The MacIver Report: Wisconsin This Week-logo

The MacIver Report: Wisconsin This Week

News & Politics Podcasts

The Free Market Voice for Wisconsin and the home of the most important public policy debates in the nation. See: @newsmaciver @maciverreport #wiright


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The Free Market Voice for Wisconsin and the home of the most important public policy debates in the nation. See: @newsmaciver @maciverreport #wiright








MacIver News Minute: A Dark Day for Wisconsin's Constitution

It’s a dark day for constitutional government in Wisconsin. The constitution puts the legislature squarely in charge of drawing district maps. The left pulled no stops to make sure that didn’t happen this time around. A liberal-controlled supreme court threw the old maps out and created a new requirement out of thin air that’s not in the constitution for them to be “politically neutral.” Next, Governor Evers drew his own maps that gerrymandered many republican lawmakers out of their own districts. In the face of this outright assault on constitutional government, with the other two branches ganging up on them in a brazen power grab, did the legislature earn themselves an heroic place in the annals of democracy? Did they earn their profile in courage? Absolutely not. They sheepishly voted for Evers maps claiming it was the best they could do, and Evers really rubbed their faces in it in when he signed those maps into law on Monday, twice referring the maps as “my maps.” Seeing how the legislature stands up for its own constitutional rights should give every Wisconsinite pause for what that means the next time their constitutional rights come under attack.


MacIver News Minute: Evers' $100M Slush Fund Exposed

Almost since day one of his first administration, Gov. Evers has led Wisconsin from one constitutional crisis after another. Most of those incidents have involved him trying to assume powers that the constitution specifically assigned to the legislature. Redistricting, confirming appointments, and, of course, the power of the purse. The legislature gets to decide how to spend state funds. Wisconsin’s $3 billion in covid relief from the feds was different. That was federal money and the federal government gave the governor full control of it. However, while that money was sitting in the bank waiting for Evers to spend it, it was accruing interest, almost $100 million dollars in interest. The feds didn’t give Evers that money. It was generated in a state bank account making it state money. That means the legislature should have control over it. Evers, of course, claims its federal money and regards it as his personal slush fund. The non-partisan legislative audit bureau discovered the funds and disagrees with the governor. Will the governor do the right thing and relinquish the funds? Stay tuned for more drama as this story unfolds.


MacIver Minute: Representing ALL the People

In Wisconsin, Democrats might have more voters, but Republicans have more people, and lawmakers represent all people not just people who vote. This is why Democrats are so successful at statewide races, and why Republicans are so successful in legislative races. Of course, that’s completely unacceptable to the left. The liberal controlled state supreme court is trying to figure out a way around the Republicans’ natural advantage. That means they need to find new maps that will allow lawmakers to only represent people who vote, rather than all the people. And so, they created a new redistricting requirement called “political neutrality,” that is Democrat candidates must have a fighting chance even in parts of the state that reject everything they stand for. The trick will be drawing new maps that accomplish this without violating actual constitutional requirements. So far, liberals are having a hard time finding that sweet spot. But with the left firmly in control of the branch of government that gets to decide what is and is not constitutional, they know they really have nothing to worry about.


MacIver News Minute: Gov. Evers versus the “Will of the People”

Wisconsin republicans hope to create a dilemma for Gov. Evers. Evers has said he will not give an inch on abortion, but Evers is also very fond of the motto, “the will of the people is the law of that land.” Republicans are trying to test that belief with their latest bill that could lead to ban on abortions after 14 weeks. It’s currently 20 weeks. The bill, itself, would not change that. It calls for a statewide referendum that would allow the people to exercise direct democracy and do it, if that is what they want. After all, public polling shows 91% of Wisconsinites are pro-abortion. Then again, only 28% say there should not be any limitations on abortion. So maybe a majority of voters would support a 14-week ban. Regardless, it’s a moot point. No one actually believes that the governor would sign the bill. The will of the people might be the law of the land, but when it comes to abortion, Evers isn’t about to take any changes.


MacIver News Minute: New District Maps Could Change How Lawmakers Represent Wisconsin Residents

MacIver News Minute: New District Maps Could Change How Lawmakers Represent Wisconsin Residents by The MacIver Institute


MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Sen. Ron Johnson and Ranked Choice Voting

MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Sen. Ron Johnson and Ranked Choice Voting by The MacIver Institute


MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Sen. Duey Stroebel and Ranked Choice Voting

MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Sen. Duey Stroebel and Ranked Choice Voting by The MacIver Institute


MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Rep. Glenn Grothman on Ranked Choice Voting

MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Rep. Glenn Grothman on Ranked Choice Voting by The MacIver Institute


MacIver News Minute: Milwaukee's Well-Deserved New Sales Tax

Happy new year Milwaukee. By now you’ve realized that your sales tax just jumped from 5.5 to 7.9%. It’s hard to feel sorry for you. After all, you voted for this, or rather you voted for the people who openly said they wanted to do this. For years, your local leaders have complained that Milwaukee was the largest city in the country without a local sales tax. They fought against conservative reforms that would help them lower costs and better manage the city budget. They scoffed at their quarter of a billion dollars in annual state aid, saying it was never enough. While they blew what money they did have on things like the street car and diversity equity and inclusion programs. Then they turned to threats how if Milwaukee went down, they would take the whole state of Wisconsin with it, and how they would lay off hundreds of police officers if the state didn’t let them raise the sales tax, while they assured you that out-of-towners would be paying most of it. We at the MacIver institute warned you not to fall for it, but you have been falling for everything the left’s told you for over a hundred years. This 7.9% sales tax is just the latest example of what happens when you believe them.


MacIver News Minute: Evers’ Christmas Snubs

Wisconsin’s Christians are still celebrating the 12 days of Christmas leading up to Epiphany, and it’s a good thing they have thick skin. Otherwise, they might be really offended over Gov. Evers’ messaging over the past couple of weeks. First, just days before they celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus, Evers released a video message reaffirming his commitment to abortion. Then, in his actual video message for Christmas, Evers listed off all the ways he could of to celebrate the holiday. Going to church somehow didn’t make the list. (Evers ensured that everyone understood the meaning behind Kwanzaa, however, in his video message for that holiday). Finally, Evers is openly mocking the 12 Days of Christmas with his 12 Days of Wisconsin campaign, where he brags about all the ways he’s spending taxpayer funds around the state on his pet causes. Fortunately, a lot of us still understand that the spirit of Christmas does not include being generous with other people’s money, and that government will never be the reason for the season.


MacIver News Minute: Left Supports Illegal Aliens Voting in Wisconsin Elections

A proposed amendment to the Wisconsin constitution would clarify that only US citizens can vote in our elections. I know what you’re thinking. Is there really anyone out there saying that non-US citizens should be voting in Wisconsin elections? You better believe it. There are people out there who think illegal aliens should even have that right. Just ask Wisconsin voices policy director Jamie Lynn Crofts – who testified at the state capitol last week. At that same hearing, Democrat Representative Clint Anderson from Beloit added that we shouldn’t be doing anything to prevent illegal aliens from casting fraudulent votes, because they often get caught afterwards. Never mind that those votes still get counted. It’s hard to believe we can’t even agree on something as basic as not wanting illegal aliens to vote in our elections, but here we are.


MacIver News Minute: Lawmakers Offer UW Compromise on DEI

The current state budget included a pay raise for University of Wisconsin employees. They’ll get it as soon as the university eliminates its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusions (DEI) programs. The UW, however, is not budging. Meanwhile, lawmakers are under pressure to approve the pay raises anyway. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is offering a compromise. Right now, the UW is the only state agency that gets to create new positions without any oversight from the legislature. That’s how it ended up with so many DEI positions in the first place, and why the number of administrators has doubled over the past 15 years. Vos says if the UW needed the legislature’s approval to create new positions, just like all other state agencies, then lawmakers could be convinced to approve the pay raises even with current DEI programs in place. Unfortunately, the UW does not seem interested. In fact, it plans to increase DEI with or without the raises.


MacIver News Minute: What the Constitution Says About Redistricting

The Wisconsin Constitution puts the legislature squarely in charge of redistricting. Gov. Evers really hates this, and he’s spent much of his time in office fighting it. He’s talked a lot about creating an independent commission to draw the maps, just like they do in Iowa. He’s been pushing that idea for years. This week, assembly republicans finally agreed to that compromise. They plan to vote on it today (Sep. 14th). Evers is about to get exactly what he’s wanted for so long. Maps drawn by an independent commission instead of republican lawmakers. Think he’s happy about it? Absolutely not. Now he’s upset that the legislature would still be part of the approval process. Which he calls a “last-ditch effort to retain legislative control” Unfortunately for Evers – that legislative control is guaranteed by Wisconsin’s Constitution.


MacIver News Minute - Never Forget Who We Were on 9/11

You know the motto “Never Forget.” Never forget 9/11. For those of us who lived through that day – how could we? The confusion at the first news reports of the day. The shock when the second plane hit. The horror when the towers went down. The disbelief when they got the pentagon. The exasperation when we heard about Pennsylvania. The panic over the fate of our fellow countrymen. There’s something else we should never forget about that day. The outburst of patriotism, unity, kindness, and prayer everywhere you turned. I will never forget congress standing on the steps of the capitol – democrats and republicans together singing God Bless America. There’s not much I care to revisit from that day, but I long for the day when our leaders in Washington once again come together in unity and demonstrate that we are truly one nation under God.


MacIver News Minute: Leftist Attacks Only Make Moms for Liberty Stronger

Before the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, a national organization called Moms for Liberty met downtown with its local members. They say two of the biggest problems in Wisconsin’s public schools are a lack of curriculum transparency and dismal math and reading scores. Moms for Liberty say parents can change that situation by getting involved, asking tough questions, and even running for the school board. With a message like that, of course, the left has branded them as an extremist hate group. The groups co-founder Tiffany Justice told MacIver News that’s backfired on the left big time. “I should be sending Gavin Newsom a thank you note, to be honest with you. He sent out lots of nasty emails about me, and we’ve only gotten more money and more members,” she said. “By the end of the year, I believe that we’ll have chapters in all 50 states. We have over 120,000 members and over 300 chapters. So just expect a lot of growth from Moms for Liberty. We’re just getting started.” Which is why when the left starts calling you names – you should never back down for even a moment.


MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Sheriff Waak Takes on the ATF

In January, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued a rule making pistol braces illegal. Polk County Sheriff Brent Waak immediately pointed out the new rule contradicted other ATF rules. He argued the new rule was unconstitutional, and publicly announced he would not allow the ATF to enforce that rule in Polk County. On this edition of the MacIver Newsmakers Podcast, Waak explains how sheriffs are the final line of defense the American people have to protect their constitutional rights from out-of-control bureaucrats.


MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Justice Rebecca Bradley

The new liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court wasted no time making big changes to how the Court operates. Within the first week, they fired the state court system director and established a committee that assumes the constitutional duties of the chief justice. Justice Rebecca Bradley says these changes violate the state constitution, politicize the court, and undermine the public’s trust in the state’s justice system. On this edition of the MacIver Newsmakers Podcast, Justice Bradley explains how this is playing out behind the scenes and what the public can expect going forward.


MacIver News Minute: Liberals Seize Supreme Court

Now that liberals have a majority on the state supreme court, it’s supposed to be game over. Right? From now on, they get to decide what the constitution says, and they’re going to make sure that liberals always like what they hear. So, you might as well just say goodbye to every law, rule and procedure that gets in their way. That’s what they want you to think anyway. They’ve certainly been acting as if that’s the case. Afterall, they were meeting in secret and making personnel decisions even before that fourth liberal judge was officially sworn in. But who’s going to tell the supreme court they aren’t allowed to do whatever they want? Well, they might have the majority, but the chief justice is still Annette Ziegler, a conservative. It’s a two-year term and she was just elected in march, and there’s nothing those four liberal justices can do about it. The constitution says she’s the “administrative head of the judicial system” she’s already using that constitutional authority to try and push back. If nothing else, it lets those liberal justices know that conservatives aren’t about to throw in the towel quite yet.


MacIver News Minute: Questioning the CO2 Emissions-Temperature Connection

We hope everyone out there is having a good summer. We know the climate change lobby certainly is. All summer long headline after headline has been pushing its narrative declaring “record setting heat” and “hottest temperatures in history.” And the only way to stop it is by cutting carbon emissions. The public doesn’t even seem to question that connection anymore, but maybe it should. Afterall, we cut carbon emissions by 9% in 2020 – thanks to the lockdowns. It was the biggest reduction in 180 years. The result, according to the national weather service, average temperatures around the world went up in 2020 and then up some more in 2021. Strange. All same, just to be safe, the Biden Administration is working to ban gas stoves, hot water heaters and portable generators. Maybe more people should start asking questions.


MacIver News Minute: Are Republicans a Bunch of Suckers?

Republicans negotiated a deal with Governor Evers over education funding. Evers stretched the limits of his veto authority to break that deal and create his own 400-year education funding increase. Republicans negotiated a deal with the City of Milwaukee to allow it to levy a 2% sales tax and stave off bankruptcy. The city now plans to sue the state to get out of its end of the bargain. You might call this burning bridges. Liberals don’t think so. Evers now wants to negotiate with Republicans over taxes. Milwaukee now wants Republicans to agree to pay for all its sports stadium upgrades. They must think Wisconsin Republicans are world-class suckers. Well, they aren’t! Are they?