EagleHerald/Emma Kuhn
State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) speaks to members and guests of the Republican Party of Marinette County, including party chairwoman Betty Hensel, left, on Saturday at the Best Western Riverfront Inn in Marinette. 
EagleHerald/Emma Kuhn

State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) speaks to members and guests of the Republican Party of Marinette County, including party chairwoman Betty Hensel, left, on Saturday at the Best Western Riverfront Inn in Marinette. 

MARINETTE — The Republican Party of Marinette County saw an ample turnout for its annual Lincoln Day Dinner, which was held Saturday evening at the Best Western Riverfront Inn in Marinette. Guests at the dinner included several local elected officials, former candidates for office and a number of speakers.

State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) kicked off the speakers after the banquet with some brief remarks on the recent election of Judge Brian Hagedorn to the State Supreme Court and the importance of sticking to personal values. 

“He stood firm, he stood his ground, and then he went out and campaigned,” Tiffany said of Hagedorn. “That is why he won this election. That is why those of us out there were willing to get behind him, because we knew he was standing for what we believe in.” 

Tiffany also spoke on the recently-concluded Special Counsel investigation conducted by Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice Special Counsel’s Office. He compared it to the John Doe probe in 2012, when then-governor Scott Walker was accused of illegally coordinating with conservative groups engaged in issue advocacy during the year’s recall election. 

“It almost seems like it was a trial mission by ‘the left’ here in Wisconsin for what they were doing to President (Donald) Trump, here, over the last couple of years,” he said. 

Tiffany said he had one regret coming out of the John Doe probe, which was, “those people who perpetrated this on the people of the State of Wisconsin were never brought to justice.” 

“If I have one wish, as we go forward in light of the Mueller investigation, which has been completed, it is that people like (Rep.) Devin Nunes, Attorney General (William) Barr... stand firm and follow through to get justice,” he said, drawing the comparison between the two investigations. “Let’s hope that those people in this federal government will get justice for those of us Americans that saw this travesty of justice that played out over the last couple of years.” 

State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) focused more on the state budget in his remarks, criticizing Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget heavily as he spoke. Nygren called the funds left for Evers from the Walker administration’s management — approximately $1.8 billion in new revenue, a $600 million surplus and $400 million in underspending — a “historic” amount. 

“Yet that $3 billion is not enough,” Nygren said, citing Evers’ proposed $2 billion tax hikes and a $2 billion budget hole. “Gov. Evers ran as a moderate. He ran as somebody who was going to bring both sides together. A moderate doesn’t propose a budget that increases spending by 8.3 percent on the people of Wisconsin.” 

For comparison, Nygren pointed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, who proposed a budget spending increase of 3 percent. Nygren also said Evers’ budget was full of policy that “has no business being in a state budget.” 

“For the most part, it’s dead on arrival,” he said. “He’s calling it ‘the people’s budget,’ but I’m not sure what people he’s been talking to.” 

Nygren also congratulated Hagedorn on his win and the Marinette County party on their work to win votes for the judicial candidate. 

State Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview) also spoke at the banquet, and gave his perspective on the state as the vice-chair of the Committee on Audit and chair of the Committee on Ways and Means. 

“Wisconsin is historically strong because we understand that business is the hand that feeds us,” he said. “Wisconsin is now No. 1 in manufacturing in the United States, passing Indiana just last year. Our total gross domestic output is approximately $330 billion. It’s about the size of the country of Singapore. Wisconsin produces in 10 weeks what North Dakota does, even with their booming oil business, in a year.” 

Other speakers at the event included former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; First Amendment rights advocate Polly Olsen; Executive Director Heather Weininger from Wisconsin Right to Life; Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.); and keynote speaker Brian Schimming, former radio talk show host and state party official.