We seldom see Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, losing his cool but he did so last weekend when he went on a rant and called three GOP senators “terrorists” for sidestepping the state budget process and cutting a deal with Gov. Scott Walker to use his budget veto on some items in order to get their votes. Vos walked back the terrorist comment and apologized — which is all well and good. He never should have use that inflammatory and totally inapplicable word in the first place. But, the word flap aside, we share his outrage over three senators cutting side deals with the governor in exchange for their votes. There was a time — fairly recently — when that was called log-rolling, horse-trading or giving quid pro quo — and it was illegal. Have we gone so far down the rabbit hole that this is now just talked about openly — even if it is after the fact? That’s more cause for outrage than an ill-chosen word.
Racine has a good supply of old manufacturing buildings and we’re always glad to see plans to convert them into something new and usable. So we welcomed the news this week that a Milwaukee company is looking to do a $17 million rehab of the old Gold Medal Camp Furniture Manufacturing Co. buildings on Packard Avenue just south of Uptown. The plan is to convert the largest of the two buildings into residential housing, much of it geared toward low-and-middle income renters. It’s a good proposal and we hope J. Jeffers and Co. can secure the needed $13.5 million in tax credits to push forward with the project.
A dusting of frost swept across the region Thursday signaling the change of seasons. Leaf-raking and other fall chores jumped up on the to-do list, hay fever sufferers rejoiced, hunters began preparation for the fall hunt and some well-prepared early shoppers were probably going over their Christmas lists. First up on the calendar is Halloween. Burlington is hosting a “Spooky City” downtown on Saturday, the Racine Zoo has its “Boo at the Zoo,” also on Saturday, there’s a “Walking Ghost Tour” in downtown Racine today and Saturday, and the “Trolloween” bar crawl for adults in downtown Racine as well. The trick-or-treaters will be going door-to-door in area communities so be watchful if you’re out driving. The trick-or-treat days are about evenly split between Sunday and Tuesday night depending on your community.
Racine County governments are racing ahead with a slew of changes to prep the way for construction to begin on the massive Foxconn manufacturing complex, but they had to be scratching their heads this week over the reports that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. delayed a vote on the Foxconn contract because it wouldn’t have protected taxpayers and recoup state money if the Taiwanese company didn’t fulfill it’s end of the deal. That was rather central to the deal to give the company a record $3 billion in tax breaks to build here. We’re glad the snafu was detected now — and not later — but it still gives us pause given the WEDC’s tangled history of not verifying job-creation goals and running up uncollectable loans. Let’s dot I’s and cross T’s on this one.