Wisconsin roundup: Renewed push to stall Capitol's 'revolving door'; police union responds to trooper nametag issue; 8 more state news stories
MADISON — Another Wisconsin lawmaker is proposing a one year waiting period on lawmakers becoming lobbyists after they leave the Legislature.
But unlike past attempts, Assembly Democrat Dana Wachs of Eau Claire says his measure has a chance to succeed since colleagues of both parties are getting behind it. A one year lobbying ban has been in place for state employees, but legislative majorities of both parties have hesitated for years to put such limits on themselves.
Wachs says lawmakers know everybody in the Capitol and have personal relationships that clients can take advantage of. He says it "may not be unethical, but there's an appearance of it."
Police: Video, body cams will help keep unarmed troopers in check
MADISON — The head of a Wisconsin police union says officers should generally wear name tags on their uniforms — but during tense situations like protests, Jim Palmer says videos will keep officers accountable even if they don't wear name tags.
On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union criticized 17 Wisconsin troopers for not wearing their name tags as they helped protesters move away from the Dakota Access pipeline protest site in an area with spring flooding. The ACLU says covering up officers' names intimidates people's free speech rights — and it implies that officers can do things for which they don't want to be held accountable.
Some troopers recommended last year that the State Patrol change its policy to allow identifying numbers instead of names, and the DOT says the Patrol continues to work on a new policy. The State Patrol says the current policy is for troopers to wear name tags except in specifically identified situations.
Stripper sues club in popular tourist area
MADISON — A former exotic dancer at a Wisconsin Dells strip club says the club pays its dancers essentially nothing.
Teriana Jones, who worked as a stripper at Cruisin' Chubbys Gentleman's Club, filed a class action lawsuit in federal court last week alleging club management required dancers to share tips to such an extent that dancers weren't paid minimum wage or overtime. Jones filed the lawsuit on behalf of all current dancers and dancers employed by the club in the past three years. Cruisin' Chubbys Gentleman's Club bills itself as the largest adult entertainment center in the Midwest.
No autopsies in Oshkosh suicide pact
OSHKOSH — Autopsies will not be performed on an Oshkosh financial adviser who died along with her husband after a suicide pact turned up while she was on trial for embezzling $4 million.
Winnebago County sheriff's deputies found the bodies of 57-year-old Jean Walsh Josephson and her 59-year-old husband Dewey at their town of Utica home on Monday. That's after Jean failed to show up in court to begin the second and final week of her trial on 36 charges that each accused her of stealing at least $10,000 from at least 14 clients while she was an adviser at Thrivent Financial.
Officials say the husband shot the wife in the head, then did the same to himself — and Sheriff John Matz said both planned the deaths and wrote their own obituaries. Jean Walsh Josephson was on house arrest — the state had already ordered her to pay restitution and penalties of more than $1 million — and reports said Thrivent was preparing a lawsuit against her.
Candidates disagree on tying higher school aid to Act 10
MILWAUKEE — The two candidates for state school superintendent disagree on whether schools should have to follow Act 10 to receive more state aid.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget package includes an extra $200 per student in each of the next two years. But schools would have to follow the terms of his 2011 union law that makes employees pay more toward their health insurance and retirement. During a candidate forum at UW-Milwaukee Monday,
incumbent Superintendent Tony Evers called it an "overreach by the state," while his challenger Lowell Holtz says it would be wrong to have independent districts that don't follow the law. The law makes teachers pay 12-percent toward their health insurance — but Evers noted that Monona Grove went to a lower cost plan and later reduced the amounts teachers had to pay.
State political leaders visit Jewish center, condemn anti-Semitism
WHITEFISH BAY — Wisconsin congressional members from both parties visited the Jewish Community Center in suburban Milwaukee Monday to show their support following recent bomb threats.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joined House Republican Glenn Grothman, House Democrat Gwen Moore, and U.S. Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin in an effort to speak out against anti-Semitism. Grothman says President Donald Trump would be aggressive in fighting terror and anti-Semitism. But Moore says she'll push for a stronger crackdown on the threats that have targeted Whitefish Bay and other Jewish facilities around the country for the last several weeks.
Evers calls for Holtz email probe at first DPI candidate forum
MILWAUKEE — State school Superintendent Tony Evers wants an investigation into campaign related emails sent on tax funded computers by his April election opponent Lowell Holtz.
At a WisPolitics.com forum at UW-Milwaukee Monday, Holtz says he wasn't sure if the email broke state law, but he'll "own it" if it did. Holtz sent the email when he was superintendent of the Whitnall School District, seeking support for his possible candidacy. He also noted Evers emailed a Green Bay education official's computer to ask for help in planning a campaign fundraiser back in 2009 which Evers said he was fined. Evers also said he was pressing the Holtz email because "integrity matters."
Central Wis. police aim to ease deportation fears
ABBOTSFORD — Law enforcement agencies in central Wisconsin are making an extra effort to reach out to people in the Latino community to address possible anxiety over the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's deportation efforts.
The Wausau Daily Herald reports that authorities are reassuring Latinos that police officers and county deputies aren't acting as agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Authorities are concerned immigrants might refuse to call police if they're witnesses of victims of crimes, out of fear that local officers will detain them if they lack proper documents to be in the country legally.
State investigating Lincoln County officer-involved shooting
MERRILL — The state Justice Department is investigating a shooting death by a sheriff's deputy in north central Wisconsin.
Lincoln County officials have not said much about the incident, which occurred Monday night west of Merrill near an intersection in the town of Corning. The deputy is said to be OK — but nothing has been said about a suspect except that the person died.
It's the second fatal law enforcement shooting in seven months in Lincoln County. Four officers from Lincoln and Langlade counties were cleared of wrongdoing after they returned fire during a standoff last July, killing 50-year-old Scot Minard of Eagle River.
Milwaukee's 2017 murder rate up double from last year
MILWAUKEE — Nineteen people have been killed in Milwaukee so far in 2017.
That's more than twice the number of murder victims from the same time last year. Police released the names of the city's two latest victims Monday, and officials say they're still looking for suspects in both. Twenty-five-year-old Jamel Jenkins died last Friday afternoon after being shot while sitting in a vehicle on Milwaukee's north side. Police say 14-year-old Chrisima Murry was shot last Thursday night during a fight in a northwest side neighborhood.