Politics & Government

Project Milwaukee
2:32 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Could State Government be Scaled Back Further?

George Lightbourn

WUWM concludes our week-long series, Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval Friday.

Bob Bach talks with a variety of guests about where they think Wisconsin is headed, based on big policy changes made by GOP leaders in 2011.

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Project Milwaukee
2:30 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Conservative Think Tank says Walker has Positioned the State Well for Growth

In the finale of our series, Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, we are looking toward Wisconsin’s future -- in light of the sweeping and divisive political changes Republican Gov. Scott Walker ushered through in 2011.

Brett Healy, president of the conservative think tank the MacIver Institute, joined Bob Bach to offer his perspective.

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Project Milwaukee
2:28 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

It's a Wonderful Wisconsin?

Over the past week, our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval series has explored what the impact of the past year’s contentious political happenings has had on Wisconsin. We’ve identified winners and losers of the political fight and explored what lies ahead for the Badger State.

But we have to wonder, did it all matter? So what, that the debates on collective bargaining, the role of unions, and the size of government made Wisconsin a national lightning rod? Would these conversations have happened eventually? What would Wisconsin look like if none of this had happened?

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Project Milwaukee
2:25 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Future of Wisconsin Is Debatable

We get two very different takes on where Wisconsin was heading before 2011, and where it’s going now. Jack Norman is the Research Director at the Institute for Wisconsin's Future; George Lightbourn is President of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. They spoke with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich as part of our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval series.

Project Milwaukee
2:22 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Questioning ALEC's Influence

The Center for Media and Democracy in Madison says the group ALEC has too much secretive influence on legislation. Mary Bottari is the Director of the Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy’s Real Economy Project and BanksterUSA. She has also served as a Senior Analyst in Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division. She spoke to us from Madison as part of our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval series. There’s a link to the group’s ALEC Exposed report here.

Project Milwaukee
2:15 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Challenges to Civility

Reach Out effort in Madison brings together liberals and conservatives to explain their opinions.

There are plenty of adjectives you could use to describe Wisconsin’s political climate in 2011. Perhaps passionate or volatile.

The state is known for being evenly-split politically – purple - with independents often determining elections. But partisans have been zealous, even among family and friends, according to Jeri Bonavia, executive director of WAVE - the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort.

“These days, bring up the wrong topic whether it’s unions or whether it’s carrying guns in public, and suddenly the conversation becomes heated in a way that we haven’t seen in the past,” Bonavia says.

In today’s installment of Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, WUWM’s Marge Pitrof reports on challenges to civility.

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Project Milwaukee
2:11 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Elections Chief Discusses Full Plate

Government Accountability Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy.

While WUWM is spending the week exploring Wisconsin’s political climate in our series, Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, the state elections chief came to town. Government Accountability Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy spoke to reporters Wednesday at the Milwaukee Press Club. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson had an opportunity to question him about this unprecedented year of recalls and new voting rules.

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Project Milwaukee
1:50 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Two State Senators on a Bipartisan Mission

As our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval series continues to identify winners and losers of the past year, we’ll meet the two legislators who aren’t about to let civility die in Wisconsin’s legislature. Republican Senator Dale Schultz of Richland Center and Democratic Senator Tim Cullen of Janesville formed a two-man caucus in support of bipartisanship this fall. We spoke with them in September while they were on their self-described Common Ground tour of Wisconsin.

Project Milwaukee
1:41 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Public Workers Bear the Brunt of Budget Woes

Public employee Sue Blaustein (left) helps circulate petitions to recall Gov. Walker.

We now continue Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval. All week, we’re exploring the impact of Wisconsin’s divisive political climate this year, mixed with a tough economy. Tuesday, we reported on some winners of the new Republican majority’s agenda, including business interests and social conservatives.

Today, we focus on entities that lost ground, the biggest – public workers. Gov. Walker’s budget required them to pay more for their health insurance and pensions, in order to ease the state deficit. The GOP went one step further in 2011, by stripping most public unions of all rights except to bargain for limited wage increases. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, angered public workers are now part of a massive effort to recall the governor.

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Project Milwaukee
1:38 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

County Exec Weighs in on Impact of Gov. Walker's Policies

As part of Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, we’re identifying winners and losers of the past year. But in the case of county government, it’s hard to tell where it falls. Chris Abele is the Milwaukee County Executive. He spoke with Mitch Teich.

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