Hamilton Political Tidbits- June 27, 2014

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
 June 27, 2014  

As a prelude to Independence Day next week, there were some early fireworks in Wisconsin. Publicly released documents in the John Doe case prompted a provocative headline that sparked debate across the country on how the case would affect Governor Walker's re-election for governor and potential presidential run. On Monday, the announced acquisition of Integrys by We Energies Corporation produced some oohs and aahs in energy world as insiders speculate on the ramifications of the venture. And the Supreme Court tried to lower the boom on the EPA, but stopped short of forcing them to reverse course on their regulation of greenhouse emissions. These stories and parade of others are featured in this week's 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.

Wisconsin Energy to Acquire Integrys Energy Group
On Monday, June 23,  Wisconsin Energy Corp. announced that they intend to acquire Integrys Energy Group in a transaction valued at $9.1 billion in cash, stock, and assumed debt to form the single holding company WEC Energy Group, Inc.

John Doe II
As it relates to the current state of Wisconsin politics, the words "John Doe" have been omnipresent for what seems like Governor Walker's entire first term.

While it is a little hard to gauge, the general public appears to be passive toward the investigation as a whole.  John Doe I was in the papers and produced charges against some in Governor Walker's circle, but seemed to have minimal impact as the Governor cruised to victory in his recall election.

U.S. Supreme Court Decision - EPA Loses the Battle, Wins the War
On Monday, June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a much anticipated decision (Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, 573 U.S. ___ (2014)) deciding whether it was permissible for the Environmental Protection Agency to determine whether its motor-vehicle greenhouse-gas (GHG) regulations automatically triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit GHG. Justice Scalia delivered the opinion with the other Justices concurring and dissenting with the various parts of the decision.

Former Senator Named Head of Motor Carriers


Former Sen. Neal Kedzie, who had announced earlier this month that he was resigning from the Senate, will become the new president of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association.  


He will replace Tom Howells, who has been with the WMCA for 35 years.


Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Property Owners Liable for Independent Contractor Work

In a 4-3 decision authored by Justice Crooks, joined by Justices Roggensack, Ziegler, and Gableman (Chief Justice Abrahamson concurring/dissenting, joined by Justices Bradley and Prosser) the Supreme Court held that a property owner may be held liable for damage caused by an independent contractor hired to perform work on his or her property. The case is Brandenburg v. Briarwood Forestry Services, LLC, 2014 WI 37

WEDC Places Moratorium on Historic Preservation Tax Credit


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has placed a temporary moratorium on the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, due to the unexpectedly large influx of projects applying for the tax credit.


In December, Hamilton Consulting reported that Governor Walker had signed 2013 Wisconsin Act 62 into law, which raised the Historic Tax Credit on qualified rehabilitation expenditures of certified historic structures to 20 percent. In addition, a new 20 percent tax credit was created for rehabilitation expenditures on qualified rehabilitated buildings so long as the expenditures exceed $50,000.


Walmart Responds to NYT Columnist


Recently, a New York Times columnist took to the papers to put the fight to Walmart to complain about the income gap for employees. Walmart fought back however, with red edits to "Fact Check" the column.
The New Zealand Herald Highlights Wisconsin Tourism


In a recent articleThe New Zealand Herald, the country's largest circulating newspaper, highlighted Wisconsin in its international tourism column:
There are two standard responses to the statement "I'm going to Wisconsin."
The first is "Where?"
The second is "Why?"
Where is easy: head north out of Chicago along the western shore of Lake Michigan.
Explaining the why takes more time, but only because there are so many reasons.
The article, which you can read in full, highlighted the Wisconsin dairy industry, cheese curds (both fried and fresh), Harley-Davidson, and Frank Lloyd Wright. 
DOT Drunk Driving Task Force Members Resign


Four non-government members of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Drunk Driving Task Force have resigned from their place on the task force, citing procedural issues and conflicts of interest with the Tavern League of Wisconsin's involvement on the board.




Wisconsin Alzheimer's Research Center Awarded
NIH Grant


The Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the University of Wisconsin recently received $7.5 million in additional grants from the National Institutes of Health, after it was first established by NIH grants in 2009.  


Since its establishment in 2009, the ADRC has published three hundred works and identifying many risk factors and biomarkers in fighting Alzheimer's disease. With the new grant, Dr. Sanjay Asthana, director of the ADRC, plans to double the size of the research group which currently administers tests and research on 500 participants.

The ADRC has conducted research with the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention (WRAP), which is the nation's largest long-term study of relatives of people with Alzheimer's disease. The ADRC also conducts research on diabetes, risk for Alzheimer's, and patient-care delivery.

Hamilton Consulting's Political Fundraiser Calendar

Be sure you are up to date on all of the most recent political fundraisers. As Election Day nears, candidates look to their supporters to help fund their campaigns. Hamilton Consulting has all of the dates and locations consolidated in one calendar, under the "Resources" tab at Hamilton-Consulting.com.



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News Clips 


Unemployment drops in most of Wisconsin: Green Bay Press-Gazette, June 25, 2014.

State freeze leaves Hotel Northland tax credits in limbo: Green Bay Press-Gazette, June 25, 2014.

6th Congressional candidates plan for district landscape: Fox11online.com, June 24, 2014.

Wisconsin Democrats attempt to raise money off of John Doe records release: Wisconsin Election Watch, June 24, 2014.

Former Senator Kedzie named President of Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association: Wisconsin Election Watch, June 24, 2014.

Political action group sues over Wisconsin campaign money limits: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2014.

Kedzie resigns from Senate to pursue unknown job: Janesville Gazette, June 16, 2014.

Ryan says no thanks on wanting to become the next House majority leader: Pierce County Herald, June 12, 2014.

Cantor to step down; new majority leader selected June 19: Chicago Tribune, June 11, 2014

Could Eric Cantor's loss be California's gain?: LA Times, June 11, 2014.

Burke says she can bridge partisan divide: Sheboygan Press, June 9, 2014.


Economic Development and Finance 

State halts expanded tax credits for rehabbing historic buildings: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 25, 2014.

Duluth imposes street fee on residents, businesses: Businessnorth.com, June 24, 2014.

State places temporary moratorium on historic preservation tax credits: BizTimes.com, June 25, 2014.

Madison could be ripe for tech jobs from the coasts, a New York venture capitalist says: Madsion.com, June 25, 2014.

Economic growth: How Wisconsin compares: Racine Journal Times, June 24, 2014.

Wisconsin gained 28,141 jobs last year: Biztimes.com, June 19, 2014.

Chamber working to recruit young, skilled workers as boomers retire: WSAU.com, June 17, 2014.

WEDC officials view Fort Club renovations: Daily Union, June 16, 2014.

Wisconsin, Milwaukee employers among most optimistic on job growth: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 9, 2014

WEDC to host global trade mission to Singapore and Indonesia: Milwaukee Business Journal, June 12, 2014.

Utilities and Energy

Propane pipeline reversal prompts plan to build western Wisconsin terminal: 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 4, 2014.

Reopen Public Comments on Wisconsin Oil Pipeline, Professor Says: WPR, June 4, 2014.

Strange bedfellows in EPA's carbon rule (opinion): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 2, 2014.

Power struggle: Public input sought on Badger Coulee Transmission Line: The Country Today, June 2, 2014.

Xcel offering energy conservation services: WEAU.com, June 2, 2014.

WPS seeks $50m expansion of Marathon County ash landfill: Green Bay Press Gazette, June 1, 2014.

EPA rules may force Wisconsin utilities to reduce coal use:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 31, 2014.

Focus on Energy provides Flambeau River Papers loan for energy efficiency projects: Sawyer County Record, May 31, 2014.

Green energy trend puts pressure on utilities: Daily Reporter, May 30, 2014.

ATC eyes $101 million upgrade for four aging power lines: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 28, 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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