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An ethics board meeting has been scheduled after a complaint filed against La Crosse mayor Matt Harter. An opinion from an outside law firm says the mayor crossed some ethical boundaries during meetings with the county solid waste director and his father, Gary Harter, the owner of La Crosse's garbage contractor. A complaint was filed by several people more than a week ago. The city's ethics panel is scheduled to convene to begin considering the ethics charges at 3:30 Tuesday in city hall.
A former head of the La Crosse county Republican party is facing claims of libel from a pair of candidates. Mike Krsiean (kri-zeen), running for congress in Wisconsin's third congressional district, and Robert Taylor, running for US senate, call Chris Muller's claims on his couleeconservatives.com blog, "amazing" and "baseless." Muller recently rhetorically mused on whether Krsiean and Taylor had appropriately filed campaign finance reports and whether some of their activities might be supported by the democratic party, the International Monetary Fund or MoveOn.org. Krsiean, in turn, has quickly responded with threats of a lawsuit and by suggesting that Muller is acting unethically.
They're meeting today for the first time.
Whether the La Crosse city council chicken rules committee will actually do anything when it meets is yet to be determined. Council member Marilyn Wigdahl's on the committee. She doesn't see making much immediate movement on refining rules for keeping chickens in backyards. Today's meeting, she says, won't be for much more than electing officers.
Wigdahl has already very vocally stated her opposition to keeping chickens in town. Besides, she says, council members have much more important things to work on.
Scott Hassett's been an attorney for a long time. He's never heard of a district attorney acting with as much a lack of professionalism as Calumet county DA Ken Kratz, the guy who was apparently sending racy text messages to a crime victim. But Hassett, running for state attorney general, also says the dearth of professionalism extends up the ladder to current attorney general JB Van Hollen because he knew what Kratz had been up to for almost a year and didn't do anything about it. Since the first sexting accusation, other women have come forward with more allegations that Kratz was trying to hook up via text message with them, too. Governor Doyle has begun the process to remove Kratz from office.
$20 million seem like a lot of money to you? That's how much La Crosse's auditor recently told city council members exists in the city's reserve fund balance. Some of that money's already dedicated for other purposes. But $19 million is available for use. In emergencies, typically. But, according to one city council finance committee member we've talked to, mayor Matt Harter plans to use $900 thousand of that reserve fund to pay for regular budget items this year, apparently in an effort to keep tax increases to a minimum. The city council agreed to a similar raid of the reserve fund during budget back-and-forth last year.