The thing about these kinds of events is that it brings new meaning to the old slogan “You’re among friends.” (If you’re not, then what are you doing here, anyway?)
Several hundred people gathered on the lawn at the Executive Residence this morning in Madison for the signing of Wisconsin’s biennial state budget. It was windy and the lake was plenty choppy as Governor Doyle fought the effects of the gusts on the microphone during a 20-minute speech. The governor added 81 line item vetoes to the legislature’s work before signing off on the first budget that has been completed on time in the Badger State since 1977 – something that Senate President Fred Risser was actually around for at the time. The biggest applause came for the addition of autistic coverage to health plans in Wisconsin.
There’s no doubt that there were plenty of controversial measures within the budget, but that’s going to happen when you come into the process with a $6.6 billion deficit and a bill that has traditionally been the receptacle for pet measures that couldn’t necessarily stand on their own. We will continue to live in interesting times.
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It looks like Sean Duffy, a 32-year-old lawyer from Hayward who was part of the 1997 Real World series on MTV, is planning to take on House Appropriations Chair Dave Obey in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District in the 2010 election. He has announcements set for Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. at Wausau Homes and 1:30 p.m at the Lumberjack Bowl in Hayward. (“I’m a lumberjack and that’s okay…”)
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Joe the Plumber takes Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person” award tonight for his comments in Wausau relating to “stringing up” some politicians. It’s the second go-around for a piece by Wausau Daily Herald writer Rob Mentzer to get the tall guy’s attention on the MSNBC political program in a month.
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Is it just me, or does the “Wisconsin Jobs Task Force” report posted by the Wausau Region Chamber on their website look like a partisan piece of work put together by a couple of minority party legislators who had the time while the budget debate was going on this spring? Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Oshkosh) is listed as the “Senate Ranking Member” and he has been in office all of six months. Rep. Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) is listed as “Assembly Ranking Member.” He began serving in 2007. The reason they are the ranking members of the task force from their respective houses may be as simple as them being the only members (although there are two more GOP legislators from each house listed as “Contributing Members.” Decide for yourself):