Milwaukee Takes More than $1 Million in ‘Zuckerbucks’ Ahead of Vote to Ban Private Election Funding

Milwaulkee Skyline

Milwaukee has accepted more than $1 million in “Zuckerbucks” — the injection of private money into public election administration — just weeks before Wisconsin residents will vote on whether to ban such funds.

The city of Milwaukee, which previously accepted “Zuckerbucks” in 2020, has received a new form of the private funding over two separate grants just weeks prior to Wisconsin voters deciding whether to approve a state constitutional amendment banning “Zuckerbucks.”

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Milwaukee Sales Tax Increase Has Mayor, Washington County Executive at Odds

Sales Tax Difference

Milwaukee’s new 2% sales tax has spawned a war of words between the city’s mayor and the county executive in Washington County.

It began New Year’s Day when Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann posted a message on social media welcoming people to shop in his county.

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State Rep. Brandtjen Doesn’t Trust Wisconsin to Count Absentee Ballots Due to Milwaukee’s Past ‘Election Shenanigans’

The Republican who led the first investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 election says she does not trust the effort to count the state’s absentee ballots early because she doesn’t trust election officials in Milwaukee.

State Rep. Janel Brandtken told The Center Square there are serious security concerns with the Monday Count plan moving ahead at the Wisconsin Capitol.

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Milwaukee Police Funding Increasing after 2020 Cuts

In September of 2020, then-Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett proposed cutting 120 police officers from about 1,800 budgeted positions in the 2021 budget.

Barrett proposed the cuts, in part, due to budget constraints amid a national and local clamor to divert resources from policing just four months after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police.

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Lawmakers Sell Brewers Ballpark Funding as Only Costing Milwaukee

The plan to use more than $600 million in taxpayer money to pay for work in American Family field and keep the Brewers in Milwaukee until 2050 is not done, but the pitch for the funding package is set.

State Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, told lawmakers Thursday at the first public hearing in the stadium funding package that only Milwaukee and Milwaukee County will be paying for the stadium.

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Abortions Resume in Wisconsin

It remains to be seen just how quickly the return of abortion in Wisconsin will end up before a judge after Planned Parenthood on Monday started offering abortion services at its clinics in Milwaukee and Madison.

“Thank you so much for your enthusiasm that PPWI has restarted abortion services! We are as thrilled as you are! We haven’t been able to respond to all our DMs, comment on every thread about abortion, or talk to you individually about how you can help (but we’re trying),” Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said on social media Monday.

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Commentary: America’s Moms Saw a True Leader on the GOP Debate Stage

Donald Trump’s decision to skip the first Republican primary debate left a huge vacuum on the stage in Milwaukee. That vacuum was filled by Vivek Ramaswamy, who showed poise, conviction, and grace under fire – in the process making most of his opponents look like the career politicians they are.

Like Trump, Ramaswamy is a businessman who feels called to run for office because he sees that the country is facing dark times and needs to be saved from the political establishment, which prioritizes self-interest and the status quo over patriotism and the sort of decisive action that our country needs.

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Crime-Ridden Liberal Cities Have a New Favorite Scapegoat: Automakers

Chicago is the latest major city to sue Hyundai and Kia for failing to equip their U.S. cars for more than a decade with anti-theft technology, which was exposed on social media last year and made the vehicles a target for criminals.

“Unlike the movies, hot-wiring vehicles is far harder than it appears—unless that vehicle was manufactured by Hyundai or Kia,” the lawsuit filed Thursday by the city of Chicago states.

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Fox News Blocks Star News Network from All-Important Spin Room at Republican Presidential Debate

Fox News barred The Star News Network access to the all-important Spin Room at Wednesday’s first Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, blocking access to the candidates and they’re surrogates.

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Despite Trump’s Absence, Plenty of Fireworks at First Republican Presidential Debate of the 2024 Season

For those who thought a Trump-less GOP presidential primary debate was doomed to be a snooze fest, the two-hour political bar brawl disabused them of that notion.

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Wisconsin Republicans Prepare for First GOP Presidential Debate With or Without Trump

Brian Schimming is one busy guy these days.

Schimming, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, is spending a lot of time fielding calls from media, campaigns and fellow Republicans preparing to descend on Milwaukee next Wednesday for the first debate of the presidential primary season.

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Former Assembly Elections Committee Chair Urges ‘No’ Vote on Controversial Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator

State Representative Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) is urging the Wisconsin Elections Commission to fire Meagan Wolfe, WEC’s controversial administrator.

The commission meets at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to take up Wolfe’s re-appointment to a four-year term. Her current term ends Friday. 

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Wisconsin’s Budget-Writing Committee Passes Budget with ‘Historic’ $4.3 Billion Tax Cut

After a season of spending, the Wisconsin Legislature is finally getting around to talking tax cuts. Perhaps Republicans have saved the best for last.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee put the finishing touches on a complete rewrite of Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ 2023-25 state budget proposal, passing a tax reform package that promises to deliver $3.5 billion in income tax cuts and nearly $800 million in property tax relief. 

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School Choice in Wisconsin Wins in Day of Breakthrough Education Spending and Revenue Sharing Deals

School choice in Wisconsin would get a huge funding boost, and Milwaukee and Milwaukee County would stave off financial devastation in deals announced Wednesday.

Just when it appeared the Milwaukee portion of a massive state shared revenue plan was on the brink of collapse, the Republican-controlled Legislature reached an agreement with Democrat Governor Tony Evers that will allow pension debt-ridden Milwaukee County and the city to put in place a new sales tax — without having to ask their voters to do so. 

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Wisconsin Senate Republican Boss: Votes Aren’t There for Share Revenue Tax Changes

The top Republican in the Wisconsin Senate says there are not enough Republican votes to change the plan for a Milwaukee sales tax increase.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said on UPFRONT over the weekend that he doesn’t have the 17 votes needed to pass a plan that would allow Milwaukee and Milwaukee County leaders to raise taxes, as opposed to putting the question to voters.

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GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Makes the Cut for the GOP Debates

Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has risen in the polls to a top 5 candidate. Now the Ohio businessman and political outsider has secured a spot on the Republican National Committee debate stage.

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Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Threatens to Veto Republicans’ Shared Revenue Plan

Republican leadership is blasting Governor Tony Evers for threatening to kill a bill that would boost state shared revenue and bail out financially troubled Milwaukee. 

The liberal governor, however, isn’t the only critic of the legislation that pours hundreds of millions of dollars of new taxpayer revenue into Badger State towns, villages, cities and counties. 

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Republicans Unveil Wisconsin Shared Revenue Plan with Sales Tax Enhancer

Republican lawmakers this week unveiled a shared revenue plan that would boost state funds for counties and municipalities and give authority to fiscally troubled Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to set and boost sales taxes.

But will taxpayers around the Badger State be forced to pay for Milwaukee’s mistakes? 

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Republicans, Democrats Holding Their 2024 Party Conventions in Two of the Most Dangerous Cities in America

The biggest parties in U.S. politics will be held in two of the more dangerous cities in America. 

A former conservative sheriff who has been an equal-opportunity critic of Democrats and Republicans wants to know what convention organizers are thinking. 

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Documents: Concert Promoter Giant Live Nation’s Subsidiaries Weren’t Eligible for Millions of Dollars in COVID Grants

Subsidiaries of behemoth concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment received $20 million in federal COVID grants that they were not entitled to, according to a Wisconsin Daily Star review of documents.

Madison-based Frank Productions Concerts, LLC and National Shows 2, LLC of Delaware, each received $10 million from the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venues Operator Grant (SVOG) program — funding that was clearly marked for independent operators, not subsidiaries of publicly traded companies.

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Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bills Requiring Schools to Get Transparent on School Crimes

Sick of the recurring violence going on in classrooms, hallways and gymnasiums, parent Kate Bertram last week told the Wauwatosa School Board that the “new pandemic in Wauwatosa schools is a lack of accountability.” 

A Republican-led bill passed Tuesday in the Assembly demands more accountability from Wisconsin’s schools in tracking crime. 

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State Senator Van Wanggaard Commentary: Milwaukee’s Criminal Justice System Failed Officer Peter Jerving and Milwaukee

Last week, following the killing of police officer Peter Jerving, local and state leaders alike called for change to stop the senseless, preventable, tragic violence in Milwaukee. And they’re right. While the causes of violence are many, solving the crisis that is the Milwaukee criminal justice system would go a long way. 

Let’s start with the front line – police officers and police policies.

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Study: Students in Wisconsin Choice Schools Outperforming Public School Peers

On this National School Choice Week, a new study by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty shows parental choice programs continuing to outperform public schools, particularly in the state’s largest city. 

“Apples to Apples: Accessing Wisconsin State of Education”, accesses Badger State educational performance across public, charter, and private voucher schools.

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RNC Announces 2024 Convention Dates

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday announced plans to hold its 2024 convention from July 15-18, 2024, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the GOP will select its 2024 presidential nominee.

“We look forward to our continued work with the beautiful city of Milwaukee to make this convention week a success. Republicans will stand united in Milwaukee in 2024 to share our message of freedom and opportunity with the world,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said. 

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Judge Won’t Stop Milwaukee’s Get-Out-the-Vote Effort

Milwaukee’s get-out-the-vote partnership with a liberal/progressive firm is not technically against the law, so a judge is not going to stop it.

Milwaukee County Judge Gwendolyn Connolly on Friday refused to grant the Republican Party of Wisconsin a temporary restraining order against Milwaukee Votes 2022, the city-backed privately funded get-out-the-vote effort with GPS Impact.

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Milwaukee ARPA Commission Turns Down Request for Repairs to Landmark Mitchell Park Domes

There is, apparently, a limit to what Milwaukee County considers coronavirus-related relief.

Milwaukee County’s American Rescue Plan Act Task Force last week unanimously rejected a proposal to spend $19 million of ARPA dollars to rehabilitate the Mitchell Park Domes.

“This Task Force has spent millions of dollars on initiatives to ensure that houses in suburban Milwaukee aren’t falling into disrepair, potentially rushing foreclosures.

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Republican National Committee Panel Recommends Milwaukee over Nashville for 2024 GOP Convention

The Site Selection Committee of the Republican National Committee voted to recommend Milwaukee as the host city of the group’s 2024 convention.

In a statement announcing the decision, GOP leaders pointed to the “forthright and professional behavior” of the city’s leaders throughout the process.

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Democratic Groups Want Milwaukee to Reject Republican National Convention 2024 Bid

A number of Wisconsin’s progressive advocates and big labor unions want Milwaukee to abandon plans to host the Republican National Convention because they don’t like Republicans’ politics.

Voces de la Frontera Action, Power to the Polls, the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, Never Again is Now, and SEIU all signed on to an open letter Tuesday asking Milwaukee’s city council to reject a contract that would be necessary for Milwaukee to host the RNC in 2024.

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Republican Candidates Promise Tough-on-Crime Approach After Deer District Shootings

Police Car

The Republicans running for governor in Wisconsin are promising more cops, more prisons, and say they’ll fire prosecutors who don’t get tough on crime after a violent weekend in Milwaukee that saw more than two dozen people shot.

Milwaukee Police say Friday night’s shootings near the Deer District wounded 21 people. Another of those shootings saw 17 people shot. A string of shootings on Sunday saw another five people shot, including two people who died.

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Thomas More Society Represents Milwaukee Voter in Elections Lawsuit Against City Officials

Claiming government officials violated state election law, a lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the acting mayor, the former mayor and the city clerk of Milwaukee, Wisc.

Milwaukee voter Jim Engstrand, represented by the Thomas More Society, filed the complaint before the state’s Elections Commission.

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Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Awards $25 Million in Milwaukee-Area ‘Neighborhood Investment Fund Grants’

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Thursday announced a new grant for Milwaukee and Milwaukee County that will award approximately $25 million to the region.

The money, which was awarded to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will go to affordable housing and other issues in the region. For example, child care services and libraries will see a boost in funding.

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Sen. Darling: Break Up Milwaukee Schools, Allow for Choice

Senator Alberta Darling

The latest school choice plan in Wisconsin would break up Milwaukee’s public schools.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, introduced the plan.

“Wisconsin was the first state to give parents more say in their children’s education and future. We have an opportunity to build on our reputation and reclaim our status as a national model for reforming K-12 education,” Darling said in a statement.

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Milwaukee Public Schools Extend Virtual Learning Another Week, Wisconsin Rep. Gallagher Says It’s a Decision Based on ‘Outdated Science’

Milwaukee Public Schools voted to extend virtual learning another week, after making the last minute decision to not have in-person classes following Winter Break, which Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) said is based on ‘outdated science.’

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Wisconsin University to Require COVID Booster for Students

A Wisconsin university has announced that they will be requiring the COVID booster shot for their students and “strongly recommending” it for faculty and staff. Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, has announced that all eligible students will need to have received a booster shot of the COVID vaccine by February 1.

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Wisconsin Representative Gallagher Criticizes Distance Learning, Says It’s Not a Substitute

Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) criticized distance learning, saying that it’s “not a substitute” for in-person learning. Gallaher made the comments about distance learning following the announcement that Milwaukee and Madison schools reverted to online schooling for the first several days back after Christmas break.

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