Awarded"The Republican Party of Marinette County awarded a certificate to Justin Rivard who invented the "JustinKase" classroom door jam device used in many schools in Wisconsin to increase school safety. His parents Brian and Heather Rivard accepted the certificate in Justin's absence due to his enlistment in the army. Pictured left to right Gov. Scott Walker, Heather Rivard, Brian Rivard, Shirley Kaufman and Congressman Mike Gallagher. Bottom Photo--For her over 50 years as a member of the Marinette County Republican Party, longtime chairwoman Shirley Kaufman was presented with a book of memories to honor her for her many years of service. Betty Hensel and David Smail are pictured making the presentation.
Gov. Scott Walker Speaks At Marinette Republican Dinner Issue Date: August 2, 2018
Over 220 dignitaries, special guests and supporters of the Republican Party gathered at the Best Western Hotel in Marinette for the Marinette County Republican Party's Annual Lincoln Day Dinner on Sunday, July 29 to welcome Gov. Scott Walker and an impressive list of Wisconsin's top elected officials and candidates for elected offices.
With Governor Walker were his wife, Tonette Walker and son Alex Walker. Keynote speakers were Gov. Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel. Others on the speaker list included United States Congressman Mike Gallagher, 8th District Chairwoman Kelly Ruh, Secretary of State Candidate Jay Schroeder, United States Senate candidates Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson, 36th District Assemblyman Jeff Mursau, and Wisconsin Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn. Rep. John Nygren and State Senator Tom Tiffany had conflicts and were unable to attend.
Guests also came from all across Wisconsin to bid a fond farewell to long-time Marinette County Republican Party Chair Shirley Kaufman, who had previously announced that she will leave her post as chair after the District Caucus in January of 2019. She will remain active in the party, but is turning the chairman position over to David Smail and Betty Hensel, who currently serve respectively as first and second vice chairs.
Kaufman was recognized earlier this year by the state party with a lifetime achievement award for serving a total of more than 50 years as chair of the Marinette County Republican Party. She joined at age 17, well over 60 years ago, and has been a member ever since. Her terms as chair were interrupted while she raised her family, but she remained active in the party.
The Lincoln Day Dinner was several months late this year. It had originally been scheduled for Sunday, April 15 but was cancelled by the blizzard that weekend, which set a 100 year record for an April snowfall in Wisconsin. Kaufman said there had been 220 reservations for the cancelled dinner, and was pleased that supporters had come forward in equal numbers for the July 29 event, and was the greatest attendance in 20 years. "Our people came through with flying colors...they supported us," Kaufman declared. She has been told that the Marinette County turnout exceeded every county in the state, including Milwaukee and Dane counties.
Main message of many of the speakers was that great things have been achieved in Wisconsin with Gov. Walker in office and Republicans in control of both the Assembly and the Senate in Madison and everyone needs to unite in support of whoever wins the Aug. 14 primary and then work to get Republicans elected to local, state and federal offices on Nov. 7.
Gov. Walker, first speaker for the evening, recalled his first visit to Marinette County was 13 years ago, when his sons were aged 10 and 11. He said then, as now, he had to come: "There's no way you tell Shirley no!"
On behalf of the City of Marinette and the County Party, Judy Alwin, soon to retire as manager of the Travel Wisconsin Tourist Welcome Center in Marinette, presented the Walker family with a gift basket of Marinette County products and on behalf of herself and and State Tourism Director Stephanie Klett gave him a Marinette Logging Heritage Festival T-shirt.
Walker said with the help of Jeff Mursau's leadership in the Assembly he and other Republicans had managed to get extra funding for small rural schools.
Obama Care is crashing, Walker said, and the previous week he had signed a new law that will at least start to bring spiraling health insurance costs down for people in Wisconsin. Last year, premiums for Obama Care in Wisconsin, with no competition available, went up over 46 percent. This year they had been going even higher. One lady told him her insurance rate went up $2,000 a month, a 124 per cent increase. In many Wisconsin counties there was only one choice in the Obama Care marketplace.
With the help of Mursau, Nygren and other Republicans that will change, and with the new law, health insurance premiums will be down at least 11 percent from where they would have been, Walker said. He favors an open market, "...let the people decide what to do, not the government."
He said if election outcomes were based on achievements and common sense, Republicans would win without question. However, that is not the case. "The left is angry and filled with hatred toward the president and me....We've got to counter that with optimism and organization."
He said being optimistic is easy. For five consecutive months, unemployment in Wisconsin has ben at an all time low of 3 percent. Wages in Wisconsin are rising faster than in most other states, and more people are working than ever before.
He said efforts for an improved economy won't be enough "...until everyone is part of the recovery in every county and every community, in every part of the state, in every household...We want everyone to share in the prosperity that has come back to the state with the comeback of common sense."
He added that conservative reforms like Act 10 have been proven to work in Wisconsin.
He noted that under Gov. James Doyle the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent and the state had a $3.6 brillion dollar budget deficit.
Since he was elected governor they had turned that deficit into a surplus - a surplus every year he has been in office - and added "We have cut taxes just about everywhere you can, and we're not done yet!" The tax cuts have totaled $8 billion so far.
Not only that, Walker went on, "A year ago we made the largest investment in education in the history of the state...We've frozen tuition at Wisconsin colleges for six straight years...We've helped nearly 30,000 people transition from welfare to self supporting employment."
He said Act 10 wasn't just about saving money, "...it was about empowering schools and duly elected school board members to hire staff based on merit and to pay based on performance, "meaning we can put the best and brightest into the classrooms." He said improving education will improve Wisconsin's workforce into the 21st century.
However, Walker told the crowd, "We need to lay out not just what we have done, but what we're going to do next...and to get that message out, we need your help."
Walker said he would be writing the eulogy he was to give for Milwaukee Police Officer Michael J. Michalski, who was shot and killed on Wednesday, July 25 while trying to arrest a man wanted for drug violations and domestic abuse. The officer was a 20-year veteran on the Milwaukee Police Department. The 30-year-old man who killed him was a wanted felon who had been in and out of prison since he first appeared in children's court in 2003 for two counts of armed robbery.
Walker mentioned that in the context of efforts of some Democrat legislators to end Wisconsin State Prison overcrowding by forcing release of 50 percent of their occupants - all of whom have been convicted of felonies. Walker said 89 percent of the people in prison are there for felony crimes not related to marijuana or drunk driving, "...and I don't want people like that walking on the street."
Walker again asked for help from everyone in the upcoming election, and in his own reelection when the time comes. H said he is being targeted by some of the big-money liberals, including George Saros, and expressed hope that attending this dinner would not be the last thing they did for the party between now and November 6.
"We need to protect the freedoms we inherited from our parents and grandparents," Walker continued. "We need to not go back to double digit taxes and double digit unemployment!"
He said his two grown sons both live and work in Wisconsin. He said once they graduate, kids will not stay close to home unless there is opportunity, "...not just for jobs, but for careers," and concluded, "For our kids to grow up and find meaningful jobs right here in Wisconsin...That's the dream... And it's a dream worth having!"
Jay Schroeder, candidate for the Secretary of State post held since 1975 by Democrat Doug La Follette, called on everyone present to think "...how far down our country was 10 years ago, and how far we have come today."
He said in the four decades LaFollette has been in office he had "literally run the office into the basement," and added that was literal, a basement office with no windows. He said LaFollette blamed Gov. Tommy Thompson for taking away 65 per cent of the duties of his office, and now he blames Gov. Walker, but added the Democrats were in control during the years between, "and they never gave his duties back."
Schroeder said a book La Follette had written suggests that once a couple has two kids they should be sterilized.
He also said if he is elected Secretary of State, he wants to get a couple of duties given back to that office, if only for the term to which he is elected.
He would like to be a member of the Board of Electors to help fight voter fraud, and he would like to have term limits for state elected officials.
He cited a study that said there were 4,000 cases of voter fraud in Wisconsin in the last national election, the majority of them in Milwaukee and Dane counties. He then pointed out that President Donald Trump won here by only 2,500 votes.
Kevin Nicholson, who hopes to be the Republican chosen to challenge Democrat Senator Tammy Baldwin, said he can't think of any issue on which she has been right, and pointed out that she supported the Iran deal. "The Federal government is a tangled web at best, and she (Baldwin) represents everything that's wrong with politics and everything that's wrong with policy!" he declared.
He said he was raised in a non-religious family of Democrats and was elected president of College Democrats of America while attending college. He admitted that when he was 21 he endorsed ads for Women's Right To Choose, but pointed out that he now is endorsed by the Right To Life, and added, "The kid you saw in those TV ads was stupid!"
"When I came to Washington, I found the Democrats were a party obsessed with race and gender and finding ways to pull us apart," Nicholson declared.
So he joined the Marines, worked on a ranch, changed parties, married the daughter of a minister, and joined her religion.
He said he learned the value of life as a Marine, and during his subsequent ranching job learned the average farmer and rancher is smarter than most politicians.
As to free trade, and criticisms leveled at Trump for his policy on tariffs, he said America doesn't have free trade right now, and Canada can slap a 250 percent tariff on products coming in from the U.S. if they want to.
His Marine unit in Afghanistan found Iranian-made IED devices there, "and now Baldwin wants a $10 billion dollar a year Department of Peace!"
He said Obama Care is crashing, and it has to go. He believes this nation's financial deficit, when you include long-term health care obligations, "is way more than the figures show."
Leah Vukmir, currently a Wisconsin State Senator, is competing with Nicholson in the Aug. 14 primary for the right to challenge Baldwin. She said the elected officials that she works with in Madison have endorsed her for the U.S. Senate position. She also has been endorsed by the Wisconsin Republican Party.
Vukmir said she is a nurse and a military mom who was born and raised in Wisconsin. She has a 31-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old son who is an Army Ranger. Her interest in politics started when her daughter was in First Grade and she had issues with the school "that was not teaching her to read."
She said Peshtigo's Dr. Bruce Barrette was one of the members of the parents group she became involved with in efforts to improve education.
She said she was approached to run for the Assembly and then the Senate, and decided to do so after praying long and hard. "In 2010, I won and Gov. Walker won," she said. She recalled the dark days of the demonstrations in the state capitol, of going to and from legislative sessions with armed guards, and added, "We made a difference...Act 10 made a difference!"
"We're a team," she said to the people at the dinner."Governor Walker couldn't have done it...We couldn't have done it... without you!"
Vukmir said she has traveled 77,000 miles in Wisconsin since she decided to run for the United States Senate.
Of Tammy Baldwin Vukmir declared, "She stands so far to the left that she makes Chuck Schumer look like a moderate." She noted Baldwin did not vote on the Right to Life bill, "She was hiding."
She also said Baldwin had caused the deaths of at least one veteran in the VA hospital at Tomah. "Only she had a report from President Obama that a doctor there was over prescribing opiates," Vukmir said, adding that Baldwin had done nothing with the report and a veteran died from the opiates.
She said Wisconsin needs to elect someone with a proven, consistent record as a conservative who can get things done, and she has that. She is endorsed by the NRA also, and one of her major goals is "to get the Federal government out of our education once and for all!"
She also wants to stand by the President when he says, "We are going to build that wall," and asked how anyone could doubt the sanctity of life, "once you've held a 26-week baby in your hands and seen that tiny miracle."
She noted that the August 14 primary is only two weeks away and said a special interest group is putting $2 million into the election against her.
Referring to accomplishments in Madison during her time in office Vukmir told the group, "Together we have made Wisconsin great again. Now let's give (Senator) Ron Johnson help in making Washington great again."
Mursau made some very brief comments, and said Senator Tom Tiffany had been unable to attend that evening, but had driven all the way to Marinette in the April blizzard because he ha not gotten the message that the dinner was cancelled. Mursau noted that he has an opponent in November, and jokingly suggested that once the Sheriff's races are settled in the Aug. 14 primary there might be room for signs promoting November election candidates, including himself.
Judge Hagedorn talked about makeup of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and Wisconsin Supreme Court, and how important it is for the courts to have what he calls "the rule of law majority." He explained there is a philosophical difference in which liberal judges tend to interpret the law as they want it to be, but he believes, "As a judge, my job is to uphold the law as the law is, not as I think it should be."
As background, Hagedorn said before being appointed judge he was Gov. Scott Walker's legal counsel.
He said in today's world, many of the freedoms protected by the Wisconsin and United States Constitution are being threatened, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, certainly the second amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
Judges need to protect the Constitution, he said.
"If the Wisconsin Supreme Court does not follow the rule of law, then whatever you do in November doesn't matter all that much!"
Of life as a Congressman in Washington, Gallagher declared, "This has been a crazy two years. The governor and I have even been accused in the press of being Russian spies!"
He said according to the US Constitution, the only mandatory function of the Federal Government is to provide for the national defense. He added that to accomplish much of what conservative Republicans want to do in Washington they need one more vote in the Senate, and asked everyone to help make sure that happens.
Gallagher described Kaufman as "tough, but with a heart of gold," and thanked her for her support. He also presented her with letters from his father and Reid Ribble and a United States flag that had flown over the White House. He asked Kaufman and everyone present "to help make sure that that flag will continue to fly over a great land of free people."
In his closing comments as final speaker of the evening, incumbent Attorney General Schimel stressed that Republicans need to unite behind whichever candidates win in the August 14 primary election, and work together to help get them get elected on Nov. 6.
"We can't let them undo the great things that have been done in Wisconsin," Schimel declared, and then promised, "... after Nov 6 we're going to continue to make Wisconsin stronger, freer and safer!"
Schimel said his opponent has raised over $1 million for his campaign, "and nobody knows what he stands for...nobody even knows his name!" He described himself as the Number One target of the Democrat Attorney General's Association, and declared, "Our conservative movement in Wisconsin is infecting other states."
"Whoever thought Wisconsin would become a right to work state?" he asked, and added, "...but we did...and then Michigan...and now others..."
Schimel said as Attorney General he had to defend numerous suits against Act 10. In 2011 Wisconsin passed its photo ID law for voting, "and we're still waiting for a decision from the Appeals Court in Chicago." He said his opponent is the lead attorney in the suit against that law, which is intended to reduce chances for voter fraud.
Schimel said Wisconsin, along with Texas, is the lead state in the lawsuit to take out Obama Care, and declared his hope is to "keep the Federal government out of our state and let Wisconsin decide for Wisconsin."
Schimel credited Planned Parenthood with being the Number One organization contributing to the Democrat Party. He proudly stated that 63 Wisconsin sheriff's have endorsed him for reelection to the Attorney General post, and added, "I've had their backs for years. I'm so glad they now have my back!"
Before concluding Schimel again called on everyone to get together and win in November, and again cautioned, "We can't let them undo the great things that have been done in Wisconsin!"
George Lucia, another contender for the United States Senate, was also present but did not speak. Lucia identifies himself as a conservative who recently joined the Republican Party.
Others recognized during the evening were Pat Pottratz, for providing all the table centerpieces and for being the 8th District winner of the 2018 Ladder of Liberty award; Kaufman's daughter, Tracy Mangold, 8th District secretary, Kaufman's good right hand, and singer of The Star Spangled Banner; Kaufman's granddaughter AnneShirley Mangold, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and sang America the Beautiful with Dr. Esther Oh Zabrowski as pianist; the musical performance of the Northland Quartet consisting of Joe and Samantha Neal, Spencer Martin and Thomas Starr.
Brian and Heather Rivard, accepted an award on behalf of their son, Justin, who as a 17-year old high school junior invented the "JustinKase," a door jamb device that now improves safety in many area schools. In just six seconds the device Justin created can jam a door and prevent an intruder entry. Justin was unable to attend because he left for Army basic training earlier in the month.
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