Refocus Wisconsin is a project of the Wisconsin Policy Rearch Institute. The project is to help make Wisconsin special again.
Wisconsin has lost its way. I don’t think you have to be a conservative to think that, either. I remember Mike Grebe thinking out loud about that topic at a Business Journal breakfast. But there on the refocuswisconsin.org website, you’ve got a liberal-socialist, John Gurda, writing:
In some respects, Wisconsin has come to resemble a dinosaur that’s grown so large and cumbersome that its tail is half-eaten before its brain senses a problem. The result, later or sooner, could be the extinction of our economic and cultural viability, of our capacity to hold our young and look after our old.
That is sad. It’s really disappointing for people who chose to be here. The fact is that at UW-Madison business school, 80+% of the students believe that the best and the brightest leave Wisconsin and do not stay. When I first heard that, I was both disappointed and angry.
So this is not good. We all have a choice–each one of us. We can leave or we can stay and do something about the problems that are facing this state. We can meet the challenge head-on, or we can leave it for someone else. We will have new leadership in November. WPRI has ideas now about how our government should operate.
The first paper posted on the website is by Professor William Howell, a leader in the field of school choice and education. He finds that Wisconsinites love their schools and value education. They are engaged on the issue and they are powerfully hungry for reform.
There will be more papers. I suggest you keep checking back.
If you missed out on last Thursday’s event or are just looking for more opportunities to meet up and network with local conservatives, good news! CYP is having a bonus happy hour this Thursday at Moct (pronounced “Most”). Moct is located at 240 E. Pittsburgh Avenue in Milwaukee.
Our speaker for this happy hour will be Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. To learn more about Sheriff Clarke’s background in law enforcement, you can check out his official biography.
Hope to see many of you on Thursday.
Many thanks to all those who turned out for the CYP golf outing on August 8. CYP’s next event will be this Thursday, August 19 at Trocadero (1758 N. Water Street). Our monthly happy hour will feature Henry Tyson, superintendent of St. Marcus school in Milwaukee. St. Marcus is a choice school located on Milwaukee’s north side that describes itself as a “rigorous, no-nonsense, no excuses college preparatory school.” In addition to a curriculum meant to prepare students for success in high school and college, the school offers a number of activities for its students.
We hope that you will take this opportunity to meet Henry Tyson and learn about the success of the school choice program.
More information about St. Marcus can be found here: http://www.stmarcus.org/school/
“You can’t treat the working man this way! One day we’ll form a union and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve. Then we’ll go too far, and become corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!” –The Simpsons, “Last Exit to Springfield“
The teachers’ union for MPS made headlines this week when it chose to sue over the district’s decision to rescind taxpayer funding of Viagra and similar drugs, citing discrimination against its male employees who seek the “medically necessary” drugs. Earlier this summer, nearly five hundred teachers at MPS received layoff notices, the first time the district has laid off teachers since 1982. Rather than focusing its efforts on fighting for jobs for its members (including specifically recruiting and retaining young talent, who were disproportionately affected by the layoffs due to the seniority system), the union wants $1 million more from taxpayers to cover an item that has nothing whatsoever to do with the education of Milwaukee’s youth.
This suit is also filed in the wake of last month’s news that, despite the continued drop in property values in Milwaukee, property taxes and levies have actually gone up. It is beyond perplexing that, as Milwaukee taxpayers continue to throw more and more money at a system that fails to deliver a solid future for Milwaukee’s children, recreational drugs have become the priority for the teachers’ bargaining agent. Apparently, improving the quality of education will just have to wait.
Senators Coburn and McCain today released a report entitled Summertime Blues: 100 Stimulus Projects that Give Taxpayers the Blues. The report highlights the wasteful spending by the federal government that has occurred as a direct result of the Obama stimulus package passed weeks after the inauguration last year. Hailed by the administration and congressional Democrats as the jump start our economy needed, the public must now come to terms with the fact that, eighteen months later, the money has been committed and the economy still struggles. Banks hesitate to lend, businesses continue to cut back rather than hire, and we as ordinary taxpayers will ultimately be paying the bill long after all who are responsible for the bill’s passage have left the political arena.
Among the “shovel ready” projects that will put this generation and the next into debt:
$1.9 million for documenting African ants
$677,000 to study how chimpanzees react to inequality
$144,000 to study the effect of cocaine on monkeys
$500,000 for microchip-embedded recycling bins
$1 million for bus station art
$181,000 to develop protocols for freezing rat sperm
These are only a few of the hundred projects analyzed in the report. I can only imagine how much better American society will be once we know how chimps react to being treated differently from one another, or once we’ve mastered the art of freezing rat sperm. (We’ll leave aside for the moment how scary it is that Big Brother will be tracking how often certain Ohio residents fill their recycling bins and drag them to the curb.) If these are the projects that actually received federal funding, one can only imagine the proposals that were considered but didn’t make the cut.
Although we’ve had a number of different events (and we have some really awesome events coming up (as you can see on the right side of our page), we’ve kind of forgotten about blogging. That’s a shame, with all of the campaigns going on right now.
We have an awesome speaker on August 19th at Trocadero–Henry Tyson will tell you about how the choice program is working in Milwaukee.
If you’re working on a campaign and are having an event or need some help, please let us know and we’ll see if we can’t help get the word out. Or, if you just wnat to blog about the day’s issues, let us know and we can help get your message out.
Jason Kohout [email protected]
Jake Curtis is once again featured on the WPRI blog. He’s writing about essentially the modus operandi of why CYP exists.
CYP will host someone from our favor non-profit, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, this summer/fall.
Someone from the Young Eagles Republican fundraising contacted us about joining, but we were never able to get in touch. We didn’t know what we were missing!