Hamilton Political Tidbits- October 3rd, 2014

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
 October 3rd, 2014  


The Packer fans aren't the only ones feeling like winners this week; the Walker campaign has pulled ahead of Mary Burke in the race for Wisconsin Governor, for the first time since March, in the most recent Marquette University poll.


Including an analysis of the latest poll, this week's Tidbits also includes a break down of a recent study that concludes Wisconsin could benefit from lower taxes, an analysis of recent oral arguments the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard regarding "non-compete agreements", this week's WEDA Fall Conference, and an update on the EPA's proposed carbon rules for power plants. You'll find all this and more in this week's Tidbits, plus the latest news headlines in politics, economic development, utilities and energy, legal matters, environmental issues, and health.


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.

Walker Leading in New MU Poll 

A new Marquette Law School Poll was released this week, putting Gov. Scott Walker at 50 percent, and Mary Burke at 45 percent among likely voters. This is the first time either candidate has had a lead greater than the margin of error.

Those in Wisconsin politics were paying close attention to the poll, as some wondered whether numbers would take a dramatic swing in favor of Walker after a Buzzfeed article alleged parts of Mary Burke's jobs plan had been plagiarized. Since then, the plagiarism issue has been a much touted and talked about issue on both sides through television ads, social media, and the press.


Big Names on the Campaign Trail

This week, candidate Mary Burke and current Governor Scott Walker had big names on the campaign trail. While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie traveled to Hudson with Walker, First Lady Michelle Obama appeared with Burke at a rally in Milwaukee.

The First Lady's speech focused on getting out the vote, knocking on doors, and getting 2012 presidential election voters to turn out. During the August primary in Wisconsin, voter turnout was 12.7 percent.


Wisconsin Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Dealing with Non-Compete Agreements

On Wednesday, October 1, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case that involves an important issue to Wisconsin employers who hire employees on an at-will basis and seek to protect themselves with non-competition, confidentiality, and non-solicitation agreements (hereinafter, "Non-Competes" or "Agreements").

The opinion of a Milwaukee County Circuit Court that is under review invalidated a Wisconsin employer's Non-Competes with its at-will employees in Wisconsin.  The Milwaukee Circuit Court held if an employer seeks to update its Non-Competes with existing at-will employees, it cannot simply make the signing of such agreements a condition of the at-will employees' continued employment.



WEDA Fall Conference


Economic development specialists from around Wisconsin gathered in Oshkosh this week for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association's annual Fall Regional Conference. The full agenda included presentations on marketing for site selectors, best practices, disaster preparedness, international marketing, and much more.


Rebecca Hogan, of The Hamilton Consulting Group, outlined WEDA's Legislative Agenda for the 2015-2016 legislative session, which includes priorities on workforce development, financial incentives, infrastructure, economic development, and Wisconsin's business climate.


Update: Carbon Regulation for Power Plants


The Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) released initial study results from a regulatory impact analysis on the proposed EPA carbon rules for power plants.


The study consists of two phases that calculate compliance costs within MISO's footprint by applying the assumptions in EPA's draft rule and examine the range of emission reductions and their costs under various future policy and economic assumptions.

UW Nurse Midwives Program Marks 25 Years


UW midwives mark 25 years 'catching' babies
UW midwives mark 25 years 'catching' babies

The UW Health Nurse Midwifery Service will celebrate twenty five years this October, and they've helped deliver 8,760 newborn babies over that time. The service began in 1989 with one nurse midwife and has grown to include eight nurse midwives. Today, the UW Health Nurse Midwives catch about 15 percent of the babies born at Meriter Hospital.

An event to celebrate the anniversary will be held on Sunday, October 5, at the Meriter Hospital cafeteria. The American College of Nurse-Midwives will present to the UW Health Group their "With Women for a Lifetime Commendation."

Republican Leaders Dispute GAB Ballots

A lawsuit filed by Republican officials regarding the design of the state's standard ballot was dismissed by a Waukesha County judge in late September.

The lawsuit stated that the new model ballot issued by the Government Accountability Board (GAB) would confuse voters because of the way the first candidate's name would be listed in the same box as the title of the office, possibly causing voters to assume the first candidate listed is the incumbent.


WPRI Study Finds Long-Term Benefit in Lower Taxes

A new Wisconsin Policy Research Institute study finds Wisconsin would "benefit long-term from lower taxes and a different tax mix." The study continues by stating that "approximately 11.6 percent of personal income typically goes to pay an array of taxes - a higher percentage than in at least two-thirds of other states."

WPRI examined reducing the individual income tax rate by 10 percent and reducing the corporate rate to the new highest individual rate of 6.885 percent. The study found this would lower the tax burden by $900 million and create 11,300 new jobs by 2018, $300 million in new investment, and $1.1 billion in new disposable income.

Political Campaigns Turn to Social Media

In a new report from WISN, Professor Mike Wagner from the UW-Madison School of Journalism, outlines how candidates are spending more time engaging in coversation with voters online through social media. 

TIF and Structured Settlement Payments Study Committees to Meet Next Week

Two Legislative Council Study Committees will be meeting next week on Thursday, October 9, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, and Hamilton Consulting will be there to follow the proceedings.

The Study Committee on the Review of Tax Incremental Financing will meet at 10 AM on Thursday in Room 413 North. At the meeting, members of the state legislature and citizens, including members from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, will discuss options for legislation, and legislation that has been drafted per last month's committee decisions.

The Study Committee on Transfer of Structured Settlement Payments will meet at 9 AM on Thursday in Room 225 Northwest. The committee members will be discussing how to move forward with the committee assignment, including a discussion on drafted legislation.

John Doe Update

The latest update in the John Doe saga includes a request from Club for Growth's Eric O'Keefe for an investigation into Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm. According to the records, O'Keefe, who is a subject of the John Doe case, filed a federal lawsuit in February alleging the probe was an attempt to criminalize political speech. He is claiming that Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm has pursued the investigation for political reasons.

John Doe target strikes back with call for probe of prosecutor: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 29, 2014

State Supreme Court could decide whether John Doe probe proceeds: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 25, 2014

Federal court lifts injunction in second Governor Walker "John Doe" investigation: Fox6, September 24, 2014

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News Clips 


Voter ID foes ask US Supreme Court to block Wisconsin law: Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 2, 2014.

Group sues state over campaign coordination: Madison.com, Oct. 2, 2014.

Incumbents make a strong show in debate: Wausau Daily Herald, Oct. 2, 2014.

Scott Walker leads Mary Burke 50-45 among likely voters in latest Marquette poll: Wisconsin State Journal, Oct. 1, 2014.

Poll shows Mary Burke leading by 5 points; lead widens in model: Madison Cap Times, Oct. 1, 2014.

Lawmakers to consider request for voter ID ad campaign: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 1, 2014.

Can Scott Walker Unite Republicans?: GQ, Sept. 30, 2014 

Groups Continue to Make False 'Equal Pay' Claims: Wisconsin Civil Justice Council, Sept. 30, 2014.

Polarization reshapes Wisconsin elections: The Northwestern, Sept. 30, 2014.

Johnson visits Chippewa County GOP: The Chippewa Herald, Sept. 28, 2014


Economic Development and Finance

Unemployment falls below 6% for first time since 2008: Channel 3000, Oct. 3, 2014

To reverse driver shortage, trucking industry steers women to jobs: WXPR, Oct. 2, 2014

5 mysteries of US job market waiting to be solved: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 2, 2014

Paper industry has changed, but jobs still available: Green Bay Press Gazette, Oct. 1, 2014

Aging workforce, skills gap leaves jobs unfilled: Green Bay Press Gazette, Oct. 1, 2014

Bill Wyman: Time is now for Greater Oshkosh Development Corporation: Oshkosh Northwestern, Oct. 1, 2014

Report calls on Wisconsin's leaders to cut taxes further: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 30, 2014.

Study: Cutting tax rates, broadening sales tax base would boost Wisconsin economy: Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 30, 2014.

Equal Opportunities Commission works to establish a protected homeless class: The Daily Cardinal, Sept. 30, 2014.

CVTC to benefit from large jobs training grants: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Sept. 29, 2014.

Gogebic mine owners delay Wisconsin application as iron ore prices plunge: The Cap Times, Sept. 28, 2014.

As U.S. creates low-wage jobs, Wisconsin riveted to manufacturing: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 26, 2014.

Wisconsin Continues To Lead Nation As Top Cranberry Producer: Wisconsin Public Radio, Sept. 26, 2014.


Utilities and Energy

Partnership eyes energy-saving buildings in fast-growing global cities: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 2, 2014.

Generac acquires North Dakota manufacturer: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 2, 2014.

Oshkosh police warn of burglar who claims to be utility employee: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 2, 2014.

PSC: Need for $300 million northern Wis. power line will be scrutinized: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Oct. 1, 2014.

Polar vortex temperatures plunged below many power plant operating scenarios, NERC reports: Eenews.net, Oct. 1, 2014.

Franklin Energy Services acquires Nevada-based energy efficiency company: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 29, 2014.

Groups want delay in decision on Wisconsin Energy acquisition of Integrys: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 25, 2014.

Wisconsin Energy executive explains utility's solar rate plan: GazetteXtra, Sept. 25, 2014.

Renewable energy plan hinges on huge Utah caverns: Madison.com, Sept. 25, 2014.

Duke-ATC power line would link Wyoming wind farm, Utah energy storage: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 23, 2014.

PSC beginning We Energies, Integrys merger process: Green Bay Press Gazette, Sept. 23, 2014.

Energy assistance for those in need: The Cambridge News, Sept. 23, 2014.

We Energies wants to spend $62 million to expand coal storage at Oak Creek: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 22, 2014.


Supreme Court asked to block Wisconsin voter ID: Fond du Lac Reporter, Oct. 2, 2014



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