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Governor Evers Points the Gun Violence Debate in the Wrong Direction

A few weeks ago, Governor Evers called the Wisconsin State Legislature into a special session to deal with gun control. It clearly misfired. As Assembly Speaker Robin Vos rightly pointed out in an interview on “Upfront”, the Republican-led Legislature had no appetite for the so-called “red flag laws” that allows citizens to have their 2nd Amendment Rights taken away without due process. Furthermore, neither the Senate nor the Assembly had any desire to pass a background check bill that is completely unenforceable. So the Republican Leadership in both houses gaveled the special session to order, then gaveled the session closed.

If there is to be a conversation on gun violence, then by all means, let’s have one. But we cannot have a conversation about gun violence in Wisconsin without discussing gun violence in Milwaukee, mainly because it is the same conversation, and to pretend differently is a dereliction of duty.

Milwaukee is in big trouble. Felons running the streets. Cars running over pedestrians. Expressway shootings. A lenient court system that allows criminals to repeat crimes again and again. A Fire and Police Commission that continually sides with criminals. An overwhelmed Police Force and a Mayor that is proposing to cut another 60 officers. Response times for violent crimes is already through the roof. Children are frequently victims of stray bullets fired by someone who, more times than not, should have been in prison several offenses ago.

Over the course of the five year period from 2014 to 2018, 67% of Wisconsin gun deaths occurred in the city of Milwaukee, while only 10% of the population lives there. In 2016 (the latest year that statistics for all homicides are available for Wisconsin) there were 142 homicides in Milwaukee and 151 in all of Wisconsin.

Perhaps the Governor should set his sights on what’s happening in Milwaukee, but that doesn’t fit his narrative. Somehow it’s gun shows and private sales that are causing all the problems. The Governor needs to take aim at the source of the violence and remember that “law abiding citizens” are not the problem.

Miller Park Tax to End

Back in June, the Assembly passed a bill to end the sales tax that funded construction of Miller Park, and now the State Senate has also passed it. The 0.1 percent sales tax has been in effect in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Racine counties since 1996. Under current law, the tax would end when the stadium district has paid off its bonds and satisfied reserve requirements. The district is expected to reach that point by early 2020. The bill would require the tax to end by August 31. Any excess collections (estimated at $16 million) would go back to the counties for property tax relief, public safety, parks and recreation, or economic development. The tax has collected $600 million over the years. With both houses passing the bill, it's now up to Gov. Tony Evers to sign it.

 Cookies for Soldiers!

Monday was Veteran's Day and we could not enjoy our many freedoms without their commitment to our great nation. We want to thank our veterans by honoring them with a cookie drive. I know it's a small gesture for their sacrifice but it's a nice way to say "thank you" and "we're thinking about you". So if you feel like whipping up a batch of your famous recipe, package them up in a zip lock bag and bring them down to the American Legion Post #382. Please help promote this event by sharing my Facebook post or posting the flyer below. Thank you American Legion Post #382 for helping sponsor this event. 



Representative Janel Brandtjen
State Capitol, Room 12 West
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367 | |