The Big 7 for 2007
The seven events of 2007 shaping Wisconsin
- The State Senate Democrats overreach with Healthy Wisconsin, a plan to double state taxes to provide “universal” health care coverage. The plan fails to receive the endorsement of Democratic Governor Jim Doyle and Assembly Republicans and causes state budget negotiations to collapse. Eventually Healthy Wisconsin fails and State Senate Leader Judy Robson is overthrown. Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch emerges from Jensen/Gard shadow demonstrating ability to hold caucus together under pressure to negotiate with the Governor.
- Stem cell researchers, including UW-Madison’s James Thomson, discover a method of programming non-embryonic stem cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, further vindicating the pro-life position of limiting embryonic stem cell research and beginning the end of stem cells as a political weapon.
- Judge Annette Ziegler wins election to state Supreme Court under ethical cloud, preserving near-even division of the court. Despite Ziegler’s margin of victory and that the ethical questions were all raised prior to the election, left-wing activists still seek to overturn election.
- State GOP leaders fail to recruit top-tier candidate to challenge State Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler. This follows Republican failures to attract top candidates to challenge Senator Feingold in 2004 and Senator Kohl in 2006.
- Tyler Peterson kills six people in Crandon, WI. Slow release of details by local authorities and State Attorney General JB Van Hollen, plus Van Hollen’s suggestion to the Crandon community to stop talking to the media, cause more questions to be asked about JB Van Hollen. The Crandon murders follow a series of opinions issued by Van Hollen that causes his political base some discomfort. Previously talked about as a candidate for governor, Van Hollen announced that he would seek re-election for SAG in 2010 and wait on running for governor.
- Tommy Thompson for President frenzy reaches its peak, debates reveal Thompson’s shortcomings, and then Thompson’s campaign fizzles with the Ames, IA Straw Poll. Nobody noticed he endorsed Mayor Rudy Giuliani.*
- Georgia Thompson has her conviction overturned. Van Hollen declines to pursue investigations against Governor Doyle, effectively ending scandals as issue.
* Originally and incorrectly wrote "endorsed Senator John McCain". Endorsement so inconsequential Waukesha Freeman columnist James Wigderson was quoted as saying, "Who endorsed whom?"