Thumbs up to no city subsidies for Amazon project. The golden rule in development nowadays is to shell out subsidies for large-scale projects, such as the millions of dollars Mount Pleasant is directing at Foxconn for the construction of its new plant there. So, we did a double take when we heard the city of Beloit isn't giving tax breaks to Amazon for a 1 million-square-foot distribution center on 80 acres along Gateway Boulevard. (The city is selling the land for cheap, $80, but that's an indirect contribution.) Beloit also is entertaining a new deal for a privately-funded baseball stadium to go in the downtown—no public money for that project, either. Beloit seems to be working some taxpayer magic. What's the trick, hypnosis?
Thumbs up to pardoning Edgerton man. A nagging thought about the pardon that Gov. Tony Evers granted recently to a former Marine from Edgerton is that this man might have received his fresh start years ago from former Gov. Scott Walker. But as a rule, Walker refused to grant pardons, forcing people such as Eric Pizer to wait years. We hope Pizer can now achieve his life goals, which a felony on his record had prevented him from pursuing. He served two tours in Iraq but made a mistake when he got into a fight outside a bar after returning home in 2004. Pizer made amends with a man he punched, and we hope Evers grants more pardons like the one for Pizer, giving the benefit of the doubt to people who most deserve second chances.
Thumbs up to corralling protesters. Beloit College wasn't about to allow a repeat performance by Beloit College students, who in March succeeded in getting canceled a lecture by Erik Prince, founder of the private military company Blackwater. Like a group of defiant middle-schoolers, these students piled chairs onto a stage to stop Prince from addressing the audience. Nearly seven months later, lesson learned. Security was understandably tight during a discussion between former Gov. Scott Walker and former Vice President Dick Cheney at the Eaton Chapel on campus. Thankfully, protesters kept their songs and signs outside the chapel, which is how it should have been during Prince's visit.
Thumbs down to politicizing disability issue. Only the Legislature could politicize a simple request to allow a legislator to call into committee meetings that he can't attend in person because of a disability. Republicans dragged their feet for months on this issue. When they finally agreed to make the change last week, the legislator who wanted it, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, called on his Democratic colleagues to vote against it because the measure supposedly included provisions to expand Republican power. Go figure. Cynical observers must wonder whether any issue is off limits to partisan treatment. We struggle to think of one.