signed for 2019 doubles our Affordable Housing Fund to $6 million, improves case management for those struggling with housing and homelessness, and increases Dane County’s financial support for the Beacon Homeless Day Resource Center,” Parisi said. “We’ve made great strides in recent years in improving both front line services and access to permanent housing and this project will help dozens of more families and individuals.”

Parisi noted the Stone House project is one of several recommended to receive 2018 funding from Dane County’s $3 million Affordable Housing Fund. In total, this year’s proposals could create 451 units of affordable housing, and 61 units of market-rate housing, for a total of 512 new housing units.

The County’s Affordable Housing Development Fund was created in 2015, and is part of the County’s commitment to address our housing gap by partnering to increase affordable housing units for people in need across Dane County. Since starting the fund, the County has contributed to the anticipated creation of 1,020 units of affordable housing in municipalities throughout Dane County, with 36% of the units located outside the City of Madison.

The proposals for the 2018 Affordable Housing Development Fund were reviewed, and recommendations put forth, by a County staff team led by the County Executive’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Dane County: Signing of the 2019 Dane County budget 🗓


Contact: Casey Slaughter Becker

MADISON – Dane County Executive Joe Parisi will sign the 2019 Dane County Budget at an event Wednesday, November 14th at Noon at the City County Building in Madison.

Parisi will be joined by Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan and Dane County Supervisors, who approved the $630.1 million proposal earlier this week.

The County Executive and County Board Chair will highlight several initiatives included in the 2019 budget that continue Dane County’s commitment to criminal justice reform, support for mental health services, housing, and resources to address youth trauma, among others.

WHAT: Signing of the 2019 Dane County Budget

WHO: Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan
Dane County Supervisors

WHERE: City County Building
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room #354

WHEN: Wednesday, November 14th @ Noon.

Darling re-appointed JFC chair


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DATCP: In the “Season of Giving,” give cautiously


Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007
Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – For many consumers, the holiday season is not just about giving gifts to friends and family members – it is also a time when they give to charities. Unfortunately, this goodwill draws out scammers who use high-pressure pitches to gather funds through fake charities. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks consumers to do their research on charities before making a contribution this holiday season and to be leery of pushy phone- and internet-based requests for payments.

“The holidays are a wonderful time to support your favorite causes,” said Michelle Reinen, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But to ensure that your funds go where you desire, please verify the group you are giving to is legitimate before making a payment.”

DATCP offers tips for donors considering a contribution to a charitable organization:

  • Donate to charities that you trust and are well-established. Start your research atcharitynavigator.org or give.org. Both websites provide contact information and background data on established charities and can provide insight into how the organizations spend their donations.
  • Check to see if the charity is registered with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI): www.wdfi.org/CharitableOrganizations or 608-267-1711.
  • Check with DATCP about any consumer complaints on file against the organization. Contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7182 or via email: [email protected].
  • If contacted by phone, avoid being pressured to make an immediate donation. Don’t hesitate to ask the caller to send you written information about the organization.
  • Ask a solicitor to explain the purpose of the organization, what services are provided, how much of the donation goes to fundraising expenses, whether the donation is tax-deductible, and whether you will be sent a receipt.

Watch out for these charity ploys:

  • Watch out for “look-alike” sites or imposter websites. Scammers will often use names and websites that are similar to those of better known, reputable organizations. Watch the spelling of the charity’s name and web address (URL) closely.
  • Phony charity emails could be “phishing” for personal information or looking to spread malicious software. If you receive an unsolicited email or text message seeking donations, don’t click any links, open any attachments, or share any personal information. Research the sender before taking any additional actions.
  • Never write out a check or give cash to an individual solicitor. Write out checks to the name of the organization or use a credit card.

For more information or to file a complaint, consumers may contact:

Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiconsumer or Twitter: @wiconsumer.

DATCP: Simple steps for safe cyber shopping


Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – Shopping online for holiday gifts this year?  You are not alone.  The number of consumers using computers and mobile devices to compare items and prices, make purchases, and track shipments continues to increase each year.  While these e-commerce systems continue to evolve with a focus on security, the scammers are also evolving and honing their craft to find new potential scams and exploits. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection advises holiday shoppers to keep their devices and applications up to date and to watch out for too-good-to-be-true offers and fake shopping websites.

“Before consumers begin their online holiday shopping, we encourage you to take some basic measures in order to be better protected from scammers,” said Michelle Reinen, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Check your devices for security updates before you start looking online for gifts, limit your transactions on public Wi-Fi networks, and be suspicious of questionable offers on unfamiliar websites and in social media posts.”

Online holiday scams often feature in-demand products like electronics and fashion items to attract your attention. Scammers use fake websites, classified ads, social media messages, and text and email blasts to try to trick you into downloading malware or providing your personal or banking information. Beware of unrealistic offers, coupons, and other enticements – especially from websites with which you are not familiar.

Keep your online shopping experience safe by following these simple tips:

  • Update your device’s operating system and antivirus software before you start shopping.
  • Make sure a website is legitimate before ordering. Check for the company’s name, physical location, and contact information. Remember that identity thieves can create websites that mimic a legitimate business’s site, so don’t trust a site based solely on its appearance. Lastly, do some quick research to see if there are any warnings about the site online and contact Wisconsin’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7182 or [email protected]) to see if complaints have been filed against the business.
  • Avoid social media posts or emails that appear to offer free vouchers or gift cards – they often lead to online surveys designed to steal personal information.
  • When purchasing gift cards online, be leery of auction sites selling discounted or bulk gift cards – you may end up with cards that have been tampered with, have been used or that are expired.
  • Make sure you are on a secure site before you enter your password or any personal or banking information. Secure sites start with “https” rather than “http” (the “s” stands for “secure”).
  • Pay by credit card. If you use a credit card, federal law gives you the right to dispute charges if you report them to the credit card company within 60 days of receiving the statement.
  • Keep a paper trail. Print or save records of online transactions, item descriptions, and copies of emails sent between you and the seller. Carefully review credit card statements after the holidays to look for unauthorized charges.

For additional information or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau atdatcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to [email protected], or call the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.

Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiconsumer or Twitter: @wiconsumer.

Dave Hansen: Response to Nygren’s comments on the Kimberly-Clark bailout


The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

Recently Rep. Nygren claimed in a press release that I don’t care about or support the Kimberly-Clark workers in Marinette because I have not committed to voting for AB-963, a bill that would give Kimberly-Clark, a Texas-based corporation up to $100 million or more in taxpayer cash to protect 388 jobs in the Fox Valley. Unfortunately, there are significant concerns with this bill. So significant in fact, that I was told as many as 8 Republican senators are opposed to it.

Despite his claims to be a friend of workers, it’s worth remembering that Rep. Nygren voted to gut private sector unions like the one that represents the workers at the KC mill in Marinette by voting to pass the so-called “right-to-work” law. He also voted to gut prevailing wage laws that helped insure non-union workers on public projects would earn decent wages. And he voted for Act 10 that has decimated our public schools and made it difficult to hire the best teachers.

And contrary to Rep. Nygren’s comments, the bill he is demanding I vote for will not protect the workers at the Marinette mill.

Under the bill Kimberly-Clark can fire up to 7% or 210 of the 3,000 employees that make up its state workforce and still get up to $100 million of your money. That’s between 150 and 170 workers that are employed at their Marinette mill. Under the bill Rep. Nygren voted for, they could close the mill and never lose a dime of the money he and Governor Walker promised them.

What happened to the days when Republicans used to say “you know what to do with your money better than the government does?” When it comes to helping their corporate friends though, apparently they think they know better than you.

Rep. Nygren voted to give Chinese-based Foxconn over $3 billion of state tax dollars in cash to build a plant near the Illinois border with little to no benefit for the families in our area. Last spring he voted to give Texas-based Kimberly-Clark $115 million more of your hard-earned money despite the fact that Kimberly-Clark is worth over $36 billion and doesn’t pay any state income taxes and hasn’t for years.

Kimberly-Clark has earned billions in profits and used their billion dollar tax cut from President Trump and Paul Ryan to enrich their shareholders and to “restructure the company,” resulting in the firing of over 5,000 workers.

Meanwhile, our public schools are underfunded, our roads are crumbling and the high cost of health insurance is a growing crisis.

Maybe that all seems like a good deal to Rep. Nygren, but I still have a lot of concerns. Not the least of which is if they open the door to give K-C this Foxconn bailout, which corporations will be next to come to us with their hands out?

– Hansen, D-Green Bay, represents the 30th Senate District.

DC Wrap: Duffy’s gray wolf bill faces uncertain future in Senate


Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly.

Quotes of the week

Firing tear gas on asylum seekers, including small children, is the latest offense in a long history of disgusting & inhumane actions by the Trump Administration at our border. I am appalled & ashamed. This is not the America I know & love.
– U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, in a tweet denouncing the use of tear gas on a crowd of migrants trying to cross nation’s southern border over the weekend.

They are not even closely comparable. … This sounds more like personal use of a personal email during the transition before she had an official account set up. This administration, I think in general, has done a pretty good job of abiding by the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, in an interview on WTAQ this week. Johnson said Ivanka Trump’s use of her personal email to conduct official government business is different than Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has asked the White House for a briefing on Trump’s email use.   

This week’s news

— A U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson spokesman says the Oshkosh Republican would back a bill aiming to delist the gray wolf in all but two states should it be taken up in the Senate.

But the office of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin didn’t say whether she’d support the legislation from 7th CD U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy seeking to remove the wolves from the Endangered Species Act. The bill, which cleared the House earlier this month, would lift protections for the wolves across the continental United States.

A Johnson spokesman this week noted Johnson has been working on the issue “for a while.” Johnson in 2015 introduced a bill that would direct the Department of the Interior to reissue final rules related to the endangered listing of the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming. He reintroduced the legislation last year.

But a Baldwin spokeswoman in an email expressed preference for the Madison Dem’s HELP for Wildlife Act, which would delist the gray wolf in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes as well as reauthorize and provide funding for a series of conservation programs.

The spokeswoman noted Duffy’s bill “has not yet come up on the Senate” and didn’t answer whether Baldwin would vote for the Wausau Republican’s legislation if it does hit the floor.

The comments follow the House passage of Duffy’s “Manage Our Wolves Act.” The bipartisan legislation — passed on a 196-180 vote — aims to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered or threatened species and reinstate a rule that removed the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes region from the list.

“If you live in Wisconsin, especially northern Wisconsin, it might be necessary for us to actually manage this population because it’s good for the environment,” Duffy said in a statement following the bill’s passage. “Frankly, I believe that our states are far more in tuned in understanding the ecosystem of their state than Bureaucrats in Washington.”

The legislation garnered support from U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay; Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah; and Ron Kind, D-La Crosse. U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont; and Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, voted against the bill, while U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, did not vote.

State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, praised Duffy’s work and urged Baldwin to back the bill in a joint statement last week with Michigan Sen. Tom Casperson.

Tiffany this session introduced a bill that would ban police from enforcing state or federal law aimed at managing Wisconsin’s wolf population. The language would also prohibit the state Department of Natural Resources from spending any money to manage wolves — other than paying claims for any losses they cause.

The Obama administration in 2012 first delisted the gray wolf in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. In 2014, the wolves were returned to the federal endangered species list after a lawsuit, resulting in the end of wolf trapping and hunting.   

— A new resolution from Johnson is slamming Russia’s recent actions against Ukraine.

The move comes after Russia captured three Ukranian boats off the coat of Crimea this week.

See the text of the resolution.

— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind was among the 32 House Dems who opposed Nancy Pelosi’s nomination to be speaker, his office says.

The caucus Wednesday voted 203-32 to nominate the California Dem as its leader. The full House will again vote on her nomination in January, when she will need at least 218 votes to win the post.

Kind, D-La Crosse, said in a statement the caucus needs new leadership.

“My first priority has always been standing up for Wisconsin, and the values that Wisconsinites hold,” he said. “I thank Nancy Pelosi for her years of service to the House of Representatives and the Democratic Party, but I believe it is time for new leadership that moves Wisconsin – and America – forward.”

A spokesman didn’t return a request for comment about whether Kind will back Pelosi when her nomination is up for a floor vote.

Meanwhile, the offices of U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, and Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, said the two lawmakers voted for Pelosi this week.

— Moore has introduced legislation aiming to increase access to Social Security services.

The so-called “Maintain Access to Vital Social Security Services Act of 2018” would amend the Social Security Act to establish a procedure to close or reduce access to field offices. The bill would also require the Social Security Administration to operate “a sufficient number” of adequately staffed field offices that provide “wide-ranging” and “convenient” services to the public.

Moore said in a statement the bill’s requirements would help Americans secure access to the Social Security benefits they need.

“The shuttering of Social Security Field Offices, in Milwaukee and across the country, has created major complications for millions of Americans who depend on their hard-earned benefits,” she said. “My bill will help to ensure the SSA provides essential services to all communities.”

— Kind is spearheading a bill to give veterans better access to manufacturing jobs.

The “Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act” would create a grant program housed within the Department of Labor to then establish state programs to provide on-the-job training and other support to veterans through employers.

“The Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act will encourage Wisconsin manufacturers to hire Wisconsin veterans, and help create a stronger economy and workforce here at home,” Kind, D-La Crosse, said in a statement.

— U.S. Reps. Glenn Grothman and Mark Pocan are partnering on a bill to try to keep invasive species of fish out of the state’s waters.

The bill would compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider the impact of invasive species before requiring the building of a new fishway, or passage for native fish to travel around dams, according to a statement from Grothman this week.

“Invasive species can have a devastating effect on the environment, public health and the economy. The damage they can cause only gets worse over time, which is why this legislation is becoming increasingly important to pass,” the Glenbeulah Republican said.

— Former state GOP Chair Reince Priebus has agreed to participate in a “thorough review” of the 2018 election and the current Wisconsin party structure, according to a letter U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson sent to the party’s Executive Committee.

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, wrote in the letter, obtained by WisPolitics.com, that the review would be similar to the postmortem Priebus oversaw while chair of the RNC following the 2012 presidential election.

But the letter didn’t offer any other details, and a GOP source said the review would be led by the Executive Committee and state party staff. Priebus has a seat on the Executive Committee as the immediate past chair.

In the Johnson letter, the senator noted he’s the only remaining Republican statewide elected official following the November election results. “I realize I have a unique responsibility to help ensure our grass-roots structure remains intact and to quickly establish clear objectives for our party,” he wrote.

He said multiple factors contributed to the November results and the party needs to “carefully study these factors and build upon those that helped yield success and correct those that resulted in failure.”

Johnson, who plans to attend the Executive Committee meeting in Stevens Point this weekend, also invited members to share written summaries they have of conversations with others that produced suggestions on new ideas. He noted a robust “dialogue already is occurring between our congressional delegation, elected state officials, and RPW officials, staff and volunteers.”

— Fewer Wisconsinites are making plan selections in this year’s open enrollment period than last year, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

From Nov. 1-24 of this year, 62,150 individual market plans were chosen on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. That’s down from 78,269 plans in the first four weeks of last year’s open enrollment period.

Signups are also down across the country. So far this year, about 2.4 million people have made plan selections on Healthcare.gov, compared to over 2.7 million at this time last year.

See the CMS release.

Posts of the week


Can both political parties come together in time to avoid a government shutdown?

Reps. Moore and Pocan condemn use of tear gas by Border Patrol

Ron Johnson: In Ukraine conflict, ‘Russia cannot rewrite international rules by force’

Duffy: It’s Time To Restore Gray Wolf Management To States

Dec. 5: Milwaukee Press Club/WisPolitics.com: Newsmaker Luncheon with Milwaukee County Sheriff-elect Earnell Lucas 🗓


For more information, please contact:
Joette Richards, (262)894-2224
[email protected]


Milwaukee County Sheriff-elect Earnell Lucas to Speak
 at Newsmaker Luncheon Hosted by Milwaukee Press Club and WisPolitics.com

MILWAUKEE – Earnell Lucas, newly elected Milwaukee County Sheriff, will be the featured speaker at a Newsmaker Luncheon, hosted jointly by the Milwaukee Press Club and WisPolitics.com, on Wednesday, December 5.

Lucas, who was elected November 6, currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Chief Liaison of Security & Investigations for the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. He previously served as the Vice President of Security and Facility Management, charged with overseeing the security operations for Major League Baseball, and the Supervisor of Security for former Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.

Lucas, a 25-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, retired at the rank of captain. He will be inaugurated to a four-year term January 7, when Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt leaves office.

Lucas will take questions from a panel of journalists and from the audience at the luncheon, set for 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newsroom Pub, 137 E. Wells St.

The Milwaukee Press Club’s Newsmaker Luncheon Series is sponsored by the Medical College of Wisconsin.

WisPolitics.com joins the press club for this luncheon as part of its ongoing event series in Milwaukee, sponsored by UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training, ELEVEN25 at Pabst, Milwaukee Police Association, The Firm Consulting, Medical College of Wisconsin and Spectrum.

Press club Newsmaker Luncheons are held to shed light on issues of the day. The cost to attend is $20 for MPC members, $25 for non-members and $15 for students. Lunch is included. Seating is limited.  Advanced registration and payment are required and may be done online at www.milwaukeepressclub.org.  Checks may be mailed to the MPC at PO Box 176, North Prairie, WI  53153-0176. Cancellations will be accepted up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund.

Please contact Joette Richards at the Milwaukee Press Club at [email protected] with any questions or call 262-894-2224.

Special thanks to the Safe House/Newsroom Pub, home of the Milwaukee Press Club, for hosting the Newsmaker Luncheon Series.  Think of the Newsroom Pub for your next private party!  MPC members can book a room at no charge. The Newsroom Pub has FREE wireless internet service compliments of the Safe House.

Where the only thing that’s dead is the cat.
PO Box 176
North Prairie, WI 53153-0176

Dept. of Administration: State of Wisconsin earns Oracle Excellence Award for innovation


Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Contact: DOA Communications, (608) 266-7362

DOA’s Division of Enterprise Technology accepts award

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Enterprise Technology (DOA/DET) was recently honored with the prestigious Oracle Excellence Award for its innovative use of Oracle products in a way that reduces costs and improves efficiencies.

Gordy Klindt, Director of DET’s Bureau of Technical Architecture & Project Management, and Sue Munro, DET Management Information Chief, accepted the Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award at the Oracle OpenWorld conference last month.

“Wisconsin is honored to be recognized internationally for its achievements in IT innovation,” DOA Secretary Ellen Nowak said. “I’d like to congratulate our agency’s Division of Enterprise Technology and recognize the efforts of IT professionals across state government for their commitment to make state government more efficient, effective and accountable to the people of Wisconsin.”

The Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award was one of six categories of Oracle Excellence Awards that are given every year. Ten other organizations from across the world received awards in the same category as Wisconsin.

According Oracle’s website, Oracle Excellence Awards is “an annual program that recognizes an extraordinary set of customers and partners for exceptional use of Oracle solutions to accelerate innovation and drive business transformation and value by increasing agility, lowering costs, and reducing IT complexity. Each year, the winners are chosen from hundreds of nominations that come in from across the globe. Oracle is honored to congratulate each winner on their leadership and proud they have chosen Oracle technology to help power their cloud transformations.”

About Oracle

The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit www.oracle.com .

About Oracle OpenWorld

Oracle OpenWorld, the industry’s most important business and technology conference for the past 20 years, hosts tens of thousands of in-person attendees as well as millions online. Dedicated to helping businesses leverage Cloud for their innovation and growth, the conference delivers deep insight into industry trends and breakthroughs driven by technology. With hundreds of demos and hands-on labs, plus exhibitions from more than 400 partners and customers from around the world, Oracle OpenWorld has become a showcase for leading cloud technologies, from Cloud Applications to Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. For more information: www.oracle.com/openworld.

Dept. of Children and Families:  Governor’s outstanding adoptive parent awards presented


Contact: Gina Paige ― 608-266-9000

(MADISON) ― The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) honored five special adoptive families today by presenting them with the 2018 Governor’s Outstanding Adoptive Award. The awards were presented during a celebration at the State Capitol as part of Wisconsin’s month-long recognition of National Adoption Month.

The awards recognize Wisconsin families who have opened their hearts to provide safe and loving homes to children in need of a permanent home. Nominations were received from adoption workers, children’s advocates, and citizens from all corners of Wisconsin, with recipients chosen based upon their stories of exceptional dedication and commitment in ensuring their adopted children receive the love and care of a “forever” family.

“All adoptive families deserve special recognition,” said DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson.  “In our state this year, hundreds of children in Wisconsin have been provided with a permanent home by families and individuals who have stepped forward and made a difference in children’s lives.  We appreciate the dedication of adoptive parents, as well as those who work closely with families when they go through the adoption process.”

Five adoptive families received awards:

Valerie and Gary Berlik of Wausau were recognized for their commitment to keeping a sibling group together and for their specialized skills working with children who have medical and other special needs. The Berliks have one adopted son and are in the process of adopting his sibling.

Deborah and Carl Brehm of Oconomowoc were recognized for the love and compassion that extends beyond their immediate family, which can be seen in the strong relationships they have built with their children’s biological parents. The Brehms have adopted six children through public and international adoption.

Lisa and Allan Castelli of Pleasant Prairie were recognized for opening their heart and home to provide a safe and stable environment for sibling groups and for building lasting relationships with their biological parents. The Castellis have three biological children and five adopted children.

Lisa and Jesse Gander of Larsen were recognized for their trauma-informed parenting, as well as their passion for helping children in need of special care. The Ganders have two biological children and one adopted son.

Tiffany Torrens of Wausau was recognized for her ability to always rise and meet the needs of children who deal with multiple challenges. She has also been an amazing resource for other adoptive parents by providing support, referrals and a listening ear. She has one biological child and three adopted children.

Although many Wisconsin families have made the commitment to adopt children, the event highlighted the need for more families to step forward to create these unique and special families through adoption.

Anderson also recognized Jockey International and its corporate initiative, Jockey Being Family.  The initiative provides funding, employee volunteers, and in-kind donations in support of post-adoption services in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.

For more information about adoption, please visit https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/adoption or follow @WisDCF on Twitter.

Dept. of Health Services: Fifteen counties awarded Mental Health Crisis Response Improvement Grants


Contact: Jennifer Miller/Elizabeth Goodsitt

Investment builds on Wisconsin’s historic commitment to mental health services 

Aided by grants from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), 15 counties are improving how they respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Each of the following counties has received a $20,000 grant to enhance mental health crisis intervention services.

  • Ashland
  • Brown
  • Dane
  • Dunn
  • Eau Claire
  • Human Service Center (Forest, Oneida, and Vilas)
  • Kenosha
  • La Crosse
  • Ozaukee
  • Racine
  • Rock
  • Washington
  • Waukesha
  • Winnebago
  • Wood

Dept. of Health Services: Mental health grant awards to assist youth in need

Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

Four counties awarded $250,000 for crisis stabilization services

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Department Children and Families (DCF) awarded a $250,000 grant to Columbia, Green Lake, Sauk, and Waushara counties, to work together to provide an in-home mental health crisis stabilization service for local youth.

A voluntary service, in-home mental health crisis stabilization for youth is designed to help young people better understand the cause of their psychological distress, while teaching them healthy coping skills to manage similar situations in the future in their home, rather than a hospital or residential care setting. This program is designed to be short-term by assessing and treating the youth’s immediate needs, then connecting them to the appropriate level of behavioral health care in their community.

The in-home mental health crisis stabilization service for youth is part of a larger state effort to develop new care and treatment options for youth in emotional distress. This includes the development of an out-of-home mental health crisis stabilization service for youth, a new facility type created in the 2017-2019 Biennial Budget.

Under Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin has made historic investments in mental health, totaling more than $500 million dollars, so people can get the care and treatment they need. This includes an expansion of Comprehensive Community Services (CCS), a program that supports individuals of all ages living with mental health and substance use concerns at the community level.

Dept. of Military Affairs: Executive Residence tree a tribute to those who serve


CONTACT: Capt. Joe Trovato | [email protected] | 608-242-3048

MAPLE BLUFF, Wis. — Wisconsin National Guard volunteers joined Linda Hughes to continue a state tradition last week by decorating the Tribute to Our Troops tree at the Executive Residence.

The tradition honoring fallen and deployed troops has endured since 2005, a year that saw many Wisconsin service members killed in action in the Global War on Terror. Jessica Doyle, then Wisconsin’s first lady, came up with the idea and asked Hughes — whose nephew Joshua was killed in Iraq earlier that year — to create ornaments for the tree. The tradition has continued through the Doyle and Walker administrations.

Hughes says she chose this year’s theme of dreamcatchers because the unbroken circle of the dreamcatcher matches the unbroken love in the families’ hearts, though their service member is no longer there. She also incorporated a gold star, the symbol for the families of fallen service members, into the webbing of the dreamcatcher.

Each ornament Hughes makes has a “dog tag” representing a fallen Wisconsin service member, and she sends the ornaments to their families after the holiday season. In the letter accompanying each ornament, Hughes has written the following wish: “Wake up every morning with a new dream for the day.”

Hughes says she feels these visual reminders of fallen service members’ lives are important to the grieving process and to honor their legacy.

Master Sgt. Larkin Wilde, an Airman with the 115th Fighter Wing, said she volunteered to help decorate because of family.

“It’s a way to celebrate the military families that sacrifice so much through the years,” Wilde said.

Wilde said she plans to share the experience with her family when the tree is lit during a ceremony Nov. 25 at 4:30 p.m., followed by a public open house.

Thousands of Wisconsin service members are on duty around the globe this holiday season, including hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard.

Dept. of Military Affairs: We owe our freedom to our veterans


Contact: Capt. Joe Trovato
[email protected]

Written by Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general

This year marks the centennial of the armistice that ended the Great War – thought at the time to be the “war to end all wars.” Sadly it wasn’t to be. Just 20 years later the world again found itself in another cataclysmic war that claimed the lives of millions.

Veterans of our great state played starring roles in both of those conflicts and conflicts before and since from the Civil War to Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, Wisconsin has a noble legacy of service to our country.

In World War I, the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s famed 32nd “Red Arrow” Division smashed its way into history as it broke through every German line it encountered on the battlefields of France, including the vaunted Hindenburg Line in the war’s closing weeks. In the Second World War, the Red Arrow once again distinguished itself in the jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines as it spent more days in combat – 654 – than any other American division in the war.

In the earliest days of statehood during the Civil War, the state of Wisconsin sent more than 90,000 of its sons to war to preserve the Union, where the state etched its name into American military lore with ferocious fighting units like the famed Iron Brigade, which earned distinction on the battlefield at places like Gettysburg and Antietam.

In more recent history, our National Guard has continued this heroic legacy. After the formation of the Air National Guard following World War II, Airmen from the Wisconsin Air Guard fought in the skies over Korea, including 1st Lt. Jerome Volk who lost his life in the war and became the namesake for Volk Combat Readiness Training Center. Thousands of other Airmen from the Air National Guard went on to become veterans during the Gulf War and again in the years following Sept. 11, 2001.

What a privilege it is to serve as Wisconsin’s adjutant general.  The legacy of our veterans, past and present, who have served state and nation in the Wisconsin National Guard is exceptional.  It’s an honor to where the uniform and serve alongside you.

Thank you to all America’s veterans for all that has been sacrificed for our nation and thank you to those who continue to serve and keep the torch of freedom lit.  May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Dept. of Natural Resources: Great stories from the field highlight opening weekend of Wisconsin’s 167th nine-day gun deer hunt


CONTACT: Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, 608-206-1107; Todd Schaller, DNR Chief Conservation Warden, 608-381-8927; Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334

MADISON – As of Saturday morning of the opening weekend of Wisconsin’s 167th gun deer season, over 545,000 hunters had purchased their license to enjoy this annual nine-day tradition with friends and family.

Pictures and stories from all over Wisconsin continue to flood in as hunters share their experiences. Be sure to follow DNR on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more updates, photos and stories throughout gun deer season. 

Preliminary License Sales Data

Preliminary figures indicate that the number of deer hunters in Wisconsin declined in 2018, continuing a trend that DNR has been anticipating for several years. For more information regarding license sales, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “weekly totals.”

Final license sales figures will be available in January, at which time DNR staff will perform a thorough analysis and interpretation. As a national leader in designing programs to attract new hunters and train current hunters to become mentors, DNR and partner staff and volunteers are working hard to counteract this decline.

“There are good examples of programs and campaigns that are successful at recruiting and retaining hunters, but it will take time to build them to scale,” said Keith Warnke, DNR R3 coordinator. “With the full support of our partners, DNR will be able to maintain the hunting and angling tradition.”

Preliminary Registration Totals and Future Outlook

In total, 118,670 deer were harvested by gun and registered statewide during the opening weekend of the gun deer hunt in 2018, compared to 105,216 in 2017. A total of 65,388 bucks were registered on opening weekend, compared to 60,380 in 2017. A more detailed summary of preliminary registration totals can be found at keywords “weekly totals.”

Preliminary harvest numbers seem to correlate with weather reports that have been shared on DNR’s Facebook page as well as with reports hunters provided during the registration process. Reports from the entire state indicate excellent hunting conditions, including snow cover in most areas. Preliminary registration figures in the Northern Forest are down slightly compared to the opening weekend in 2017. Hunters throughout the state reported seeing rutting activity, which was expected with the early gun season opening date.

The southern part of the state also experienced excellent hunting conditions, with fresh snow in some areas and comfortable temperatures. Overall, registration numbers in the Farmland zones were slightly higher than last year. With the weather reports for the remainder of the gun deer hunt looking positive throughout most of Wisconsin, hunters can expect continued opportunities and are encouraged to head out to enjoy the remainder of the nine-day season hunting with family and friends.

Regional and statewide contacts regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin are as follows:

  • statewide – Kevin Wallenfang, Department of Natural Resources big game ecologist, 608-206-1107;
  • northern Wisconsin – Chuck McCullough, DNR wildlife management supervisor, 715-966-1146;
  • northeastern Wisconsin – Jeff Pritzl, DNR wildlife management supervisor, 920-366-3450;
  • west central Wisconsin – Kris Johansen, DNR wildlife management supervisor, 608-396-1062; and
  • southern Wisconsin – Bret Owsley, DNR wildlife management supervisor, 920-210-2451.

Registration of Deer Required with GameReg

As a reminder, hunters are required to register their deer by 5 p.m. the day after harvest. For more information, search keywords “GameReg.”

“The registration process is critical to the management of Wisconsin’s deer herd, so hunters who forgot to register their deer are encouraged to complete this process, even if they do so beyond the 5 p.m. deadline,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist. “Knowing life is busy, the best practice is to register your harvest immediately so you don’t forget – some hunters are completing the registration while still in the field, which works great.”

Opening Weekend Hunting Accidents

The DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement reports two hunting incidents, both of which occurred on Nov. 18 and resulted in injuries.

The first was in Columbia County in Marcellon Township – a 24-year-old shooter was participating in a nearby deer drive when he shot at a running deer, striking instead the victim, a 23-year-old male, in the foot. The victim was a member of the same hunting party.

The second incident occurred around 5:05 p.m. in Dunn County in the Village of Colfax. A 21-year-old male who was not wearing blaze orange was working on his downed deer when he was hit in the arm by a bullet from a 17-year-old shooter who thought the victim was a deer. The victim was transported to the hospital and released.

Wisconsin’s 10-year average is approximately three hunting incidents for opening weekend of the nine-day gun deer hunt. The decline in incidents is the direct result of hunter safety education given by Wisconsin’s volunteer instructors and conservation wardens. As part of this push for safe hunting, wardens remind all hunters to use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings.

  • T – Treat every Firearm as if it is loaded;
  • A – Always Point the muzzle in a safe direction;
  • B – Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it; and
  • K –  Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin, search keywords “safety tips.”

For more information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword “deer.”

Dept. of Public Affairs: 24 Wisconsin businesses named finalists for 2018 MARKETPLACE Governor’s Awards


Winners in competition for top minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses to be announced at MARKETPLACE conference Dec. 13

MADISON, WI. Nov. 29, 2018 – Two dozen Wisconsin companies have been named finalists for the 2018 MARKETPLACE Governor’s Awards, which honor outstanding Wisconsin businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans.

More than 300 nominations were received this year recognizing the achievements of businesses of all sizes and industries. Winners will be announced at a Dec. 13 luncheon at MARKETPLACE 2018, the Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development. The event will be held at the Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee with the support of over 20 sponsors, including Keystone Sponsor U.S. Bank and Governor’s Award Luncheon Sponsor Milwaukee Business Journal.

Businesses are being honored in three categories: the Outstanding Business Award (with subcategories for large and small businesses), which recognizes established businesses that have demonstrated the capacity to grow over the past five years and have plans for continued expansion in the future; and the Rising Star Award, which honors businesses established after 2013 that have demonstrated strong growth potential.

Awards are given to certified minority-owned business enterprises (MBE), woman-owned business enterprises (WBE) and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (DVB).

Certification programs included in the awards are the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration’s MBE, WBE and DVB certifications; the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification; the North Central Minority Supplier Development Council certification; and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council certification.

The finalists in the Outstanding Large Business Award category for MBE, WBE or DVB businesses (covering businesses with more than 25 employees) are:

Convenience Electronics Inc., McFarland
Duwe Metal Products Inc., Menomonee Falls
MARS IT Corp., dba MARS Solutions Group, Wauwatosa
Premier Medical Staffing Services LLC, Milwaukee
Security Officer Services Inc., Milwaukee
U.S. Vet General Contracting LLC, McFarland
The finalists with 25 or fewer employees in the Outstanding Small Business Award category for MBE, WBE or DVB businesses (covering businesses with 25 or fewer employees) are:

Great Impressions LLC, Milwaukee
Luxury Massage Therapist LLC, dba Spa Massage on the Go, West Allis
PeroDigm Design Studio LLC, Cambridge
Quintec Integration Inc., Waukesha
STATZ Corp., Cross Plains
Stormwater Solutions Engineering LLC, Milwaukee
Superior Structural Corp., New Berlin
Top Tier LLC, Reedsburg
Your Personal Gardener LLC, Mukwonago
The finalists for the Rising Star Awards are:

adBidtise LLC, Milwaukee
Aeroforce Logistics LLC, Milwaukee
AgriStaff USA LLC, Kiel
Brainchild Studios LLC, Milwaukee
Dakonte Product Group Inc., Milwaukee
Derute Consulting Cooperative, Milwaukee
Easier Living Consultants LLC, Camp Douglas
Full Spectrum Health Services LLC, Madison
Award finalists will benefit from recognition at the event and through media promotion.

MARKETPLACE 2018, which takes place Dec. 12-13, is the premier business capacity-building conference of the year for minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses pursuing contracts with state, federal and local agencies as well as corporations.

For 37 years, the conference has brought together businesses, agencies and business development resources to create new opportunities for State of Wisconsin certified companies. More than 60 exhibitors, including lenders, business resources, certified agencies and businesses, will be featured in the MARKETPLACE Expo Hall on Dec. 13.

The individual cost is $70 for both days, with a $20 additional fee for the Dec. 12 evening reception. Discounts are available for minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses. Buyers and supplier diversity managers from government agencies and private corporations attending to meet potential suppliers can register at no charge.

Registration and detailed information are available at MarketplaceWisconsin.com.

Dept. of Workforce Development: 5 years and counting: Unemployment rates decline or hold steady in all 12 WI metro areas for 60th consecutive month


CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of unemployment and employment statistics for metro areas, major cities and counties in Wisconsin. The estimates include updates to September 2018 and preliminary estimates for October 2018. Unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. The estimates show:

• Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Preliminary October 2018 year-over-year unemployment
rates declined in all 12 of Wisconsin’s metro areas compared to October 2017. This marks
the 60th consecutive month in which unemployment rates in the 12 Wisconsin MSAs have
dropped or remained unchanged when compared to the same month in the prior year. The
last month in which this trend did not occur was October 2013. The Janesville-Beloit MSA
tied its record low unemployment rate for any month since 1990 at 2.8 percent.
• Municipalities: Preliminary October 2018 year-over-year unemployment rates declined or
stayed the same in 31 of Wisconsin’s 32 largest cities compared to October 2017. Fifteen of
Wisconsin’s 32 largest cities set or tied their lowest October unemployment rate on record.
• Counties: Compared to October 2017, preliminary October 2018 year-over-year
unemployment rates declined or remained unchanged in 64 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, with 21 counties setting or tying their all-time record low unemployment rate for October.

The release of October 2018 local rates follows last week’s release of BLS monthly statewide estimates which showed that Wisconsin maintained a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3 percent or lower for the ninth consecutive month, setting another record. The data also showed that Wisconsin’s addition of 20,000 manufacturing jobs from October 2017 to October 2018 ranked 2nd nationally and was No. 1 in the Midwest.

Other indicators of the state of Wisconsin’s economy include:

• Initial UI claims ended 2017 at their lowest level in the last 30 years.
• Continuing unemployment claims ended 2017 at their lowest level since 1973.
• Moody’s Investor Service recently upgraded the state’s credit rating, noting that “(T)he stable outlook reflects the expectation that the state will experience moderate economic growth and will continue its prudent fiscal management practices.”

The data included in today’s release can be accessed on the WisConomy website.

Dept. of Workforce Development: Wisconsin ranks 2nd nationally in manufacturing job gains over year


CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722

On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce

On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

WI also ranks 1st in nation for manufacturing jobs added over last six months

MADISON – The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released state-by-state employment and unemployment rankings that show Wisconsin’s addition of 20,000 manufacturing jobs from October 2017 to October 2018 ranked 2nd nationally and 1st in the Midwest, while the state’s unemployment rate of 3 percent ranked in the top 10 nationally.  The state’s labor force participation rate of 68.4 percent ranked 7th best nationally and 2nd in the Midwest and Wisconsin’s addition of 9,200 construction jobs over the year ranked 14th nationally. This follow’s yesterday’s release showing that Wisconsin added a statistically significant 32,000 private-sector jobs from October 2017 to October 2018.

“Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector continues to perform well with 20,000 more people employed in that sector today than a year ago,” Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen said. “2018 is shaping up to be a historic year for the Wisconsin economy and with roughly 100,000 jobs routinely available on JobCenterofWisconsin.com, plenty of opportunities exist for those still looking to break into a rewarding career.”

The complete release can be accessed at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Depts. of Corrections, Workforce Development: New job center builds on department’s success training inmates for careers in the community


FOR DOC: DOC Communications, 608-240-5060

[email protected]

FOR DWD: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722

[email protected]

OREGON – Lt. Governor Kleefisch joined the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to celebrate the opening of a new Job Center at Oakhill Correctional Institution (OCI).

“Educating inmates in our Correctional facilities not only reduces recidivism, but it also brings much-needed talent back into our economy,” said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. “Here in Wisconsin, our historically low unemployment requires us to recruit and train talent that is oftentimes overlooked. I am proud of our $3 million investment in workforce training for inmates, and I look forward to following the success of the new Job Center at Oakhill Correctional Institution.”

Governor Walker’s investments in vocational training for inmates are already paying off, as 95% of inmates who have completed a vocational academy have found employment in the community. Academies are offered in high-demand fields like welding, CNC machining, industrial maintenance, and construction where employers have had difficulty finding skilled workers.

Inmates can use the Job Center for career readiness programs, job search assistance, resume development, services for veterans, registered apprenticeships, and assistance for individuals with disabilities.

DWD Secretary Ray Allen spoke about DWD’s partnership with DOC and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, noting that “providing inmates with access to a wide range of workforce programs and services will prepare them for reentry into the workforce and greater opportunity to gain meaningful jobs.”

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 3.0% for eight consecutive months and the number of open jobs is exceeding the number of unemployed workers. With 9,000 inmates releasing to the community each year and the Department’s vocational training programs expanding significantly, employers can hire skilled workers to fill vacant positions and grow their business.

Governor Walker’s current budget includes $1.5 million to expand vocational training in Department facilities, $500,000 to expand the Windows to Work program, which provides pre-release and post-release employment readiness assistance to inmates, and $1.05 million to construct two mobile labs to provide vocational training inside Department facilities.

Department of Corrections Secretary Cathy Jess thanked Governor Walker for his support of vocational training efforts, adding that “inmates completing vocational training programs are finding good-paying, family-supporting jobs in the community, decreasing the chance they’ll return to prison and enabling them to live crime-free while caring for themselves and their families.” She went on to state that “ultimately, these programs are about providing hope for prisoners as they release into the community so they can become productive citizens and taxpayers.”

These funds have already resulted in hundreds of inmates completing short-term, intensive vocational training academies with area technical colleges, including an Industrial Maintenance academy and a Construction Fundamentals academy taught by instructors from Madison College.

More than 275 inmates have graduated with employer-recognized, transferable credentials for in-demand occupations in areas like welding, CNC machining, industrial maintenance, and construction. Of the 157 inmates who have completed a vocational academy and released to the community through September 2018, 149 have obtained employment, a 95% success rate. This number includes 91 inmates who found employment in a related field.

Despite $2.1B projected revenue boost, $1.1B would be needed to meet all agency asks

The outgoing Walker administration delivered Gov.-elect Tony Evers a dose of good news for his first budget with the state expected to have new revenues of $2.1 billion through mid-2021.

Still, that was tempered somewhat by agency budget requests that outstrip expected revenue growth by nearly $1.1 billion.

That means Evers will either have to pare back agency spending requests or find revenue uppers to make his first budget balance.

Evers’ transition spokeswoman Carrie Lynch in a statement Tuesday noted it’s not unusual for agency budget requests to exceed projected revenue. She added Evers “is confident his team can put together a balanced budget that puts Wisconsin children and families first.”

The Walker administration release noted it is typical for agency spending request to exceed expected revenues, adding three agencies account for bulk of the $3 billion in new new general purpose revenue spending requested. DPI, the agency Evers now leads, the UW System and the Department of Health Services combined to seek $2.3 billion in additional GPR.

The agency proposals also include some $180 million in new tax cuts that Gov. Scott Walker had proposed as part of his unsuccessful re-election bid. If Evers chose to ignore those proposals, it would decrease the imbalance between expected revenues and requested agency spending.

Joint Finance Committee Co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren touted the new revenue figures in a joint statement and praised Walker for “leaving Wisconsin in much better fiscal shape than what he inherited.”

“Wisconsin is on the right track and this report proves it,” the two Republicans said. “With the amount of money coming into the state, we can continue to fund priorities like education, continue to cut taxes, and balance the budget.”

See the full story in the Budget Blog:

DFI: Credit union’s net income up 16%, loan growth up by 10.49% in third quarter


Contact: Bob Nenno, Communications Director

MADISON – Net income and total lending grew by double digits again at Wisconsin’s 126 state-chartered credit unions in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017, according to data released today by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).

In the nine months ending on September 30, 2018:

  • Net income totaled $313.8 million, up 16% from $270.4 million in September 2017.
  • Total loans were $29.6 billion, up 10.49% from $26.8 billion in September 2017.
  • Net worth was 11.4%, up from 11.01% in September 2017.
  • The delinquent loan ratio was 0.66%, down from 0.67% from a year ago.

“In the third quarter of 2018, state-chartered credit unions continued the growth we have seen in each quarter of 2018,” DFI Secretary Jay Risch said. “This continued high performance says the credit unions are offering the right products and services to their members, which is moving Wisconsin’s economy forward.”

A full report on the credit union’s third quarter 2018 performance will be available on the DFI website, www.wdfi.org, by the end of November.

DHS: #HopeActLiveWI: Madison and Milwaukee organizations receive $250,000 grants for opioid use disorder treatment


Contact: Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

ARC Community Services and United Community Center to offer medication-assisted treatment

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is expanding access to effective treatment for opioid use disorder through partnerships with two community organizations. ARC Community Services, Madison, and United Community Center, Milwaukee, each have received $250,000 to offer medication-assisted treatment in their regions.

Medication-assisted treatment is the gold standard of care for people diagnosed with an opioid use disorder,” says DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives Paul Krupski. “These grants are part of our ongoing effort to ensure that people struggling have a path to recovery.”

Medication-assisted treatment uses Food and Drug Administration-approved medications, including buprenorphine products, methadone, and naltrexone, along with therapy and other supports to address issues related to opioid use disorder. Research shows it is the most effective way to treat this health condition.

The grant funding is available through September 2019. It is part of the DHS State Opioid Response Grant Program funded by an $11.9 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration received by DHS last month. The federal grant is expected to be an annual award.

ARC Community Services and United Community Center join four other organizations in offering medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder under grants from DHS. The Forest County Potawatomi Community, Milwaukee County, Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, and Tellurian are providing this service in their regions through $250,000 grants awarded in April as part of the DHS State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant Program.

In 2017, 916 people died from opioid-related overdoses in Wisconsin. Responding to Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic is one of the top priorities of DHS. Through partnerships with state, tribal, county, and local agencies, the DHS approach to this public health crisis empowers communities to prevent misuse, expand access to quality treatment and recovery services, and reduce death and harm.

If you or someone you love has a problem with opioids, contact the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline. Call 211 or 833-944-4673.

Dittrich campaign: Rep.-elect Dittrich thanks the voters of Wisconsin’s 38th Assembly District for their support


Contact: Barbara Dittrich
[email protected]

City of Oconomowoc Following a hard-fought race, Representative-Elect Barbara Dittrich (R – Oconomowoc) wishes to extend her heartfelt thanks to the voters of the 38th Assembly District.

“While I know full well that not every citizen in the district voted for me, I hope that all will find me to be approachable. I have led a life of service and will continue to do so for the great people of the 38th. My hope is to preserve the good things done in this state while working together on important new accomplishments. This will require give and take from each of the co-equal branches of state government. The voters have spoken, and I am humbled that the majority have put their trust in my leadership.”

Dittrich has lived in Oconomowoc for nearly 30 years. She and her husband Steve, a lifetime resident of Oconomowoc, are former small business owners as well as active community members. Her service has ranged from local organizations such as Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc, and Crosspoint Community Church, to regional and national organizations such as Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation and The Christian Council on Persons with Disabilities. Dittrich has diverse career experience having spent 13 years in the investment industry, as well as more than 15 years in non-profit special needs leadership.

DOC: Inmate apprenticeships provide valuable skills after release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEcNovember 15th, 2018

[email protected]

FOR DWD: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722

[email protected]

OSHKOSH – Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Cathy Jess and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) leaders visited Oshkosh Correctional Institution to tout inmate apprenticeship programs which prepare inmates for good-paying careers.

DOC Secretary Cathy Jess shared that “preparing inmates for success in the community is a key focus for the Department of Corrections.” She continued by noting that “apprenticeships are one way that the Department of Corrections can provide in-demand training which leads to employment upon release, addressing recidivism and enabling inmates to move down a new path to self-sufficiency.”

Inmates at Oshkosh can enroll in arborist and culinary apprenticeship programs. Across all Department of Corrections facilities, there are currently 40 apprentices learning occupations such as baking, architectural drafting, and cooking. The registered apprenticeship program blends classroom learning and on-the-job training to provide produce highly-skilled workers. In total, 45 inmates have completed a registered apprenticeship program in the last five years.

With more than 100,000 open jobs on the Job Center of Wisconsin website, inmates represent a vast pool of potential employees. As more than 8,000 inmates are released from DOC facilities each year, providing vocational training gives inmates a significant advantage in finding employment and can reduce recidivism.

“We are pleased to have strong partners such as the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the state arborist apprenticeship committee to assist in advancing the Registered Apprenticeship program in our correctional facilities,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “With Wisconsin’s unemployment at historically low levels, it is paramount that we give transitioning inmates the tools they need for rewarding careers upon their release.”

Wisconsin’s rich history in Registered Apprenticeship started back in 1911, when the state created the nation’s first modern apprenticeship law. In that very first year, 625 apprentices signed on in Wisconsin. Today, Wisconsin hosts more than 11,000 registered apprentices as the state expands to new apprentice fields in growing job markets. The role of apprenticeships is crucial to keeping the state’s workforce strong.

DOJ: Madison man and woman charged with robbing auto parts store


Contact: Corey Stephan
(608) 264-5158
(608) 264-5006

MADISON, WIS. – Scott Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Jeremiah D. Edwards, 33, Madison, Wisconsin, and Kanasha L. Woods, 24, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were charged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison on November 12, 2018 with the armed robbery of a business and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of that crime of violence.

The complaint alleges that on November 8, 2018, Edwards and Woods robbed the O’Reilly Auto Parts store on South Stoughton Road in the Town of Blooming Grove, Wisconsin, and that they brandished firearms during the robbery.

According to the complaint, a vehicle believed to be involved in a separate robbery and allegedly in the possession of Edwards was outside O’Reilly Auto Parts at the time of the robbery.  Madison police officers began a pursuit of the vehicle, which subsequently crashed.  Citizen witnesses indicated that two people had fled from the vehicle, and Woods was arrested in the area.  The second individual from the vehicle was not apprehended.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Edwards.  Anyone who has information about his whereabouts is encouraged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

If convicted, Edwards and Woods face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the robbery charge, and a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years on the brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Federal law requires that any penalty imposed for this charge be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the robbery charge.

This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime.  The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.

The charges against Edwards and Woods were the result of an investigation conducted by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Madison Police Department, Middleton Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The prosecution of this case will be handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rita Rumbelow and Corey Stephan.

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

DOJ: Milwaukee resident convicted of prescription fraud and aggravated ID theft in scheme to obtain oxycodone


Contact: United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger & Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced today that Kameka Simpson, 43, of Milwaukee, pleaded guilty in federal district court to one count of obtaining controlled substances (oxycodone) by fraud, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 843(a)(3), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). The indictment against Simpson and others, returned by the grand jury earlier this year, was part of a larger National Healthcare Fraud and Opioid Takedown coordinated by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The indictment against Simpson and others charged multiple counts stemming from the defendants’ passing of fraudulent oxycodone prescriptions purportedly written by an authorized healthcare provider at a pain clinic in Milwaukee. Simpson, who entered her plea in district court on November 13, 2018, admitted that she used her position as an office assistant at the pain clinic to facilitate the fraud.

Simpson is scheduled to be sentenced in February. The prescription fraud count carries a maximum penalty of four years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, as much as one year of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years, a fine of up to $250,000, as much as one year of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100.

United States Attorney Krueger stated, “We must act with urgency to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths. For many, the road to addiction begins with prescription drugs. That’s why we are committed to prosecuting individuals who obtain prescription drugs outside of a professional medical practice.”

The Simpson case was investigated by the DEA, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and the Medicaid Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Koenig.

Information and resources concerning the opioid crisis and the DEA’s “360 Strategy” for addressing the crisis may be found at the DEA’s website, www.dea.gov

Information about “Dose of Reality,” the State of Wisconsin’s effort to prevent prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin is available here: https://doseofrealitywi.gov/

Donovan Group: Expands K-12 crisis communication services nationwide


Contact: Steve Bailey, Senior Associate

Wisconsin-based school communications firm has helped hundreds of school districts manage a wide range of crisis issues

MILWAUKEE, WI — A Wisconsin school communications firm that has helped hundreds of schools and districts manage difficult situations is expanding its crisis communications services nationwide.

The Donovan Group provides consulting, coaching and content creation that are vital during times of crisis for a school or district. Its services include a 24/7 hotline staffed 365 days a year and live crisis communications counsel provided by experienced crisis communications professionals. Its team delivers custom talking points, parent letters, news releases, social media posts and other written content when school leaders must communicate quickly.

Member districts also have access to online crisis planning templates, webinars and other key professional development resources.

“Today’s schools and districts are often faced with very serious urgent or crisis situations that can arise at any moment and require quick and accurate communication from superintendents, principals and other administrators,” said Joe Donovan, president of the Donovan Group. “A rapidly increasing number of school districts in Wisconsin, Iowa and elsewhere have turned to us to help them manage these incredibly difficult situations. We are now taking what we’ve learned to expand our crisis communications services to schools and districts across the United States.”

The Donovan Group’s crisis communications services are now available to a wide range of educational organizations, including state associations serving school administrators, superintendents, school boards and principals. They are also available to individual schools and districts.

Now in its 10th year, the Donovan Group is headquartered in Milwaukee and has offices in Iowa and Illinois. In addition to crisis communications, the public relations and marketing firm offers a wide variety of services, including communications planning, referendum assistance, surveys, video production, media relations, content creation, editing and graphic design.

The firm focuses solely on the needs of public schools and districts in the United States. Its team includes education policy experts, former journalists, content writers, website developers, videographers, copy editors, project managers and support staff.

To learn more about the Donovan Group’s crisis communication services, visit http://donovan-group.com/crisis.

DOT projects slight dip in spending in next biennium, gas tax collections to drop


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Duffy campaign: Duffy wins fifth term


WAUSAU, WI – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy tonight released the following statement after winning a 5th term to represent Wisconsin’s Seventh district:

“Every day I wake up and fight my heart out to make sure we have the right policies to make sure not only our country, but our state is more prosperous. And it is a remarkable honor to represent central, western, and northern Wisconsin for another term.

“Two years ago, we were fighting to make sure our workers could go back to work. We thought if we streamlined our rules and regulations, if we could lower our taxes, let you keep a little bit more of your own money, this economy could grow.

“We know these policies work. And when we implemented them, we saw massive expansion. People are going back to work. The blue collar comeback is real. I could not do this without my family, I can’t thank my wife Rachel enough for all the support that she gives me. And thank you once again to the great people of the Wisconsin Northwoods.”

Duffy campaign: Sean Duffy wins Minocqua debate


CONTACT: Mark Bednar

MINOCQUA, WI – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy’s campaign released the following statement regarding Duffy’s victory in tonight’s Minocqua debate:

“In tonight’s debate, Sean Duffy showed why the people of central, northern, and western Wisconsin continue to stand with him,” said Duffy campaign spokesman Mark Bednar. “He demonstrated that the policies he has fought for, such as lowering taxes, reducing harmful regulations, and reforming trade deals, have made Wisconsin better off. His radical opponent, on the other hand, doubled-down on her call for socialized medicine, higher taxes, and more government in our lives. Voters across the Seventh District will be confident to vote once again for Sean Duffy.”

DWD: Deputy Secretary Hagerup to celebrate new apprenticeship standards at Wacker Neuson 🗓


Contact: DWD Communications

MENOMONEE FALLS – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Chris Hagerup will be at Wacker Neuson’s Menomonee Falls campus to celebrate National Apprenticeship as part of a new apprenticeship standards signing. The media is invited to attend and interview representatives from Wacker Neuson, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Deputy Secretary Hagerup from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to establish laws creating registered apprenticeship back in 1911. Since then, registered apprenticeship has grown from 625 apprentices in its first year to more than 11,000 in 2018.

As the state’s talent development agency, DWD connects employers with a robust pool of skilled workers; assists job seekers with disabilities in achieving their employment outcomes; and oversees the state’s Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights and Worker’s Compensation systems.

The Apprenticeship event will be held at:

9:30 a.m.

Wacker Neuson
N92W15000 Anthony Ave Menomonee Falls, WI

DWD: Gov. Walker urges workers eligible for disaster unemployment assistance in nine counties to apply


Contact: DWD Communications

Unemployment Assistance available for workers impacted by severe storms in August and September

MADISON – Governor Walker is reminding the public that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to eligible individuals due to a major disaster declared by the President on October 18, 2018.  The Department of Workforce Development is accepting applications for DUA from individuals in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, and Marquette counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and landslides between August 17, 2018 to September 14, 2018.

Individuals living or working in the declared counties have a deadline to file for DUA benefits as follows:

  • Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon: November 23, 2018
  • Marquette: December 3, 2018.

Applications filed after these dates will be considered untimely, unless the individual provides good cause for filing after this date.

To be eligible for DUA individuals:

  • Must be an unemployed or self-unemployed worker whose unemployment was caused as a direct result of the major disaster declared by the President
  • Must be a U.S. national or a qualified alien; and
  • Must not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits from any state; and
  • Must have worked or were self-employed in, or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in, one of the counties listed above; and
  • Must establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income.

Also, eligible to apply for DUA are individuals who:

  • Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of a disaster; or
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of the household; or
  • Cannot work or perform self-employment due to closure of a facility by the federal government.

All DUA applicants must file for regular unemployment benefits first before receiving consideration for DUA benefits.  DUA benefits are not payable if an individual is eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. Suffering a monetary loss due to damage to property or crops does not automatically entitle an individual to Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

Benefits are based on a person’s earnings for the most recent tax year.  As a result, applicants may be asked to furnish earnings data from their most recent federal tax returns when filing a claim.  The first potential week payable for DUA benefits is the week ending August 25, 2018.

Individuals in the nine counties declared disaster areas, including those who are self-employed in farming or other businesses, must apply for benefits by the deadlines noted above.

Individuals who may be eligible for assistance must file a claim online.  Go to https://dwd.wi.gov/ui/dua for information on how to file a claim.  For help using online services or if you are unable to go online, call the DUA hotline at 608-318-7100 during business hours.

Additional information is available at https://dwd.wi.gov/ui/dua.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative: USMCA moves us forward; tariffs remain harmful


Contact: Jamie Mara
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
(920) 209-3990 ext. 107 | [email protected]

— Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, representing the voice of milk across the Midwest, applauded today’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as a critical step forward, but stressed the importance of clearing up remaining uncertainties in the deal and resolving the tariff issue that continues to hurt farmers.

The agreement still faces significant hurdles. Approval is needed from Congress, a process that will likely push into 2019.

The deal includes important provisions for dairy, including retaining market certainty with Mexico, protecting common cheese names in the Mexican market, adding transparency provisions for oversight of Canada’s internal pricing structure, and placing limits on certain Canadian exports.

The following comments are from Brody Stapel, president of Edge, who farms with his family in Cedar Grove, Wis.:

“Given the importance of keeping a NAFTA-style agreement, we are thankful for the hard-fought progress the three countries have made. Mexico is the most important trading partner for our dairy community, and changes in the deal with Canada should provide benefits there also. At minimum, this gives hope to our dairy farmers who have been fighting to make it through a very difficult time. You can’t overstate the value of having certainty at times like this.

“The agreement’s elimination of classes 6 and 7 pricing in Canada is welcome news. The pricing has shut exporters out of the Canadian market for ultra-filtered milk used in making cheese. And it has allowed Canada to under-sell U.S. processors in overseas sales of surplus skim milk.

“However, it’s still unclear how extensive the pricing changes would be and how the new strcture would work. We need to watch that closely.

“Overlaying all of this is the ongoing tariff retaliation against our dairy products shipped into Mexico that are a result of the U.S.’s separate tariffs against steel and aluminum imports. We can’t stress enough to the administration that the dairy community is suffering because of this situation. Without an end to the tariffs, the new agreement will be less than a complete win for us.

“We are still reviewing the details of the deal and will continue to communicate with lawmakers and the administration as the process moves forward. This is not done yet. It will be important for dairy farmers to stay engaged in this process. Make sure your representatives in Congress know that the deal needs to provide the best possible outcome for the dairy community.”

Edgewood College: Mourns the death of Bishop Morlino


Contact: Ed Taylor, Director of Strategic Communications 608-663-2333

Madison, Wis. – President Scott Flanagan and the community of Edgewood College join the Catholic community of the Diocese of Madison in expressions of sympathy and prayer at the death of Bishop Robert C. Morlino on November 24, 2018, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison.

Bishop Morlino, 71, pastoral leader of the Diocese of Madison, had recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of his appointment as the 4th Bishop of the Madison diocese.

We pray that Bishop Morlino may now experience the fullness of God’s gracious love. May the God of Compassion and Light comfort the Bishop’s friends, co-workers and priests in the diocese of Madison, and guide the diocese through this time of transition.

About Edgewood College

Located in Madison, Wis., Edgewood College is a liberal arts Catholic college in the Dominican tradition. We serve approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students at our Monroe Street and Deming Way campuses, and online. The College offers more than 40 academic and professional programs, including master’s degrees in business, education, and nursing, and doctoral degrees in educational leadership and nursing practice. For more information about Edgewood College, please visit www.edgewood.edu, or call Ed Taylor in Marketing & Strategic Communications at 608-663-2333.

Elections Commission: Wisconsin absentee voting breaks midterm record


Contact: Reid Magney, 608-267-7887

MADISON, WI – More than 547,000 absentee ballots have already been returned for the November 6 General Election, breaking the record set in 2014 for a midterm election, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

“Absentee voting has been very strong this fall, but still trails the overall record absentee ballots set for the 2016 Presidential and General Election,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official. “We do not know yet whether record absentee voting for a midterm will mean higher than normal turnout for this election.”

In a midterm election, overall turnout typically ranges from 50 to 55 percent of the voting age population, compared to 65 to 70 percent in a presidential election.

Comparable pre-election numbers for absentee voting in 2014 are not available because clerks were not required to track absentee ballots online until 2016. Overall in 2014, there were 374,294 absentee ballots counted out of 2.42 million votes cast, which is approximately 15 percent of turnout. In the 2016 General Election, 819,000 of the 2.99 million ballots were absentee, or 27 percent. Historically, more than two-thirds of absentee ballots are cast in the clerk’s office or a satellite voting location, Wolfe noted.

Any voter with an absentee ballot who has not yet mailed it should make arrangements to have the ballot delivered to their polling place or the municipal clerk’s office by Tuesday, Wolfe said.

Voters who have cast an absentee ballot can track it on the MyVote Wisconsin website: https://myvote.wi.gov.

In-person absentee voting, also known as early voting, has ended. Most municipal clerks had in-person absentee voting in their offices through Friday, November 2, and a few in bigger cities may have had office hours over the weekend. Sunday was the last possible day for in-person absentee voting at the clerk’s office or other satellite voting locations.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission posts daily updates on absentee voting on its website: https://elections.wi.gov/publications/statistics/absentee.

Evers campaign election night party 🗓


MADISON – On Tuesday, November 6th, Tony Evers for Wisconsin will hold an election night party with supporters at the Orpheum Theater in Madison. Supporters will gather after polls close to watch returns come in.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
WHERE: Orpheum Theater; 216 State St, Madison, WI 53703

Evers campaign: Governor-Elect Evers and Lt. Governor-Elect Barnes to visit Boys & Girls Club of Dane County 🗓


Contact: [email protected]
(608) 501-2762

Governor-Elect Evers and Lt. Governor-Elect Barnes to Visit Boys & Girls Club of Dane County

MADISON – Today, Wednesday, November 7th, Governor-elect Tony Evers, Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes, and State Rep-elect Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) will visit the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. Evers will deliver remarks and read to children at the center. Press are also invited on a tour for B-roll opportunities.

WHEN:         2 PM, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

WHERE:       Boys & Girls Club of Dane County; 4619 Jenewein Road, Madison, WI

RSVP: Press must RSVP to [email protected]

Evers campaign: Responds to Walker’s latest lie on pre-existing conditions


November 1, 2018

Contact: [email protected]
(608) 501-2762

Madison, WI–With just five days to go and health care as the most important issue to Wisconsin voters, today Scott Walker told his latest lie about protections for the 2.4 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. Despite spending the past eight years trying to eliminate the ACA and its protections for pre-existing conditions–and despite currently suing the federal government to eliminate the ACA–today Walker suddenly said he would enact the “exact same” protections as the law he’s trying to get rid of.

In response to this desperate flailing, Tony Evers issued the following statement:

“Actions speak louder than words, folks. Politicians like Scott Walker are always talking out of both sides of their mouth and telling last-minute lies like this. The fact is that Scott Walker spent the past eight years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing conditions. I’m going to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and Wisconsinites trust me on this issue because that’s what I’ve said since day one. I’ve never played politics with our healthcare, and I won’t as governor, either.”

Evers campaign: Tony for Wisconsin launches new ad – ‘Cabinet’


Contact: [email protected]
(608) 501-2762

Watch: Tony for Wisconsin Launches New Ad: ‘Cabinet’

Madison, WI – Today, Tony for Wisconsin launched a new campaign ad, ‘Cabinet,‘ highlighting the searing criticism of Scott Walker’s failed leadership made by those who saw it up close–four former members of his cabinet.  In just the past couple of months, former Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Paul Jadin, former Financial Institutions Secretary Peter Bildsten, former Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall, and former Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb have all spoken out about Walker’s mismanagement, his attempts to mislead Wisconsin voters, and his commitment to putting himself and his political ambition ahead of what’s best for Wisconsin families.

“Cabinet” will run on cable in markets across the state. It can be viewed here, and a full transcript is below.

“Cabinet” Transcript:

What’s it like working for politician Scott Walker?

 Just ask those who’ve done it. 

 They say, Walker changed. 

 Walker “Lacked Integrity.”

He focused on his own political career at great taxpayer expense.

He isn’t telling the truth.

That’s coming from the men Scott Walker trusted to lead Wisconsin’s most important agencies.

“Power and ambition changed Scott Walker.”

 Now it’s our turn to make another change. To a governor who cares about us.

Evers insists pledge he won’t raise taxes consistent with past stances


WAUKESHA — Dem guv candidate Tony Evers insisted Saturday he isn’t reversing his position by pledging this week that he won’t raise taxes.

Evers in the past has said “everything is on the table” when asked about a gas tax increase and is proposing a cap on the state’s Manufacturing and Agricultural Tax credit, which now has no limit.

Asked by WisPolitics.com about the issue following a Waukesha rally today, Evers called Gov. Scott Walker’s assertion that he would raise the gas tax by $1 “absolutely ridiculous,” said his school funding plan would be revenue neutral and noted that he’s proposing a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class.

“I’ve always been consistent,” Evers said. “This isn’t backtracking at all. I’m going forward with my plan, and I believe that Scott Walker is, frankly, lying about this. But that’s his problem, not mine.”

Evers is proposing to limit the manufacturing and ag tax credit to the first $300,000 of income. The credit is expected to lower state revenues by $334 million in 2018-19, and Evers’ campaign estimates it would be reduced to $40 million a year under his proposal. That money would then be used to fund much of the $340 million his campaign estimates middle-class families would save under his proposed 10 percent income tax break.

Pressed about his proposed $300,000 cap on the Manufacturing and Agricultural Tax credit, Evers said the credit will continue.

“Anybody in the state of Wisconsin that gets that credit now will continue to get it. There’s a $300,000 max. I mean for gosh sakes, there’s not many farmers that are making $300,000 a year,” Evers sid. “Those people will be covered by the ag and manufacturing tax credit.”

But Evers sidestepped when asked if his budget would be tax neutral.

“My budget hasn’t formed yet,” Evers said. “But it is our goal to make sure that the people of Wisconsin get what they deserve.”

Walker’s campaign accused Evers of “political double talk” on taxes, calling it embarrassing.

“Tony Evers can try to fool taxpayers but it won’t erase his long paper trail of proposing policies that will raise taxes — or the video evidence,” said Walker spokesman Austin Altenberg.

Walker’s campaign pointed to past media coverage of Evers saying “everything is on the table” for the gas tax and that he was open to a variety of tax increases in order to lower the burden on working families and pay for road work.

Following his stop in Waukesha, Evers criticized Walker, saying his policies have led to voters raising their own property taxes to support schools and municipalities to adopt wheel taxes to pay for roads.

“He’s the one that has increased taxes and also pushed it to the local level,” Evers said.

Before speaking with reporters, Evers addressed a crowd of about 100 on a chilly evening outside the Waukesha County Democratic Party’s office.

Standing on a wooden porch on the side of the large converted house, Evers to frequent applause pledged to give teachers and other public workers a say in their working conditions, invest an additional $1.4 billion in K-12 education, accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, protect those with pre-existing health conditions and bring science back to the Department of Natural Resources.

“The people in Wisconsin are ready for a change,” Evers said. “It is time for a change.”

Evers, who arrived on a large yellow school bus, was joined on the stage by his running mate Mandela Barnes, attorney general candidate Josh Kaul and treasurer candidate Sarah Godlewski.

Each made their pitch to voters and volunteers, asking for help in encouraging people to vote for the Dem ticket by knocking on doors and making calls as Tuesday approaches.

Evers names chief of staff, first details of transition team


Maggie Gau, who served as Tony Evers’ campaign manager for his successful guv bid and previously worked as a legislative aide in the state Capitol, will become his chief of staff.

Meanwhile, JoAnne Anton, who formerly worked as U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s state director and now leads his philanthropic organization, will be the director of Evers’ transition team, the campaign announced yesterday.

Evers’ campaign also announced five co-chairs:

* Chuck Pruitt, a partner and co-managing director of the A.B. Data Group. He’s also a former member of the UW System Board of Regents.

* Amy Traynor, an Eau Claire teamer and former 2012-13 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year award recipient.

* Jan Allman, the president, CEO and general manager of the Marinette Marine Corp.

* Dr. Veronica Gunn, the CEO of Genesis Health Consulting and a board-certified pediatrician.

* Kevin Conroy, the chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

The announcements are the first pieces of a transition team that is expected to grow with Evers seeking $94,600 to help the guv-elect prepare to take office. Most of that would go to seven staff positions.

In addition to Anton, the transition team will consist of: a deputy director, press secretary, director of operations, director of personnel, receptionist and office assistant. Altogether, the proposed staff costs account for $79,400 of the request.

An Evers spokeswoman said the transition was not ready to announce any other hires.

The overall request is higher than 2010 and 2002, the last two times a non-incumbent guv was elected. Sixteen years ago, Dem Jim Doyle requested $87,500, while Republican Scott Walker sought $82,723 in 2010, according to a memo on the Evers request written by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Evers names communications director, launches transition website

Carrie Lynch, a strategic communications specialist at UW-Madison, will lead communications for Gov.-elect Tony Evers’ transition.

Before going to work for the university, Lynch worked in a series of roles for Dem lawmakers in the state Capitol as well as on campaigns.

The transition also announced it has a new website, https://evers.wi.gov. And Evers now has a site for residents to share suggestions, and one for those seeking to apply to serve in his administration.

Suggestions website: https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/contact

Application website: https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/apply

See more:

Evers names Gau chief of staff, Anton transition director


Maggie Gau, who served as Tony Evers’ campaign manager for his successful guv bid and previously worked as a legislative aide in the state Capitol, will become his chief of staff.

Meanwhile, JoAnne Anton, who formerly worked as U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s state director and now leads his philanthropic organization, will be the director of Evers’ transition team, the campaign announced today.

Evers’ campaign also announced five co-chairs:

* Chuck Pruitt, a partner and co-managing director of the A.B. Data Group. He’s also a former member of the UW System Board of Regents.

* Amy Traynor, an Eau Claire teamer and former 2012-13 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year award recipient.

* Jan Allman, the president, CEO and general manager of the Marinette Marine Corp.

* Dr. Veronica Gunn, the CEO of Genesis Health Consulting and a board-certified pediatrician.

* Kevin Conroy, the chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.

Evers: More time, money may be needed for youth corrections overhaul

Gov.-elect Tony Evers says more time and money will likely be needed to complete an overhaul of the state’s youth prison system.

The Legislature in March approved an $80 million plan to close the state’s troubled Lincoln Hills youth prison and move juvenile offenders to new regional facilities by January 2021.

Evers, responding to concerns about the timetable and budget from plan co-author Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, said there may need to be a request for additional time. He added that likely not enough money was allocated.

“The governor and the Legislature on behalf of the people of Wisconsin decided to do something about Lincoln Hills. We just have to make sure that we can have it happen,” Evers said during a Milwaukee news conference Wednesday. “I’m skeptical whether that present timeline is going to work.”

Evers said he hopes GOP legislators will take clerks’ concerns into consideration as they decide during the lame-duck session whether to move the state’s presidential primary so it won’t share a ballot with the state’s Supreme Court election.

Several local election officials have panned the plan due to the extra expense and workload it would entail with three elections in the first half of 2020.

“That’s putting a heavy burden on our municipalities and the people that are doing that hard work in the state of Wisconsin, and it’s going to cost money,” Evers said. “I’m hopeful that the Legislature will take that into account.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald on Tuesday acknowledged moving the date could help the chances conservative Justice Daniel Kelly retains his seat on the Supreme Court, as it won’t share the ballot with a contested Dem presidential primary. But he also said adding an election would generate criticism that could be “used against Kelly in the end.”

Evers said it’s an “odd position” to take to move an election to help elect a preferred candidate, but that he’s most concerned about the impact on local elections clerks.

“Those are the people that have to do the work,” Evers said.

With GOP legislators considering several moves to limit Evers’ powers before he takes office, the Dem governor-elect said “you’re always kind of fearful of the outcome” of a lame-duck session. But he said he’s optimistic it will be “much about nothing.”

“What I’m hopeful is that people are reasonable, they understand that they just had an election, the people of Wisconsin voted for me,” Evers said. “And I hope that Gov. Walker takes that into account as he looks at his legacy and turning over the authority of the state of Wisconsin to me as governor.”

Evers, asked about his initial tweet that the GOP effort was “ridiculous,” said he’s yet to see any legislation so couldn’t comment directly on any proposal.

“Some of the proposals haven’t come forward, so we will determine whether they’re ridiculous once we see them,” Evers said.

Evidence-Based Health Policy Project: Preventing suicide among youth and young adults briefing 🗓

Programs and Policies in Wisconsin
Free and Open to the Public
Wednesday, December 12
10:00am to 12:00pm
State Capitol, Room 411-South
Suicide rates among Wisconsin youth continue to exceed the national rate, and recent data show that 1 in 6 Wisconsin high school students have considered attempting suicide in the previous year. Helping our communities prevent suicide in youth, and across the lifespan, requires a multi-pronged approach in our schools, homes, and workplaces.
Join the Evidence-Based Health Policy Project for a Capitol Briefing on strategies to prevent suicide among youth and young adults in Wisconsin. Panelists from public, academic, and non-profit organizations will discuss current data, programs, and policies for lawmakers and others to consider.
With a panel featuring:

Sara Kohlbeck, Assistant Director
Comprehensive Injury Center
Medical College of Wisconsin

Kate McCoy, Youth Risk Behavior Survey Coordinator
Gregg Curtis, School Counseling and Suicide Prevention Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Valerie Donovan, Suicide Prevention Coordinator
University Health Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Leah Rolando, Suicide Prevention Specialist
Mental Health America of Wisconsin

Farrow campaign: Farrow seeks re-election as Waukesha County executive


Contact number: 262-352-1331

(Pewaukee) – Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, today, announced his bid for re-election as County Executive.

“I am honored to have served the people of Waukesha County as their County Executive for the past four years, but our work is not done. We must always be looking to the future and find ways to make our county safer, more prosperous, and an even better place to live and raise our families. I am running for re-election eager to face the challenges ahead and optimistic about the future of our great county,” Farrow stated.

During the past four years of Paul’s leadership as Waukesha County Executive, the county has seen sustained economic growth, record low unemployment, and maintained its statewide reputation as a low tax leader. His budgets have prioritized justice and public safety funding, helped fight the opioid epidemic, invested in our roads and infrastructure, and cut the tax rate each year.

“I have decided to seek another term in office because I am passionate about ensuring our children have a great place to grow-up, live, and raise their own families. We’re off to a great start. We have safe communities, wonderful businesses that call Waukesha County home, our unemployment rate is at a record low, and while that is wonderful news, it creates real workforce challenges and puts pressure on our communities to provide adequate housing for our young professionals and families. I am ready and willing to work with people on all sides of these issues and tackle these problems head on,” Farrow concluded.

Paul Farrow has served as Waukesha County Executive since 2015 and resides in Pewaukee with his wife Amy. The election for County Executive will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Feds approve Walker’s work requirement plan for some Medicaid recipients

The federal government has signed off on the state’s plan to institute work requirements for some Medicaid recipients.

But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shot down a provision in Wisconsin’s waiver request asking for permission to drug test recipients of BadgerCare Plus, instead opting to require recipients to complete a health and wellness survey that includes questions about drug use.

Gov. Scott Walker touted the news Wednesday, writing the state “is leading the way on welfare reform.”

“We want to remove barriers to work and make it easier to get a job, while making sure public assistance is available for those who truly need it,” he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan countered on Twitter the Trump administration’s decision to sign off on work requirements will hurt Wisconsin residents.

“Countless studies have shown that this is an irresponsible and ineffective policy that will result in fewer Wisconsinites with health care,” the Town of Vermont Dem wrote.

The changes CMS approved will take at least a year to go into effect, per the state Department of Health Services. That’s so the agency can get feedback from stakeholders “to help us build our implementation plan.”

The approved plan includes the measure to require able-bodied childless adults between 19 and 49 in the program to work or participate in a worker training program or “other community engagement” for at least 80 hours a month to receive benefits.

Those not meeting those requirements for a total of 48 months would lose Medicaid eligibility for six months before again being able to reapply for benefits.

Among the other provisions in the waiver request the feds approved today:

*Instituting a monthly premium for BadgerCare Plus recipients of $8 per household for those childless adults whose household incomes are between 50 and 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Premiums would be lower, though, to reward “those who avoid or manage certain health risk behaviors,” the approved waiver notes. Health risk behaviors, the waiver says, includes using drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, not wearing a seatbelt, failing to exercise and more.

*Implementing an $8 copayment for childless adult recipients who visit the emergency room in a non-emergency situation.

*Requiring recipients to fill out a health and wellness survey that would include questions about drug use. The waiver says responses to the questionnaire “will result in a referral for treatment, as applicable, but not impact an applicant’s Medicaid eligibility.”

*And providing access to substance use disorder treatment to all Medicaid beneficiaries.

See the approved waiver:

See Walker’s release:

By Briana Reilly

Final vote margin has Kaul up 17k votes over Schimel


Republican Brad Schimel is taking the weekend to decide if he wants to request a recount in the AG race after a final vote count shows Dem Josh Kaul leading by 17,190 votes, according to the final canvass by Wisconsin counties.

Those results, posted at the state Elections Commission site, put Schimel within the margin he needs to be able to request a recount. But he’d have to cover the cost.

A Schimel campaign spokesman said staff will gather over the weekend to review the results and put out a statement Monday announcing whether they’ll seek a recount.

Under state law, any candidate seeking a recount must finish no more than 1 percentage point behind the leading one in an election with more than 4,000 votes cast. But any candidate seeking a recount must pay the fee to perform one if the winning margin is more than .25 percent of the total votes cast in the race.

Kaul’s margin is 0.65 percent.

The law, which legislators changed this session, previously allowed any candidate to petition for a recount regardless of how much they trailed the winner.

The deadline to file a recount request is Wednesday.

First Lady Walker: Florists from across Wisconsin decorate the Wisconsin Executive Residence for the 2018 Holiday Season


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – First Lady Tonette Walker hosted florists from throughout Wisconsin to help decorate the Wisconsin Executive Residence for the 2018 Holiday Season.

“We truly appreciate the beautiful decorations created this year by talented artists from across the state,” said Mrs. Walker. “We hope families from every corner of Wisconsin visit the executive residence to enjoy these beautiful decorations at one of our holiday tours. This is a fun tradition we would like to share it with as many people as possible.”

Six florists from different areas of Wisconsin each decorated a different room at the residence. The 2018 florists are:

  • JJ’s Acres, Woodruff
  • Impressions by Esther Fleming, Milwaukee
  • Avalon Floral, Eau Claire
  • Buds ‘n Blooms Design Studio, De Pere
  • The Bruce Company, Middleton
  • Edgewater Greenhouse, Portage

Throughout the holiday season, the residence opens for public tours. Tour information is available below:

  • December 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • December 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • December 12th, 13th, 19th, and 20th from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Visitors do not need to make a reservation, but tours are first come first serve. Groups larger than 20 should call (608) 246-5501 to make arrangements.

First Lady Walker: To present Wisconsin Hero Award in Kimberly 🗓


Contact: Amy Hasenberg
(608) 266-2839

First Lady Tonette Walker will present the Wisconsin Hero Award tomorrow at Footworks Dance Company in Kimberly.

WHAT: Wisconsin Hero Award Presentation

WHEN: Monday, November 12, 2018
Start time: 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Footworks Dance Company
728 Schelfhout Lane
Kimberly, WI 54136

First Lady Walker: Welcomes U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams to Wisconsin for Trauma-Informed Care discussion


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MILWAUKEE – First Lady Tonette Walker today hosted a discussion about Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and resilience with U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“Trauma-Informed Care can help children across our entire state, country and our world,” said Mrs. Walker. “But, we cannot do it without help, because everyone has a role to play. We need more people coming together from across our entire nation to advocate for TIC. Thank you to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams for standing with us to help improve outcomes for children.”

Since 2011, Mrs. Walker has been advocating for TIC to be incorporated across Wisconsin and the nation. Under Mrs. Walker’s leadership with Fostering Futures, nine of Wisconsin’s state agencies, 20 county human service systems, two tribal nations, one medical college department, and one nonprofit are implementing TIC, helping Wisconsin become the first Trauma-Informed state.

Today’s event featured speakers from across Wisconsin who are leaders at incorporating TIC at their organizations. Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams served as the keynote speaker.

“Fostering Futures is one of many examples of how public and private partnerships can help integrate Trauma-Informed Care into our overall system of care,” said Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams.

The Medical College of Wisconsin has been a partner in Mrs. Walker’s efforts to promote TIC throughout the state.

“Hosting these special guests, and having an open conversation on Trauma-Informed Care helps foster knowledge changing life for our faculty, staff, students and beyond,” said Joseph Kerschner, MD, Dean of the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and Provost and Executive Vice President of MCW.  “Fostering the understanding and leading the research to better recognize, understand and address the effects of trauma on the lives of children and families in the state will ultimately result in improved patient care.”

Mrs. Walker was also instrumental in the passage of House Resolution 443 and Senate Resolution 346, which both aim to increase awareness and importance of TIC. As a result of her efforts, May is recognized as Trauma-Informed Care Awareness Month.

Fitzgerald adds LeMahieu to Finance, brings back other returning members


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Fitzgerald: ‘Significant’ Dem support needed for Kimberly-Clark bill

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he expects there are “maybe” 10 or 11 Senate Republican votes for the Kimberly-Clark bill.

The Juneau Republican has long said the incentive package would need Dem support to pass the Senate. But Tuesday was the first time he made clear how short Republicans were of the 17 votes needed to pass the bill, which would provide the company Foxconn-like incentives to keep open a plant in the Fox Valley.

“So it’s going to take a significant amount of Democrat votes to get this through,” the Juneau Republican told reporters after Tuesday’s caucus, adding that bill author and Senate President Roger Roth has reached out to Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling and other Dems about the package.

Fitzgerald says he thinks Shilling and the labor unions are both “aware of that number,” adding that the unions have also been contacting Dem senators.

Shilling, D-La Crosse, slammed Republicans, accusing them of using the Kimberly-Clark bill as political cover for a lame-duck session to take up other legislation.

“They haven’t made any effort to build consensus and reach an agreement to keep these jobs in Wisconsin,” Shilling said. “Instead, this whole special session has been a ruse to rush through more partisan bills, rig elections and consolidate more power in the hands of Republican politicians.”

While Gov. Scott Walker has previously said he believes the company will shut down the Fox Valley plant unless the the Legislature approves the bill by month’s end, Fitzgerald countered the timeline is “not going to run out” on the legislation during the upcoming session.

Roth said he’s had “really good conversations” with both Dems and Republicans in the Senate who aren’t on board with the Kimberly-Clark bill.

But the Appleton Republican said he hasn’t secured any additional commitments to back the legislation and seconded Fitzgerald’s belief that Republicans were at least a half-dozen votes short of the 17 needed. Republicans now have an 18-15 majority in the Senate, and three GOP members have publicly declared their opposition to the bill.

Dems have complained they are now being pushed to back legislation they had no input on drafting and have suggested alternatives to the package now before lawmakers.

Roth said GOP backers of the incentives rushed to put something together in the hopes of keeping the plant open. If he could go back, Roth said he would’ve included Dems in the process. Still, he wasn’t sure the bill would look any differently if it had input from those on the other side of the aisle, saying what’s now before lawmakers is the only thing that could keep the plant open.

“I don’t want to rain on whatever ideas they have,” Roth said of his Dem colleagues. “All I’m saying is this is the only bill that can save Kimberly-Clark.”

By Briana Reilly and JR Ross

Fitzgerald: Republicans want more legislative oversight of voter ID rules, other policies

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says GOP lawmakers want to increase legislative authority on things such voter ID rules, but pushed back at the suggestion he and Republicans are trying to undermine Dem Gov.-elect Tony Evers.

With Republicans set to lose the executive branch, Fitzgerald said he and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos are interested in codifying GOP moves in recent years on things such as the makeup of certain state boards. He said the list under consideration is “as long as my arm.”

Fitzgerald pointed toward the WEDC as a priority given Evers’ campaign trail pronouncement he’d gut it and replace it with the old Department of Commerce. Still, Fitzgerald said Republicans have no interest in taking away the governor’s power to appoint the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, an agency Evers has said he’s looking to shake up.

The Juneau Republican’s comments come after Vos told reporters Wednesday he’d be interested in rolling back some gubernatorial authority, suggesting lawmakers may have given outgoing Gov. Scott Walker too much power.

But Fitzgerald said the comments from Vos were mischaracterized.

“Tony Evers is going to have the most powerful veto pen in the nation. The idea that he’s not going to be able to keep the Legislature in check, I think would be naive to think that. It’s equal, balanced government, and we’ll respect Tony Evers like we have any other governor, and we’ll work with him,” he said.

Fitzgerald said he and his caucus are also open to scaling back rule making authority, but added any changes made would have nothing to do with Evers, but rather “how the caucuses feel about rulemaking.”

Evers denounced Vos’ comments in a tweet yesterday, writing the GOP efforts amount to “a complete violation of the separation of powers in our system.”

“Wisconsin voted for a change from the years of naked partisanship and divide-and-conquer politics,” he said. “This must end.”

The state schools superintendent added he’s committed to working with both parties “to get things done” on education, health care, infrastructure and more.

“There is a lot of common ground we can find,” he said. “But I will not tolerate desperate antics to cling to power and violate the checks and balances of Wisconsin’s government.”

But Vos in a statement said his aim is to ensure the Legislature’s “constitutional authority is reiterated and enforced.”

“Governor-elect Evers made a generous offer to work together so he should not have a problem with the legislation that may be considered,” the Rochester Republican said. “The reforms are intended to keep both sides at the table to reach a consensus.”

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling says Evers deserves a chance to govern.

She said her priority is to “get back to work” and address issues ranging from K-12 education to economic development and transportation.

And she knocked Vos for his “temper tantrum,” adding the speaker “is panicked over the loss of a Republican governor and the vision of a new day under a Democratic administration”

“I think the tone and the tenor matters, and the fact that you have a six-hour honeymoon is not fair at all to this incoming administration,” she said. “To demonstrate civility and genuine wanting to work together to find common ground on issues, it starts with our own words, it starts with our own rhetoric, so I want to be respectful working with this new administration as we move forward.”

Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce: Announces updates to its Board of Directors


For information contact:

Emily Feagles

Director, Marketing & Communications

[email protected]

APPLETON, Wis. (November 1, 2018) – The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce has announced updates to its Board of Directors. Two new directors will join the roster for the 2018-2019 term. Additionally, the Chamber selected new officers to its Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 term which began the start of its new fiscal year, August 1. These updates to the Chamber’s Board of Directors coincide with the addition of new Chamber leadership as Becky Bartoszek began her role as Chamber President/CEO in mid-October.

The two new additions to the Fox Cities Chamber Board of Directors include:

  • Arist Mastorides, Vice President/General Manager North America Child Care, Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Mark Thompson, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, ThedaCare

The Fox Cities Chamber Board of Directors officers took their roles for the new fiscal year, which include:

  • Kathi Seifert has been elected as the Chair of the Board. Seifert is President of Katapult, LLC, a consulting firm in Appleton and a retired Executive Vice President of Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
  • Serving as Chairman-Elect is Chris Matheny, Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Instructional Services at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton.
  • The role of Past Chairman is held by Bruce Zak, Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking at Johnson Bank in Appleton.
  • Travis Froze serves as the Secretary/Treasurer. Froze is Vice President at BMO Harris Bank in Appleton.

The Fox Cities Chamber is grateful for its dedicated Board of Directors, which includes: Kimberly Barrett, Lawrence University; Jen Bauer, Miron Construction Co., Inc.; Lisa Cruz, Red Shoes Inc.; John Dennis, Gardan Inc.; Curt Detjen, Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region, Inc.; DeDe Heid, Heid Music; Jason Henderson, Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley; Chris Hess, Goodwill NCW; Jim Johnson, Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.; Mayor Dean Kaufert, City of Neenah; Arist Mastorides, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Rick Parks, Modern Woodmen of America; Todd Romenesko, Calumet County; Mark Scheffler, The Appleton Group, LLC; Heather Schimmers, Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital; Denise Starcher, Menasha Corporation; Scott Teerlinck, Werner Electric Supply Co.; Mark Thompson, ThedaCare; John Trottier, AZCO, Inc.; Gary Vaughan, Guident Business Solutions; Abe Weber, Appleton International Airport; Bob Zemple, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; and Sharon Hulce from Employment Resource Group, Inc. will serve as Ex-Officio.

A complete Board of Directors roster can be found at foxcitieschamber.com.

The Fox Cities Chamber exists to be the catalyst for business growth, the connector for leaders and influencers and the champion for successful businesses leading to a stronger community.

Fox Cities Chamber: December Business Breakfast Bytes to provide education on multichannel marketing


Contact: Karla Tierney, Marketing & Design Coordinator
[email protected]

APPLETON, Wis. – The Fox Cities Chamber’s monthly educational program, Business Breakfast Bytes, will provide attendees with education on marketing platforms, such as radio, television, print and digital, at the morning session on December 18.

Advertising can be a tricky field – from determining your target market to finding the right platform to reach that target market – it can be overwhelming with options and opportunities. As digital advertising continues to soar, should your business still consider other platforms such as radio, television and/or print?

This month’s session will feature local experts who will break down the different advertising platforms that your company could use, while dispelling any misconceptions those platforms might have. You will learn how CRM (customer relationship management) software is crucial to your marketing strategy, as well as an understanding of geofencing.

Tara Brzozowski, Director of Public Relations at Element will lead the session and facilitate the panel of experts including: Corrine Dahlk, Business Advisor at DexYP; Michelle Neira, Regional Field Marketing Director at Spectrum Reach; and Judy Payne, Marketing Consultant at Midwest Communications Inc.

Those who should attend this session are business owners or marketing professionals who are looking for additional ways to market their business.

Business Breakfast Bytes are a monthly business educational program focused on providing our small to mid-sized business members across the Fox Cities Region with education and resources addressing top business concerns.

Registration is required. This Business Breakfast Bytes session is available to Fox Cities Chamber members at no cost. Members may bring guests. Online registration is available on the Chamber website at www.foxcitieschamber.comr by calling (920) 734-7101. Please visit the Chamber website for complete details of the December session, being hosted at Eagle Point Senior Living, 955 E. John Street in Appleton from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM on Tuesday, December 18.

Fox Cities Chamber’s Report to the Community 🗓


Emily Feagles
[email protected]

The Fox Cities Chamber will hold its annual Report to the Community on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a light breakfast and networking. The Report will commence at 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The event is scheduled to be held at The Grand Meridian, located at 2621 Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911. Chamber members and non-members are encouraged to attend this annual event featuring stories shared from Chamber partners about their experiences, relationships and the resources that inspire the community, invest in workforce and talent, and strengthen businesses in the Fox Cities Region.

This event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend, however registration is required. To register, please visit foxcitieschamber.com or call (920) 734-7101.

For additional news and information, follow the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Twitter (@FoxCitiesChmbr).

FRI AM Update: Johnson resolution condemning Russia’s actions against Ukraine unanimously clears Senate

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FRI AM Update: Pocan says he had ‘productive and successful’ meeting with Pelosi

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FRI AM Update: Senate Dem and GOP caucuses elect leadership team for next session

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FRI AM Update: U.S. Sen. Warren stumps for WI Dems; new Schimel ad; weekly radio addresses

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FRI News Summary: Evers could face challenging first budget; GOP lawmakers consider curbing some executive powers

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FRI News Summary: GOP to take up pre-existing conditions bill in lame-duck session

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FRI News Summary: Walker open to limiting Evers’ power; analysis of Evers’ victory

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FRI News Summary: Walker’s new pre-existing conditions pledge; candidates in final sprint to Tuesday’s election

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FRI REPORT: Budget watchers size up candidates to fill remaining JFC spots

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FRI REPORT: GOP bills would restrict Evers’, Kaul’s powers, limit in-person absentee voting

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FRI REPORT: Money, possible wave will impact leggie races

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FRI REPORT: With Walker out, GOP field wide open to challenge Evers, run for Senate in 2022

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GMMB: Proud to help our candidates claim governorships, Senate seats, score major upsets


Contact: Rhonda Stewart
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, candidates supported by GMMB won Democratic victories across the country, helping to flip the U.S. House of Representatives for only the fourth time in 60 years and winning key governorships and Senate races, while scoring some of the biggest electoral upsets in the country.

“We are honored to have had the chance to work with terrific candidates, committees and independent expenditures across the country this election cycle,” said GMMB Partner Anson Kaye. “We are proud to have played even a small role in their success tonight. These victories were hard earned, and they deserve tremendous credit. America will be a better place for their efforts.”

GMMB and its subsidiaries produced television and digital advertising and placed media that helped win some of the country’s most hotly-contested campaigns.

Top Gubernatorial Races: GMMB served as media consultant to Michigan Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer and Nevada Governor-elect Steve Sisolak, and ran one of the largest digital campaigns in America for Illinois Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker. GMMB also served as the lead media agency for the Democratic Governors Association in Wisconsin, helping Governor-elect Tony Evers best Scott Walker, and in Kansas, helping Governor-elect Laura Kelly secure victory.

Major Upsets: GMMB was media consultant to the victors in two of last night’s biggest upsets: Joe Cunningham (SC-01), who becomes the first Democrat to win South Carolina’s First Congressional District in 40 years, and Max Rose (NY-11), who becomes only the second Democrat to represent Staten Island and South Brooklyn in Congress in the past 25 years. GMMB also served as media consultant to Josh Kaul, helping him claim victory over the favored Republican incumbent in the race for Wisconsin’s attorney general.

“We were fortunate to work on so many important and pivotal races across the country through our media operation,” said Partner Danny Jester. “That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on: working with each of our clients on their specific roadmaps to winning—from planning to targeting and analysis to delivering the messages wherever audiences are, no matter the screen.”

GMMB is proud to congratulate our clients who won their campaigns last night. This includes our work with:

Charlie Crist (FL-13) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) to help secure their second terms in Congress.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to help Tina Smith (MN) win her first full term in the U.S. Senate, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Action, to help secure a hard-fought victory for New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez.
Veterans’ organization With Honor to help Mikie Sherrill to victory in NJ-11, and Conor Lamb win election in PA-17, and with Planned Parenthood Votes to help Sean Casten beat Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam in IL-06, and Antonio Delgado unseat incumbent John Faso in NY-19.
GMMB also worked to preserve funding for state universities in Montana by helping win the 6-Mill Levy referendum, partnered with the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association to defeat Question 1 and protected hospital patient care in the Bay State.

GOP bills would restrict Evers’, Kaul’s powers, limit in-person absentee voting

GOP lawmakers are considering sweeping new changes to state law that would restrict the powers of Gov.-elect Tony Evers and incoming Dem AG Josh Kaul.

The proposals also include changes to in-person absentee voting and state tax law, as well as stripping the guv of the power to appoint the WEDC agency head.

Still, it wasn’t clear all of the provisions in the bill drafts will make the final cut once Republicans meet next week in extraordinary session. For example, the bills include a provision that would move the 2020 presidential primary off the April ballot, but there is a split between the Assembly and Senate GOP caucuses on the provision.

The Joint Finance Committee scheduled a public hearing for 12:30 p.m. Monday on the bills with floor votes expected the next day.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, proclaimed after the bill drafts were released that Wisconsin law “written by the Legislature and signed into law by a governor should not be erased by the potential political maneuvering of the executive branch.”

While Dems will control every statewide constitutional office in Wisconsin starting Jan. 7, Republicans will still have majorities in both houses of the Legislature.

“The Legislature is the most representative branch in government, and we will not stop being a strong voice for our constituents,” they said in a joint statement.

But Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, fired back the bills amounted to a “partisan temper tantrum” after Dems won back the guv and AG’s offices earlier this month.

“It is absolutely ludicrous that Republicans are more concerned with clinging to power at a time when factories are closing, 584 Wisconsin dairy farms have shut down their operations this year and families are feeling the pinch going into the holiday season,” Shilling said.

The dozens of pages in the five bill drafts released this afternoon run the gamut of issues and seek to protect changes Republicans have made to state government over the past eight years.

A central theme is GOP lawmakers seeking to create more oversight and give them greater say in the relationship between the Legislature, East Wing and AG’s office.

For example, one provision would appear to undercut Kaul’s promise to withdraw the state from a lawsuit Republican incumbent Brad Schimel filed challenging the Affordable Care Act. Now, the AG only needs the guv’s permission to withdraw from such a suit. Under the bills, the AG would need the Legislature’s permission to do so.

The proposals also seek to prevent Evers from scrapping the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which he has said he wants to replace with a new approach to commerce. Under current law, the agency board has 12 members, six of whom are appointed by the guv, who also has the power to appoint the agency head.

Under the bill, the appointments Fitzgerald and Vos make to the board would essentially have the power to pick the agency’s CEO.

The newly proposed board would consist of 18 members, with Vos and Fitzgerald able to appoint five picks each. The minority leaders in each house would get one pick, while the guv would get six. With the Legislature’s current political composition, that would mean 10 GOP appointees to eight Dem ones.

The bill also calls for the WEDC CEO to serve at its pleasure.

See today’s REPORT for more details of the bills. 

By JR Ross and Briana Reilly

Gov-Elect Evers: And Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announce Health Policy Advisory Council, transition staff additions


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 27, 2018
Contact: [email protected] or 608-267-2560

Madison – Today Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announced their Health Policy Advisory Council to bring experienced voices from around the state to work with the transition team on health care issues. The council is a diverse group of health care professionals from rural and urban health care settings and community health advocates.

“Expanding access to affordable health care for Wisconsin residents is a top priority for our administration,” said Evers. “Our Health Policy Advisory Council will help our transition team put together a comprehensive health care plan that takes steps to increase access to health care coverage, like taking the Medicaid expansion dollars, while bringing down costs.”

The council will advise the transition team on policy matters relating to the Department of Health Services, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, the Department of Employee Trust Funds, and numerous state boards focused on health care.

Health Policy Advisory Council members:

Dr. Veronica Gunn, CEO Genesis Consulting
Karen Timberlake, Michael Best Strategies, former Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services
Candice Owley, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, AFT VP, RN
Dr. Jane Mahoney, Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
Barbara Beckert, Disability Rights of Wisconsin
Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, UW Health
Lisa Peyton-Caire, Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
Kofi Short, Diverse and Resilient Community, Wisconsin Health Leadership Fellow
Tanya Atkinson, Planned Parenthood
Tim Size, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
Mary Jo Meyers, Milwaukee County Health and Human Services
Mary Neubauer, Mental Health America of Wisconsin
“Voters said loud and clear on election day they want Wisconsin leaders to focus on health care,” said Evers. “It’s time to end the attacks on the Affordable Care Act so those with pre-existing conditions don’t have to worry about losing coverage and move our state forward on expanding access.”

Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes also announced Brian Pahnke as policy director and Jeff Pertl and Jamie Kuhn as policy advisors. Both Pahnke and Pertl currently serve as part of Evers’ team at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and bring extensive experience in policy and state budgeting to the transition team.

Pahnke is the assistant state superintendent for the Division for Finance and Management. Prior to his appointment in 2002, he served as the DPI budget analyst for the executive budget office in the Department of Administration.

Pertl is the senior policy advisor for the Office of the State Superintendent. Prior to becoming senior policy advisor, Pertl served as the DPI policy initiatives advisor and the Milwaukee Public Schools Federal Funds trustee.

Kuhn, a member of the Dane County Board, has extensive experience in state and local government.

“I’ve said all along that what’s best for our kids is best for our state.” said Evers. “Adding decades of policy experience to our transition team will help us build a budget that puts Wisconsin children and families first.”

The transition team has over 100 experts with whom they are consulting on policy as they prepare the state budget and policy initiatives for the incoming administration. Additional policy advisory councils will be announced later this week.

For additional information about Governor-elect Evers, Lt. Governor-elect Barnes, and the transition team, please visit evers.wi.gov.

Gov. Walker, Sen. Vukmir, AG Schimel Election Night Event 🗓


Contact: Austin Altenburg
[email protected]

[Madison, Wis.] – Scott Walker, Leah Vukmir and Brad Schimel will hold election night events at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee. Walker and Vukmir supporters will share one ballroom at the hotel. Schimel’s gathering will be held in a nearby separate room.

Gov. Scott Walker, State Senator Leah Vukmir, Attorney General Brad Schimel

Tuesday, Nov. 6
Walker/Vukmir Doors Open: 8:00 p.m. CT
Schimel Doors Open: 8:00 p.m. CT

The Ingleside Hotel
2810 Golf Rd.
Pewaukee, WI 53072

Gov. Walker: Announces no-interest loans now available for southwestern Wisconsin business owners affected by flooding


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker today announced the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has awarded a $155,000 grant to the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SWWRPC) to provide no-interest loans to businesses in the region that were impacted by the severe weather and flooding in September.

Businesses in five counties will be eligible for microloans of up to $15,000, which will provide them with a short-term source of funds for repair work and operating expenses until more long-term recovery funding can be secured. The loans have a two-year repayment period, with payments deferred for at least six months.

“With this latest grant, WEDC has awarded more than $1.5 million over the last month to its regional partners to help them assist small and midsize businesses that are still recovering from the storms and flooding that hit our state,” said Governor Walker. “These short-term loans, which will help offset cleanup-related expenses and other costs, will provide some quick relief to businesses that need it most.”

“Our small communities need these family businesses to thrive, and recovery and resiliency are key to that success,” said Troy Maggied, executive director of SWWRPC. “With the funds available through WEDC, we hope to contribute to the recovery of our small businesses, and in turn, the communities that rely so heavily on them.”

Under the Disaster Recovery Microloan Program, WEDC awards grants to its regional partners, which in turn issue loans to local businesses. WEDC has already awarded a $755,000 grant to the Madison Region Economic Partnership to assist businesses in south-central Wisconsin and a $605,000 grant to the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission. The three regional organizations represent the areas of the state that were hit hardest by the flooding and severe weather in late August and early September.

SWWRPC is now accepting loan applications from businesses impacted by the severe weather. To be eligible for a loan, a business must be located in Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette and Richland counties. Businesses also must have suffered measurable physical damage because of the disaster and must intend to resume business operations in the community as quickly as possible.

The loans can be used for procurement of cleanup and restoration services, operating expenses, temporary space, and repair and reconstruction work. Businesses interested in applying should contact Maggie at (608) 342-1636 or [email protected].

The WEDC Board of Directors in September approved the new program after businesses and homes in 18 counties were damaged in late August and early September following several weeks of intense storms, tornados and heavy rainfall across much of southern and central Wisconsin. These storms produced devastating flash flooding in multiple regions, resulted in seven dam failures, and caused several lakes and rivers to spill out of their banks and damage homes, bridges and roads.

More than 300 businesses statewide sustained nearly $34 million in damage, while more than 1,300 homes sustained more than $25 million in damages, according to Wisconsin Emergency Management. At Governor Walker’s request, President Trump has declared that individuals and businesses in nine counties would be eligible for federal disaster assistance: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also has opened Business Recovery Centers in Dane, Juneau, Sauk and Vernon counties to help businesses in affected by severe weather. SBA representatives at the centers can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application. To find center locations and hours, visit sba.gov/node/1629868.

Gov. Walker: Announces Sportsmen’s Coalition


Contact: Austin Altenburg
[email protected]

[Madison, Wis.] – Today, Scott Walker announced the launch of his Sportsmen’s Coalition consisting of outdoorsmen from across the state. Hunting and fishing is a significant economic driver, contributing more than $3 billion annually to the Wisconsin economy. Scott Walker is proud to work together with conservation and outdoors groups across Wisconsin to ensure we maintain our rich outdoor heritage.

Statement from Dan Trawicki, Safari Club of Wisconsin:

“The Safari Clubs of Wisconsin are proud to endorse Governor Walker as part of his Sportsmen’s Coalition. We appreciate his work with outdoor groups across Wisconsin to preserve our rich hunting heritage.”

Statement from Carl Schoettel, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association:

“Governor Walker has been a consistent supporter for hunters’ rights in Wisconsin. We appreciate his leadership in passing legislation this past term that protects hunters from harassment while they are in the field and we look forward to working together with him to continue to protect hunters’ rights.”

Statement from Mike Brust, Wisconsin Bow Hunters:

“I am proud to endorse Governor Walker because of his commitment to protecting Wisconsin’s hunting heritage. As a hunter himself, he understands the challenges we face and has been a great ally of sportsmen across the state.”

Statement from Scott Walker:

“I’m honored to have the support of sportsmen from across the state. For many of us in Wisconsin, hunting isn’t just a hobby, it is an important part of our heritage. I look forward to continuing to work with sportsmen groups across the state to ensure our rich heritage is passed from generation to generation.”

Gov. Walker: Appoints Attorney General Brad Schimel to the Waukesha County Circuit Court


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker today announced the appointment of Attorney General Brad Schimel to serve as judge on the Waukesha County Circuit Court, replacing Judge Patrick Haughney.

“Brad Schimel has diligently served the State of Wisconsin as attorney general and the citizens of Waukesha County as district attorney,” said Governor Walker. “Schimel has shown a commitment to the rule of law and the State of Wisconsin. He will continue to faithfully serve our state as Waukesha County Circuit Court judge.”

Gov. Walker: FEMA approves individual assistance for Marquette County following August, September floods


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced it extended individual assistance to residents and businesses in Marquette County.  FEMA denied aid for Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Ozaukee and Washington counties.

“I’m pleased that those impacted by flooding and storm damage in Marquette County can now apply for federal disaster assistance,” said Governor Walker.  “I am disappointed that FEMA did not include the other eight counties in the declaration. We will explore our options to see what support can be provided for residents and businesses in these counties moving forward.”

Governor Walker formally requested a federal disaster declaration for 18 counties for individuals, families and businesses as well as local governments hit hard by the August and September storms and flooding.  Last month, President Trump approved federal disaster assistance for individuals, families, and businesses in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties.

Residents and businesses in Marquette County that sustained storm damage can now register with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.govor 1-800-621-3362. Since the original declaration was approved last month, more than 1,200 storm victims have applied for assistance.

Gov. Walker: Governor and first lady will kick off the holiday season by lighting the Christmas tree at the Wisconsin executive residence on Sunday


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker are inviting families to attend the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Wisconsin Executive Residence on Sunday, November 25, 2018.
“There is no better way to celebrate the start of the holiday season than to spend it with your family and friends,” said Governor Walker. “It is a blessing to be able to share our holiday traditions with so many Wisconsin families.”

The public is invited to attend the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at the residence. Those attending should RSVP by clicking here. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. Families and individuals attending should bring a non-perishable food item or a winter clothing item in support of Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Big Bundle Up Campaign.

“We love to share these traditions with our community and we look forward to having more families tour the residence this holiday season to see the beautiful decorations created by florists from throughout the state,” said Mrs. Walker.

Six florists and decorators from different areas of Wisconsin each decorated a different room within the residence. The 2018 florists and decorators are:

*JJ’s Acres, Woodruff
*Impressions by Esther Fleming, Milwaukee
*Avalon Floral, Eau Claire
*Buds ‘n Blooms Design Studio, De Pere
*The Bruce Company, Middleton
*Edgewater Greenhouse, Portage

Throughout the holiday season, the residence opens for public tours. Tour information is available below:

*December 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
*December 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
*December 12th, 13th, 19th, and 20th from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Visitors do not need to make a reservation, but tours are first come first serve. Groups larger than 20 should call (608) 246-5501 to make arrangements.

Gov. Walker: Invites students to decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree with “America’s Dairyland” ornaments


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON– Governor Scott Walker asked art teachers, parents, and children from across Wisconsin to help decorate the 2018 State Capitol Christmas Tree by making ornaments for this year’s tree. The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree will be “America’s Dairyland.”

“Wisconsin’s dairy industry is more than a strong part of our state’s economy, it’s part of our history,” said Governor Walker. “This year in tribute to our dairy farmers and our state’s world-renowned dairy industry, I am inviting children from across Wisconsin to send in ‘America’s Dairyland’ themed ornaments to decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree.”

Anyone interested in sending “America’s Dairyland” themed ornaments to decorate the tree should make their submission by Friday, November 23, 2018.

Please send “America’s Dairyland” themed ornaments to:

Claire Franz
Wisconsin Department of Administration
Division of Facilities Development & Management
17 West Main Street, Suite 119
Madison, WI 53703

Wisconsin teachers will soon receive the attached letter with additional information regarding the 2018 State Capitol Christmas Tree.

Gov. Walker: Issues Executive Order #312


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker issued Executive Order #312 today allowing the Wisconsin National Guard’s Cyber Security Team to assist the Wisconsin Elections Commission if assistance is requested.

Governor Walker’s executive order is attached.

Gov. Walker: Orders flags to half-staff honoring U.S. Army Air Forces Pfc. Joseph Natvick

Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
Gov. Walker: Orders flags to half-staff honoring U.S. Army Air Forces Pfc. Joseph Natvik
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker ordered flags to half-staff on Sunday, November 25, 2018 in honor of Army Air Forces Pfc. Joseph Natvik. On July 17, 1945, the plane Natvik was aboard crashed while carrying supplies to Chinese forces fighting the Japanese during World War II.

Natvik will be laid to rest on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, with full military honors in Columbus, Wisconsin.

“Pfc. Joseph Natvik sacrificed his life to help save others during World War II,” said Governor Walker. “He is an American hero who’s sacrifice we can never repay. It is an honor to see him finally return home with the honors he deserves.”

Governor Walker’s executive order can be viewed here.


Gov. Walker: Releases statement following the passing of Former President George H. W. Bush


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON — Governor Scott Walker released the following statement today after learning of the passing of George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States.

“So sorry to hear of the death of President George Herbert Walker Bush. In 1988, I cast my first vote for President for him. I am proud of that vote today. He was a true gentleman and our country is better because of his service. Tonette and I send our love and prayers to the Bush family as America mourns the loss of one of our greatest patriots.”

Gov. Walker: Seeks applicants for St. Croix County judicial vacancy


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today he is seeking applicants for appointment to the St. Croix County Circuit Court.

The new appointee will replace outgoing St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell, whose resignation is effective January 1, 2019.  The new appointee, should he or she choose to run, would be up for election in April 2020.

To apply, please submit the following:

Cover Letter


Two Writing Samples

Judicial Application: found on Governor Walker’s website:  www.walker.wi.gov. (Select “Menu” at the top right of the page, “Serve WI,” “Service Applications,” “Judicial Application.”)

All application materials must be received no later than 8:00 a.m., Monday, December 10, 2018.  Following submission, you will receive an email confirming that we have received your application, and explaining the next steps.

Potential applicants with questions about the process should email their questions to[email protected]wisconsin.gov.  If you need to speak with someone immediately, you may contact Kate Wiedel at 608-266-1212.

Gov. Walker: Wisconsin state Capitol Christmas tree arrives in Madison


Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today the selection and harvest of the 2018 State Capitol Christmas Tree. The balsam fir, which measures between 35 and 40 feet, was donated by Don and Mary Miller and harvested earlier this month in Plainfield.

“Thank you to Don and Mary Miller for donating this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree. We are inviting elementary school students from across the state to send ornaments showcasing America’s Dairyland as the theme,” Governor Walker said. “We look forward to celebrating Wisconsin’s dairy industry during the wonderful Christmas season.”

The 2018 State Capitol Christmas Tree was coordinated by the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and arrived earlier this month at the East Washington entrance of the Wisconsin State Capitol. It is scheduled to be moved from its current location at the East Washington entrance of the Wisconsin State Capitol on Monday, November 26, with a lighting ceremony planned for Tuesday, December 4.

Gov. Walker: Wishes Wisconsin families a safe and happy Thanksgiving


Office of Governor Scott Walker
November 22, 2018
Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker issued a statement today wishing families across Wisconsin a happy Thanksgiving.

Tonette and I are thankful for having our family together this Thanksgiving.

We are thankful that our sons Matt and Alex live and work close to home. And we are thankful to have my mother – as well as my brother and his family close to us too.

While we lost my dad last month, we are thankful to know that he lives on with our Heavenly Father – and that someday we will join them.

Our table will be filled this Thanksgiving with plenty of great memories – as well as an abundance of good food.

We wish the same for you and your family.

The new year will offer many new opportunities to serve. I am reminded of what Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It has been an honor to serve the people of Wisconsin as your Governor for the past eight years. It brings me great joy to see that more people are working than ever before, our schools continue to be some of the best in the country and that our health care ranks in the top tier for quality.

How wonderful it has been to meet people from all over this great state and to see how proud you are of your homes and your communities. We are Wisconsin Proud.

And for that, I am thankful.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Gov.-elect Evers and Lt. Gov.-elect Barnes: Announce transition website, communications director

Contact: [email protected] or 608-267-2560
MADISON – Today, Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announced the launch of the official Transition Website. It went live this afternoon and can be found athttps://evers.wi.gov.

“We want Wisconsin residents to be an active part of their government and share their ideas on moving the state forward,” said Governor-elect Evers. “Our new transition website will make that easy for them to do starting today.”

Wisconsin residents can share their ideas with Governor-elect Evers at https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/contact.

To help fulfill Governor-elect Evers’ commitment to recruiting talented individuals who reflect our state’s values and diversity to serve in his administration, the website has an easy-to-use section for applying to serve in the Evers administration. Interested individuals can go to https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/apply and send in their materials for consideration.

Governor-elect Evers also announced that Carrie Lynch will lead communications during the transition. Lynch is a Strategic Communications Specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has served in various communications roles at the federal, state, and local government levels.

Press inquiries for the Transition Team can now be sent to [email protected]. Any groups interested in meeting with Governor-elect Tony Evers, Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes, or members of the Transition Team can send a request to [email protected]. The transition office can also be reached at 608-267-2560.

Gov.-elect Evers, Lt. Gov.-elect Barnes: Announce Senior Advisor, Deputy Transition Director, Personnel Advisory Council


MADISON – Today, Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announced Aaron Olver as a senior advisor to lead the transition personnel recruitment efforts for their administration and Tia Torhorst as deputy transition director.

Olver is the managing director of University Research Park, a University of Wisconsin-Madison affiliate research and technology park supporting early-stage businesses. He helped lead former Governor Jim Doyle’s transition and later served as Department of Commerce secretary during the Doyle administration. A former Rhodes Scholar, Olver also served as economic development director for the city of Madison.

Torhorst currently serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. With over fifteen years of experience working and volunteering for nonprofits, government and political campaigns, Torhorst is committed to community service. Torhorst previously worked at the National Partnership for Women and Families organizing consumer advocates on healthcare issues. Torhorst also worked as Legislative Director for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and managed Abele’s 2016 County Executive Campaign.

Olver will lead a committed group of people from across the state serving on the Personnel Advisory Council who will work to ensure the incoming administration is reflective of the talent that exists in every corner of the state. Governor-elect Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Barnes have asked these business and community leaders to assist their Transition Team by referring potential candidates for key state positions.

The Council is composed of twenty leaders who will help connect diverse, accomplished people who are eager and ready to work as a team to move Wisconsin forward. It includes:

• Griselda Aldrete, President & CEO, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee
• Ruben L. Anthony Jr, PhD, President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Madison
• Buckley Brinkman, Executive Director/CEO, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity
• Frank Busalacchi, Former Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
• Melissa Cook, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
• Michael J Decorah, Sr Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, St Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
 Sean Dilweg, Former WI Insurance Commissioner, Sr Vice President Government Relations, MGIC
• Shirley Ellis, Senior Advisor/District Director, Gwen Moore, US House of Representatives
• Roberta Gassman, Former Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
• Zach Halmstad, Co-founder and Partner, Pablo; Co-founder, Jamf
• Chris Her-Xiong, Founder/Executive Director, Hmong American Peace Academy, Ltd
• Ossie Kendrix, President, African American Chamber of Commerce
• Mike Laszkiewicz, Senior Vice President of Operations, Rockwell Automation
• Darryl Morin, President & CEO, Advanced Wireless Inc
• Barbara Nick, President & CEO, Dairyland Power Cooperative
 Angela Russell, Vice President Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, CUNA Mutual Group
• Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup
• Bob Wills, Owner, Cedar Grove Cheese Company & Clock Shadow Creamery
• Mary Ellen Schill, Attorney, RuderWare
• Donsia Strong Hill, Former Secretary, WI Department of Regulation and Licensing/Executive Director, LISC Milwaukee

Governor-elect Evers will make numerous new appointments in the near future, but hiring a team for the new administration is a process that will play out over the next several months. Any application materials of qualified individuals submitted to the Transition Team will also be provided to incoming cabinet secretaries for additional consideration as they work on hiring their leadership teams.

Applicants may use the website to apply for positions at https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/apply

Gov.-elect Evers: And Lt. Governor-elect Barnes announce “What’s Best for Kids” Advisory Council


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2018
Contact: [email protected] or 608-267-2560

MADISON – Today Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announced their “What’s Best for Kids” Advisory Council (Council), a group of leaders and advocates from across the state who will work with and advise the transition team on policies and issues affecting Wisconsin’s kids.

“I’ve said from the beginning that what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, and that’s why I’ve convened a group of stakeholders and advocates for kids who will help us prepare a budget and policy priorities that put Wisconsin kids and families first,” said Evers.

The Council will advise members of Governor-elect Evers’ transition team on policy matters relating to the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Health Services, and numerous other state boards and policy initiatives focused on children and families.

“From fully funding public education at every level to expanding all-day pre-K statewide to increasing trauma-informed programming in our communities and our schools, the bottom line is that our kids have to be our top priority,” said Evers. “Our ‘What’s Best for Kids’ Advisory Council will work with our team to ensure we’re improving the lives of Wisconsin’s kids and families.”

Governor-elect Evers’ “What’s Best for Kids” Advisory Council will join the more than 100 policy experts consulted by the transition team in preparing the state budget and policy initiatives for the incoming Evers Administration. Governor-elect Evers’ “What’s Best for Kids” Advisory Council members include:

Sal Carranza, Latino Education Council
Héctor Colón, Lutheran Social Services
Angelina Cruz, Racine Unified School District
Heather DuBois Bourenane, Wisconsin Public Education Network
Sally Flaschberger, Disability Rights Wisconsin
Andy Gussert, Boys & Girls Club of Wisconsin
Peng Her, The Hmong Institute
Christine Holmes, Penfield Children’s Center
Duff Martin, WEAC
Michelle Mettner, Children’s Hospital
Sandy Morales, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County
Doug Nelson, Formerly of the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Dr. Keith Posley, Milwaukee Public Schools
Angela Russell, CUNA Mutual
Paul Spink, AFSCME Council 32
Ken Taylor, Kids Forward
George Torres, La Causa
Amy Traynor, Eau Claire Area School District and Co-Chair for Governor-elect Evers’ transition team
Dr. Julie Underwood, University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis

For additional information about Governor-elect Evers, Lt. Governor-elect Barnes, and the transition team, please visit evers.wi.gov.

Gov.-elect Evers: Announce transition website, communications director


MADISON – Today, Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announced the launch of the official Transition Website. It went live this afternoon and can be found at https://evers.wi.gov.

“We want Wisconsin residents to be an active part of their government and share their ideas on moving the state forward,” said Governor-elect Evers. “Our new transition website will make that easy for them to do starting today.”

Wisconsin residents can share their ideas with Governor-elect Evers at https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/contact.

To help fulfill Governor-elect Evers’ commitment to recruiting talented individuals who reflect our state’s values and diversity to serve in his administration, the website has an easy-to-use section for applying to serve in the Evers administration. Interested individuals can go to https://nws.wisconsin.egov.com/forms/governor/apply and send in their materials for consideration.

Governor-elect Evers also announced that Carrie Lynch will lead communications during the transition. Lynch is a Strategic Communications Specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has served in various communications roles at the federal, state, and local government levels.

Press inquiries for the Transition Team can now be sent to [email protected] Any groups interested in meeting with Governor-elect Tony Evers, Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes, or members of the Transition Team can send a request to [email protected] The transition office can also be reached at 608-267-2560.

Gov.-elect Evers: Announces chief of staff and transition team director, co-chairs


Contact: [email protected]
(608) 501-2762

MADISON – Today, Governor-Elect Tony Evers announced key leadership personnel for his Transition Team and the Office of the Governor. Maggie Gau, Governor-Elect Evers’ campaign manager, will become Governor-Elect Evers’ Chief of Staff. JoAnne Anton will serve as Transition Director, and Transition Team Co-Chairs who will assist with recruiting and appointing members of Governor-Elect Evers’ Administration and developing priorities for his first-term agenda.

“The people of Wisconsin voted for a change last week, and today we’re ready to get to work putting the people of Wisconsin first,” said Governor-Elect Evers. “As I said all along during the campaign, my Administration’s priority is selecting talented individuals who reflect our state’s values and diversity. This is an exceptional group of leaders who I know are just as committed as I am to our values of bringing people together, putting government back to work for the people, and building a Wisconsin future that works for everyone.”

Governor-Elect Evers’ Transition Team will be Co-Chaired by:

  • Chuck Pruitt
  • Amy Traynor
  • Jan Allman
  • Dr. Veronica Gunn
  • Kevin Conroy

Governor-Elect Evers will announce additional Transition Team members and the leadership team for his Inauguration Committee in the coming days.

Maggie Gau, originally of Wausau, Wis., will become Governor-Elect Evers’ Chief of Staff in the Governor’s office. Before managing Governor-Elect Evers’ campaign for governor, Gau formerly served as Chief of Staff for State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and State Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville), and previously worked for former-State Representative Ann Hraychuck (D-Balsam Lake). Prior to working in the Wisconsin State Legislature, Gau served as Deputy Political Director on President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

JoAnne Anton currently serves as the Director of Charitable Giving for Herb Kohl Philanthropies. Anton began her career in public service at City Hall as an assistant to former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist and went on to serve in various key roles for U.S. Senator Herb Kohl for more than two decades. Anton currently serves on the boards of Safe and Sound Inc, Harbor District Inc, and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.

Chuck Pruitt (Milwaukee) is a Partner and Co-Managing Director of the A.B. Data Group. Pruitt formerly served on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, including terms as Vice President and President from 2007 to 2011. Pruitt is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation and the Board of Visitors of the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Amy Traynor (Eau Claire) is an Instructional Coach in the Eau Claire Area School District and the 2012-13 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year. Traynor is the teacher lead for the Every Teacher a Leader Summit at the state and regional level. She currently serves as the President of the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Network.

Jan Allman (Marinette) is the President, CEO & General Manager of the Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC). Before joining MMC, Allman was the Vice President of Global Manufacturing at Navistar Corporation. Allman began her career at age nineteen at Ford Motor Company, where she worked for twenty-six years.

Dr. Veronica Gunn (Milwaukee) is the CEO of Genesis Health Consulting and a board-certified pediatrician. Gunn has been in clinical practice for more than two decades, and previously served as the Vice President of Population Health at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and was the Chief Medical Officer for the State of Tennessee’s Department of Health.

Kevin Conroy (Madison) is the Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. Conroy previously served as President and CEO of Third Wave Technology after working as an intellectual property counsel at GE Healthcare and an intellectual property litigator in Chicago.

Gov.-elect Evers: Attending National Governors Association meeting


Office of Governor Elect Tony Evers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2018
Contact: [email protected]gov or 608-267-2560
MADISON – Governor-elect Tony Evers will attend the National Governors Association Seminar for New Governors in Colorado this weekend with his wife, Kathy Evers. A bipartisan group of current governors from around the nation and their staff will provide training and advice for newly-elected governors of both parties on issues ranging from emergency preparedness to work-life balance.

“I’ve spent my career working across the aisle so I’m excited to join a diverse group of new governors and learn from a bipartisan set of our nation’s current governors,” said Evers. “I’m looking forward to talking with governors across the country about how we can work together on critically important issues like Medicaid expansion, attracting new businesses with infrastructure investments, and protecting our natural resources.”

Evers is part of a large class of new Democratic governors setting up their administration. Democratic gains in the Midwest helped bring the largest pickup in 36 years with seven gubernatorial elections switching control to Democrats. New Republican governors also elected earlier this month will join them this weekend at the seminar.

“I promised to remain focused on solving the problems facing our state and listening to other governors from both parties during the transition will help us be ready to get things done on Day One of my administration,” said Evers.

Gov.-elect Evers” Democrats respond to GOP’s extraordinary session legislation


CONTACT: [email protected] or 608-267-2560

MADISON – Today, Governor-elect Tony Evers, Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling, and Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz released the following statements in response to Republicans’ sweeping attempts to override the will of the people:

Statement from Governor-elect Tony Evers

“I’ve said all along I’m committed to working across the aisle, but I will not tolerate attempts to violate our constitutional checks and balances and separation of powers by people who are desperate to cling to control. Enough is enough. Republicans have to stop putting politics before people. Wisconsinites demanded a change on November 6th. I stand with the people of Wisconsin, and we will be taking any steps necessary to prevent power-hungry politicians from overriding the will of the people.”

Statement from Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul

“The authors of this bill seem to think that they know better than the voters of Wisconsin. They’re wrong. And that’s not how democracy works. I am calling on the members of the legislature to reject this horrible bill.”

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling

“This lame duck session has become a desperate attempt by Republican politicians to rig elections and undermine our constitutional values.”

Statement from Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz

“History will look back at this moment as a low point for Wisconsin state government. Attempting to cripple the authority of the incoming administration is exactly the type of self-serving politics people rejected in November.

“These bills are an unprecedented abuse of power. Divided government should be a chance for both parties to hit reset. It is sad to see this is how Republicans are choosing to start things off.”

Governor’s Small Business Summit 🗓


Tuesday, December 11, 2018 | 8 am – 4 pm | Ingleside Hotel & Conference Center; 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, WI

Please join Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch for the 8thAnnual Small Business Summit at the Ingleside Hotel & Conference Center at 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, WI.

Don’t miss this opportunity meet with some of the “movers and shakers” in Wisconsin business today!  Hear how great strides in Wisconsin education opportunities are preparing the next generation of workers to be ready for employment in your industry or business.  Learn how innovative state programs can assist in taking your business to the next level.  Enjoy networking with other small business developers while sampling some great Wisconsin products.

View the Agenda

Registration is $50 per person and is non-refundable.  Register online with credit card. No cash or check accepted.

Get Registered

Deadline for registration is December 3, 2018.