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Local Government

What the New Dealers Got Right – What Whitewater’s Local Notables Got Wrong

There’s sound reason to doubt that the New Dealers’ economic solutions to the Great Depression were effective, but there’s no doubt that Roosevelt’s Brain Trust was hard-working, smart, and candid in its description of America’s economic problems. For a critical assessment of the New Deal, written accessibly, see The Forgotten Man: A New History of…

Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke

Trump insisted Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, and smarmy development men in places like Whitewater spoke about how much would come of the project, but in a puff of smoke that project’s ‘innovation centers’ are gone. Nick Statt reports Foxconn finally admits its empty Wisconsin ‘innovation centers’ aren’t being…

Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Thinks (or Hopes) You’re Ignorant or Stupid

Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, the gerrymandered, septuagenarian multimillionaire whose district (the Fifth) stretches all the way down to Whitewater, must think (or hope) people are ignorant.  One can conclude as much because Sensenbrenner contends the reason he’s not attending impeachment hearings is because those hearings are not open to the public. Honest to goodness, Sensenbrenner must…

Why Transparency Matters in Local Politics

From 2015, Libertarianism.org offers a podcast (posted on YouTube) with Kevin Glass, then of the Franklin Center. (Now called the Franklin New Foundation, it’s a center-right organization; many of Glass’s comments – he now works elsewhere – on open government are, however, non-partisan.) There are similar projects with a center-left focus.  In Wisconsin, for example,…

9.19.19: State of City & State of District Presentations

League of Women Voters: States of the City & the Schools 09/19/19 from Whitewater Community TV on Vimeo. Whitewater’s city manager, Cameron Clapper, and the Whitewater Unified School District administrator, Dr. Mark Elworthy, presented on the states of the city and school district, respectively.  Embedded above is a full video of their presentations. The municipal…

‘Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data’

Anna Flagg writes Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data: In one of Donald J. Trump’s earliest moves as president, days after his inauguration, he revived the deportation program known as Secure Communities. Proponents argue that it helps prevent crime and also increases the police’s ability to solve crime through collaboration with federal…

The Whitewater, WI Conflict of Interest Gallery™

Ours is an era of conflicts of interest and self-dealing. Conflicts of interest sometimes begin with ignorance but they persist through arrogance. Simple principles of separation between roles that were once understood and respected (in the main) are now commonly rationalized away. If one bemoans degraded national ethics, one should be clear that local officials…

Trump Tax Bill is the Predictable Failure Sensible People Warned It Would Be

In Whitewater, there’s a business lobby that amounts to a right-wing landlord or two, the dogsbodies who follow three paces behind, and the municipal officials who have been, variously, beguiled or browbeaten into asserting that government-directed capital spending means general prosperity.  It doesn’t; it’s the great myth of municipal policy.  A building here, a building…

School Board, 8.26.19: Insatiable

School Board Meeting 08/26/19 from Whitewater Community TV on Vimeo. Update, evening of 9.9.19: Although this discussion of tax incremental financing (TIF) took place at a school board meeting, a program like this is (obviously) very much an initiative of city government and special interests. School districts like Whitewater’s have a role on a joint…

Foxconn: Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?

In Whitewater, there’s a top-notch think tank right-wing landlord’s business group that flacked Foxconn both privately and through that group’s sway over the Whitewater Community Development Authority.  The group invited a state operative to spin Foxconn as a tech city of gold, and at the Whitewater CDA one could hear fantastic tales of high-tech wonders…