November 28, 2015

Kind says international coalition needed to defeat ISIS

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)

A Wisconsin Congressman believes it will take the cooperation and coordination of several nations to successfully defeat ISIS in the Middle East.

U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) says the nation needs to be more vigilant, and begin working with other nations to form an international coalition that can take territory away from the Islamic State. Since the Paris attacks, he notes France and Russia have already increased their efforts to attack bases, while the U.S. still has bombing missions for selected targets.

The Democrat from La Crosse says he favors the use of continued air strikes in the region, but believes putting any American boots on the ground would be a tremendous mistake. He points to lessons learned from U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We can send the 101st and the 82nd Airborne in. There’s no question they can take the fight to ISIS, but what gets complicated is what the day after looks like, in fact, what the next ten to twenty years look like, and unless we want to keep our armed forces on the ground there for decades, I think what we need to be doing is working with the local security forces, Kurdish, and Iraqi.”

Kind believes ISIS will eventually be defeated, since they have many enemies and few friends. He notes that Iraqi and Kurdish forces, along with Sunni Shiite forces have started taking back territory.

Contributed by Larry Lee, WSAU

Voters recall Arcadia mayor

A change in leadership in Arcadia. Mayor John Kimmel was recalled Tuesday, losing to Trempealeau County Board member Rob Reichwein,  373-to-164.

Some 200 residents signed recall petitions a few weeks ago, claiming Kimmel did not appropriate city funds correctly, or let the public have enough of a say over the hot-button issue of frac-sand mining. Arcadia had a moratorium on new silica-sand mines which ended in September.

Kimmel, serving his fourth term, said the accusations were false and cited a strong local business climate with low unemployment and low taxes.



Wisconsin lawmaker proposes term limits

A state lawmaker wants to amend the Wisconsin constitution to put term limits in place. The proposal would not apply to any current memers of the legislature, or Governor Scott Walker.

“I have found quickly in my first term here in Madison that there is not a sense of urgency on most issues, because politicians believe they’re coming back next year,” said state Representatve Bob Gannon (R-Slinger). “I beleive that imcumbency is too powerful. It’s too easy for us elected officials to spread the word, and it’s very difficult to knock out an incument.”

Gannon’s amendment would limit the governor and lieutenant governor to eight years, and state legislators to 12 years. It would need to pass two consecutive legislative sessions and a statewide voter referendum.

Johnson hopeful for Senate action on Syrian refugee bill

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (Photo: Andrew Beckett)

A bill halting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. is headed to the Senate, and a Wisconsin Republican is optimistic it will pass the chamber early next month.

The bill passed the U.S. House on Thursday and the Senate is expected to take it up after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said there’s no chance it will pass in his chamber, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said in Grand Chute Friday that’s he’s still hopeful it will have a chance. “I’ve talked to a couple different Democratic Senators who want to work with me on a Senate companion…maybe we can improve it,” Johnson said.

The bill would stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees until national security officials certify that individuals do not pose a threat to the country. Johnson said the U.S. already has a “pretty robust” vetting process for refugees, and the bill would just make sure that’s being followed. He also suggested the nation could look at prioritizing certain groups of refugees, such as women and children, or those with family already in the country who can financially support them.

President Obama has come out against the bill, which passed the House with a veto-proof majority. Johnson said he’s hopeful the same can happen in the Senate.

Contributed by Jeff Flynt, WTAQ

Walker’s numbers remain flat in Marquette poll

mu-pollWisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s approval rating remains flat, according to a new statewide poll. Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin said the Republican governor’s numbers have barely budged from the last poll in September, when he was at 37 percent approval and 59 percent disapproval. The latest poll, conducted from November 12-through-15, has Walker at 38 percent approval and 58 percent disapproval.

The numbers mark a new low for Walker, who was polling at 49 percent approval in October 2014, just prior to his re-election. Franklin said “time will tell if those trends reverse” for Walker.

The MU poll also found 31 percent of respondents approve of the way Republicans in the legislature are handling their job, with 60 percent disapproving and 9 percent saying they don’t know. For Democrats in the legislature, 39 percent approve while 49 percent disapprove, with 12 percent saying they don’t know.

The poll has a margin of error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.