Wautoma, WI
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Dew Point
S at 12 mph
29.90 in. F
10.00 mi.
06:21 a.m.
07:31 p.m.
Afternoon Forecast (12:00pm-7:00pm)
Temperatures will range from 85 to 88 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 12 and 16 miles per hour from the southwest. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
88°F / 65°F
Partly Cloudy
82°F / 58°F
Partly Cloudy
79°F / 60°F
Light Rain
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Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 88 to a low of 65 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 3 and 16 miles per hour from the northnortheast. No precipitation is expected.
This Evening ...Temperatures will range from 83 to 72 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 10 miles per hour from the southwest. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 69 to 66 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 3 and 8 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
Thursday...Temperatures will range from a high of 82 to a low of 58 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 1 and 10 miles per hour from the northeast. No precipitation is expected.

Wisconsin's complex election results

Nov. 15, 2012 | 0 comments

After the 2010 elections, Wisconsin's Congressional delegation included five Republicans and three Democrats in the House as well as one member of each party in the U.S. Senate.

After the 2012 elections, the picture is the same - five GOP House members and three Democrats, along with one GOP Senator in Ron Johnson and one newly elected Democrat in Tammy Baldwin.

In the Wisconsin Legislature there is a similar sense of "status quo" said Paul Zimmerman, executive director of governmental relations at Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

Before last week's elections the Wisconsin Assembly was controlled by Republicans who had a majority with 59 members compared to 39 Democrats. (There was also one Independent.)

All 99 seats in the Assembly were up for election this fall along with 16 seats that were in play in the Senate.

After the election the GOP still controls the Assembly by a 60-39 majority.

Democrats briefly controlled the Senate after recall elections last summer by a 19-14 margin. Last week's election left the GOP in charge of the Wisconsin Senate by an 18-15 margin.

Zimmerman said that after 24 months of elections in Wisconsin, including the last general election, several series of recall elections and now another round of general elections and the state has its "status quo."

Wisconsin voters gave President Obama a seven-point victory in the state and Democrat Tammy Baldwin defeated the GOP candidate, former Gov. Tommy Thompson by five points, but Congressional seats all stayed the same.

Looking at the state in county-by-county analysis, there were many regions where the Obama and Baldwin races garnered nearly double-digit advantages, he noted, but voters in those areas also decided to return Republican legislators to the state Capitol.

In southwest and western Wisconsin voters went for Democrats at the top of the ballot, but then voted for state Reps. Travis Tranel and Lee Nerison - both Republicans - for local representation.

"What that shows me is that we had people jumping all over the place. Wisconsin voters don't vote a straight party ticket," Zimmerman said.

It also tells him that "all politics is local," he added. "They have a connection with local lawmakers and they are willing to vote for a candidate of another party because they know that candidate."


One thing that has Zimmerman's attention as a lobbyist for farmers is that the Assembly is loaded with new faces.

There were 35 new members after the 2010 elections and an additional 23 new members were elected in 2012 and will be seated in January.

"That means that 58 of the 99 members are going to be in their rookie season or their second season and they don't have much legislative experience. We have had a vast shift in loss of experience."

Those 58 members have also not ever been through a traditional legislative session because last year's session was anything but ordinary, with protests and recalls ruling the events.

Zimmerman said it will be especially important for farmers and really all citizens to reach out and make contact with their lawmakers as the session begins.

From the farm perspective, the legislature also retains a number of veterans who are from farm backgrounds and understand agriculture's issues. They include Gary Tauchen, Chris Danou, Keith Ripp and many others, said Zimmerman.

"These rural legislators are where the knowledge base is for agriculture."

Issues that will face lawmakers when they have their initial sessions will include the state's biennial budget, which begins with Gov. Scott Walker's proposals in February and then goes through the process of being dissected by the fiscal bureau and legislative committees.

The budget determines how the state will spend taxpayer money over the next two years.


Zimmerman said he and other ag lobbyists and farmers will look at making sure the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has the right funding for food safety, animal health and its other critical functions.

In the last budget debate two years ago, the governor and lawmakers tried to avoid the practice of raiding so-called "segregated funds" - those funds set aside to be used for a certain program or practice. In many recent budget negotiations, such funds have been "raided" to pay for other things.

Zimmerman said that for this budget, lawmakers and budget writers in the Walker administration are taking the same idea and applying it to program revenue, further aligning fees paid by state residents into certain programs with their uses.

As for who will chair the agriculture committees in the legislature Zimmerman was mum. "We have had very good ag chairs in the past but that isn't something we weigh in on. We as ag lobbyists have nothing to gain by saying it's going to be this person or that person. There's no upside."

There will be a lot of activity at the state Capitol in the next five to six weeks as offices are shuffled, leadership is settled and priorities are set. "It will be interesting to see what they choose to pursue."

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