On This Page
Tim Michels for governor
Born and raised in Brownsville, Tim Michels, endorsed by President Trump, is a conservative outsider who has a plan to put Wisconsin on the right track.
At the age of nine, Tim’s dad handed him a shovel and taught him how to dig trenches, while his mom taught him how to drive trucks. After graduating from Lomira High School in Dodge County, he attended Saint Norbert College in Green Bay, where he was active in ROTC. Following college, he continued his service in uniform, by joining the United States Army, where he served for 12 years, leaving the service with a rank of Major.
He returned home to help grow the family business alongside his brothers. At the time, Michels Corporation had a few hundred employees, which is now today Wisconsin’s largest construction company with more than 8,000 employees. Tim knows how to lead, he always has a plan, and he won’t quit until the job is done.
As governor, Tim Michels will fix the Wisconsin economy by taking his business and leadership experience and bringing it to Madison. He will always back the blue, back parents in public education, cut taxes, keep schools open five days a week, and ensure our elections are fair and transparent. He will make Wisconsin the greatest place to work, live, and raise a family.
Tim and his wife, Barbara, live in Hartland, Wisconsin. They have three adult children.
Wisconsinites face skyrocketing inflation, shrinking retirement savings, and the prospect of tough economic times ahead if we don’t change course. But here is the thing: no one can compete with the Wisconsin work ethic.
Wisconsin needs a governor who won’t stand in the way of economic growth. The Michels Administration will provide all businesses with the best opportunity to succeed and grow operations in Wisconsin. I won’t ever dictate if a business is essential or non-essential, because in the Michels Administration, we will make clear that all work is essential.
I don’t just talk about economic growth, I have lived it. I am the only candidate who has created jobs. These are great family-supporting jobs with great benefits. This was despite the governmental red-tape, excessive regulations, and turbulent economic winds.
With proper reform, we can once again make Wisconsin the greatest place to live, work, and start a business.
Here is my Wisconsin First Blueprint:
- Compete with neighboring states by reducing corporate and individual income taxes to attract and retain more talent in Wisconsin.
- Increase American energy production and distribution to provide low cost and reliable energy for families and businesses all across the state.
- Eliminate the personal property tax.
- Recruit out-of-state veterans to join the Wisconsin workforce by improving VA hospitals and providing businesses with hiring incentives.
- Leverage our water and work ethic to make Wisconsin the premier manufacturing hub for the military defense industry.
- Overhaul and streamline the state’s occupational licensing laws to eliminate barriers that prevent people from starting and expanding their businesses.
- Incentivize students to pursue education in, and invest in training for, high-demand fields such as healthcare, engineering, and technology and remain in the state after graduation.
- Expedite access to high-speed broadband in rural communities so that all areas of Wisconsin can participate in the digital economy.
- Increase opportunities for K-12 students to participate in hands-on internships, youth apprenticeships, and programs such as Dual Enrollment.
- Increase investments in the state’s vocational technical training to enhance the hands-on skills of the Wisconsin workforce.
- Recognize that public safety is economic development and that the storefronts and the property of business owners must be protected from acts of domestic terrorism.
DRAIN THE MADISON SWAMP
Our government is designed to be by the people, for the people. But for too long, insiders in Madison have put the demands of the special interests over the needs of the people. Critical issues are left unaddressed and Wisconsinites feel that their voice is not heard. The insider-built system encourages politicians to spend more time making deals instead of crafting sensible public policy solutions. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s a Wisconsin issue.
As governor, I will reform our system so that the people – not the lobbyists – are in charge. The Michels Blueprint to Drain the Madison Swamp calls for:
Prohibiting fundraising event sponsorship by PACs controlled by lobbying principals:
There are no restrictions in state law on the ability of a PAC controlled by a lobbying principal to sponsor a fundraising event for a state official, candidate, or their respective campaign committees. That must change.
Closing the lobbyist spousal loophole:
Currently, Lobbyists can only make contributions between April 15 and the date of the general election. However, lobbyists may make personal contributions at any time to the campaign of the lobbyist’s spouse, certain relatives, or individuals who reside in the same household as the lobbyist. Spouses of lobbyists should not have the special secret carve out they currently have under current law. Closing the lobbying revolving door:
People get elected, stay in office for years, and turn around and lobby their colleagues on behalf of the very industries they had regulated just days prior. The same is often the case for senior Administration officials. For all state legislators and cabinet officials, establish a 2-year lobbying ban from the time they leave their position. By preventing former lawmakers from immediately lobbying their colleagues, we put the people of Wisconsin first – not the special interests.
Extending the ban on Lobbyist Political contributions to June 1 of every election year, or the end of the legislative calendar, whichever is later
If the Legislature decides to quit meeting nine months before the general election, they should not be rewarded with four months more time to raise money from lobbyists. By extending the ban until June 1, the Legislature can spend more time legislating and less time making promises to the special interests who fund their campaigns.
Imposing greater transparency and reporting requirements for political campaigns:
Candidates can run for office from January-July without voters knowing who donates to their campaign. Candidates should be required to file monthly online campaign finance reports so that voters know who funds their campaign efforts in a more timely, transparent fashion. Similarly, campaigns should be required to list the occupation for any contribution from any registered as ‘Lobbyist” and include a link to the Ethics Commission list of the lobbyists’ clients.
Imposing greater transparency and reporting requirements for Lobbyists:
Currently registered lobbying principals must report to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission on each bill, budget bill subject, proposed rule, and topic on which the organization makes a lobbying communication within 15 days of the first lobbying. This window should be changed to five business days so that the people of Wisconsin are able to track the special interests in real-time – not weeks after a bill has already been passed.
Nowhere is the need to turn things upside down more pressing than in education.
Tony Evers has been in the Wisconsin education driver’s seat for more than two decades — as DPI Deputy Superintendent, DPI Superintendent, and now Governor. He owns the record of unacceptable academic achievement now facing the state. It is time to transfer power to parents from him and the public school establishment.
The pandemic has awakened Wisconsin parents. They want more information and more control. They want their schools to respond to their concerns. If a school isn’t working for their child, they want the freedom to find a better option.
Under a Michels administration, the balance of power will shift fundamentally. The top-down mindset of the education establishment will yield to the wishes of parents. The iron grip of teachers unions will no longer hold Wisconsin students hostage.
At Michels Corporation, if we are not innovating to meet the needs of our customers, we are losing. Our education system must be no different. Parents are the customers and they need educational options that meet their needs. Academic Achievement and Parental Satisfaction will be the two key benchmarks upon which we judge the quality of our schools.
The difference between my approach and Tony Evers is stark. As DPI Superintendent he actually declared it would be “morally wrong” to give parents more educational choices. As Governor, his proposed freeze on school choice would have harmed one of Wisconsin’s most successful programs. His vetoes of education bills were a thumb in the eye of taxpaying Wisconsin families and the children we are failing.
Wisconsin taxpayers have doubled their support of K-12 education since 1970, yet student performance continues to decline. Yes, doubled the amount of gross inflation adjusted dollars put into education. The return on that investment has been unacceptable. The most recent state test results show Math and English language proficiency at less than 40% — a record low.
Tony Evers abetted the problem during the pandemic, offering no resistance to school closures that far exceeded reasonable public health guidelines. Students were denied access to effective education.
Despite a doubling of taxpayer support, there has never been a time when the education establishment deemed funding sufficient. The call from Tony Evers and DPI is always: not enough, we need more, always more. More, more, more. It’s a mindset that must be challenged. For starters, we need to call out the fact that nearly half of K-12 spending is outside the classroom and that, in a majority of Wisconsin school districts, there is more than one non-teacher employee for every teacher. The priority for tax dollars must be in the classroom. But we need to not merely focus on how much taxpayer funding goes into schools, we should care more about what Wisconsin families get out of them. Spending is not achieving.
Improve Reading Right Away. Literacy is the passport to all future learning. Wisconsin has stood by, and even supported, reading instruction methods that simply do not work. Longstanding proponents of the failed methods now acknowledge the need for change. Yet Tony Evers and the education establishment opposed legislation to address this failure. In my business, or any business, if something is failing you stop doing it.
Students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely not to graduate from high school. Follow the science behind reading and increase literacy tests while requiring educators to create a personalized reading plan for every student. Raise literacy scores for Wisconsin 3rd graders by 75 percent in four years.
The state must adopt legislation that sets higher standards for reading proficiency, drives proven science of reading instruction methods, and gives parents the transparency needed to choose schools that follow the practices that work. Nothing is more important than ensuring every child can read at grade level or above. This must be a priority.
In vetoing AB 454, Tony Evers went so far as to say there is not enough money to do the job right. I will propose legislation that sets higher standards for reading proficiency, drives proven science of reading instruction methods, and gives parents the transparency needed to choose schools that follow the practices that work.
Empower and Trust Parents to Choose Properly. While many parents are satisfied with their traditional public schools, a growing number of them are not. In the 1990’s, Wisconsin launched the school choice movement by allowing some parents to choose private schools while giving others new options within the public sector.
The research is clear that options produce results. Private school choice students score higher on the college-readiness ACT test and have higher levels of academic proficiency. Milwaukee choice students are more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to be involved in crime. Most Milwaukee choice and charter students attend schools rated highly by DPI.
Barriers to these programs must be removed so that all families have the choices that have been only available to some. I support universal school choice. Financial obstacles must be removed. Under my leadership, Wisconsin families will have access to a school that meets their needs, regardless of their income or zip code.
Sign the Parental Bill of Rights. Tony Evers vetoed a bill that would have given parents the right to know what is happening in their public schools. Families across the political and geographical landscape agree that all parents deserve a seat at the table when it comes to understanding what is being taught in their children’s schools. Parents must know if schools are focusing more on math and reading – or instead advancing a curriculum rooted in Critical Race Theory, one that identifies and divides students as either oppressors or oppressed.
The many Wisconsin families who reject such indoctrination need the ability to raise concerns without being shouted down. They need the power, if necessary, to enroll their children elsewhere. Giving parents more authority should be married with more positive leadership from Madison. Wisconsin parents must have the right to send their children to the schools that are best for them rather than being forced to attend schools based on where they live.
Promote Career Technical Education. The path to some of the best jobs and opportunities does not solely run through a four-year college or university. In fact, far too many find themselves saddled with a huge debt but without a meaningful career.
At Michels Corporation, we hire many high school graduates ready to join the workforce. The state can take the lead in supporting programs aimed at such students. This would include expansion of CTE Technical Incentive Grants so all students can earn trade certifications — under Tony Evers (at DPI and as Governor. he prioritized public schools. Tony Evers actually vetoed a bill to provide more resources and access to youth apprenticeship programs.
Expand Apprenticeships. We will assure that all parents and students are aware of their options in the world of work that involves only a technical school education, an apprenticeship in the trades, or a certificate; and we will add resources to schools so that courses in these occupations can be added to high school curriculums giving our children a head start on careers. Most importantly, we will require our UW system and Technical College system to accept dual credits for coursework done in high school that meets their requirements. Right now these institutions are refusing to recognize these credits for the crass reason that they don’t want to lose revenue.
Secure our Schools. School safety is on every parent’s mind, and rightfully so. We need to learn from the tragic lessons of Uvalde. I will convene parents, educators, and law enforcement to develop specific prevention and security plans. This will include a Governor’s Conference on Safety every June to review developments of the past school year and prepare for the next. I will support renewal of Wisconsin’s School Safety Grants, an initiative started by Republicans in 2017. Access to funding, training, and resources should never be a barrier for schools when prioritizing student safety.
Increase Turnout in School Board Elections: Teacher unions financially dominate low-turnout and supposed non-partisan spring elections for local school boards and the state superintendent of public instruction. Parents will have a much greater impact at the ballot box if those elections are moved to the fall. The predictable opposition to this idea will stand as clear proof that making the shift would give parents — the taxpayers and customers, after all
TIM MICHELS’ BACK THE BLUE-PRINT
Wisconsin is on the wrong track and I will work with any willing partners to fix the mess created by generations of politicians who have accepted no for an answer. Public safety is yet another area where Governor Evers has failed miserably. Criminals are abusing the system and this governor sits idly by as weak prosecutors and liberal judges make a mockery of the hard work done by local law enforcement across the state.
THE PLAN ON CRIME
- Fire Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm on Day One
- Incentivize the hiring of more police officers, particularly in our most dangerous neighborhoods.
- Create new mandatory minimum penalties for felons possessing guns.
- Create a RICO-like provision to investigate and prosecute riot organizers.
- Expose weak prosecutors and judges through greater access to public information.
- Impose state aid reduction for those who attempt to ‘defund the police’
- Allow judges to consider multiple factors when setting bail
- Replace the aging Green Bay prison with a larger, modern facility
The system is broken. The criminals are abusing it. Woke prosecutors are timid. Liberal judges go unnoticed.
- Remove District Attorneys, who through their actions or inaction, create a dangerous situation in their community, beginning with Milwaukee County’s John Chisholm on Day One. Encourage more cops on the street to address rising crime. Goal of 50% more police in our most dangerous neighborhoods in one year.
Get tough on “defund the police” by imposing a 1.5x state aid penalty for communities pursuing those actions.
- Enact a mandatory two-year minimum prison sentence for felons convicted of gun possession. Eliminate the ability of this charge to be dropped.
Support the Constitutional Amendment to allow judges to consider a variety of factors when setting bail, including the severity of the alleged crime.
Expose weak judges and prosecutors by establishing a public facing, user-friendly web based portal that collects and publishes, in an easily understandable format, data on bail and sentencing recommendations and compares them to the minimum and maximum allowable statutory bail and sentencing penalties for all District Attorneys and Judges.Add more criminal courts, Assistant District Attorneys, and Public Defenders in targeted areas to speed up criminal trials. Have some additional courts be mobile to travel to “hot spots.”
Increase compensation for medical examiners to eliminate the shortage.
Eliminate backlogs on forensic lab testing and results. Under Attorney General Kaul, the number of tests requested is down by more than 30%, yet processing time for DNA testing is now at 115 days – more than double under Attorney General Schimel. Testing should not take more than 50 days.
Incentivize the WTCS system, UW and private universities to expand law enforcement training and graduate more students.
MASS LAWLESSNESS AND RIOTS
A Kenosha-type situation should never happen again. And any attempt to organize violent mob actions will be dealt with far more harshly.
Destroy the protection of the “anonymity of the mob” in riots by creating a special counsel with authorization to bring personal civil actions against all who have participated in mob or riot activity to collect all losses caused by the activity. Losses include any property damage and lost business income. Too often local DAs and Judges fear the crowd and refuse to prosecute violent actions and property damage.
For those organizing and leading such violence, proceed under organized crime provisions, and as necessary, create a RICO-like state provision to clear any barriers. Place all proceeds from such action in a fund for restoration of businesses damaged by any mob activity.
Create a special prosecution task force – made up of Wisconsin’s most aggressive prosecutors – to step in with a prosecutorial surge in instances of mob violence, empowered to act in conjunction with the County DA, or independently where necessary.
While the above would act as a powerful deterrent, in the event of threats of future mob and riotous behavior, by Executive Order, direct the Adjutant General to create a quick reaction task force within the National Guard specifically trained to overwhelm an out-of-control urban area and immediately restore order. Pursuant the Executive Order, the Governor will order forward deployments on credible evidence of any such pending activity, and work with local law enforcement leadership to restore order. The Guard troops will remain on-site until local law enforcement believes the threat has been eliminated. The Governor shall remain in Wisconsin at any time the quick reaction force has been forward deployed.
There are some things, like firing Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, that I will do on Day One, but it is going to take a broad coalition to make this Blueprint a reality,” said Michels. “I’m not beholden to any PAC or lobbyist or interest group. and I will usher in these bold changes as soon as possible because every Wisconsin neighborhood should be safe. No matter the color of your skin or the size of the house you live in, your neighborhood should be safe
REPLACE AND EXPAND GREEN BAY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
Green Bay Correctional Institute is older than Alcatraz. It was built in 1897 with most expansion occurring before WWII. It is a maximum-security prison designed to house 800 prisoners, but today has more than 1,000. The Village of Allouez could reuse the 29-acre parcel for commercial and residential development – putting it back on the local tax rolls.
Researchers at St. Norbert College estimate the parcel could produce $138.5 million in revenue and create 1,400 new jobs. The new prison would be within 30 miles of the existing prison and be larger to accommodate up to 1,500 violent criminals.
TO RESTORE ELECTION INTEGRITY
Our plan is simple, we need to make it easier to vote, and harder to cheat. Politicians in Madison have made a mess of our elections, and I won’t let that continue. This is a Wisconsin Voter Protection Plan, plain and simple. I’m pledging that as governor, addressing the election mess will be among the first things I do on my very first day in office.
Repeal of all previous WEC election guidance and freezing the issuance of new guidance.
Prohibit re-hiring of any WEC staff that participated in the issuance of any formal guidance that failed to comply with existing law, as has been determined by the Legislative Audit Bureau.
Create a provision allowing the governor to remove and replace any election official held in contempt of court for failing to immediately cure a polling place violation, including any wrongful denial of observer rights.
Ban on special interests – including private individuals and private organizations – from funneling money for election administration through local election officials (Zuckerbucks).
Ban on unmanned ballot drop boxes.
Clean up the poll lists twice a year, purging of dead and inactive voters.
Require every county to designate an available election duty judge to be available for hearings on a maximum notice of thirty minutes to hear and resolve emergency Election Day complaints related to polling place violations, including any wrongful denial of observer rights.
Address the flood of indefinitely confined voters from 2020 by making them reapply and show photo ID to verify their claim.
Uniformly enforce implementation of absentee ballot laws and legal standards.
Ban on pop-up polling places.
Prohibit the closing of regular polling places less than 60 days before an election.
Strengthen nursing home voting protections for our seniors, while ensuring swift prosecution for violations.
Pass first consideration of the Voter Uniformity Amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution, empowering voters to enforce their civil and constitutional rights and fight back if ever again subjected to such unfairness.
- In April of 2020, on the day before the Spring Election, Governor Tony Evers tried to call it off. Source
-Only a last-minute decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court allowed the election to take place as planned. Source
Even then, two big cities, Green Bay and Milwaukee dramatically reduced the number of polling locations. In Green Bay voters were allowed to vote in 2 locations. Milwaukee only had 5 polling sites open. Source
In recent years the state administrators of Wisconsin elections have failed to comply with our election laws. Local election officials were actually given advice to deliberately violate the law. The elections were not run uniformly or fairly, and people’s trust in the system has been severely diminished. Source
The nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau determined in a lengthy and detailed examination that multiple laws were not followed by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. They also determined that other election administrators and voters also violated the law. Source
Big Tech oligarch Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook infamy, helped fund the administration of local elections, with 85 percent of his grants going to five Democratic party strongholds in Wisconsin. Source
The Joe Biden campaign ran advertisements for city-run pop up voter registration event in Madison. Source
More than a hundred thousand people, at the direction of the WEC, have newly claimed they are indefinitely confined, meaning they are exempt from providing photo identification to receive and cast their absentee ballots, in violation of the letter and the spirit of Wisconsin law. Source