Republican legislators want to line their pockets with increased per diem payments

Why does it not surprise me that greedy Republicans are looking to line their pockets while asking public employees to make financial sacrifices because of “budget difficulties?”

As they head into the new legislative session, Assembly Republican leaders are considering raising how much the 99 members of their chamber can claim for expenses.

Incoming Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said top Republicans have discussed raising the rate for daily expenses, known as per diem, but they have not made any final decisions. He noted payment rates have not been increased in more than a decade.

“I’m open to it. As we look at where we are, it’s something to consider,” Vos said.

Most lawmakers receive $88 a day to cover hotels and meals when they come to the Capitol. Those who live in or close to Madison receive half that amount. The payments in many cases are tax-free and come on top of their $49,943-a-year salary.

Democratic State Rep. Jon Richards summed up the hypocrisy of Republicans wanting an increase of their per diems, saying, “I think at a time when we’re trying to make ends meet with our own state employees . . . it hardly seems the right time to be raising per diem rates.”

And from the files of “unmitigated gall” comes Republican State. Rep. Scott Suder’s assertion that raising per diem rates for lawmakers is “logical” because hotel prices have risen in recent years. Apparently lost on Rep. Suder is the fact that the price of just about everything has risen over the past few years, leaving public employees (many of whom haven’t seen a pay raise in years) have seen their take-home pay drop thanks to efforts by Rep. Suder and his fellow Republicans. If Scott Suder expects public employees to see their take-home pay decrease because of increases in their contributions to their pensions and health insurance benefts, then he should expect to see his per diems frozen as well.

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of Emerge Wisconsin

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of Emerge Wisconsin

**Emerge Wisconsin Alumna, Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (Class of 2010) who was honored by Emerge America as an Emerge Trailblazer

**Nearly 40 Emerge Wisconsin Alumnae ran for office in 2012! The largest number of alumnae on the ballot in 1 year since our first class graduated in 2007!

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of Emerge
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Hawks Quindel Law Firm
222 East Erie Street, Suite 210, Milwaukee

Thank you to the following:
Katherine Charlton * Israel Ramon * Michele Sumara

Trailblazers: State Representative Barbara Toles, Emerge Advisor * State Representative Sandy Pasch, Emerge Advisor * State Representative Jon Richards * Jonathan Ward * State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Class of 2010

Hosts: Meg Andrietsch, Secretary of Democratic Party of Wisconsin * Ellen Bravo and Larry Miller * Michelle Bryant, Class of 2008 * Dorothy Dean * Gloria Dobbs, Class of 2011 * Jane Gellman * Ed Heinzelman * Linda Honold * Noelle Joers-Yanisch, Class of 2010 * Milwaukee County Board Superivosr Willie Johnson * Dr. Jay Larkey and Lois Malawsky * Martha Love * Sara Rogers, Emerge Advisor * Keith Saeger * Annie Wacker * Wauwatosa Alderman Greg, Mary and Sofia Walz-Chojnacki * Waukesha County Democratic Party

Sponsors: Emily Bell * Tammy Bockhorst, Class of 2012 * Karen Campbell * Dawn Caruss * Ann Jacobs * Anita Johnson * Zonia Lopez * Dorothy Mickleburgh * Gerry Miller * Margo Miller, Class of 2009 * Mary Mitchell * Martha Pincus * Dana Schultz * Jenissee Volpintesta, Class of 2009 * Claire Zautke, Class of 2012

New York Mayor Hillary Clinton?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Mayor of New York City? Absolutely, if current Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way.

In a phone call confirmed by three people, Mr. Bloomberg encouraged Mrs. Clinton to consider entering the 2013 mayor’s race, trading international diplomacy for municipal management on the grandest scale. She would, he suggested, be a perfect fit.

Much about the call, which occurred some months ago, remains shrouded in mystery. But Mr. Bloomberg’s overture to the former first lady highlights the level of his anxiety about the current crop of candidates, his eagerness to recruit a replacement who can rival his stature and his determination to become a kingmaker in the political arena he will soon exit.

Personally, I think Hillary Clinton has her eyes on a much bigger prize than Mayor of New York City, and who can blame her?

Who is Randy Hollenbeck?

So it appears “Ultra conservative!” Cudahy blogger Randy Hollenbeck is going to be running for office in the spring of 2013. While he hasn’t made a formal announcement of his plans (unless a comment on his blog counts), it appears Hollenbeck will be running for alderman in Cudahy’s 3rd Aldermanic district.

In advance of his run for office, Hollenbeck has been busying himself explaining who he is and what he believes in, but who Randy Hollenbeck is and what he believes in can be summed up with two words: “Ultra-Conservative!

Unfortunately for Hollenbeck, he might not find many folks in Cudahy’s third Aldermanic district who support his extremely divisive, ultra conservative beliefs, given the fact that the three wards that compose the third Aldermanic district voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the 2012 fall election. What’s more, the district voted in favor of the Tom Barrett/Mahlon Mitchell ticket in the 2012 gubernatorial recall election.

The fact is, voters in Cudahy’s third Aldermanic district have had three opportunities to cast a majority of their votes for conservatives who share Hollenbeck’s ideals – folks like Scott Walker, Molly McGartland, and Dan Sebring – and when given those opportunities voters have chosen to vote for candidates who represent a very different set of ideals.