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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 29.0° F  Light Snow
The Daily

OPINION

Wisconsin conservation tradition under attack

At dinner last week we knew where our food came from. Exactly where it came from. We knew it was a doe, probably 2 years old. We knew the exact date and time on which it had been shot and on what piece of land. And we knew where the cut of meat (the tenderloin or "backstrap") came from on that deer. >More
 The attack on local control by Wisconsin Republicans

The last budget session was a lovely one for AT&T and other wireless phone providers. Lobbyists for these companies had pushed for legislation in countless states to end local control over the installation of cell phone towers, with mixed success. But no state was more receptive to these lobbyists than Wisconsin, where Republican legislators on the Joint Finance Committee grabbed the bill as written by telecom lobbyists, plunked it into the budget bill and sent it on to the full Legislature, which passed it. >More
 Customers shouldn't subsidize bad decisions by the Madison Water Utility

Seven months ago, I wrote a piece for Isthmus that argued that Wisconsin water utilities are "shirking their responsibilities in order to become cash cows for fiscally strapped municipalities." In a nutshell, the problem is that some water utilities are transferring excessive revenue to the city governments that own them rather than using those funds to replace depreciated infrastructure. >More
 Pushing back against Republican lawlessness over Act 10

When Dane Country Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas held officials in Gov. Scott Walker's administration in contempt this week, he was pushing back against a level of unchecked lawlessness by this administration that is "practically seditious," says attorney Lester Pines. >More
 Indian mascot names need to go

What if they were the Mukwonago Polacks? There was a time not so long ago when that derisive term for Poles was commonly used even in the Polish neighborhood I grew up in on the south side of Milwaukee. And, in truth, the term can still be used without offense among my own people, just as a similarly degrading term to describe African Americans can be used among American blacks without insult while it would be a huge affront if it came from me. >More
 The downfall of Dennis Smith

Just two months into his governorship, Scott Walker signed a law removing 37 state positions from civil service requirements, including 14 general counsels. The law was criticized by Wisconsin Common Cause and others, who argued it would politicize these positions and make information less accessible to the public. >More
 Battling to stay on BadgerCare

The launch of Obamacare's health insurance exchanges was dominated by stories of families struggling with computer glitches to enroll in the program. I don't have an Obamacare horror story, because we're battling with Badgercare. >More
 Wisconsin has become a richly rewarding place for the über-wealthy

Once known as a progressive state, Wisconsin is now deep into what might be called the post-progressive era. The poster boy for the new Gilded Age is home-improvement retailer John Menard, the 57th wealthiest American, according to the most recent Forbes 400 list. >More
 Why a boycott of Barilla makes more sense than avoiding Stoli

I normally agree with Dan Savage, author of the syndicated advice column Savage Love. He uses it as a queer pulpit to make positive change regarding ongoing social issues and debates. Savage also founded the It Gets Better campaign to help struggling LGBTQ youth. If anything, we need more Dan Savages. >More
 Scott Walker tramples Wisconsin values with United Sportsmen scandal

The United Sportsmen controversy was, in many ways, a familiar Walker administration scandal. All the elements were there. A politically wired conservative group gets money thanks to its connections to state Republicans " in this case, a $500,000 grant slipped into the state budget to promote hunting, fishing and trapping. Republicans connected with Walker throw over the normal competitive bidding process in order to steer money to their friends. >More
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