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Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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Monday - September 24, 2018 9:31 am

Trade war just got more real

The trade war continues to escalate. And it is about to get much more real. Already we have seen the impacts of President Trump's decision to impose tariffs on a variety of items made in other countries but sold in the U.S. Largely, that impact has been higher prices for American consumers, and declining sales for American producers and retailers trying to sell their products overseas, as those countries impose retaliatory tariffs. Now, Trump has imposed even more tariffs, $200 billion worth, on products made in China and sold in the U.S. And guess who isn't happy about that? America's largest retailer. Walmart says because new tariffs will cost the company more to import products from China, it will likely have to raise its prices as a result. That means more money out of our pocket. Or declining sales. Among the specific items likely to see increased prices at Walmart are gas grills, bicycles, even Christmas lights. There is no way to win this trade war. We slap tariffs on other countries, they slap tariffs on us. Meanwhile we pay more, and producers of American products sell less overseas. Doesn't sound like we are coming out winners in this trade war.

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Friday - September 21, 2018 9:26 am

It is getting costly to drive on Wisconsin roads

We already know what kind of shape Wisconsin's roads are in. Now we are finding out just how much it is costing us to drive on them. A report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, finds that 31% of Wisconsin roads are in poor condition. Driving on these dilapidated roads carries a hefty price tag. About $6.8 billion to drivers statewide. That includes the costs of vehicle depreciation, repair costs, increased fuel consumption and tire wear. There is also a cost for lost time due to congestion and accidents. What does that mean for you? For drivers in this part of the state, that breaks down to more than $1200 per year. Getting those shocks and struts or tie rods replaced isn't cheap, but driving over all those potholes often makes such repairs necessary. But still, Wisconsin isn't doing anything about it. Road repairs are being put off because of declining state funding, and what work has been done has been paid for through additional borrowing. As a result, like many other municipalities, both the city and county of La Crosse are considering adopting wheel taxes to raise more money for road repair. As this report shows, it would be more cost effective to invest the money in improving Wisconsin's transportation system than passing along this very hefty price tag to the state's drivers.

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Thursday - September 20, 2018 8:59 am

More transparency for political donors

It is a victory for transparency, and for our democracy. The Supreme Court this week declined to get involved in a long-running case involving those who donate to advocacy groups that pour money into political campaigns. As a result, a Federal Elections Commission regulation allowing nonprofit groups to keep their donors secret has been thrown out. That means nonprofit political groups, on both sides, like the conservative Americans for Prosperity and the left-leaning League of Conservation Voters will have to disclose the names of all donors who give $200 a year or more. The FEC will work to create new rules for these political nonprofits, but in the interim, names of donors, starting this week, will be revealed. That is good news. We as voters deserve to know who is giving money to try to influence elections. Critics of the ruling say the decision by the high court chills political speech. But it does not prevent anyone from donating to these groups. It simply means they can no longer do so anonymously. There is so much undisclosed money being pumped through our electoral system, it is time we get to learn who is willing to spend what to influence the outcome of our elections.

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There are plenty of issues on which to campaign in the Wisconsin Governor's race. Whether the Foxconn deal is good for Wisconsin taxpayers, what to do about our crumbling roads, how much to fund education. All are issues in the race between Governor Scott Walker and challenger Tony Evers. But what we've been hearing on the campaign trail lately has nothing to do with the important issues facing Wisconsinites. Instead, the latest debate is about the National Anthem. In a page straight from the Trump playbook, Governor Walker has tweeted that he wonders whether Evers believes in standing up for the flag as a show of respect for our service members. Walker's running mate, Rebecca Kleefisch, took it a step further, accusing Evers running mate Mandela Barnes, a black man, of not only supporting protesting during the anthem, and even claiming that Barnes himself took a knee during the playing of the anthem at the opening ceremonies for the Wisconsin State Fair. She offers no evidence, but claims that is what someone told her. The fact is, what people should do during the anthem is not an issue in the race to determine who should be the next Wisconsin Governor. Whoever sits in that office isn't going to pass a law dictating what people should do during the playing of our national anthem. The candidates need to focus on the real issues in this campaign, and there are plenty of them.

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Tuesday - September 18, 2018 5:57 am

Does your candidate support fair elections?

The fight is currently in the courts. But a better battle would likely be at the polling booths. The United States Supreme Court was the most recent stop in the fight over the drawing of legislative boundaries in Wisconsin. The high court did not rule on the merits of the case, whether Wisconsin's political maps were unconstitutional, drawn to benefit one political party over the other. Instead, they said the plaintiff in the case lacked legal standing, and sent the case back to federal court. Those who brought the lawsuit are now planning to refile the case, with new plaintiffs. But as we have seen, these court fights take time. Perhaps a better way to ensure Wisconsin adopts a more fair process for determining legislative boundaries is to vote for candidates who have pledged to support the Iowa model, which removes partisanship from the process. 52 candidates for the Wisconsin Legislature running in the November election vow to support a fair redistricting process. Getting them into office could be the best way to bring change. We can't rely on current leadership in the Legislature. They won't even hold a public hearing on the issue. So before you cast your vote in November, find out if the candidates support a fair election, or one which is rigged to benefit one political party over another.

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Monday - September 17, 2018 5:57 am

Congress once again does the bare minimum

Congratulations Congress. Once again our elected officials in Washington have managed to do only the bare minimum requirements of their job, but nonetheless are patting themselves on the back over their accomplishment. Congress has largely agreed to a series of federal spending bills that would keep the government operating after September 30 when current funding runs out. That will, assuming President Trump signs the bills into law, prevent another government shutdown. Only in Washington is it considered surprising that Congress is actually doing its job. But Congress is simply spending our money without trying to figure out if that is money well spent. And the process was easier this time around, with an additional $153 billion to the total funding level. Can we really assume that every government program these spending bills fund deserves even more of our money? When was the last time Congress passed a budget that contained less federal spending? The pricetag on this spending bill has reached $857 billion, providing an additional $20 billion in spending for the Pentagon. It is good Congress has come to an agreement on federal spending, but the answer shouldn’t automatically be to spend more of our money to get it done.

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Friday - September 14, 2018 9:24 am

Mayor's strong arm tactics over pool unnecessary

Mayor Tim Kabat seems like a nice guy, with the best interests of the city at heart. But he is choosing to play hardball over plans for a new Memorial swimming pool on the UW-La Crosse campus. For the past two summers, that pool has been shut down, due to costly and ongoing maintenance issues. There was a huge neighborhood effort to convince the city to rebuild that pool in its current location. Studies were done, designs made, and estimates gathered. The city agreed to rebuild the pool, and was willing to spend up to $3.9 million to get it done. The estimated pricetag came in lower than that, at $3.1 million. But still Kabat isn't ready to commit city funding to getting the pool built next year. In his proposed spending plan for the city, Kabat wants to only pay for part of the pool next year, with the remaining funds to be distributed the following year. That would mean another summer with no swimming pool. But the troubling part of the Mayor's plan is that the city would only commit the remaining money after the neighborhood raises $500,000 on its own for the pool project. It seems he is holding that neighborhood hostage. As Council member Jessica Olson points out, it is not the neighbor's fault that the pool fell into disrepair and was not properly maintained. This is not like an agreement with a developer where the city pays some and the developer pays some. We're talking about a neighborhood, which simply wants a place for their kids to splash and play. The city should commit to funding Memorial pool in its entirety, and stop strong-arming parents who want something nice for their kids.

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At first, they didn't even ask the state for help. Now paper maker Kimberly Clark says Wisconsin lawmakers must act quickly if they hope to save hundreds of jobs in the Fox Valley. The paper maker announced in January its plans to close two plants in that part of the state, putting more than 600 people out of work. Some Madison politicians, in the wake of the historic Foxconn incentive package, thought the state should help Kimberly Clark too. Kimberly Clark wisely jumped at the opportunity for free cash, and said if the legislature could craft a deal, they would keep one of their Wisconsin plants open. That deal is having a hard time getting done, and right now there is no package to vote on. Kimberly Clark says it needs to have a deal in place by the end of this month or the plant will have to close. But Wisconsin lawmakers aren't currently in session, and aren't scheduled to be for the rest of the year. The Governor could call a special session, but its not clear the votes are there. That may be for the best. This package would cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than $100 million over 15 years. The state can't afford to keep using our money to bail out troubled companies. If they do, it likely won't take long before other Wisconsin companies start sticking their hands out looking for their share.

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Wednesday - September 12, 2018 9:48 am

Pay to park on La Crosse streets an unnecessary idea

Finding a spot to park near La Crosse's college campuses can be a struggle. But a plan to deal with that congestion is raising some eyebrows. The city's Board of Public Works is being asked to approve a new pay to park program for streets near UW-La Crosse and Western Technical College. Right now, anyone can park on those streets for free. But finding a spot can be tricky, especially for people who live there, with coveted parking spots often gobbled up by students heading to class. The plan under consideration would charge those students one dollar per hour to park on the street. Residents living in those neighborhoods would be able to continue to park for free. The thought is students wouldn't want to pay to park on the street, so they would instead park in nearby parking ramps, which are typically under-utilized. This seems rather discriminatory, given that these are public streets. Can we really charge some people to park on the street, while allowing others to continue to park there for free? The city already has a program allowing La Crosse residents to obtain parking permits allowing them to ignore the two-hour parking signs on their block without risk of getting a ticket. What would this new program accomplish that the current system does not? The answer is to raise money. And how long will it be before everyone, not just students, have to pay to park on city streets, even in front of their own homes?

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Tuesday - September 11, 2018 6:00 am

Gov Walker remains a frequent flier, at our expense

Look, up in the air, its...Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin's Governor has become a frequent flier as he tries to win a third term in office. Walker took 322 flights in a state airplane just last year. Since he dropped out of the presidential race in 2015, Walker has taken nearly 1000 trips in a state airplane, all of them at taxpayer expense. That cost now totals $934,000 and counting. The increased airtime came as Walker was trying to re-connect with Wisconsin voters after his failed presidential bid. It is not illegal for Wisconsin's Governor to travel in a state airplane. But the volume of flights should sound some alarms. Walker's nearly 950 taxpayer funded flights is much higher than that of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who tops the list of flights by Governors of our largest state. Wisconsin isn't on that list but Walker's flight total is 65% more than Cuomo's. Some of Walker's trips may have been faster by car. His taxpayer funded flights have been as short as 24 miles between Appleton and Green Bay. Walker's itinerary has seen him take as many as six flights in a single day. On more than 30 occasions, he took five plane rides in a day. It would be hard to believe all of these are official visits, in no way related to his campaign. If Walker isn't going to ground himself, Wisconsin should follow the lead of other states such as California, Florida and Texas, where Governors are required to fly commercial. They can only use state airplanes in the event of an emergency. With a pricetag of nearly $1 million to Wisconsin taxpayers, we can't afford to keep shuttling our Governor from one photo op to another.

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