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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

10 Biggest Jim Doyle Screw-ups

With his popularity never surpassing 50% and continuing to dwindle, had Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle decided to run for a third term, he would have carried more baggage than a runway filled with DC-10’s. Running on Doyle’s disastrous record would have been a formidable task. Rather than risk defeat, Doyle bowed out, leaving a legacy fraught with major blunders. Here are, in my view, the 10 biggest screw-ups Doyle made as governor.

10) Indian gaming compacts. Unlike the calculated, well-thought out negotiations with the tribes made by Tommy Thompson, Doyle gave away the farm with agreements in perpetuity expanding the scope of gambling that voters put the clamps on as they approved a constitutional amendment. Legislative leaders Mary Panzer and John Gard took Doyle to court and the state Supreme Court ruled that Doyle overstepped his authority by approving expanded gambling. The court’s ruling seems to have had little, if any effect, but Doyle clearly ignored the will of the people and the state Constitution.

9) Veto of conceal carry bill.  The state Senate voted to override the governor’s veto, but an Assembly Democrat flip-flopped and the veto stood, keeping Wisconsin as one of only two states not to allow law-abiding citizens who’ve passed background checks and training from exercising their constitutional rights for their protection and the protection of others.

8) Signs domestic partnership benefits into law. The provision was included in the 2009-11 state budget and flies in the face of the November 2006 vote by a large majority of Wisconsin voters that approved a constitutional amendment that reads, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.  A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state." Again, Doyle thwarts the will of the people.


7) Travel-gate. Federal, state and local authorities launched a joint investigation into a controversial rigged travel contract that was given to the company of a major contributor to Doyle. A federal jury convicted Department of Administration employee Georgia Thompson on two federal felonies for steering a travel contract to a company run by Doyle campaign contributors. Thompson took the fall for Doyle and was sentenced to 18 months. In less than a year, a federal appeals court reversed the decision and Thompson was released from federal prison immediately. Doyle claimed he never had any knowledge of the rigged contract and refused to return campaign contributions from the company in question, Adelman Travel.

6) SSN’s. On December 29, 2006, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue discovered it made a big mistake, having mailed out about 170-thousand income tax forms to taxpayers with their Social Security numbers printed on the address labels. Despite it being the Department of Revenue’s error, taxpayers would foot the bill of about $232,000.

The blunder came under the watch of then-Department of Revenue Secretary Mike Morgan. Should this take place in the private sector, a pink slip is issued immediately. In Jim Doyle’s scandal-ridden crony administration, it warrants a promotion.

Just a few days after the Department of Revenue’s mistake that compromised the privacy of thousands of Wisconsinites, Revenue Secretary Mike Morgan was promoted to Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration on January 1, 2007. The person responsible for one state agency, the Department of Revenue and release of 170-thousand social security numbers, now became responsible for all state agencies.

5) Raids of funds. In order to balance budgets, Doyle continually raided the transportation fund to take care of WEAC, leaving road projects in jeopardy. Then he had the gall to suggest an increase in the state’s gasoline tax to make up for the shortfall he created. Doyle didn’t stop there. He also raided the Patients Compensation Fund.

4) Photo ID.
Doyle vetoed this bipartisan, extremely popular legislation

3) Soft on crime.
One year before his 2006 re-election campaign, Doyle appeared at the Glendale Police Department to sign a bill to use GPS to track sex offenders. Camera crews were there to film Doyle for visuals that appeared in campaign spots the following year. It turns out it was just a photo-op. Doyle later reneged by gutting what he himself had signed, putting more children at risk. His 2009-11 state budget proposal included a provision to give early release to thousands of felons.

2) Fiscally irresponsible budgets. Despite Wisconsin’s ranking as one of the highest taxed states in the nation, despite our income per capita ranking the lowest in America, despite our horrendous business climate, Doyle consistently proposed and approved budgets with huge tax, fee and spending increases, even during the current recession. The split second he signed the current state budget into law, he created a large structural deficit for the next state budget. State deficits have never been higher under any governor. He will leave the state in worse fiscal shape than ever before in the state’s history.

1) This gem.

"We should not, we must not and I will not raise taxes."
Governor Doyle’s 2003 State of the State address

You buying that, Wisconsin taxpayers?

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