Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Devolution No. 9


The nine people and events in 2009 that most shaped Waukesha and Wisconsin.


  1. Governor Jim Doyle’s announcement that he will not seek re-election.
  2. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett getting attacked outside State Fair turns him into a hero.
  3. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wins re-election.
  4. Passage of a state budget built largely upon deferred expenses, raids on segregated funds, and stimulus money.
  5. The rise of the Tea Party movement re-energizes conservatives.
  6. The sudden departure of Barbara Lawton from the race for governor forced Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s hand (pun intended).
  7. State Representative Jeff Wood’s arrests and the tepid new drunk driving law show just how little Wisconsin takes drunk driving seriously.
  8. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s organizational strength running for governor leaves Mark Neumann standing outside the GOP party door trying to get in.
  9. Chicago loses the Olympics bid, sparing a lot of needless building of white elephants in Wisconsin to accommodate the event.


  1. Archbishop Timothy Dolan leaves Wisconsin for the lights on Broadway. (New York)
  2. Les Paul RIP.
  3. Waukesha moves slowly forward on water acquisition from Milwaukee, revealing for the first time the expected costs.
  4. The real reforms of the Waukesha School District, including the planned closing of schools, the creation of new magnet schools, and the decision to move to health insurance outside the teachers union.
  5. No ground breaking at Frame Park on a baseball stadium.  The project is probably dead until another baseball team comes along.
  6. Openingge of the Shoppes at Foxxe Runne
  7. Problems at the Clarke Hotel, including the departure of Andy Ruggeri, raise questions about the city’s plan for developing downtown.
  8. Taxes for every level of government go up, along with property assessments.
  9. Randy Koschnick’s campaign for state Supreme Court gets the worst possible endorsement: Ted Oswald.
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