Upcoming events

Badger Institute's Annual Dinner Featuring Karl Rove

When: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Where: Wisconsin Club, Milwaukee, WI
Time: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Table Sponsorships: Tables of 8 seats
Platinum Sponsorship: $10,000 - 8 tickets to VIP reception with Karl Rove, 2-page ad spread in program and priority seating
Gold Sponsorship: $5,000 - 4 tickets to VIP reception with Karl Rove, 1-page ad spread in program and preferred seating
Silver Sponsorship: $2,000 - 2 tickets to VIP reception with Karl Rove

Individual Tickets:
$175 per person
$500 per person, which includes access to VIP reception with Karl Rove

Karl Rove is a visionary on public policy and one of the most sought-after, provocative and knowledgable political pundits of our time.

Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000-2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004-2007.

Rove writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel and is the author of The New York Times best seller, Courage and Consequence. His latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1886 Still Matters.

To sign up, get details regarding sponsorship opportunities or have any allergy concerns please contact Kirsten Golinski at 229-894-4496 or, or register here.

Past events

Michigan’s model for cutting crime, closing prisons and curtailing costs

John Proos speaks at the May 22 Badger Institute event in Madison.In March 2017, the Michigan Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a multi-bill criminal justice reform package that was the statutory culmination of several years of budgetary reforms and legislative oversight. The results were impressive:

• The consolidation and closure of 20 correctional facilities1
• A 25% reduction in prison population2
• $1.2 billion in savings/avoided costs3
• A 9% reduction in violent crime4

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s prison population continues to grow, costs are on the rise and there’s talk of building a new prison.

Could Michigan’s reforms be a model for Wisconsin? Former Michigan state Sen. John Proos, a Marquette University graduate and Republican from St. Joseph who helped shepherd the reform package through the Legislature, believes the answer is yes.

More than 60 legislators, department heads, legislative staff and others attended our Capitol event on May 22 at which, Proos, former chair of the legislative budget subcommittees overseeing corrections and the judiciary budgets, described the bipartisan reform measures Michigan adopted and the dramatic improvements that followed.

Watch video of the event here.


1Between 2005 and 2018, Senate Fiscal Agency, Winter 2019 report. 251,800 inmates in December 2007 compared to 38,800 in December 2018. 3Annual savings in 2018. 42017 compared to 2010 per


The premiere of “The Pursuit”

On April 29, America's Future Foundation/Conservative Young Professionals and the Badger Institute hosted the Milwaukee premiere of the AEI documentary “The Pursuit” at Marcus Southgate Cinema.

Professional musician turned intrepid economist, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks travels around the globe in search of an answer to the question: How can we lift up the world, starting with those at the margins of society?

His journey takes him through the chaotic streets of Mumbai, a town in Kentucky left behind by the global economy, a homeless shelter in New York, a street protest in Barcelona and a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. Along the way, he discovers the secrets not only to material progress for the least fortunate but also true and lasting happiness for all.

Watch the trailer here.


Badger Institute President Mike Nichols speaks at the institute's Feb. 20 Policy Symposium in Madison.


Common-sense Solutions for Wisconsin

The Badger Institute's Policy Symposium, "Common-sense Solutions for Wisconsin," was held on Feb. 20, 2019, at the state Capitol in Madison.

The symposium introduced common-sense ideas and strategies designed to make Wisconsin a better place to live, work, raise a family and do business. Scholars, experts and distinguished guests offered policy ideas to inform and inspire on topics ranging from transportation funding to criminal justice reform to the ideal tax structure for our state.

Wisconsin’s Ideal Pro-Growth Tax Structure 

Katherine Loughead, Policy Analyst with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation

Joe Bishop-Henchman, Executive Vice President at the Tax Foundation

Mike Nichols, President of the Badger Institute

► Watch video of their presentation here.

► View their PowerPoint presentation here.

Proven Successes in Criminal Justice Reform

Cecelia Klingele, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School

Tom Lyons, State Director, Wisconsin Right on Crime

Jeremiah Mosteller, Policy Liaison for the Charles Koch Institute

► Watch video of their presentation here.

Occupational Licensing: At What Cost?   

Dr. Morris Kleiner, Professor and AFL-CIO Chair in Labor Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and co-author of “At What Cost? State and National Estimates of the Economic Costs of Occupational Licensing.”

► Watch video of his presentation here.

► View his PowerPoint presentation here.

Transportation Needs and Funding   

Dale Knapp, Director, Forward Analytics

Robert W. Poole Jr., Director of Transportation Policy at the Reason Foundation and author of “Rethinking America's Highways: A 21st-Century Vision for Better Infrastructure.”

► Watch video of their presentation here.

► View Knapp's PowerPoint presentation here.

► View Poole's PowerPoint presentation here.