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Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal

Here in Whitewater, the local private business lobby invited last year as a guest speaker a state operative to exaggerate wildly talk about Foxconn. See A Sham News Story on Foxconn. As it turns out, Foxconn hasn’t even been able to meet the low, first-year employment goals set for the publicly-subsidized project. Rick Rommel reports Foxconn falls…

Trump-Russia Roundup

While the proper focus against Trumpism involves a zealous lawful effort against Trump and his leading operatives, there is also a problem of Trumpism down to the local level. In both cases, officials advancing Trumpism ignore the overwhelming evidence of his betrayal of our own people to the benefit of a hostile foreign power. As…

‘Our Guy’ Isn’t Our Guy

Some months ago, in a radio interview to tout part of the Trump tax bill, the Whitewater Community Development Authority’s executive director Dave Carlson referred to Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner as ‘our guy.’ Sensenbrenner, a pro-Trump septuagenarian multimillionaire from a gerrymandered district, is – literally – Whitewater’s federal representative. Sensenbrenner has never been – and…

The Not-So-Daily Union

One reads that local Daily Union will begin delivery by mail, and that this will push forward the publication deadline by twelve hours.  While the change of delivery matters to subscribers, the change in publication deadline will matter more. The Daily Union will no longer be able to get a story on an evening meeting or…

Political and Apolitical Means of Local Accomplishment

One test of an institution’s vitality is how eager people are to become members, and how interested a community is to learn who’s become a member. Strong institutions or organizations attract attention. When the institution is a city or county government, one looks to see who’s eager to run for office, and how many people…

Immoral (and Unnecessary) Compromises

There’s a certain kind of Republican who rationalizes Trump’s many vices because, well, Trump has nominated some conservative judges. (Hugh Hewitt, who’ll rationalize anything to keep a job on the Salem talk radio network comes to mind. See It’s the Supreme Court, stupid.) If there’s an equivalent of this, it’s a certain kind of Democrat…

The Broad Outlines of 2019

For many years, I would begin the year with predictions for the twelve months ahead.  Events since 2016 have made predictions harder,  but one can still discern some short-term developments for the city.  These prospects, of course, form an online of topics to ponder, and about which to write (often requiring that one return to the…

Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land

Foxconn’s boosters each day inch closer to a corporate welfare version of Scientology: it doesn’t make any sense, but adherents keep to themselves and repeat a shared list of crackpot claims. The latest news to pierce the cultists’ bubble: Molly Beck and Rick Romell report Wisconsin taxpayers could pay Foxconn for work done outside of Wisconsin,…

The Limits of an Institutional Deal

Yesterday, UW-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper announced that she was resigning her position as of 12.31.18.  Later in the day, the UW System publicly announced that Kopper would be on leave at her former salary for eight months, and then in the fall have the option of returning to UW-Whitewater’s Psychology Department as a professor.  See…

Kopper Resigns, Whitewater Remains

One reads that Beverly Kopper, UW-Whitewater chancellor, has resigned her position effective 12.31.18.  Her resignation was generally expected for at least the last few weeks, and was, more importantly, necessary.  This was a public matter involving a spouse appointed to a public position accused of sexual harassment by at least five women while the appointing chancellor kept…