Michelle Litjens: 2011 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Michelle Litjens

 

Freshman State Rep. Michelle Litjens (WI) is the mother of three children and was motivated to seek office because deficit spending was a huge problem for the school system. 2011 was the most exciting year of her life.
Almost immediately the Democratic members of the State Senate went AWOL because of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) collective bargaining reforms. The Senators said it would be a disaster for schools with “severe teacher cutbacks” and the end of extracurricular activities.
Protesters camped out in the capitol building for weeks and Wisconsin was the center of national attention. Litjens, 38, was a solid Walker ally and received death threats. She needed police protection to enter and exit the Capitol which was surrounded by demonstrators. Litjens admitted she was “shaking” because of all the people screaming at her.
Liberals tried to scare her into opposing Governor Walker. They had no impact and she voted for Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. On the floor of the legislature, her Oshkosh colleague, State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D), yelled at her: “You are f***king dead!” She ignored him, but many lawmakers heard the exchange and it received national publicity.
Litjens describes the night the Assembly passed the collective bargaining bill. “After that vote, I put on a sweatshirt and a baseball cap and ran out of the capitol. I was afraid for my personal safety. I needed a police officer to escort me to the bathroom often during the heat of the protests. You couldn’t walk anywhere without protesters just screaming at you,” she said.
The Walker reforms were finally enacted and business regulations were repealed. The critics were wrong and there were no teacher cutbacks. Instead of last year’s $1.8 billion deficit, the state now has a $300 million surplus.
If the Democratic “reform” plan had been passed there would have been a $1.4 billion deficit.
In the past, schools were required to purchase health insurance from the WEA Trust, a company created by the teachers union. When they lost their monopoly, the WEA Trust significantly lowered prices because for the first time they have to compete with other vendors.
Now they are matching the lowest bids and huge savings means it is not necessary to fire any teachers. The result of Walker’s regulatory reforms has been almost immediate. By the end of June, half of the net new jobs added in the United States have come from Wisconsin.
The manufacturing sector in the state is growing three times stronger than the national average.
Despite this spectacular record, six GOP State Senators have been targeted by labor unions and they now face recall elections.
Litjens realizes that many people are greedy, but the conduct of the labor unions has continued to amaze her. She believes their positions defy logic. For example, AFSCME is the largest union in the state and it just protested a Special Olympics ceremony at the capitol, and now they are discouraging employers from hiring the handicapped.
Litjens is remarkable because she is having an impact as a freshman. Similar to other states, Wisconsin depends on federal aid to run a host of programs ranging from Medicaid and food stamps to highway repairs and unemployment benefits.
She is the chief author AB-194, which is likely to pass the legislature. It is a bill requiring state agencies to have a contingency plan should they see a sharp decrease in federal funding. 30% of Wisconsin’s state budget is federal dollars.
She says her real job is at home and told Fox Business News “I have to learn to speak like a politician, but I so desperately don’t want to become one. How fortunate I am to be asked.”
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

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Rebecca Kleefisch: 2011 Winner – The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Rebecca Kleefisch

 

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R-WI) is a former TV journalist who was Scott Walker’s 2010 running mate and along with him she survived the 2012 recall. On September 2, 2010, the 35-year-old Kleefisch had laproscopic surgery to remove a tumor the size of a grapefruit, and on September 14, she won the crowded GOP primary.
Her doctors found the tumor at a stage where the likelihood of a cure is high and the possibility of recurrence is fairly low. She has taken her doctor’s advice to undergo precautionary chemotherapy.

The National Battle Has Begun: Labor Approves an Emergency $30 Million Lobbying Budget

 

This was the scene yesterday as over 70,000 people gathered outside the capitol in Madison, Wisconsin.

STAND WITH WISCONSIN AND WALKER: The national battle has begun and the mission and moment of fiscal conservatives has arrived. What began in Wisconsin this week is leading to a decisive day in numerous state capitals throughout America. Organized labor responded today by approving an initial $30 million lobbying budget to stop numerous reform efforts of GOP Governors.

Labor now wants to roll back last November’s mandate. As this SEIU list demonstrates, protesters from the liberal/labor alliance are coming to your state, and they are highly motivated:http://action.seiu.org/page/s/solidarityaction

The SEIU, AFSCME and AFL-CIO leaders are correct, “Events are happening at a breakneck pace, and things will never be the same again”. Gerald W. McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) noted: “If they succeed in Wisconsin, the birthplace of AFSCME, they will be emboldened to attack workers’ rights in every state.”

In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state to permit collective bargaining for public employees. These union contracts make it next to impossible to reward excellent teachers or fire failing ones. Between 1958 and 1974, the pay and benefits of teachers increased 6%/year and starting in 1974 it increased 7%/year for the next 16 years.

Many states have found collective bargaining to be the biggest hurdle to balancing their budgets. The unions rarely concede anything in negotiations because they always prevail in arbitration.

Now, for the first time in 50 years, the union monopoly is being challenged. This is necessary because the current fiscal path in so many states is unsustainable, and there has been a sharp deterioration in their financial outlook.

Beleaguered taxpayers can no longer take it, and to save many states the union stranglehold must be broken. This is a battle which must be taken to Blue America.

Last month the deficit hawks lost the opening round in Illinois which is now America’s worst credit risk. They have not balanced a budget in a decade, and they responded with the usual liberal solution. Democrats increased state income taxes by 67 percent and business taxes by 46 percent.

The union benefit package proposed in Wisconsin is outstanding compared to what private sector workers receive.

The AFL-CIO does not want to accept any reductions. They are outraged because reform Governors such as Scott Walker (R-WI), Chris Christie (R-NJ), Rick Snyder (R-MI), Mitch Daniels (R-IN), John Kasich (R-OH) and Bill Haslam (R-TN) are telling them the truth. With huge deficits taxpayers can no longer afford union luxuries, and the overwhelming majority of public sector workers pay nothing toward their pension benefits.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

  • This week a Tennessee State Senate committee approved a law abolishing collective bargaining rights for teachers. Tennessee is already a right to work state.
  • Over 60,000 left wing demonstrators were present in Wisconsin today and they are all advocating tax increases to address the state’s $3.6 billion budget shortfall. The liberal backlash will continue to be strong because they know the stakes. Of course the GOP wants to cut the budget in every state, but this crusade goes well beyond that to the very core of our nation’s fiscal problems.
  • The same measures being debated in Wisconsin and Tennessee have already been introduced in Ohio and  Indiana. Nevada and Florida are close behind. Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) has said the focus on Wisconsin is also helping to galvanize his supporters.
  • Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) ended collective bargaining for state employees on his first day in office in 2005. Now he is supporting a measure to limit negotiations by teachers to wages and benefits.
  • Michigan is the Vatican City of the liberal/labor alliance, but deficit hawks are now hitting them hard in their home base. Fiscal sanity must return because a million jobs have already been lost in Michigan, and the GOP’s top priority is restoring economic growth throughout the land.
  • This is a fiscal war. GOP Governors have been forced to slash aid to schools, social programs and important services, but it is not enough. The big problem involves 7.6 million overpaid public employees. They are the majority of the nation’s union movement. Practically all of them have benefit packages which are no longer affordable.
  • Freshman State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine (R-MI) is expressing the frustration felt throughout the heartland. She is 23 years old and was motivated to challenge an incumbent Democrat last November because so many of her friends had already left Michigan in search of jobs.
  • Because of exorbitant pay packages given to public employees, her state enacted the Michigan Business Tax. Andrea says “Small businesses are job creators and this high tax suffocated them. We have two years to make a difference and if we don’t do it then we don’t deserve to have these jobs again. We are not going to waste our mandate for change, and this historic opportunity.”
  • Wisconsin teachers do not have to join the union but they still have to pay union dues ($1000/year). The Governor’s proposal would end the practice of automatically deducting union dues from an employee’s paycheck. NYC Transport Workers lost that right in 2007 after an illegal strike. They then lost more than 35% of their income.
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has already promised to call out the National Guard and it is a promise he may have to keep on Monday. If labor does not go back to work, those jobs will have to be filled. The list of applicants is a long one.
  • The opposing chants were heard today at the demonstrations in Madison. The liberals proclaimed “Union Yes, Walker No,” while fiscal reformers responded “Walker Yes, Union No!” This was followed by one side shouting “Kill The Bill,” and the other responding “Pass The Bill.” Another slogan was “On, Wisconsin!” It was the cry of Arthur MacArthur in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in the Civil War. “On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!, Champion of the right, Forward, our motto, God will give thee might.”

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

The situation in Wisconsin is at an impasse because 14 Democratic State Senators are hiding out in Illinois. There are 19 Republican Senators, but 20 are needed (three fifths) to establish a quorum. Among the options being discussed are:

  1. Eliminate direct deposit of a Senators compensation, and require them to pick up their paychecks personally from the Secretary of State.
  2. Suspend absent employees without pay, and take appropriate disciplinary action for their dereliction of duty.
  3. Cutting off pay to the staff of lawmakers who refuse to return to work. Their offices could also be locked.
  4. The three-fifths requirement is for fiscal bills. For non-fiscal bills the necessary quorum is one-half, which the Republicans already have. They could introduce a stand-alone union reform bill which would not be tied to the Governor’s budget reform proposal.
  5. A recall campaign has already been launched against State Senator Jim Holperin (D) who was elected in 2008 with  51% of the vote. They need to obtain 25,000 signatures, and the goal is to get Holperin to come back to Wisconsin.
  6. Many believe unions are paying the Chicago hotel bills for the absent State Senators. It should be determined if this constitutes an illegal gratuity or contribution.
  7. If Walker’s collective bargaining reforms are rejected then massive lay-offs of state employees has to begin.

The Battle For America’s Future is Now Taking Place in Wisconsin: A Tale of Three States

 

“The Rat” according to liberal activists is Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). Faced with a $3.3 billion deficit, he wants public employees to make a contribution to their own pensions, a practice which is common in the private sector.

The most important battle in America is now taking place in Wisconsin. If you want to see the real difference between Republicans and Democrats then come to the Midwest. This is where the fiscal front lines are clearly drawn. A decade of big spending programs has crippled Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. The only industry growing in these states is government.

The major reason the fiscal situation is so out of control in the Midwest is because of pension payments for public sector union employees. Practically all of their tax money is needed to address the pension fund crisis which has been apparent for a long time.

Lawmakers in the past ignored the problem and continued to borrow money to pay for current pension obligations. Unlike the federal government, a state can not create new money to pay its bills.

In Wisconsin a new GOP Governor and legislature are trying to say no. They do not want to repeat the mistakes of Illinois and Michigan. They tried to pass a reform plan in the State Senate yesterday which would finally address the explosion in pensions and other spending related to public employees.

The vote did not happen because Democratic lawmakers crossed the border and hid in Illinois. They were able to deny the GOP a quorum, and their plan is to have labor and liberals win the battle in the court of public opinion.

They only need one more vote to win in the State Senate. Governor Scott Walker’s (R-WI) campaign last year was focused on opposition to additional public employee spending, and the huge burdens it has created.

The Governor does not want Wisconsin to share the fate of its neighbors who ignored the mounting debt and focused on various liberal crusades.

Michigan was the only state to lose population and it also lost one million jobs. Illinois is losing two seats in the House of Representatives, and half a million people have abandoned Chicago. Both Illinois and Michigan enacted the largest income tax increases in state history, but Walker’s no new tax vow is adamant. The message from the Midwest reflects a clear choice for our nation.

ILLINOIS:  Democrats control the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion. The state has surpassed California and is now the worst credit risk in America. Its public debt is in excess of $130 billion. They have not balanced a budget in a decade and the state debt is close to junk grade. For the past decade they have been spending $3 for every $2 they take in. In response to the fiscal crisis they caused, liberals offered their usual solutions:

  • Democrats increased state income taxes by 67 percent and business taxes by 46 percent. All Democrats voted yes, and all Republicans in both the House and Senate last month voted no.
  • Illinois now has the highest effective corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.
  • Prior to the vote Illinois ranked 48th in job creation.
  • They also approved $4 billion in new borrowing, and they are now trying to borrow another $11 billion. The legislature did not cut the budget, they just hiked taxes. Republicans said the enormous increases would drive businesses out of the state. Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) said the best investment now “is in moving vans. . . They are bankrupting the state with this increase.”
  • A liberal Democrat was elected Governor in November and Illinois is the heartland of Blue America. They sent Barack Obama to the U.S. Senate with 70% of the vote in 2004 and returned the Democratic Whip, Dick Durbin, with a thundering 68% in 2008. Obama won another statewide landslide that year.

MICHIGAN:  Until last month, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) was in office for the past eight years. She now has the highest negative rating in state history and is moving to Berkeley, California to teach at a law school. With good reason, Granholm says she is through with politics forever.

  • When she took office unemployment was 4.8% under her GOP predecessor, and when she left six weeks ago it was 13.1%.
  • Michigan now has 20% more government employees than manufacturing jobs.
  • Michigan enacted a 22% tax increase on gross business receipts. Republicans were solidly in opposition, and now all of their predictions have come true. The tax increases didn’t come close to raising the revenue Democrats promised. In fact, this year Michigan will have 33% less revenue.
  • Many Michigan businesses closed down or left the state.
  • Among all states, Michigan now ranks last in economic growth, first in unemployment, and third for high business taxes. It ranks 49th in retaining young adults.

WISCONSIN: The state is facing a $3.3 billion deficit in the next two years, but labor has declared a full-scale war over the reform proposals. The main GOP target is reining  in bloated public employee union pay and benefits.

Teachers have closed schools for the past two days by leaving their jobs to attend protest rallies. It is uncertain if schools will be closed on Friday.

It is an illegal strike, and teachers are putting their benefits ahead of education. Many teachers with tenure make over $100,000, and they have exceedingly generous benefits. They also work only 9-months a year.

Democrats will not allow a vote on Governor Walker’s proposal. He says it is essential because the state has a huge deficit and has lost over 150,000 jobs in the past two years. The Governor believes economic growth will not return unless the fiscal crisis is addressed.

Democrats had 35,000 protesters at the state capitol yesterday, and they remained in the capitol building last night. What is the plan the liberals find so outrageous?

  • Almost every public employee would have to contribute 5.8 percent toward their pension. They currently make no contribution to their own pension.
  • The state workers would also have pay 12.6 percent of their health insurance premiums. This would be an increase from the current 6 percent.
  • This would still have them paying $100 less a month than their private sector counterparts.
  • Future raises would be limited to the inflation rate unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum. The non-law enforcement unions would lose their rights to bargain over anything but wages.
  • Public sector workers are already protected against unfairness by civil service laws, and Governor Walker has supported expanding these guarantees.
  • The alternative being promoted by State Senate Democrats would involve increases in sales and income taxes, as well as new business taxes. They believe Illinois has the right solution.
  • The changes apply to most state and local employees but they do not cover police, firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their benefits.

MESSAGE FROM THE MIDWEST: Democrats in the three states have always been a mouthpiece for the AFL-CIO, and they were consistently hostile to business. The result was less business, less revenue and less employment.

What liberal Democrats do not realize is that jobs are created by small businesses and lowering costs to employers. In all three states Democrats increased spending which required higher taxes, and they asked businesses to carry out their social agenda with laws, rules and regulations.

The latter hides the spending from political fall-out. The pattern is continuing in Illinois, but Wisconsin is now saying no and Michigan is about to join them. I do not know America’s fiscal future but an important part of the solution is now being decided in Wisconsin.

Americans must now stand with Wisconsin and stand with Walker. Their battle is our cause. ‎”On, Wisconsin!” is the state motto and was the cry of Arthur MacArthur in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in the Civil War:

“On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!, Champion of the right, Forward, our motto, God will give thee might.”

Campaign Update: Wisconsin, Illinois is Number One, and McCain Seems Safe

Both the 2010 campaign and 2012 presidential race will be decided by independent voters in the industrial Midwest. In 2008, Republicans failed to carry even one state in the Big 10 conference. The gubernatorial races now show GOP leads in IL 6%, OH 5%, WI 8%, MI 7%, PA 15% and IA 17%.
The GOP has no vulnerable Senators, while 7 Democratic incumbents are now under 50%. The highest tier battleground is for blue collar independents in the Big 10. They voted decisively for Obama, and Wal-Mart has today released a survey of its shoppers that was jointly conducted by a prominent GOP and Democratic firm. The GOP has gained 20% among these voters, and only 14% of them approve of Obamacare while 61% are in opposition to the Democratic Congress. It is difficult to imagine how Obama could be re-elected if he is unable to carry PA and OH.
Wisconsin Governor’s Race
We all know 2010 is a good year for the GOP, but some of the survey results we are now seeing from the heart of Blue America are shocking. The Wisconsin GOP has not run a successful statewide campaign since 1998, and liberal Democrats have been in firm control for almost a decade. Wisconsin has voted for Democrats in the last six presidential elections and hasn’t elected a Republican senator since 1986. State GOP Chairman Reince Priebus says “We have been absolutely clobbered in recent elections.”
Now the liberals are losing by large margins, and unlike the past, the GOP has not nominated a moderate. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is a solid conservative who has vetoed every spending increase and is committed to rolling back taxes. Walker continues to have a significant lead in the gubernatorial race over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Illinois is Now Number One.
They have beaten California, which has passed the baton. Thanks to its Democratic legislature and Governor, Illinois is now the worst credit risk in America. They have not balanced a budget in a decade and the state debt is close to the borderline between junk and investment grade.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
The Arizona GOP Senate primary is not until August 24th, but Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) renomination now appears to be secure. The race was close but many conservative activists are now dumping former Rep. J.D. Hayworth. A 2007 TV infomercial has surfaced (see below link) in which Hayworth tells viewers they can rake in big bucks from the government by applying for federal grants that do not have to be paid back. Tabitha Hale of Freedom Works is one of many Hayworth supporters who abandoned him today:

He is a total fraud. He’s a sell out, period. . . He will be a huge liability for the conservative movement. I have no interest in seeing him elected. . . The conservative movement is not responsible for McCain. We would be responsible for Hayworth. I’m not willing to be responsible for someone who is a) crazy and b) not conservative.

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/230119/j-d-hayworth-coming-infomercial-near-you-soon