By Doug Hissom Special to Published Aug 06, 2008 at 5:08 AM

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Libertarian candidate for state Assembly Brad Sponholz is the first pol to take a stand on the referendum on mandatory sick leave Milwaukee voters will consider in November.

The Common Council gave the go ahead last week to put a measure on the ballot that would require businesses to allow at least nine days of sick leave for employees. Sponholz retorted that it would place a burden on small business.

"This would be a difficult thing for Milwaukee businesses to absorb and would ultimately drive some smaller businesses out of the city. We need to remove some of the barriers and reduce the red tape that businessmen face right now," said Sponholz.

"Government mandates harm business and don't allow for ingenuity."

Sponholz is running against Rep. Peggy Krusick (D-Milwaukee).

Hiring Freeze in Racine: Here's something you wouldn't hear from the Milwaukee County Courthouse -- a hiring freeze.

Racine County Exec Bill McReynolds says his county won't fill anymore vacancies in 2008. He cites higher fuel costs, lower tax revenues and less state and federal aid as his rationale for the county running out of money to pay its help.

Forecasting an Endorsement: Stop the presses! State Rep. Jim Ott has endorsed Alberta Darling in her bid to keep her job representing the North Shore.

The former TV weatherman at least keeps to his Republican Party marching orders in endorsing the incumbent in Darling's campaign against Sheldon Wasserman, a member of the state Assembly.

And Darling's camp was eager to at least post some good news, scurrying to put out a press release announcing Ott's big news.

"Her experience and tenacity serve our constituents well on issues that matter to them, like controlling government spending, creating jobs and cracking down on criminals. I am asking the voters to keep the Ott-Darling team together so we can continue to work on behalf of the hard-working families of our districts," said Ott through the Darling campaign.

Doug Hissom Special to
Doug Hissom has covered local and state politics for 20 years. Over the course of that time he was publisher, editor, news editor, managing editor and senior writer at the Shepherd Express weekly paper in Milwaukee. He also covered education and environmental issues extensively. He ran the UWM Post in the mid-1980s, winning a Society of Professional Journalists award as best non-daily college newspaper.

An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe.

He lives in Bay View.