James Wigderson

Baldwin Targeted By New Facebook Ad

US Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, is getting targeted by a new Facebook ad campaign by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The quotes Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, saying, “The next step is single payer” and then claims Baldwin votes with Warren 95 percent of the time. The ad then asks everyone to sign a petition against government-run health care. An email from NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin clarifies that Baldwin also supported single payer health care as a member of the House of Representatives, even though that is not clear from the brief web ad. The Urban Institute estimates a...

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Are schools getting less money?

The Department of Public Instruction issued its annual report on how much general state aid school districts can receive, and over half the school districts will see a reduction. WLUK in Madison immediately jumped on the story: New estimates from the state Department of Public Instruction show that when fall enrollment is official, more than half of the state’s public school districts are expected to get less state money for the 2017-18 next school year than they did for 2016-17. The state has 422 public school districts. Fifty-five percent, or 231 districts, are estimated to receive less money. Forty-four...

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Our state will go on

Not having a new state budget is not a crisis. Wisconsin is not like the federal government. Government does not shut down when there isn’t a new budget. The spending continues at the same levels as before. It’s been ten years since Wisconsin had a real budget marathon battle. In 2007, the budget fight between Republicans and Democrats lasted until October. In case you’re wondering, the state survived that budget fight, too. There are some consequences, of course. School boards are not sure yet how much more in state aid they’ll be able to expect until the state budget...

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Happy Independence Day

From Mark Twain’s Roughing It. It was not without regret that I took a last look at the tiny flag (it was thirty-five feet long and ten feet wide) fluttering like a lady’s handkerchief from the topmost peak of Mount Davidson, two thousand feet above Virginia’s roofs, and felt that doubtless I was bidding a permanent farewell to a city which had afforded me the most vigorous enjoyment of life I had ever experienced. And this reminds me of an incident which the dullest memory Virginia could boast at the time it happened must vividly recall, at times, till...

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Former State Senator Ted Kanavas passed away Monday

Former Senator Ted Kanavas passed away Monday. He was 56. Kanavas represented the 33rd district from 2001 until he retired from the legislature in 2011. Kanavas was elected in a special election in July 2001 to replace state Senator Margaret Farrow after her appointment as Lt. Governor. Kanavas’ Democratic opponent was future state Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass. As a legislator, Kanavas fought for legislation to spur business growth in the state. Kanavas was also a pro-life legislator and he was a supporter of school choice. His decision not to seek re-election in 2010 was a surprise to many in...

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Scott Manley of WMC explains opposition to heavy truck tax

Scott Manley, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), explained to WTAQ’s Jerry Bader on Friday why his organization is opposed to a new tax on heavy trucks in Wisconsin. The per-mile truck fee would have raised $250 million over the next two years, according to the Associated Press. However, opposition from five Senate Republicans have likely killed the heavy truck tax plan. Manley explained the the problems with the tax: “When you’re the second-most manufacturing intensive state in the country, and you’re the number one state for so many agricultural products, between milk...

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Could be worse. Could be Illinois.

Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature may not agree on transportation funding, education funding, and which taxes to cut. At times members of the Capitol press corp may feel more like mediators than media. But consider the alternative, Illinois. The Illinois House, controlled by Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan, just voted to approve $5 billion in tax increases. The Chicago Tribune reports “over a dozen” Republicans voted for the budget. The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate where its fate is uncertain. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has threatened to veto the state budget because these tax increases would be permanent,...

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May be the worst School House Rock ever

Luckily for these members of the Assembly, none of them have to face the voters’ judgment in an American Idol-style competition.   Perhaps they should have been singing the Declaration of Independence, more appropriate for the holiday. Heck, I’d pay good money to hear Assembly Speaker Robin Vos sing, “He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing...

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@WILL on Twitter

4 hours ago
. @WillFlandersWI joins @VickiMcKenna at 2:35 PM today on @newstalk1130 to discuss the results of the new report card.

Tune in! https://t.co/ss7cUUes3g
WILawLiberty photo
WILL @WILawLiberty
Research Director @WillFlandersWI took a quick dive into the new DPI state report card data for #Milwaukee schools.

"Any calls to “phase out” or arrest education reform efforts would be a major step backwards for thousands of Milwaukee families"

https://t.co/XyeiliB3qe https://t.co/xCd2R8vSJS
4 hours ago
"MPS schools in the two lowest categories have enrollment of nearly 34,000."

Check out @WillFlandersWI dive into the new state report cards.

https://t.co/XyeiliB3qe
4 hours ago
At 3 PM CST, @DeAngelisCorey and @WillFlandersWI host a Facebook live on the results of their study of the #Milwaukee education marketplace. Tune in!

https://t.co/li8U6JMWS4

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