Thumbs down to the Iron Stache: Maybe he's trying to win over Trump voters who lean Democratic but like a president who "tells it like it is." Sorry, Iron Stache, a.k.a. Randy Bryce, but tweeting sexist remarks doesn't work for you. (That it worked for Trump is another issue.) Kudos to his challenger in the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary, Cathy Myers, for calling out Bryce for his tweet last week, "Don’t worry @jaredkushner regardless of what might go down--she’ll be okay. #MuellerTime." The tweet included a photo of Ivanka Trump sitting next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The 2016 presidential race debased the nation's political dialogue, but that's not an excuse for Bryce or any other candidate to post demeaning remarks. We'd rather hear from Bryce serious thoughts about special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, assuming Bryce has some to share.
Thumbs down to WEDC board: The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. plans to give its board only a summary of the contract awarding Foxconn up to $3 billion in subsidies to build a manufacturing plant in Racine County. The agency's defense is that's how it usually does business, and so why would it change its practice for the Foxconn deal? For on thing, WEDC has never done a deal worth nearly $3 billion. Furthermore, most people like to see a contract before signing it. Sure, actually reading the fine print takes more time, but WEDC board members shouldn't be looking to rush this process. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald raised concerns with Gov. Scott Walker's administration about WEDC's process, and we hope his colleagues agree it's not too much to ask WEDC board members to approve a contract they have reviewed.
Thumbs up to Chris and Charity Endres: The Janesville gun shop owners decided to take no chances and recently upgraded security at their shop, investing about $20,000 into turning the showroom into a giant vault. Not surprisingly, the Joseph Jakubowski incident spurred the project's timing, and their work should inspire other gun shop owners who've dawdled on beefing up their security. But these other owners may soon not have a choice. Proposed legislation would require gun retailers to lock up their guns when their businesses are unattended, either in a secured gun cabinet or safe or with a secured rod-and-cable lock. Endres' improvements go beyond the proposed legislation's requirements, with 12-gauge steel under 3/4-inch, tongue-and-groove roof sheathing and reinforced concrete for the outer walls. In other words, no thief is getting into this space, giving Chris and Charity Endres total peace of mind.
Thumbs up to retail sales boom: Rock County retail sales and tax receipts surged last quarter, outpacing neighboring Walworth County and putting Rock County on par with statewide averages. Per-capita sales tax collections have jumped by 35 percent in Rock County since 2010, providing further evidence of an economic recovery in full swing. The statistics also demonstrate that local governments don't need to raise tax rates to increase revenues. Tax revenues will rise when people have more money to spend, as appears to be the case with Rock County's unemployment rate near record lows, between 3.5 percent and 4 percent. Money is trickling through the economy, Forward Janesville President John Beckord explained. When people have more discretionary income, they spend it, which allows employers to raise wages and hire more workers and government to pay for services without having to raise taxes. It's a virtuous cycle.