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Wauwatosa Parents Respond to Leah Vukmir

This video is a parental response to Leah Vukmir's column in the Journal Sentinel about public schools.





Ethics Commissioner Kinney resigns

Only a few months after the creation of the state Ethics Commission, one of the commisioners has resigned, expressing serious concerns about transparency in the behavior of the commission and the ability of the commission to actually enforce ethics on state politicians.





Christmas Eve Music and Fun from Our Valley to Your Radio

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout   Looking for a homegrown Holiday treat for Christmas Eve? Look no further than your radio for a special holiday performance from Wisconsin’s beautiful west coast.   Big River Radio Wave’s Christmas Show airs on Wisconsin Public Radio across Wisconsin on Christmas Eve. The show comes straight from our valley to your radio.   The show originates at the renovated Big River Theater in Alma, Wisconsin. In fact, the creator and host, Mac Cherry, is my neighbor.   This year’s Holiday show weaves local musicians, storytellers, and comedians with their very special bit of advice. The show is upbeat, funny and filled with rural holiday wisdom, like comedian Tim Harmston’s counsel for “navigating the political divide at Christmas.”  




Happy Holidays

We're quickly falling into that time of year when people start to think about the holidays and stop thinking so much about politics.  Maybe not this year. 





New Transportation Ideas Needed to Handle More Intense Storms

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout   Winter came to Buffalo County. The weather turned to snow and then to ice.   In our hilly part of the world, rural people are used to finding new ways out of the valleys during bad weather. However, for residents living in Schoepps Valley (pronounced “Sheps”) the usual way out is not an option.   The story began early August 11, 2016 when torrential rains dumped up to 11 ½ inches in our area. Small creeks became raging rivers. Wild water took out several bridges including the Schoepps Valley Bridge that connects a major road –State Highway 88 – to about 20 homes and farms.  




Army denies easement for Dakota Access Pipeline - construction halted

People at the Oceti Sakowin Camp are rejoicing this afternoon as the Army has announced that the Corps of Engineers is denying the easement for the pipeline under Lake Oahe. This essentially halts construction for the time being, and the Army Corps of Engineers is planning for an Environmental Impact Study with public input.

This will put the construction project seriously behind schedule and will almost certainly become a huge expense for the pipeline owners, since they face punitive contract damages if the pipeline is not finished by Dec. 31. The pipeline construction should remain halted until a re-routing of the line is established.





Request for immediate halt of recount denied

Today Judge James Peterson denied the request filed by two PACs supporting Donald Trump. The request asked fro an immediate temporary halt of the recount in Wisconsin. The judge ruled that allowing the recount to proceed would not hurt anything, and that the recount may proceed while the lawsuit makes its way through the federal court system. 

Judge Peterson has scheduled a hearing for the suit on Dec. 9. This is three days before the recount will need to be completed so that the results may be filed in time for the vote of the Electoral College.





Where did "The Feed" Go?

You may or may not have noticed that The Feed disappeared from the site today, and from the top menu. We've run that feature for several years now on the site.  It's a Rebelmouse page, and it has always been kind of a fun and nifty feature. Unfortunately Rebelmouse is changing quite a lot, and they've dropped their free plan,and the new non-free plans are way out of my price range. We were grandfathered in, but although they are doing a whole lot of neat stuff with their paid platform, things are not changing particularly on the free sites. There will be some more new stuff going on here and over on https://wis.community as time goes on, but The Feed is now dead here. 





Shilling Wins Recount

Word just in - Jennifer Shilling has been re-confirmed as the winner in the Nov. election against Dan Kapanke. We don't have official numbers yet.





Trump supporters file suit to stop recount

This is probably not a surprising move, but groups supporting Donald Trump have filed suit this morning to stop the recount in Wisconsin. The suit was filed by numerous plaintiffs including The Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC. 





Live from Hudson, WI - the recount

I realize that in a lot of ways this is like watching the drying paint channel - but for those of you who are so inclined, this is the live video coverage of the Wisconsin recount from Hudson, WI - courtesy of .





Smoke clears, recount to begin Thursday

As you will see in the Storify article below, a lot happened yesterday RE: the recount. Please follow the links in the Storify for external documents. 





4:30 PM

The presidential recount in Wisconsin all boils down to 4:30 PM. 4:30 today is when the payment to the state is due to have the recount proceed. It's also the time that the hearing will take place in Madison to decide if the counties will be forced to do hand recounts of all ballots.

The from the different counties also lists whether they intend to count all ballots by hand - it appears this is about a half and half mix. It's possible that a full hand recount will increase the cost of the recount, which the Stein campaign is already complaining about as being too high.  It will be an interesting afternoon in Madison.





The Best Idea for a Bill Comes from You!

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“Where do you get ideas for bills?” a woman at a café recently asked me.

“The best ideas for bills come from people like you,” I told her 

December begins a brief time of calm in the Capitol. But behind the scenes, lawmakers are working on new legislation. In the next few weeks I will be drafting bills to introduce in January. I am looking for your ideas!

Lawmakers will open the 103rd session of the Wisconsin Legislature on January 3rd. On that day, and for perhaps the next fifteen months, legislators will introduce roughly 1,800 bills or proposals.





The Wisconsin Recount - where we stand

Since two recount petitions were filed for a Wisconsin recount of the presidental election, procedures for the recount are now under way. County clerks around the state are currently providing cost estimates for their recount efforts, and must provide both a cost and the method that will be used to recount optical scan ballots by the close of business today. 





Recount petitions received by Wisconsin Elections Commission

Recount petitions for the presidental election were received today by the Wisconsin Elections Commission, both from the Jill Stein campaign and from the De La Fuente campaign.  They were filed with a few hours to spare. The petitions and supporting documents are now up on the Elections Commission web site, which has been under a lot of strain this afternoon due to interest in the petitions. 

http://elections.wi.gov/node/4436





School Budget Proposal Brings Needed Relief

Senator Kathleen Vinehout   “Over the past four years, we have seen an increased reliance on referenda to keep the lights on,” State Superintendent Tony Evers announced as he released his school budget proposal.   “Around the state, local communities took the lead on funding reform through the ballot box, but the state has to be a good partner and do our share to help small town schools.”   Indeed. This year, Wisconsinites passed a record number of school referenda.   In the recent election, 82% of school referenda passed. Over the last four years, citizens in more than half of Wisconsin’s school districts voted to raise their property taxes to pay for schools.  




Trump settles Trump University suit

In a big surprise today, Donald Trump settled the Trump University civil suit in New York State for $25 million dollars. A statement was released on Twitter by the New York Attorney General - it is the attached image. Click on the image to enlarge it.





Draining the Swamp? Not So Much

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Trump's promise to "drain the swam" -





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