Hamilton Political Tidbits - Apr. 4, 2012
Today's edition of Political Tidbits features an in-depth analysis of civil justice reforms passed during the 2011-12 legislative session. This is the first in a series of policy papers Hamilton will be releasing over the coming weeks. Look for future policy papers on regulatory issues, health care law, economic development, and Wisconsin's upcoming elections & political environment.
This busy election season kicked off with a Romney win in the Presidential primary on April 3rd. The pace will continue to pick up as elections are scheduled for May, June, August and November! Hamilton's updates on the Wisconsin legislative elections, the recalls, and the U.S. Senate race provide the latest information on those contests.
And is it just us, or does it seem as though the courts are trying to pick up the slack now that the legislature has recessed? Read about recent decisions regarding voter ID, redistricting, and default judgments recently handed down by the courts.
Feel free to forward Political Tidbits to anyone you feel would benefit from the information it contains. If you require additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits for your organization's board meeting or trade publication, please do not hesitate to contact a Hamilton Consulting Group lobbyist.
To ensure that Political Tidbits never gets caught in your spam filter, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book/contacts list. If you are receiving these emails via a workplace email account, please advise your IT service desk to do this for you.
Romney Wins Wisconsin Presidential Primary
On April 3rd, Wisconsin voters headed to the polls to vote in the Presidential Preference primary and in various municipal and judicial elections. The final vote will not be certified for a couple of weeks, but unofficial returns show Mitt Romney as the winner in the Wisconsin Primary.
National pundits are saying that Romney's win in Wisconsin, in addition to same day wins in Maryland and the District of Columbia, ensures he will be the Republican nominee.
GAB Sets Recall Dates
At a March 30 meeting, the five-member Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voted unanimously to formally certify recall elections against Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, and four Republican state senators: Scott Fitzgerald, Van Wanggaard, Terry Moulton, and Pam Galloway.
Barrett Throws His Hat in the Ring & Gets Attacked by AFSCME
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced on March 30 that he would enter the Democratic primary in the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Shortly after entering the race, Barrett asked his Democratic opponents to pledge to keep negative ads out of the primary campaign. Days later, AFSCME, which has endorsed Kathleen Falk in the primary, released an attack ad against Barrett.
Sen. Holperin to Retire
Since Hamilton Consulting's last elections update, two additional members of the Wisconsin legislature have announced they will not seek re-election.
There are now two open Senate seats, which has enticed some Assembly members to abandon their current races for a shot at a seat in the other house.
Hamilton Policy Paper on Watershed Legal Reforms Now Available
In a defining effort, the Wisconsin Legislature, with Gov. Walker's leadership, enacted sweeping civil justice reforms during the contentious 2011-12 Legislative Session. Landmark reforms relating to product liability, expert opinion testimony, risk contribution, and caps on punitive damages, among others, turned Wisconsin's souring litigation and business climate into one of the most competitive jurisdictions in the country from a litigation standpoint.
Increasingly, states' civil justice systems constitute a critical component in creating jobs and enhancing economic development. There has been a concerted effort in Wisconsin for over 25 years to establish a civil justice system in the state that is based on common sense and fairness.
Organizations that the Hamilton Consulting Group represents, the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council and Wisconsin Defense Counsel, played a key role in developing and passing each of these reforms.
Voter ID Lawsuits Headed to Supreme Court
Earlier this year, two different Dane County circuit court judges issued injunctions against the new voter ID law. The Attorney General appealed those decisions, and on March 28, those appeals were certified directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules that Default Judgment Was Void Due to Plaintiff's Failure to Name Proper Corporate Defendant
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued its decision in Johnson v. Cintas Corp. No. 2, et al., 2012 WI 31, which is the latest in a number of recent cases accepted by the Court dealing with default judgments.
Federal Court Will Draw Final District Lines
The electoral districts that will be in place for the next 10 years will soon be finalized by a panel of federal judges.
The Race to Fill Retiring U.S. Sen. Kohl's Seat
On Nov. 6, 2012, Wisconsin voters will elect a new U.S. Senator to take the place of long-time Sen. Herb Kohl (D), who announced that he was retiring last May. Both parties view this seat as critical to their 2012 strategy, which means much attention, and much money will be focused on this race.
Current and Former Justices Discuss Judicial Turmoil
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has been in the news lately, not for its opinions, but for its inner workings and interpersonal conflicts.
Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Janine Geske and Jon Wilcox were recent guests on Wisconsin Eye's Legally Speaking, where they offered their opinions on many issues facing the courts. Current Justice Michael Gableman published an article in the latest issue of Wisconsin Policy Research Institute's Wisconsin Interest providing his opinions on many of the same issues.
EPA Proposes GHG Limits for Power Plants
On March 27, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first ever Clean Air Act standard for carbon emissions from future power plants. The rules have the potential to end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.
DHS Holding Town Hall Meetings on Virtual PACE Proposal
The Department of Health Services is holding public meetings to solicit comments on a draft proposal for Virtual PACE, a program to integrate the care for people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
The Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits is a free newsletter on Wisconsin political and policy developments. Click here to subscribe today!