Things are getting hot in the Badger State, and I’m not just talking about the spring weather. Tired of Scott Walker not knowing what he wants, federal rail funds give up hoping and start dating other states. Four state senators who voted to bust the public unions are one step closer to getting busted themselves. And if you’re free this Saturday, we have a great weekend activity in mind. This is your Wisconsin Roundup:
- Four down. Four Republicans are one step closer to being subject to recall elections on July 12, 2011. The Government Accountability Board (GAB) has determined that enough real, alive, sober humans signed petitions to trigger recall elections against Sens. Dan Kapanke, Luther Olsen, Randy Hopper, and Sheila Harsdorf, all of whom have already drawn declared Democratic challengers.Signatures were also submitted to the GAB to recall Democrats Bob Wirch, Jim Halperin, Dave Hansen, but it has since been found that at least one of those signatures came from a dead guy and other signers were plied with alcohol. In response to these and other allegations of wrongdoing, the state Democratic Party has filed a challenge, which the GAB will be reviewing at meetings on May 23 and 31. TPM explains more.
- Rail funds break up with Walker via press release. One of Scott Walker’s first acts as Governor was to reject federal funds for a high speed rail project connecting Milwaukee and Madison. A few months later, Scott Walker had a change of heart, and re-applied for the rail funds. But it’s too late! The funds have moved on to states like Illinois, California, and Rhode Island, whose governors actually want to put their citizens back to work.Remember, during the campaign, Scott Walker promised the creation of 250,000 jobs in the state of Wisconsin. To turn down a surefire way to employ thousands of construction workers, engineers, and service workers after making such grand promises is just another indicator of why Walker is unfit to govern.
- More money, same amount of problems. An additional $636 million is projected to flow into Wisconsin coffers as a result of improved tax collection, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The governor and (potential recall subject) Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) scrambled to say that this changes basically nothing, despite the fact that they have justified everything they have done this year with the constant refrain of “our state is broke.” Darling’s co-chair suggested that the newfound money will be put toward – you guessed it – more tax cuts.
- Have plans this Saturday? If you are in Wisconsin and are looking for a fun weekend activity, look no further. A broad coalition of citizens who are angry over threats to their bargaining rights, voting rights, clean drinking water, public schools, telephone service, personal safety, and healthcare (phew) are gathering at the Capitol Building in Madison on May 14.
Till next time, On Wisconsin!