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Scott Walker

The Takeaway

Milwaukee Mayor to Challenge Gov. Scott Walker

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Democrats in Wisconsin chose Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for the upcoming recall election against Governor Scott Walker, which is set for June 5. It's been well over a year since Gov. Walker first earned the wrath of Wisconsin Democrats after backing a bill removing collective bargaining rights from public sector union members. In a proud union state like Wisconsin, the position was met with quick and enduring fury from Democrats and demands for a recall election. Shawn Johnson, Capitol Reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio, explains what's happened since.

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It's A Free Country ®

Who Had the Better Week—Cuomo or Christie?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Cuomo continues to work around the Legislature, while Mr. Christie goes to Wisconsin.

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New Jersey News

Christie Travels to Wisconsin to Support Governor in Recall Fight

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

New Jersey’s governor is making an appearance on the national political stage – this time on behalf of the embattled Wisconsin governor.

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The Takeaway

Wisconsin Focused on Possible Recall of Governor Scott Walker

Monday, April 02, 2012

Tomorrow's primary in Wisconsin is an important one for Mitt Romney, who is looking for a boost that will secure the GOP presidential nomination. But the presidential primary takes a back seat for Wisconsin citizens, who are more focused on the questions surrounding Republican Governor Scott Walker. Governor Walker made national headlines last year for advocating a steep cut in benefits and collective bargaining rights to state workers, and now is only the third governor in the history of the U.S. to be up for recall. Shawn Johnson is the capitol reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio. Charles Franklin is the Visiting Professor of Law and Public Policy at Marquette University Law School and Director of Marquette Law School Poll, a state polling service.

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The Takeaway

How the Wisconsin Labor Protests Changed Politics

Monday, February 13, 2012

In response to the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill that sought to end collective bargaining, thousands of people throughout Wisconsin protested Governor Scott Walker and what they saw as a violation of their rights. At its peak, 100,000 people had congregated at the State Capitol in opposition. Though the bill eventually passed the state legislature, seemingly overnight, a movement was born. And it didn't end in Wisconsin — the critical mass that began in the Midwest quickly spread to nearly every state in the country, taking the form of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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The Takeaway

Wisconsin Petition Against Governor Scott Walker

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Tuesday opponents of Republican Governor Scott Walker will petition for the removal of the controversial governor. If over 540,208 signatures are turned into the Government Accountablity Board, Walker will have to defend his seat in a special election against a Democrat challenger that is not yet chosen.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process Is Political: Targeting Gov. Walker in Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A week after the repeal win for collective bargaining in Ohio, Democrats and unions start collecting signatures in a recall effort against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Republicans and county governments are in court in South Carolina over who's responsible for covering the costs of the presidential primary in January.

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The Takeaway

Effort to Recall Gov. Scott Walker Kicks Off in Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday night in Madison, Wisconsin, organizers began a campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker. The effort was engendered by the Republican governor's support of a law that removed collective bargaining rights from public employees. Organizers have 60 days to gather 540,000 signatures. Shawn Johnson, reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio, reports on the latest.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Republicans Should Use this Labor Day to Ponder their Assault on the American Worker

Sunday, September 04, 2011

It's only a matter of time before today's Congress seeks to change Labor Day to Capital Day. In the end, they will only compromise and call it "Ronald Reagan Labor Day" if the White House cuts more jobs programs.

-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.

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Transportation Nation

If We Can't Afford to Fix Roads, Can We Afford to Build Roads?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

New highway construction in Mississippi. Photo by Matt Dellinger.

(Matt Dellinger, Transportation Nation)  When Scott Walker was running for Governor of Wisconsin last fall, he peppered the airwaves with a campaign spot that made very clear why he planned to stop the proposed Madison-to-Milwaukee high speed rail line: It was going to cost about $810 million dollars to build, he said, and “I’d rather take that money and fix Wisconsin’s crumbling roads and bridges.”

But a new report by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) takes Governor Walker to task for cutting $48 million in local transportation assistance—much of which would be used for road and bridge repair—while proposing a 13% increase in spending on new highway capital projects. WISPIRG’s report “Building Boondoggles?” isn’t fooling anyone with the question mark in its title. The authors, Kyle Bailey and Bruce Speight, make no bones about the “troubling” nature of Walker's “new construction largess.”

In response to a $3.6 Billion state deficit, Bailey and Speight point out, the Governor has suggested cuts “in most areas of the state budget, including education, health care and state assistance for local cities, towns and counties. State funding for local road repair and transit have also been put on the chopping block. Transit in particular has been put at risk by receiving a 10% across the board cut.” At the same time, Walker's belt-tightening left room for a billion-dollar widening of Interstate 90 south of Madison, a $390 million widening of the Tri-County Freeway in Winnebago and Calumet Counties, and the $125 million construction of a four-lane road through Caledonia county between Milwaukee and Racine.

WISPIRG questions the wisdom of these specific projects, which, to be fair, were kicking around for years before Walker became Governor (but then again, so was the Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed rail project). But more to the point, Bailey and Speight raise the question of how Governor Walker can suggest adding to the new-road budget an amount—$328 million—that could have prevented his cuts to transit and maintenance. (Walker's office respectfully declined to comment for this story.)

Expanding the system while deferring maintenance is not just a Wisconsin thing. According to another report, released today by Taxpayers for Common Sense and Smart Growth America, this is a nationwide habit. The two groups found that between 2004 and 2008, while bridges crumbled and roads deteriorated, states spent 57 percent of their highway budgets on road widening and new road construction.

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It's A Free Country ®

As a Wisconsin Election Takes A Fishy Turn, is the Tea Turning Toxic?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

WNYC
I think independent voters have seen enough to know they're uncomfortable. I think democratic voters are mobilized. And I think that's a microcosm of what's going on in many places around the country.

David Axelrod on the Tea Party's turning tide in Wisconsin

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The Takeaway

Wisconsin Vote for Judge Becomes Referendum on Gov. Walker

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

In any other year, yesterday’s election for a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court would have been nothing more than a headline. But following the fierce battle over collective bargaining rights, the election turned into a heated political fight and possible referendum on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The election is still too close to call, explains Monica Davey, reporter for The New York Times.

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It's A Free Country ®

Wisc. Judge Temporarily Blocks New Collective Bargaining Law

Friday, March 18, 2011

WNYC

A Wisconsin circuit judge has issued a temporary restraining order that bars the publication a new law that effectively ends collective bargaining for state workers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting.  

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It's A Free Blog

Politics of Destruction and Distraction in Wisconsin

Friday, March 11, 2011

WNYC

I realized something. While workers are having their rights stripped away, while historic protests are gripping Madison and while Americans are showing solidarity across the country, I was about to argue protocol for a legislature in a state I’ve never lived in. And I’m not a lawyer.

Related: MoveOn's Wisconsin Message - Pot, Kettle, Black

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It's A Free Blog

When CEOs Become Politicians

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

WNYC

A huge airplane with TRUMP splattered on the side landed in Des Moines Monday. The Donald was not on board. No doubt too busy yelling "You're Fired!" at some of his peeps. His right-hand-man was onboard, having arrived in Iowa to work the state for Trump and suck the oxygen out of a church-sponsored event for a bunch of actual Republican presidential wannabes.

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It's A Free Country ®

This Week in Politics, from Wisconsin to Libya

Monday, March 07, 2011

I think there are some bigger questions about what kind of foreign policy Barack Obama really believes in here. He doesn't want the U.S. to take direct military action without having true international involvement—not just a coalition of the willing, like President Bush had (that's not real), but something where our allies genuinely join us in addressing this problem.

Jonathan Alter, correspondent for Newsweek, discussing Libya and other political issues in the week ahead on the Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

Governor Walker's Game of Chicken

Monday, March 07, 2011

Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker has officially threatened to lay off some 1500 state employees if he can't get Democratic state senators to return and allow a vote on the Governor's much-disputed state budget proposal. Beyond the implications for those who might be put on notice as early as April 4th, the move is just the latest in a game of political chicken, in which Republicans and Democrats are trying to assign the blame for the state's troubles on the other party. Will the threat work for getting Democrats — who fled the state in order to prevent a three-fifths budget quorum — back into Wisconsin? Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch says: not very likely. 

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It's A Free Country ®

Wisconsin Democrats Launch Recall Effort Against Republican Senators

Friday, March 04, 2011

WNYC

It just keeps escalating. 

Today is the deadline by which Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has threatened to lay off 1500 state workers if the Democratic state senators don’t come back to work.

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It's A Free Country ®

New Jersey's Dueling Rallies

Friday, February 25, 2011

There will be dueling rallies in Trenton on Friday, both connected to the rumble in Wisconsin. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is expecting to bring out 4,000 to 5,000 people in solidarity with union members who are protesting Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) bill to strip away collective bargaining rights from most public sector unions.

Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity, a coalition of Tea Party groups that calls itself the state's leading free market, grassroots organization (and has funding from the conservative Koch brothers) will stage a counter protest. AFP State director Steve Lonegan believes public sector unions have too much power and use it to negotiate luxurious benefits, to the detriment of tax payers who pay for them.

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It's A Free Blog

If This is the New Normal...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tens of thousands of Americans gather in the streets of Madison, prompting solidarity rallies around the country as they defend the rights of workers. Big banks, having received record bailouts, continue predatory practices on regular Americans while seeing their own profits increase. The ultra-rich horde more and more of our nation’s wealth while convincing public servants to help decrease their tax burden. Is this the "new normal"?

It is, according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

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