Good News Out of Wisconsin and California

John Fund over at National Review Online has a great recap of some election results from last night.

In Wisconsin, Republicans held a rural assembly seat in central Wisconsin with 67 percent of the vote as expected but also held a highly competitive seat in south Milwaukee County that Barack Obama carried in 2008 and only narrowly lost last year. Republican Jessie Rodriguez, who won 56 percent of the vote yesterday, will become the first female Hispanic Republican to serve in the assembly. She was born in El Salvador but moved to the U.S. in the 1980s to avoid that country’s civil war. She is currently an outreach coordinator for Hispanics for School Choice — a nonprofit organization that helps low-income parents find schools for their children.

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But the biggest surprise yesterday may have been in California, a place where the Republican party has been on life support. But not last night. With provisional and absentee ballots still to be counted, former Democratic congressional staffer Matt Dababneh had only a 173-vote lead over Republican Susan Shelley in a special election for a San Fernando Valley assembly seat near Los Angeles. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic. Barack Obama won it in 2012 with 64 percent of the vote and Republicans make up only a quarter of the registered voters.


The State of the State of Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker - GPH Consulting

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivered his State of the State Address on Tuesday.

This excerpt from the Governor’s speech helps to lay out a bold vision:

Still, there is much more work to be done in the coming year.  Our top priority is helping the people of our state create more jobs.  As you know, we have an ambitious goal: 250,000 jobs by 2015.

After all that we’ve gone through in Wisconsin over the past few years, some have suggested that this goal is too difficult to reach.  With the protests and recalls combined with the slow recovery at the national level, the fiscal cliff, and ongoing worries about health care mandates coming out of Washington, they say there are plenty of reasons why it has been hard to create jobs.

But in Wisconsin, we don’t make excuses… We get results.

With this in mind, we are going to double down and be even more aggressive with our efforts to improve the jobs climate in this state.  That’s what I heard during my listening sessions held around Wisconsin.  People want us focused on things that will improve the economy and our way of life.

That’s why I laid out five very clear priorities for the next two years: create jobs, develop the workforce, transform education, reform government, and invest in our infrastructure.  And it’s also why I’ve asked the members of the legislature to stay focused on these same priorities—and not get distracted on other issues.

One of the best ways we can show the people of Wisconsin that their state government is focused on jobs is to pass a bill that streamlines the process for safe and environmentally sound mining.  Start with the legislation that was approved in the Joint Finance Committee last session, include some reasonable modifications, and send me a bill to sign into law early this year.

Tuesday also provided news on the union fights front.

Court Rebukes WI Unions In Fight over Walker’s Reforms (via Red State):

The legal battle over Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms isn’t over yet, and in a challenge that has now reached the Wisconsin Court of Appeals a local teachers union is arguing that the law is unconstitutional when applied at the local level. But the unions and their legal team may have suffered a quiet but important setback in late December when, with no fanfare, the Appeals Court requested both sides to file further briefs on the case. In the request, the court specifically noted that cases cited by the unions to prove their point in fact, did not back up the unions’ position.

According to the Appeals Court document, unions challenging Walker’s reform say that the Dane County court decision striking down the law in September of last year should apply to every county in the state. That means that the collective bargaining reforms used by local school boards and municipal governments across Wisconsin would be immediately thrown out, and local governments would have to return to the status quo of allowing unions to forcibly collectively bargain.

Paul Ryan Campaign Ad: Guaranteeing Medicare’s Promise

We have posted every one of Paul Ryan’s campaign ads here on this website. A few things are noticeably consistent about these ads: they are short (30 seconds), they are positive, they feature a business casual Ryan talking with constituents, the language is common sense, and most important, the messages are positive. Take a look at the latest ad:

Paul Ryan Campaign Ad: Patient Centered Solutions

Congressman Paul Ryan is out with another ad for his campaign in Wisconsin. The topics he is covering in these ads, are really national issues, and he is addressing them at a local level, in common sense language that resonates with people. In this great new ad, Congressman Ryan is asked, “Health care is still a mess. What’s your plan?”.