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Dan Kapanke may feel the pinch of this one. La Crosse political analyst Joe Heim says the latest ethics complaint from the state democratic party about Kapanke's business dealings may stick in the craw of some voters. He says when the headlines scream about ethics and money laundering, those allegations tend to have an impact on the perceptions of voters and are likely to have an effect on the efficacy of a candidate running for office.
Heim feels the democratic party's complaint is based on something relatively minor. Kapanke has said he erred by paying a team debt to the city out of a charitable foundation but has since paid the foundation back out of team coffers.
The city of La Crosse may be looking to get paid by WTC. But the city may have to just go on looking. TC president Lee Rasch says he has no intention of making to the city what are known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOTs. Rasch says, although he doesn't mind paying for some things collaboratively, like streetscaping on 7th street downtown, he also doesn't believe it's appropriate to "shift" tax dollars from one taxing entity to another. Rasch also tells us he can't conceive of a time in the future when he might change his mind on the issue.
This thing might come to a head. The city is currently setting up a system that would require tax exempt organizations sign agreements to make payments for services before development deals could be inked.
Invest money now, save more money later. That's the thinking behind big fed grants getting announced today for a baker's dozen states. It's Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund Money going to states for investments into projects that prevent large scale disasters in future flooding. Wisconsin is one of the big winners, collecting $15 million from the feds. But Iowa makes the big haul. Iowa has landed grants totalling $84 million for disaster preparedness and prevention.
The La Crosse area's unemployment decreases were barely noticeable in the last month. Not compared with some metro areas in the state which saw declines in jobless rates by as much as a half a percent. But, at 6.2%, the area's seasonally unadjusted rate for July is still the second lowest in the state, only behind Madison and just ahead of Eau Claire. Meanwhile, La Crosse county as a whole saw no change in unemployment from the month before, still hovering at 6.2%, although that is about six tenths lower than the same time last year.