Latest News

CAP TIMES: State budget attacks credit unions

Dear Editor: The Wisconsin Credit Union League is asking Gov. Scott Walker to veto provisions in the state budget bill that would allow direct conversions of member-owned credit unions to shareholder-owned banks.

The direct-conversion provisions subvert the interests of a credit union’s full membership to that of a few who intend to own and profit from a stockholder-owned – and not member-owned – business structure.

Brett Thompson

MJS: GOP primaries to be held in recalls of Senate Democrats

Two Republicans have filed nomination papers in each of three recall elections against Democratic state senators, meaning that July 19 likely will be primary day in all three races, with final elections Aug. 16.

The deadline for filing nomination papers was 5 p.m. Tuesday; 400 valid signatures were required for filing.

In the 12th Senate District, represented by Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Kim Simac, a tea party leader from Eagle River, will face Robert Lussow of Tomahawk, who is chairman of the Lincoln County Board.

Tom Tolan

CAP TIMES: Bipartisan group asks Walker to veto beer distribution bill

A bipartisan group of seven lawmakers stepped in on the side of the state's craft brewers Tuesday, asking Gov. Scott Walker to veto a bill that favors beer distributors and MillerCoors.

The bill, which was stuck into the budget without a public hearing, would solidify the state's three-tier beer system by preventing brewers, distributors and any retail outlet that sells beer from owning a license to operate in more than one of these business categories.

Jessica Vanegeren

WSJ: Great Dane, Vintage, to no longer sell MillerCoors beer

Two Madison brewpub businesses have stopped selling MillerCoors beers in support of other craft brewers who fear the effects of the beer distribution provisions in the state budget.

MillerCoors is a key supporter of the legislation, along with the Tavern League of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Grocers Association. 

Chris Drosner

WSJ: Collective bargaining law to take effect June 29

Gov. Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining bill will officially be law by the end of the month, but it will likely be late August before state employees see a difference in their paychecks.

Secretary of State Doug LaFollette said Wednesday that he would publish the bill June 28, meaning it will be effective June 29.

Clay Barbour and Mary Spicuzza

FORBES: No Public Hearings On Medicaid Cuts As Scott Walker Tightens His Grip On Wisconsin

What’s a governor to do when he has a big agenda but little tolerance for the nagging voice of the people?

He either loads up on the anti-acids and the aspirins, or he finds the peace and quiet he requires to bring his society-changing schemes to life by simply legislating away the annoyance of having to listen to the voice of the voters.

Apparently, Gov. Scott Walker has decided to skip the Maalox and go for the muzzle.

Rick Ungar

CAP TIMES: Walker puts himself ahead of Wisconsin

Scott Walker, the governor who rarely makes public appearances in Wisconsin and never has time to meet with citizens who want to raise issues regarding his budget priorities, has finally found a forum in which he is comfortable.

He is hosting CNBC’s morning business show “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.

And this is not just a quick hit. The governor will devote two hours to the project, hosting from 6 to 8 a.m. Central time.

Cap Times Editorial Board

CAP TIMES: Women particularly harmed by state budget

Don’t let legislators who voted for Gov. Scott Walker’s trash-and-burn budget try to tell you they believe that all women are full citizens with equal rights and equal protections under the law.

They don’t.

Republican state senators, such as Alberta Darling and Sheila Harsdorf, voted for a budget that actually increases expenses for the supposedly cash-strapped state in order to fund discrimination against women.

Cap Times Editorial Board

THE PROGRESSIVE: Netroots Nation proves Wisconsin uprising still inspiring activists nationwide

At the sixth annual Netroots Nations gathering, the Wisconsin Uprising has taken center stage. So many attendees are inspired by the organizing efforts that Wisconsinites get rounds of applause wherever we go.

Several panels on the first day of this progressive blogging conference focused on the fight-back against the Governor Scott Walker’s radical rightwing agenda.

“Wisconsin is Ground Zero right now,” said Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a PAC that supports “bold progressive candidates,” according to its website.

Elizabeth DiNovella

CHANNEL 27: Email reveals Republican lawmakers may have coordinated with Supreme Court on timing of decision

An email obtained by WKOW27 News indicates several local officials Monday were assured by Republican lawmakers the state Supreme Court would rule on the contentious collective bargaining case this week.

In a 4-3 decision, state Supreme Court justices Tuesday upheld the collective bargaining bill and vacated a Dane County judge’s restraining order against it.

Four Republican legislators met with Sheboygan County department heads Monday as part of monthly sessions involving state and local officials.

Inside Scoop

THE PROGRESSIVE: Wisconsin's worker's uprising demobilized by some in the movement

The mood in Wisconsin is dejected.

After a string of defeats, first losing the state supreme court race against David Prosser, then losing the decision at the state supreme court on the anti-collective bargaining law, and finally losing the vote on Walker’s hideous budget in the state legislature, people are down.

People see that Walker won everything big that he asked for, and despite all the great activism, we don’t have anything to show for it—at least not yet. As a result, lots of people are going to suffer.

Matthew Rothschild

Mark Pocan: State budget taxes poor, gives to the rich

Last night, I was the second member of the Assembly Democratic caucus to talk about the Republican budget on the floor of the Assembly. I’ve received good feedback from my speech, so I’d like to summarize it here:

1) Republicans have created so many corporate tax breaks in this budget that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau pegs the 10-year cost in reduced revenue to the state at $2.3 billion.

2) Republicans use credit card spending to push $338 million dollars in state debt off into the future, costing us an additional $89.9 million in interest.

Mark Pocan

WSJ: Republicans run fake Dems in all six Republican recall districts

The state Democratic Party is pulling its "placeholder" candidates out of several upcoming recall elections, saying it only devised the tactic to defend against a possible Republican ploy that has since failed to materialize.

The announcement Friday was the latest act of gamesmanship between the two parties ahead of as many as nine recall elections this summer.

Dinesh Ramde

WSJ: Effects from the passage of devastating budget already being felt

Gov. Scott Walker's aggressively austere budget is one step from becoming law, but state officials say its effects are already being felt across Wisconsin.

The state Senate on Thursday night passed the $66 billion plan, which uses a combination of budget cuts and corporate tax breaks in an attempt to close an estimated $3 billion budget hole while trying to spur the economy and promote business growth.

The measure passed at about 10 p.m. on Thursday on a 19-14 party line vote, and Walker said he will sign it before June 30.

Mary Spicuzza and Clay Barbour

The Cap Times reports on UW system admins positive reaction to budget; links to articles about Martin's departure

Catching up on a couple higher education-related items ...

** Although no one is doing back flips because of an impending cut of $250 million in state taxpayer support over the next two years, University of Wisconsin System officials are generally pleased with the budget bill now awaiting Gov. Scott Walker's signature.

Todd Finkelmeyer

Op-ed in the Cap Times promotes a 'Wisconsin Values Budget' over Walker's devastating budget

Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters in the Legislature have asserted throughout the budget process that the only way to balance the state's books is to raise taxes on low-income workers and make slashing cuts to public services. It did not have to be this way.

Robert Kraig and Ken Taylor

Cap Times Op-ed asks: Can Wisconsin uprising grow nationwide movement?

It may have been a small crowd compared to those that thronged the state Capitol in the winter, but the “It’s Not Over” rally in May drew the kind of numbers that would have been stunning in any other year: 10,000 protesters gathered under a threatening sky to raise a collective fist against the political agenda of Gov. Scott Walker.

Pat Schneider

WSJ: Labor groups file suit to block parts of collective bargaining law

One day after the state Supreme Court cleared the way for Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill limiting collective bargaining to become law, several labor organizations filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in an effort to prevent some of its provisions from taking effect in federal court.

The groups are challenging the constitutionality of the bill they say would destroy collective bargaining rights for all but a select group of public sector workers deemed "public safety" employees, including certain firefighters and law enforcement officers.

SANDY CULLEN

WSJ: Assembly passes budget after 13 hours of blistering debate; Senate next

The state Assembly passed Gov. Scott Walker's state budget about 3 a.m. Thursday, sending it to the state Senate, which was taking it up Thursday.

After 13 hours of contentious debate, the Assembly passed the plan 60-38 with all Republicans and one independent for it and all 38 Democrats against. The 99-member Assembly has one vacant seat.

"We're doing the job we were elected to do," Republican Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder said. "We balanced the books and we did it without a $5 billion federal government bailout."

Mary Spicuzza and Clay Barbour

Cap Times Editorial Board discusses Biddy Martin's departure

University of Wisconsin Chancellor Biddy Martin was, during her relatively short tenure as the head of the state’s flagship institution of higher learning, a relatively controversial figure.

That does not mean that Martin, who has announced that she will leave this summer to take over as president of Amherst College, was a bad player. She was, in many senses, an engaged and effective administrator. And we wish Martin well in her next endeavor.

But we hope that the next chancellor will be very different from the departing one.

Cap Times Editorial Board

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

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.

Tom Tolan

CAP TIMES: Martin sites many considerations for leaving UW

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.

Todd Finkelmeyer

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

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.

The federal lawsuit came a day after the state Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of the collective-bargaining legislation that Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed into law in March but that a Dane County judge quickly blocked.

Two other lawsuits are pending against the limits on collective bargaining, and more are expected.

Don Walker and Patrick Marley

PR WATCH: Protesters target DOA on Wednesday

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.

Eric Carlson