Where Free Marketers Meet and Take Action in Southeastern Wisconsin

We need a new state treasurer: Jason Punzel

09.07.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized


Dawn Sass, the current Wisconsin state treasurer, is not very professional, what with the (1) hiring of relatives on the state payroll, (2) not coming to work to mow the lawn, and (3) not reporting travel funded by others.

There’s a big backlog of unclaimed property held by the state (which is the primary job of the state treasurer to fix).   Dawn doesn’t know when it’s going to be fixed, because she was in California last week:

As the state treasurer’s office tried to eliminate the biggest backlog of unclaimed property requests in at least a decade, state Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass headed to California.

Sass spent much of last week at the posh St. Regis Monarch Beach resort in Dana Point, Calif., for the National Association of State Treasurers annual meeting. In addition to attending informational sessions and giving a talk on Wisconsin’s unclaimed property program, Sass went on a two-hour sea-life cruise.

Sass did not disclose on her state ethics statements that she attended similar corporate-funded conferences in 2007 and 2008. The state’s ethics enforcement agency said it was unclear whether the travel needed to be disclosed, although such disclosure is generally required under state law.

The trip comes at a time when Sass’ office is rife with tension over the hiring of her niece and other family members for temporary jobs, as well as a wave of job vacancies for permanent positions. The niece spent some of her five-week stint on the job traveling with the treasurer, even though she was supposed to be processing claims and working at the office’s front desk.

There’s more in the article; the jist of it is that Dawn is kind of an embarrassment to the state.  Good thing CYPers can meet the next Wisconsin state treasurer Jason Punzel at our September 29th happy hour (stay tuned for details).  Jason is a real professional who is going to clean up the property backlog and allow Wisconsin families to have more ways to save and invest for college.

Who said it?

09.03.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”

William F. Buckley Jr.

What I wouldn’t give for a little of his dry, dry wit on and his opinion on this healthcare debacle.

Healthcare townhall meeting went well, if only the Congressman would have shown up

09.02.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized


Read this article for a good rundown of (1) why the Congress should throw out this monstrosity of a healthcare reform and we should start over and (2) a good example of a politician not listening.

Even better, you can join Americans for Prosperity www.fightbackwisconsin.com

or you can meet the writer of the article, John Torinus at our November happy hour.

In the meantime, join us for our Sept. 16th healthcare information hour at La Dolce Vita.

Do we still have gun rights?

09.01.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

There’s only one way to find out:  join CYP for our first skeet shoot.


DATE: Saturday, September 12th
TIME: 2:00-5:00
LOCATION: Cudahy Sportsman’s Club, 5350 S. Sheridan Drive, Cudahy  (a 15 minute drive from downtown)
Join CYP for a fun day of skeet shooting.  Here is your chance to learn shotgun basics and exercise your second amendment rights at the same time~We will have experienced shooters on hand to help you get started and a safety instructional course prior to shooting.  If you’ve never shot a gun before, this is the time to learn–beginners are encouraged.  We will have guns on hand to borrow if you need one.  We’ll have some NRA t-shirts to give away and a gun raffle.
Just bring $12 and a friend.

Back to School

08.31.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

With all the recent discussion of health care reform, it is easy to forget that most children are going back to school this week. Education has been a sore spot for administrations of both parties and, while largely a state and local issue, solutions at both the federal and state level have been identical in many respects.  If we only throw more money at the problem, the argument seems to go, the education system will improve. The argument ignores any number of other factors that contribute to a child’s success or failure, including but not limited to whether the child finds support in his or her studies at home, the quality of instruction, and whether children, especially in urban areas, are going to school in an environment free of violent crime. Some of these factors can be controlled by policy decisions; others cannot.

Wisconsin has been somewhat of a pioneer in the education area. School choice, hailed by many parents and decried by WEAC, has come under recent attack, and it appears that this trend is spreading. President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress recently shut down Washington, D.C.’s school voucher program to new students.  The result of this decision was the placement of 216 qualifying students who had planned to attend private schools into 70 public schools. What is staggering about the decision is the level of violence and criminal activity in those schools, according to the Washington Post:

The report pays particular attention to the plight of the 216 students who had planned to attend private school before the administration rescinded their scholarship offers while Congress debates the future of the program. The study looks at the 70 public schools to which these students have now been assigned and finds there were 2,379 crime-related incidents, including 666 violent incidents (one of which was a homicide), for the 2007-08 school year.

Voucher programs have been successful in areas where they have been tried and have been used to give opportunities to groups that may otherwise face life at a disadvantage. These programs are not perfect (some improve performance in reading but not math, for example) and they do not solve the (many) issues facing today’s public school systems, but they could provide one of the pieces necessary to solve the education puzzle and afford students opportunities now. However, instead of facilitating change that is supported by some evidence of success, those currently in power are interested in following the same old routine and placating the same lobbyists. The negative long-term ramifications of these decisions are many and avoidable.

An Observation about America

08.28.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

When I was college, my government professor said that Alexis de Touqueville’s Democracy in America was the best political book because it was about the best governing system and it was about the most important democracy.  That’s true, and de Touqueville is still just as relevant as the day his book about our democracy was published.  The fact that the professor had just written a new translation may have swayed him, too.

In the same vein was  David Brooks’s column on Ted Kennedy.  Studying America, David Brooks writes:

We in this country have a distinct sort of society. We Americans work longer hours than any other people on earth. We switch jobs much more frequently than Western Europeans or the Japanese. We have high marriage rates and high divorce rates. We move more, volunteer more and murder each other more.

Out of this dynamic but sometimes merciless culture, a distinct style of American capitalism has emerged. The American economy is flexible and productive. America’s G.D.P. per capita is nearly 50 percent higher than France’s. But the American system is also unforgiving. It produces its share of insecurity and misery.

This culture, this spirit, this system is not perfect, but it is our own. American voters welcome politicians who propose reforms that smooth the rough edges of the system. They do not welcome politicians and proposals that seek to contradict it.

I see this every day.  In no other country does capitalism play such a central and vital role and there are advantages and disadvantages to that.  But it is the reality that we live in, and the reality that we choose.  David Brooks leaves it unwritten, but it’s not hard to see that this attitude, whatever the political persuasion of people in power or the president’s approval ratings, will ensure that the current government-interventionist wave will break and recede.

A Positive Comment on Health Care

08.26.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

A common accusation put to conservatives these days is that we are nay-sayers blindly hating on the left side of the political aisle. Make no mistake, there are plenty of issues out there to be upset about right now (health care and the ever-ballooning deficit come immediately to mind), but I did come across this article yesterday pertaining to a town hall held by far-left Senator Russ Feingold and will give some positive credit where it is due.

Sen. Feingold says that he cannot declare whether he will support a health care reform bill until he actually sees one. He also says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s assessment of opponents to the health care proposal discussed during the last session  as “evil mongers” was “unfortunate and inappropriate.”

These statements are rational positions (I never thought I’d see the day when I referred to Sen. Feingold as “rational” about anything, and I still can’t locate any meaningful issues on which I agree with his stance when it comes to congressional votes, but I’m just being fair). The source of these moderate, non-committal statements seems relatively obvious: midterm election season is coming up quickly. Feingold recognizes the importance of not (immediately) marginalizing large sectors of constituents who oppose the idea of a government-run health system. It is important to continue to make our voices heard on this and other issues and remind those we send to Washington who they represent. With enough civil debate on the health care issue, it is still possible to prevent our leaders from making a costly mistake.

On that note, don’t forget to come to CYP’s upcoming events, including tomorrow’s happy hour at Coast featuring Rick Graber and our health care event on September 16 to network with other conservatives on issues important to you (and enjoy a drink or two in the process).

August Happy Hour with Ambassador Rick Graber

08.24.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized



Thursday, August 27, 2009


5:30pm – 7:30pm


Coast Restaurant


931 E Wisconsin Ave

Former chairman of a major Milwaukee law firm, past chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and former Ambassador to the Czech Republic… there are heavy hitters and then there is Rick Graber. Come meet him yourself and buy him a beer at Coast, with one of the best views of the art museum and the lake in the city. Rick will speak shortly on Prague and other issues of interest to CYP members.


If you have a suggestion for Rick’s speech, email us at [email protected]


A special thanks to Zilli Hospitality Group and CYP member Anthony Zilli.

The Problem with Washington

08.19.2009 · Posted in Uncategorized

As if the debate in Washington wasn’t providing enough evidence regarding liberals indifference to the opinions of average Americans, Rep. Eric Massa from NY provides the icing on the cake: “I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I’m doing is going to help them.  I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.”

Now I’m not suggesting political leaders should simply vote with poll numbers.  There are certainly issues where strong leadership is required to take on difficult topics.  But when the nation is split relatively evenly on a matter of great interest, it is taking it to a whole different level to state “I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district.”  Underlying a comment like this is the philosophy held by many on the left that elected officials are better able to make decisions for the populace because they simply know what’s good for us.  This is social engineering, and it has been the stated goal of the left for some time. 

As a good friend of mine recently noted, the trend in Washington is for elected officials to climb “Mount Olympus” and cast edicts down for us to follow.  At some point the relationship became inverted.  We are the sovereigns and elected officials the servants of the people.  Let’s hope there is some leadership on the right to bring these “gods” down from the Mount.

(On a personal note, I want to thank all the CYP members for their kind messages over the past three months.  My wife and I were blessed with our first child, Jonas William.  The past three months have been wild and for this reason I have not been able to contribute to the website.  Thanks to Jason, Brandon and the many others who have continued to grow CYP.)