CJ Szafir is president of the Institute for Reforming Government, a think tank in Madison, WI. 

Politics  

In April, Deb Kerr narrowly wins the State Superintendent of Public Instruction election to become the first reform-minded person to run the Department of Public Instruction since ……..ever?

With two major Wisconsin elections looming in 2022 (and Senator Johnson announcing his retirement), it becomes abundantly clear this year that the Republicans have a significantly stronger, more talented bench to run two statewide elections than the Democrats.  

In a test for Democrat governors’ handling of COVID, organizers collect enough signatures to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom, setting up a massive gubernatorial election. 

Andrew Yang finds himself mayor of “the greatest city of the world.”

Policy and law

Governor Tony Evers proposes a budget that expands Medicaid (without considering the costs on the private sector), raises taxes (without considering the impact on the economy), dramatically increases spending on K-12 schools (without considering student achievement), and shrinks the prison population (without considering the violent crime crisis in Milwaukee). To paraphrase the musical Hamilton, “you’re gonna need legislative approval and you don’t have the votes.”

In Washington DC, the divisions within the Republican Party make the headlines but the divisions within the Democrat Party have the most substantive impact.  Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) makes a weekly routine of squashing progressive policies.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (my former employer) narrowly wins a landmark case against the Wisconsin Elections Commission in Zignego, setting up a massive shake-up and reforms within WEC.  

A new chief justice is elected on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court creating more upheaval on our high court. 

The United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roberts, starts to flex its muscle as a major check on overreach by the Biden Administration. 

Sports:  

The Milwaukee Bucks, still missing a second superstar, fail to reach the NBA Finals yet again. A shake-up looms. The Lakers easily repeat. 

In college football, UW reclaims the throne in the west, my Spartans climb back to respectability, and the University of Michigan re-signs Jim Harbaugh to an astonishing – and fraudulent –  $10 million / year contract, dooming Collin Roth to more years of mediocrity and my mockery.

Most importantly

COVID surrenders. Happy hours are a thing again. Summerfest is epic. Family BBQs are happening. Lambeau is rockin. The economy is booming.  Let’s go 2021!