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‘The Insiders’ look at the transpo funding end game

The WisOpinion Insiders, Chvala & Kanavas, analyze the possible budget end game for transportation funding. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.

Adam Liptak: When does political gerrymandering cross a constitutional line?

Congress requires the Supreme Court to hear appeals in some areas of election law, and Wisconsin officials have filed such an appeal.

Advantageous Advocacy: The 10-Step D-I-Y Meeting Agenda Planner

A worthwhile and efficient meeting usually requires solid preparation and strong organization. A leader putting in a little time up-front goes a long way toward achieving objectives and making meeting attendees believe their time is valued.

Alan Talaga: Wanted: Good Democratic candidates

The party needs to get to work on the midterm elections.

Andrea Kaminski and Lindsay Dorff: Save taxes with nonpartisan redistricting

State taxpayers charged more than $2 million to defend unconstitutional districts.

Ari Berman: Wisconsin’s voter-ID law suppressed 200,000 votes in 2016

A new study shows how voter-ID laws decreased turnout among African-American and Democratic voters.

Ben Brancel: Lessons learned should guide dairy’s future

This is a time of opportunity for us in agriculture to learn from the lessons of our past, refocus and move forward together.

Betsy Thatcher: Green Bay barber stymied by state licensing rules

Albert Walker, whose clients include many Packers players, has years of experience but can’t run his own shop.

Bill Kaplan: Impeachment unlikely, for now

Focus on winning the 2018 elections with a Democratic message of economic security and social justice. Restore checks and balances. Vote.

Bill Kaplan: No backsliding on health care

Stop trying to repeal the ACA. Kill Trumpcare in the Senate.

Bill Kaplan: One hundred days

The hundred days have been a race to the bottom for Trump and Ryan: Their polls at historic lows, a do-nothing president, no substantive congressional legislation, a mutual record of cruelty and incompetence, theatrics and failed leadership.

Bill Kaplan: Trump and Nixon

Trump’s dismissal of Comey was reminiscent of Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” – the firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Bill Kaplan: Trump, ‘a complete disaster’

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner said Trump's presidency has been “a complete disaster”. True especially for middle-working class and rural folks who voted for Trump.

Brad Schimel: Remembering the fallen

Unfortunately, there are some officers who never make it home at the end of their shift. Each year around this time, we recognize National Police Week, in order to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting their communities.

Brett Healy: Big week in Wisconsin’s fight against the opiate epidemic

While we have all become too accustomed to watching story after story on the nightly news about the latest overdose death in our community, soon we may actually see some positive opiate news - direct movement from our state government to combat this growing and especially destructive problem.

Bruce Murphy: Bradley Foundation breaking the law?

Hacked files suggest foundation may violate laws against political activity.

Bruce Murphy: Ryan, Priebus on a sinking ship

Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus may go down with the USS Trump.

Bruce Murphy: The bogus studies of Miller Park’s impact

How we've been misled -- repeatedly -- about Brewers “economic impact.”

Bruce Murphy: The incompetence of Brad Schimel

Attorney General’s handling of a voter fraud claim has been epically inept.

Bruce Thompson: Does tax credit make state a winner?

An economics instructor and Walker fan uses shaky research to say yes.

Bruce Thompson: State’s political geography at issue

Does gerrymandering or Democrats’ urban density tilt map? U.S. Supreme Court could decide.

Bruce Thompson: Why GOP backs gerrymandering

Once leaders of both parties opposed it. Why did Republicans change?

Buzz Davis: Humans have done too much killing

We must talk about why we must fight harder for peace than we do for War.

Casey Hoff: ‘More prison’ not smart on crime, recidivism

Under Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget, Wisconsin’s prison system would receive more money over the next two years than the entire University of Wisconsin education system.

Casey Hoff: Wisconsin Supreme Court’s troubling move

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has been regularly criticized because of the failure of some of the high court’s justices to recuse themselves from cases where special-interest groups and parties appearing before them have donated substantial sums of money to a particular justice.

Charlie Sykes: If liberals hate him, then Trump must be doing something right

In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast. Needless to say, this is not a form of conservatism that Edmund Burke, or even Barry Goldwater, would have recognized.

Charlie Sykes’ ‘Indivisible’: Looking back on Trump’s first 14 weeks

For the last broadcast of Indivisible, Charlie Sykes was joined by Weekly Standard Editor Stephen Hayes, Washington Post correspondent Karen Tumulty, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold to review the 100 days of the Trump Administration.

Chris Ott: What can the gay marriage victory teach us about resistance to Trump?

Remember when gay marriage seemed almost unimaginable? Hold on to that, because the way we got to where we are now — with equal marriage rights throughout the land — can teach us something about the Trump era.

Chris Rickert: For Fitzgerald, not even the veneer of transportation bipartisanship

It seems fair to assume he means it would not be good for his party to look as if it needs help from Democrats to get things done.

Chris Rickert: Transparency good in health care, including in health care costs

What I’d like to see are itemized bills showing what procedures, hospital stays, drugs and all the other American health care products actually cost.

Chris Rochester: As Obamacare continues sinking, americans continue losing

There is no bailing out or patching up Obamacare. It will eventually sink to the bottom of the abyss.

Chris Taylor et al: Best practices on use of force will make us all...

Our Safe Communities Act contains two critical pieces — uniform, core principles regarding when force is used that have been recommended by law enforcement, and an updated annual training standard that includes use of force options, emphasizing de-escalation.

Chris Walker: Mike McCabe should run for governor (with one small “if”)

McCabe offers something rare in a challenge to Walker — an actual vision for improving Wisconsin.

Chris Walker: Trump is wrong on Democrats and Comey

Democrats can simultaneously condemn actions of Comey while still finding Trump's actions deplorable.

Christian Schneider: Behold the era of power over party

As we have seen over the past year, political parties are simply a tool for factions to gain power.

Christian Schneider: Donald Trump fired James Comey because he doesn’t believe rules apply

While his apologists write the Comey flap off to Trump's "inexperience," the exact opposite is true: It's the president's lifetime of experience wriggling out of trouble that has found him in it this time.

Christian Schneider: Drop the sales tax for gas plan

The percentage standard would set up a double-whammy; just as gas prices are increasing, so will the tax. The pain at the pump will be multiplied.

Christian Schneider: Health care bill represents the right kind of progress

The Senate still will have its say, but ultimately, whatever passes will be a retreat from a plan that didn't work. And in that sense, it represents the right kind of progress.

Christian Schneider: Stealing Trump’s playbook is a mistake for Democrats

As last year’s embarrassing primary challenge to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan demonstrated, in order to run on Trump’s platform, you actually have to be Trump. If Democrats try doing a weak Trump impersonation in 2018, their new enthusiasm for four-letter words will extend far beyond election night.

Christian Schneider: Trump’s Comey firing is all about timing

Comey became a political figure and was bound to go. But Trump got the timing wrong.

CJ Szafir et al: Fact checking Pocan’s smear of school choice

But Pocan was simply flat out wrong on a number of items, clearly more interested in scoring political points with his Madison constituents than having a substantive conversation about education policy with the Education Secretary.

Craig Thompson: Thompson’s legacy offers lessons on transportation

Thompson was able to sell his vision to a Legislature controlled by Democrats. Today, we have the same party controlling all three branches of government, and we can’t seem to come to any agreement on a long-term vision for transportation. That needs to change.

Dan O’Donnell: A deeper look at Sheriff Clarke’s ‘plagiarism’

Clarke's extensive use of citations indicates that he did not intend to pass off his source material as his own work.

Dan O’Donnell: Why a special counsel was needed

The Trump Administration's move can be seen one of two ways: Either it feels as though it was backed into a corner or it feels as though it has nothing to hide.

Darin Von Ruden: Time to take the bull by the horns

The recent experience of Wisconsin dairy farmers being dropped from their processors and left scrambling to find a new buyer for their milk should be a wake-up call. Dairy farmers, farm groups, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection should all take a long look at what has happened and what it means for the future of dairy farming in our state.

Dave Cieslewicz: One hundred daze, there’s reason to be happy.

Our system of government just handled the biggest stress test it has taken in a century and it has come out okay.

Dave Cieslewicz: Why I criticize liberals

It’s the job of writers to challenge people and get them to question their assumptions.

Dave Cieslewicz: Why Tim Cullen bowed out

What candidate wants to beg for money four hours a day?

Dave Considine: Appreciate teachers every week

Teacher Appreciation Week is a great time to show respect for the educators in your life, and to encourage the amazing work they do to prepare our children to be better citizens. But it would be even better to appreciate them every week.

Dave Craig: The case for civil asset forfeiture reform

The rights and freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights are being eroded by an over-reaching government via civil asset forfeiture.

Dave Zweifel: Good teachers don’t come free, Scott Walker notwithstanding

Employees who feel appreciated bolster any workplace. And if we want good young people to aspire to the teaching profession, we had better make up our minds that we need to pay them fairly — Scott Walker notwithstanding.

Dave Zweifel: GOP is only thinking of the ‘little guy’

"Repeal and replace" is really a ruse to take away health coverage for lower-income Americans and save those in the top tax brackets millions of dollars that have gone to help pay for that health coverage.

Dave Zweifel: State Dems at crossroads as convention nears

The party needs to find a way to communicate what it stands for to citizens — especially working people — who obviously have formed a perception at odds with reality.

Dave Zweifel: This gubernatorial candidate will be wearing blue jeans

Mike McCabe could be a formidable candidate. He's smart, a great orator and has a friendly down-home demeanor that wins fans.

Dave Zweifel: Truth about war keeps eluding us

For more than two centuries the United States has been almost continually on a battlefield somewhere in the world.

Dave Zweifel: We’ll pay the piper for attacks on environment

The harm being done to the state's environment may not be all that noticeable now, but in years to come, all Wisconsin will pay the price.

David Blaska: Conservatives defending free speech? It must be a conspiracy!

So say Madison’s leftists to cover for their complicity in harassing conservative speakers.

David Blaska: If Leonard Pitts understands the threat to free speech, why can’t Terese...

It is disheartening when my State Rep, Terese Berceau, can call the nationwide war on free speech “an artificial, political controversy.”

David Blaska: The latest Trump dump, live and in color

This Never Trumper sees no impeachable offense.

David D. Haynes: In the middle of Europe, lessons for Wisconsin?

The revival in Berlin illustrates that even a city once torn by ideology and a massive wall, can get a recharge from new businesses and innovative people.

David D. Haynes: What Walker says, and what’s really happening with the Wisconsin economy

The truth is that plenty of the data on the state’s economy right now is just plain blah.

Dominique Paul Noth: Clarke gone, Milwaukee cheers, nation groans – but who won?

The sense of relief that coursed through Milwaukee May 17 was immediately mitigated by fears of what this means for the nation’s immigrant community and the concept of sanctuary communities.

Dominique Paul Noth: Feels like too much but 100 days is not enough

Trump’s diehard supporters are right. One hundred days is not enough to judge a president. Six months would be better -- though, if in that time he provides no greater satisfaction to the base than Neil Gorsuch, their diehardism should die away.

Dominique Paul Noth: How both sides explain Trump’s behavior

Parsing the views of legal experts and media insiders has uncovered reasons on both sides for Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey. Strangely, not a single one has anything to do with Clinton emails.

Dominique Paul Noth: Ryan’s high-risk pretense not health solution

Medical experts clearly agree that Paul Ryan is once again talking through his hat.

Dominique Paul Noth: The Comey crisis should stir John Doe memories

The firing of FBI director James Comey shut out other headline-making news but not the one headline President Trump had tried to suppress – the nature and depth of the Russian interference in the US presidential election he won and whether his associates were in any way involved.

Dominique Paul Noth: When corporate and police misdeeds go viral

For decades both businesses and law enforcement agencies have felt legally protected in their behavior toward customers and citizens, but the law is changing beneath their feet. The power of a video to go viral, or one Facebook customer’s unhappiness to spread, or millions of voices to chime in on Twitter– all are creating havoc at airports, stores, squad patrols, media outlets, complaints departments, sports events and, of course, almost every event the Trump administration concocts.

Dominique Paul Noth: Why Trump looks better from a distance

Halfway through his foreign barnstorming, President Trump has presented a calmer, more rational and reassuring face than his US charges have ever seen up-close and constant.

Don Vruwink: Farm-to-School program proves its local value

In just eight years, Farm-to-School measures have been adopted in almost 50 percent of Wisconsin school districts, including Whitewater, Fort Atkinson and almost every school district in Rock County.

Ed Heinzelman: Hillary Clinton needs to just go away

The Democratic Party needs younger leaders, new voices, renewed energ and a new vision. She helped get us where we are but she can’t get us where we need to go.

Emily Mills: American Health Care Act is monstrous

My fervent hope now is that reason and compassion prevail in the Senate and prevent this abomination of a bill from worming its way any further toward becoming law.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Clarke’s departure will be good for department and Milwaukee County

It’s good that Clarke is leaving, and we hope he can do a better job in Homeland Security than he ever did here. We'll be watching to see.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Consider ‘textalyzer’ legislation for Wisconsin

New York state legislators are considering a bill that would allow police at accident scenes to immediately check on whether a driver was texting just before the accident. If privacy concerns can be met, it’s an idea Wisconsin legislators might want to consider.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Republican war on Milwaukee continues

In their latest raid on local control, Assembly Republicans would wipe out Milwaukee County's $30 wheel tax — costing the county $7 million this year and $14 million next year — although the county could try to get it back in a referendum in 2018.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Sex offender measure proposed for Wisconsin budget deserves its own bill

A state measure that would require placing sexual offenders in their home counties may make sense. What doesn’t is enacting it by sneaking it into the state budget.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: WI Legislature should back off from trying to regulate free speech on...

I get the motive behind proposals in the Legislature to punish those who would use violence to disrupt speakers on the state’s public university campuses. But I’m also very leery of government efforts to control speech.

George Mitchell: With GAAP deficit, don’t raid general fund for roads

Despite strong fiscal steps taken in the 2011-13 budget, the state’s fiscal condition arguably has declined. The per capita GAAP deficit is second only to that of Illinois. The projected structural deficit — portrayed as an ominous dark cloud under Jim Doyle — stands at a billion dollars.

Gordon Hintz: Cost of inaction on transportation funding

Refusing to address the transportation funding shortfall is the least responsible decision. It is not more responsible to borrow money and to cripple Wisconsin’s infrastructure and ability to compete in the global economy.

Gregory Humphrey: Kooyenga deserves praise

Last week, Rep. Kooyenga put forth a large, multi-faceted, and rather complicated proposal to address the long-simmering issue of road funding. He should be applauded for doing his research and having the courage to stand up and make his case.

Gretchen Schuldt: Legislature should stop worst practices at juvenile prisons

The youths at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile prisons need a lot more help from the Legislature than they are getting.

Gwen Moore: David Clarke should not be getting a promotion after all the deaths...

I can think of few men more uniquely unqualified to liaise with local law enforcement at this juncture, when the agency is ramping up immigration raids, filling detention centers and carrying out deportations as fast as possible.

Ike Brannon & Devorah Goldman: Wisconsin’s opioid scourge: Its origins and possible solutions

The nation is enmeshed in a drug abuse problem that appears unmatched in our country’s history, and Wisconsin has keenly felt its effects.

Jake Curtis and Will Flanders: Yes, Scott Walker did back Wisconsin’s economy away from...

Today, Wisconsin boasts a balanced budget, lower property tax obligations, and unemployment and labor participation rates that are almost impossible to top.

Jake Curtis: Hopeful signs in Mike Gallagher’s first 100 days

Gallagher’s first 100 days have been refreshing and may portend the type of congressional vision offered by a new class of millennial leaders.

James Rowen: Campaigning Walker to milk groundwater giveaway bill signing

With that surface water rights' giveaway program in the books, Team Walker can turn this election season to its groundwater gifting - - passed by the Legislature with 50 million reasons, as the campaign-donation tracking Wisconsin Democracy Campaign just documented.

James Rowen: For Wisconsin, another rotten ranking

By one new measurement, Wisconsin is 12th worst nationally for wells which supply drinking water out of compliance with federal law.

James Rowen: Great Lakes GOP leaders own Trump’s Great Lakes trashing

What with Trump's budget ending Great Lakes Restoration and crucial, related Sea Grant funding, and cutting more clean water grants to states by 45%, it seems like a good day to acknowledge two literally sickening realities.

James Rowen: Kooyenga’s Rube Goldberg ‘plan’ misses the ex-snowblower factor

Kooyenga pitched his plan as a way to address Wisconsin's population decline, which he attributed to retirees headed to known low-tax havens. People I know who've moved south talk about the snow blowers they don't need anymore, not tax rates in Wisconsin that don't apply.

James Rowen: The GOP’s family roads feud stalls budget; deeper questions unanswered

This matter has been allowed to slide, and deserves greater attention now that its damaging consequences have moved from the condition and usefulness of our roads to the state budget to the very procedures that are supposed to keep state government operating transparently and effectively.

James Rowen: Walker backtracks on health coverages; trust at your risk

Walker says late Friday never mind about his eagerness to get on board the 'opt out of pre-existing conditions' bandwagon set in motion by his best pal Paul Ryan.

James Rowen: Walker keeps delivering special interest privatization, favors

More evidence is piling up about the favors showered on well-connected private interests.

James Rowen: Walker re-election looms; WI water emergency suddenly addressed

The administration has agreed to do what it could have long ago: provide clean drinking water to those penalized by uncaring public policies and proximity to the manure makers.

James Rowen: We like suburban segregation

Governments have long enabled metro area's biases.

James Rowen: WI Assembly seals deal privatizing public waters

The Wisconsin State Assembly Tuesday completed the Legislature's disgustingly predictable overthrow of State Constitutional public water protections and granted permanent groundwater ownership to the state's biggest private well water users.

James Wigderson: Comey had to go, but why now?

If there was a most-hated man in American politics, it might have been FBI Director James Comey. But why now?

James Wigderson: Free speech bill would combat national pattern of suppression

The "heckler's veto," whether it is disruption of the event by shouting or actual acts of violence, has no place on our state-funded college campuses.

James Wigderson: Sheriff Clarke saddles up for Washington

Clarke’s new role will be as a public liaison between DHS and police agencies, which is really amazing considering his poor relations with the Milwaukee Police Department and even his own deputies.

Jason Rae: Diversity is key to stronger economy

The entire economy benefits from diversity, fairness, and mutual respect within the business community.

Jay Miller: Kooyenga’s tax plan strikes a blow for simplicity

What we have now is of the Rube Goldberg variety, with punishing taxes, blinding complexity and overreliance on ultimately self-destructive borrowing. Kooyenga’s plan starts to lead us out of this morass.

Jerry Bader: ‘Patriotic Millionaires’ and the minimum wage myth

“Patriotic Millionaires” are oblivious to the business realities of dramatically increasing the minimum wage.

Jerry Bader: In support of lower pump prices

Millions of Wisconsinites fill their gas tanks each day, blissfully unaware that the cost per gallon they pay is artificially inflated by state law.

Jessica Murphy: Four years after the slush fund scandal: Where does the UW stand?

It seems as though the UW System is taking steps to bring down the surplus funds, but considering it still has $883.3 million cash on hand, there's still plenty of room to improve.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Answering your questions on health care

There is a lot of misinformation circulating through various news outlets and social media channels, so I’d like to take this opportunity to address some of the most common questions and misconceptions surrounding the American Health Care Act.

Joel Quadracci: Self-insurance works for Quad/Graphics, and it will work for Wisconsin

It is my hope that our elected officials will embrace Walker’s recommendation. In doing so, they will be investing in Wisconsin’s future, giving state employees better care at a lower cost. That's a win for state employees and a win for taxpayers.

John Nichols: Sheriff Clarke is determined to suspend habeas corpus and shred the...

The right-wing extremist’s disregard for the Constitution is well documented, and now he’s reportedly joining Trump’s DHS.

John Norquist: How federal funding hurts cities

Liberals and cities would be better off opposing funding.

John Shiely: Reforming government means reforming government programs

The state can save at least $60 million in the next 2-year budget by simply changing the way it pays for state employee health benefits. Those savings grow by at $22 million more in general purpose revenue if repeal or delay of an ObamaCare tax does not occur. Unfortunately those savings are at risk of being left behind by the Legislature.

John Torinus: 4% flat tax for Wisconsin: a lot to like

The Assembly GOP plan breaks new ground. It’s bold, and bold is what we need in a state that has long been behind the growth curve.

John Torinus: Trump should go big on health care

Turn states loose as innovators, create 50 different pilot plans.

Jon Peacock: Trump budget’s massive Medicaid cut

There are currently almost 1.2 million Wisconsinites who participate in Medicaid-funded programs, and whose health care will be at risk if the president’s proposals are approved.

Jonathan Krause: With health care reform, an incredible opportunity

Somebody should give credit to Congressional Republicans for creating one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time.

Kathleen Vinehout: Audit: WEDC cannot be certain of any jobs created or retained

A recently released audit by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau found that “WEDC cannot be certain about the number of jobs actually created or retained as a result of any awards that ended.”

Kathleen Vinehout: High-capacity well proposal makes bad water situation worse

Our state constitution's Public Trust Doctrine sets out that Wisconsin’s waters belong to all Wisconsin residents. Senate Bill 76 takes the state in another direction — the one with the biggest straw gets the most water.

Kathleen Vinehout: The most dangerous bill you’ve never heard of

The effect of the REINS Act could be wide reaching. New laws that could be stopped might be related to consumer protections; human, animal and plant health; workers compensation, unemployment and discrimination protections; road and bridge construction; food, water and air pollution. Even clawing back state money from companies that refused to deliver promised jobs.

Kevin Binversie: House begins investigating Iran deal, will Senate follow?

The behind-the-scene details that led to the Iran Deal are about to be the subject of a congressional investigation. At the center is the question whether the Obama Administration sacrificed American national security to ensure it had a foreign policy legacy.

Khary Penebaker: Permitless carry bill would make Wisconsin a more dangerous place

Instead of taking meaningful action to reduce gun deaths, some of our representatives in Madison are trying to weaken our existing gun laws.

Kim Kohlhaas: DNR budget and policy should support science, not partisan political agendas

DNR staff want to see an agency that lives up to its mission. They, and the citizens of Wisconsin whom they serve, want a DNR that promotes science and citizen understanding, not the shabby politics of the moment.

Larry Gallup: Lawmakers abuse budget-fix motion

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com. It’s been nearly two years since...

LaTonya Johnson: Minnesota’s Dayton takes a hopeful stand against Wisconsin’s Walker

Dayton opposes preempting local sick pay ordinances.

Laurie Fischer: Yes, but who is going to milk the cows?

If dairy producers cannot find the labor they need, our nation must either import workers or import dairy products from foreign countries.

Lena Taylor: Safe Streets Initiative

Public safety affects everyone. Therefore, it should be treated seriously. By everyone. This means that residents, government officials, and law enforcement all have a hand to play in keeping our streets safe.

Leon Young: Another damnable lie

Comey’s firing was not predicated on his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, which Trump totally applauded at the time and used to great political advantage. Trump’s assertion for Comey’s sudden departure is nothing more than another damnable lie.

Leon Young: Civil legal services: Right or privilege?

The fact that the state is now attempting to codify a process that may provide civil legal services to indigent and disabled residents is good public policy, and is desperately needed.

Leon Young: Trump’s war against science and facts

Donald Trump’s proclivity for using alternative facts should be seen for exactly what it is: A political ploy to mask his utter incompetence, lack of experience and propensity for lying. Someone should remind Mr. Trump that we are all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own set of facts.

M. D. Kittle: Conservatives need to remember who they are fighting for – and...

The taxpayer-first philosophy has carried the day for fiscal conservatives in Wisconsin and elsewhere. It's that philosophy that governing Republicans need to remember as they work through the abundantly more challenging phases of budget-writing ahead.

Marc Eisen: Stop warehousing the poor

Any discussion of poverty in Milwaukee has been stunted by the decades-old battle that pits powerful conservative advocates of school vouchers against the once powerful liberal defenders of public education.

Mark Pocan: Republicans reveal their hand with awful health care bill

It is a terrible proposal and people are going to pay more for less coverage. That's the big lie of Paul Ryan's Trumpcare, though: It was never intended to help people.

Mark Pocan: The People’s Budget, not Trump’s budget, will help working Americans

The People’s Budget is a plan to actually help working Americans who have felt left behind by an economy rigged against them.

Mark R. Hogan: Fab Labs can help develop a skilled workforce

Wisconsin’s Fab Labs initiative is helping schools provide students with hands-on learning in STEAM-related areas of study.

Mary Bottari: Bradley Foundation bankrolls attacks on unions

Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy expose a national effort by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to defund and dismantle unions, the most significant force for higher wages and better working conditions in America.

Matt Rothschild: 50 million reasons Wisconsin GOP backs high-capacity wells

The agriculture industry and more than a dozen other influential special interests represented by WMC, including business, manufacturing, real estate and construction, contributed $16.7 million between January 2011 and December 2016 to Republican legislators. These same interests also contributed another $33.2 million to Walker during the period. That’s almost $50 million combined.

Matt Rothschild: Koch and other big business groups back bill to bury regs

GOP lawmakers are circulating a proposal that would allow state rules governing public health, consumer protection, and the environment, among other things, to expire after seven years.

Matt Rothschild: Koch group and Milwaukee business group back tax cuts for wealthy

A GOP Assembly income tax cut and road-funding proposal would eventually cut taxes for Wisconsin’s wealthiest residents by $1 billion.

Matt Rothschild: Koch support to Wisconsin higher ed tops $1 million

A recent $425,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin-Stout by the Charles Koch Foundation is the largest single, annual gift ever given to a Wisconsin college or university by the rightwing grantor, but not the first.

Michael Leon: Wisconsin rep offers self-limiting bill guiding cops to preserve life

In the better-than-nothing-I-guess category comes a bill in the Wisconsin legislature suggesting in essence police employ measures not to kill people quite so often.

Michael Leon: Wisconsin Republicans want reversal of anti-gerrymandering ruling

Gerrymandering is one of myriad tools by Republicans bent on engineering a Republican government irrespective of the will of voters and the rule of law.

Mike Ervin: Scott Walker’s insulting and degrading attack on the poor

Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, believes that citizens of his state who use public services should have to submit to drug testing. And anyone who refuses to be tested should be turned away.

Mitch Henck: Don’t count on Senate GOP to kill health plan

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on the health care bill that is now in the U.S. Senate's hands.

Mitch Henck: Donald Trump exposes non-denial denial

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents after a report that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russia.

Mitch Henck: Is Russia-gate like Watergate?

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on the Trump administration's Russia-gate controversy.

Mitch Henck: Is there a right to heckle speakers?

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on the Campus Free Speech Act.

Mitch Henck: Madison should look to New York on gun crime

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck says Madison officials should look to New York on how to deal with gun crime.

Mitch Henck: Scott Walker’s health insurance plan paints rosy picture

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's latest health insurance proposal.

Mitch Henck: Taking Donald Trump out not so easy

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on whether Donald Trump can be taken out just like Richard Nixon.

Mitch Henck: Tax debate is about revenue, not fairness

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck says debate over taxes should be about revenue, not whether Donald Trump and other rich people get tax cuts.

Mitch Henck: Terrorist attack hits nerve in world politics

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on how a terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert will affect world politics.

Mitch Henck: Wisconsin GOP at war like never before

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on the increased tension between Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans.

Nancy Langston: The Wisconsin experiment

Donald Trump’s war on the environment was prototyped by far-right politicians in state government. We can learn from Indigenous communities who fought back in the name of science and democracy — and won.

Noah Williams: What tax credits did to manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin

Since its introduction the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit accounted for a total gain of nearly 21,000 manufacturing jobs (a 4.6% increase) and over 42,000 total jobs (a 1.8% increase) in Wisconsin.

Ola Lisowski: Wisconsin DPI releases Every Student Succeeds Act state plan

The 103-page plan in one word: ambitious.

Owen Robinson: Repeal the minimum markup law

West Bend has been enjoying something of a retail renaissance in the past few years. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act, A.K.A. “Minimum Markup Law,” is preventing consumers to reap the benefits of such an upsurge in competition.

Patrick Durkin: Walker stiff-arms Wisconsin Conservation Congress

Second straight year Gov. Scott Walker left the podium without taking questions.

Paul Fanlund: In defying Trump, John Kasich is a GOP anomaly

If you follow politics, it’s hard to miss John Kasich these days, much harder than when he was the last candidate standing against Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

Paul Fanlund: On political purity, Bernie Sanders changes his tune

Recently, Sanders’ tune has changed, and the defenders of embattled reproductive rights have noticed.

Paul Fanlund: So why can’t America just be ‘good’ again?

We are supposed to believe that America was “great” throughout its history, equally “great” when we were young, and, by God, can be similarly “great” once more. That world view was a springboard for a propagandist like Roger Ailes and a demagogue like Donald Trump. And it has contributed mightily to bitterly dividing the nation.

Paul Farrow: Making M7 work for all of southeastern Wisconsin

We have a chance to shake things up when it comes to thinking about how to attract national and international businesses to our area and how our regional partners are involved and can benefit.
Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan: Tax reform is the crown jewel of economic growth

Without a doubt, comprehensive tax reform is the key to economic growth and creating more jobs.

Peg Lautenschlager: Op-ed misconstrues Supreme Court’s ruling on judicial campaign cash

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com. Rick Esenberg’s recent op-ed in the...

Ray Allen: Remembering the origins of Wisconsin’s 106-year-old worker’s compensation law

As Wisconsin marks the birthday of its Worker's Compensation program, we can continue to take pride in our state's ingenuity and creativity in solving a daunting problem over 100 years ago and providing the nation with a solution that has withstood the test of time.

Rebecca Kleefisch: Wisconsin is actually winning the war on poverty

Fewer people, especially fewer children, are living in poverty in Wisconsin than ever before. In fact, we’ve seen a “significant reduction” in poverty across our state the past several years.

Rick Esenberg: State Supreme Court was right to reject change in recusal rules

Wisconsin’s current rule for recusal of judges is in tune with Wisconsin’s system of an elected judiciary. Newspaper editorial boards, elected officials and citizens all have the right to participate in the election process. It would be wrong to change the rules in a way that restricts the First Amendment rights of citizens to be heard as part of that process.

Rick Hasen: Words of caution about study finding voter ID cost Clinton WI and...

There is reason for considerable caution about this study, which is at odds with what other studies of the effect of Wisconsin’s voter id has found and there are questions about the study’s methodology.

Robert Kraig: How to elect a new governor

We need a progressive, Bernie Sanders-style candidate.

Ruth Conniff: Why I am leaving for Mexico

The reasons are personal and political.

Scott Hassett and David Ullrich: Trump budget puts environmental cleanup projects at risk

We encourage our Great Lakes neighbors to contact their elected representatives and ask them to restore adequate funding to EPA to protect our health and natural resources. It is a wise investment in our future.

Scott Neitzel: The state has an obligation to uphold the tribal compacts

We continue to be guided by the compact language, the governor’s principles on new gaming and the law.

Scott Walker: Budget ensures Wisconsin remains a top 10 state

Our budget helps to build a strong workforce by investing in student success. We reform welfare to reward work. And we make government more accountable so we can continue to lower the tax burden on our hard-working taxpayers.

Steve Pociask: State Medicaid PBM needs to do the right thing for patients and...

In Wisconsin, the primary pharmacy benefits manager in the state may be choosing to put profits before patients, favoring its cozy relationship with a controversial drugmaker over what’s best for patients, taxpayers and law enforcement. T

Steven E. Martin: What both sides get wrong about college speakers

I encourage all colleges not only to allow but actually to encourage a wide range of speakers because a good education depends on hearing controversial topics that might make one uncomfortable and might even be perceived as offensive.

Steven Walters: 12 key state budget decisions

Do you agree or disagree? Here’s your chance to make a difference.

Steven Walters: Bill pushed by odd couple Gannon, Fields

Polar opposites back “mobility grants” to help unemployed move to get jobs.

Steven Walters: Choice schools still being debated

New study says voucher students do better. Except on achievement.

Steven Walters: Kooyenga flat tax rejected

Walker, GOP slam his gas sales tax and flat income tax proposal.

Steven Walters: Will Wisconsin use private prisons?

Wisconsin's adult inmate population is expected to grow to 23,233 by mid-2019.

Sunny Schubert: Rural resentment laid bare

UW professor spent six years listening to rural Wisconsin residents express their frustrations.
Donald Trump in Wisconsin

Tamarine Cornelius and Jon Peacock: Trump’s Massive cost shift to states

Under his budget state loses billions for health care, food stamps, schools.

Tamarine Cornelius: Flat tax bill has massive impact

Almost half of entire tax cut goes to top 4%; poor get tax increase.

Tammy Baldwin: Action needed on student debt crisis

Our proposal provides help. Trump budget makes things worse.

Todd Berry: State finances rank low when GAAP accounting rules are applied

Wisconsin state law requires the state budget to balance on a two-year cash basis, and it does. That’s why it shows a surplus. But financial statements in the state’s comprehensive annual report show Wisconsin remains in the red, even as public officials declare the budget to be in the black.

Todd Novak: State dementia care program provides great benefits for Wisconsin

Continued expansion of this program only stands to benefit our state and those living with dementia and their families.

Tom Still: Why Wisconsin is a bottom-feeder in startup index — and how it...

There are some specific steps Wisconsin policymakers can — and should — take to improve its business startup rate, which once again anchored the bottom of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s annual index.

Vicki McKenna: Anatomy of a smear–David Clarke edition

Clarke obviously intended to deceive exactly no one. He cites his sources abundantly and clearly in his thesis.

Will Flanders & Lauren Parrottino: Five things everyone should know about the state budget

The 2017-2019 budget debate will not be without surprises, changes, and adjustments to existing state appropriations.

Will Flanders and Collin Roth: School Choice is needed in rural Wisconsin

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com. Some might be surprised to learn...

Will Flanders: Celebrating Tommy Thompson and school choice

It took the courage and leadership of Gov. Thompson and a host of others to expand educational opportunity by going against the status quo education mindset.
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WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ debate drug testing Medicaid recipients

The WisOpinion Insiders, Chvala & Kanavas, debate Gov. Scott Walker's plan to drug test Medicaid recipients, approved by the Joint Finance Committee this week. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.
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WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ debate Trump, Sheriff Clarke, transportation and more

The WisOpinion.com Insiders, Chvala & Kanavas, debate President Trump, Sheriff Clarke, the 2018 guv's race, transportation and more in the "lightning round," brought to you by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.
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WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ preview the state GOP convention

The WisOpinion Insiders, Kanavas and Chvala, preview the state GOP convention and next year's U.S. Senate contest. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.

WisPolitics.com: Book Club podcast with author Gregg Hoffmann

  The latest edition of the WisPolitics.com Book Club features Gregg Hoffmann, author of "Immortalized in Bronze." The new book, more than 40 years in the making,...
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