Tag Archives: Tony Evers

Wisconsin DWD Fails Unemployed Wisconsinites

It has been two months since Governor Evers shut down the state and should have anticipated the wave of unemployment. His incompetence is showing.

Across Wisconsin, almost a third of weekly unemployment claims (675,563 out of 2,121,906 claims) made between March 15 and May 16 are still unpaid, according to the overwhelmed Department of Workforce Development. And millions of phone calls from the thousands of people still waiting for their unemployment insurance have been consistently overloading DWD’s phone lines.

The state Department of Workforce Development on Wednesday reported that Wisconsin lost 385,900 private-sector jobs from March to April, and the unemployment rate shot up from 3.1% to 14.1%. Wisconsin is still doing slightly better than the nation as a whole. The national unemployment rate is 14.7%, while its labor participation rate, 60.2%, is 6.4 percentage points lower than Wisconsin’s.

Like thousands of other out-of-work Wisconsinites, Avila has spent days calling the DWD without ever speaking to an operator. By networking through Facebook groups like “Wisconsin Unemployment support group,” which was founded on May 1 and already has more than 1,400 members, she’s been able to call some DWD employees directly.

Lawless bureaucrats must be held to account

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty disgusted how high-level bureaucrats in Washington and Madison are never held accountable when they break the law. Shouldn’t losing their job be the least thing that should happen when they abuse their power and break the law? I think so and argue the case in my latest column for the Washington County Daily News today. Here’s a taste. Go pick up a copy!

What happens now? When a normal Wisconsinite is caught breaking the law, they are fined or jailed. When Palm’s illegal order was being enforced, Wisconsinites were being ticketed and arrested for doing things as simple as eating in a restaurant or playing basketball in a park. Will Secretary-designee Palm be held accountable for breaking the law?

Will her boss, Governor Evers, take responsibility for his employee’s blatant flaunting of the Constitution and the law?

So far, neither Evers nor Palm have indicated that they will accept any responsibility for violating the law. They will continue to cash their full paychecks and direct their opulent staffs courtesy of the very citizens they sought to oppress. They have committed to continue on without a modicum of contrition for their unlawful actions.

As an elected official, the voters will have to decide if Governor Evers should be held to account at the next election or sooner. But as an unconfirmed appointed secretary, the Wisconsin state Senate should immediately move to reject Palm’s confirmation so that the people of Wisconsin will no longer be subject to her lawless proclivities. She is clearly unfit for public service.

Evers Scolds Tiffany

Palm was just found to have broken the law and abuse her power in an effort to strip Wisconsinites of their civil rights. It would be insane to let this tyrant remain in power for a moment longer. Unless, of course, Governor Evers wants to take responsibility for his administration’s unlawful behavior.

MADISON – Democratic Gov. Tony Evers chided a Republican lawmaker Thursday who called for the resignation of the state’s health secretary, saying it was an “insane statement.”

Sen. Tom Tiffany, who was elected to Congress in a special election on Tuesday, said Palm should step down as leader of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services because of how she handled the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which Tiffany referred to as the “Wuhan virus.”

[…]

Evers stopped a news conference on the virus to speak about Tiffany’s statement about 20 minutes after he released it.

“Senator Tiffany please, you just won an election. Just relax,” Evers said. “This is an insane statement. We talk about trying to tone down the rhetoric and I’ve done everything I can do to that. To make a statement like that about someone who has dedicated her life to saving lives, please sir give us a break. You’re headed to Washington, D.C. I know you’re better than this.”

Evers’ “Wild West”

What a tyrant.

In an interview on MSNBC, Evers said the the Supreme Court has “thrown our state into chaos.”

“We are the Wild West,” the governor said when asked what happens now.

Evers said right now in the Badger State there are no orders or restrictions.

Apparently, in Evers’ fragile mind, Wisconsin was the Wild West (using that as a pejorative) until two months ago when he locked down the state and kicked 400,000+ Wisconsinites out of work. By overturning the order, all the court did was return Wisconsin to its previous level of freedom where people make decisions for themselves.

What is scary is that Evers’ statement presumes that we, the people, must be micromanaged by government to avoid chaos. Really? I need some jackass Madison bureaucrat to tell me, under penalty of jail, whether or not I can go to a restaurant? The absence of such an order is “chaos?” Really? How did we ever function up until March before Evers violated the constitution and stripped us of our civil rights?

No thank, Evers. I’m a big boy. I can make my own decisions.

Tyrant Evers Throws Out More Crumbs

Thank you, Master.

Wisconsin retailers that aren’t considered essential businesses can open their doors a crack under new COVID-19 restrictions Gov. Tony Evers issued Monday that allow up to five customers at a time.

The relaxed restrictions, which officials say are geared toward small businesses, are the latest example of the governor’s efforts to “turn the dial” and reopen the state’s economy. Wisconsin has seen skyrocketing unemployment numbers since nonessential businesses were closed more than a month ago in an attempt to limit the spread of the respiratory disease.

We are living in a Dictatorship.

Open Wisconsin now

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Go pick up a copy!

This week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is hearing arguments about whether or not to end Governor Tony Evers’ dictatorial rule and re-establish the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government. Hopefully the court will side with self-governance and strike down Evers’ unconstitutional power grab. When they do, the governor and Legislature will be left to wrangle over the best plan to reopen the state’s economy. What should the plan be? Get out of the way and let Wisconsinites get to work.

As other states go about opening their economies, they are doing so with a variety of plans. Some are very detailed plans with a strict metrics. Some are looser plans with a schedule of gradual opening. Some, like Governor Evers’ plan, are utterly unworkable and rely on arbitrary decisions made in the governor’s mansion. All of them are based on the incorrect presumption that some politician sitting in a leather chair in a faraway capital is better informed on how to safely open factories, retail stores, processing plants, and offices than the people who own and work in them.

Wisconsin’s experience is the perfect example. Evers closed the state without much of a plan. From the first day, confusion reigned as people tried to comply with the rules, but since the rules were vague and incomplete, Evers resorted to issuing various clarifications every few days. There was never any way that Evers, or his staff of lifer government bureaucrats, were equipped to fully understand the full consequences of the orders they were issuing. They were never going to be able to anticipate and respond to the way their orders rolled through society.

While Evers and his staff may be uniquely and especially bad, no small group of politicians and advisers would be experienced and smart enough to micromanage something on the scale of stopping or restarting an entire state’s economy. The reason Evers failed so badly is the same reason that socialism fails: central planning does not work.

That is why Wisconsin should not go down the failed path of central planning when reopening the economy. Instead, our state and local governments should assume the role of a humble government that uses its granted powers to support the people — not oppress them.

When the coronavirus crisis began, we were facing a very scary unknown danger. The early projections showed that the virus may kill millions, incapacitate many more, and overwhelm our health care system. Based on those projections, our governments responded with draconian measures. With the benefit of hindsight, we can argue about whether that response was warranted, but we have more information as we move forward.

While we are a long way from completely controlling or stopping the spread of coronavirus, we know a lot more about it and its spread. It is not as deadly as we thought. We have plenty of capacity in our health care system. The spread can be greatly mitigated by social distancing, washing hands, covering coughs, sanitizing surfaces, and staying home if you are sick. And the people who are at most risk of serious complications or death are the elderly and those with serious underlying conditions.

We have spent weeks learning about this virus and how to protect against it. We have shifted from dealing with a scary unknown risk to a scary known risk. That is why our government should step back and let the citizens manage the risk for themselves. The people all know how dangerous this virus is now and are perfectly capable of managing the risk just like we do for every other risk that confronts each of us every day.

No business owner wants their customers, employees, or themselves to get sick. No customer wants to put himself or herself at undue risk while shopping. No employee wants to work in unsafe conditions. But it is up to each of these groups of people – employers, employees, and customers – to work out how to interact with each other where everybody is comfortable. Those billions of interactions take nuance and understanding to do correctly. Nuance and understanding are not government’s forte.

While government should step back and let a free, self-governing citizenry open their own economy, we do need our government to do what government does well. We need our government to pool resources to be available to swamp any potential outbreaks. We need our government to provide the latest guidance and recommendations. We need our government to provide legal reform to limit liability for people who might be sued because of the virus.

Other than that, we need our government to get out of the way.

Evers Agrees To Follow Law

It’s not just on shutdown orders where the Evers Administration is breaking the law. He truly doesn’t think that the law should apply to him.

Gov. Tony Evers’ administration will hand over 10,000 pages of records to Republican Rep. John Nygren to settle an open records lawsuit he filed in November.

Under the terms of the settlement reached by the Department of Justice, the state will pay $40,000 in fees to Nygren’s private attorneys.

Nygren, R-Marinette, sued Evers in November to compel his office to turn over records related to farmer mental health programs run by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection his office had denied in full. Nygren had requested the records in August. Senate Republicans ended up firing Evers’ agriculture secretary for criticizing them about the funding for those programs.

Nygren’s lawsuit was one of several instances where Evers has come under fire for his open records practices. In filing his lawsuit, Nygren — who has himself come under fire over transparency — chided the governor’s records denial as shameful.

This was a pretty routine open records request and the law is clear. Despite that, Evers concealed, fought, and eventually cost the taxpayers tens of thousand of dollars to defend Evers’ vanity.

Evers Issues Another Arbitrary Edict

Oh, THANK YOU, King Evers, your most Excellent Highness, for this amazing concession. Grovel, grovel, grovel

MADISON (WLUK) — The state will now allow nonessential businesses to do curbside drop-off of goods and animals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Tony Evers’ office says the change will allow businesses such as dog groomers, small engine repair shops and upholstery businesses to reopen. It also provides for outdoor recreational rentals such as boats, golf carts, kayaks and ATVs. Automatic and self-serve car washes will also be able to operate.

Businesses must be able to operate free of contact with customers by taking payments online or over the phone, properly disinfect surfaces and operate with only one staff member.

Yet another arbitrary and capricious edict emanating from Madison. This is not what self-governance looks like.

Evers Responds to Wanggaard

Wow. Here’s Van Wanggaard’s response to Evers’ response. Bold is mine.

MADISON – On Friday afternoon, Governor Tony Evers responded to a letter to Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and other State Senate Republicans seeking information into the
decision-making process behind the Stay-at-Home extension. In his response to Republicans, Evers twice hints at extending Safer-At-Home through the summer. Evers answer also states that 35% of all Wisconsin employers may close forcing over 725,000 people to permanently lose their jobs.

After reviewing the response over the weekend, Wanggaard issued the following statement:

“I appreciate the Governor sharing his insights into his decision-making process. It is clear that he has put at least some thought into his decision-making. But Evers response, as far as it goes, shows the frightening results of his decisions.

“It appears that Evers’ is actively thinking about extending Safer at Home into and possibly through the summer at the cost of almost three-quarters of a million people losing their jobs.
Given his admission that the length of “Safer-at-Home” has no impact on lessening a substantial peak overwhelming hospitals, substantially extending the “Safer-at-Home” order makes little sense.

I thought he was exaggerating, but here’s Evers’ full response. Let it sink in… Evers considers 35% of Wisconsin going out of business, 725,000 permanent job losses, and a sustained economic depression to be an acceptable consequence of his orders. He also has no problem with extending this indefinitely. He. Doesn’t. Care.

Suffering for thee, but not for me

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

As Governor Tony Evers extended his despotic rule for another month, abrogated our civil rights, and pushed Wisconsin further into an economic depression, he had the audacity to tweet, “we have to remember that we’re all in this together.” Nothing could be further from the truth and the heavy hand of government oppression puts the difference between public and private America into stark relief.

Throughout Wisconsin, private-sector employees are feeling the full brunt of Governor Evers’ haphazard and tyrannical rule. Every day, we wake up to see what new decree might have been announced from Madison to control or crush some other aspect of our lives. Many businesses have already been devastated and been forced to terminate people’s employment and cut back pay and benefits for the employees who remain.

Harley-Davidson laid off the majority of its production employees. For those who are still working, they had to cut salaries, cancel merit increases, and reduce other expenses. Kohl’s Department Stores has closed all of its stores and furloughed most of its store and corporate employees. Thousands of hotels, restaurants, and other businesses across the state have closed or drastically cut back operations. All of their employees are either out of work or seeing reduced wages.

The results of this are hitting families hard. An estimate from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has reached 27%. For some perspective, at the peak of the Great Depression, the nation’s unemployment rate was 24.9%.

In response to the economic and societal devastation being wrought from the governor’s mansion (provided by the taxpayers), private- sector leaders are standing in solidarity with their employees. The CEOs of Harley-Davidson and Kohl’s are both forgoing their salaries. Boards of directors and executives across the state are forgoing or heavily cutting their salaries and benefits to help preserve money for more employees. For small-business owners, many of them do not have a choice. They are being bankrupted and seeing their life’s work obliterated underneath them.

All of these people are “in this together.” Is Governor Evers? Is his staff? What about other government workers?

While private-sector employees are feeling the pain, Governor Evers, his staff, and other government leaders are completely unaffected by the draconian orders they are issuing and enforcing. Their biggest pain is that they are slightly inconvenienced by not being able to go out to dinner or see a movie. That is the extent of their “sacrifice” during these unprecedented times. While Wisconsinites suffer, Governor Evers, his staff, Cabinet secretaries, their staffs, and virtually every other state employee continues to receive their full salaries, comprehensive benefits, and guaranteed retirements – all courtesy of the taxpayers that Governors Evers is subjugating. Last year, Governor Evers gave double-digit salary increases to many of his key Cabinet secretaries. They are all still cashing those bloated paychecks while looking forward to their cushy retirements.

Governor Evers continues to be paid his $152,756 per year with full benefits and a taxpayer-funded mansion. He hasn’t even offered to forgo any of HIS pay as he mocks Wisconsin’s unemployed with tweets saying “we’re all in this together.” Clearly, we are not. Some animals are more equal than others.

One of the many impacts of Evers’ forced shutdown is that government revenue has collapsed. The money the state confiscates in the form of sales, income, and business taxes will not be anywhere near enough to pay for Wisconsin’s distended government. Even knowing this, Evers has not lifted a finger to begin to lessen the cost of government to match the people’s ability to pay. There are only three things one can do to balance a budget – cut spending, raise taxes, or borrow money. Evers is already signaling that he will not cut spending – especially his own paycheck. Wisconsinites better prepare for the other two.

Thomas Paine, in his incomparable “Common Sense,” wrote that government is “in its worst state an intolerable one … our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” Wisconsinites’ suffering is made all the more worse by the fact that while our livelihoods are being destroyed, we are being forced to pay the full cost of the government causing it.

Suffering for thee, but not for me

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Go pick up a copy and keep our local media in business. Here’s a sample of the column:

While private-sector employees are feeling the pain, Governor Evers, his staff, and other government leaders are completely unaffected by the draconian orders they are issuing and enforcing. Their biggest pain is that they are slightly inconvenienced by not being able to go out to dinner or see a movie. That is the extent of their “sacrifice” during these unprecedented times. While Wisconsinites suffer, Governor Evers, his staff, Cabinet secretaries, their staffs, and virtually every other state employee continues to receive their full salaries, comprehensive benefits, and guaranteed retirements – all courtesy of the taxpayers that Governors Evers is subjugating. Last year, Governor Evers gave double-digit salary increases to many of his key Cabinet secretaries. They are all still cashing those bloated paychecks while looking forward to their cushy retirements.

Governor Evers continues to be paid his $152,756 per year with full benefits and a taxpayer-funded mansion. He hasn’t even offered to forgo any of HIS pay as he mocks Wisconsin’s unemployed with tweets saying “we’re all in this together.” Clearly, we are not. Some animals are more equal than others.

One of the many impacts of Evers’ forced shutdown is that government revenue has collapsed. The money the state confiscates in the form of sales, income, and business taxes will not be anywhere near enough to pay for Wisconsin’s distended government. Even knowing this, Evers has not lifted a finger to begin to lessen the cost of government to match the people’s ability to pay. There are only three things one can do to balance a budget – cut spending, raise taxes, or borrow money. Evers is already signaling that he will not cut spending – especially his own paycheck. Wisconsinites better prepare for the other two.

Badger Bounce Back Plan

After much pressure, Governor Evers collaborated with his staff and a couple of Democratic mega-donors to announce a vague reopening plan that is subject to changes. Great.

Taking the plan at face value, it has a few good elements. More testing, better tracking, etc. These are good things that should continue to be done even if the economy is completely open again. With all of that, here are the criteria by which we will allegedly begin to reopen the economy:

SYMPTOMS: Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period AND downward trajectory of COVID-19-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period

CASES: Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period

HOSPITALS: Treat all patients without crisis care AND Robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers, with decreasing numbers of infected healthcare workers

Here are the problems with these criteria: first, they are subject to manipulation and interpretation. For example, the criteria that we reach a “Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests.” That is very dependent on the who, and how many, are being tested. For example, if we do random testing or test an entire city (as some others have done), then the percentage of positive tests might be driven down. If we restrict testing to just those who are already showing symptoms, then the percentage might rise. Without a uniform testing criteria, longitudinal data is irrelevant.

Second, notice that Evers moved the goal post. Originally, we had to shut down the economy to “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. Our system is not overwhelmed, thankfully. It’s not even close. If the goal is to avoid overwhelming our healthcare system, then we’ve accomplished that. Hooray. So when it comes to reopening the economy, we could do that as long as we continue to manage to our healthcare system’s capacity. In other words, the number of infected could remain unchanged or even increase and our healthcare system would still be able to handle it. By setting the benchmark at a sustained decrease of cases, Evers is proposing to just keep the lockdown going indefinitely even when our healthcare system is perfectly capable of handling the case load. Which brings us to the third problem…

Evers’ plan does not give any certainty. As designed, he would reopen the economy in stages, but might wrench it back to lockdown if the trend changes. This kind of uncertainty makes it virtually impossible for businesses to actually reopen. What business is going to buy inventory, hire workers, sign contracts, etc. when they could be shut down again next week? What restaurant is going to risk buying a cooler full of fresh food if they might have to let it rot again? What manufacturing facility is going to sign delivery contracts with customers when they don’t know if they will be able to deliver product? Business owners need some degree of certainty that the reopening will be sustained before they stick their necks out again.

Then there are the phases. They are ridiculous and vague. They are still subject to massive interpretation that will undoubtedly be “clarified” by the governor as he sees fit. Essential? Maybe. It depends on how Tony is feeling today. He didn’t make any distinction between a barber shop, for example, and a manufacturing plant that may have 100 people who are all much more than 6 feet away from each other.

Finally, one of the fundamental flaws of this plan is that it continues to be a one-size-fits-all. He even addresses it in the first part:

These metrics will be applied on a statewide basis as this highly infectious virus knows no county boundaries and can easily spread from regions with high prevalence to regions with low prevalence.

True, but the plan also means that if there is an outbreak in a prison or a single neighborhood, for example, Evers might revert back to a more stringent lockdown throughout the state. It doesn’t make any sense to shut down restaurants in Hudson when there is an outbreak in Racine. Evers continues to view the state through his Madison lens where every town is just like the next one.

Evers issued a plan. Sort of. No dates. No certainty. Subject to manipulation. And still guided by the arbitrary decisions of a tyrant in Madison. In other words… nothing has changed.

Our failed governor

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. I would add to the below the cruel order from yesterday that we can’t visit out loved ones in a nursing home even if we are just standing outside looking through a window. Every day, we wake up to learn what edict has been issued from the pen of the tyrant in Madison. Go get a copy!

It is impossible to understate how incompetent our governor has been in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Evers is lurching from idiotic policy to unconstitutional power grab. Meanwhile, the people of Wisconsin are losing their liberties and their livelihoods.

As the coronavirus spread across the nation, Governor Evers declared a public health emergency on March 12 and seized dictatorial powers. This is something that the Legislature has empowered the governor to do in the event of an emergency so that the state government can be nimble and responsive to help the people. Evers has used the power to crush the state’s economy, strip people of their rights, and clumsily swing the heavy hammer of government.

For a few days after the declaration, Evers used his powers to organize a response and marshal resources. When asked on March 20 whether Wisconsin would order people to stay home like other states, Evers said that he did not think it would be necessary. Three days later, Evers announced on Twitter that an order was coming, after all, to lock down the state. To this day, Evers has not been able to coherently articulate what changed in those three days to justify the lockdown order.

The rollout of the order was absurd. Evers said a lockdown order was coming, but did not disclose any details. After a day of confusion and speculation, he released the draconian lockdown order on March 24 with a short grace period for implementation. The order itself is vague is many areas, leaving Evers to issue clarification after clarification ever since.

Many provisions in the order do not even make sense and are utterly unreasonable. For example, golf courses were closed, but parks were open. Both involve small groups walking around outside. Then Evers closed the state parks “indefinitely” too because he thought that too many people were actually using them.

Last week we actually had to have the governor tell us how we are allowed to worship for Easter. For the record, we could worship inside the church as long as there were less than 10 people in the room. Or we could worship in our cars, but not outside if we were out of our cars. Sit back and reflect for a moment on how un-American it is that we must follow worship instructions from the governor or risk fines and arrest.

Then the governor tried to usurp an election. We knew for weeks that holding an election during a pandemic posed unusual risks. Up until the Thursday before the election, Evers and the Republican leadership agreed that the election should continue as planned, but with sensible precautions. On Friday before the election, Evers called a special session of the Legislature to delay the election for two months. Evers said that he did not have the power to do it himself and that the Legislature must act.

Being so close to the election and not wanting to sow confusion, the Legislature declined to move the election on Saturday. On Monday, the day before the election, Evers issued an order to move the election. The Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled him within hours. It turned out that Evers was right after all. He did not have the power. Consider how un-American it would be to allow a single man to arbitrarily decide when, or if, the people are allowed to elect their leaders.

Through it all, Evers’ ham handed incompetence of the issue created confusion, disrupted the election, and undermined the process by which we govern ourselves. As we learn the results of that election this week, there will always be doubt about whether or not the result is actually the will of the people. Self-governance does not work when people lose faith in the process by which we select our government.

Now the state is facing the highest unemployment rate in history, businesses are shuttering for good, and people are being hassled by law enforcement for daring to leave their homes, Governor Evers cannot even tell us if it is working, or when it might end. Governor Evers has not given any indication of when, or how, Wisconsin will get back to work. There is no plan. We find ourselves waiting like subjects for our king to tell us when we can work, play, or enjoy our freedoms.

Governor Evers has shown why we should never allow one man to have such power. Whether through incompetence or malice, he has engaged in unprecedented oppression and laid waste to the state’s economy. The Legislature must step in, rein in the governor’s mad romp, and provide the people of Wisconsin a reasonable plan to combat coronavirus. That plan should be rooted in preserving our liberties and way of life as our government provides guidance and resources to combat the disease.

It is clear that Governor Evers does not have a coherent plan. He staggers from reaction to revulsion seemingly without clarity of purpose. As the people’s body, the Legislature must step up and act where our governor has failed.

Finally, the Legislature must provide a plan for how the state will restart our economy very soon. Coronavirus is here to stay, but we must go on. Life will be a little different as we mitigate the spread, but we must go on. People will continue to get ill and some will die, but we must go on. We have dealt with dangerous diseases before. We must go on.

Evers Issues Another Cruel Edict

WTH?

Do not visit anyone face to face, either in a long-term care setting or outside in the community. Due to recognized spread in long-term care settings and the Safer at Home Order, this now includes not making “window visits” at any nursing home or assisted living community.

So now, even when your loved one is lonely, you can’t even stand on the lawn and chat with them through glass. This isn’t helpful and will not prevent any infections. What it will do is make our elderly more lonely and more despondent. This is just cruel.

Evers’ Economy = 20+% Unemployment

This is not accidental or caused by Covid. This is the result of our governor intentionally shutting down our economy.

“If projections suggested in the national financial press are that 29 percent of privately held establishments will be shut down, and we assume shutdowns are proportionately distributed across firm employment size, then 48,619 Wisconsin business establishments would be closed,” Tichenor said in an email.

Those closings would affect 724,362 employees, he said.

That figure, combined with a February statewide workforce number of 3,109,100, results in an unemployment rate of 23.3 percent.

Then, if the 108,900 Wisconsin residents already unemployed in February are added, the unemployment rate would increase to approximately 26.8 percent, Tichenor said.

Comrade Evers Closes State Parks

There are those tyrannical words… “out of an abundance of caution.

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers today directed the Department of Natural Resources to close several state parks to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.

Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and out of an abundance of caution to protect public health and safety and help flatten the curve, the following Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas will close at the end of the day Thurs., April 9, and will remain closed beginning Fri,, April 10, until further notice:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Thwarts Evers’ Unconstitutional Power Grab

Good.

MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated Tuesday’s election Monday, five hours after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called it off because of the widening coronavirus pandemic.

In a brief 4-2 ruling, the court undid an emergency order that Evers issued that would have closed the polls. Their decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by Republican lawmakers.

Monday’s on-again, off-again election triggered chaos across the state as election officials told clerks to continue preparing for an election because they did not know whether the polls would open.

Before the court acted, at least two local government leaders as of Monday afternoon issued their own orders to block in-person voting.

The high court’s ruling fell along ideological lines. Four conservatives — Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and Justices Rebecca Bradley, Brian Hagedorn and Annette Ziegler — were in the majority. Liberal Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet were in dissent.

What should worry you is that despite the fact that, by Evers’ own admission, it was very clear that Evers was usurping power, the two liberal justices used their power to try to ignore the constitution and the law in favor of influencing a political outcome. That is why we need to make sure that Dan Kelly remains on the court to protect the people from judicial rule.

Comrade Evers Unilaterally Delays Election

This is ridiculous.

Gov. Tony Evers on Monday postponed Tuesday’s statewide election until June 9 after Republicans who control the Legislature declined to take any action to eliminate in-person voting amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Just minutes after Evers issued the order, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, issued a joint statement indicating they will challenge the directive in Wisconsin State Supreme Court, while also calling on municipal clerks to plan to proceed with the Tuesday election.

The governor’s 11th-hour decision via executive order will also allow local officeholders to remain in their posts until successors have been elected.

So does Evers have the authority to do this or not? As of last Friday, he said it was the legislature’s prerogative. That’s why Evers called the special session. Now it’s his call? If so, then why didn’t he do this last week? Or the week before? Or back on March 12th when his emergency powers started?

Evers’ feckless behavior and disregard for our civil rights is unconscionable.

Evers Proposes Major Overhaul of Election Rules Days Before Election

No. We have known about Coronovirus for weeks now. People have had plenty of time to vote absentee if they wanted to. And those who were planning to vote in person have a right to do so. We held elections during war, civil strife, and other disease outbreaks. We can do it again. Stop messing with our rights.

WISCONSIN — Governor Tony Evers is calling for a special session on Saturday to discuss the upcoming election.

According to the governor, he would like to see absentee ballots mailed out to every Wisconsin citizen who has not yet requested one.

Evers would like to see these ballots mailed out by May 19, and extend the receiving date to May 26.

The special session to discuss these new requests will take place on Saturday, at 4 p.m. Should these new requests go into effect, all in-person voting would be canceled. That includes drive-up voting.

A devastating cure: Weighing liberties, security in the age of coronavirus

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Go pick up a copy!

In the future, when we remember the liberties we once had and explain to our grandchildren why we surrendered them, some old man will slowly look down at his shoes and mutter, “We did it out of an abundance of caution.”

The global Coronavirus pandemic is a severe health concern that requires a response from our government. We need our government to aggressively work toward a vaccine and treatments, inform the public with the latest prevention methods, act to provide resources where needed, and provide the legal and regulatory safety net for the private sector to join in the fight. We do not need or want our government to arbitrarily suppress our civil rights, undermine the rule of law, and intentionally destroy our economy and our livelihoods.

It is breathtaking the speed at which our government leaders resorted to totalitarian extremes to combat the spread of a disease. The government ordered thousands and thousands of businesses to close indefinitely. This has forced millions of people out of work. Many of them do not have the financial cushion to get by without an income for weeks on end. Many small-business owners are losing their life’s work and their families’ entire net worth by order of the government.

With millions of people are struggling to get by, the inevitable wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies will follow. The government may try to halt this by decree or throw stimulus money at the problem, but the financial realities make the long-term impact of these decisions unavoidable.

Meanwhile, some governments are ordering people to remain home, forbidding people from assembling, and even closing churches. In California, people who are caught outside of their homes for nonessential reasons are subject to arrest, fines, and imprisonment for violating the order. At the same time, jury trials (a constitutionally protected right) are being postponed, elections are being delayed, prisoners are being released, and the government is ignoring private contracts — for example, the government ordering that landlords can’t evict people — in lieu of the judgment of politicians.

The impact is more than just financial or an inconvenience. The government restrictions have caused a massive shortage in donated blood for hospitals, crime is sure to rise, people are postponing necessary medical care for fear of leaving their homes, and an increase in depression, addiction, and suicide will result from mass unemployment and economic destruction.

Americans should be following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control to maintain a physical distance from others, cover sneezes, avoid touching faces, wash hands, sanitize surfaces, and reduce unnecessary travel. But there is an abyss between free Americans taking steps to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus of their own free will and our government using police power to enforce those steps. In most cases, it is a single man — a governor — making these incredible decisions to upend our lives.

If the response to Coronavirus has taught us anything, it is that our government officials will strip us of our liberties at a moment’s notice on the justification that it is for our own good. Instead of relying on the collective wisdom of a billion individual decisions made by free people, our government officials instantly supplanted their own judgment for that of the people they were elected to represent. They immediately assumed that they know better and are not only empowered, but obligated, to micromanage our lives “out of an abundance of caution.” And then, when the inevitable negative effects are being felt, these same people will mortgage our grandchildren’s future too with another boondoggle trillion dollar stimulus.

This is a very old debate about the balance of government power between liberty and safety. The way in which so many Americans surrendered their liberty for the dubious promise of safety with little more than a shrug and a muffled bleat is testament to how far we have strayed from our roots. For all of the “don’t tread on me” stickers and “live free or die” machismo, too many Americans have become fat and docile.

Coronavirus will ravage the world and leave devastation in its wake, but we will find workable treatments and a vaccine. It will pass. The devastation to our economy and liberties will be far longer lasting.