WALTERS: Catching up on summer news run

Print Article

It was another much-too-busy summer. Your days off were too packed to make time for news. The kids are heading back to school.

This is your annual "summer's over, what did I miss" column?

Q. Is it too late for me to claim that $100-per-child tax rebate? I could sure use that $100 to pay back-to-school bills.

A. Yes. The deadline was July 2. Sorry.

State government paid out about $85 million in rebates - one-third less than the $122 million expected. Either estimates of its cost were much too high, or lots of parents like you didn't claim it.

Q. The last thing I wanted to follow this summer was Wisconsin politics. But the ads I'm starting to see talk about an upcoming election. When is it, and what will be my choices be?

A. The election will be Tuesday Nov. 6, about eight weeks away. There are three important statewide contests.

*U.S. Senate: Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, of Madison, is seeking her second six-year term. She is being challenged by Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir, of Brookfield.

*Governor: Republican Gov. Scott Walker, of Maple Bluff, is seeking a third four-year term. If it seems like Walker is seeking a fourth term, that's because he won a 2012 recall election that felt like a campaign for a second term. Walker was first elected in 2010, survived the recall in 2012 and re-elected in 2014.

The Democrat running against Walker is Tony Evers, of Madison, who won an eight-candidate primary on Aug. 14. Evers was elected state superintendent of public instruction in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. If Evers loses, he will still be superintendent of public instruction.

*Attorney General: Brad Schimel, a Waukesha Republican, is seeking a second four-year term on Nov. 6. His challenger is Josh Kaul, a Madison Democrat whose mother, Peg Lautenschlager, was Wisconsin's first woman attorney general (2003-06).

On Nov. 6, you also face choices for U.S. House and seats in the Legislature.

Q. Will President Trump be back in Wisconsin before Nov. 6?

A. Very likely.

On Aug. 13, the President tweeted this: "Scott Walker of Wisconsin is a tremendous Governor who has done incredible things for that Great State. He has my complete & total Endorsement!"

Trump also endorsed Vukmir, who backs the President's policies, in her campaign against Baldwin.

So it's doubtful the President will stay away from Wisconsin, which he won in 2016 by about 27,200 votes.

Q. Will I know who is behind all these TV and social media ads denouncing some candidates and sanctifying others?

A. Not a chance. Special-interest groups and rich individuals form independent groups with wonderful names - the "Warm Pizza/Cold Beer Coalition," for example - and run the ads without having to disclose what they believe and who gave them the money. And groups on both sides of the nation's political divide do it.

Q. Any progress on a plan to fix the poor state highways, especially across northern Wisconsin, that our family just drove on?

A. No. It's a centerpiece issue in the election for governor.

Without being specific, Evers says "everything" should be considered as a way to pay for highways. Walker says he won't raise the 30.9-cent gas tax, unless there is a tax cut elsewhere that offsets that tax increase.

Your car mechanic is smiling. He knows your vehicle can only bounce over those crumbling highways for so long before coming in for repairs.

Q. "Foxconn. Foxconn. Foxconn." Why all this drama? I thought, after Walker and the Legislature approved huge tax breaks/tax incentives plan for Foxconn, the company simply start construction on the Racine County manufacturing campus and begin hiring?

The Foxconn deal marries politics and economic development. Foxconn is setting up its North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, plans high-tech centers in downtown Green Bay and Eau Claire, and will give a $100-million research and development gift to UW-Madison, if the campus matches that amount.

Walker touts these investments as reasons why he deserves to be re-elected. But, If he's elected, Evers plans to rewrite Foxconn tax breaks he considers much too generous.

Q. Can we talk about something other than politics?

A. Sure. The Brewers are fighting for a playoff spot. The Packers just opened their 100thseason. Go Pack Go.

Steven Walters is a senior producer for the nonprofit public affairs channel WisconsinEye. Contact him atstevenscotwalters@gmail.com

Print Article

Read More Columnists

BARTH: Dear voters: Keep jerking on that chain

November 13, 2018 at 11:20 am | THE MESSAGE delivered by voters in this consequential 2018 mid-term election was fairly simple and straightforward. A divided America now has the divided government that looks and feels like the pre...

Comments

Read More

WALTERS: Veteran Dems eye Evers administration exits?

November 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm | NOTES from a fascinating midterm Wisconsin election: • Democratic legislators reworking resumes for Gov. Evers? If you're a veteran Democratic legislator earning about $51,000, and facing two ...

Comments

Read More

Walters: Wisconsin pre-election numbers that matter

November 05, 2018 at 3:08 pm | SOME numbers to consider before you vote Tuesday. • 231,175. That's the number of new private-sector jobs created in Wisconsin between the first three months of 2011 and the first three months...

Comments

Read More

Your Right to Know Racine case shows folly of official secrecy

November 05, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Secrecy in government, compounded by court-ordered secrecy, gives rise to speculation and rumor. That never serves the public interest. A case involving Racine City Attorney Scott Letteney and Racin...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2018 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X