For more than a century, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other corporate-right groups have been trying to eliminate labor unions. Corporate chieftains fear that by negotiating fair wages, safe workplace conditions and benefits for workers, unions reduce their profits. They fail to consider that unions might increase their profits by providing them with better-trained and more committed workers.
Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Wisconsin Republicans threw some red meat to their tea party supporters with a proposal to require recipients of public aid to pass drug tests. The law, which Walker touted during his gubernatorial campaign, is certain to pass the GOP-controlled Legislature. It will apply to people who receive food stamps, jobless benefits and public health care.
The hypocrisy of the drug-testing proposal is impossible to justify.
When Chris Abele took over as Milwaukee County Executive after Scott Walker resigned prematurely to become governor, he found the office in a shambles. Walker had accumulated so much deferred debt that the county was paying more to service it than to provide county services. At a recent political forum, Abele said that no one in county government had even received a performance review when Walker was in charge.
State Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, has never been a champion of the poor — quite the opposite. She’s one of the most reliable foot soldiers that the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council has in Wisconsin. The Koch’s darling, she’s been on board, if not at the helm of, nearly all the major laws enacted in Wisconsin over the past four years to benefit the Koch’s agenda at the expense of the middle class, the poor and the environment.
The horrific massacre of journalists in Paris on Jan. 7 demonstrates what happens when the freedoms of speech and religion collide with extremism. The French collision involved Muslim radicals, but, here in the United States, we have a growing movement of right-wing extremists who need to understand the First Amendment guarantees provided by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
The midterm elections and their aftermath show the extent to which our democracy is failing. In the primary races leading up to Nov. 4, a record low of only 7 percent of Americans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Yet nearly all incumbents survived their primary challenges.
Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state’s other GOP leaders claim that fiscal responsibility and small government are the top goals of their public agenda.
But Walker and Van Hollen’s prolonged, costly and doomed legal battle to deny same-sex couples in Wisconsin the right to marry defies both goals. It’s yet another entry on the long, long list of politically motivated decisions made by Walker that have cost Wisconsin taxpayers money and jobs.
Successful community policing is built on positive relationships between law-enforcement officials and the public. So the results of a recent ACLU of Wisconsin survey about attitudes among Milwaukeeans toward the police are concerning.
Milwaukeeans who live in heavily patrolled black and Latino neighborhoods and who have had contact with the police are less likely to trust law enforcement than people who haven’t had contact with officers. The survey’s subjects were primarily 14 to 24 years old.
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