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: 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?


MacIver News Minute: Milwaukee Alderman Declares Republicans are the "Enemy"

We don’t expect politicians to like each other. However, in a demographic society, we do expect them to be able to negotiate, find common ground, and compromise with each other. Those are things you can do with someone you consider to be an opponent or an adversary. Those are not things you can do with an enemy, which is apparently exactly what Milwaukee Alderman Russell Stamper considers all republicans to be. Stamper declared that Republican state lawmakers “are not our friends, and if they are not our friends, then they are our enemies. Make no mistake about this. They are our enemies.” It would probably be a good idea for stamper to apologize or for his colleagues on the Milwaukee common council to condemn his comments. That is if they ever hope to negotiate with republicans again the next time the city is hard up for cash. And knowing Milwaukee, that won’t take long.


MacIver News Minute: Tax Cut Stunt

Wisconsin taxpayers will never see it, but they certainly heard a lot of lawmakers bragging about a $3.5 billion income tax cut they put in the state budget. The same income tax cut that Gov. Evers promptly vetoed out of the state budget. Nobody should have been surprised by that. After negotiating with the governor to ensure they got more funding for local governments and school choice, Republican lawmakers made the deliberate decision not to talk to Evers about the tax cuts. MacIver news questioned the logic of this at a press conference last month. “Doesn’t that just increase the risk that he’s just going to veto them?” “That’s always a possibility. We made tax cuts last time and the governor approved them, signed them into law, and he ran on those tax cuts last fall,” Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) replied. Well, the governor’s not up for reelection this time around. Did anyone really believe the big government building, prolific waster of taxpayer money Tony Evers was going to sign the tax cut into law when it wasn’t part of the negotiations…or was it all just a P.R. stunt? Either way, the Wisconsin taxpayer is apparently the only special interest who didn’t come out ahead in this historically bad state budget.


MacIver News Minute: Evers Tax Cut Veto

Gov. Evers promised a 10% middle-class tax cut. No seriously, we have him on tape saying it in his budget address just five months ago. "Under my plan, if you’re a single filer making less than $100,000 or a married joint filer making less than $150,000, the cornerstone of my tax plan will cut your taxes by 10 percent." Republicans tried to do him one better and cut everybody’s income taxes and by more. Under their plan, those filers Evers mentioned would have gotten a 14% income tax cut that would have put hundreds of dollars back in their pockets. In total, it was a $3.5 billion tax cut. Unfortunately, Evers had a major change of heart this week and vetoed those tax cuts down to practically nothing. The $3.5 billion tax cut turned into $175 million. Most Wisconsin taxpayers, including those middle-class filers Evers mentioned in his speech, are now looking at a 1 percent income tax cut. $37 bucks for single filers, and $49.35 for married filers. That’s hundreds of dollars less than Evers himself promised just five months ago.


MacIver News Minute: Happy Fourth of July!

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness... To secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, and whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it... We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, (in General Congress), do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is (and ought to be) totally dissolved; Happy Independence Day Everyone. Here’s to the greatest country ever on the face of the planet.


MacIver News Minute: Making Deals With Liberals

Wisconsin’s republic lawmakers thought they had struck some great deals with the other side of the aisle. They were willing to give a little to get a little – and liberals told them they were too. And so, republicans passed a law allowing Milwaukee to raise its sales tax by 2% to avoid bankruptcy – but only if that money went to the city’s pension and public safety problems. Republicans increased public school funding by a billion dollars – but they wanted more money for school choice too. The governor signed both deals into law. Liberals got exactly what they wanted, and now they’re bringing in their lawyers to block republicans from getting what they were promised in exchange. Apparently, a deal’s a deal – unless of course you made it with Gov. Evers and his liberal supporters.


MacIver News Minute: $3 Billion Tax Cut Announced for State Budget

After weeks of radio silence on cutting taxes in the next state budget, republican leadership had some big news to share at their state convention this past weekend. Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos say the plan is to cut income taxes by at least $3 billion. That would be the biggest income tax cut in state history. And that’s right on the heels of a $2.4 billion income tax cut in the last state budget, which was the largest tax cut at that time. Now things are about to get really interesting. Democrats criticized the tax cut in the last state budget so fiercely, that expectations were high that Gov. Evers would veto the entire budget over it. Not only did he end up signing that budget, but he took credit for those tax cuts and it helped him win reelection. Now that Evers isn’t facing an election, and Democrats are likely to be even more upset about the tax cuts this time, what happens next is anyone’s guess.


MacIver News Minute: Taxpayers Become Afterthought in Budget Debate

Not long ago, Wisconsin taxpayers had good reason to be excited. Lawmakers were starting their work on the next state budget with a projected $7 billion surplus… many of them agreed that meant the state collected $7 billion more from taxpayers than it needed. And they started tossing ideas around about how best to give that money back. The state senate even proposed a 3.5% flat tax, which would have meant a tax cut for everyone who pays Wisconsin state income tax. Then the government’s own taxpayer funded lobbyists got involved, and the debate suddenly shifted to how to give government more money. State lawmakers weren’t talking about the flat tax anymore. They weren’t talking about any tax reform ideas at all. In fact, under the deal that was just cut - taxes actually are about to go up in Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to prop up their mismanaged pension funds, while counties, cities, towns, and school districts throughout the state will all see historic funding increases. Unfortunately, in all the excitement it seems everyone in Madison forgot all about those taxpayers. Funny how that happens.


MacIver News Minute: After the Milwaukee Bailout

If the state of Wisconsin bails out Milwaukee – do you think the city will learn its lesson about fiscal responsibility? Don’t bet on it. The legislature hasn’t even approved Milwaukee’s exclusive 2% sales tax yet – and Alderman Bob Bauman’s already trying to figure out how to get another 1% to support the trolley and clear the way for even more spending. So even if lawmakers do bail out Milwaukee – don’t be surprised when the city’s back looking for another handout before long.


MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Rep. Tiffany Describes Southern Border Situation

Title 42 is over and President Joe Biden says expect more chaos at the US southern border. Title 42 allowed the border patrol to people they caught trying to sneak across the border right back into Mexico. Now they’ll likely be released and allowed to stay in the US. There are already around 6 million illegal residents in the US. The crisis isn’t limited to unrestricted illegal immigration. It’s also a humanitarian crisis with brutal drug cartels controlling the flow migrants south of the border. Rape, murder, and robbery are common. Additionally, the nationwide fentanyl crisis is directly tied to the border situation. The House of Representatives passed the Secure the Border Act on Thursday, May 11th. Democrats have already indicated it will never get past the Senate or the President. Rep. Tom Tiffany joins this edition of the MacIver Newsmakers Podcast to detail the implications of the border crisis and what must be done to stop it.


MacIver News Minute: Moving Wisconsin Towards a Flat Tax

The very first two bills introduced in the Wisconsin State Legislature this session would replace our antiquated progressive income tax with a 3.25% flat tax. The flat tax is simple and fair and, at 3.25%, everyone who pays income taxes in Wisconsin would see a tax cut. Lots of states of making this switch right now – and not just conservative ones. In fact, at the moment, most states with a flat tax are blue states. Senate majority leader Devin LeMahieu – who wrote the senate bill – says unfortunately liberals in Wisconsin have decided to make the flat tax a partisan issue. “It appears especially the governor and maybe some democrats in the legislature would rather play class warfare, and pit the rich against the working class, when that’s not really what we’re doing here. We just trying to provide an even playing field for everybody. So everybody’s paying the same tax rate,” he told MacIver News. Hopefully the governor and his allies can put divisive politics behind them and embrace this rare opportunity for bipartisanship. After all, the flat tax is one of the few issues both democrats and republicans throughout the country agree on. There’s no reason why they can’t work on it together in Wisconsin too.