Steve Hanson's blog

29th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Community Conversations in Menomonie held a Candidate Forum on June 18th for legislative candidates in the 29th District. All four of the announced candidates participated - Scottie Ard, Randy Knaack, Rob Stafsholt, and Vince Trudell. These are video recordings of the forum, broken into two parts.

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Candidate Forum part 2

Lies, Damn Lies, and the Wisconsin Idea

Walker Lied?

One of the more alarming trends in our society seems to be that we've completely given up on politicians. Not only do they receive very little respect, but we've reached the point where nobody is surprised when they lie. Over and over and over.

One of our current leading presidential candidates seems not to be able to say anything that is not either an outright lie or completely misleading. And when caught on his lies either says the never said it, or he threatens to sue.

The legislature taketh and perhaps the courts giveth back

We're in another one of those interesting moments in Wisconsin where some of the more egregious acts of our state legislature are again in court. Despite our governor's assertion that Voter ID is working "fine" in the state, the current lawsuit in Wisconsin Western District court seems to be arguing otherwise. Walker is unwilling to admit that there's a problem here, yet he seems willing to write administrative rules to "fix" it. Well, only a little bit. 

Voter ID has been a painful issue right down then line, attempting to save us from the dire consequences of impersonation fraud at the polls. Fraud for which nobody seems ever to find evidence. The current case argues, I think convincingly, that the whole Voter ID law is a bare-faced attempt to disenfranchise voters who are likely to vote Democratic. Let's hope that the court sees the point here and is willing to act on it.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers

Don't blame me - blame Shakespeare. Or Dick the Butcher if you're character-driven. Some days it seems like a reasonable sentiment.  Let's compare and contrast two news stories that have passed over my desk in the last day or so. They're related both to my little neck of the woods and the state as a whole.

From the Eau Claire Leader Telegram re: the last Menomonie City Council Meeting:

 Approved Knaack’s appointment of the law firm Weld Riley, which has offices in Eau Claire, Menomonie and Black River Falls, for general legal counsel. John Behling will serve primarily as city attorney. Weber Law Office of River Falls will serve as the prosecution for traffic court issues. Allyson Baier will serve as the primary lawyer for that portion. City attorney Ken Schofield retired.

Remember when using the bathroom was simple?


Okay, maybe not this bathroom, but -

I note that Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) is saying that he's going to bring back the transgender bathroom bill that failed to pass in the last legislative session because ""This North Carolina law has taken the blinders off for a lot of people," 

Well yes, it has taken the blinders off for me. It has made it clear that people proposing these ridiculous bills around the country really don't care about "protecting children" so much as they care about ridiculing and persecuting people for the crime of "being different". Which is apparently enough these days.

Like the County Fair? Love 4H? Big Changes Coming to UW Extension

Kathleen Vinehout
Like the County Fair? Love 4H? Big Changes Coming to UW Extension
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“We can’t do more with less,” UW Extension Regional Director Julie Keown-Bomar told people gathered at a recent Menomonie meeting. “We have to do less with less. We cannot be the same cooperative extension service that we used to be.”
The news hit hard. Downcast eyes, people with hands over their mouth, and long pauses after Julie asked the group for questions.
Julie explained how budget cuts forced UW Extension administrators to rethink their commitment to 100-years of county-based services. Wisconsin has a valuable partnership between the UW System and local counties.

Spending the Weekend Watching Game Film

Kathleen Vinehout
Spending the Weekend Watching Game Film
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
When the game is over the coaches go into the film room to see where the breakdown was in play execution. The best game plan in the world is not any good if the team does not execute it.
The “game film” for the State of Wisconsin was recently released. This is a good place to start for anyone evaluating the state’s performance.
Every year the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) conducts a review of state agencies. Known as the Single Audit, auditors examine Wisconsin’s financial accounting of federal dollars.
State computer systems are a bit like the football team’s offensive line. These systems do the grunt work so the star players can score.


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