Tag Archives: wisconsin

Wisconsin thong model struggles with unemployment

I talked about Scott Walker’s email woes yesterday with the great Amanda Terkel and Jason Linkins on HuffPost Live. It is a MUST-WATCH for the graph at 9:25 alone. If you still have no clue what I’m talking about, just read Amanda’s piece here.

I also forgot to promote on here the two things I’ve written about Walker and the 2014 race over the past two weeks.

1) A look at Scott Walker’s year ahead:

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a Hallmark holiday for people in Wisconsin. It’s also the anniversary of the first protests against Gov. Scott Walker after he proposed his anti-union legislation in 2011. Students and teaching assistantswere on the front lines of the protests, walking out of class to march up State Street to the Capitol with bullhorns and leaving “valentines” outside Walker’s office asking him to change his mind. During that month, the crowd of protesters swelled to 30,000, then 100,000.

But three years later, the valentines are gone. The thousands of people who came for the protests and counterprotests are gone. The stands selling anti-Walker buttons and shirts emblazoned with the pro-union groups’ iconic blue fist are gone, too. The packs of people with bullhorns aren’t roaming downtown anymore. Now, only a handful of people gather in the Capitol rotunda every day at noon to sing protest songs. But guess who is still here?

2) This could be the start of Scott Walker’s Bridgegate:

Wisconsin Democrats have been waiting for years for this shoe to drop. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has been working to link Walker to Gov. Chris Christie since the Bridgegate scandal—Christie heads the Republican Governors Association, which has poured money into Wisconsin for attack ads against Walker’s gubernatorial opponent, Mary Burke.

Still, Walker’s story has gotten far less national media attention than Christie’s, probably because campaign malfeasance doesn’t make for quite as dramatic a scandal as a huge, unnecessary traffic jam. But the two cases bear striking similarities: two Republican governors with national profiles and national ambitions, allegedly using their public office to boost their political standing, all the while distancing themselves from the work their staffs sullied themselves with.

Nonetheless, this could haunt Walker into his 2014 election and beyond. Burke, who’s been running a pacifist’s campaign so far, now has ample ammunition.

I should have added an addendum to that headline: “This could be the start of Scott Walker’s Bridgegate… if more compelling evidence surfaces and/or voters suddenly start caring about campaign law.” Chances are still good that, come November, he’ll win his third gubernatorial race in three years.

Wisconsin: Where the first openly gay senator can’t legally get married.

 

Senate Democrats/Flickr
Senate Democrats/Flickr

The ACLU is trying to overturn Wisconsin’s eight-year-old gay marriage ban, while conservative groups are trying to dismantle the domestic partnership benefits the state already has in place. I wrote in Slate about what makes Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban worse than those in most other states:

Wisconsin not only lags behind Minnesota, but also behind Iowa, which has had marriage equality since 2009, and Illinois, where same-sex marriage will become legal on June 1. What makes Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban more heinous than other states’, however, is its draconian “marriage evasion law,” which could penalize same-sex couples who get married in another state with fines up to $10,000 or nine months in jail. Attorneys in the ACLU case say there haven’t been any prosecutions as far as they know, but the law remains on the books nonetheless.

This is just one instance of the weird, somewhat nascent polarization of Wisconsin politics. Though the gay marriage was instated under Jim Doyle, a Democratic governor, it will be a difficult measure to support if it’s still in place when Democrats regain control.