Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...
HEROES OF THE WEEK
Fallen Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Fabiano.
Franklin High School student John Roark.
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
Whoever shot and killed 4-year old Jasmine Owens.
Ezequiel Lopez (or whatever his name is)
Father of the Year in Greenfield.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"A 4-year-old girl died last night. A 4-year-old girl was shot and killed last night in our city. ... Some gutless thug decided he would solve his problem by shooting a 4-year-old girl. What a tough guy. He can brag about that to all of his buddies, that he took out a 4-year-old girl."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
“If We Energies doesn't slow down — and there's no indication it would — quick math says state residents' electric bills could double in a 16-year period. That would mean the average household, which uses about 750-kilowatt-hours per month and would be paying $94 a month in 2009, would be paying close to $140 every bill in 2017. Anyone think the average state income will keep up with that? Interest rates? Inflation?”
The Appleton Post-Crescent, editorializing on We Energies’ request of the state Public Service Commission to allow it to raise its rates 15.6 percent over the next two years.
"I am not predicting it's going to pass. I'm kind of fooling around with holy water here.”
State Representative and ultra-liberal Terese Berceau (D-Madison), about her proposal to boost the $2 tax on beer to $10 a barrel to fight drunken driving and treat alcohol addiction and mental illness.
” The best thing we could do would be to ignore the governor's budget and work from the current budget, limiting our spending to our natural revenue growth. Just like any family must do, Wisconsin government must learn to live within its means. We shouldn't spend any more than we're taking in under our current tax system.”
State Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah).
”They're going to be stuck. The city is really sprawled out -- people need a car to get to work. They need to be able to drive to get groceries."
Ben Winter of the East Isthmus Neighborhoods Planning Council, based in Madison. Winter is also an immigration law para-legal. Winter commented on Wisconsin’s new law requiring that applicants for driver’s licenses show proof that they’re legal citizens in the United States.
"We should not be in the business of making it easier for illegals to be here.”
State Senator Alan Lasee, (R-De Pere) a sponsor of the new law requiring proof of legal status to obtain a driver’s license. Lasee said that if the law makes life difficult for undocumented immigrants, that's too bad.
"I hope we don't take a thousand page bill written in secret and try to ram it through the Senate in a few days. This is a very important issue for America and we need time to debate it.
But the little we do know about the bill is troubling. According to reports, the bill contains a new 'Z Visa' that allows those who entered our country illegally to stay here permanently without ever returning home. This rewards people who broke the law with permanent legal status, and puts them ahead of millions of law-abiding immigrants waiting to come to America.
I don't care how you try to spin it, this is amnesty."
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on the immigration compromise struck by Congressional leaders.
"Some members of Congress argue that no one who came to this country illegally should be allowed to continue living and working in our country, and that any plan to allow them to stay equals amnesty, no matter how many conditions we impose. Listen, I appreciate the members that are acting on deeply felt principles. I understand that. Yet I also believe that the approach they suggest is wrong and unrealistic."
President Bush responding to those in the Republican Party who advocate a get-tough only approach on immigration reform.
“We should all bike to work? It is supposed to be 87 degrees today.
This just in. If you bike more than a mile to work, I have news for you. You STINK. As in you smell. Real bad. Your sweat-soaked clothes reek like a high school locker room. Your slicked back hair isn’t fooling anyone. We know it’s not gel keeping your locks swept back, it’s just sweat.
Oh, and you stink. Most of you who bike to work are damn menaces on busy city streets, too. You demand rights and access to the roadways, but you zigzag through traffic and ignore signs, signals and the basic rules of the road.
Senator Sullivan, just how much work are you going to get done once you reach Madison after an 80 mile voyage? Perhaps you’ll hold a press conference? But will you do anything constructive today, like try to stop your party from raising taxes on my house, my car, my hunting licenses, the fuel for my car? My Ipod?
You should have driven to work instead, and used that extra time to thwart your party’s attempts to make this tax hell even hotter.”
WauwatosaNOW.com blogger Brian Fraley, ripping state Senator Jim Sullivan of Wauwatosa who biked 80 miles from Tosa to the state Capitol this past Monday as part of National Bike to Work Week. I must admit I liked the way Brian used the title of my blog in his piece.
Regarding a father who left his two-month old baby in the back seat of his car in the hot sun while he and his 9-year old son went shopping in Greenfield for a Mother's Day gift: "You have to give him the benefit of the doubt. We all do it, we misplace our car keys or our wallets. The father deserves our empathy."
A caller to my program on WISN this week, defending the father.
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
The senseless killing of 4-year old Jasmine Owens.
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
There has been a great deal of reporting on Governor Doyle’s bloated state budget that contains a preposterous increase in taxes and fees totaling $1.75-billion.
That budget is unacceptable and there’s been a tremendous outpouring of vocal opposition.
Here’s what hasn’t been reported.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has been going over the Governor’s budget, line by line. The committee has about two weeks left in its process.
As bad as Doyle’s budget is, and it’s horrendous, the Joint Finance Committee as of today has increased spending by about $17.4 million over the levels proposed by Governor Doyle. The committee is split with 8 Democrats and 8 Republicans.
The news media, in the interest of taxpayers and in their appropriate role of watchdog, should be doing a frequent, if not daily scorecard of what the tab is for the people who pay the bills.
Meanwhile, the Joint Finance Committee’s response should be to reduce the massive tax and fee increases Doyle proposed. The committee, instead, has taken the opposite and highly irresponsible approach.
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
Brett Favre is mad.
Favre wants to be traded.
Favre doesn’t want to be traded.
Favre won’t come to mini-camp.
Favre is coming to mini-camp.
Favre won’t practice at mini-camp.
Favre might practice, a little.
Favre might shave today.
Favre might not shave after all.
It seemed as though Brett Favre made BREAKING NEWS every ten minutes this week. But this is one of those “over-hyped” stories I believe was warranted. Because of the religious fervor people have about the Packers, they, of course, want to know and hear about everything they can about beloved #4.
Favre agreed to return to the Packers this year with expectations the team would surround him with high-caliber players. The Packers’ inept management, especially clueless General Manager Ted Thompson responded by drafting players on DEFENSE, and refusing to make deals to get Favre somebody to hand the ball off and throw to.
I don’t blame Favre for being angry. He owes the Packers nothing. They owe him more.
STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
The Cedarburg Strawberry Festival it ain’t.
REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.