Thumbs up to Evers' call to bring refugees to Wisconsin. Amid a statewide labor shortage and projections for that shortage to worsen, Wisconsin shouldn't be in the business of turning away refugees or immigrants. Gov. Tony Evers said last week the state is open to refugees, noting the state has a long history of welcoming people. He's partially correct, such as when many Hmong families settled here after fleeing Southeast Asia starting in the mid-1970s. But Wisconsin has discriminated against foreigners, such as during World War I when Germans who weren't yet U.S. citizens had to register as "enemy aliens." History shows Wisconsin is not immune to the hysterias that occasionally sweep this nation.
Thumbs down to the seventh verse in city's "12 Days of Christmas." City of Janesville employees released on the city website a video rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas," but they have the seventh verse all wrong. Their version goes like this: "On the seventh day of Christmas, my city gave to me: seven firefighters climbing." It should go like this: "On the seventh day of Christmas, my city gave to me: a 7% tax increase." That represents the average increase for the city's portion of the new tax bill sent to homeowners this month. The overall bill rose by 11.1%, on average. Perhaps some homeowners might feel inspired to sing about their tax increases and send a video recording of their performances to City Hall.
Thumbs down to the Foxconn loophole. The auditors keep pointing it out, but the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation keeps dismissing it. There's no excuse for keeping open a loophole that the Legislative Audit Bureau worries could allow Foxconn to claim tax credits for its employees who don't work in Wisconsin. For the second year, the bureau has flagged WEDC procedures the bureau says conflict with both state law and the state's contract with the Taiwan-based conglomerate. Foxconn announced to great fanfare in 2017 plans to build a factory in Racine County--all on condition of receiving billions of dollars in tax credits. Wisconsin taxpayers are financing this deal, and WEDC should protect their interests by adopting the safeguards recommended by the audit bureau.
Thumbs down to the delusions of John Meyers. He is chairman of the Iowa County Board and apparently the mastermind behind a proposal aimed at forcing newspapers to report verbatim news releases about water study results. Meyers worked with Lafayette County officials on crafting a resolution and advised one official to "maybe make the press sign a cooperation agreement," according to documents obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal. The Lafayette County Board tabled the resolution but only after outcry over the proposal's unconstitutionality. We're confident Rock County officials wouldn't attempt anything so foolish, but the ordeal in Lafayette and Iowa counties demonstrates local media and area residents alike cannot take the 1st Amendment for granted.