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Local Government

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…

F. James Sensenbrenner Heads for the Exit

One reads that F. James Sensenbrenner, the pro-Trump septuagenarian multimillionaire congressman from a gerrymandered district that stretches all the way down to Whitewater, is retiring when his current term ends. Consigned to the minority forever must look unappealing. How time flies! It was not long ago that then-chairman of the Whitewater Community Development Authority was scampering…

Derechos de los Inmigrantes — Immigrants’ Rights

Posted originally on 7.14.19, now updated with additional information from the Spanish-language section linked below. Independientemente de su estatus migratorio, usted tiene derechos garantizados por la Constitución. Aprende más aquí sobre sus derechos como inmigrante y cómo expresarlos. …. Agentes policiales pregunta sobre mi estatus migratorio Cómo reducir el riesgo para usted mismo Mantener la…

Common Council, 8.20.19: Fiscal & Economic

Yesterday, I posted about part of a Whitewater Common Council meeting that addressed a traffic signal at a dangerous intersection. See Common Council, 8.20.19: Misperception. There was another topic at that meeting: the annual audit of the city’s fiscal condition (link below).  In another place and time,  the fiscal condition of government might be decisive…

Common Council, 8.6.19: 5 Points

? Whitewater’s common council met in regular session on Tuesday, 8.6.19, and at that meeting the council selected an applicant to fill a vacant council seat.  See Common Council, 8.6.19: The Context of an Appointment. Today, a few other points to consider: 1. Government is not the community; it’s a slice only. While it’s practical…

The Biggest Story of Our Time

In life – at least life in a well-ordered, free society – the highest matters are not political. They are familial, cultural, social – involving greater pursuits than contending over the role of the state. Under this view, one contends over politics (as libertarians do) not because it is too important but because it must…

Into the Void

Across Wisconsin, newspapers have not distinguished themselves since the Great Recession. Most have descended into a cautious, center-right boosterism. They acted on their publishers’ own politics, and on the politics their elderly (but dwindling) readership. Doing so has only exacerbated their problems. The time to break from this was before – or even during –…

Fact-Checking is an Active, Ongoing Effort

Laura Hazard Cohen explains that “First-generation fact-checking” is no longer good enough. Here’s what comes next: “Fact checkers need to move from ‘publish and pray’ to ‘publish and act.’” “The idea that fact checking can work by correcting the public’s inaccurate beliefs on a mass scale alone doesn’t stack up,” write representatives from Full Fact…

Three Fundamental Failures: Employment, Income, and Poverty

An earlier post addressed Walker’s Fundamental Failure to meet his jobs pledge even after eight years. The record is much worse: years of corporate subsidies and meddling in the marketplace for preferred businesses & political cronies have produced failures of employment, income, and poverty. (Small town officials who copied this approach on the local level, as…

Public Money for Unskilled Manufacturing Jobs is Money Wasted

In times of historically low unemployment, communities are simply wasting public money when they subsidize unskilled manufacturing jobs.  The jobs, jobs, jobs mantra only makes sense in conditions of unemployment, unemployment, unemployment. Despite relatively low unemployment, ‘community development men’ in places like Whitewater still push business subsidies for companies using unskilled labor.  Pretending that dead-end…

From Festival to Alleged Felony

One now reads – sadly, any normal person might have expected – that the promoter of Jefferson Wisconsin’s shabby Warriors & Wizards festival faces the prospect of felony charges for theft and misrepresentation. See Warriors & Wizards Fest organizer Cramer charged with theft. 1. Unfortunate, All Around.  I’ve been a critic of this festival, and those…