Wisconsin's 2011-2012 legislative session saw the introduction of 32 bills or budget provisions reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation -- including Governor Scott Walker's contentious attack on public sector collective bargaining, voter ID legislation, and bills that make it harder for Americans to hold corporations accountable when their products injure or kill -- and 19 of those proposals became law.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who became nationally known for severely limiting the union rights of teachers and other public employees, has indicated support for arming those same school officials who apparently cannot be trusted to collectively bargain.
Despite two separate Wisconsin courts striking down the state's voter ID law as an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, the state legislature's incoming Assembly Leader, Rep. Robin Vos, has pledged support for amending the state constitution to require ID at the polls -- despite hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents not having ID and no significant evidence of voter fraud in the state. Vos is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) State Chair for Wisconsin; Wisconsin's voter ID law, like many of those introduced in recent years, echoes the ALEC "model" voter ID Act.
As the final votes are tallied, it is becoming clear that Barack Obama won reelection November 6, 2012, with a higher popular vote than Ronald Reagan enjoyed in 1980, thanks in part to near-record turnout from young people and people of color. High voter turnout is celebrated in some quarters as a sign of a vibrant democracy, but among Wisconsin's GOP leadership, the state's consistently high voter participation rate is apparently viewed as a "problem" that needs fixing.
Although the Einhorn Family Foundation admitted to being the "private family foundation" behind the controversial "Voter Fraud is a Felony!" billboards that recently appeared in neighborhoods of color in Milwaukee and two Ohio cities, news broke Wednesday they secured the funds for similar billboards in 2010 from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, a major funder of right-wing organizations that push the voter fraud myth.
Democrats have a one-seat majority in the Wisconsin Senate after three Republicans lost seats in historic recall elections, but 16 seats are up for grabs in November, and with them the balance of power. In recent weeks, many have focused on the race between Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and former governor Tommy Thompson, which may determine who holds the majority in the U.S. Senate, but the state Senate races are significant because many Wisconsinites are concerned about having a firewall against embattled Governor Scott Walker's 2013 legislative agenda.
Lawmakers Acknowledge That They Cannot Evade the Open Records Law by Shifting Official Correspondence to a Personal E-Mail Account
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 30, 2012
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, Brendan@prwatch.org; Nick Surgey, email@example.com
Five Wisconsin state legislators have agreed to turn over any correspondence and documents with or related to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and held on their personal email accounts; the action settles a lawsuit brought by the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause.
Last month, a Pennsylvania court upheld the state's American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - inspired voter ID law, but in hearings on appeal that state's supreme court has given the law a harsh reception. Might the Pennsylvania Supreme Court follow Wisconsin's lead and throw out the voter ID law before the 2012 election?
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.