Today’s read is from Ann Coulter. A short excerpt:
I’m not at liberty to reveal my sources, but I have obtained a draft of President Joe Biden’s inaugural address. (Trump, unfortunately, won’t be there to hear it. He will be holding a competing rally at RFK Stadium, also starting at 12 noon on Jan. 20.)
The city of Franklin’s Finance Committee met Tuesday night to discuss a review of the TID 6 financing plan with a pending $3 million debt authorization. Committee members were well aware of the Franklin Common Council’s 4-2 vote to kill an expanded facility for Strauss Brands.
“If I were Strauss Corporation and I was going to guarantee to the city that I was going to invest $10 million in new construction, and I gave you that guarantee, I think that there would be some inkling that the city would approve my project,” said Committee Chair Dennis Ciche who was extremely critical of the Council’s action.
Alderwoman Shari Hanneman who voted against the Strauss expansion serves on the Finance Committee. Ciche asked Hanneman who represents the district where the current Strauss plant is located “have you heard from your corporate citizen?” Hanneman answered she had.
Ciche then asked Hanneman if she wanted to share what she had heard from Strauss. Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm who attended the meeting via phone immediately interrupted. “Is that a financial matter?”
Ignoring Wilhelm momentarily, Ciche continued to question Hanneman.
“Do you want to speak to the committee?”
Hanneman replied, “At the moment, no. I would like to decline.”
“I think it is a financial matter,” Ciche continued “because the Common Council put the citizens of Franklin on the hook with a TIF District bond commitment. So, the council right now is sitting with a 3 and a half percent tax increase to the citizens because…”
Wilhelm then interrupted again, saying she would argue that Strauss should have known the special use amendment was not a guarantee, and said she was “not willing to put more on the record and I would caution others “about “putting additional information on the record” regarding the TID.
Ciche responded “Well Alderwoman Wilhelm I think that’s what we are talking about. The TID has a commitment from the city that’s backed by the taxpayers. So right now six council members and the mayor are going to be going out to the taxpayers of this community and saying ‘guess what? You have a tax increase that’s coming.’ And I see some heads nodding at the head of the table. Am I incorrect on that?”
Ciche and the committee were informed there are general obligation bonds the city has sold. If the TID doesn’t pay those it’s on the city with no help from the county, school district, MMSD, or the vocational district.
“To me it’s ludicrous,” said Ciche.
“Somebody needs to get their act together. And furthermore. This is the best part that I think. It’s not Meijer’s from Grand Rapids, Michigan that we’re talking about. It’s an existing Franklin corporate citizen that has paid taxes, does the same type of operation that they’re talking about, and why are they expanding? This is the part I like. Why are they expanding? Because demand is there. They have demand for their products. Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that what the city of Franklin wants with commercial development because if we build the homes we can’t keep the tax rate at where it is.
“I can just imagine when the public gets a hold of this, and the press. We are re-funding these bonds with a 3 and a half percent increase to the taxpayers. Welcome to Franklin in the year 2021. “I think the council has got the cart in front of the horse. When you approve a TID district and you’re willing to put the taxpayers and their guarantee on the line and then we come back and turn down a proposal, I’m finding it hard to see how that makes any sense.
“If the council decides to do nothing, the bond will be issued. We have obligations to pay. And we might as well put an advertisement in the paper that hey, we made a mistake, your tax rate is going up 3 and half percent because we’re issuing debt for a project that now we’ve cancelled. Because that’s the bottom line.
“Look at this on its surface. You’re out soliciting developers to bring activity to your community. You want that. You sign an agreement. And then, we get to the altar, and then we turn around and go the other way.”
The committee decided not to make any formal recommendation about the TID to the full Common Council.
Today’s read is from Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner. Here’s your tease:
It was the biggest political rally no one saw. And gatherings like it have been happening for months in some of the places President Trump needs most to win if he is to be reelected. And, remarkably, the rallies are not the work of the Trump campaign. The road rally in Washington, Pennsylvania, was organized and staged by local Trump supporters, linked together largely by Facebook, who want to show that enthusiasm for the president in western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas is not just strong but stronger than it was when Trump eked out a victory in Pennsylvania in 2016. If Trump wins this critical state, it will owe in significant part to this organic movement and the energetic organizers who have nothing to do with his campaign.
With the number of mail-in ballots submitted this year expected to amount to more than double those sent in 2016, and with elections offices and voting locations especially understaffed—all due to the COVID-19 pandemic—it’s highly probable that we won’t know for certain whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden has won the election until several days after ballots are due.
Absentee ballots will keep flowing in after Election Day. Almost one-third of the United States merely require mail-in ballots to be postmarked, rather than received, by Election Day, and a handful more require postmarks from just one day prior to Election Day.
This year up to 80 million Americans will be voting by mail, and USPS slowdowns are making it very possible that even ballots postmarked and sent back well in advance won’t be counted until Nov. 3 or later.
Some states can’t start processing ballots until Election Day. Many states are expecting record-setting numbers of absentee ballots this year, so if poll workers can’t start processing them as they flood in, there will inevitably be a huge backlog of mailed ballots that will take several days after Nov. 3 to tally.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in about 20 percent of states, including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, mailed ballots cannot begin to be processed until Election Day, and in some cases not until the physical polls have closed. The majority of states aren’t allowed to actually begin tabulating mailed-in votes until Election Day, even if they can start the processing and verification process well in advance.
According to the University of Florida’s U.S. Elections Project, with only about one week left to go until Election Day, more than 61 million Americans have already cast their ballots via mail-in or early voting, with registered Democrats nearly doubling Republicans.
As these numbers only continue to grow, there will surely be plenty of headlines touting what appears to be an early lead for Joe Biden. Keep in mind there is a well-documented party divide when it comes to early voting, with Trump supporters expressing a significantly higher preference for in-person voting and more distrust in mail-in voting than Biden supporters, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. That means the election will probably seem to be swinging back and forth between the two candidates for a while before a winner is announced—first leaning toward Biden with early voting numbers, then toward Trump with the first in-person numbers, and then the process goes crazy as in-person polls close and mailed votes are officially tabulated.
One internet news source reports the outcome could take as many as 36 days after Election Day to determine.
Here in Franklin where I live there has been an increase in registered voters of 2,492 between August 19 (the day after the August Partisan Primary and October 25. In-person absentee voting started last Tuesday, October 20, 2020, in Franklin. In a four-day period 2,467 voters appeared in person. In addition to the in-person voters, Franklin has processed applications of 11,215 voters who requested to have their ballots mailed to them, of which 2,401 have not yet been returned. In-person absentee voting will continue through Friday, October 30, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and voters can still request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them through Thursday, October 29 with indefinitely confined voters and military voters allowed to request they be mailed through October 30.
It would seem to make sense that Franklin and other areas of the country should be allowed to begin counting votes NOW.
Mail in ballots are problematic. The process essentially works like this. A clerk takes an envelope from a bin. It’s checked to see if it was signed by the voter, if it was witnessed, and if the witness signed and gave his/her address. The voter is checked against a list for prior vote(s).A barcode on the envelope is checked. Then the ballot is run into the machine. This takes about three (3) minutes a ballot. That’s a lot of time depending on how many machines you’ve got.
Consider this. If the clerks could merely put the ballot into a poll machine when it came in (or a voter who was voting absentee in person shoved it in like they usually want to do, the city would ultimately be far ahead of the game.
It’s rare I concur with a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial, but I do this time. The newspaper writes:
Wisconsin should let clerks get a head start on counting at least some absentee ballots, a change in the law that clerks from both parties have wanted for years.
It makes sense to let clerks start counting early. The vast majority of ballots are likely to be received by Election Day, and it would be in the best interest of our democracy to have the most complete results possible on election night, which is what people have come to expect.
Wisconsin’s clerks have pushed for a change in state law that would allow them to open and place ballots into tabulator machines as they arrive in the mail. The tally would not be counted or disclosed until Election Day. Wisconsin law now requires them to wait until Election Day to begin counting.
Wisconsin legislators have debated the issue but haven’t acted. Long delays in counting ballots can fuel partisan emotions, give the combatants an excuse to challenge the results, and cause voters to question them.
We need to give clerks of both parties what they are asking for. They run our elections; let’s listen to them. Allow them to count ballots early.
During my lengthy career I’ve done a ton of public relations (PR) work. A ton.
There is no question in my mind that the profession that does the absolute worst job of PR are the teachers. They are their worst enemies. The more they pout, the more they lose public support.
Tough job, naturally. But they lose major points thanks to their constant whining and moaning and groaning and woe is me campaign.
Sorry. When it comes to tough jobs you’re not even in the Top 25. No, those spots are reserved for the military, police, fire, surgeons, nurses, EMTs, airplane pilots, taxi drivers, construction worker, truck driver, corrections officer.
So now teachers in Franklin are doing what teachers (not all) from a PR perspective do too often: cry.
My 11-year old daughter Kyla attends Forest Park Middle School. She absolutely loves it and ALL of her teachers.
On October 16 in a newsletter to Franklin school parents District Administrator Judy Mueller wrote: I want to take this opportunity to share some updated details and information with you about how our metrics around COVID-19 will look for this week. As you recall from the August 25th release of our Metrics & Transition plan one of our four trigger points we monitor on our dashboard was defined as “a significant community outbreak is occurring or has recently occurred, and is impacting multiple staff, students, and families within the community.” On our weekly dashboard, this is represented by the Community Burden Rate. Generally speaking, burden rate reflects the level of disease spread within the community. The higher the burden rate, the higher the level of disease prevalence. You’ll see for the first time since we have published our dashboard that the Franklin Community Burden Rate has increased to red.
While the burden rate for the Franklin community is red, we have made the decision not to close schools at this time. At present, the increase in community numbers has yet to directly impact our schools. We continue to see low rates of cases in our schools and we are continuing to safely manage those cases and close contacts.
Personally I am extremely grateful to the school district for doing all they can to keep schools open. I am confident in their judgment. I ask school officials not to give in to the bunch that I’ve been told, not just from Franklin but other districts, that a lot of teachers (again, not all) want to wake up, wander over to their computers in their jammies, and teach from there.
On July 3, in a speech at Mount Rushmore, President Trump said, “our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”
He added, “in our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.”
The president reiterated his view at a rally in West Salem, Wisconsin today (Tuesday).
Today’s read is from Ella Kietlinska of the Epoch Times who writes:
“He (Trump) hit the nail right smack on the head. That’s what I’ve been arguing for years,” said (Alex) Newman, co-author of the book “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”
“Now, when I say [what’s been taught is] a complete and total reversal of reality, that’s what I mean. It’s not hyperbole, that’s not exaggeration.”
He said what defines American people as Americans are principles enshrined in the country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, and that everyone is endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights,” Newman said.
However, the history taught in schools has been replaced by a historical narrative that reverses those principles, claiming that the country’s founding principles were “slavery, oppression, racism, white supremacy,” and similar things, Newman said.
Back in late August I called upon recall expert Orville Seymer, a Franklin resident, to lend his insight into the launching of the recalls against Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Seymer meticulously outlined why the timing of petition drives was highly questionable.
Now that the recalls didn’t work out Seymer is back with analysis of what went wrong. The answer is a lot.
Why Did the Evers/Barnes Recall Fail? (exclusive) By Orville Seymer
There are many reasons why the Evers/Barnes Recall effort failed but the main reason is lack of organization.
The Recall group apparently on a whim decided to file a Recall of the Governor and Lt. Gov. Did they deserve to be Recalled? Most people would agree that the Evers/Barnes administration is possibly the most incompetent administration in Wisconsin history, so clearly they deserved to be removed from office.
The Evers/Barnes administration is exactly what the Recall provision was designed for. It is very important to understand exactly how difficult it is to gather nearly 750,000 signatures. This is where the organizers fell down and that was just their first mistake.
It is always best to get organized before actually filing the actual Recall effort. That means forming an “Exploratory Political Action Committee (PAC) which allows the group to raise some money and spend some money and get volunteers in place before the 60 day clock starts ticking. This was the second mistake.
The Recall of a Governor is a very big story, yet I’m not aware of any press releases from the Recall group to announce any type of signature gathering efforts. In my experience the media wants to cover a big story such as a Recall of the Governor. This was their third mistake.
Nearly everything the Governor and Lt. Governor do on a daily basis is subject to the Wis. Open Records laws, it is incredible what turns up in simple Open Records Requests, and in Evers’ case, he has a history of not complying with simple Open Records Requests. That in itself is a Press Release and a major media event. This was their fourth mistake and a major one at that.
Petition Security is vitally important in any Recall effort. According to the Recall Evers FaceBook page, someone was acting as a “mole” and apparently infiltrated the petition vetting process and surprise, apparently a large number of petitions disappeared. This was their fifth mistake and again, a major mistake.
A few other simple mistakes. If they would have waited a week and a half to file the Recall way back in August, they could have included the Nov. 3rd election within the 60 day time frame for gathering the signatures. This would have allowed petitioners to collect signatures at the polls on election day. Sixth mistake.
They could have also timed the original filing so that the last day or 60th day would fall on a Sat. This would have allowed an extra day to gather signatures over the final weekend and could have possibly put them over the top if needed. Seventh mistake.
Again according to their Face Book post, a large number of people did not complete the “Circulator Certification” at the bottom of every Recall petition. So they did not have a team of people sending these petitions back where they came from to complete this important step. Without the “Circulator Certification” all the names on the petition are invalid. Eighth mistake.
As I have said before at the beginning of the Recall effort, I offered my knowledge and expertise which would have minimized all of the above mistakes, all at no cost to the Recall organizers except they never took me up on my offer.
I’m sure there were other minor mistakes but the above mistakes were enough to kill the effort.
Some will say that I am speaking out of turn, so let me say this. In 2002 when we Recalled then-Milw. County Exec. Tom Ament, Mr. Ament hired some very prominent attorneys to represent him in attempting to have the entire Recall effort thrown out. It was some time after that Recall was all completed that I ran into one of Mr. Ament’s attorneys and he told me that our Recall was one of the best Recall’s they had ever seen. They could only find 2%-3% of the signatures that they thought they could challenge and there was no way that they could even begin to challenge enough signatures to have the entire effort thrown out, so Tom Ament threw in the towel.
Some will say that this Recall should not have been attempted and that they should wait until a regular election cycle. I disagree with that premise, the power of a Recall is to single out a politician in a special election. I strongly believe that Recalls are a good thing as it keeps politicians of all stripes on their toes and looking over their shoulder, so we should be making Recalls easier not harder.
Orville Seymer is one of the founding members of CRG Network and he has participated in dozens of Recalls around the State of Wisconsin including the historic Recall of Milw. County Exec. Tom Ament in 2002
Wisconsin Right to Life’s Political Action Committee has announced the following endorsements for the November 3rd, 2020, General Election.
Every year, Pro-Life Wisconsin partners with churches throughout the state and holds a Baby Bottle Campaign through our Helping Both: Pregnancy Support Program. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re moving the physical baby bottle campaign to a virtual baby bottle campaign. You can give online and help countless moms and their beautiful babies.
Crisis pregnancies happen all the time whether there is a pandemic or not but especially now, women need a supportive community to choose life for their preborn baby. The temptation of abortion is even greater in these difficult times. Sadly, many women are vulnerable in a crisis pregnancy to pursue an abortion.
We know that moms choose life because of the help that they receive from PLW’s Helping Both: Pregnancy Support Program. We work with local Pregnancy Resource Centers to save the life of the baby and heal the hearts of hurting moms. Helping Both fills the gap and changes lives.
We know that in this time, unemployment has affected families and limited their access to childcare, and education. It has stretched family resources and their ability to pay rent and/or their monthly bills. Our Helping Both Program fills the gap for families and gives the hope that moms in crisis pregnancies so desperately need. Your financial support means you are there for moms and their babies after birth too. Through the Helping Both Program, families have received food, gas, baby clothes, rent assistance, appliances, and financial assistance for their education. These are just a few of the ways this program has made a difference in the lives of pregnant moms in crisis.
Your generosity in this virtual baby bottle campaign provides the financial resources to continue supporting families in need. Please give generously today!