What if instead of betting the house on a company from Taiwan with a checkered history of actually delivering on job promises, we used taxpayer dollars in a manner that will help families and businesses across the state, not just in southeastern Wisconsin?
With so many of his long-time allies supporting Trump, Sykes said he feels like he’s been ex-communicated from the conservative movement.
As another state budget cycle concludes, solutions for student loan debt remain unrealized, not because they are unreachable, but because Walker and the Republicans aren’t listening and aren’t trying.
The Supreme Court justices have the power to end partisan gerrymandering with their ruling in Gill v. Whitford. They should do so in order to give every citizen’s vote equal weight. Then politicians won’t be able to “choose their voters” by the way they draw the maps.
Wisconn Valley is a con; it’s an anchor around the necks of taxpayers and further starves our schools, our roads and our economy for decades.
Why are Johnson and Ryan still downplaying the scandal? Wisconsin GOP Representative Mike Gallagher is one of a handful of Republicans publicly distressed by the Russia-Trump scandal. Other Republicans need to put country before party.
Johnson and Walker tell whoppers about the Affordable Care Act.
McCain says he won't support the Senate GOP's latests health care bill.
Two clear, simple things that can be done are ending the war on drugs and ending racial profiling within the police force.
The mysterious group behind it failed miserably. Why?
We want to talk about reform, not leaked report’s many errors, he says.
Or how to run for U.S. Senate in the land of scorched-earth politics.
They like Nicholson and Vukmir for U.S. Senate. What more do you need you know?
Someone leaks incomplete report to Journal Sentinel, which slams Chief Flynn with it.
It’s all about his love of Trump and the media spotlight. Not necessarily in that order.
If a lower cost of living for employees is a key criteria.
Bribing companies to relocate here doesn’t work. So what does?
Rustbelt jobs have steadily declined since 1990. State should look elsewhere for answers.
If the Foxconn deal is the new standard, the subsidy for Amazon could reach $10 billion.
I defend the right of football and other sports’ players (or their fans, or anyone else) to kneel, sit, or raise their fists in solidarity during the anthem as a way to draw attention to the injustices prevalent in this country. It is not an affront to the flag. It is an affirmation of what the flag represents, which includes freedom of speech, equality for all, and so much more.
68% of voucher students already attended private schools.
Treating children as adults, especially in violent offenses, may be enticing and appealing to some. But we must try to put emotion and anger aside. If we do, we will recognize that treating children as adults is not only unwise and unjust, it is also often counterproductive if the goal is to prevent the juvenile from re-offending in the future.
Due to the delay by the Republican majority on Wisconsin’s state budget, none of our public schools has their resources set.
Raise money for roads by tacking extra registration fees onto un-American vehicles; taxes paid on wages and products overseas aren’t adding to Wisconsin’s road fund, after all.
RGA had launched an online “news” publication, The Free Telegraph, without initially revealing it was controlled by the RGA.
In their latest attack on the eggheads, Wisconsin Republicans have revived Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to force the University of Wisconsin System to keep track of the time professors spend teaching and to reward those “who teach more than a standard academic load.”
Morning Martini's Chris Rochester discusses the new state budget with La Crosse radio host Bob Schmidt.
Many of the more credulous red-hat wearers believed in Trump's preternatural deal-making ability, without any evidence to back it up.
The issue of whether profanity itself is speech protected under the First Amendment has found its way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court must decide whether a mother can be criminally prosecuted for "disorderly conduct" for using profanity toward her own son in the privacy of their own home.
Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new process that would alter some of the Obama era's Title IX guidelines.
In Evers' Wisconsin, unions would continue to rule public education, forcing contracts on districts that make it nearly impossible to fire teachers for misconduct.
If Trump's ultimatum to Congress gets the House and Senate to approve a legal framework for determining who stays and who goes, it actually will have been a success.
The state should wipe clean the list of occupational licenses and build the list from the ground up, making sure each makes sense in context with all the others.
In addition to excellence as an attorney and sound character, Walker’s main criterion for selecting judges is a proper judicial philosophy. He wants judges who “adhere to the rule of law and have a commitment to a textualist, and originalist, judicial philosophy.”
Evers' plan, a requirement under the new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, fails to take any serious action on low-performing schools and forgoes opportunities to improve K-12 schools in Wisconsin.
The plan Evers recently submitted to the U.S. Department of Education would do little to help the Badger State’s local school officials escape the federal strictures they say prevent them from giving our children the educations they deserve.
The first step is admitting you have a problem.
As of now, the hybrid-electric tax is just a bad idea floated by a governor and a Legislature that imagines the people driving those vehicles as voters who would not vote for them anyway.
With more than a dozen Democrats announced or considering a run for the party’s nomination for governor against Scott Walker, let’s unapologetically do some horse race speculation.
I can't help but yearn for a candidate who, when charged with being a Madison liberal, responds by redefining the label, instead of just running from it.
The partisan divide shows no signs of changing and the political partisan obsession by Americans continues to grow unhealthily as we take sides in a game that will never have winners
It's ironic that here we are on Labor Day where, while state legislators and the governor can't bring themselves to give a boost to the lowest paid among us, they are about to OK nearly $3 billion in assistance to a huge corporate conglomerate with a history of awful labor relations.
It promises to be an incredible, thought-provoking weekend, aimed at creating discussion about what our city and state are looking at over the coming years. And it will include divergent views from Republicans and independents as well as progressives and liberals.
It's clearly the lack of sensible regulation that led to the Equifax scandal that has put tens of millions of people at financial risk through no fault of their own. It's another example of why the claim of some that regulations aren't needed and are a hindrance to the economy is nothing more than a lie.
Their bill, dubbed the "right to carry," would allow people to carry a concealed firearm without even having to get a permit or demonstrate that they know how to handle a weapon, both of which are requirements of the concealed carry law in Wisconsin. It would also lower the minimum age of conceal carry from 21 to 18.
We're about to embark on a plan that gives the largest government payoff to a private corporation in the history of state government.
Once decision-making is in the hands of the states, there will be 50 health care debates around the country. Some states will work to insure as many people as possible, even if it requires providing more funds themselves to supplement the reduced federal dollars under Graham-Cassidy. Others will decide that it's too costly and will opt instead to allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for the elderly, disabled and those with pre-existing conditions in order to save their states money.
Government closest to the people, indeed. As long as its the government closest to her people.
Once again, we're headed to "reform" that benefits the 1 percent among us and forgets the rest.
The problems that the Obamacare insurance exchanges have been facing in some states are a direct result of the uncertainty that the Trump administration has purposely created to undermine them. Some might call it sabotage.
It’s admirable to stand up for what you believe and to try to persuade voters that the nation would be better off with single payer, a $15-an-hour minimum wage and free college. There are reasonable arguments for all three. But all three are political losers outside the liberal base — at least right now.
The past five years have seen an unprecedented makeover in longstanding principles of state-level administrative law. These changes shift power away from agencies and toward courts, the legislature, and the governor.
Facebook and Twitter are fast becoming the new town squares. Officials should not be allowed to wall them off.
The 2017-19 state budget continues a pattern of stacking the deck against Wisconsin’s working families, continues to max out the state credit card for transportation projects, continues the misguided approach of raising taxes and fees on working families while giving six-figure earners massive tax breaks, and continues to attack and undermine local decision-making.
Schumer and Pelosi wanted and got swift hurricane relief when McConnell wanted it all to seem his doing on his watch. He was outplayed at the poker table.
The US has horribly moved from overly optimistic hope into morass and cynicism.
Defeated multiple times on their own health care bill, Republicans are forging ahead as if there had been no setbacks.
The continuously updated Writing in Stone cultural exhibit grasps what we’ve lost. It’s not intended as a political screed, but an art-based reflection on the past with historic use of the term progressive in law, society, science and personalities.
GOP lawmakers required that vacant or underutilized Milwaukee Public Schools’ buildings must be sold only to voucher school or charter competitors, freezing for two years any city effort to develop commercial uses on nearly a dozen properties.
Our self-destructive tax code costs Americans millions of jobs, trillions of dollars and billions of hours spent on compliance and paperwork.
The users of roads should pay for those roads, maintenance and new lanes, no matter what kind of vehicles they're driving.
The players who have peacefully and quietly protested should be able to do so without fear of retribution or of losing their jobs. The president, who should be the first to defend the right of peaceful protest and of those who disagree with him, believes otherwise. That should be very concerning to all of us who believe in free expression.
It's not just the can that's being kicked down the road; whole roads are being booted down the freeway.
Trying to curb riots is commendable. So is clarifying the rules of engagement for police when faced with demonstrations that turn violent. But doing so with laws that could curb peaceful demonstrations and free speech is not.
Balancing the upside of $83 billion in new economic activity against an incentive package that pays out only as Foxconn delivers on its promises is a risk well worth the reward.
Four consecutive victories have produced a level of unwarranted complacency among many conservatives about the state’s Supreme Court.
The opportunity cost of not investing in transportation, the future education of our children and further incentivizing entrepreneurship is very real. Just like public school and university cuts paid for massive tax cuts the past few years, you can assume that taxpayer funding for Foxconn will come at the expense of these programs once again.
Multiple calls to Johnson's offices went to voicemail.
What passed in JFC is nothing short of a most extraordinary legal device which would allow for Foxconn lawsuits to not head to appeal trial courts but rather get directly moved to the state Supreme Court. The move is not well-reasoned and allows for a thumb to be placed on the scales of justice.
Crony capitalist-dominated Republicans control most state governments, and since the 2016 election, the federal government as well.
As Walker buries the state under $3 billion in guarantee-free gifts to Foxconn, let's bury his phony fiscal conservatism and falsely-claimed aversion to picking government-financed winners and losers.
Trump's lying is blatant; Walker's is persistent and just as devious.
Walker is to sign the Foxconn subsidy bill in Sturtevant, where yes, there is an Amtrak station near Foxconn's likely state-subsidized development site, but, no, there isn't Amtrak service for potential Madison and Dane County Foxconn hirees whom Walker intentionally denied a federally-funded Amtrak connection.
A last-minute financial obstruction thrown by GOP budget-writers yesterday at the City of Milwaukee's streetcar and home rule powers made perfect sense inside the right-wing echo chamber and fossil-fuel/road-building funding combine that passes for a major political party these days.
Transparently describing the Foxconn subsidies as "subsidies" instead of "incentives" would flat out give the lie to Walker's repeated pledge against using government to pick winners and losers.
The Menominee River on the Wisconsin-Michigan border has landed on a list of the 10 Most Endangered Rivers in the US because a Canadian firm is close to winning final approval to dig an open pit mine near the water's edge which could release acid mine drainage downstream.
Millions for Foxconn, potholes, gravel and flat tires for the rest of us.
It is a grave concern when many find it hard to contemplate a civil discussion, held with respect, on the great issues of the day without the necessity of armed guards and metal detectors. Dissent, it seems, from the orthodoxy of university thought is itself a challenging proposition at the University of Wisconsin.
Judging from the anti-foreigner rhetoric, Wisconsin Democrats would be thrilled to give $3 billion in incentives away to a corporation as long as it’s incorporated within the United States.
Before Evers became a gubernatorial candidate, the proposed state spending on education “reflect the priorities of my budget request.” After Evers became a candidate, education spending isn’t enough of a priority for state government.
Goodell’s comment that the president demonstrated “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL” regarding his comments about national anthem protests shows that the league commissioner thinks the NFL is more important than America.
State legislators are considering a new package of bills that dramatically would increase both the number of youths sentenced to prison and the length of time they spend at Lincoln Hills or Copper Lake, reversing years of work to reform the youth justice system for the better.
Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly will soon face a moment of reckoning: do they reject violence as political discourse from anyone who perpetrates it?
There is no reason we can’t make the code easier to understand and comply with while also lowering rates and still feeling good about not saddling our kids with a financial burden years down the road.
We believe that good policy requires input from all sides, and continuing open discussions. Bipartisanship isn’t dead, and if we embrace it with clear eyes and full hearts, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.
America is not about forced or mandatory shows of patriotism. The national anthem is not a test that people who play football for a living need to pass.
Since his arrival in Washington, D.C., our wealthy Senator Johnson has preached the Republican Gospel of Frugality Toward the Poor, in which national wealth is primarily to be dispensed to the national wealthy.
A conversation with author Thomas Frank, who will appear at Fighting Bob Fest Friday.
Last week, a monument honoring the first Wisconsinites to take up arms against fascism was defaced with Nazi swastikas and graffiti announcing that “Trump rules.” Madison responded with the historic anti-fascist cry of "¡No pasarán!" — "They shall not pass!"
It makes no sense that after the over-the-top accommodations already promised to Foxconn, we would allow the company to bypass controls designed to mitigate flood and pollution disasters. It makes no sense from a moral perspective, or a financial one.
Environmental issues has almost disappeared from the public debate, except when large scale projects come to the fore, like the proposed, but now defunct, GeoTac iron mine in Northwestern Wisconsin or the pending Foxconn manufacturing plant in Southeastern Wisconsin.
There are three effective platforms that work that could form the foundation for a national program and should be politically acceptable on a bipartisan basis: value based health care driven by employers; lean transformation at hospitals and clinics; and Medicare Advantage-For-All.
Republicans in the White House and Congress have not tipped their hands on tax reform, other than to say they want corporate and personal income taxes to go south instead of north. Most importantly, they have not expressed themselves on one of the major drivers of the Trump aberration: a middle-class frustration with the inequity on how the nation’s economic pie is split up.
Did the Governor and legislature research the realities of the history of Foxconn promises and failure to fulfill their promises?
The size of the financial package the governor offered to lure Foxconn is quite simply staggering and, if enacted, will be the biggest taxpayer boondoggle in Wisconsin’s history.
They’re Walker's most successful economic development program. So why would he cut them?
In the last three budgets the destruction of the historic tax credit has been defeated, but it appears we are at the cusp of a “victory” for Walker limiting the credit for communities all over Wisconsin in planning phases for redevelopment.
In light of Speaker Ryan’s professed concern about marginal tax rates, it is extremely disappointing that he has supported ACA repeal and replacement bills that would cause a huge increase in health insurance costs for low-income families who have wage increases that put them over the income limit for Medicaid
Neighboring states saw even bigger drops under Obamacare since 2013.
What everyone seems to forget is that the reason Houston, New Orleans and Miami are in line for such devastation from coastal storms is a direct result of man's previous efforts to control nature.
When his team was unable to come to an agreement on what it would do to protest the National Anthem before their game in Chicago Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin ordered his players to leave the field for the song and stand in the tunnel out of the sight of the crowd. But one player did come back out for the Anthem: offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva.
The narrow-mindedness of such a policy completely ignores the harmful effect that tailpipe exhaust from gasoline and diesel vehicles has on our citizens. The cost includes illness, death and financial losses that will be far larger than the higher revenue the Legislature hopes to bring in.
Rep. Tyler Vorpagel, R-Plymouth, is circulating a bill for co-sponsorship that would legalize online gambling and represents the largest expansion of gambling in Wisconsin’s history.
Budgets are about choices. Budget writers this year chose to leave major problems for the next budget writers.
For a hundred years, Wisconsinites traveled a long journey to keep a minimum living wage. Now is it’s our turn to take up the struggle and advocate for our neighbors and friends.
Missed opportunities, misaligned priorities define republican budget.
How to position the state economy in a truly global era.
As a blue star mom, I know someday my son who serves as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army will become a veteran.
Baldwin is wholeheartedly embracing Sanders' “Medicare for All” bill the same way she embraced Obamacare, amnesty for illegal immigrants, massive tax increases and countless other policies that have real-life negative effects in Wisconsin.
What comes next for progressives has already started with this reminder of the power of the people. The resistance is working. The key next step is bringing this show of force into the voting booth.
While we welcome new business, we cannot afford to weaken our environmental laws in Wisconsin for the benefit of sulfide mining. Doing so tarnishes the integrity of our laws and puts our water and people at significant risk.
Communities would be restricted from regulating air and water quality and blasting at sand mines, gravel pits and quarries under a plan approved by the legislature’s GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee.
Four more counties passed resolutions demanding an end to partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin and urging the adoption of a process of nonpartisan district map drawing like Iowa has.
When the Joint Finance Committee voted, along party lines, to give Foxconn the right to directly appeal any lower court order straight to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and to have that order suspended until the high court rules on it, the legislature was entering very dubious legal waters.
In an increasingly diverse society and with more foreign-owned companies like Foxconn hiring U.S.-born workers, being adept at cross-cultural communications is a highly sought after aptitude.
In early October, Sykes’ ninth book, How the Right Lost Its Mind, will be published by St. Martin’s Press. The book chronicles the bizarre transformation the conservative movement has undergone since Donald Trump declared his candidacy in June 2015. But it’s also a personal story. The conservative movement has been so central to Sykes’ life, and he so central to it, that the book could hardly not be personal.
In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on concerns that Wisconsin's image as just cheese, cows and beer is hurting the ability to attract workers.
In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck says political labels are out of control.
In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck sets the record straight on Wisconsin's Foxconn deal.
In "Two Minutes with Mitch" radio personality Mitch Henck gives his two cents on why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential race. Clinton's book "What Happened" was released Tuesday.
Without Obama on the ballot next year, Baldwin is vulnerable to a credible challenge.
Assuming that it passes largely as currently written, which is expected, this budget is the muffled whimper that marks the end of Wisconsin’s conservative reformation.
Cathy Stepp’s 6½-year tenure as Department of Natural Resources secretary proved that Wisconsin’s natural resources can’t be entrusted to someone serving at the governor’s whim.
This budget is fair to the people of Central and Western Wisconsin; it meets our needs today, and lays the groundwork to address tomorrow’s challenges.
President Trump and his former alt-right strategist Steve Bannon have spread a truly outlandish narrative known as the “deep state,” the notion that the public sector has undertaken a dark and orchestrated plot against the American people.
Rockford, Ill., once a draw for Swedish immigrants, is seeing an influx of immigrants from Africa.
Prominent historian Jeremi Suri says his new book makes that case that "it has become almost impossible even for the most qualified, talented, well-prepared person to succeed in this office and we don’t often get the most well-qualified, well-prepared person."
The inaugural Cap Times Idea Fest happened this past weekend, and my summary thought — boast, perhaps — is that we delivered on our promise of a metro quality event.
Working people must continue to join together for higher paychecks and the ability to balance life with work.
Scant evidence exists of lasting economic benefits to communities with acid mines. On the other hand, there is plenty of reason to worry that new acid mines pose significant and near-permanent risks to existing businesses and the communities they serve
We need leaders who will stop picking Washington over Wisconsin and lead the way on real reform that will cut taxes, simplify the tax code and unleash the economy nationwide just like we’ve done here.
Just like we need police officers to keep us safe, we can also improve the security of our communities by giving our inmates the training that leads to good, well-paying jobs.
Nice guys are no match for the ruthless ways of their opponents.
Media, scholars push narrative that is not supported by the survey data.
Meeting with Trump and others, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 13 worked out a “deal to make a deal as soon as possible”—which seems the proper description—on enshrining the roots of DACA and agreeing on border security issues—outside the wall, the Democrats said. On that “outside” phrase, the White House tweeted disagreement.
Adequately-funded flexible block grants to the states are the last, best hope to finally repeal and replace Obamacare, a program which is collapsing before our very eyes.
And how this cost state taxpayers $54 million.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 3, the court will hear oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford. That case, which originated in Wisconsin, seeks to declare extreme partisan redistricting unconstitutional. The court’s decision will profoundly impact elections for decades to come, not just in Wisconsin but nationwide.
Hurricane Harvey tested three basic tenets of right-wing, Republican ideology: Regulations are bad, we don’t have to worry about climate change, and the government is the problem. Right-wing beliefs failed massively on all three counts.
All were supposed to solve transportation budget impasse. None did.
Two young Assembly reps in each party, two very different tales.
Barca’s Foxconn vote played a role in his being dumped as Assembly Democratic leader.
An open letter to the chairman of Foxconn.
The NAACP refuses to acknowledge the benefits that come from school choice and expects all people of color should follow their lead. I won't.
This reform will help us achieve universal coverage for everyone and is one of many paths we can take to expand coverage and lower health care costs.
The trend is really conservative boards destroying liberal universities so they can be remade into vocational schools, best achieved with hand-picked nonacademic leaders.
Northern Wisconsin can have a clean environment and economic prosperity. We can continue to be a vibrant tourism destination while allowing industry to flourish.
The Legislature’s vetting of the Foxconn deal should and will continue, but no one should be fooled into thinking nations, states and communities don’t compete every day. Rather than wishing away such competition, it’s mainly about calculating certain risks for uncertain rewards.
One update that should be made by the Wisconsin Legislature this fall is lifting the lifetime cap on credit-eligible investments in any single company from $8 million to $12 million.
Passed this month by the Assembly, 64-31, and the Senate, 20-13, the process now returns to state negotiators to finish writing the terms of the incentive package.
The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com. About one month ago residents of...
The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com. The invention of garage door openers...
Wisconsin’s model for educating special needs children is outdated, lagging far behind other states, and does a disservice to parents.
The 2.7 economic multiplier is absurdly high. Here’s why.
The WisOpinion Insiders, Jensen & Chvala, debate the newly signed $3 billion bill to lure Foxconn to Wisconsin. Brought to you by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.
The WisOpinion Insiders, Scott Jensen and Chuck Chvala, start a new season. The former legislative leaders explain why the state budget is late this year despite total Republican control. Sponsored by Michael Best Strategies and the Wisconsin Counties Association.
With the Senate budget vote in question because of three holdouts, Insiders Jensen & Chvala, former leg leaders, talk over their strategies for getting budget votes. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.
As conservative jusices coalesce around the GOP-favored replacement for departing Justice Gableman, the WisOpinion Insiders handicap next year's high court race. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Counties Association and Michael Best Strategies.