The spring elections are in the books — well, except perhaps for a possible recount in the State Supreme Court race where Brian Hagedorn bested Lisa Neubauer by a 5,911 margin out of 1.2 million votes cast. And in the Waterford High School District, where a recount has been scheduled after a referendum passed by just three votes.
But on Tuesday, Racine County voters put up some pretty good numbers in voter turnout. Voters here cast 37,371 ballots for a turnout of 34 percent, which was far better than the statewide turnout of 26 percent. It also compared favorably to previous spring elections — 31,461 votes were cast in last years vote and 22,260 ballots was the total in 2017.
Thumbs up for those who made the trek to the polls and thank you for participating in our participatory democracy. Government works better when citizens make their voices and choices known.
The city and county also posted some good numbers on unemployment for February this year with both dropping a half percent off the numbers for the previous year. The city had a jobless rate of 4.9 percent, compared to 5.4 percent in 2018 and the county’s jobless rate dropped from 4.5 percent to 4 percent.
Caledonia and Mount Pleasant also had more than a half percent drop in joblessness — Caledonia at 3.1 percent and Mount Pleasant at 3 percent.
There’s something to be said for consistency in government and we’re really not fans of about-faces — except perhaps when one goes our way. President Donald Trump gets a thumbs up this week for his restoration of $300 million in funding for Great Lakes cleanup work.
Speaking to a cheering crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said he was dropping his administration’s proposal for a 90 percent cut in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has long had bipartisan support. “I support the Great Lakes. Always have. They are beautiful,” the president said.
We’ll put that one in the win column.
On the other hand, and, yes, there is always the other hand in politics, we were less than impressed with the president’s remarks at a Republican gathering where he discussed wind turbines and energy policy. Trump told the group, “If you have a windmill anywhere near your home, congratulations, your home just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, OK?”
Um, no. There is no evidence linking the sound of wind turbines to cancer. That earns a thumbs down in the “fake news” category.
“Nothing personal, it’s just business.” That line might work for the mob (yes, you probably remember it from “The Godfather”, but it was actually first uttered by Otto Biederman, the accountant for gangster Dutch Schultz), but it doesn’t play too well in Titletown.
Former Green Bay Packer coach Mike McCarthy, who was abruptly sacked in December after a loss to the Arizona Cardinals which effectively ended the Packers’ playoff hopes, finally opened up on his dismissal in an interview with ESPN. “It couldn’t have been handled any worse,” McCarthy said.
After his post-game press conference, he was abruptly summoned to the office of team President Mark Murphy. McCarthy said the “messenger was cold and the energy was bad.”
“Every time I released an individual, you get your words right. There’s a personal component to it. You know he has a family. He’s family. There wasn’t any of that. So that was off ….The exit really stuck with me for a while. It was hard to swallow.”
Firings happen, of course, but they don’t have to be rude and abrupt — especially for a coach of 13 years and a Super Bowl champion.