One of the most significant developments for American progressives this election season was the election of Mark Pocan, who won Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District seat with 68 percent of the vote. The popular and populist Pocan is likely to hold the seat, which was once held by Progressive Party champion Robert M. La Follette, for many years to come. Pocan represented the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) area in the state legislature and CMD worked with him on our ALEC Exposed project.
On September 6th, the Detroit News reported that Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney took a look at the latest polls and decided to pull down ads in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Romney-friendly SuperPACs did the same. The campaign and its allies are looking to move the money to swing states where the polling is more favorable.
A Wisconsin judge has struck down as unconstitutional sections of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining law, Act 10, at least as applied to municipal and school district employees, who are the majority of public workers in the state. Act 10 prompted months of protests after it was introduced in 2011, and inspired a hard-fought recall effort that Walker survived in June of this year.
A left-leaning group, Patriot Majority, has launched a $500,000 ad campaign trying to make an election issue out of conservative mega-donors David and Charles Koch, suggesting the brothers are spending big "to buy this year's elections and advance their agenda," with the goal of electing "politicians who will pass laws that benefit special interests but hurt the middle class."
When Dave Schumacher, 51 years old, lost his job in 2009 in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, he wasn't alone. Schumacher drove trucks for a supplier company that served the General Motors SUV plant, the economic heartbeat of this blue-collar town. GM consolidated production in Texas and Mexico.
The entrance to St. Mary Elementary School in Janesville, Wisconsin has two identical archways with contrasting inscriptions. One entrance says, "For God." The other says, "For Country." That is where Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, first merged his studies of government and religion as a young student.
In the 14 years that Paul Ryan has been a Congressman from Southeastern Wisconsin, he has never had a challenger of any stature or a race of any significance. Janesville, his hometown and the heart of the district, has no TV stations and only a handful of small, scrappy newspapers. What an opportunity for a man of the people to take the highroad!
At a time when the gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us is reaching historic heights across the globe, at least $21 trillion (with a "t") in unreported private financial wealth was recently discovered sitting in secret tax havens.
As the race for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat heats up, China has taken the spotlight. Republican candidate Eric Hovde has launched an ad blaming the outsourcing of U.S. jobs on the corporate tax rate.
The ad appears to be in response to Democratic candidate Tammy Baldwin's recent ad on China. Baldwin slams China, for violating trade rules by dumping paper on the U.S. market and harming the Wisconsin paper industry, which employs some 50,000 workers.