Tag Archives: Tony Evers

Evers Welcomes McIver

Hmmmm… curious. This appears to be yet another case of Evers and his staff being on different pages – with the staff’s view being reality. Who’s really running the show over there?

MADISON, Wis. (Jan. 10, 2020) – The MacIver News Service sued Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in August 2019 for barring its reporters from a press briefing and purposefully withholding press notifications from the journalists. Since then, Evers’ attorneys have defended their restrictions on the MacIver reporters in court.

But in an interview that aired on FOX 11 this past Sunday, January 5, Gov. Evers made statements about the lawsuit that run contrary to the arguments being made by his own attorneys in the case. In the interview, Evers suggests that the MacIver journalists have as much access as other statehouse journalists and that the governor desires no restrictions on them or any other journalists.

In response to the interview, Liberty Justice Center attorney Daniel Suhr sent a letter to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul highlighting the inconsistencies between the governor’s public statements and his legal defense, and encouraged the governor’s team to adopt into practice the openness to press that Evers conveyed in the FOX 11 interview.

Evers Assigns “Homework” to Legislature

What a condescending prick.

WAUSAU – Gov. Tony Evers today sent a letter to Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature assigning legislative homework and asking the Legislature to pass several key pieces of legislation before adjourning this year.

The legislature is a coequal branch of government. The Governor is treating them like children. He truly has proven to be a terrible governor with no ability to build consensus or advance his agenda. There are plenty of issues on which the governor and some Republicans could find common ground, but Evers is intent on crapping on them every chance he gets.

Governor Evers Wants to Let Crooks Out on the Street to Commit More Crimes

No.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and fellow Democratic lawmakers have introduced a series of proposals designed to reduce overcrowded prisons, but without support from Republican leaders they are unlikely to gain traction in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Evers told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview published Thursday that he hoped the bills would spur a bipartisan discussion on the need to address the state’s rising prison population, which is expected to reach 25,000 inmates by 2021. Evers campaigned on the pledge to cut the state’s prison population in half.

[…]

The bills would set incarceration limits for non-criminal supervision violations, extend earned release eligibility to include vocational or educational programs and expand on a compliance credit to allow for shortened community supervision options. The measures, introduced by Rep. Evan Goyke and Sen. Lena Taylor, both of Milwaukee, applies only to nonviolent offenders.

Setting a target prison population is not a rational or moral goal. The population of our prisons is a function of how much crime is being committed and how we choose to punish people. If we can reduce the number of crimes being committed so that the prison population declines, then great! If the prison population increases because more people are committing crimes, then so be it. But to just let criminals out on the street to commit more crimes in order to reach an arbitrary number of people in prison so that Evers can feel good is dangerous and immoral.

In my experience, the vast majority of people are decent, law-abiding folks. They might speed or double park every now and then, but they are good people. A tiny slice of the population are wretched human beings who commit the vast majority of the serious crimes. Those people are just bad, and they will continue to commit crimes for as long as they are able to because they are criminals. That’s just what criminals do. Bakers bake. Farmers farm. Drivers drive. Criminals commit crime. The only way to reduce crime is to remove the criminals from society as often as possible and for as long as possible.

Governor Evers Issues Record Number of Executive Orders

To be fair, I doubt he actually knew what half of these orders were for.

Gov. Tony Evers issued more executive orders in his first year than any other guv in Wisconsin history.

He signed 61 executive orders through mid-December. Not only is that a record for a first-year guv, but it’s more than any single calendar year going back to 1965, according to a WisPolitics.com review.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the number of executive orders was a sign that Evers has been “ineffective” in working with GOP lawmakers to pass bipartisan legislation. As an example, Fitzgerald cited an executive order the guv issued that replaced all references to “mental retardation” in state language with “intellectual disability” and “intellectually disabled.” Evers issued the order shortly before lawmakers released legislation to largely accomplish the same thing.

“He has completely failed to develop a relationship with the Legislature, even when he had numerous opportunities to do so,” Fitzgerald said, “He used one of those executive orders to purposely copy a piece of legislation that should have been an easy bipartisan win. I’m hopeful that we’ll start off better next year, but I’m not holding my breath.”

A spokesman for Evers didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

[…]

More than a third of Evers’ executive orders were directives that flags at state buildings fly at half-staff. Beyond those 21 orders, 13 created committees, councils or advisory boards, and eight were for emergency declarations.

Evers Prefers to Spend Any Potential Surplus

Of course he does.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers isn’t ruling out a potential property tax cut Republicans are considering for next year — but he stressed the state needs to ensure “we have the resources necessary” to pursue the idea.

Still, Evers in Monday end-of-year interview with the Cap Times said it is “way too early” to commit spending potential surplus funding when Wisconsin has “issues around clean drinking water” and “our schools not having enough resources.”

Will anyone ever define what “enough” looks like for our public schools? We are spending more on schools than ever and far more on public schools than on private schools. Meanwhile, educational outcomes are steadily declining. What is “enough?” $20k per kid? $30k? How much would we have to spend before liberals admit that more money is not the solution?

Governor Seeks to Welch on Foxconn Deal

He seems determined to kill this economic engine.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers’ top aide warned Foxconn Technology Group last month that a scaled-down factory in Wisconsin won’t qualify for tax credits unless the Taiwanese electronics giant renegotiates with the state, letters Evers’ administration released Friday show.

The letters underscore a deepening schism between Evers and the world’s largest electronics provider. Foxconn counts Apple, Google and Amazon among its customers.

Foxconn originally proposed building a massive flat-screen plant in Mount Pleasant that would eventually employ 13,000 people. Enamored with the thought of a monumental economic boost going into the 2018 elections, then-Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators approved an unprecedented $3 billion state incentives package in 2017 for the factory. Democrats complained at the time that Walker and the GOP were giving away too much for a project that might never materialize.

Governor Evers Rejects Christian Symbols

Why does Evers hate Christianity so much? Would he do this for a celebration of Yom Kippur or Ramadan?

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers praised scientists as he lit the state Capitol’s “holiday tree.” Meanwhile, a high school choir sang Christmas carols.

The Friday ceremony was an odd juxtaposition of the two sides of the state’s debate over the tree’s symbolism.

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker declared the tree a Christmas tree in 2011 but Evers, a Democrat, started calling it a “holiday tree” this year and sought submissions of science-themed ornaments.

The governor lit the evergreen following a speech in which he called it “a celebration of science.” A choir sang Christmas carols, including “”O Christmas Tree” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Evers Incorrectly Describes Bill He Vetoed

Wow. Evers didn’t even know what this bill did and he vetoed it. That says something.

Nothing matches the mandate claimed by Evers in his veto message.

The lead sponsors of the bill blasted Evers in a news release after the veto came down.

“His lack of understanding of the legislation is quite apparent, and it makes us question whether or not he’s even reading the bills that his staff puts in front of him,” Born said.

What makes Evers’ veto message especially unusual is that it starts out by describing the parental opt-out accurately: “Under current law, directory data may be disclosed to any person if the public school notifies parents or guardians of the information designated as directory data, provides information on how to opt out of disclosures, and provides sufficient time to use the opt-out procedure.”

But the next two sentences then refer to the bill as mandating this information be released.

“The Governor must have forgotten about that between his opening paragraph explaining the ability to do so and his conclusion where he used it as an excuse to veto it,” state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon and the lead Senate sponsor, said in the news release.

Eleven days after the veto and callouts from Republican legislators, Evers’ office on Dec. 2, 2019, shared an “errata” with PolitiFact Wisconsin that retracted the two references to a mandate. It was dated Nov. 29, 2019, but as of Dec. 3, 2019, had not yet been published among the press releases on Evers’ website that announced the original veto or with the official legislative bill history.

Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said Evers’ legal team looked into the matter and issued the errata as a result of the inquiry by PolitiFact Wisconsin.

“We used an errata here for the same reason that the courts do: to correct an error so that there isn’t any confusion regarding the meaning or intent of the document,” Baldauff said in an email. “It is a process frequently used to correct legal documents after publication. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals, in particular, frequently issues erratas.”

Baldauff declined to detail how the mistake occurred but said Evers and his staff read the law, and “the intent of his veto is not changed by the errata.”

Since Evers can’t repeal a veto, I’d pass the bill again and see if he’ll sign it. Perhaps the legislature can send along an explanation in crayon.

Evers’ veto harms state’s most vulnerable citizens

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here’s the whole thing.

The booming economy and low unemployment rate are causing worker shortages in several areas of the workforce. One of those areas is a severe shortage of certified nursing assistants. The Republicans in the Legislature tried to help ease the shortage with a common-sense bill, but the Democrats opposed it every step of the way, culminating with Gov. Tony Evers vetoing the entire bill. The impact of that veto will be most painfully felt by the most vulnerable among us.

Anyone who has ever had to spend any time in a hospital or a long-term care facility knows what CNAs do. CNAs provide the intimate, critically important personal care that is necessary before all other health care can be performed. They bathe patients, check vital signs, change bedpans, clean up vomit, help patients use the toilet, dress people, dress wounds, feed patients, and so many other important tasks.

For people in long-term care facilities, CNAs are their lifeline. Elderly and disabled patients rely on CNAs throughout every day to help them do the things that they can no longer do for themselves. These are the people who are most impacted by the shortage of CNAs as longterm care facilities close across Wisconsin and the remaining ones are chronically short of staff.

The reasons for the shortage of CNAs are relatively straightforward. CNA work is hard. Much of it is also kind of gross. The average wage for a CNA is $13.58 per hour according to Glassdoor. In order to become a CNA in Wisconsin, you must pay for 120 hours of training, including 32 hours of clinical experience, and pass the exam. When unemployment in Wisconsin is 3.2% and fast food restaurants and retail stores are paying $15 per hour for employees with no experience, CNA work is not very attractive by comparison.

Because of this, many CNAs are either nurses or doctors in training. Working as a CNA provides these students ground floor experience in health care and the ability to make connections that could aid their career. They are willing to pay for the training and work for the lower wages because it is a stepping stone in their careers.

When there is a labor shortage, the normal market response is to increase wages to attract more workers. A major distortion to the labor market for CNAs is that many of the jobs are supported by Medicare and Medicaid. Both of those government programs chronically underfund the actual expenses, forcing health care providers to supplement expenses from other patients. Private health care facilities can manage, but many long-term care facilities rely on Medicaid and Medicare as their primary funding source. In short, there just is not enough money to raise wages substantially.

In light of the CNA shortage and the relative inelasticity of wages, the Republicans in the Legislature passed a bill to try to increase the number of available CNAs from other states. The bill was simple. Federal rules require that a CNA receive 75 hours of training with 16 hours of clinical experience. Wisconsin requires 120 hours of training with 32 hours of clinical experience. The bill that the Republicans in the Legislature passed would have allowed CNAs who meet the federal standard to work in Wisconsin.

Twenty other states use the federal standard including the neighboring states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. There is no evidence that the additional 45 hours of training that Wisconsin requires has any appreciable impact on the quality of care. Not having enough CNAs in a facility to do the work definitely has a negative impact on the quality of care. By allowing CNAs who meet the federal standard to work in Wisconsin, it would have immediately increased the number of CNAs available — especially in areas near the western and northern borders.

Last week, Governor Evers vetoed the bill in its entirety. In his veto message, Evers said, “I object to providing less training for those who care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” despite any evidence that adopting the federal standard will harm care. One thing is certain: The quality of care is zero if nobody is available to provide the care.

While pronouncing concern for our state’s most vulnerable citizens, Governor Evers’ veto will harm them the most.

Evers’ veto harms state’s most vulnerable citizens

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here’s a sample:

In light of the CNA shortage and the relative inelasticity of wages, the Republicans in the Legislature passed a bill to try to increase the number of available CNAs from other states. The bill was simple. Federal rules require that a CNA receive 75 hours of training with 16 hours of clinical experience. Wisconsin requires 120 hours of training with 32 hours of clinical experience. The bill that the Republicans in the Legislature passed would have allowed CNAs who meet the federal standard to work in Wisconsin.

Twenty other states use the federal standard including the neighboring states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. There is no evidence that the additional 45 hours of training that Wisconsin requires has any appreciable impact on the quality of care. Not having enough CNAs in a facility to do the work definitely has a negative impact on the quality of care. By allowing CNAs who meet the federal standard to work in Wisconsin, it would have immediately increased the number of CNAs available — especially in areas near the western and northern borders.

Last week, Governor Evers vetoed the bill in its entirety. In his veto message, Evers said, “I object to providing less training for those who care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” despite any evidence that adopting the federal standard will harm care. One thing is certain: The quality of care is zero if nobody is available to provide the care.

While pronouncing concern for our state’s most vulnerable citizens, Governor Evers’ veto will harm them the most.

 

Evers Vetoes Bipartisan Bill

Heh.

After signing a bill designating a portion of State Highway 33 as a memorial highway, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed another measure that set procedures for designating honorary highway and bridges.

Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 249 in its entirety Tuesday.

“I am vetoing this bill in its entirely because I object to limiting the ability to commemorate those who have made significant contributions to or sacrifices for the people of Wisconsin,” said Evers. “Recent legislation that honors the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for example, would not meet the criteria in this bill. Further, I object to this bill because it places an unconstitutional limit on the deliberations or actions of future legislatures.”

The bill was co-authored by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and State Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo). It passed both chambers on a voice vote.

[…]

The bill made requirements such as the honoree needing to be deceased for more than five years, they had to have been a legal resident of Wisconsin at the time of their death, and that it cannot be in honor of a group or entity.

Evers Unleashes Another Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Republicans

Making friends everywhere he goes

While talking to staffers in the ag-department last Thursday Evers was quoted as saying the firing of Brad Pfaff was “amoral and stupid,” adding “We can’t let the bastards keep us from doing our good work.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald accused Evers of being “shockingly disrespectful” to Republicans.

An Evers spokesperson says the governor isn’t going to apologize.

“Holiday” Tree

How stupid

“It’s a holiday season for a whole bunch of people in the state of Wisconsin, even those that aren’t part of the Christian faith. I think it’s a more inclusive thing,” said Evers. “I know a lot of people love to have that debate, and I think it’s a good debate to have.”

[…]

Our Charles Benson asked Evers if his family called the tree in their home a “Christmas Tree” growing up, and Evers acknowledged that this was true but reiterated that the tree was in their home, not on the grounds of City Hall in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

There is only one holiday that uses a large, decorated, evergreen tree as part of its celebration… Christmas. It is a Christmas Tree even though other holidays are also happening in the same time period. Calling it a Holiday Tree is not inclusive. It is wrong and stupid.

Politics before mental health

My column for the Washington County Daily News is in print and online. Here’s a taste, but be sure to pick up a copy.

While the debate over the state budget was contentious last spring, there was at least one issue on which both Republicans and Democrats agreed. Legislators on both sides of the aisle agreed that the state needs to do more to provide mental health services for people throughout the state. To that end, the state budget increased state funding for mental health services in several areas including spending $15 million for a mental health crisis center in the Chippewa Valley. Gov. Tony Evers’ partial veto of that provision, and the support of Assembly Democrats, tell us a lot about the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in 2019.

[…]

In a state budget, this one item is relatively small. It betrays, however, the priorities of Governor Evers and the Assembly Democrats. Why would they all work to redirect government spending from Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls to Madison? Why would they redirect money intended for a private health care service provider to a government facility? Simple. Politics.

Madison and Dane County were key to Evers’ narrow victory over Republican Scott Walker in 2018. With an impressive turnout of almost 70% — 12 points higher than average — Dane County gave Evers 220,052 votes to propel him into office. Without those votes, Scott Walker would still be in office and Tony Evers knows it. Looking at the statewide electoral map from last year, the entire Chippewa Valley, with the exception of Eau Claire County, voted heavily for Scott Walker.

It is no coincidence that Tony Evers did everything he could to redirect money from areas of the state that supported Walker to reward his supporters in Madison. It was just an added bonus that he could also redirect the money into a government facility instead of a private health care system. Evers cares more about his political supporters in Madison than the people of northwestern Wisconsin who need mental health services. And every Assembly Democrat agrees with Evers.

Evers Violates Open Record Law and Won’t Release Emails

GREAT story by Fox 6

The FOX6 Investigators regularly conduct open records spot checks on public employees’ emails. A recent spot check on two weeks of state lawmakers’ emails uncovered the practice of using personal email addresses to communicate about sensitive government information.

In September, the FOX6 Investigators requested just over four weeks of emails to and from Governor Tony Evers and his chief of staff, Maggie Gau. Assistant legal counsel Erin Deeley denied the request. FOX6 narrowed the request to emails from one week; Deeley sent another denial letter.

Finally, the FOX6 Investigators asked for just Governor Evers’ emails from just one day.

Denied.

 

Wisconsin Senate Exercises Advise and Consent Role

I do get a kick out of how exercised the Left is over this. They act like it is some sort of massive betrayal of process or something. Sure, it’s not common, but it happens. In fact, the last time it happened was in 1987. Who was governor then? TOMMY! And the Democratic Senate rejected an appointment. It happens. Get over it and appoint some other insider hack.

Gov. Tony Evers had a crappy birthday. He spent some of it sitting stone faced in the Wisconsin Senate chambers as lawmakers debated whether to confirm Brad Pfaff, his pick to run the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Along party lines, GOP senators fired the birthday boy’s ag secretary.

“I’m so PO’d about what happened today,” Evers told reporters outside the Senate chambers after the 19-14 vote on Nov. 5. “This distresses me personally.”

No other governor in modern history has ventured from the East Wing to witness the Senate in action, according to state Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) who has served in the Legislature since 1957. It was also the first time since at least 1987 that the Senate has rejected a gubernatorial cabinet secretary.

[…]

Evers Administration Fails to Implement Law

Rogue administration.

Wisconsin officials faced an Oct. 1 deadline to put in place drug screening requirements for certain FoodShare recipients. But three weeks later, the state Department of Health Services has yet to implement them.

A DHS official didn’t indicate in a Monday email to the Cap Times that the department has a timeline for doing so.

It’s not uncommon for agencies to delay the implementation of certain changes. But DHS also has yet to submit a report or any updates to the Legislature’s budget committee on its plan to put in place the drug screening, testing and treatment requirements for certain non-disabled adults without children that are participating in the FoodShare Employment and Training program.

That requirement — as well as the Oct. 1 implementation deadline — was included in legislation approved under former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. But a review of DHS reports to the Joint Finance Committee didn’t uncover any related to the FSET drug screening provisions, including any requests for a timeline extension to implement the requirements.

Business Journal Advances Evers’ False Narrative

Goodness, my eyes hurt from the eye rolling.

Call him no-drama Tony.

As a former school administrator and cancer survivor, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers brings a non-politician’s approach to his contentious dealings with Republicans who control both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature. Evers discussed his philosophy Monday in Milwaukee during WTMJ radio’s “WTMJ 2020” broadcast from the Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

This is exactly the image that Evers wants to portray, but despite the Milwaukee Business Journal’s willingness to parrot Evers’ narrative, his actions belie that fiction. Evers is proving to be one of the most divisive, partisan politicians we have ever seen.

From the beginning, he has been unwilling to even meet with Republican lawmakers on a regular basis. He dismissed Republican ideas without even reading them. He utterly dismissed people’s legitimate concerns with his gun control initiatives as “bullshit.” That’s hardly the language of a “no-drama” cooperation. Then there was the time that Evers’ spokesperson made the demonstrably false accusation that Republican leaders were sexist. Or the time Evers illegally ramrodded appointments into place – a move that was later reversed by the Supreme Court. Remember that time right after he was elected when Republicans went out of their way to reach across the aisle with some bipartisan bills and Evers blew them off?  Or the time Evers intentionally usurped an issue with broad bipartisan agreement so that he could poke Republicans in the eye? Then there was the time that he tried to break the law by concealing a really nice and generous note from his predecessor because Evers didn’t want to allow Governor Walker to be shown in a good light. Last week Evers was using his power to set the date for a special election in a way to screw Republicans as much as he could at the expense of taxpayers and voters. Right up until yesterday when Evers threw more shade on Republicans for opposing his desire to give taxpayer bennies to illegal aliens. Instead of actually discussing or even acknowledging legitimate concerns, Evers simply dismissed Republican opposition as divisive.

In almost every instance, Evers has chosen the narrow, partisan path lined with divisive, dismissive rhetoric. If he is trying to reduce drama and contentiousness, he sucks at it.

“pragmatic policies that Wisconsinites absolutely support”

So… according to our governor, Wisconsinites absolutely support drivers licenses and taxpayer-subsidized college tuition for illegal aliens. Uh huh.

Gov. Tony Evers knocked Republican lawmakers for striking the budget provisions he backed that would have granted driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants.

“At the end of the day, it was all about politics,” Evers said of the decision Thursday. “Republicans put divisiveness and ideology before pragmatic policies that Wisconsinites absolutely support.”

Evers Continues to Lie About Dates for Special Election

Look, we’ve had special elections before. He’s not reinventing the wheel here. The law is pretty clear and accounts for this exact scenario:

Evers has not yet finalized the new schedule, but his aides are in talks on the issue with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Aides to Evers are focused on two possibilities for the new schedule.

Under one scenario, the primary would be held Feb. 4 and the general election would be held April 7. That would mean the special election would be held the same day as Wisconsin’s presidential primary and regular spring election for state Supreme Court and local offices. Under that schedule, the congressional primary would be held two weeks before the primary for Supreme Court and local offices.

Under the second schedule being considered for the special election, the primary would be held Feb. 18 and the general election would be held May 5. That would mean the congressional and Supreme Court primary were on the same day, but the general elections would be held at different times.

Evers doesn’t have the option of having the special primary and special election on the same dates as the spring primary and spring general election, according to his office.

Here’s the relevant statute:

(2) Date of special election.
(a) The date for the special election shall be not less than 62 nor more than 77 days from the date of the order except when the special election is held to fill a vacancy in a national office or the special election is held on the day of the general election or spring election. If a special election is held concurrently with the spring election, the special election may be ordered not earlier than 92 days prior to the spring primary and not later than 49 days prior to that primary. If a special election is held concurrently with the general election or a special election is held to fill a national office, the special election may be ordered not earlier than 122 days prior to the partisan primary or special primary, respectively, and not later than 92 days prior to that primary.
(b) If a primary is required, the primary shall be on the day 4 weeks before the day of the special election except when the special election is held on the same day as the general election the special primary shall be held on the same day as the partisan primary or if the special election is held concurrently with the spring election, the primary shall be held concurrently with the spring primary, and except when the special election is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of an odd-numbered year, the primary shall be held on the 2nd Tuesday of August in that year.
In other words, the excuse that he can’t just have the special election on the spring election schedule is bunk. Of course he can. He’s looking for an excuse not to.