From A to Z, Allen and Zimdars headline March 7 Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting at Caestecker Public Library

This is another in the continuing series of informative, stimulating, and exciting meetings being hosted monthly by the Green Lake County Dems & Friends.

This Saturday, March 7, we’ll hear from Mary Allen, the district administrator of Schools in Green Lake, and Nate Zimdars, an announced candidate for the state Senate seat being vacated by long-time Republican Luther Olsen.

Allen will explain why the Green Lake School District is asking voters to approve a $4.3 million (over four years)  referendum on April 7. Zimdars will discuss his desire to represent us in Madison.

Green Lake School District Administrator Mary Allen

While Allen’s presentation will zero in on the district’s needs, her presentation’s backdrop is the fact that unlike most of the state’s school districts, the Green Lake District does not receive school aid funding from the state. 

Additionally, since the GOP-led legislature, under the leadership of former Republican Governor Scott Walker capped the amount a district could raise annually, districts across the state have not been able to pay for needed physical plant improvements without going to referenda. 

Nate Zimdars spoke at an earlier Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting.

The question voters in the district are being asked is: “Shall the School District of Green Lake, Green Lake County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $810,000 for the 2020-2021 school year, by $975,000 for the 2021-2022 school year, by $1,200,000 for the 2022-2023 school year and by $1,400,000 for the 2023-2024 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operational costs to maintain instruction programs, staffing, and technology and capital project costs associated with facilities maintenance?”

Come to our meeting tomorrow to learn why Allen and the Green Lake School District want an affirmative answer to the question.

Zimdars, from Ripon, will explain why he is seeking election in a district that has been gerrymandered by Republicans to favor their party. 


GOP’s Olsen not running for reelection; Ballweg giving up her assembly seat as she hopes Republicans can hang onto the 14th Senate District

Republican State Senator Luther Olsen

State Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) has decided not to seek reelection this fall to the 14th Senate District. Assemblywoman Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) in a coordinated move, will be here party’s choice to replace Olsen. Ballweg, like Olsen, a long-time fixture within the GOP, currently represents the 41st Assembly District. Had he stayed in the race, Olsen would have faced either Nate Zimdars or Joni Anderson in the fall. Zimdars and Olsen will compete in a primary election in August.


Green Lake Reporter did not ignore Karofsky or Anderson presentations in Green Lake

The appearance in Green Lake of two candidates for public office. Jill Karofsky and Joni Anderson, did not go unnoticed by the Green Lake Reporter. The Reporter ran an article, with a photo of Karofsky, on its front page. The article on Anderson’s presentation was at the top of page six.

Both candidates spoke at the Jan. 4 meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends. Karofsky seeks a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Anderson is running for the 14th State Senate seat now held by Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). Karofsky faces two challengers in a Feb. 18th nonpartisan primary: Marquette Law School Professor Ed Fallone and incumbent Supreme Court Judge Daniel Kelly. Kelly was appointed to the state’s highest court by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The two top choices in the primary will meet again in the April 7 general election. If you are not subscribed to the Green Lake Reporter or any of the other Berlin Journal Publications, you can find copies in your local library or news outlets, or take out a subscription for only $47 a year. 


Missed the Jan. 9 Dems & Friends meeting? Check out Commonwealth Press coverage of our speakers

If you were not able to attend the Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting on Jan. 4, you missed an extremely informative meeting featuring three candidates running for public office this year. 

But, fear not, the Ripon Commonwealth Press reported on the meeting in some detail. So, if you want to read about what candidates Judge Jill Karofsky and Joni Anderson had to say, check out the Jan. 9 issue of the paper. 

Karofsky, of course, is running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat now held by Daniel Kelly, who was appointed to the bench by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Anderson is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican State Senator Luther Olsen.

The award-winning Commonwealth Press had separate articles on Karofsky and Anderson on page 7. 

If you don’t subscribe to the newspaper, you can probably find a copy at your local newspaper outlet, or at your local library. Better yet, subscribe. It has been and continues to be a great source for information on local candidates, elections, and issues. An annual  subscription is only $40. Given the cost of other local newspapers, it is a bargain. 

Four candidates for public office spoke at Jan. 4, Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting

Judge Jill Karofsky, who is seeking to unseat incumbent Republican Justice Daniel Kelly, was one of several candidates speaking at the Jan. 4 meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends.


Joni Anderson

Four candidates for election spoke to the Green Lake County Dems & Friends on Saturday morning, Jan. 4. Heading up the list was Judge Jill Karofsky, a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Judge Karofsky is in a three-person nonpartisan primary fight on Feb. 18 to select the two candidates who will face off in the April 7 general election. 

For more on Judge Karofsky, check out her Facebook page and website

Another one of the candidates for the seat on the state Supreme Court now held by Dan Kelly, who was appointed–not elected–to the court by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, is Ed Fallone a Marquette University Law School professor. Fallone will join us on Saturday, Feb. 1, for our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Check back in the coming weeks for more on Fallone and his upcoming visit to Green Lake

Also speaking on Saturday morning was Joni Anderson, a Democrat, seeking to replace incumbent Republican State Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). Anderson, from Adams County has been a longtime union official and she is promoting her union leadership as one of the reasons people should vote for her. Anderson and Nate Zimdars, a Democrat from Ripon, and a current member of the Ripon School Board, will meet in a primary on Aug. 11. The winner of that election will face off against Olsen on in the Nov. 3, 2020, general elections.

Ken Bates

The third candidate speaking Saturday morning was former Green Lake School District Administrator Ken Bates, who is seeking a seat on the Green Lake County Board of Supervisors.  Bates was not at the meeting to promote his candidacy, but instead to urge attendees to consider running for several open positions on the board.

The fourth candidate was Zimdars, who was also there to alert attendees to several openings on the Ripon School Board.  

As always, meetings of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends, held on the first Saturday of the month, are open to the public. Approximately 45 people attended the meeting Saturday.

Nate Zimdars makes it official; he is running for the 14th District State Senate seat now held by Luther Olsen

Nate Zimdars, now a candidate for the 14th State Senate, spoke at a recent Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting.


Nate Zimdars makes it official; he is challenging incumbent Luther Olsen for the 14th State Senate seat


Ripon’s Nate Zimdars is running for the 14th District State Senate seat now held by long-time Se. Luther Olsen. Zimdars, currently a member of the Ripon School Board, made the announcement this morning with the release of a campaign video (below). Zimdars is the second announced Democrat running against Olsen. Previously, Joni Anderson of Adams announced she wants to replace Olsen. Anderson is scheduled to speak to the Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting on Jan. 4. Zimdars has been a regular attendee at the organization’s meetings. 

To view the video, click on the arrow bottom left.

State Sen. Olsen introducing two new education bills; co-sponsorships being sought

State Senator Luther Olsen, right, with Representative Joan Ballweg, left.

In his weekly newsletter to constituents, dated Feb. 8, State Sen. Luther Olsen reports the following:

“I am introducing two new pieces of legislation along with Representatives Mark Born and John Jagler regarding school operations and pupil data.

The first bill would allow a school administrator to warn a student before a fire, tornado or school safety drill, if it is in the best interest of the student. Under current law, these drills must be conducted without prior warning, but school administrators have highlighted that a warning would be helpful for students with disabilities, for example.

The second bill adds parents and guardians’ names to the statutory list of directory data. Under current law, information contained within a pupil’s record is confidential. School boards are permitted to disclose what is known as “directory data” without first getting permission from parents or guardians. The state law defines what is considered directory data. This includes a pupil’s name, address, phone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, photographs, degrees and awards received and the name of the school most recently previously attended by the pupil.

Schools are not required to include all of these items in their directory data list, but they cannot add any items that are not specified by law.

Missing from that list, under current law, are the names of the pupil’s parents or guardians. For safety reasons, there are scenarios where law enforcement or child welfare agencies might need to access that information. While there are limited circumstances under current law in which law enforcement and child welfare agencies can access additional information beyond what is considered directory data, by adding parent and guardian names to the directory data list, they will be able to access the information in a more timely manner.

We are currently circulating both bills for co-sponsorship and hope to introduce them shortly.”

Bloomberg Business Week calls Foxconn a ‘$4.5 billion disaster’ for Wisconsin

As referenced in a previous post about the Wisconsin GOP-led deal with Foxconn and the massive tax breaks given to the foreign technology company, Bloomberg Business Week issued an in-depth report that suggests that all is not well with the project, despite President Trump’s intervention.

To develop its report, Bloomberg interviewed dozens of people familiar with the project. Its conclusion, “A huge tax break was supposed to create a manufacturing paradise, but interviews with 49 people familiar with the project depict a chaotic operation unlikely to ever employ 13,000 workers.”

Read what Bloomberg and those people had to say “Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal with Foxconn.”

Or, if you prefer, you can hear author Austin Carr read the article by clicking on the image upper right.

Thanks to Ken Knight for alerting us to this.

Also note that our Republican representatives in the state legislature, Senator Luther Olsen and Representative Joan Ballweg, have consistently supported the project.

State Senator Olsen’s latest weekly update

 State Senator Luther Olsen–your senator and mine–distributed his Weekly Update this week and like many of the updates and newsletters sent from Madison it was not particularly informative. The three main items included something on a group from Ripon’s Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and their support for legislation that would decriminalize young victims of sexual trafficking (about time), something on this being tax season, and something on woodpeckers being a sign that you may have emerald ash borers. That is it.

Where is information about the pending battles in the state legislature between the GOP-controlled state legislature and the Dems who now hold the state’s top elected positions. What about Medicaid expansion, voting rights, redistricting, corporate farming, groundwater pollution, Foxconn, and health insurance?

View Sen. Olsen’s weekly update.

Note that there is a place on the Update for you to subscribe to them.

Sen. Olsen shares conservative education newsletter

Did not know that this newsletter existed, but thanks to Luther Olsen, our state senator, and his placement of a link to this on his official website–the one you and I pay for with our tax dollars–we do. Note the endorsement of Olsen by “Secretary Bennet.” Bennet is not identified further, but I guess if you are a conservative, like Olsen, you do not need further identification. Also note that this newsletter, which is designed to make it appear as if it is something Olsen publishes is actually a product of, headquartered in Virginia.


Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this