Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Major Election Day problems ahead

Photo ID

On February 4, 2008, I agreed with pessimistic forecast that there would be major problems with our elections this year. My blog quoted Dr. Robert A. Pastor, director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University in Washington, DC:

“Voters are likely to face hassles with registration lists and voting machines. Poll workers will remain under-trained and overworked. Election management remains under the thumb of partisan officials, and voter identification is likely to remain problematic. 2008 is unlikely to be an improvement over 2006.”

You can read my entire blog here. 

Seven months later, the Washington Post concurs, reporting that, “election officials across the country are bracing for long lines, equipment failures and confusion over polling procedures that could cost thousands the chance to cast a ballot.” 

The tragedy is that Wisconsin does not require photo ID’s to vote. Governor Doyle and state Senate Democrats killed any chance of a photo ID requirement being in place for the critical November elections when the governor vetoed photo ID legislation three times and Senate Democrats refused to allow a vote on a photo ID constitutional amendment. A common sense photo ID requirement would not be an obstacle to voting or hamper the process. Such a law would be a great step in cleaning up an election system in disrepair.

Photo ID opponents in Wisconsin, albeit a minority, got their wish. Even so, it appears there are going to be  many problems on Election Day, here and across the country.

Clarifying the Move Over Law

News you can use

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The Obama tax shift

Barack Obama’s policies on taxes are difficult to determine. They keep changing all the time. Thankfully, the Wall Street Journal has been keeping track.

First there was what the Journal calls ObamaTax 1.0. Obama would end the Bush tax cuts, raise the cap on wages that come under the payroll tax, place the top marginal rate at 39.8 percent, and increase rates on capital gains and dividends.

This summer came ObamaTax 2.0.  Obama changed his position by lowering the top rate on capital gains.

Now with John McCain and election ads pummeling Obama as a tax-raiser, Obama has revised his tax strategy again. Under ObamaTax 3.0, if the economy is still sputtering at the beginning of 2009, President Obama might, the operative word being might, forego all of his earlier proposals calling for big increases.

There is plenty of uncertainty when it comes to Barack Obama’s intentions on taxes. The only certainty appears to be that taxes will go up, and go up a lot.

Here is the Wall Street Journal article.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports John McCain is delivering a simple, easy to understand message on taxes. 

The government knows how much you’re driving

This isn’t exactly a news bulletin.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports, “S
ince last November, Americans have driven 53.2 billion miles less than they did over the same period a year earlier – topping the 1970s' total decline of 49.3 billion miles. Americans drove 4.7 percent less, or 12.2 billion miles fewer, in June 2008 than June 2007. The decline is most evident in rural travel, which has fallen by 4 percent – compared to the 1.2 percent decline in urban miles traveled – since the trend began last November.”

Here is the news release from the FHA.

The reasons for the decline are obvious and indisputable: high gasoline prices and a sluggish economy. But how does the federal government know the decline between November 2007 and June 2008 is 53.2 billion miles? How does the federal government arrive at the figure?

The answer is a matter of modern technology and mathematics. States have installed special sensors on our roadways that can determine the amount and size of cars. The data is sent to the feds every month and they do the math.

Read about it in Slate.

State help for job seekers

News you can use

The state of Wisconsin has an online job center to assist the unemployed find work. The website operated by the state Department of Workforce Development features county-by-county job listings, job fair postings, and assistance for creating quality resumes. For employers, the website has a search feature to help them find applicants qualified for their open positions.

You can visit the website here.

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