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The Truth about La Crosse County Debt

At the June 18, 2015 La Crosse County Board meeting, La Crosse County Administrator Steve O’Malley verifies that the county is already $59.383Million in debt and adding $51Million bringing the total La Crosse County debt to over $110 Million.


Supervisor Ray Ebert questions whether or not we are using “accounting gimmicks.” Listen to the presenter again verify, “almost doubling the county debt.”


Time to Fix Gun Free Zone Laws

Governor Walker
Speaker Vos
Senator Shilling
Representative Doyle

Isn’t it about time that Wisconsin law stopped treating law abiding citizens like criminals?

I recently received my renewed concealed carry weapons permit and in the process I refreshed my knowledge of the law. I’m one of those guys who takes my responsibilities very seriously and, as a result of that seriousness, I’ve been training with firearms for most of my life.

As a teenager I learned all about hunter safety and I have been practicing those skills ever since. In high school I befriended an ex-Navy SEAL who was a police officer and he took me under his wing and helped teach me some valuable skills. In college I hung around with Marines and learned even more about the tactical deployment of firearms and I continue to hone those skills even in my mid-forties.

Take all of those decades of training and add to it the wisdom that I have acquired over these many years then top it off with my Christian values and everyone I know agrees (even my ultra-Liberal friends) that I am exactly the kind of person they want holding a gun if stuff ever hits the fan. Yet, if I were to cross that imaginary line onto a school property while armed I would suddenly become a felon.

This all came to a head the other day when I took my wife out for lunch and I had to make a very serious decision: Do I commit a felony by driving onto the school parking lot where she works while I’m armed? Do I meet her 1000 feet from the school to follow the letter of the law? Do I disarm, pick her up in the school parking lot, then re-arm once I leave?

While considering my options it hit me: WHY THE HELL DO I EVEN HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS MENTAL EXERCISE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Gun free zones are incredibly stupid because they punish law-abiding citizens like me while gang banging junkies who don’t care about anything, especially the law, might just pull right up and start spraying bullets at a school.

I’m a Christian, father, and husband who is well trained and more law-abiding than just about everyone I know. I don’t even violate the speed limit yet I am treated like a felon the moment I step over some imaginary line at a gun free zone. This is so stupid that it boggles my mind.

Please be a part of the solution to fix these laws so that law-abiding citizens like me who care deeply about my life and those around me will no longer be treated like criminals.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter,
Christopher J. Muller
Onalaska, WI.
Cross posted at http://www.couleeconservatives.com

Dirty Londre at it again…

In January of 2014, Andrew Londre (Past Chair of the La Crosse County Democratic Party) completed the filing to run for election for La Crosse County Board District 9.  In February of 2014, Mr. Londre placed an offer on a house outside of the district.  It was clear in February of 2014 that Londre intended to move and would be unable to serve on County Board but, Londre kept silent.  In March of 2014, Londre closed on the house, leaving no doubt that he could not serve on County Board but, Londre kept silent.

In an April 25, 2014 report the La Crosse Tribune reported that Londre properly lived in the district when nomination papers were due Jan. 7. He says he and his fiancee didn’t begin looking for a new home until after that, and held out hope through most of the process they would remain in District 9.  I will repeat, “held out hope through most of the process.”  By Londre’s statement we are to believe that he didn’t start looking for a home until after January 7, 2014 and that even after he had made the offer in February, knowing the home was not in the district, that they “held out hope” that they would remain in District 9?  After closing, on the house, in March, leaving no doubt that Londre couldn’t serve, he still “held out hope” they would remain in District 9?  The Spring 2014 election cycle was twelve weeks long, and for at least 1/2 that time Londre knew he wanted out of the district.  Add in the time it takes to find a realtor, arrange a showing, and prepare an offer, and it is clear that Londre knew, through most of the process, that he would not be able to serve directly contradicting the statement given to the Tribune at that time.

At the May 5, 2014 County Board Meeting, Democrat Tara Johnson acknowledge concerns and stated, “whether or not you think it passes the sniff test, no laws were broken,”  before appointing Democrat Nancy Stoll Caucutt to the County Board rather than allowing the citizens in District 9 to actually have a vote.  Caucutt was rejected by the citizens of District 9 and voted out of office at the next election.

Fast forward to December 17, 2016 and there is another article in the Tribune questioning the integrity and ethics of Democrat Andrew Londre.  This time detailing how he redirected more than $10,000 of ”civic improvement funds” to pay for a video promoting a handful of local businesses, including his own.  ”We wished we would have had the opportunity to work with him on redirecting the funds,” said Cheryl Dutton, vice president of marketing. “We did the match and donation based on what the original purpose of the funding was for. … We would certainly have helped redirect the funds in the community to do good projects like the UWL students were proposing to do.”  Again, Londre kept quiet and did not inform Dutton or take any input from her.

When we look at the the totality of the circumstances, one cannot help but wonder about the trustworthiness of Democrat Andrew Londre and those that choose to associate with him.

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/la-crosse-soup-founder-redirected-civic-improvement-funds/article_6d101247-6dfb-57cf-8fb7-5b4c5a5cd4f3.html

Why I Vote in Every Election

I vote in every election because of those who wear a uniform in support of our nation and our communities. Whether they are serving as a member of the military or in a law enforcement capacity, they have earned our freedom and continue to protect our way of life. One of the most important aspects of our way of life is our right to vote in free elections to set the direction of our nation, our states, and our communities. To ignore that right or belittle it just because our options are not ideal is to ignore and belittle the sacrifices that courageous men and women in uniform make every single day to protect our voting rights.

Do you remember the movie “Saving Private Ryan?” Do you remember how an entire team of Army Rangers gave their lives to save just one: Private Ryan? Do you remember the chilling last words of the captain of that Ranger team? “Earn this!” Those were his dying words to Private Ryan but he wasn’t just speaking to him. Private Ryan represents every one of us. We are the recipients of the greatest gift that anyone could give to us. Jesus himself tells us in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

I’m sure some of you may be wondering what inspired me to even write such a column. I was inspired to write this while helping with get out the vote efforts. I am deeply saddened by the numbers of people I have run into throughout our communities who are disgusted with this election cycle and who told me that they just refuse to participate. It saddens me every time I hear someone say that so I have been telling them this very thing to try and convince them to change their minds. I pray my efforts are successful and that they will honor our nation by participating. Giving up and surrendering are NOT the way to get anywhere in this life.

So, that is why I vote in every election even if I don’t like the names on the ballot. I’ll often write in names of people who deserve my vote if there are none printed there. The point is that I will EARN the way of life that has been gifted to me through the sacrifices of my friends, my family, and perfect strangers who have worn a uniform. I will never forget that I am the recipient of a precious gift and I personally know veterans who spilled blood for me to have this way of life. I will honor their sacrifices by exercising the right to vote that so many have fought so hard to preserve. I pray that you will do the same.

The La Crosse County Building Boondoggle

Shortly after I was elected to the La Crosse County Board in April of 2010 there was a “retreat” for board supervisors at what is today The Best Western Riverfront in La Crosse. The meeting room had several easels with artist’s conceptions of a new county office building. It was to be a new construction building on Lot C which is a parking lot across from the county court house. The projected cost was $16 million.

I spoke out forcefully against moving forward at that time because the county was still making debt payments on the current offices which were in the “old” law enforcement Center at 400 N. 4th Street. Those annual payments were $2.4 million per year or about 8.5% of the county’s annual property tax levy. My winning argument was that we should wait until these payments were completed before moving ahead with any plan for new offices.

Fast forward to a meeting of the  Administrative Center and Downtown Campus Study Committee chaired by Joe Veenstra. I spoke during the public comment period of the meeting and asked several questions.

  1. If the committee recommended building on Lot C what was the plan to replace lost parking spaces?
  2. Why was the cost of building a parking ramp not included in cost projections for the project?
  3. Were county employees endangered by the presence of asbestos in the current office building?
  4. Given that the current offices only occupied about 2/3 of the building wasn’t it possible to relocate county employees and remodel the existing office building?
  5. I also stated that Lot C was the most prime parcel of real estate in the city of La Crosse and it should be developed possibly by a hotel company into a mixed use to expand the tax base and generate new tax revenue.

Val Schute from River Architects made an amazing statement in response to a question regarding remodeling the existing building: yes it was possible to relocate and remodel within the existing space. At that statement by Schute, Veenstra said quite emphatically, “Well, that is the first time I have heard that!”

There is no record in the minutes of my having ever attended this meeting or any of the questions and answers which followed. That is a cover up. Tara Johnson and Steve O’Malley were in attendance and in fact Tara said to me before the meeting that she was “surprised” to see me there.

In conclusion the county has sold a building built in 1963 that was certified structurally sound for at least another 50 years for $250,000 after seeking bids for only 13 days (Minutes July 2, 2013). A building that was deemed 50% too big for the county’s space needs because it was 72,000 sq ft. and the county only needed 48,000 sq ft. (Minutes May 21, 2013)

They have purchased a building built in 1960 that also contains asbestos for $4.5 million. They must make an addition to that building because it is too small, and the Health and Human Services building bringing the total cost now to about $25 million.

The cost of a new parking ramp is still not included in the total cost of this project.

You can click on this link to verify the minutes of these meetings.

http://www.lacrossecounty.org/calendar.asp?View=MeetingView&AppID=1

The Truth About Democrats’ Longtime Involvement in Local Elections

A FACT SHEET

La Crosse County Republican Party

Summary

The La Crosse County Democratic Party has begun to portray efforts to recruit fiscally conservative candidates to run for local office as somehow an unprecedented introduction of party politics into local elections.

The evidence, however, tells a different story. This fact sheet provides that evidence.

This fact sheet will demonstrate that:

  • The current La Crosse County Board is stocked with Democrats and adherents of liberal causes;
  • Liberal leadership has stacked the County Board with like-minded people, rather than allowing elections for open seats;
  • Individuals like Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), along with their allies, have been involved in local elections for years
  • The narrative pushed by partisan power brokers like Steve Doyle is dishonest, relying on depriving the public of the facts.

Liberals in La Crosse County have worked for years to tilt the county government in favor of tax-and-spend policies. That’s their right under the First Amendment. Likewise, conservatives are also volunteering their time on behalf of candidates for local office, an effort to give voters a fiscally conservative option at the polls and limit the number of unopposed office holders.

The False “Unprecedented” Narrative

Recent coverage in the La Crosse Tribune entitled “Madison volunteers raise questions of partisan influence on county board” was sadly lacking a thorough, balanced examination of both sides of the argument. In fact, the article impugns the volunteer work of three individuals who have long been involved in conservative politics in the La Crosse area as “unprecedented,” which is both misleading and inaccurate. Voters deserve all the facts.

The narrative being pursued by partisan power broker Steve Doyle, who retains his County Board seat while co-chairing the state Democratic Party’s committee to elect Democrats to state Assembly seats, centers on the claim that involvement by political party activists in local elections is a novel and unethical undertaking, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The facts show that La Crosse County Democrats have long been involved in local partisan politics, particularly the local Democratic Party and Doyle’s Assembly campaigns. More information about that activity is included in this fact sheet.

Stacking The Board

Thanks to the fact that Democrats have controlled the County Board for years, they have been able to go far beyond just helping candidates – they’ve actually been able to cherry-pick individuals of their choice for appointments to the County Board due to retirements.

Five incumbent supervisors found their way to the County Board by being appointed, rather than elected. In fact, a 2014 motion by Supervisor Hubert Hoffman to require a public vote to replace exiting supervisor Andrew Londre was voted down. Steve Doyle and his allies voted against this attempt at giving voters a choice, opting to keep that power for themselves.

The following incumbent supervisors were initially appointed, not elected, to their seats:

1. Monica Kruse

  • Appointed August 2009
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party

2. Nancy Stoll-Caucutt

  • Appointed May 2014
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Signed Scott Walker recall petition

3. Maureen Freedland

  • Appointed Sept. 2005
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party

4. Patrick Barlow

  • Appointed Nov. 2013
  • Contributor to Peter Flesch campaign
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee
  • Contributor to Mary Burke Campaign
  • Contributor to Jennifer Shilling Campaign
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

5. Tina Hundt Wehrs

  • Appointed Sept. 2009
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign

If intermingling political parties with local elections causes the erosion of our government, then our government would’ve long since turned to dust thanks to the long-standing, direct relationships between the local Democrats and their incumbents on the County Board.

Democrats Dominate the County Board

The La Crosse Tribune article mentioned earlier states that “several prominent members of the board” are “well-known Democrats.” This, too, is misleading at best in light of the information we found. Following is a non-exhaustive list of facts about incumbent supervisors’ involvement in the Democratic Party, Democratic causes, and liberal politics:

1. Monica Kruse

  • Former Vice Chair, La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

2. Vicki Burke

  • Current Chair, La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Past Chair, La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party

3. Steve Doyle

  • Current Democratic Representative, 94th Assembly District
  • Co-Chairman, Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee (ADCC)
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party

4. Joe Veenstra

  • Former Vice Chairman, La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Democratic Congressman Ron Kind sent letter endorsing Veenstra in 2010
  • Donated to Jennifer Shilling in 2012

5. Matt Nikolay

  • 18-year former aid to Democratic Senator Russ Feingold
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party

6. Dave Holtze

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party

7. Peg Jerome

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

8. Sharon Hampson

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

9. Nancy Stoll-Caucutt

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

10. Kim Cable

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

11. Pat Scheller

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign

12. Maureen Freedland

  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

13. Tina Wehrs

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign

14. Patrick Barlow

  • Contributor to Peter Flesch campaign
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall
  • Contributor to the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee
  • Contributor to Mary Burke Campaign
  • Contributor to Jennifer Shilling Campaign

15. Mike Giese

  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

Recent Former La Crosse County Board Members

Andrew Londre

  • Former Chairman, La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Former county board supervisor who quit weeks after re-election, enabling County Board leadership to appoint his successor

Beverly Mach

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party
  • Signed the Scott Walker recall

Karin Johnson

  • Signed the Scott Walker recall
  • Graphic Designer for Steve Doyle

Don Meyer

  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign
  • Contributor to Jennifer Shilling campaign

In another La Crosse Tribune article, County Board chair Tara Johnson made the claim, “Local elections are nonpartisan, and I wish they would stay that way,” in reaction to finding out voters in her district will finally have a choice at the polls. So we examined her relationship with party politics, as well. What follows is hardly a surprise:

Tara Johnson

  • Former Democratic State Senate Candidate, 32nd Senate District
  • Contributor to Steve Doyle campaign ($250 per current report, husband also gave $250, for a total of $500) -Current continuing report
  • Contributor to La Crosse County Democratic Party ($117.50 per current report, husband also gave $117.50, for a total of $235) -Current continuing report

Three years ago, another La Crosse Tribune article mentioned that then-mayoral candidate Tim Kabat’s campaign was run out of Steve Doyle’s law office. Former Tribune opinion page editor Dick Mial wrote similar reports.

Further, Congressman Ron Kind, Democrat from La Crosse, wrote a letter endorsing Joe Veenstra in 2010. The letter failed and Veenstra lost that election in a landslide to La Crosse GOP Chairman Bill Feehan. Veenstra returned only after re-districting put Feehan’s street in the district of another Doyle foe, Andrea Richmond.

Conclusion

The information presented here is only recent data from 2012 until now. The fact is that efforts of the Democrats have historically dwarfed efforts of local Republicans and conservatives. In fact, the La Crosse County Republican Party stayed out of local elections for decades, which is reflected in the liberal makeup of the board, a who’s-who of Democratic activists, adherents, operatives, and donors.

Democrats and tax-and-spend liberals long ago organized to take control of local government, and they succeeded. However, we believe it’s their First Amendment right to freely associate, organize, and help elect people they think will advance their priorities.

Republicans and fiscal conservatives have the same rights to affect change in their local governments, but somehow get special scrutiny in the media. That’s a shame. That’s why we’re offering this fact sheet to correct the record and ensure the public is properly informed.

In conclusion, we offer the following:

  1. Partisan involvement in local elections is nothing new;
  2. Democrats have been doing it for decades;
  3. There is nothing inherently wrong with organizing to recruit and support candidates;
  4. In fact, encouraging and supporting future leaders who choose to step up and run for local office is good for democracy;
  5. Given the number of unopposed seats in the typical local election, we believe every voter should have a choice at the poll.

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Contact with Questions

Bill Feehan

billfeehan2@gmail.com

AUTHORIZED AND PAID FOR BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF LA CROSSE COUNTY, DAVE SNYDER, TREASURER

- 608-498-3221

Partisan Involvement in Local Elections, A Fact Sheet

Rubio Surges To Dominant Lead In Latest La Crosse GOP Straw Poll

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) took nearly half the vote in the most recent La Crosse GOP straw poll of prospective presidential candidates.

Rubio won 43 percent of the vote, while runner-up businessman Donald Trump won just 19 percent. Trump was neck-and-neck with Ohio governor John Kasich who took 17 percent, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz was third with 15 percent.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson fell dramatically from previous polls, registering less than 4 percent.

Ted Cruz led the last La Crosse GOP straw poll with 28 percent, while Rubio and Trump were tied with 24 percent, indicating a clear surge for Rubio, who gained 19 percent since that straw poll in January.

This most recent straw poll was held at the party’s annual Lincoln Dinner on Saturday, which this year featured special guest speakers Sen. Ron Johnson, Gov. Scott Walker, Julian Bradley, and Dan Kapanke.

Download Press Release

Lincoln Dinner with Gov. Walker and Sen. Johnson

It is my pleasure to invite you to this year’s La Crosse County Republican Party Lincoln Dinner, featuring special guests Gov. Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson.

Get your ticket online here.

Mark your calendars and RSVP now as space is filling up fast!

The event is Saturday, February 27th in the Celebrations Room at Shenanigans 2100 Dawson Ave in Campbell on French Island. General registration starts at 5:00pm. There will be a VIP reception from 5:15 to 6:15 pm with the dinner program following from 6:15-8:30 pm.

We’re also happy to welcome Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley, State Rep. Nancy Vandermeer and La Crosse’s own Julian Bradley will be speaking. It’ll be a regional event with friends from across Western Wisconsin and I’d hate for you to miss out.

Tickets start at $50 for general seating with opportunities to attend a VIP reception and more. See our website for more information or click here to pay using our secure server.

If you’ve received a letter already, be sure to send that back as soon as you can. You can also reserve your seat by calling 608-498-3221. You can also pay here.

We’re very excited to welcome these special guests in such an important and exciting election year. I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Bill Feehan
Chairman, La Crosse County Republican Party

PS – Mark your calendars for February 27th - Governor Walker will be talking about his next three years in office and Ron Johnson will be talking about the importance of his re-election in November. It’s a night you won’t want to miss!

Cruz Narrowly Edges Rubio, Trump in La Crosse GOP Straw Poll
For Immediate Release
January 23, 2016
Cruz Narrowly Edges Rubio, Trump in La Crosse GOP Straw Poll
Top three win 76 percent of local support
La Crosse, Wis. – Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took first place in the La Crosse County Republican Party’s latest straw poll, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and businessman Donald Trump tied for second place among prospective Republican nominees for president.
The results were:
  • Ted Cruz: 28 percent
  • Rubio, Trump: 24 percent
  • Bush, Carson: 8 percent
  • Paul, Fiorina: 4 percent
  • No votes were cast for any of the remaining candidates
The straw poll was held at the party’s annual caucus on Saturday. This is the first La Crosse
GOP straw poll to show Cruz in the lead. Rubio has been consistently near the top.
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2016 Call To Caucus

Please take notice that there is hereby called, by action by the Chairman and the Executive Committee of the La Crosse County Republican Party, a County Caucus, as provided in Article V of the Constitution of the La Crosse County Republican Party to be held at Shenanigans in French Island 2100 Dawson Avenue La Crosse, WI 54603 commencing at 10 a.m. on Saturday January 23rd, 2016 for the purpose of transacting the following business:

1. To elect or appoint delegates and alternates to the Republican Third District Caucus and State Convention.

2. To perform any other business that may arise subsequent to the publication of this notice.

Bill Feehan, Chairman La Crosse County Republican Party Membership:

Article III, Para. 2 – Members of this organization shall be those Republicans who have been recorded by the Secretary at least ten (10) days prior to any County Meeting or Caucus, or who have been paid members during the prior calendar year and renew their memberships prior to any County Meeting or Caucus.

Please note that the announcement appearing in the newspaper erroneously included the election of officers, which only occurs on odd-numbered years.