With Governor Scott Walker finally signing the three bills from the legislature’s extraordinary session into law without any vetoes, here is the list of winners and losers.
Winner – The Rosendale, WI police department. When Walker’s team sent out the release this morning at 9:06 AM that the bill signing would be in Green Bay at noon, Rosendale’s police force should have been ready to hand out tickets to every reporter speeding through town. (But the Administration was not trying to minimize news coverage. Nope. Not at all.)
Loser – “The Resistance.” Compared to the Act 10 protests, this effort was (to quote the British) “damp squip.” No future nuclear terrorists on segways, no occupying the state capitol, no MSNBC remotes.
Winner – Walker’s legacy. His successful policies cannot be undone within Tony Evers’ first 100 days. By signing the bills without any vetoes, Walker remained resolute when it counted. What people will remember is that when Madison (protesters, Democrats, the media) screamed, Walker still followed through.
Losers – Legislative Republicans. Seriously, can you run a worse public relations effort? Why did you wait (like Nancy Pelosi) until after the bills were passed to tell anyone what was really in them?
Winner – Tony Evers. No matter how liberal he will be, some of his supporters will be even crazier, and he can say “I’d love to help you, but the extraordinary session and all…”
Loser – Tony Evers. Was anybody paying attention to his budget tour? Bueller?
Winner – Tony Evers’ east coast fundraisers. Tony likes to send his fundraising emails with eastern time references. As in: “If you have the chance, please take a moment to tune in and learn more about how a democracy that works for all Wisconsinites is at risk. When: Sunday at 9:00 AM EST on NBC.”
Loser – Road builders / operating engineers. They will have to continue to compete for more road projects instead of using the ring fencing of needless red tape and mandated overinflated wages.
Winner – Wisconsin taxpayers. It’s now state law that increased sales tax collected from internet sales will be used to offset Wisconsin’s income tax.
Loser – Josh Kaul. Legislature gets their own legal counsel and the Joint Committee of Finance has oversight of the Department of Justice’s lawsuits. Meanwhile, Kaul loses a solicitor general. But that’s okay. It’s not like Kaul knows what the attorney general does anyway.
Winner – Open shop and small construction companies. By codifying Secretary Dave Ross’ policies, they will be able to fairly compete for more construction projects.
Loser – Scott McCallum. Could not get elected governor after being Governor Tommy Thompson’s understudy, and then hides under a rock for nearly two decades. Now he’s giving advice to Walker about his legacy?
Winner – Lester Pines and other liberal attorneys. Summer houses and boats don’t pay for themselves. Pines and the barristers over a Perkins Coie (a.k.a. The Firm) have made a cottage industry of getting paid well to sue to stop Republican reforms. They nearly had to work for a living.
Loser – Sheldon Lubar. Apparently $20,000 doesn’t buy what it used to. Maybe complaining publicly that Walker didn’t listen to your advice about running for president was not a good way to influence Walker now.
Winner: Sen. Caleb Frostman (D). Frostman got to cast three votes before being cast into obscurity.
Loser: Dan Bice. Speaking of Sheldon Lubar, why did Bice go out of his way to point out Lubar is Jewish when he referenced Jesus? We asked Bice’s editor George Stanley and didn’t get a response. Does Bice believe Jews shouldn’t comment on Christian beliefs? Doesn’t anyone edit Bice’s columns before they’re published?
Winner – Senator Ron Johnson. His efforts to get LLCs treated like corporations in the Trump tax cuts has been codified in the Wisconsin income tax.
Loser – Wisconsin’s deep state. The bureaucrats that have been laying in wait to undo Walker’s last eight years of reforms. Looks like they will have to continue to sit in the GEF buildings cafeterias and stew.
Winner – Kimberly-Clark. They got their subsidy, and then the door for more enterprise zones was closed behind them.
Losers – Most of the media. Their cheerleading for Evers was especially obnoxious.
Winner – Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now, who is busy cranking out fundraising letters and emails to cash in on “resisting the Republican power grab.”
Loser – Health care lobbyists. They usually have the run of the state capitol and have earned their substantial paycheck bottling up pro-taxpayer reforms like state of Wisconsin self-insurance and a worker’s compensation fee schedule. This time the army of Brooks Brothers and Chanel suits could not stop joint finance committee oversight.