Tag Archives: Leah Vukmir

Sen.Tammy Baldwin to face a tough re-election

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

The next big election is 14 months away, but the electoral combatants are already sallying onto the field. Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin will be seeking her second term and the liberal backbencher is facing a formidable challenge.

Baldwin’s resume is notable for its remarkable lack of achievement. Born and bred in the belly of liberal Madison, Baldwin was first elected to the Dane County Board during law school in 1986. She graduated from law school in 1989, worked as a lawyer for three years, and then became a full time politician in 1992 when she was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. In 1998, Baldwin was sent by Madison to Washington as their representative in the House of Representatives, and was then swept into the U.S. Senate by the Obama wave in 2012.

It is difficult to serve in public office for more than 30 years, get elected to higher offices, and not have a single achievement to one’s credit, but Tammy Baldwin has accomplished that incredible feat. The secret to Baldwin’s success is that she is gay and a liberal’s liberal who reliably supports every leftist idea proffered. This attracts gobs of money from every liberal/socialist/Marxist PAC and activist group throughout the nation.

Most recently, she gave her fullthroated support to complete socialist health care in the failure of Obamacare. This is particularly ironic given that Baldwin callously ignored repeated cries for help from abuse taking place at the Tomah VA Medical Center. Why would anyone want to hand over more control of our healthcare to politicians like Tammy Baldwin?

Without Obama on the ballot next year, Baldwin is vulnerable to a credible challenge. So far, two formidable and well-funded Republicans are vying for the opportunity to be the senator that Wisconsin deserves. There is still time for more candidates to enter the fray, but the window is closing.

Kevin Nicholson is a Marine combat veteran who now works in the private sector. Nicholson defines himself as a social and fiscal conservative who is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-strong national security, etc. Running for office for the first time, Nicholson relishes his status as an outsider who can attack the liberal redoubts in Washington.

Nicholson does, however, have a nagging problem in his resume. He used to be a vocal, activist Democrat. When he was in college, Nicholson served as the chairman of the College Democrats and was eventually the national president for the College Democrats of America. At that time, he was pro-choice and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Of course, Nicholson would not be the first person to convert from liberalism to conservatism with the advancement of age, life experience and wisdom. Some of the best-known, thoughtful, and stalwart conservatives in the nation used to be liberals.

The other Republican seeking to challenge Tammy Baldwin has no such history to overcome. Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir has been a proven, reliable, accomplished conservative Republican for more than a decade. Vukmir is a registered nurse who worked as a nurse for more than 20 years before running for the Wisconsin Assembly in 2002 to replace Scott Walker. Vukmir was then elected to the State Senate in 2010.

Vukmir has been one of the driving forces in the Wisconsin conservative movement for her entire tenure in office. She has been instrumental in advancing school choice, tax reform, education reform, healthcare reform and every other pillar of the conservative agenda. It is difficult to name a conservative issue in which Vukmir was not a staunch defender and advocate. All the while, Vukmir has maintained her career as a registered nurse.

While I don’t doubt the sincerity of Nicholson’s conservative conversion, there is no need to put it to its first political test in the crucible of Washington when there is already a proven conservative candidate in Leah Vukmir. She has been a granite conservative throughout all of the tempests in Madison and would serve Wisconsin well in the U.S. Senate.

Leah Vukmir Announces for U.S. Senate

Great!

State Senator Leah Vukmir tells Dan that she will challenge Democrat Tammy Baldwin in next year’s U.S. Senate election
Follow the link to hear Vukmir’s interview with WISN’s Dan O’Donnell.
Vukmir has been a rock of conservatism in the Wisconsin legislature for many years. I wholeheartedly support her.

Finish the job and repeal prevailing wage

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:

Another battle in the long war to repeal Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Laws was launched this month when Sen. Leah Vukmir (RBrookfield) and Rep. Rob Hutton (RBrookfield) reintroduced a bill in the state Legislature to repeal the prevailing wage law for state projects. The bill faces an uncertain future in the face of massive opposition from powerful special interests.

Wisconsin’s prevailing wage “law” is actually a series of laws that were passed during the Great Depression with the goal of protecting local workers from losing their jobs to migrant workers who were willing to work for lower wages. The law essentially requires that any businesses that work on a public project of any size must pay the prevailing wages for the area in which the work takes place.

The prevailing wage is determined by a flawed process by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that heavily favors inflated union wages. The result is Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law protects large, unionized contractors at the expense of inflated prices for taxpayers and non-union contractors.

Intrepid conservative Wisconsin lawmakers fought hard to fully repeal the prevailing wage law in the 20152017 state budget. The result was a compromise that repealed the prevailing wage law for local governments and school districts, but left it in place for state projects. The bill from Vukmir and Hutton would finish the job by repealing it for state projects too.

The reason the fight to repeal the prevailing wage law is so heated is quite simple: money. As it stands, Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law props up the profits for some of Wisconsin’s largest private contractors. Those contractors donate an extraordinary amount of money and support to politicians on both sides of the aisle who like to spend taxpayer dollars on big, expensive projects.

In the 2015 battle over prevailing wage, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other members of the Assembly leadership actively worked to thwart the repeal of prevailing wage. They could not resist the overwhelming public pressure and were forced into the compromise repeal. Last legislative session, Representative Andre Jacque had the temerity to hold a hearing on prevailing wage reform in his role as the Chairman of the Assembly Labor Committee. Jacque’s fellow Republican,

Vos, punished Jacque by stripping him of his chairmanship for the current session.

The reason to repeal the prevailing wage law is one of conservative principle – or of laissez-faire economics, if you prefer. The government should not enforce artificial labor prices or meddle in the free market. Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law does just that and it results in the government distorting the market and encouraging crony capitalism.

While one would like to think that our state lawmakers would consistently act on principle, repealing the prevailing wage law would also be in their self-interest.

There is another war waging in the Legislature over transportation spending. The prevailing wage law aggravates that issue by inflating spending on state transportation projects. A 2015 study by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance showed the state’s prevailing wage law was responsible for up to $300 million per year in unnecessary costs. In terms of Wisconsin’s biennial budget, that is potentially $600 million that could be used for additional transportation spending without borrowing or raising taxes. Such a windfall would release a lot of the political steam that is heating up the debate over transportation spending.

While it was disappointing that Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law as not fully repealed in 2015, state lawmakers now have the opportunity to finish the job for the benefit of state taxpayers. They should quickly pass Vukmir and Hutton’s bill and put it on Governor Walker’s desk – preferably before the state budget so that lawmakers can include the potential windfall savings into their budget calculations.

Senator Vukmir Elected to Senate Leadership

This is great news! The leadership of the state senate is trending to the right.

(Madison, WI) – Senator Leah Vukmir (R – Wauwatosa), currently serving her second term in the Wisconsin State Senate, was elected assistant majority leader by the Republican caucus.

Happ “Re-Victimizing a Woman”

State Senator Vukmir nails it.

“Politics is one thing, but in the Happ campaign’s desperate attempt to deflect from their ethical problems, they’re re-victimizing a woman who already failed to get justice when her abuser got a sweetheart deal with no jail time.

“Why on earth is Susan Happ’s office calling the victim to tell her to keep her mouth shut? I’m outraged they would bully this woman. I’ve never met the victim, but I know she deserves better. We all deserve better than Susan Happ. I’m calling on Susan Happ to address this issue directly instead of hiding behind her assistants or campaign staff. We deserve to hear from her about this disgusting episode.”

While Happ is running for higher office, this is not a political issue. It is an ethical one. And perhaps a criminal one.

District Attorney Susan Happ had an ongoing land deal with the alleged perpetrator. Her office sat without acting on felony charges for two years as he was sending her a check every month. That was not money for her campaign. It was money for her and her husband to buy a chunk of land from the Happ couple. After the land was paid off and the Happs had all of the money, her office downgraded the charge all the way to disorderly conduct. The guy who was accused of repeated sexual abuse of a woman was never tried for that crime. He didn’t spend a day in jail. He is not a registered sex offender.

Then, after the story broke, a woman from Happ’s office who is an overt liberal activist, called the victim and told her to keep her mouth shut. Happ’s office used the power and intimidation of that office to try to keep a sexual abuse victim silent to further Happ’s political ambitions.

Thank goodness that the victim in this case has the courage to speak out even after the attempt to bully her into silence – first by her abuser and second by Susan Happ’s office.