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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council 2013 Opee Awards highlight highs and lows in open government

March 10-16 is national Sunshine Week, meant to call attention to the cause of open government. For the seventh year in a row, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council is taking this opportunity to bestow its annual Openness Awards, or Opees. >More
 Community members are at each other's throats after the Madison school board catastrophe

Sarah Manski did a lot of damage to Madison on her way out of town. When she won the school board primary, sucking up endorsements from prominent local officials -- apparently knowing all the while that she might not be hanging around to sit on the board -- she did a major disservice to our community. As Madison Times editor A. David Dahmer observed, her highhanded use of the school board seat as a "backup plan" smacks of contempt for the people who care deeply about what is happening in our schools. >More
 Super Scott Walker: Democrats continue to underestimate the governor, even as he radically transforms Wisconsin

I still encounter Democrats who take it as an article of faith that Scott Walker is not that bright. Perhaps they think this because he didn't finish college, or because, after all, he's not a liberal. But Walker has always been on top of the issues when I've interviewed him, and look at how effective he was in the debates against Republican Mark Neumann or Democrat Tom Barrett. Walker is smart, far more articulate than Tommy Thompson was, and has a steely stay-on-message discipline that makes him all the more formidable. >More
 Madison school district in disarray

What's the worst of it? How about the flawed school superintendent search that yielded only one viable candidate? Or Gov. Scott Walker's sneak attack to push school vouchers and privatized schools in Madison? Both worthy contenders, but for me, the capper was the shenanigans surrounding the Madison school board primary. Has Madison politics ever seen such high-handed, self-absorbed behavior as that of leading vote-getter Sarah Manski? >More
 Is Madison still special?

Late one night in November, trying to turn back some spending by the Madison city council, Mayor Paul Soglin blurted out, "We're not special anymore!" Under the circumstances it didn't appear to be a strategic or long-considered remark carefully uttered at just the right time, but a spontaneous expression of frustration over a legislative body that wanted to spend more than he did. >More
 Who will challenge Scott Walker in 2014?

Tammy Baldwin's victory, and President Obama's, showed that Wisconsin is still a majority Democratic state. But after the failed recall effort, we are stuck with Gov. Scott Walker until 2014. And thanks to the egregious partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts following the Republican wave of 2010, we may be stuck with a Republican legislature until the next 10-year census rolls around. >More
 Tax code vs. democracy

It's February, which for most of us means it's time once again to begin preparing tax forms. Other than perhaps a 24-hour rectal exam, there is no experience I dread more than this annual ritual. >More
 Wisconsin women can't take reproductive rights for granted anymore

Hundreds of people came out in the freezing rain to pack the Majestic Theatre last Sunday night for Planned Parenthood's celebration of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The program, which Planned Parenthood invited me to emcee, featured riveting personal stories by five women and one man. >More
 Wisconsin Legislature oversteps with new gallery rules

Let's start with a stipulation: Not all of the inappropriate behavior that takes place in the Wisconsin state Legislature is committed by lawmakers. Some spectators, especially in the last two years, have also shown poor manners and bad form. People who shout "Liar!" from the gallery as the governor gives a State of the State address are being not just disrespectful but disruptive, and deserve to be kicked out. >More
 Real environmentalists pay per mile to drive their car

I know you. You feel pretty smug about that hybrid, don't you? You're driving just as much (maybe even more) than you used to, but you're emitting a fraction of the greenhouse gases, saving the planet as you tool down the road. It's like a big sale at Costco. The more you drive the more you save! >More
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