David Hewitt, Elections, Madison, Mayoral, Uncategorized

Madison Mayoral Race

On April 2nd 2019, the voters of Madison, WI will get to choose their mayor for another four years.  The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers and details has now closed.

There are six candidates, from a variety of backgrounds, which have thrown their hats into the ring.  The primary election runs a few weeks prior to the election proper, on February 19th 2019, with voters having a good-sized field to deliberate over.  Here’s who Mad City voters will have to choose from.

  • Maurice Cheeks. Running on a platform of addressing social and economic inequality, Alderman Cheeks has served in public office since 2013.  “What we need is a mayor that is committed to maximizing opportunities for everyone in every neighborhood and fighting for a better future for all our residents.”  [1]
  • Nick Hart. A local comedian who has previously run for the office of mayor, Hart brings his own unique take on running again, with a particular emphasis on engaging with those who tend to stay out of the political process.  He states on his website that “I’m not getting involved in municipal politics for money, obviously.  I’m getting involved because I’m interested in new ideas, and I’m running for mayor to exercise my civic duty.” [2]
  • Tariana Pettaway. Pettaway is running as a non-partisan candidate, and is now on the ballot as a write-in candidate only.  Pettaway, Madison’s first racial equity coordinator, fell afoul of the signature endorsement requirements needed for running for office but still wishes to remain on the ballot.  [3]
  • Satya Rhodes-Conway. The first candidate to announce themselves running for mayor, former alderman Rhodes-Conway is the current managing director for the Mayors Innovation Project.  Rhodes-Conway states on her site that she is “…ready to lead on climate, racial equity, housing, transportation, and other issues that matter to working families.” [4]
  • Raj Shukla. A candidate with a particular emphasis on the environment and economic sustainability, Shukla is executive director of River Alliance of Wisconsin.  He is running on a platform of a social and environmental responsibility, including affordable housing and transportation. [5]
  • Paul Soglin (incumbent). Returning to the mayoral office for the third time in 2011, racking up 22 years in the office, Soglin is arguably the most recognizable of all the candidates.  Unsurprisingly then, some refer to him as “Mayor for Life.” [6] Soglin’s website notes a “…lifelong dedication to social justice, equal rights and, and making government responsive to the people it serves…”  [7]

With the candidates now confirmed, the voters of Madison have just over a month to make up their mind when it comes to the primary vote on February 19th.  Madison has a long history of mayoral elections with variety – 2019 is proving to be no different.


Written for Intellegere Project by: David Hewitt, MIS, BSc


References

[1] https://madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/madison-ald-maurice-cheeks-announces-run-for-mayor/article_81763210-e8a1-58b1-879b-0aac87c719e9.html

[2] https://www.nickhartformadison.com/

[3] https://ballotpedia.org/Toriana_Pettaway

[4] https://www.satyaformadison.com/

[5] https://madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/raj-shukla-environmental-advocate-enters-madison-mayor-s-race/article_81938c55-d7ba-559d-bb08-b29882c156e8.html

[6] https://madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/timeline-the-life-and-career-of-madison-s-mayor-for/collection_0757194c-de0e-11e4-b651-53a24819cc8e.html#1

[7] https://www.soglinformayor.com/about

 

David Hewitt, Elections, green bay, Mayoral, Uncategorized

Crowded Field Competes for Voters in Green Bay Mayoral Race

The mayoral race for Green Bay, Wisconsin is on and the ticket for voters to choose from to replace Mayor Jim Schmitt is more crowded than ever. [1] A total of eight candidates pledged their candidacy by the January 2nd, 2019 deadline.  Green Bay voters will get to narrow the all-male field down to two with a primary run off on February 19th, 2019. The mayoral election itself takes place on April 2nd, 2019.  The field consists of the following candidates:

  • Paul Boucher. Having been out of work for 15 years, Boucher has “been studying the city and trying to make the world a better place.” [2]
  • Patrick Buckley. A retired police officer and now businessman, Buckley is running on a non-partisan ticket but nevertheless has an endorsement from the local GOP. [3]
  • Patrick Evans. Evans has served as Brown County supervisor for 16 years and prides himself in having previously beaten outgoing Mayor Schmitt in a previous primary election (although ultimately losing to him in 2011.) [4]
  • Eric Genrich. Having previously served six years as a Democrat district assembly representative, Genrich is now running on a non-partisan ticket for Mayor. [5]
  • Joe Moore. A former alderman and current residential real-estate agent, Moore was elected to Green Bay city council in 2012. Declining to seek re-election, Moore is now running for the office of Mayor. [6]
  • Nick Mortensen. Working for a local sign company, Mortensen focuses on a distinct slant of utilizing technology for the benefit of Green Bay – “utilize…data to make smarter decisions…” [7]
  • Mark Steuer. Placing a campaign emphasis on “transparency and civility [8]”, Steuer is a three-time alderman and also presently serves as council president.
  • Guy Zima. Another former alderman of the city and Brown county supervisor, Zima was the last to announce his candidacy on the final day for submission. Zima is presently suing Mayor Schmitt, alleging defamation and slander. [9}

With a field of eight, the voters of Green Bay will head to the primary polls on February 19th, 2019 with a variety of choices before them.  The League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay are set to hold a Mayoral forum on January 9th, 2019; giving voters an opportunity to cast an eye over the now confirmed field.


The LWV-Green Bay Candidates Forum will be held at the Brown County Central Library auditorium on 515 Pine Street. The forum is scheduled to begin at 6pm on Wednesday, Jan. 9th.
Find out more by visiting: www.facebook.com/events/374230990051477/


Written for Intellegere Project by: David Hewitt, MIS, BSc


References

[1]  https://greenbaywi.gov/655/Election-Information

[2], [3] & [5]  https://fox11online.com/news/election/former-alderman-zima-turns-in-papers-to-run-for-mayor?fbclid=IwAR18MA3ZXgrI5B3dINljXv6U7ncPr8-EJPCf5TshXnMg_zZCBhhitOY3d_U

[4]  https://www.wbay.com/content/news/Race-for-Green-Bay-mayor-is-growing-484358931.html

[6] https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/01/02/green-bay-mayoral-race-zima-brings-list-candidates-8-spring-election/2369072002

[7]  https://nickmortensen.com

[8] https://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/steuer-evans-announce-plans-to-run-for-green-bay-mayor/1212943324

[9]  https://www.nbc26.com/news/local-news/list-for-green-bay-mayoral-candidates-released

 

Uncategorized

Tony Ever’s Tax Plan & Lame Duck Bills

Following an all-night session, the Republican controlled Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate passed a number of bills in a “lame-duck” session, restricting the executive power of Governor-elect Tony Evers when he takes up office in early January 2019.

One of the republican bills, AB1069, holds somewhat vague provision for a reduction in income tax in Wisconsin through an off-set against out-of-state online sales taxes.  [1]

In contrast, in the run-up to the November 2018 mid-term elections, incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers focused on the need to reduce the tax burden on middle-class Wisconsinites.

In October 2018, just weeks prior to his election win, Evers went on to state that:

For eight years Scott Walker has rewarded the wealthy and the special interests…that’s not fair. It’s time the middle class gets a break.”  [2]

Evers plan for reducing the tax burden on low and middle income earners consists of:

  • A ten per cent income tax cut for individuals making no more than $100,000 a year and families making no more than $150,000.
  • Working with “state revenue officials to determine the best way to implement it as part of his first budget proposal in early 2019.” [3]
  • Funding the tax cut by removing Wisconsin’s manufacturing and agriculture credit which “…effectively eliminated income tax liability for manufacturers and agricultural users that claim it.” [4]

During his campaign, Evers was unequivocal when it came to the issue of taxation:

I think we need to prioritize the working men and women of Wisconsin.” [5]

Now that the lame-duck session has passed its legislation, the question is how ham-strung Evers will be upon taking office. The session and subsequent legislation was highly contentious and, when signed into law by current Governor Scott Walker, is very likely to be challenged in court as to its validity.

That alone will no doubt blunt the energy of Evers’ gubernatorial role from day one and thus limit his resources for pursuing his income tax agenda as detailed prior to the election, let alone having to overcome the passage of AB1069.

[1]  https://apnews.com/d0fa382b8ca24d01959a12046059bf30

[2]  https://lacrossetribune.com/news/state-and-regional/tony-evers-proposes-cutting-middle-class-taxes-percent/article_1c8ddc48-e927-5193-a42e-38707db9d5a2.html

[3]& [4]  https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/tony-evers-proposes-cutting-middle-class-taxes-percent/article_173ea94f-3673-585e-b382-429a8839ed7b.html

[5]  https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/09/20/tony-evers-says-under-scott-walker-states-priorities-out-whack/1367187002

Uncategorized

Wisconsin Lame Duck

In an extraordinary “lame-duck” session, majority Republican lawmakers in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate have this week pushed through legislation that weakens the position of incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers.

Despite days of public protest and vehement opposition from Democrats and others, the legislation was passed for approval to soon to be ex-Governor Scott Walker.

Walker has signaled his support for the bill. He has 10 days to sign the package from the time it’s delivered to his office.” [1]

Consequently, the Wisconsin GOP is being accused of imposing its mandate, hampering Evers ability to govern on arrival in office in January, despite the Republicans losing the gubernatorial race in November.

Key points of the lame-duck session include:

  • Legislation that weakens the “Governor’s ability to make rules that enact laws” by shifting power away from the Governor to the GOP controlled Senate and Assembly. [2]
  • The lame-duck package includes “legislation that also shields the state jobs agency from his control until September and cuts into the powers of the incoming Democratic Attorney General.” [3]
  • 82 Scott Walker appointees to various state positions were approved in just one day, Tuesday December 4th 2018, with Walker set to stand down in just a few weeks. [4]
  • The Republican lame-duck legislative package also launched an assault on early voting in Wisconsin, something that has historically been helpful to Democratic candidates at election time, restricting it to no more than two weeks in advance. [5]

Opponents of this legislative maneuvering, including Tony Evers, have vowed to challenge the legitimacy of the GOP lame-duck package.

Evers has indicated that he will appeal directly to Walker to have the legislation vetoed. [6] Additionally, Evers and Democrats are exploring the possibility of legal challenges to the legislation. [7] Evers’ tenure as Governor is likely to be born into the midst of legal wrangling and political acrimony.

[1] https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/ct-wisconsin-governor-powers-voting-bill-20181205-story.html

[2] & [3] https://www.apnews.com/dbded03c16ce4c3c8609d01b403e57d9

[4] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scott-walker-82-appointees_us_5c084080e4b0844cda4f9959

[5] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/12/wisconsin-gop-seeks-to-limit-democrat-everss-powers/577411

[6] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tony-evers-walker-republican-power-grab_us_5c087993e4b0844cda4fbb25

[7] https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/05/politics/wisconsin-democratic-lawsuits/index.html

Uncategorized

Changes to Wisconsin Healthcare Law

Healthcare was a major campaign issue during the recent November mid-term elections.  In particular, incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers ran on a platform of overhauling healthcare delivery in the state and undoing some of outgoing Republican Governor Scott Walker’s signature health-care policy and proposals.

However, despite Evers’ platform, uncertainty continues to hang over healthcare in Wisconsin and how far he can take his proposed reforms.  That uncertainty has been compounded by the State Assembly and Senate “lame duck” sessions.

Some fundamental healthcare issues at stake include:

  • Allowing Republican lawmakers to push through Governor Walker’s proposal to impose work requirements on able-bodied citizens in return for receiving Medicaid, similar to Arizona. [1]
  • Governor-elect Evers ability to use additional tax dollars offered by the federal government to expand Medicaid, while outgoing Governor Walker rejected the opportunity to do so. [2]
  • In February this year, 20 states, including Wisconsin (with the full support of Governor Walker) filed a lawsuit with a federal judge in Texas alleging the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and should be invalidated. [3] In stark contrast, Evers has called on Walker to drop the lawsuit and is committed to expanding ACA coverage in Wisconsin. [4] & [5]

In mid-2017, Democratic State Representative Daniel Reimer and State Senator Jon Erpenbach introduced Assembly Bill 365 in an effort to “…protect the part of the ACA that prevents insurers from putting annual or lifetime caps on insurance coverage.” [6] However, the Republican majority amended AB365 at the procedural stage and morphed the Bill into something very different from what its Democratic authors had intended, to the potential detriment of those Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. [7]

Healthcare in Wisconsin remains contentious and subject to a partisan fault-line that seems to divide the state.

[1]  https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/12/able-bodied-adults-have-work-medicaid-under-plan-gov-scott-walker-trump/1026414001

[2]  https://www.wpr.org/can-wisconsins-incoming-governor-deliver-campaign-health-care-promises

[3]  https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/health-care/2018/09/10/wisconsin-and-other-states-argue-immediate-end-obamacare-least-protections-people-pre-existing-healt/1259251002

[4]  https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/09/17/tony-evers-calls-scott-walker-drop-obamcare-lawsuit/1333835002

[5]  https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/28/tony-evers-tour-state-he-makes-case-obamacare-expansion/2143408002

[6]  http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/wisconsin-bill-does-little-to-protect-people-with-preexisting-conditions

[7]  http://kidsforward.net/without-the-affordable-care-act-promises-to-cover-pre-existing-conditions-are-not-enough

Uncategorized

AB 1070 Changes to Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Intellegere Project previously covered the proposed AB 1069, one of five bills on the agenda during the lame duck session. This piece covers AB 1070, specifically those changes impacting the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

The WEDC is resposible for designating “Enterprise Zones” (EZ) such as the Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zone (EITMZ) designated for the Foxconn project. In addition, the WEDC is responsible for negotiating the tax incentive packages for companies in the EZ areas. [1]

AB 1070 proposes changes to the board of directors of the WEDC. The following quote describes the make up of the board under current law. [2]

(14.)
Under current law, the board of directors of the Wisconsin Economic
Development Corporation consists of 12 voting members as follows:
1. Six members are appointed by the governor subject to senate confirmation,
to serve at the pleasure of the governor.
2. Three members are appointed by the speaker of the assembly, consisting of
one majority and one minority party representative to the assembly and one person
employed in the private sector, all of whom serve at the speaker’s pleasure.
3. Three members are appointed by the senate majority leader, consisting of
one majority and one minority party senator and one person employed in the private sector, all of whom serve at the majority leader’s pleasure.
As it stands currently, 6 board members are appointed by the Governor. The remaining 6 are appointed by the assembly speaker and the senate majority leader. There are specifications as to who may be appointed by these two individuals such that these 6 board members should represent the majority and minority parties as well as the private sector.
(14. cont.)
Under this bill, the board consists of 12 voting members. However, the governor
appoints four members. The speaker of the assembly and the senate majority leader
each appoint three members, but the appointees need not be members of the
legislature nor employed in the private sector. The minority leader of each house
appoints one member to the board.
Under the proposed changes the Governor appoints 4 members (two less than currently). The assembly speaker and the senate majority leader still appoint 3 each, but there are no restrictions as to who they may appoint. The two remaining board members are appointed by the minority leaders of the house and senate.
(14. cont.)
The bill further provides that the chief executive officer of WEDC is appointed
by the board of directors of WEDC and serves at the pleasure of the board. Currently, the governor appoints the CEO.
This final piece removes the ability of the Governor to determine the Chief Executive Officer of the board and instead gives this authority to the board.
AB 1070 and the other bills contain many other changes which have been widely reported in the media. [3] [4]
Uncategorized

Governor-Elect Evers Calls on Citizens to Contact Representatives, Wisconsin GOP Leaders Continue to Defend Lame Duck Legislation

Today, five bills proposed by Wisconsin GOP legislators face a public hearing and vote by the Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) [1]. The hearing is in-session at the time of this publication. Should the JCF approve the proposed legislation (AB 1069-73), the bills will move to a special session vote by the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate which will likely take place this Tuesday [2].

The bills cover a range of topics including:

  • Moving the Wisconsin primary from April to March [3].
  • Giving lawmakers the power to appoint a special counsel to replace Attorney General Josh Kaul—on litigation determined by a legislative panel [3].
  • Shifting the responsibility of setting new income tax rates from the executive branch to the legislature—in cases which are subject to determination by the legislature [4].

A general theme in the five proposed pieces of legislation, according to Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans alike, is changing or removing the powers of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General–elect Josh Kaul [5]. Governor-elect Tony Evers spoke up this week to decry the GOP-proposed limits to his administration. Among other measures, he called on Wisconsin’s citizenry to aid his effort by contacting their local legislators to voice their opposition to the special session bills [6,7]. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a non-profit network of Wisconsin citizens, is likewise urging Wisconsinites, via social media, to “contact [their] legislators at 1-800-362-9472” and ask that lawmakers vote no on all five bills [8]. Tony Evers has tweeted the following:

EversRetweet

Many republican lawmakers continue to defend their proposed legislation, arguing that the changes will limit the Governor, but only in an attempt to balance power at the Capitol [9]. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, of Juneau, remarked last week that the bills in question are in no way meant to undermine the Governor-elect [10]. Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a joint statement, saying “”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. In order to find common ground, everyone must be at the table” [11].

 

[1] https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/raw/cid/1474917

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/12/03/us/ap-us-xgr-wisconsin-legislature-lame-duck-the-latest.html

[3] https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/gop-lawmakers-seek-sweeping-new-restrictions-on-incoming-democratic-attorney/article_97fcae5b-ce51-5bef-8871-dd0d6fa9c327.html

[4] https://intellegereproject.org/2018/12/03/2017-18-wisconsin-lame-duck-ab-1069/

[5] https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/12/03/us/ap-us-xgr-wisconsin-legislature-lame-duck-the-latest.html

[6] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/12/03/5-senators-spotlight-opponents-try-stop-lame-duck-bill/2189439002/

[7] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/02/tony-evers-says-he-take-any-steps-possible-prevent-gop-plan-take-away-his-power/2181201002/

[8] https://www.wisdc.org/news/commentary/6260-gop-lame-duck-session-subverts-the-will-of-the-people?fbclid=IwAR3h0Xrd648a8waik6C6o2OjqQC_9to5rkSnjrs9ksG96KBZJ-61znLyqiw

[9] https://www.wpr.org/democrats-push-back-possible-gop-limits-evers-power

[10] https://www.wpr.org/node/1357081

[11] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/30/lawmakers-consider-changes-early-voting-transportation-funding-2020-presidential-primary/2162684002/