News

Forbes blogger discusses the brewing constitutional crisis in Wisconsin

June 15, 2011
Rick Ungar

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, overturned the lower court decision that had barred implementation of Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining law on procedural grounds.

While Walker’s law will now take effect, this is the least of the problems revealed by the high court’s ruling.

MJS: Dem. Party challenge validity of recall petitions against Dem senators

June 15, 2011
Tom Tolan

The Democratic Party took state election officials to court Wednesday over the legitimacy of recall elections against three Democratic state senators.

The Democrats' action comes after six Republican state senators also challenged in court the decision of the Government Accountability Board to set elections in their recalls.

The board has scheduled recall election in the nine senatorial districts - July 12 for the six Republicans and July 19 for the three Democrats.

CAP TIMES: Martin sites many considerations for leaving UW

June 15, 2011
Todd Finkelmeyer

There were times, not so long ago, when Biddy Martin envisioned spending the rest of her career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

But after getting embroiled in a contentious debate with other higher education leaders across Wisconsin about how best to garner long-sought freedoms from state oversight, the 60-year-old UW-Madison chancellor announced Tuesday she is taking her talents to at least one more stop.

MJS: Unions seek to overturn court order reinstating collective-bargaining law

June 15, 2011
Don Walker and Patrick Marley

Madison - As state officials took steps Wednesday to all but end collective bargaining for most public workers as of June 29, a coalition of unions filed suit in federal court seeking to block the action.

PR WATCH: Protesters target DOA on Wednesday

June 15, 2011
Eric Carlson

Dozens of Walkerville activists marched from the Wisconsin state Capitol to DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch's offices at noon on Wednesday, June 15, to protest the former GOP state rep's archaic Capitol security measures.

Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council reacts to supreme court decision budget repair bill

June 15, 2011
Bill Lueders

It's important to be clear about what the state Supreme Court did not do today. It did not rule that the Wisconsin Legislature obeyed the state Open Meetings Law in passing changes to collective bargaining. It did not deem the Open Meetings Law a dumb idea. Rather, it concluded, on separation of powers grounds, that the judiciary had no right to "intermeddle" with the Legislature's interpretation of its own rules.

WSJ: Remove anti-craft beer provision from budget

June 14, 2011
Wisconsin State Journal editorial board

It’s too complicated and hasty to stay in the state budget — especially when it has so little to do with spending state money.

The Legislature this week should remove from its state budget sweeping changes to how breweries may operate in Wisconsin.

And if this last-minute addition to the budget reaches Gov. Scott Walker’s desk, he should veto its provisions. That way, the public, Wisconsin’s beer industry and state lawmakers will have ample time to analyze and weigh the implications as a stand-alone bill.

Op-ed in the Progressive about the true meaning of solidarity

June 14, 2011
Rebecca Kemble

This morning I woke up at 6:00 am after having gone to sleep well after 2:00. I was feeling anxious, thinking about how this week in Madison will shape up given the extreme measures Republican legislators and the Department of Administration are taking to make sure the 2011-2013 biennial budget gets passed into law.

WSJ: Protest starts to build at Capitol as Assembly vote looms

June 14, 2011
Doug Erickson

A few thousand protesters began making laps around the state Capitol late Tuesday morning and yelling "Recall Walker" in the rotunda, turning the Capitol Square once again into a hub of activism, emotional appeals and political theater.

CAP TIMES: Protests continue despite supreme court decision

June 14, 2011
Jessica Vanegeren

For a guy known for strong outbursts when he sees union rights being trampled, Marty Beil was quietly standing alone amid a crowd of several thousand outside the Capitol Tuesday evening, shortly after learning that a huge blow was dealt to his cause by the state Supreme Court.

CAP TIMES Op-ed discuses ALEC's nefarious influence on state governments over 30 years

June 14, 2011
Randall Schumann

Paralleling the role of the wizard in the “Wizard of Oz,” there is a little-known but powerful, big-business/corporate interest, national organization that has been at work behind the scenes of state government legislative proposals for the last several decades.

CAP TIMES provides more coverage of Biddy Martin's departure

June 14, 2011
Todd Finkelmeyer

Biddy Martin is leaving her post as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to become the next president at Amherst College, a highly regarded liberal arts school of 1,600 students located in Massachusetts.

CAP TIMES: 'Extraordinary' session never before used to pass budget

June 14, 2011
Jessica Vanegeren

If top Republican lawmakers move forward Tuesday with a plan to pass the state budget in "extraordinary session," it will be the first time lawmakers have used this speedy political maneuver to pass a budget in at least 80 years.

DANE 101: Assembly delays vote on budget until evening as protesters once again converge on Capitol

June 14, 2011
Emily Mills

The Assembly today opened their session as planned at 11:00 a.m. but immediately adjourned for the parties to go to caucus. An executive session of the Joint Committee on Retirement Systems has been called for 4:00 p.m. this afternoon to discuss adding the collective bargaining provisions to the budget, after which the Assembly will re-convene and take up the full bill.

NYT: Biddy Martin to leave UW to head Amherst College

June 14, 2011
Tamar Lewin

Carolyn A. Martin, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a flagship public research university with 29,000 undergraduates, is resigning to become president of Amherst College, a prestigious liberal arts college with 1,750 students.

 

DANE 101: Wisconsin Wave leads protests of WMC

June 14, 2011
Emily Mills

A protest contingent of about 100 marched from the Walkerville encampment at the Capitol down East Washington to the headquarters of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce on Monday, focusing their attention on one of the organizations they say is behind some of the worst provisions in the proposed state budget.

 

CAP TIMES: Republican legislators should stand with Wisconsin, not Walker

June 14, 2011
Cap Times Editorial Board

Until now, Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to remake Wisconsin as a brutish state where schools are underfunded, local services are starved, local democracy is rendered dysfunctional and working people can’t get a break was just that — an “attempt.”

Now, as the state Assembly and Senate move toward definitive votes on a budget plan that would implement Walker’s agenda, theory gives way to reality.

 

MJS: Collective bargaining limits may rejoin state budget bill

June 14, 2011
Jason Stein and Patrick Marley

Madison - The Legislature will write Gov. Scott Walker's frozen limits on collective bargaining into the state budget Tuesday if the state Supreme Court hasn't restored them by then, the leader of the state Assembly said Monday.

As time was running out for the high court to act and the budget showdown loomed, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) and other Republicans said they also would seek to pass the budget bill under so-called extraordinary rules that allow it to be advanced more quickly from one house to the next.

Ideas for local venues to hold an “Reboot the Budget" protest

June 14, 2011

A business whose owners, top executives, or PAC’s donated significant amounts of money to Scott Walker’s campaign such as:

  • M&I Bank – contributions totaled over $25,000
     
  • Walmart – PAC gave $15,000
  • Sentry Foods/Metcalfe's Market – contributions totaled over $5,500
  • Kwik Trip – contributions totaled over $10,000
  • Woodman's – contributed $1,000

WBP: The Budget's Effect on Wisconsin's Low-Income Families

June 13, 2011
Wisconsin Budget Project

How will the state budget impact low-income families? Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF) has updated two analyses to show how the budget -- as amended by the Joint Finance Committee -- will affect low-income families:

Additional Information: 

See the attached reports for more info

THE PROGRESSIVE: Protesters Descend on Wis. Manufacturers and Commerce

June 13, 2011
Ruth Conniff

On Monday, June 13, at noon, Wisconsin citizens organized by the group Wisconsin Wave marched around the Capitol building and converged on the offices of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the largest business lobby group in the state, to protest the WMC's support for Governor Scott Walker and his devastating state budget.

 

STAR TRIBUNE: Wisconsin craft brewers fight possible law changes for beer brewing industry

June 12, 2011
Carrie Antlfinger

MILWAUKEE - A fight brewing over beer in Wisconsin pits the growing market of craft brewers against a large, well-known brewer.

A group of craft brewers say a proposal being supported by MillerCoors, the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association, Tavern League of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Grocers Association and others would limit smaller brewers' ability to expand and could limit them from getting beer to consumers in the future.

"This is all about money and restricting competition. This isn't idle child's play," said Jeff Hamilton, president of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and Sprecher Brewing Co. in Milwaukee.

MJS: Even more tax breaks for manufacturers added to state budget

June 12, 2011
Kathleen Gallagher

Aiming to make Wisconsin more attractive to business, Republican lawmakers have proposed reducing the state tax on the production earnings of manufacturers and agricultural businesses to almost nothing by 2016.

 

GBPG: Wisconsin craft beermakers fight possible brewing changes

June 12, 2011
Carrie Antlfinge

MILWAUKEE — A fight brewing over beer in Wisconsin pits the growing market of craft brewers against a large, well-known brewer.

 

PRESS ADVISORY: Labor and community groups to hold march and press conference at WMC

June 12, 2011
Solidarity Roundtable

For Immeidate Release

LABOR AND COMMUNITY GROUPS TO HOLD MARCH AND PRESS CONFERENCE AT WISCONSIN MANUFACTURERS AND COMMERCE

Organizers will declare a people’s state of emergency and call for a mass mobilization against the two-year budget bill

 

THE PROGRESSIVE: Pocan warns of Republicans' efforts to force budget through legislature

June 11, 2011
Matthew Rothschild

Mark Pocan, Wisconsin state assemblyman from Madison, just issued a warning about how rapidly Republicans may move on the budget in the coming week. He also warned that they may decide to tuck into the budget the anti-collective bargaining bill that sparked such controversy over the past five months.

ELECTION DEFENSE ALLIANCE: Public vote counting the only way to ensure fair elections

June 10, 2011
Jonathan Simon

George Soros ("My Philanthropy," New York Review of Books, 5/23/11) paints a discouraging picture of an America in thrall to the Orwellian "Newspeak" now peddled to seeming perfection by the GOP.

THINK PROGRESS: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s War On Craft Beer

June 10, 2011
Alex Seitz-Wald

Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.

WBP: Icing on the Cake for Corporations, Crumbs for Working Families

June 10, 2011
Wisconsin Budget Project

As the Joint Finance Committee wrapped up its work on the biennial budget bill late last Friday night, June 3, one of the final motions that was offered was a brand new proposal for a large corporate tax break.

Progressive Dane: Don’t roll back fair housing protections

June 10, 2011
Jacque Pokorney and Michael Johnson

Dear Editor: Progressive Dane joins Affordable Housing Action Alliance in vigorously opposing Senate Bill 107 and Republican legislative efforts to eliminate municipal authority to regulate landlord tenant matters. SB 107 rolls back over a decade of improvements in housing access and tenant protection in Dane County and the city of Madison.

CAP TIMES: Frm. Governor disgusted by current legislature's pandering to special interests

June 10, 2011
Dave Zweifel

Ran into former Gov. Tony Earl during lunch at the Avenue Bar earlier this week and asked him how he was.

“Frankly, I’m despondent,” said the governor, who at age 75 otherwise looked quite chipper. “Every day it’s something even more unbelievable.”

Earl was talking, of course, about the goings-on in the state Capitol these days, where no one should be surprised any longer by the audacious pandering to the special interests and their bottomless cache of campaign money.

CAP TIMES: Republicans can't get story straight on running fake Dems in recall elections

June 10, 2011
Cap Times Editorial Board

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, is proud of the fact that his Republican Party is recruiting and running spoiler candidates in Democratic primaries for the seats of GOP senators who are being recalled.

WSJ: As protesters pound on walls, Walker tells realtor conferees, ‘That’s opportunity knocking’

June 10, 2011
Karen Rivedal

"That's opportunity knocking for all of us now."

Gov. Scott Walker got his biggest applause line for that off-hand remark, made midway through his keynote address Thursday at an annual housing conference at UW-Madison.

It came right after four hard, booming knocks — clearly audible over Walker's words in the packed Fluno Center auditorium — as protesters opposed to the governor's budget-cutting policies pounded their disdain on the outside walls of the building.

DANE 101 reports on the top donors to Republican Senators up for recall

June 10, 2011
Dane 101

We've gone through the financial reports of candidates up for recall up until the end of April and pulled out the top individual donors of more than $1000. We started making these lists in expectation that we'd know which of the nine Senators being challenged for a recall would be approved last week. We didn't want to waste time digging through financial reports of Senators that weren't approved. However, it wasn't until this week that we learned that the three Democrats will also be facing recalls and it turns out we didn't really need to wait, because those three Senators barely had individual donors who gave them more than $300.

THE PROGRESSIVE: Protesters surround Walker’s car at realtor protest

June 10, 2011
Rebecca Kemble

Yesterday morning Governor Scott Walker addressed participants in a conference called “New Partnerships: Government and Real Estate” which was sponsored by the UW Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Wisconsin Realtors Association, Wisconsin Bankers Association and M&I Bank. In attendance were scores of property developers, bankers, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents.

DANE 101: State emergency team monitoring protest-related communication and action

June 9, 2011
Dane 101

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Dane101 has learned through a direct, anonymous source that a state emergency response team has been operating out of the GEF-2 (101 S. Webster St.) building downtown specifically to monitor protest related activity on social media sites and elsewhere.

THE PROGRESSIVE: Walker's speech to realtor conference disrupted by protesters

June 9, 2011
Elizabeth DiNovella

A hundred people protested Governor Scott Walker’s speaking engagement at the Wisconsin Real Estate and Economic Outlook Conference, co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Representative Paul Ryan is slated to speak at 1:30.

Walker's proposed budget spares no one in Wisconsin from devastating cuts

June 8, 2011
Defend Wisconsin

State Budget Update (from June 8, 2011)

Editor’s Note: Thanks to State Representative Terese Berceau, who sent out the following state budget update in an e-mail on June 8, 2011. Information about the budget is regularly changing as the State Legislature meets to discuss and vote on the legislation.

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has concluded its work on the Governor’s 2011-13 state budget proposal.  In the coming week, the Assembly will consider the budget.  It will then go to the Senate. Here is a quick list of provisions in the current version of the budget, organized by issue area.

Taxes & Borrowing