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Predictably, public opinion of Gov. Walker's rejection of federal Medicaid funding is split down party lines.
Predictably, public opinion of Gov. Walker's rejection of federal Medicaid funding is split down party lines.

'WalkerCare' draws mixed reviews

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to reject additional federal Medicaid funding for the state’s BadgerCare program is drawing mixed reviews, mostly divided along party lines.

Predictably, several Republican state legislators stepped up to guard Walker’s back.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said, "I support the governor’s decision. We’re giving more people access to private health insurance without putting state tax dollars at risk. Our focus will continue to be reducing people’s reliance on government programs. We want fewer people on Medicaid and want to give people the opportunity to choose what’s best for their families. Our state will continue to make the necessary investments to provide medical coverage for the poor but will not rely on the empty promises from the federal government to fund a program that they can’t afford."

State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said, "We have an obligation to protect our most vulnerable and taxpayers. Governor Walker's plan does both. After we finally have our fiscal house in order, it would be irresponsible to send the state back into uncertainty because the federal government doesn't honor another
commitment. Adding to that uncertainty is the fact that it has been more than three years since the President signed a budget into law. We simply can't count on the money being there in the future."

Predictably, several Democrats criticized Walker’s plan. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said, "Today Gov. Walker said no to extending BadgerCare to as many as 175,000 people all across Wisconsin. He said no to doing the right thing for people who desperately need care, no to doing the right thing for taxpayers and no to health care jobs. Saying yes should have been the easiest budget decision Gov. Walker had to make. Instead, he placed support from right-wing extremists before the needs of Wisconsin taxpayers, vulnerable citizens and unemployed job seekers. Now he's trying to muddy …


Women will rule corporate world in 40 years

There was a palpable tension in the room when Bob Chernow began his recent speech to Tempo Milwaukee by telling the women that the original title for his talk was, "The Future of Women in Business, or, There Ain’t Nothing Like a Dame."

But Chernow put the women more at ease by telling them, "My projection is that women will dominate the management of business within 40 years."

That provided cover for my good friend Susie Falk, who had booked Chernow to speak to the women’s group and so kindly invited me to attend the luncheon.

Chernow, an accomplished Milwaukee investment advisor, is qualified to make such projections, as he is the vice chair of the World Future Society and is widely regarded as one of the most
credible futurists in the country.

U.S. businesses owned by women doubled from 1992 to 2007. According to Chernow, 28.7 percent of family businesses have a female CEO or president, up from only 5 percent in 1997. By 2020, Chernow projects that 30 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will be led by women.

Chernow cited a growing list of women leading major corporations, including: Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies; Ellen Kullman of DuPont Corp.; Marissa Mayer of Yahoo; Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics Corp.; Ginni Rometty of IBM; Sherilyn McCoy of Avon Products Inc.; and Laura Lange of Time Inc.

Chernow said the "echo boomers," the children of baby boomers, like to work more in collaboration than their predecessors. That will suit women, who like to manage in a more collaborative fashion than their male counterparts, Chernow said.

"Our new world is a relationship economy where business subcontracts, creates alliances and partnerships and uses outside consultants. In this world you need the active participation of those
involved and the job of managers is to work with these  relationships. In short, you just can’t order people to work; you need their willing participation," Chernow said. "Women and men
think differently. Men operate in a hi…


IQ Awards accepting nominations

BizTimes Media is accepting nominations for its 2013 Bravo! Entrepreneur and IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards. The awards salute southeastern Wisconsin's boldest, most dynamic and innovative companies and corporate leaders.

The winners will be saluted at the ninth annual BizExpo, which will take place Thursday, May 16, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino. Last year, more than 3,000 business leaders attended the BizExpo, which featured more than 130 booth exhibitors and a series of impactful business seminars.

The Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards salute executives who exemplify strong company leadership, including vision, innovation, risk-taking and perseverance.

Last year's Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards winners included: Sarit Singhal, CEO and president, Superior Support Services Inc.; Lori Zindl, president, OS inc.; Michael Coakley, managing partner, C.H. Coakley & Company; Jim Haertel, president, Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery; Michael Kopper, president, Centrisys Corp.; David Kasinskas, president and owner, Graphics Systems Corp.; Kyle Weatherly, president, Solaris; Michael Malatesta, founder and president, Advanced Waste Services; and Kitty Tierney, owner, Impressions Day Spa.

The 2012 Regional Spirit Award went to the Balistreri family, which owns and operates Sendik's Food Markets.

The list of past recipients of the BizTimes Bravo! Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award reads like a "who's who" of Milwaukee business leaders: Sheldon Lubar, founder and chairman of Lubar & Co.; Fritz and Debra Usinger of the Usinger family; Stephen Marcus of The Marcus Corp.; George Dalton of Fiserv Inc.; Robert Kern of Generac; Joe Zilber of Towne Realty; and Harry Quadracci of Quad/Graphics Inc.

The BizTimes IQ Awards celebrate innovations in business. The awards salute companies for their most innovative, clever and unique products, services or processes.

Last year's IQ Awards recipients were: Bruno Independent Living Aids Inc.; Cilio Technologies; Custom Service Hardware;…

Kohl's operates more than 1,100 stores across the United States and has annual sales of about $19 billion.
Kohl's operates more than 1,100 stores across the United States and has annual sales of about $19 billion. (Photo: Joe Seer/

Will Kohl's be bought out?

The common stock shares for Kohl's Corp. rose 56 cents Thursday amid growing Wall Street speculation that the Menomonee Falls-based retailer could be a prime target to be acquired by a private equity firm in 2013.

Kohl's fell in January to its lowest valuation relative to revenue in more than four years after the retailer cut its profit forecasts because of disappointing holiday sales and steeper-than-planned price reductions, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Kohl's stock is trading at only 0.58 times its sales and at a cheaper multiple to profit than any other North American department-store chain, Bloomberg reported.

Stock analysts at Edward Jones & Co., Morningstar Inc., Aston Hill Financial Inc. and Delafield-based Arnold Investment Counsel each speculated with Bloomberg that Kohl's could be prime for a takeover.

Kohl's, with exclusive brands such as Jennifer Lopez and Vera Wang that help attract repeat customers, may be attractive to a company because of its extensive real estate holdings, including many stores that have been equipped with solar panels, the analysts said.

"It's a good, sound retailer," Brian Yarbrough, an analyst for Edward Jones in St. Louis, told Bloomberg. "There's been more talk of it being a private equity play because it's cheap and it's not like the model's broken or it's a bad business. The earnings power is there."

U.S. private equity funds have $360 billion of committed unspent capital dedicated to buyout funds in the global market, according to data from research firm Preqin Ltd.

Barry Arnold, a fund manager at Arnold Investment Counsel, which owns Kohl's shares, said, "There's plenty of cash sloshing around, so that's not a big problem...It's an attractive company."

Kohl's operates more than 1,100 stores across the United States and has annual sales of about $19 billion.

A spokeswoman for Kohl's did not respond to a phone call or e-mail seeking comment on the Bloomberg report.

If Kohl's is acquired by a private equity f…