That From Which Dreams Are Made

Wisconsin, like most states, publishes sets of scorecards measuring students’ progress. (The overwhelming majority of school districts – 91% – at least meet expectations. Our local district falls within this common group; a few particular schools are admirably above it.) Yesterday, the district announced the latest results, after the state’s Department of Public Instruction made them […]

Gov. Thompson Rejects WEDC-Style Loans

Republican Tommy Thompson, who served for fourteen years as governor, has written in opposition to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s loan program.  It’s the right position to take, and shows that Thompson understands the problems with WEDC.  Explicitly, Gov. Thompson’s opposition to WEDC-style loans includes local communities’ doling of loans through their own programs.  (Whitewater’s Community […]

The Public Records Law Still Stands

After a push to alter Wisconsin’s Public Records Law (Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31-19.39), we’re now secure with the original law intact.   Below one will find a recording of Wisconsin A.G. Brad Schimel’s Open Government Summit, held earlier this week at the Concourse in Madison.   J.B. Hollen, Schimel’s immediate predecessor, started strongly in favor of the […]

12 Points on the WEDC’s $500,000 Loan for Campaign Contributor’s Failing (and Lying) Company

Seemingly, all Wisconsin is discussing a $500,000 Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation loan to a failing company of a Walker political contributor.  Here’s a summary of what’s known so far. 1.  The loan was to Building Committee Inc. (BCI), a business owned by William Minahan, a Walker political contributor (and Minahan made contributions to other campaigns, […]

The Well Runs Dry

As expected, a weak economy, despite four years of talk about spending to create jobs, jobs, jobs means that Wisconsin can expect no additional state revenue to lessen the impact of cuts to education, etc.  In fact, revenue projections are below estimates. Here’s the news from the Journal Sentinel this morning (emphasis added): Madison — […]

The Tiny Benefit of Proposed Cuts to UW-Whitewater and the Whitewater Schools

For years,  local conservative insiders (often big public spenders, always big talkers) have walked around this town like they owned all the city.  Along the way, they’ve told anyone who would listen that they’re men of influence, movers and shakers, and people of particular importance.  Gov. Walker has now proposed his latest biennial budget, and both […]

Budget First

Last week, Gov. Walker declined to answer Englishman’s question about whether he, Scott Waker, believed in evolution. Today, in the Journal Sentinel, one learns that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos does believe in evolution.  (I’ll bite: I was raised in a liturgical, high-church tradition that taught that the theory of evolution was consistent with faith.  I […]

The Public-Sector Public-Relations Problem

There’s almost no part of government, down to the smallest unit, that doesn’t approach the public as though a salesperson, as a matter of persuasion through public or media relations. Consider how odd, how ironic, this situation is: government, whose authority derives in a free society only from the public, uses public resources to present […]

WEDC: Those Who Can’t Do, Lobby

One of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s many incompetent leaders, Ryan Murray, is leaving behind his controversial, failed role at the WEDC to become a lobbyist.  Jobs agency official becomes lobbyist @ JS All Politics Blog reports on Murray’s shabby move: The No. 2 official at the state’s jobs agency has left the agency to […]

The Importance of Skills

Over at the Gazette, there’s a letter to the editor that touts Mike Sheridan, candidate for the 15th Senate District, as skillful: Your Views: Mike Sheridan has skills, ability to serve state Senate district (subscription req’d). I’ve written about Sheridan’s public career before; for those readers who are Democrats, and will vote in the primary, […]

State Sen. Kedzie Rushes the Exits

Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-Elkhorn, abruptly announced Monday that he was resigning to pursue a “new opportunity,” just about a month after announcing he would retire at the end of the year. He said he would leave office at the end of the day. “A new opportunity has come before me, however in order to pursue […]

The Truth About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

There are those times when small-government conservatives, Democrats, and libertarians agree. Acknowledging the misconduct, failures, and cronyism of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation would be one of those occasions. It is, among other things, the state’s biggest white-collar welfare scheme, both mismanaged and mendacious. Here’s the effectual motto of the WEDC: Corruption, Cronyism, and Incompetence […]

Low Comedy in 3, 2, 1…

Democrats have three choices for the 15th District Senate Primary: Evansville’s Assembly Rep. Janis Ringhand, Janesville-native Austin Scieszinski, or former Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan.  One sometimes encounters a politician who simply refuses to remain a former politician, and when one encounters such a person, that discovery probably sounds like Mike Sheridan.  (He’s reportedly walking about, […]