Joe Heim Elections Highlights

  • Ron Kind won by 67% in La Crosse County and with more than 60% overall. A resounding win.
  • State elections: incumbents all did well. The Senate Republicans added one seat. Assembly Democrats added one seat
  • 54% of voters voted democrat yet all democrats did not win by 54%
  • Steve Doyle won by 60%
  • Billings won by 96.5%. She did not have a challenger
  • 96th Assembly (formerly Lee Nerrison’s – i.e. south of La Crosse County): Lauren Oldenberg won by 52%
  • Voter Turnout: 18-29 year olds showed up in record numbers
  • Marijuana vote passed by 61%
  • Transportation: with a 78% saying to spend $5 million, this is almost a mandate vs. advisory referendum. PRAT was the preferred option of the three by 68%. The wheel tax and borrowing/property tax increase lost by 68% and 74% respectively.


Jill Billing Comments

  • Votes shows we have concentrated pockets of party alliance
  • She is excited about added diversity in politics and to hopefully have partisan converssations. 
  • Governor not able to pull out in key counties
  • She heard, “We need more balance” (in the governor’s race) while knocking on doors
  • Maps being redrawn will be interesting.
  • Would like to see some opposition. It’s good for Jill Billings, not good for democracy. Good to give people a choice.
  • “Medical Marijuana: I can tell you I don’t think that’s happening. I don’t think we’re ready. It’s tough to find a model that works well. People just want to get around the law. The tax on marijuana adds to the price so there are people selling outside of the [system] saying, ‘I got marijuana without the tax.’ I think it’s going to be something where we go slow. That is appropriate.”

Steve Doyle Comments

  • Summary: “Scott Walker promised a chicken in every pot and the people wanted pie.”

  • Marijuana/PRAT: Brought out young voters. I was not excited about having it on the ballot in La Crosse. I wanted to focus on the transportation issue. People said we need to do something. People clearly came down on the side of the PRAT. It says there’s momentum. But it also shows, “We want someone else to pay for this.” We don’t know what is going to happen with transportation. The last fight was Walker vs. republicans on increasing transportation funding. It comes down to when and how much. $1 increase in gas tax isn’t going to happen.

  • Transportation: Nearly all counties have said they’re hurting. Cities, towns and villages are hurting too. Something has to happen. We will see a realignment. Focus has been on SE WI, I think we are going to see this across the state going forward.

  • PRAT: he had hoped this won’t pass the first time. Now that the vote is higher, of course he will introduce. Previously he could not get it to a public hearing because the committee chair opposed to the tax. Questions:

    • Will the bill go that committee (usually to tourism which Jill is on) vs. Ways and Means

    • Will he do anything on it.

    • Will it make it through the Senate (if not, why introduce)

  • Tony Evers won in 95th but lost in 96th.

  • Robin Vos collected money and spent it on the parties that needed a “firehose” of republican cash. “The guy is smart, I give him that, but it concerns me, the amount of money being spent in some of these races.”

  • Re-Districting: The politicians are not going to agree on a map. The courts will determine the lines.


What does this Mean:
  • It remains to be seen whether there will be bipartisanship.
  • Foster Care: not done with this. Opiod issue
  • Common areas moving forward:
  1. Transportation
  2. Education
  3. Healthcare

Joe Heim on the Business Impact

  • Nationally: Stock Market increased 500 points
  • House: says willing to work with president
  • Areas could agree on:
    • Infrastructure. Not sure why republicans couldn’t get something through
    • Affordable Care Act
    • Drug Prices
  • President will learn checks & balances
  • WI: Transportation solutions likely. Everyone is talking about it.
  • Education: not necessarily see an increase despite Ever’s education ties.

Levy Limits

Doyle: not going to pass through legislative

Sales Tax

  • Always more popular to pay over time.
  • Unlikely to go through


Audience Question: Foxconn

Doyle: Construction has begun. Not going away. Impossible to get out of it unless we pay a lot of money. Question is: what does it look like moving forward.

Billings: Changes to environmental impacts can change.