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
Sgt. Merlin German (Caution-the link goes to a story about German that has a graphic photo).
Here's more. (Again, graphic photo)
The U.S. Supreme Court
Members of the Central Washington women’s softball team (Make sure you watch the video)
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
Officials in Madison
Thieves at funerals
A TV thief
Vandals in Franklin
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“A lot of lawmakers are wondering who the hell they woke up with.”
Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Grocers blame the federal ethanol mandate for rising food costs. Faber compared lawmakers to late-night revelers who are just beginning to understand the consequences of their actions.
“Wisconsin spent $10,190 per pupil to operate public schools in 2006. A new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) analyzed these data in greater detail and found that school expenditures here ranked 14th highest among the states and 8.5% above the U.S. average ($9,390). The main reason for the above-average ranking was fringe benefits that exceeded national averages by more than 50%.”
A press release from WISTAX
"Everything we have been calling for is constitutional."
State Representative Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), who has pushed for a photo ID law in Wisconsin. Stone reacted after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s photo ID law, the toughest in the nation. Stone and other Republicans said the Legislature should come into session to pass a constitutional amendment.
"No one has proven to us we need to put more barriers up to have people vote."
Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston) made clear that the Senate won't vote on photo ID this year.
"The way to make sure our reputation is not further sullied is to have a photo ID law passed and in place."
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Menomonee Falls, called on Democrats in the state Senate to take up the constitutional amendment immediately.
"There is no reason to impose a photo ID requirement that would do nothing but disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters in Wisconsin, from the elderly to the poor to minorities."
“If the First Amendment is meant for anything, it is to protect unpopular political opinions. It is condescending to voters to say, ‘You’re not smart enough to see through negative television advertisements.’”
Christian Schneider of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, speaking at a forum at UW-Madison on campaign finance reform.
“I do believe firmly in the First Amendment. I think everybody has the right to free speech — but you can’t go into a crowded theater and yell ‘fire.’”
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), speaking at the UW forum. Erpenbach is a strong advocate of campaign finance reform.
“The headline-grabbing claim from Gov. Jim Doyle in March 2005 couldn't have been clearer. At a news conference, Doyle said his administration would save taxpayers up to $200 million over four years through better management of the state bureaucracy under the so-called ACE Initiative. The state would negotiate new contracts to buy goods and services for less money. It would sell off surplus property. And it would consolidate a number of other functions across state government to find savings.
‘Every dollar we save on the office functions of state government is a dollar we can invest in our priorities,’ Doyle said.
But three years later, a review shows the goals outlined by the governor have not been met. His administration quietly killed the initiative last year after faulty projections, unexpected problems and bureaucratic resistance hampered the effort.”
The Wisconsin Associated Press
“If you are in the military, you ought to be able to go into a bar without mommy and daddy. Why, at 18, can you buy a bar, but you can’t drink a beer?”
State Representative Terry Musser (R-Black River Falls). He will introduce legislation that would allow those 19 and older with an active military identification card to purchase and drink alcohol in bars and restaurants in the state. They would not be allowed to buy alcohol at liquor stores.
“We fully support our troops who have dedicated their lives to making sure we are safe and secure, but the Department of Defense does not support a lower drinking age for its people. The results were devastating when the drinking age was lowered during the Vietnam War, with the military losing on average a battalion per year to drunk driving involving those under 21.”
Kari Kinnard, the state executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said the organization does not support lowering the drinking age for members of the military.
"Earlier this year, when I asked Rep. Phil English (R-Penn.) his favorite choice for a runningmate with John McCain. 'Paul Ryan,' he replied, naming his Republican colleague from Wisconsin and fellow House Ways and Means Committee Member and, in the process, giving me a jolt.
Paul Ryan? At 38 and after a decade in Congress from Wisconisn’s 1st District (Janesville-Konosha), Ryan is not exactly a 'household word.' A graduate of Miami Univeristy (Ohio), Ryan worked as speechwriter for Jack Kemp and William Bennett at their “Empower America” organization, and was then legislative director for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KA). Anticipating that incumbent Rep. Mark Neumann would run for the Senate in 1998, Ryan moved back to his hometown, mobilized a campaign in which he wouild easily win nomination and electon (57% of the vote) to Congress. As a Member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, he has been a force behind tax cuts and trimming discretionary spending. Ryan (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 93%) has also been a strong booster of gunowners’ right, pro-life legislation, and tougher measures on illegal immigration.
Impressive, all right, but the first impression is not ready for presidential politics. English disagrees. As he put it, 'Paul is Catholic, from the Rustbelt, and has the economic credentials Sen. McCain needs' Other Republican backbenchers agree, and talk of Ryan-for-Veep mushrooms in the House GOP Conference."
“I’m flattered. But that and fifty cents gets me a cup of coffee. I don’t take these things too seriously.”
Paul Ryan’s reaction to talk of John McCain asking him to be his running mate.
"Does he have some political experience? Yes. Do I have enough knowledge of his experience or what kind of a mayor he would be? That alone would preclude me from voting for someone that's that new. None of us know who Steve Taylor is. We haven't seen him in action."
Franklin Alderman Lyle Sohns, on newly-elected Alderman Steve Taylor winning the election for Common Council President. Taylor replaces Sohns as President.
"I would have liked to see (Taylor) make one or two votes before he was elected council president. If the mayor goes on vacation or, God forbid, falls ill, (Taylor) is in charge … The fact that he may not know who the police chief, much less the director of public works, is an issue."
Franklin Alderman Steve Olson
"When I was campaigning, I noticed meetings starting at 6:30 p.m. that were over with by 8 p.m. When you serve, you can start overlooking things. Not to say that the current aldermen have overlooked anything. It's just that when you bring a different perspective, you can start asking some questions that maybe weren't being brought up. It's not that anything's going on that shouldn't be going on, it's just that people still want to know what's going on."
Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor
“There is only one place that taxes come from in the final analysis; taxes come from you and me. People pay taxes, not companies earning 'obscene' profits, not hospitals, and not oil companies. Every tax comes straight from the pockets of those who consume. The other immutable point to remember is that governments do not 'earn' any money. Every penny a government has is a penny confiscated from its citizenry.”
Blogger Al Campbell of GermantownNOW.com
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
Victim’s 911 call ignored
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
National Day of Prayer
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
This Just In........we have the latest photo of Miley Cyrus.
STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
UW students want an apology for canceled sex toy seminar.
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.