DE PERE — The Wisconsin Conservative Coalition’s 16th Town Hall, held Saturday, January 21, featured seven Northeast Wisconsin-area state elected officials and an engaged and enthusiastic standing-room-only audience at the Lawrence Town Hall.

The following legislators participated in the program:

  • Sen. Andre Jacque (1st District)
  • Sen. Rachael Cabral-Guevara (19th District)
  • Sen. Eric Wimberger (30th District)
  • Rep. Shae Sortwell (2nd District)
  • Rep. Joy Goeben (5th District)
  • Rep. Nate Gustafson (55th District)
  • Rep. Dave Murphy (56th District)

Moderator Mike Thomas kept the discussion focused on the legislators’ planned strategy for the 2023 session, especially in light of Gov. Tony Evers’ re-election and past unwillingness to move forward with measures favored by the Republican legislative majority. The discussion was candid, thoughtful, and not always warmly received by the audience! There was a good give-and-take on all three topics: election integrity, school choice, and energy issues.

The discussion of election integrity generated the most energetic audience participation. Among the strategies discussed were re-asserting the legislature’s authority over the Wisconsin Elections Commission: administrator Meagan Wolfe’s term expires June 30, 2023, and the State Senate has the authority to confirm her re-appointment or the appointment of a successor. Moreover, the state legislature controls WEC’s funding. On a separate election integrity matter, Rep. Shae Sortwell explained why the proposed constitutional amendment on Zuckerbucks won’t be on the April 4 ballot. He indicated the decision was purely strategic, and that Republicans haven’t dropped the plan but are simply working to make sure it’s on the ballot at the most opportune time.

On school choice, education savings accounts and parental rights were the focus. Legislators keyed in on the need for school funding to follow the child, rather than simply go to the schools as is currently the case with the voucher program.

The energy discussion was wide-ranging and included great audience participation on the matter of wind farm siting. Glen Schwalbach, a member of the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council, explained that the group hasn’t issued required reports for the past several years. (See more on the wind siting council at National Wind Watch.)

Let’s Continue the Discussion!

The 16th Legislator Town Hall was hosted by the Wisconsin Conservative Coalition, a nonprofit and entirely volunteer organization, and its member groups: Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Patriots, Fox Valley Initiative, and Wolf River Area Patriots.

The energetic and enthusiastic participation suggested pent-up demand for more discussion on these and other topics important to Wisconsin voters! You can satisfy that demand in many ways:

* Attend monthly meetings of Fox Valley Initiative, NEW Patriots, and Wolf River Area Patriots.

* Volunteer for any of the groups: Whatever your skill set or interests, these groups need you!

* Subscribe to their e-newsletters.

* For more information, visit their websites and Facebook pages:

Fox Valley Initiative: Website | Facebook

Northeast Wisconsin Patriots: Website | Facebook

Wolf River Area Patriots: Website | Facebook