Boots & Sabers

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0937, 05 Apr 17

Some Election Thoughts

You can find the full election results for Washington County here. Here are a few random thoughts.

First, turnout was pathetic. Only 16.67% of Washington County’s voters turned out. I realize that there wasn’t a lot on the ballot to draw people to the polls, but that’s truly pathetic.

Second, with the low turnout, it appears that the liberal voters of Washington County were more reliable at turning out. The race for DPI Superintendent makes that clear. Here are the results in that race:


Here’s what one always has to measure in this county… the election results for years show that Washington County is roughly 70% conservative. So if there was 100% turnout, the conservative candidate should pull about 70% of the vote. If liberals disproportionately stay home, then that percentage will be higher. If conservatives disproportionately stay home, then that percentage will be lower. And while that metric is county wide, it generally holds true in most elections in the county except in a few wards.

In this case, Holtz was clearly the conservative choice. This was a very clear election. While Holtz won the election in Washington County, he only did so with 53.53% of the vote. That tells us that conservatives disproportionately sat home this time.

Third, the three candidates who ran as a ticket for the West Bend School Board won. Here are the results:


Congrats to them. All three of them ran as conservatives on a platform of transparency, accountability, and fiscal discipline. I truly hope that they are able to follow through on their platform.

This election marks a new era for the school board in a few respects. The three who won did so with a coordinated, well-financed campaign. This was the first time I recall seeing this happen for a school board race in West Bend. There have been candidates in the past who were of like minds and fell into factions together, but these three ran as a unified party. One assumes that they will govern the same way. They also ran a campaign differently than many in the past. The campaign had echos of the campaign of Tiffany Larson, which makes sense since Schmidt was Larson’s campaign treasurer. It was a sophisticated campaign for a school board.

The board itself is very different now. Combined with Larson, this group of like minds has a governing majority on the board. And with the resignation of Therese Sizer last month, they will also choose the interim replacement for that seat. That gives them five seats on a seven seat board. It’s their school district now. I look forward to the new era of transparency and accountability from the West Bend School District.

The turnover on the board is also significant. Unless they choose an old board member to replace Sizer, only two board members will have been on the board more than 2 years. That’s a lot of rookies. And only three of the board members voted to hire the district’s new superintendent – and that was just last year! What that means is that the superintendent is working with almost an entirely different board than the one that hired him. That presents a lot of opportunities and challenges to the superintendent.

Fourth, Milwaukee County voters overwhelmingly voted down as advisory referendum for a $60 wheel tax, but County Executive Chris Abele is still promising to propose it in his next budget. This seems to make it clear that Abele will not be running for Governor next year. He would be a fool to charge this windmill on the eve of a gubernatorial run.

Fifth, I haven’t seen a full report on school referendums, but it looks like they did not fare as well as they have in the previous few years. Referendums were voted down in Arrowhead, Burlington, Hustisford, Menomonee Falls, and West Allis-West Milwaukee, but passed in Verona and Grafton. The Mayville referendum passed by a mere 13 votes. Still, districts across Wisconsin added hundreds of millions of dollars of debt that will take generations to repay.

Finally, it is still amazing to me that Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler was unchallenged. These Supreme Court races had become wars of legendary proportions as the Left tried to secure the court in their favor as they continue to lose elections in the other branches of government. If the liberals could have unseated Ziegler and then Gableman next year, they could have taken control of the court. Now, even if they win against Gableman, the court will still have a majority of judicial conservatives. Given how important the court is – and the liberals know it – I can only attribute the lack of a challenger to the fact that Wisconsin’s liberals are worn out and their bench is empty. It seems that the only area where they are having consistent success anymore is in a few liberal enclaves and in the schools.


0937, 05 April 2017


  1. ChrisJenkinsWB

    I’m glad you’re more confident than I am Owen. The new majority on the West Bend School Board frightens me. While they speak well, their connections to Benders and the teachers union worries me. My guess is Larson will become President of the Board, the newly elected individuals will be placed in positions of power, and the right-leaning conservatives, Monte and Ken, will be shut out. I can only hope their push for transparency and accountability will bode strong for everyone…

  2. Owen

    I’m not terribly confident, Chris… just hopeful.

  3. UnderTheSchoolBus

    I anticipate that we will see how the concept of a “walking quorum” is tested in this modern digital social media age.  If they screw that up, it better come out of their own pockets (or their kid’s college funds), not tax dollars meant to benefit our kids.  Be vigilant.

  4. independentthinker2017

    I’m sure you are correct and the candidates elect will stop at nothing, in their never ending quest for power and world domination, to become….the next school Board Clerk. Can you imagine the limitless possibilities carrying that sword of righteousness  will provide? COME ON! This is ridiculous even for you and your brethren.

    Perhaps you could consider another reality. How about the idea that no one gives a damn about your politics of hatred. Maybe the school board will work well with the Superintendent because who hired who doesn’t mean a damn thing, the success of the district far outweighs any childish games. Maybe Monte and Ken will work well with their new colleagues and vice versa because they all care about education. Maybe Judge Ziegler got elected without challenge because she is great at her job and no one is against her. Maybe people thought Holtz’s backdoor deal scandal proved he just wasn’t a good man for the job. Maybe some referendums were just more necessary to some districts than others?

    Maybe Washington County voters are simply intelligent.

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