Hamilton Political Tidbits- July 17, 2014

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
 July 17, 2014  

This edition of Hamilton Consulting's Political Tidbits comes to you less than one month from the fall primary election day, August 12th, and some elections are heating up. Governor Walker and candidate Mary Burke are turning in their mid-year fund raising numbers, and we're waiting on next week's Marquette University poll to let us know if Walker or Burke is ahead, after last month's poll said the two gubernatorial candidates were tied.


Also in this week's Political Tidbits is analysis from our consultants on Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions released this week, and coverage of state and national agency action: both the state and national government is trying to fix the shortfalls in our nation's infrastructure, the Wisconsin DNR is getting good returns on the Walleye Initiative, DHS finds themselves falling shorter than they expected, and the Governor lifted WEDC's moratorium on a tax credit program. Read more in this July 17th, 2014 edition of Political Tidbits.


If you wish to receive additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting Team.

Election Update - July 17th, 2014
Rhetoric Heats Up in 6th CD Race
The election rhetoric is heating up in the 6th Congressional District, where four GOP candidates are vying to be the Republican candidate during the November election. At the start of July, press releases were passed back and forth as three of the Republican candidates responded to a disagreement over an Ozaukee county debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV)...
Walker Fund Raises More Than Burke
According to mid-year filings, Governor Walker raised nearly $8.3 million to Democratic candidate Mary Burke's $5.4 million during the first half of 2014.
"Lemon Law King" Loses
In a 5-1 decision authored by Justice Ziegler and joined by Justices Crooks, Bradley, Prosser, and Gableman (Chief Justice Abrahamson dissenting and Justice Roggensack not participating), the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed the self-proclaimed "Lemon Law King" a defeat by refusing to award him attorney's fees in a lawsuit. The case is Betz v. Diamond Jim's Auto Sales, 2014 WI 66.
State Supreme Court Rules Trial Court Erred

In a 4-3 decision authored by Justice Roggensack, joined by Justices Crooks, Gableman, and Ziegler, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the trial court's decision to give the absent witness instruction was erroneous and remanded the case back to the circuit court for a new trial.

Justice Bradley authored a dissenting opinion that was joined by Chief Justice Abrahamson. Justice Prosser also authored a dissenting opinion. The case is Kochanski v. Speedway Super America, 2014 WI 72.

Governor Lifts Moratorium on Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Governor Scott Walker lifted the moratorium on the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, after the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) placed the moratorium on the tax credit in late June.

The WEDC placed a temporary moratorium on the tax credit program due to the unexpectedly large influx of projects applying for the tax credit, going from a $4 million estimated budget impact to nearly $35 million. 

House Passes Highway Trust Fund Patch


On Tuesday, July 15th, the House voted (367-55) to approve a $10.8 billion temporary patch to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through May 2015. The bill has garnered the support of the Obama Administration and now requires Senate action. A similar bill is pending in the Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed the Senate will vote on the House bill this month. 



Court Holds Plaintiff's Insurer Must Defend and Indemnify Defendant


In a troubling 4-3 decision authored by Chief Justice Abrahamson, joined by Justices Crooks, Bradley, and Prosser, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the plaintiff's insurance carrier, American Family Insurance, had a duty to defend and indemnify the tortfeasor because the torfeasor was a "permissive user" of the plaintiff's vehicle under American Family's policy. Justice Roggensack authored the dissenting opinion and was joined by Justices Ziegler and Gableman. 

Childless Adults Coverage Driving Medicaid Budget Shortfall


On June 27, the Department of Health Services submitted a quarterly report to the Joint Finance Committee on the overall condition of the Medicaid benefits budget.

The report shows an estimated $93 million GPR shortfall ($232.5 million All Funds) by the end of the biennium, a nearly $73 million increase to the projected shortfall from last quarter 

2014 Broadband Planning Symposium and PSC Broadband Grants
On July 8, the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin hosted the 2014 Broadband Planning Symposium. The symposium is part of the LinkWISCONSIN initiative to increase Wisconsin's competitiveness through the availability, adoption, and use of broadband technology. The event provided the opportunity for broadband stakeholders across the state to explore how broadband is changing in Wisconsin and share perspectives on the need and expansion of broadband. 
Wisconsin Walleye Initiative Succeeding


The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative has seen great success in boosting walleye populations statewide.


The program, developed by the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor's office, began in 2013 to increase the number of walleye in state waters. The program provides one time funding of $2 million to state, private, and tribal fish hatcheries to expand production of large fingerling walleye. Collectively, the program uses a $12 million funding to boost walleye populations through infrastructure improvements and production grants.

Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
Wisconsin Walleye Initiative


WMC Announces 76 "Working for Wisconsin" Awards

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce has announced the 76 legislators who in the last legislative session voted for tax cuts, regulation relief, lawsuit reform, and other pro-growth legislation.

Scott Manley, WMC Vice President of Government Relations said, "These lawmakers are visionary pioneers for economic growth... They cut over $1 billion in taxes, cut red tape, and clamped down on frivolous lawsuits.

Read more for the full list...
Walmart Hosts "Made in the USA" Open Call

Walmart U.S. Open Call Event Highlights
Walmart U.S. Open Call Event Highlights

In July, Walmart opened the front door of its world headquarters for a "Made in the USA" open call.

The even allows suppliers of American products to meet with top Walmart leaders to pitch their products for Walmart stores. "In an unprecedented event, we are opening our doors and making our buyers available to meet with suppliers with one goal in mind: buy more American products," said Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S.

Delta Dental Participates in Mission of Mercy

The Wisconsin Dental Association held their sixth annual Mission of Mercy, with Delta Dental's support and staff volunteering their time. The Mission of Mercy program provides free dental care in one community for two days to those who are unable to obtain oral care. According to Dr. Fred Eichmiller, Delta Dental of Wisconsin Vice President & Science Officer, "This event provides them an opportunity to directly live our mission of improving access to better oral health." 


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News Clips 


Walker: Election will be tight: The Racine Journal Times, July 14, 2014.

Election 2014: 78th Assembly District: Wisconsin State Journal, July 13, 2014.

Candidate profiles: State Senate District 17: Wisconsin State Journal, July 13, 2014.

Ground game could determine Wisconsin governor's race: Appleton Post-Crescent, July 13, 2014.

Ryan breaks fundraising record: Racine Journal Times, July 12, 2014.

Two Burkes on ballot for governor: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 11, 2014.

Van Hollen: Auditors can't have access to GAB investigative files: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 10, 2014.

Walker outraises Burke by 2-to-1 margin in first half of the year: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 9, 2014.

2 GOP congressional candidates skipping forum over voter ID issue: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 8, 2014.

Walker, Burke campaigning around Wisconsin: Racine Journal Times, July 8, 2014.

Scott Walker and Mary Burke: A campaign about nothing (column): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 7, 2014.

Stene to challenge Larson in 67th District: The Chippewa Herald, July 7, 2014.

Senate preview: 15th District candidates discuss job creation: Beloit Daily News, July 7, 2014.

Gov. Scott Walker and Mary Burke on taxes: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 7, 2014.

Rep. Vruwink goes to budget committee: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 7, 2014.

Leibham debuts first television and radio ads: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 7, 2014.

Burke promises to repeal asbestos law if elected: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, July 7, 2014.


Economic Development and Finance 

Tax credit restoration hailed as development boon: La Crosse Tribune, July 15, 2014.

Scott Walker decides to resume tax credit for historic buildings: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 14, 2014.

Rural broadband Internet service growing: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, July 14, 2014.

Future of broadband, access in rural areas: Wisconsin Radio Network, July 14, 2014.

Briggs & Stratton to add 370 jobs at Wauwatosa plant: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 10, 2014,

Panelists say rural broadband boost could spark economy: Wisbusiness.com, July 9, 2014.

Governor spotlights McLane Foodservice expansion: Racine Journal Times, July 9, 2014.

Walmart Hosts First-Ever 'Made In USA' Open Call For Suppliers: Manufacturing.net, July 8, 2014.

Pharmacy sales boost major drugstores in June: Beloit Daily News, July 7, 2014.

Company fined $2.75M for missing job creation goal: Beloit Daily News, July 7, 2014.

DC, Wisconsin clash on a poll over internet sales taxes: Wisconsin Election Watch, July 7, 2014.

Minimum wage to be debated by Clark County Board: Marshfield News Herald, July 7, 2014.

Wisconsin company plans paper plant in Mississippi: Beloit Daily News, July 7, 2014.

Wisconsin leads Midwest in new businesses' 10-year survival rate: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 6, 2014.

Walker's support huge boost for Confluence: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, June 29, 2014.

Utilities and Energy

California leads in clean tech, Milwaukee ranks high in green buildings: Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, July 14, 2014.

Powerhouse Racine: SC Johnson manufacturing reduces draw from the grid by using renewable energy: Racine Journal Times, July 12, 2014.

Solar vs. electric battles heating up in Iowa, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 12, 2014.

Biomass proposal outlined: Jefferson Daily Union, July 9, 2014.

Less Enthusiasm over controversial proposal: Juneau County Star, July 9, 2014.

ANR Pipeline Project Offering Utica/Marcellus Connection: Intel.com, July 9, 2014.

Wisconsin Reactor's Demise Shows Nuclear Towns' Plight: Bloomberg.com, July 8, 2014.

We Energies seeks to modify Oak Creek power plant: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 8, 2014.

Environmental survey of proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline route continues in Minnesota: CNOW.com, July 8, 2014.

Plant owner wants to hasten nuclear waste transfer: Fox11online.com, July 7, 2014.

Outcry prompts expedited plan to move fuel at Kewaunee nuclear plant: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 6, 2014.

Alliant wants $150M pollution upgrade at power plant near Portage: BizTimes.com, July 3, 2014.

Manitoba grants environmental licence for construction of controversial dam: Winnipeg CTV News, July 2, 2014.

Going off the grid: How Dane County manure digesters are helping a hospital achieve energy independence: Madison Cap Times, July 2, 2014.

State lawmakers urge PSC to conduct more analysis on proposed transmission line: Sawyer County Record, July 1, 2014. 



As health-care law's employer mandate nears, firms cut worker hours, struggle with logistics: The Washington Post, June 23, 2014.

Thompson leading charge for obesity to be recognized as disease: Channel3000.com, June 18, 2014.

Mental health care gets a boost: Grant will pay for respite center in Fox Valley: Appleton Post Crescent, June 11, 2014.

Veterans give thumbs up to Coulee Region VA services: La Crosse Tribune, June 11, 2014.

Heroin addicts face high treatment costs, tough decisions: HTR News, June 7, 2014.

Wisconsin's drunken driving task force is failing (opinion): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 6, 2014


Transportation and Construction

Americans and their cars: A love affair on fumes? Fond du Lac Reporter, June 22, 2014.

Tesla is freeing all of its patents. Here's why that's not crazy: Vox, June 12th, 2014

In case you missed it: Is expanding passenger rail in Wisconsin finally back on track?: The Cap Times, June 11, 2014.

Nevada's DOT taking the paper out of paperwork: GCN, June 11, 2014.

Passenger train service from Madison to Chicago is proposed: Madison.com, June 12, 20144.
Justices rap EPA, but uphold global warming rules: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2014.

Both sides see victory in Supreme Court's ruling on EPA regs: The Hill, June 23, 2014.

Metal mining could see comeback - Plans afoot in UP of Michigan, neighboring states: Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, June 22, 2014.

Tribes Bypass State Rules, Want EPA To Stop GTAC Mine: Wisconsin Public Radio, June 20, 2014.

US Midwest poised for a copper and iron ore mining rebirth: Mining.com, June 15, 2014.

A look at mining history, economy of NW Wisconsin: Fox11online.com, June 10, 2014.

Wisconsin utilities hit 10% renewable energy goal, two years early: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 12, 2014.

Stallman tells Congress to stop EPA Overreach: Wisconsin Ag Connection, June 12, 2014.

EPA extends clean water rule comment period: Wisconsin Ag Connection, June 11, 2014.

Troubled mining industry now resurgent in Midwest: Tulsa World, June 11, 2014.

Judge balks at WE Energies' solar power limitations: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 11, 2014.

Obama signs lock and dam bill into law: Wisconsin Ag Connection, June 11, 2014.



Supreme Court: Police Need Warrants to Search Cellphone Data: Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2014.

Supreme Court to Cops: "Get A Warrant" for Cell Phone Searches: Businessweek.com, June 25, 2014.

Legal confusion follows federal judge's ruling on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin: Boston.com, June 12, 2014.

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