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‘The Insiders’ preview the state Democratic convention

The WisOpinion Insiders, Kanavas and Chvala, preview the state Democratic convention. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.

Alan J. Borsuk: New poll gives vivid look into polarized political perceptions

Given how politics have unfolded, the intensity of divisions shown in the new Marquette Law School poll results is not a surprise. But it makes the new results an important and vivid snapshot of political reality.

Andrea Kaminski: Proponents of constitutional convention should try governing instead

It is ironic that these proposals are being promoted in Wisconsin by the party that is in the majority in both Congress and the state Legislature. Why should the U.S. Constitution be at risk for complete revision just so these politicians can accomplish what they already have the power to do legislatively?

Betsy Thatcher: State licensure regulation stands in the way of on-demand barbering startup

UW students can’t launch their Uber-like haircut business in Wisconsin without action from the Legislature.

Bill G. Smith: Ron Johnson should vote ‘yes’ on Senate health care plan

The Affordable Care Act has made things more difficult for small businesses. Its onerous taxes and mandates have increased costs and reduced choices.

Bill Kaplan: Comey testifies

The congressional investigations will continue. And, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will try to get to the bottom. But House Speaker Paul Ryan still has his head in the sand.

Bill Kaplan: Kansas and Wisconsin

Since 2011 Kansas and Wisconsin have been far-right GOP models for sharp budget and tax cutting that would supposedly lead to economic growth and prosperity. However, it was all delusion. Last year, Kansas voters finally had enough.

Bill Lueders: End lawmakers’ ability to purge records

Local officials must abide by minimum retention periods, generally seven years, for most records. But a state lawmaker’s correspondence — say, a spate of letters and emails taking bitter issue with a given decision or proposal — can be purged or shredded at will.

Bill Osmulski: No connection between spending and best local roads in state

Public officials in Marquette County apparently know how to get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to transportation. They have the best roads in the state, while receiving almost the smallest amount of state aid per mile, according to the DOT and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Brett Healy: Wisconsin’s success shows how to move America forward

Billions in tax relief, more jobs, and a better environment in which to do business are the things smaller government and reduced regulations have brought to Wisconsin. It’s time the federal government did its part to help Wisconsin continue this positive momentum.

Brian Fraley: The collision course in Madison

The deny, delay and decay approach to transportation in Wisconsin threatens our economic prosperity. But so does an over reliance on bonding, without any plan on how to pay down that debt.

Brian Riedl: Wisconsin’s remarkable job growth should be celebrated

Overzealous political promises notwithstanding, Wisconsin’s job growth over the past six years has been extraordinarily strong.

Bruce Murphy: How trucks destroy our roads

And how a fee on trucks could solve state’s transportation problem.

Bruce Murphy: Should police do more high-speed chases?

Milwaukee alderman want more pursuits. Chief Flynn says they are endanger innocent people.

Bruce Murphy: Sykes unloads Right Wisconsin

Wigderson is now owner/editor but Charlie says he’s still “conservative."

Bruce Murphy: The Bradley Foundation’s new Pope

New chairman James Arthur Pope could turn foundation even further right

Bruce Murphy: Why Gableman is stepping down

And how will that affect the race for Supreme Court?

Bruce Murphy: Why is CEO pay still soaring?

Top Wisconsin CEO earned 1,237 times more than average worker.

Bruce Murphy: Will the real Ron Johnson stand up?

His draconian stance on health care was obscured by lazy media coverage.

Bruce Thompson: Is manufacturing in decline?

Recent trends are down in Wisconsin, but hardly a cause for panic.

Bruce Thompson: US Supreme Court wrong on redistricting?

By focusing only on racial gerrymandering justices miss the bigger picture.

Bruce Thompson: Will Supreme Court rule on state redistricting?

Past cases show Supreme Court is reluctant to overrule district courts.

Bruce Thompson: You dare not question Scott Walker

Bruce Thompson responds to a Federalist column countering his assertion governors have little impact on the economy.

Casey Hoff: Silence on prisoner abuse is consent

If we fail to take responsibility for how we treat the weakest, most powerless members of our society who are incarcerated, we have ignored some of the most important and basic moral obligations of a civilized society.

Casey Hoff: UW free speech bill: Protecting rights essential

Wisconsinites ought to be cautious about any bill that implicates free speech rights in any way.

Casey Hoff: What Milwaukee County needs in a new sheriff

If Clarke leaves Milwaukee County, Governor Walker should go far beyond the basics and pick a new Sheriff who respects the Constitution, honors civil liberties and upholds the rule of law.

Charles Sykes: How conservatives betrayed virtue for Donald Trump

For boys, the president is providing a toxic road map to manhood.

Charlie Sykes: It’s time to put truth before political tribe

Fake news, like politicians who deceive, will remain a fact of life. The only antidote is an educated, critically minded electorate who can see through the hoaxes and separate fact from propaganda. But, most important, we need a citizenry that believes that truth matters—and matters urgently.

Charlie Sykes: The danger of ignoring Alex Jones

While Alex Jones has no exact analogue on the left, we have to watch him, and also watch out to make sure that something similar is not emerging on the left.

Chris Rickert: Big hubris, small impact in Madison government power struggles

Most Madisonians probably don’t know because they have more important things to worry about, but their mayor and several influential City Council members can’t stand each other.

Chris Rickert: Government trains worker bees for pols’ corporate donors

Business leaders’ donations to politicians help leverage a lot more in tax dollars to train business’ employees.

Chris Rickert: State high court again paddling with 1 oar in the water

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman was right in more ways than he knew when he said the court is “the outlier, and to pretend otherwise is simply in defiance of the facts.”

Chris Rickert: The ‘get off my lawn’ liberal vs. the Walker challenger checklist

Say what you want about Madison “mayor for life” and potential Walker challenger Paul Soglin — he ain’t Mary Burke.

Chris Rochester: Shankland’s health insurance rhetoric is just plain wrong

Lately, Democrats have been all too willing to use overheated rhetoric and outright lies to turn their health care policy differences with Republicans into a clash of "good people" versus "evil people who literally want you to die."

Chris Taylor: An economy that works for everyone

While Wisconsin's wealthy continue to receive bountiful handouts, most other working families continue to struggle, working harder and harder just to get by.

Chris Taylor: RyanCare = Pay more, get less

Under RyanCare, millions of Americans will be paying more in health care to get less in coverage.

Chris Walker: Conservative politics are forcing Millennials to leave the Badger state

Younger workers see no motivation to stay in a state with bad economic conditions, conservative politics.

Chris Walker: Randy Bryce’s announcement ad is a powerful message — and Dems nationwide...

Ironworker and activist hopes to win Paul Ryan’s seat.

Christa Westerberg: Mail ballots are an affront to transparency

A growing trend threatens transparency — and good government — in Wisconsin. Some legislative committees are using “mail ballots” to vote, instead of voting during public meetings.

Christian Schneider: Donald Trump isn’t losing his mind, we are

For Pete's sake, we stopped talking about #Covfefe so we could complain a shock comic was shocking.

Christian Schneider: Donald Trump supporters concoct their own James Comey story

Instead of seeing Trump for who he is, his supporters create an imaginary figure who does no wrong.

Christian Schneider: Foxconn’s proposed relocation shows our ability to adapt

There's no doubt that bringing thousands of new jobs to Wisconsin would be a boon to the state. But the potential Foxconn relocation also perfectly demonstrates that when we talk about jobs and the economy, we focus on the "seen" and neglect the "unseen."

Christian Schneider: On health care, Republicans have some explaining to do

There's a saying among political operatives during campaign season: "If you're explaining, then you're losing." The secret AHCA deliberations are showing that when legislating, the opposite of campaign rules apply: Republicans are losing because they're not explaining.

Christian Schneider: Senate health bill: Reports of Medicaid’s demise greatly exaggerated

Conservatives have quibbled about details and process. The left's far less measured critique amounts to 'make peace with your god.'

Christian Schneider: Sensenbrenner isn’t going anywhere

Given that Sensenbrenner won his first election to the state legislature before both Woodstock and Neil Armstrong's moon landing, he has seen the Republican Party undergo numerous identity crises.

Christian Schneider: The GOP declares war on decency

For many lifelong Republicans, this transformation of the Republican Party from one of principled small-government enthusiasts to one incapable of shame has been a shock.

Christine Emba: The two competing futures of the Democratic Party: Jon Ossoff and Randy...

The two men symbolize two different personalities the party could adopt in the midterm elections and potentially in 2020. Which vision will stick? And which has a chance of winning?

Dave Cieslewicz: Advice for Dems: R-E-L-A-X

Dems are growing restless over the lack of a promising candidate to take on Gov. Scott Walker.

Dave Cieslewicz: Being like Bernie may not be the answer

It’s a pretty big leap to say that Bernie Sanders’ Democratic primary win in Wisconsin last year means that a Sanders-like candidate would defeat Gov. Scott Walker.

Dave Cieslewicz: Next Dem Party chair? Who cares?

The party needs to work on its messaging and start bringing people together.

Dave Cieslewicz: Popularity of hiking over hunting has consequences for public lands

While Wisconsin’s natural heritage was preserved and restored by generations of hunters and fishers who were predominantly white men, it might only survive into the future if a more diverse group of users joins them in the field and for different reasons.

Dave Cieslewicz: Roadblock on transportation budget

By some accounts, Wisconsin has among the very worst roads in the nation, and traffic fatalities are edging back up after years of decline. Making roads safer is not rocket science, but current politics might make it a challenge.

Dave Hansen: Give veterans the day off for Veterans Day

Veterans deserve to have the time on Veterans Day to spend it as they see fit as a reflection of our undying gratitude for their service.

Dave Zweifel: GOP sabotage of Obamacare true cause of Anthem exiting exchange

While the Obamacare haters in Wisconsin government blamed the "failed" ACA for Anthem's withdrawal, the real story is that they have been sabotaging Obamacare for years, creating an environment for health insurance companies that made it untenable for many of them to stay in the marketplace.

Dave Zweifel: Put brakes on constitutional convention

There's no guarantee that if a convention were to be called that it would stop at a balanced budget amendment.

Dave Zweifel: Speech police should look back at UW history

In many cases in UW history, it was the conservatives who were shutting down the liberals.

Dave Zweifel: Trucks should pay fair share for our roads

It's been quite a surprise that some legislative Republicans are actually contemplating an idea that I've been promoting for decades — getting the trucking industry to pay its fair share of the damage it does to the state's roads and highways.

Dave Zweifel: Trump tweets disguise the damage he’s really causing

It's like it's all a distraction to get the media and his opponents to take their eyes off the ball — his agenda.

David Blaska: For Democrats, it’s always 1968

Paul Soglin would bring some major wattage to a party that has faded into the wallpaper.

David Blaska: How to talk to the deplorables

It’s only a matter of time before the publishers come out with a how-to manual titled “Deplorables for Dummies.” A kind of field guide, if you will, for the bien pensants, the cultural elite, the social justice warriors on how to deal with the inevitable Trump supporter, should he be encountered in the wild.

David Blaska: Want true diversity on campus? Protect speech and hire conservatives!

It may well be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, but just try to find a Republican in the UW-Madison sociology department.

David D. Haynes: How much does Gov. Scott Walker affect the Wisconsin economy?

The decisions that a governor makes can have an impact on the state over the long run, but in the short run — notably those monthly unemployment statistics — it’s hard to give credit or assign blame.

David D. Haynes: Millions of dollars later, Democrats still losers in Georgia election

After all the noise in northern Georgia — and $55 million of campaign spending — only one politician really mattered in the much-watched 6th congressional race on Tuesday. Her name was Nancy Pelosi.

David D. Haynes: Secretive Republicans about to declare nation free of Obamacare

The public's concerns may be swept aside as Senate leadership barrels ahead — in secret — hoping to declare the nation free of Obamacare by Independence Day.

David D. Haynes: What gun debate? There is no gun debate in Washington, D.C.

There is zero chance that the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise earlier this week will change anything about the gun debate in Washington, D.C. That’s because there is no gun debate in Washington, D.C. The NRA has won. Not the debate — the gun lobby remains very wrong on the facts. But the group had won the politics — big time.

David Daley: Will this redistricting case tilt Justice Kennedy?

For more than a decade now, redistricting reformers have hunted for the Holy Grail: A nonpartisan standard to identify partisan gerrymandering that would appeal to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on a Supreme Court that has consistently refused to stop determined Republicans or Democrats from tilting maps in their favor since the founding of our nation.

David Fladeboe: Ossoff’s failed bid spells trouble for Baldwin

Baldwin is vulnerable and the very President that changed all the rules may be the key to the GOP winning this senate seat in 2018.

Dean Knudson: In defense of revenue limit law

Not every district can be above the median.

Dianne Hesselbein: Jobs numbers are the elephant in Scott Walker’s office

3,776. That’s the number of manufacturing jobs lost in Wisconsin in 2016. Not gained, lost. While the U.S. economy added hundreds of thousands of jobs monthly, Wisconsin averaged less than a thousand.

Dipesh Navsaria: Privately insured? What happens to Medicaid affects you too

If Medicaid disappeared, most children’s hospitals would see such a significant drop in their revenue that smaller ones would close and major institutions would be forced to scale back immensely. This would stifle their ability to train high-quality health care providers, gain expertise in new procedures, and develop innovations.

Dominique Paul Noth: ALEC continues churning out blueprints for right wing experiments

Wisconsin has become the nationwide test tube for the rightist wing of the Republican Party.

Dominique Paul Noth: Paris discord

On June 1 Trump announced something he really can’t do overnight – pull out of the Paris Accord – and he dumped a ton of erroneous statistics on listeners that came from a front group for the coal industry.

Dominique Paul Noth: The meddlesome priests we foolishly count on to keep Trump in...

A stone-faced military man of the sort America used to make statues to, James Mattis, secretary of defense, is tasked with settling fears among allies that the US is not as wacky and self-centered as Trump sounds.

Emily Mills: Medicaid drug tests punishes Wisconsin’s poorest people

Wisconsin last week became the first state in the country to submit a request for a waiver to allow for the drug testing of applicants for Medicaid.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Bill to protect free speech on UW campuses offers neither freedom nor...

Trying to protect free speech by quashing free speech is an awful idea.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Could someone please delete Trump’s Twitter account?

Remember when presidents behaved with a certain dignity that reflected the gravity and responsibility of their office? Not since January.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: State should take over Milwaukee County’s pension system

The state may be willing to take on the system moving forward, but not the responsibility for making up for past mistakes. That will remain with the county, which has to clean up its own mess.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Trump tried to interfere and other observations on the Comey testimony

The former FBI director believes that President Donald Trump tried to interfere with the FBI’s investigation into Russian ties to the Trump campaign. And from what I saw of his testimony, Comey came across as a down-to-earth man of integrity and professionalism.

Ernst-Ulrich Franzen: Walker movement on tolling is a good sign for Wisconsin roads

It’s good to see the governor willing to talk about tolling as another option. We just hope he’s willing to go a little farther down that road toward a long-term sustainable solution for the state’s transportation needs.

Frank Manzo IV: Lawmakers should consider the social cost of construction wage cuts

Repealing Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law could actually cost taxpayers more than $300 million per year.

George Mitchell: An era of ‘temporary transportation fixes’

Walker’s DOT is planning a $40 million “temporary fix” next year.

George Mitchell: Roads shouldn’t be built running up credit card

Time for Walker to make tough choices

George Mitchell: When Leah Vukmir saved school choice

When former GOP Sen. Tom Reynolds was in the way, Vukmir stood up.

Gregory A. Humphrey: ‘Process Democrats’ and the redistricting case

Those who care about the process of governing are pleased there is now a high-stakes legal drama in the offing which may allow for some sanity to be brought to the matter of how states construct their internal political boundaries for election purposes.

Gregory Humphrey: Fight to replace Affordable Care Act Will end with a whimper

The Senate majority leader wanting to get a vote by the upcoming recess means there is more of an effort to get this political mess behind them than pass a bill that has any chance of being reconciled with the three-thumb crowd in the House.

Gregory Humphrey: State Supreme Court ruling on Madison’s pro-golfers

Four golf professionals recently learned they can now sue the city of Madison over claims their contracts with the city were terminated in 2012 without good cause.

Gregory Humphrey: What It took for President Trump to talk about gun violence

The only reason shootings remain a daily event in this nation is because those who are elected can find the convenient time to stand in front of a microphone and make a statement about the horror of such crime, but then fail to take the required steps to change laws.

Gregory Humphrey: Where America stands ahead of Comey’s testimony

There is a gut feeling across this nation that laws have been broken, excesses of power taken, and deeds attempted, or in fact done, not for the sake of the country but for the benefit of one person. That being Donald Trump.

James Rowen: Complete DNR fail: Massive fecal pollution in Kewaunee County wells

Walker and the DNR are trying quietly to put a band-aid over these disgusting and inhumane conditions which come straight from their growth-at-any-cost politics with low-key bottled water.

James Rowen: Damage deepens at Walker/Stepp’s anti-science WI DNR

The same sickening science-free song keeps seeping from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources which Scott Walker is managing with his self-described "chamber of commerce mentality."

James Rowen: Data show Walker’s WI could be headed for recession

Weak 2016 job numbers could point to recession in Wisconsin as nation saw growth.

James Rowen: Don’t give away acres of State Park

State allowing for-profit golf course to take over public land on Lake Michigan.

James Rowen: Gableman departure bookends ugly WI decade

You could say that the hard-right turn in Wisconsin politics began when Gableman, then an obscure rural Burnett County District Court Judge, narrowly defeated the liberal Milwaukee incumbent Justice Louis Butler.

James Rowen: Johnson blames, punishes those with pre-existing conditions

Someone needs to take Johnson aside and explain to him that many pre-existing health conditions arise involuntarily at birth or arrive through no-fault spread of disease, or have unknown origins.

James Rowen: WI environmental groups must better explain, embrace Public Trust Doctrine

Wisconsin water belongs to everyone and we need to do do a better job protecting the water and our rights to it.

James Rowen: WI groups fight Walker’s DNR. Again.

The DNR hurriedly approved a big sand mine where there are wetlands and rare stands of timber, and environmental groups are going to court to force the DNR to do its job on behalf of taxpayers and the environment.

James Wigderson: Nelson cashes in on failed Walker confrontation

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson is actually trying to fundraise off of his embarrassing confrontation with Governor Scott Walker.

James Wigderson: Race to the left in WI high court contest

Who will be the more liberal candidate?

Jay Heck et al: Constitutional convention would threaten citizen rights

The U.S. Constitution may soon be on the chopping block, thanks to a reckless effort backed by some Republicans in Madison.

Jay Heck: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a WI gerrymandering case

That’s good news for the nation.

Jay Miller: Wisconsin still extreme on taxes

Wisconsin’s income taxes are among the highest in the country, as are its property taxes.

Jenni Dye: Scott Walker’s weakness leaves Republicans wrangling over budget

The only thing that may be more anemic than Wisconsin’s performance on job creation over six years of Scott Walker’s administration is the political influence the governor now wields over his fellow Republicans in control of the state Legislature.

Jerry Bader and Scott Walker: Looking back five years after the recall

Walker discusses the impact of Act 10 and the current state of the liberal and conservative movements in Wisconsin five years after the failed recall attempt with Media Trackers Communications Director Jerry Bader.

Jerry Bader: WI AFT local president fails Econ 101 on PLAs

Project labor agreements are government mandates that artificially inflate prices, thereby circumventing the very “market mechanisms” AFT Local 212 President Mike Rosen appears to praise.

Jerry Bader: Will Dems embrace ‘Our Wisconsin Revolution’?

The outcome of the state Dem Party chair vote likely will determine the significance of the liberal Our Wisconsin Revolution gathering three weeks later in Steven’s Point.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Anthem’s withdrawal is the latest Obamacare failure in Wisconsin

Obamacare doesn’t work. It’s failing before our eyes. And as bad as it has been in Wisconsin, some other states have seen even higher price increases and more limited options.

Jim Stingl: Emil Seidel, Milwaukee’s first Socialist mayor, is getting a grave marker 70...

Emil Seidel is best known as Milwaukee's first Socialist mayor dating back to 1910. What has been unknown until recently is his final resting place.

Jim Villa: Wisconsin historic tax credit program should remain unchanged

The numbers tell a significant story about the value of Wisconsin’s historic tax credit program, both in terms of economic development and return on investment to the state.

John Nichols: Frank Lloyd Wright despised and decried demagoguery

Wright was a refined and dignified architect, to be sure. But he was, as well, a proud and passionate American who never hesitated to raise his voice against demagoguery and the tyranny that extends from it.

John Nichols: Speech police seek to gag UW campuses

If the state Senate and governor embrace Vos and Kremer's wrongheaded way of thinking, an ugly combination of intimidation and uncertainty will define the discourse on campuses where avid debate, and serious competition in the battle of ideas and ideals, should be the order of the day.

John Nygren and Mary Felzkowski: Assembly Republicans prioritize K-12 Education

Our plan for the 2017-19 State Budget focuses on equitable funding for schools, increasing sustainability by limiting local referenda buy-downs, and helping to ensure all Wisconsin students have great educational opportunities regardless of where they live.

John Nygren and Mary Felzkowski: Sustainable and equitable funding for schools

Assembly Republicans are making good on our commitment to prioritize K-12 education.

John T. Chisholm and Christian A. Gossett: Law enforcement needs better data

As prosecutors in Wisconsin who often espouse competing political ideologies, this is one thing we agree on: the need to bring improved data collection and objective performance measurement to the world of criminal justice.

John Torinus: A third way: Default to Medicare Advantage for all

Smart politicians could find a safe harbor in programs that work — expand Medicare Advantage and let employers keep their plans if they so choose.

John Torinus: Walker is no Tommy Thompson

But in his less inclusive, more political way, he may be just as successful.

Jon Erpenbach: Protect Wisconsin from Trump and the GOP Congress

The Wisconsin Legislature should take action now to protect our citizens and our robust private health insurance market.

Jon Peacock: The problem of pre-existing conditions

Assembly bill addresses issue. But how much coverage does it provide?

Jonathan Krause: If you need an accord, buy a Honda

The United States can still easily abide by the terms of the Paris Climate Accord without actually being a part of it.

Julian Adem: Building strength through Wisconsin-Mexico partnership

More than 40 companies from Wisconsin have established offices in Mexico, taking advantage of its market of 120 million consumers.

Justin Bielinski: Republicans lost the healthcare debate

And they’re perfectly fine with that.

Kara O’Connor: Losing one dairy farm a day is not ‘normal’

If that is what passes for normal in today’s dairy industry, then we need an entirely new normal. One place to start is strengthening Wisconsin’s prohibition on corporate farm ownership.

Kathleen Vinehout: Celebrating Wisconsin’s dairyland

June is dairy month. A time to celebrate all we love about "America’s Dairyland" – home to 1.28 million dairy cows, which is more than one cow for every five Wisconsinites.

Kathleen Vinehout: Is there a ‘good’ tax

I applaud my colleagues who want to get rid of the personal property tax. However, we must have an honest discussion about how we are going to pay for local services upon which people depend.

Kathleen Vinehout: What choices would you make?

Every dollar spent in our state budget is a choice, which makes the budget a reflection of our values.

Kathleen Vinehout: Will Wisconsin’s future children receive an equal education?

Current school funding proposals add up to a future that is increasingly unequal.

Kevin Binversie: Solution to Alexandria is finding the off switch

If the events of Alexandria have shown us anything, it’s that we as a nation need to find our collective “Off Switch” when it comes to our heated political rhetoric.

Kevin Kane: Health care for everyone

A closer look at the public option

Laura Dresser and Elizabeth Lower-Basch: BadgerCare changes will hurt workers

Most Medicaid recipients work, could lose health care under Walker proposal.

Lee Luft: State scores a rare trifecta — but Wisconsin farmers and residents don’t...

When will Wisconsin choose a course correction that no longer encourages increasing milk production in a glutted market, or further expansions of CAFOs that require land-spreading of millions of gallons of liquid manure over known vulnerable land, or the drilling of ever-more high-capacity wells?

Lena Taylor: Love, faith and freedom: This is our opportunity.

Ten years ago there were fewer children living in poverty in Milwaukee than there are today. We now live in one of the poorest cities in America, with too much unemployment, poverty and violence.

Lena Taylor: Who could argue over support to Wisconsin students?

Republican infighting stalls state budget meetings.

Leon D. Young: The silly season is alive and dangerous

Bill allowing concealed carry without a permit only serves to put more people in the crosshairs of random gun violence.

Leon Young: Is there no end to this legislative gun madness?

We, as elected officials, should be trying to prevent wanton gun violence – not encouraging it by promoting legislation that merely increases the number of handguns in our midst. Concealed Carry 2.0 (or the right to carry) provides no real deterrence to crime and is terrible public policy.

Leon Young: The GOP’s obsession with winning

Advancing one’s partisan agenda should never be the sole order of the day. It’s a sad and dangerous commentary that the GOP will go to any lengths to win – even if it means undermining the very tenets of our Democracy.

Leon Young: The truth about the prevailing wage law

Repealing the prevailing wage doesn’t save the state money, it costs the state jobs.

Libby Sobic: Florida is leading on education reform, will Wisconsin follow?

Republicans in Florida have answered the call for education reform. What will their peers in Wisconsin do?

Lynn Breedlove: Medicaid cuts would bring deep pain to Wisconsin

More than 500,000 Wisconsin children are covered by Medicaid. These children, along with the 750,000 older, disabled and low-income Wisconsinites who rely on Medicaid, are now in jeopardy.

Margaret Krome: Paul Ryan should tell the truth about the ‘death tax’

The Federal Reserve Board estimates that 55 percent of the assets in the average taxed estate haven’t ever previously been taxed because even though their value may have increased, they weren’t sold (and thus taxed) previous to death.

Mark Spreitzer: Convention could open a Pandora’s box

Besides being untested, a convention would be unpredictable and uncontrollable.

Matt Rothschild: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Wisconsin redistricting case

This is a case that has enormous national implications, which would apply regardless of which party holds power in a state.

Matt Rothschild: Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts public out

The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 5-2 on Wednesday to stop holding its administrative meetings in public

Melissa Sargent: Don’t let Republicans say they’re ‘leading’ on lead crisis

Republicans had an opportunity to really do something meaningful about the lead crisis in Wisconsin, and they chose loyalty to their campaign donors instead.

Michael Rosen: Scott Walker’s tax scam for manufacturers

The Manufacturing and Agricultural Credit was established by Walker and the GOP-controlled legislature in 2013 with grand claims that it would result in more jobs.

Mitch Henck: Campus speech bill is right

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on a Wisconsin bill that would penalize disruptive speech on campuses.

Mitch Henck: Could Donald Trump fire special prosecutor?

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck questions whether President Donald Trump could fire Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor leading the probe into Russian interference in the election.

Mitch Henck: How to make district maps fair

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take a gerrymandering case brought by Democratic voters in Wisconsin.

Mitch Henck: James Comey testimony like Super Bowl of politics

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on fired FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated congressional testimony.

Mitch Henck: No training to carry a gun? Really?

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on a Wisconsin Republican proposal that would allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license or training.

Mitch Henck: Paul Soglin for governor? He needs to learn to smile

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on Madison Mayor Paul Soglin's possible run for governor of Wisconsin.

Mitch Henck: Shooting shows need for civility

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents after a gunman shot a GOP congressman and several other people Wednesday at a baseball practice outside the nation's capital.

Mitch Henck: Start health reform by showing us the bill

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck says health care reform should start with price transparency.

Mitch Henck: What is fake news?

In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck asks: What is fake news?

Nancy Utesch: DNR’s low-key response to Kewaunee’s water crisis not nearly enough

The Department of Natural Resources' recent low-key roll-out of help for Kewaunee County residents dealing with contamination so great that they cannot drink nor should they bathe in their water highlights the DNR’s continued failures, lack of integrity, and continued lack of urgency in responding to Kewaunee’s health and water crisis.

Nicole Tieman: Increase civility, decrease violence

If we truly hope to stop these horrific acts of violence and begin to heal our deep political divides, we all need to denounce hate speech and the sharing of false or misleading information, particularly online.

Ola Lisowski: Research shows positive results for voucher students

A new review of 22 major voucher studies has found that the majority of studies nationwide found positive effects on students in private school choice programs.

Ola Lisowski: The Democrats vs. the Department of Public Instruction

Knee-jerk reaction to school choice legislation.

Owen Robinson: Article V convention

The founders wrote Article V with the humility that they were not perfect and the forethought that future Americans may wish to create a new Constitution. Perhaps it is time to see if we can do it any better.

Owen Robinson: Ask not for whom the politicians toll

The intractable problem with the transportation budget in Wisconsin is not that there is too little money for our needs. The problem is that politicians want to spend far more than Wisconsinites can afford. Toll roads will not fix that problem.

Owen Robinson: SCOTUS protects free speech

The Supreme Court rendered what may prove to be one of its most important decisions protecting the free speech rights of Americans.

Patrick Testin: Lessons my father taught me

America values freedom, freedom leads to opportunity, opportunity leads to progress. That’s our story as Americans – it’s one that my dad taught me, and it’s a story that I’ll pass down when I have children of my own.

Paul Fanlund: 20 ways Scott Walker has mismanaged Wisconsin

Since Scott Walker was elected governor six and a half years ago, he has sought to divide Wisconsin like no predecessor by pursuing a scorched-earth conservative ideology designed to position him to run for president.

Paul Fanlund: In a feckless White House, Reince Priebus stands out

In fairness, Priebus is in over his head and serves a president who is unprecedented in demanding total loyalty, returning none, and, well, lying as a serial tactic.

Paul Fanlund: In our politics, lying trumps everything

Listening to former FBI director James Comey, it was easy to identify the key themes on which most analysis would converge.

Paul Fanlund: Reflecting on journalism, here and in New York

The pejorative use of “mainstream media” has been one aspect of a multi-decade campaign by right-wing interests to undercut and discredit objective reporting.

Phillip Rocco: Honest numbers and the Republican health care bill

On a subject as complex and as grave as health care reform, there is no substitute for honest accounting. And when the health of millions is at stake, the burden of proof is a heavy one.

Rebecca Blank: The cost of keeping the research engine humming

Proposed 10 percent cap on facilities and administrative costs for awards from the National Institutes of Health represents a dramatic reduction in the recovery of “indirect costs” universities incur to support research and to maintain safe and productive research environments.

Ron Johnson: Where the Senate health care bill fails

Loosen up regulations and mandates, so that Americans can choose to purchase insurance that suits their needs and that they can afford.

Ron Kind: Time to put rural Wisconsin first

Instead of supporting programs that partner with local communities to create jobs and grow our rural Wisconsin economy, Trumps’s budget guts the programs they depend on.

Scot Ross: AG Schimel fails to hold opioid manufacturers accountable

The lawsuit recently filed by the attorney general of Ohio against five manufacturers of prescription opioids raises new questions about our own state Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Scot Ross: GOP should go back to school on student loan debt crisis

It’s clear from the empty platitudes, misinformation and misdirection heard from the GOP as they engaged in the debate that when it comes to student loan debt, they just don’t get it.

Scot Ross: Time for answers from state legislators on health care

The disastrous Donald Trump/Paul Ryan scheme on health care proposes to gut protections for consumers from abuses by health insurance companies, would make many Americans pay more for less insurance coverage and could cost an estimated 23 million people their insurance altogether.

Scott Walker: Investing in our workforce

My Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform package offers hands-on skills and job training.

Shawn VanDiver: Let’s hope baseball shooting brings us new national gun laws to...

We need a countrywide system of background checks, licensing, training and concealed carry. State level won't cut it.

Spencer Black: Russia is only the tip of iceberg of Trump scandals

The actions of the Trump administration that haven’t attracted near the attention of Putingate are just as scandalous.

Steven Walters: Democrats still need a clear message

Yes, GOP gerrymandering matters. But they also have stronger candidates and message.

Steven Walters: Governor’s race influences budget

Joint Finance Democrats raise issues that could be used against Walker.

Steven Walters: Winners and losers created from competing budget proposals

A comparison of how each legislator’s school districts would fare under Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to increase state K-12 schools aids by $649 million and the different school-aid boost of Assembly Republicans is a fascinating example of “legislating by printout.”

Tamarine Cornelius: Trump budget will hurt state workers

Trump's proposed budget makes deep cuts to the federal resources that Wisconsin uses to develop the state’s skilled and work-ready labor force.

Ted Nickel: I ran Wisconsin’s successful high-risk pool before Obamacare. It actually worked.

Prior to the ACA, Wisconsin consumers could choose from over 20 individual insurance companies offering coverage in our state. These included for-profit and not-for-profit companies; HMO’s and PPOs; and local and national insurers. There were a variety of plan options to meet a range of coverage needs.

Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz: We led the Wisconsin Senate. Now we’re fighting gerrymandering...

We’re both deeply concerned that the political system in Wisconsin — as in so much of the country — is broken.

Tom Barrett: Celebrating diversity and protecting our transgender friends

Fundamental to the celebration of our diversity is recognition that every person has rights, rights that are protected by law and by basic human decency.

Tom Hefty: Are high taxes driving away workers from Wisconsin?

Claiming to have a workforce strategy without a real strategy to attract and retain people makes little sense.

Tom Still: Here are reasons why a company such as Foxconn might consider Wisconsin

There is reason to believe Wisconsin has what it takes to compete.

Tom Still: Wisconsin could be big loser under Senate health-care plan

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on a Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the possibility looms that Wisconsin could lose billions of dollars over time for the very reason the GOP hated Obamacare in the first place.

Tyler August: Balanced budget amendment advances

The time has come for the states to step in and force the federal government to balance its budget.

Walter Olson: Supreme Court will revisit political gerrymandering

Conservative justices want to hear the case as a way to correct an error, while liberals see it as their last best chance to tee up a landmark constitutional case on redistricting while Anthony Kennedy is still on the court.

Wendy Riemann: Marriage counseling for Congress?

We each must choose to make a conscious effort to step back into the light of civility, strengthen our communication, and self-correct each time we stumble … and who better to first cross the aisle as unified partners, than our elected officials.

William L. Holahan and Charles O. Kroncke: Why federal election study needed

Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity could answer many important questions.

WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ debate Trump, the Dem Party, the state budget and more

In this week's lightning round, the WisOpinion Insiders Kanavas and Chvala debate Trump, the Dem Party, the state budget and more. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.

WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ look back at less partisan times

The WisOpinion Insiders, Kanavas & Chvala, fondly remember less partisan times this July 4th holiday. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies

WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ talk GOP infighting over transportation

The WisOpinion.com Insiders, Chvala & Kanavas, debate Republican infighting over transportation funding. Sponsored by Michael Best Strategies and the Wisconsin Counties Association.

WisOpinion.com: ‘The Insiders’ talk infrastructure

This week the WisOpinion.com Insiders, Chvala and Kanavas, make a bet Congress will develop and pass a huge infrastructure bill this fall. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.

WisPolitics.com Book Club: Podcast with reporter Mark Johnson

The WisPolitics.com Book Club this week talks to Mark Johnson, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a co-author of "One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine," about how Wisconsin doctors using bold new methods helped save the life of a Monona child.

WisPolitics.com: Book Club podcast with Dean Strang

Madison defense attorney Dean Strang discusses his book, "Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, and Justice in a Time of Terror."

WisPolitics.com: Book Club podcast with Hana Moran

The latest WisPolitics.com Book Club podcast features Hana Moran, one of the "Born Survivors" in Wendy Holden's moving Holocaust book about three women in...
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