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Wisconsin

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

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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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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The Takeaway

Get Ready for Some Thursday Night Football

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Football fans have waited all year for tonight. The defending champions, the Green Bay Packers will face off against the New Orleans Saints, the Super Bowl champions of 2009. For serious football fanatics, that means fantasy football is starting up too, and the draft finished up last night.

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The Takeaway

Republicans Survive Recall Elections in Wisconsin

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Republicans in Wisconsin will hold onto their control of the State Senate after winning four out of six recall elections last night. Democrats and union groups poured millions of dollars into the recall election, which stemmed from bitterness over Republican Governor Scott Walker's "budget repair bill." The legislation passed in February after Democratic lawmakers fled the state for weeks to delay voting on the bill, and protesters besieged the state capitol. Two Senate Democrats will face their own recall elections next week.

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The Takeaway

Wisconsin Recall Elections Under Way

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Six seats in the Wisconsin State Senate are up for grabs today. The elections are being viewed as a referendum on the collective bargaining restrictions signed into law this year by Republican Governor Scott Walker and his GOP allies in the state legislature.  After today's recall elections of Republican state senators will be the recall votes on two Democrats next week. Democrats need to win a net of 3 seats to gain a majority in the State Senate.

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WNYC News

Christie Strikes Bipartisan Deal on State Employee Benefits in New Jersey

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the Democratically controlled legislative leaders have reached a deal on remaking the state's pension and health plans for state employees — a bipartisan deal to scale back state employee benefits in New Jersey.

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It's A Free Country ®

New Jersey Teachers Target Republican Christie, and Democrat Sweeney for Pension Plan

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In a move that's becoming increasingly familiar across the country, Governor Chris Christie is asking public employees to contribute more of their income to their pensions and health care. New legislation could force towns and school districts to purchase private health plans, rather than participate in a government program which critics allege has lost over $200 million in recent years.

But unlike other states, the proposal in New Jersey is bipartisan, sort of: the plan represents a compromise between Republican Governor Christie and Democratic State Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

And now state unions are targeting them both as the New Jersey legislative nears its budget deadline at the end of the month.

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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 Blog

A New Dawn in Wisconsin

Thursday, April 07, 2011

WNYC
Now, the Tea Party approach may have lost a seat for a Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin. It may cost State Senators their jobs, or at least put them in pitched recall fights. Their momentum has faltered.

-- Justin Krebs, on the turning tide for the Tea Party

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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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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Economy, Wisconsin, Budget

Monday, March 14, 2011

The 8.9 earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan Friday is certain to have an impact on the world's market. Already Japan's Nikkei average fell over 4 percent in early trading Monday morning. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, looks at how the disaster in Japan could affect the U.S.'s economy and stock market.

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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

Mideast Meets Midwest: Protest Edition

Monday, March 07, 2011

In the face of popular protest, a vindictive leader scapegoats the protesters, blaming outside agitators for the very real frustrations of his citizens. He seeks to take away the rights of the opposition and continues a crusade on behalf of the oligarchs against the masses. Middle East or Midwest?

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Libya, Budget, Muslim Radicalization

Monday, March 07, 2011

Whether or not to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya is becoming a hot issue in Washington. Many lawmakers like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), are calling for a no-fly zone, as rebels in Libya face rough times against the better equiped Libyan armed forces. Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show on WGBH in Boston, looks at what we can expect next in the Libyan crisis this week.

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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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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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The Takeaway

Are Union Issues Civil Rights Issues?

Friday, March 04, 2011

While the image of union workers is one of white men in hard hats, the reality is that African-Americans and other minorities may be hit hardest if the unions fall. Studies show that 14.5 percent of all public sector workers in the nation are black and one in five black workers are employed in public administration. Teachers, police and firefighters are not the only professionals affected in the battle raging in Wisconsin between union workers and the Republican-led state government, either. If the law passes, service employees like janitors, garbage collectors, and home health care workers will not only lose their ability to collectively bargain for wages and benefits, but their right to a union altogether.

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It's A Free Country ®

From Libya to Washington

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

WNYC
Always what's shocking in polls is when people admit what they haven't heard of. In the course of watching what's going on in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, all the other places in recent times, I've been astounded by the poll numbers of people who say they have only barely heard that there is something going on.

David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

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