Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Ruling A Defeat For Administrative State


MacIver News Service | Jan. 24, 2019

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — In a ruling last week in favor of Lake Superior property owners, the Wisconsin Supreme Court checked the overreach of the oft-overreaching Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Supreme Court reversed the circuit and appeals court decisions, finding the DNR “could not reserve to itself the authority to amend the Myers’ permit” despite earlier conditions placed on it.

The 6-1 decision is a big victory for property rights, but perhaps more significantly the court reaffirmed that it will no longer defer to state agencies on matters of law.

Philip and Terrie Myers spent a lot of time and money litigating a case in which the DNR decided to amend the Myers’ building permit more than a decade after granting the couple approval to build a pier at their waterfront property on Lake Superior. They appealed two lower court rulings that sided with the government’s claim that the DNR had the authority to amend the permit.

The Supreme Court reversed the circuit and appeals court decisions, finding the DNR “could not reserve to itself the authority to amend the Myers’ permit” despite earlier conditions placed on it.

Matthew Biegert, attorney for the plaintiffs, told MacIver News Service the Myers’ are gratified by the ruling, which ends a long, frustrating legal battle.

“They had to litigate for years and spend their money on the case,” said Biegert, an attorney with the New Richmond, Wis. -based law firm Doar, Drill & Skow. “Most people aren’t going to spend the time and effort to litigate a case to the Supreme Court, but it was a clear case in our minds of government overreach. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the lower courts saw it.”

The couple’s legal journey goes back to December 1999, when they applied for a permit to build a rock-filled pier at their waterfront property on Lake Superior’s Madeline Island, according to court documents.

Despite several objections filed, an administrative law judge in 2001 granted the Myers a permit under state statute to build the 70-foot structure. While concluding that it was “unlikely that there [would] be detrimental impacts relating to shoreline alterations,” the ALJ did add a condition. The permit could be amended or rescinded “if the structure becomes a material obstruction to navigation or becomes detrimental to the public interest.”

The Supreme Court reversed the circuit and appeals court decisions, finding the DNR “could not reserve t


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Constitutional Concerns Growing About ‘Red Flag’ Gun Confiscation Bills

Rep. @MaryFelzkowski: “I don’t think I can support any legislation going forward that intentionally strips people of their constitutional rights. #wiright #wipolitics Click To Tweet

MacIver News Service | Jan. 18, 2018

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — While so-called “extreme risk protection order” bills are sweeping the nation, they’re raising red flags for constitutional conservatives.

There’s growing concern from conservative lawmakers that the kind of red flag law Kaul and other liberals have proposed would create a slippery slope, putting liberty at risk.

Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, has called for a “red flag” law granting authorities a faster path to take firearms away from those deemed a danger. 

“That will allow law enforcement or a family members to go to a judge and ensure that somebody who is a threat to themselves or others is temporarily disarmed,” Kaul said in what many conservatives saw as an unnecessarily confrontational inauguration speech.

While some Republicans have said they would be open to sensible legislation that doesn’t imperil constitutional rights, there’s growing concern from conservative lawmakers that the kind of red flag law Kaul and other liberals have proposed would create a slippery slope, putting liberty at risk.

“I don’t think I can support any legislation going forward that intentionally strips people of their constitutional rights,” said state Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma). “I think we need to be very careful, especially in our present society.”

Felzkowski, like Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), says she would look at legislation that does not “take away due process.”

Due process and the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” have been under assault of late. From the pitchfork-style justice that polluted the Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to Wisconsin’s unconstitutional John Doe investigation, the presumption of innocence has been a victim of opportunistic politicians and overzealous prosecutors.

A wave of red flag legislation has rushed through state Capitols in the last year, growing out of the school shootings last February in Parkland, Fla. At least nine states have such emergency firearm confiscation laws in place, including Maryland, where courts have seized guns from 148 people in the three months since the state’s law went into effect, according to the Washington Post. Law enforcement and court officials recently testified that Maryland’s law is “saving people’s lives,” but they wouldn’t provide specifics on the seizures.   READ the rest HERE

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Marklein: How Do We Move Forward With So Much Hate?



MacIver News Service | Jan. 14, 2018

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — The nation’s debate on hate speech is replete with irony, particularly on the left (*See U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.*).

Preaching against hatred with hate has become the norm in American political discourse. Just ask state Sen. Howard Marklein.

Marklein and his fellow Republicans certainly did receive their share of opposing viewpoints. Too often, however, opposition turned into outright hostility, Marklein said.

In his recent weekly e-update, the Spring Green Republican raised a couple of questions that get to the heart of the matter.

“How do we move forward with so much hate?” Marklein asked.

There has been a good deal of talk about a return to civility in Wisconsin, from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican leadership. But Marklein isn’t seeing it, at least in the recent round of hate mail he’s received.

“Over the last several weeks, my team and I have received an amazing amount of hate,” Marklein wrote. “Callers, emails, letter and visits have been filled with profanity, name-calling and hateful comments and accusations. We have done our best to receive the input and ideas despite the hate, but it has been difficult.”

Much of the overheated rhetoric spilled out of last month’s extraordinary session called by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Democrats have called the session a “power grab” because some of the bills passed and signed into law by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker limit the authority of the executive branch. Left-leaning groups last week filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of the session.  READ it HERE

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Madison School Board Race 2019

The Madison School Board’s general election is still nearly five months away, but candidates have been jumping into the race the past few weeks at a rapid pace. Three seats on the seven-person School Board will be on the ballot this spring, and each seat will be contested.


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Does Tammy Baldwin deserve a second term in the U.S. Senate?


No, because below a congenial surface, Baldwin is pretty out there.

By David Blaska, InBusiness Magazine

Somehow, Tammy Baldwin managed to convince Wisconsin voters six years ago that four-term governor Tommy Thompson of Elroy, son of a small-town grocer, was a carpetbagger working out of a K-Street lobbyist’s office in Washington, D.C.

My old boss had exhausted his treasury fending off deep-pocketed primary opponents and could not respond. Tammy and her surrogates will throw the same kind of shade against Republican opponent Leah Vukmir. Don’t underestimate Tammy Baldwin, a congenial personality but sharp-elbowed politician who sub contracts her dirty work to surrogates.

The Capital Times of Madison (“Your Progressive Voice”) has already vilified Vukmir as “a career politician.”

This would be the same Leah Vukmir who walked hospital floors for more than 20 years as a certified pediatric nurse. Leah entered politics only at age 44 when first elected to the state legislature in 2002.

By contrast, Tammy Baldwin started clambering up the greasy political pole just three years out of law school.

Tammy earned her 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood by supporting unrestricted abortion now, today, and forever. Leah compiled a perfect voting record according to Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right to Life. Motherhood can do that.

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Why Plagiarism Matters - Tony Evers



By MacIver Institute - October 24, 2018

Dan O’Donnell discusses what Tony Evers’ serial plagiarism reveals about his character and ethical fitness for public office

In the beginning, there was darkness. Then four score and seven years ago, Tony Evers said “give me a school budget or give me death.”

The DPI website includes 178 different references to the unacceptability of plagiarism in public schools, and even features a video warning students “that plagiarizing is stealing, as if it’s criminal.” CLICK TO TWEET
The jokes about Evers’ serial plagiarism write themselves, but they—along with the speed at which the media buried the story—belie a far more serious truth: That plagiarism of this magnitude reveals far more about character and fitness for public office than most might assume.

That Evers is the head of the Department of Public Instruction makes it unforgivable.

The DPI website includes 178 different references to the unacceptability of plagiarism in public schools, and even features a video warning students “that plagiarizing is stealing, as if it’s criminal.”

“Plagiarism can carry some pretty serious consequences in school,” the video continues. “Each school has its own plagiarism policy or academic honesty policy, but students who plagiarize may get reported to school officials, get an F on the assignment or in the course, or in some cases even expelled from the school.”

What about a state superintendent who plagiarizes? He can apparently get promoted to governor.

No teacher in Wisconsin would accept a book report lifted from Wikipedia, but Evers’ most recent budget proposal includes a paragraph copied directly from the online encyclopedia’s entry on Early Childhood Education.

No serious liberal intellectual would accept a policy proposal stolen from a conservative think tank, but Evers’ most recent budget proposal steals a whopping fifteen paragraphs from an article from the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute…written by an intern.

Such is the state of Wisconsin’s media that Evers’ theft is all but gone from coverage of the gubernatorial race. After a few obligatory headlines that included the caveat “Walker alleges plagiarism”or “Republican Party accuses Evers,” the local press has dropped the story quicker than it has apparently dropped any pretense of objectivity. READ it HERE

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Elizabeth Warren Highlights the Dangers of Identity Politics


BY MONA CHAREN. Center for Ethics and Public Policy, Published in National Review Online on October 19, 2018

She was mocked as “Fauxcahontas” long before President Trump began referring to her as “Pocahontas,” and frankly, Senator Elizabeth Warren invited the ridicule. She is a poster child for the pitfalls of basing identity on race and reminds us of the many furies such self-definition unleashes.

What people choose to call themselves shouldn’t matter to outsiders. If I want to call myself a post-Jerseyite dog lover, no one will care, unless there is affirmative action for former Jersey residents who can’t skip dog videos on Twitter.

What made Elizabeth Warren infuriating is that she was gaming the system. There is a clear career advantage at leading law schools, as in other institutions, to being a member of a minority group. Warren apparently secured a position at the University of Pennsylvania Law School without the minority credential. But while at Penn, she dusted off some “family lore” and began to list herself as “Native American.” Who knows if this helped get her a slot at Harvard Law? As columnist Jeff Jacoby has reported, Harvard highlighted Warren as a Native American when it was accused of lacking a diverse faculty, and the Fordham Law Review bestowed on the blond-haired, blue-eyed Warren the title “Harvard Law’s first woman of color.” Seriously.

This charade reveals the bankruptcy of the practice — well-intentioned at first — of granting benefits based upon race. With DNA testing now routine, nearly anyone can rummage around in the genetic attic and come up with an ancestor, especially a distant one, who is of a different ethnic group. In fact, as Warren has been reminded 1,000 times in the past few days, most “white” Americans have roughly the same non-European genetic markers as she. Why Warren thought this excursion “even unto the 10th generation” would bolster her claim is anyone’s guess.

Even if Warren’s interpretation of the genetic test is correct — i.e., it proves that she has some tiny genetic contribution from Native Americans — it doesn’t make her disadvantaged, does it? She didn’t suffer discrimination or prejudice based upon her Native American identity. Neither did her great-grandparents.  READ it HERE

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As the Caravan Approaches: There Probably Will Be Blood…


… and the Dam Wall Finally Must Be Built

by Dov Fisher, American Spectator October 31, 2018

There seems no way that the caravan of 4,000–14,000 migrants approaching our southern border is going to end without blood being shed. There probably will be blood. And, while the debate over “man-made climate change” is far from over, the debate over The Wall is finally over:

The Wall finally must be built. Just as a dam serves as a last-ditch physical barrier to prevent or control a flood, The Wall now is revealed as the only logistical way to create a barrier to prevent or control a flood of Illegals. So, as an Orthodox Rabbi who must restrict certain words I use, it is not inappropriate for me to say: Build the Dam Wall already!

The Israel Experience
This past year, Israel has had to deal with a variation on this same human conundrum. Incited by Hamas murderers at the helm of the Gazan terrorist government, and led by experienced bloodlusting murderers, thousands of Gazans have marched repeatedly on Israel’s southern border these past six months, trying to force themselves into the country. Their goal has not been to learn Hebrew nor to get recipes for gefilte fish. Rather, they have tried overrunning Israel’s border for the purpose of bursting through, massacring anyone they can reach, and eventually seizing the country.


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Casey Helbach challenges Jon Erpenbach in SD 27

The Capital Times invited all statewide candidates plus those in races in our area to write op/eds making their cases for why voters should choose them Nov. 6. Today we run op/eds by the two candidates for Wisconsin's Senate District 27: Democratic incumbent Jon Erpenbach and Republican challenger Casey Helbach.

Read more here...

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Brett Kavanaugh’s Abortion Critics and Hypocrites

by Paul Kengor, American Spectator  October 1, 2018

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