Mission Accomplished: Study Shows GOP-Backed Voter ID Laws Work to Suppress Turnout

by Jon Queally – “It’s certainly possible that there were enough voters deterred that it flipped the election,” says lead author study about 2016 voting in Wisconsin. Highlighting the effectiveness of such laws to decrease voter turnout, a new study out of Wisconsin shows that somewhere between 16,000 and 23,000 people did not vote in the state’s 2016 November elections due to a newly-imposed restrictive voter ID law passed in the state by the Republican legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker. “Gov. Walker and his co-conspirators ought to be ashamed of what they have done.” —Analiese Eicher, One Wisconsin According to the Urban Milwaukee: Thousands and thousands of legal voters in Wisconsin were prevented from casting a ballot in the November 2016 election because of the state’s strict voter ID law, according to a study of registered voters conducted by University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Ken Mayer. The study was based on a survey...

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Walker and Trump’s Foxconn Deal May Be Worst in American History

by Robert Kraig – Governor Scott Walker and Donald Trump claim their $3 billion subsidy to Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn will create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin. But when you dig into the numbers, the Foxconn deal looks like one of the biggest swindles in American history, a scandal waiting to happen. While it is Governor Walker and not Trump who is really cutting this deal, it sets a dangerous precedent, which could affect every state. To understand how big the threat is, it is important to understand just how bad the Foxconn deal really is, and to look closely at what they’re proposing. The magnitude of the public expenditure is stunning. It is not really a tax break, but a direct public subsidy of $3 billion dollars. Bribing big companies to stay or leave, and therefore allowing profitable corporations to exact public resources while shifting costs onto everyone else,...

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$3 Billion Foxconn Deal is Biggest Corporate Subsidy in Wisconsin History

by Christian Britschgi – Economists say the deal makes little economic sense. To get Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn to build a $10 billion factory in Southeast Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker is promising nearly $3 billion in tax giveaways, the largest subsidy package, in state history. “This is a great day for America, it’s a great day for Wisconsin, and it’s a great day for Foxconn,” Walker said. Great for Foxconn, almost certainly, but not for most of the people of Wisconsin, Matthew Mitchell, a senior researcher with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, says. “With enough subsidies,” Mitchell tells Reason, “you could get orange growers to relocate to Wisconsin.” Foxconn will get up to $1.5 billion in income tax credits, another $1.35 billion in credits for investment capital, as well as a $150 million sales tax break for funds spent on construction. Included in the state legislation is $252 million in highway upgrades intended to service the eventual...

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Republicans Killed Hundreds of Jobs and Stole Nearly $1 Billion from Milwaukee’s Central City

by Windtalker – I’m writing this in response to Donald Trump’s speech to the exurban, white crowd in West Bend, Wisconsin, yesterday about the problems in Milwaukee’s largely black central city. Scott Walker sat there like a lump. That’s because he is a lump when it comes to creating jobs in Milwaukee. To wit… Several years ago, Milwaukee had a fantastic plan to: 1) create hundreds of jobs in the central city; 2) create thousands of jobs across the state; 3) build a high-tech factory in the central city that could attract other businesses;  and 4) build part of a high-speed rail system that would connect Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle and area business leaders applied for and received a federal grant for over $800 to carry out the project. It was a very big deal! With help from the City of Milwaukee, the Talgo...

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The 4 Most Damning Revelations In Wisconsin’s Voter ID Trial

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – A federal court is currently weighing a case that could impact the right to vote for thousands of people in a crucial swing state in this November’s presidential election. A two-week trial examining the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law wrapped up this week, and a federal judge will issue a ruling by the end of July. The plaintiffs, a group of voters who have been personally impacted and the advocacy groups One Wisconsin Now and Citizen Action, are also challenging restrictions on early voting and the elimination of straight-ticket voting that Wisconsin Republicans have implemented over the past few years. Throughout the trial, former and current state officials, election law experts and individual voters offered damning testimony about both the purpose and impact of the laws, which they argue suppress the votes of people of color, students, the elderly, and the poor. Here are...

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Judge Strikes Down Scott Walker’s ‘Right To Work’ Law

by RYAN KORONOWSKI – A judge declared late Friday that Wisconsin’s controversial “right-to-work” law violated the state’s constitution. The law had become a centerpiece in the state’s contentious battles over the role of unions and the conservative war on labor unions. “Right-to-work” laws prevent unions from reaching agreements with employer that require all workers, not just union members, to pay union dues. So a worker can opt out of paying union fees even if they are represented by one in their workplace — meaning they gain the benefits of being in a union (such as collective bargaining for higher wages) without paying to support such efforts. Last year, shortly after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the legislation, a group of private-sector unions filed a lawsuit arguing that the law acted as an unconstitutional seizure of property because unions had to extend benefits to workers who do not pay dues. Dane...

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This Is How Hard It Is To Get A Voter ID In Wisconsin

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — A few days before millions of Wisconsin voters head to the polls to vote in the Republican and Democratic primaries, Milwaukee residents Ernest Barksdale and Nefertiti Helem struggled up the steps of the downtown DMV in the pouring rain, hoping to obtain IDs that comply with the state’s voter ID law. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled overhead as Helem, who has a genetic degenerative disease and walks with a cane, entered the office soaking wet and panting, clutching Barksdale’s arm. “I feel like it’s my duty. I feel obligated to vote,” she told ThinkProgress after catching her breath. “It feels better to be a part of it all. I want to help get somebody in office who can help everyone out. I want to have a voice and a say in who becomes president.” The couple, who moved from Chicago in 2013, live...

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Once Claimed Gays ‘Commit Suicide Through Their Behavior’

by ZACK FORD – Next month, Wisconsin voters will consider who should fill the empty seat on the state Supreme Court. It came to light Monday that one of the candidates to survive last month’s jungle primary, incumbent Justice Rebecca Bradley, once wrote some incredibly toxic comments about the LGBT community and liberals more broadly. Upset by the election of President Bill Clinton, Bradley lashed out in student newspaper columns back in 1992, calling voters “either totally stupid or entirely evil” for supporting him. She also targeted “queers” and everyone with AIDS, blaming the disease’s victims for their own condition. “Perhaps AIDS Awareness should seek to educate us with their misdirected compassion for the degenerates who basically commit suicide through their behavior,” she wrote. “But the homosexuals and drug addicts who do essentially kill themselves and others through their own behavior deservedly receive none of my sympathy.” Indeed, she viewed...

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Wisconsin/Scott Walker John Doe Probe WILL Go to the US Supreme Court

by Puddytat – It’s ALIVE! Despite the massive attempts to kill it, the decision to kill the latest John Doe Probe looking at illegal coordination between Scott Walker and other Republicans and anonymously dark money groups will be appealed to the US Supreme Court. For more background, see here. The RW dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the investigation into illegal coordination had to end despite the fact that at least 2 of them literally owe their seats on the Wis Supremes to the SAME dark money groups under investigation and refused to recuse themselves. Later, when John Doe Probe Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz began efforts to appeal that ruling to the US Supreme Court, they removed him as Special Prosecutor which meant that he would have had to personally fund the appeal himself. 3 of the 5 local prosecutors have indicated that they would like to proceed with the appeal and on Friday night...

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Scott Walker Boots 15,000 People Off Food Stamps In Three Months

by ALAN PYKE – In just three months, 15,000 people in Wisconsin have already lost food stamps thanks to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) decision to enforce full work requirements for the program in Milwaukee despite economic conditions dire enough to trigger a federal reprieve. Walker’s administration made the policy change in April. Since then, anyone deemed to be an able-bodied adult with no dependents to care for must prove they are working or participating in job training programs for at least 20 hours per week. Failing to meet that standard means losing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits after three months. The 15,000 bumped from the rolls from May to July is only half the number the state predicts will ultimately lose food stamps because of the move. The 20-hour weekly work requirement is typically waived when economic conditions are too tight. Since making people hungrier doesn’t create jobs where...

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‘Clear Flouting of Roe v. Wade’: Court Strikes Down Anti-Choice Bill in Wisconsin

by Lauren McCauley – Ruling could set important precedent for upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Striking down a state effort to “politically interfere” with a woman’s right to choose, a federal appeals court on Monday declared a Wisconsin law unconstitutional in a ruling reproductive rights advocates say is both a “victory” and an important precedent for an upcoming Supreme Court decision. In his searing rebuke, Judge Richard Posner with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, said the law was a “clear flouting of Roe v. Wade.” The ruling applied to a measure signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2013, known as a TRAP law—short for “targeted regulation of abortion providers.” It stipulated that an abortion provider must have admitting privileges at a local hospital, mirroring policies passed in 10 other states. In the opinion, Judge Posner echoed the concern of medical experts, who argued that the political maneuver both threatened...

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Fiscal Conservative Scott Walker Begs For Help Paying Off Million Dollar Failed Campaign Debt

by JAMESON PARKER – Conservatives who were once asked to give money to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s doomed-from-the-start presidential campaign are now being asked to give money to pay off the massively expensive failure. The governor who prides himself on being “fiscally conservative” (except with his rich friends) penned a humiliating email to his supporters saying he was over a million dollars in debt after running for president briefly. “As things changed dramatically in the presidential race, ‘Walker for America’ incurred a campaign debt and it is my hope that you and all of our supporters will chip in and make an online contribution of $10, $35, $50, $100, $250, or more so we can end this campaign in the black,” Walker wrote. “It is a lot to ask, I know, but we feel personally obligated to make sure that every small business that extended us their good faith and...

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Wisconsin Begins Drug Testing Applicants For Food Stamps And Unemployment Benefits Today

by BRYCE COVERT – On Monday, many Wisconsin residents who apply for food stamps, unemployment benefits, jobs training, or benefits and training from a handful of other state programs will have to be screened and potentially tested for drug use. Applicants will have to fill out a questionnaire about drug use, and depending on their answers, may have to submit to an actual test. Those who test positive will be referred to a state-funded treatment program. Gov. Scott Walker (R) paved the way for the drug testing when he signed a budget in July that included a provision requiring it. But the drug testing program is likely to face significant challenges. Seven states currently screen and drug test applicants to their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, or welfare, because they have wide leeway over how they design and run those programs. The rules for food stamps, on the other...

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Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law Back In Court For Discriminating Against Students And Veterans

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – Wisconsin once again has to defend its voter ID law in federal court, this time responding to a challenge to the law’s exclusion of veterans’ IDs, technical college IDs, and out-of-state drivers’ licenses. Staff attorney Sean Young with the American Civil Liberties Union will argue before the federal district court in Milwaukee on Monday, asking them to allow these alternative IDs to be added to the state’s strict list of acceptable documents. “Defenders of voter ID laws claim to care about verifying that voters are who they say they are. But these forms of ID do that,” Young told ThinkProgress. “They’re all verified by a state or federal government office. Wisconsin hasn’t given a single good reason in litigation for excluding these forms of ID. I think it calls to question the real purpose of these voter ID laws.” One of the lead plaintiffs in the case...

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Scott Walker Drops Out: An Autopsy

by Georgia Logothetis – We begin today’s roundup with Jim Newell at Slate who analyzes the pitiful trajectory of Scott Walker’s failed 2016 presidential bid: Walker literally hit zero in a national poll on Sunday. Yes, it’s early, and national polls don’t matter, and people are fickle, yadda yadda yadda. But when you hit zero … it’s probably time to go. Good on Walker for taking the hint that Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, whatshisname, and whoshisface are refusing to take: It’s just not happening. Indeed, in Walker’s brief announcement Monday evening, he encouraged other underperforming candidates to wrap it up. “Today,” he said, “I believe I’m being called to lead by helping clear the field.” Rarely has ending a campaign due to total lack of support been explained with such self-aggrandizement, but hey, whatever makes it go down easier. Matt Lewis at The Week: Walker was supposed to be...

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The Scott Walker Campaign Disaster

by Peter Suderman – New national poll puts him at no measurable support The biggest disaster in the GOP presidential race, by far, is the Scott Walker campaign. After a breakout speech at an Iowa forum in January, Walker quickly vaulted into the top-tier of Republican candidates. By March, the Wisconsin governor was tied for second-most-likely to win the nomination in one bookmaker’s odds, and he was polling just five points behind Hillary Clinton in nationwide matchups—better than other GOP contenders. A profile in The Miami Herald opened with the declaration that he “may be the biggest threat to the presidential ambitions of Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.” Walker continued to perform well throughout the summer, when he made his run official. As Donald Trump rose to the top of the pack, Walker was close on his heels, pulling into second place in late July. At the beginning of August, The New...

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Powerful Ronald Reagan Speech Used In New Ad Condemns Anti-Immigration GOP (VIDEO)

by SARAH – It wasn’t that long ago when Republicans weren’t completely un-American. There used to be a time when both political parties remembered the core values of what makes America the beautiful nation that it is. When both sides remembered that the United States is a nation of immigrants – a “melting pot” – the land of the free and the home of the brave. In a new ad released by The National Immigration Forum Action Fund they remind Republicans of President Ronald Reagan’s farewell speech in 1989 when he spoke of the “shining city upon the hill.” Reagan remembered that we are a nation of immigrants, of the many, united, as one. Which is so different from modern-day Republicans who are so openly stating that they want to close in our borders with walls, end birthright citizenship, and display an utterly xenophobic mentality. As a perfect reminder, here is the...

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The 5 Craziest Things GOP Candidates Have Said About Immigration

by Anthony L. Fisher & Matt Welch – Trump, Carson, Walker, et al turn their backs on Ronald Reagan in favor of nonsense, xenophobia, and outright cruelty The Republican Party lost its collective mind over immigration. To see how just unhinged things have gotten, here are the five craziest things GOP presidential candidates have said about immigration in the past few weeks. 5) Bobby Jindal: “We must insist on assimilation. Immigration without assimilation is an invasion. We need to tell folks who want to come here they need to come here legally. Learn English, adopt our values, roll up your sleeves and get to work.” Now, that sounds reasonable, until you start actually thinking about it for more than five seconds. Academics have studied this question in-depth, and what do they find? That the United States has consistently been at or near the very top of the world in successfully assimilating immigrants, regardless...

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Trump’s No Outlier

by Donald Kaul – When it comes to the way he treats workers, the Donald is as Republican as capital gains and Richard Nixon There are those who would have you believe that Donald Trump is an aberration among Republican presidential contenders — the black sheep uncle who shows up half-drunk at family gatherings, insults the guests, scandalizes the women, and otherwise brings dishonor to the clan. Don’t believe them. Trump is as Republican as capital gains and Richard Nixon. You might even say that Trump’s the quintessential Republican politician — he’s just willing to say out loud what the rest say only in private. Think Mitt Romney and his infamous “47 percent” remarks, which Romney intended for a fat-cat Republican audience only.  Trump was at it again the other week with a plan for making Detroit’s auto companies more competitive. He would have them pull their manufacturing jobs from the...

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Scott Walker Ain’t Gonna Make It

by StellaRay – So much I want to say here, I actually have to take a very deep breath. And another one. Trying to organize my thoughts, and give them the best and most fair launch I can. OK, so let’s start with what is. Scott Walker is polling in LOW single digits. Yeah, he out distances the likes of Perry, Huckabee and Jindahl, but not by much. He who was months ago the object of GREAT GOP interest, has most definitely not capitalized on that. In fact, he has fallen greatly short of expectations, so far. And I think he will continue to do so. Now, I know there are those here who will tell me that it is too early to dismiss him and anything can happen this far out. And of course, it’s hard to argue that anything can happen. What I will argue, is that IF ever...

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Scott Walker’s Pandering, Cringe-Worthy Presidential Campaign

by Peter Suderman – Scott Walker, who just months ago was viewed as a top-tier contender for the GOP presidential nomination, is tanking in the polls. The latest release from Public Policy Polling finds the Wisconsin governor polling at just 5 percent, tied for eighth place with Mike Huckabee. In Iowa, where Walker has focused the bulk of his campaign strategy and resources, a Monmouth University poll this week put Walker in fifth place, with 7 percent support, behind Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Ted Cruz. Other national polls tell the same story. At the end of July, Walker briefly rose to second place amongst GOP candidates nationally, edging out Jeb Bush with 13.7 percent support, according to the RealClearPolitics presidential poll average. Walker is now in sixth place overall, with an average showing of 6.3 percent. Why is Scott Walker’s campaign faring so poorly? One reason is Donald Trump, whose hip-shot...

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Governors Have Collected Millions In Presidential Campaign Contributions From State Contractors

by KIRA LERNER – New Jersey law currently prevents state contractors from giving more than $300 to statewide candidates’ campaigns. But that hasn’t stopped New Jersey contractors from donating more than $500,000 in total to the super PAC supporting Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that campaigns and super PACs supporting Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) together have raised at least $2.5 million in donations from companies with state contracts or taxpayer subsidies in their states. Although it’s legal for campaigns and super PACs to take money from state contractors — a practice that raises questions about potential conflicts of interest — more than a dozen states currently prohibit contractors from making contributions to candidates in state races, the WSJ reported. New Jersey is one of those states that has a “pay-to-play”...

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Fence On The Canadian Border Is A ‘Legitimate Issue’ Says Scott Walker

by KATIE VALENTINE – Republican Presidential candidate Scott Walker said Sunday that he thought building a wall along the U.S.-Canada border was a “legitimate” issue for the United States to consider. Walker was asked about border control by Meet the Press’ Chuck Todd, who asked the Wisconsin Governor why he — and other presidential candidates — focuses so heavily on the U.S.’s southern border. “Why are we always talking about the southern border, and building a fence there — we don’t talk about the northern border,” Todd said. “Do we want to build a wall north of the border?” Walker said that law enforcement in New Hampshire have raised “legitimate concerns” about that issue to him. “That is a legitimate issue for us to look at,” he said. Overall, Walker said, national security “starts with securing the homeland.” “It wasn’t just about building a wall and securing our borders,” he...

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You Break It, You Own It (Or, What The Hell Did You Think Would Happen?)

by David Michael Green – Doesn’t your heart just break for the grandees of the Republican Party? They’ve had the shit kicked out of them in presidential election after presidential election, and the forecast trends in national demographics suggest that, looking forward, these last decades will be seen as the GOP’s grand old days. So, knowing this, the big-wigs got together after the last debacle in 2012 and decided, “Hey, we’ve got to stop alienating the damn Mexicans. There’s too many of them!” Any moron could have predicted what a fool’s errand that would be. Politicians – most especially the Republican kind – are nothing if not heat-seeking missiles when it comes to opportunistically pouncing on an issue they can ride to electoral victory. Particularly given the number of third and fourth-tier weenies vying for the Republican nomination this time around (George Pataki? Bobby Jindal? Ben Carson? Carly Fiorina? Seriously?), it...

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Scott Walker Takes His Third Position On The Hottest Issue In The Republican Primary

by KAY STEIGER – Presidential candidate’s Scott Walker’s journey to find a position on birthright citizenship, enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, took another unexpected turn. In less than a week, the Wisconsin governor took his third position on whether America should reconsider babies born on U.S. soil should be automatically deemed citizens. When George Stephanopoulos asked on ABC’s This Week, “You’re not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment?” Walker answered, “No, my point is any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there who for years have heard lip service from politicians and are understandably angry because they haven’t been committed to following through on promises.” This is actually the third position Walker has taken on the issue of birthright citizenship, with him telling NBC’s Kasie Hunt on Monday we...

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Republican Candidates Can’t Come Up With Any New Health Care Ideas

by TARA CULP-RESSLER & IGOR VOLSKY – As GOP presidential contenders begin to outline concrete policy plans ahead of the 2016 race, one thing is becoming clear: Even as the health care landscape has dramatically changed over the past several years, Republicans still can’t come up with any new health policy ideas. This week, both Scott Walker and Marco Rubio released details about how they plan to repeal and replace Obamacare if they take over the White House. But each candidate is essentially recycling Republican ideas about the insurance market that date back at least eight years. There are a handful of policies that the GOP continues to trot out: Establishing state-based high-risk pools for Americans with costly pre-existing conditions; allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines; extending refundable tax credits to Americans regardless of income level; expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs); and reforming medical malpractice. Critics say these GOP...

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Scott Walker Names Favorite Education Advocate, Who Then Distances Himself from Walker

By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos – When he talks about education policy, Scott Walker can’t seem to stop name-dropping people who wish he wouldn’t drop their names. A former teacher of the year who Walker uses to attack teachers unions has asked him to stop talking about her (he hasn’t stopped), and now she’s not alone. At a hate-on-teachers Republican education forum moderated by anti-public education crusader Campbell Brown on Wednesday, candidates were asked to name possible education secretaries, and Walker floated the name of Howard Fuller. Fuller is a civil rights and education activist who agrees with Walker on one small (still problematic) corner of Walker’s education agenda. But it’s safe to say the two have more disagreements than agreements, as Fuller quickly went on Twitter to detail: Howard Fuller‏@HowardLFuller I do not support universal vouchers, I am against voter ID, I support raising minimum wage. I do not support...

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Walker, Rubio’s Health Care Plans Kick Millions off Their Insurance

By Anna Chu, Center for American Progress – For the past five years, Republicans have been attacking the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, spreading misinformation that the law is failing. GOP presidential candidates Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, in particular, bemoaned how “people have lost their insurance” because of the ACA and that “more Americans have lost health insurance than gained it under Obamacare.” But if Walker and Rubio were truly concerned about Americans losing health insurance, they would embrace the ACA and work to strengthen it. Instead, both men introduced proposals that threaten to throw millions of Americans off their health care plans. Walker and Rubio’s proposals would repeal the ACA notwithstanding the fact that it’s working. Since the ACA went into full effect, it has successfully brought quality, affordable health insurance coverage to nearly 16 million Americans. It has given the 129 million...

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Every Republican Is Racing To Change The Constitution. This Is Why That’s A Bad Idea

by KAY STEIGER – A very strange idea is gaining currency among Republican presidential contenders: We should put a stop to the idea that people born in America are automatically U.S. citizens. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump suggested it in his immigration policy plan, then Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) said Trump pretty much stole his idea and we should “absolutely” consider ending this practice. The idea has also gained traction with less popular presidential candidates like Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA). Even “establishment” candidate Jeb Bush didn’t exactly go out of his way to denounce the idea. And Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) was actually one of the original members of Congress who suggested Republicans try this in 2010. But aside from the fact that revoking birthright citizenship would require difficult changes to the Constitution (or at the very least, a dramatic reinterpretation of it from the Supreme...

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Scott Walker Plans To Use Obamacare Lies To Pull Up His Falling Poll Numbers

By RIKA CHRISTENSEN, Addicting Info – Repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is likely to be the cornerstone of whoever wins the Republican nomination for president. Despite taking the Senate, Republicans have yet to get a repeal bill to Obama’s desk, where it would certainly face his veto pen. If they were to get someone into the White House, along with retaining control of Congress, repeal becomes a reality, or so the dogma says. Now, presidential hopeful Scott Walker has jumped on this bandwagon with his own “repeal and replace” mantra. The first thing is, Walker and the GOP want to repeal Obamacare because it’s Obamacare. They could (and absolutely should) work on reforms and improvements, but that won’t stick it to those who actually like and support the black man in the White House. Repeal is the only answer. They can’t be seen supporting Obama in any...

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Scott Walker Wants Credit For Trump’s Harsh Immigration Policy (VIDEO)

by ESTHER YU-HSI LEE – 2016 Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker wants credit for fellow contender Donald Trump’s harsh immigration position, saying it’s “very similar” to the immigration position that Walker supported as Wisconsin governor. “It’s similar to what I brought up about four or five months ago,” Walker said Monday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” when host Steve Doocy asked whether he supported Trump’s plan. “Earlier in the year, I was on Fox News Sunday and laid out what I think we should do, which is to secure the border, build the wall, have the technology, have the personnel to make sure it’s safe and secure, enforce the law… and make sure people are here legally. I don’t believe in amnesty.” Trump unveiled a detailed immigration policy outline on Sunday aimed at deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and ending birthright...

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Investigations Into Planned Parenthood Are Falling Totally Flat

By TARA CULP-RESSLER, ThinkProgress – Following the release of several inflammatory videos that suggest Planned Parenthood is improperly profiting from the sale of “aborted baby parts,” GOP lawmakers have been quick to condemn the national women’s health organization. However, their current strategies to attack Planned Parenthood are falling short. Planned Parenthood officials say they’re simply helping their patients donate fetal tissue samples, which can help scientists develop new treatments for serious diseases. Anti-abortion activists, meanwhile, say the misleading videos released by the right-wing group Center for Medical Progress prove the organization is acting immorally. In response, several state officials have launched investigations into their local Planned Parenthood affiliates, looking for proof that the group is breaking the law. But so far, they’ve come up completely empty. Officials in states including Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Dakota have not been able to turn up any evidence that Planned Parenthood clinics are...

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These Are The Republican Candidates’ Actual ‘Ideas’ To Defeat ISIS

by JUSTIN SALHANI – Foreign policy has taken an important role in the 2016 Republican Presidential primaries. One of the most prominent issues is how to deal with nefarious Islamist movement ISIS, also referred to as ISIL and the Islamic State. ISIS’ meteoric rise over the summer of 2014 has pushed presidential frontrunners to take the group as a serious threat – both domestically and internationally. The latest attack — a truck bombing — killed at least 67 people in a Shia neighborhood of Baghdad on Thursday. Republicans have also focused heavily on the ISIS issue because the current administration’s policy has not gone according to plan. The United States’ program to train Syrian rebels has faced numerous setbacks while the bombing campaign that started a year ago has only experienced limited success. So what alternative plan have the contenders proposed? Marco Rubio The Florida senator suggested forming an army...

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Scott Walker Punked With $900M Check From Koch Brothers

By Cole Mellino, EcoWatch – At a restaurant in New Hampshire 23-year old Tyler McFarland played a trick on presidential hopeful and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. McFarland approached Walker with a sign reading “Walker 4 President” and asked to take a photo with him. Walker obliged, but just before the photo was taken McFarland flipped his sign over to reveal the other side: a giant fake check made out to Walker by the Koch brothers. Walker appeared not to notice the switcheroo, but after the pictures, McFarland made sure to let Walker in on the prank, saying “I’d like to present you with this check from the Koch brothers for climate denial.” Walker brushed the whole thing off and kept talking with voters. McFarland, an organizer for the group 350 Action, told The Guardian he wanted to highlight the stark contrast between President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan — released yesterday — and Walker’s views. “President Obama’s plan...

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The Most Outrageous Responses To Obama’s Clean Power Plan

by SAMANTHA PAGE – When a president announces the most significant action ever on climate change, it’s going to raise some hackles among the opposition. Here are the greatest, and the lowliest, reactions to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a sweeping rule announced Monday requiring states to lower carbon emissions from their power plants. The Republican field falls mostly into two camps. First is the “there is nothing happening” group. These are your classic climate deniers. Many of the Republican presidential candidates do not accept the scientific consensus that the climate is changing because of human activity. Denying climate change is occurring — much less that there is anything we did to cause it — makes it much easier to say we don’t need to address it. The second group is can be broadly described as “there is nothing we can do about it.” They believe that climate change...

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Scott Walker: A Just-the-Facts, Pre-Debate Look at His Stands on the Issues

by Grandma Kinne – With a dizzying 17 clowns now in the race car for the Republican presidential nomination—and with the first debate only a day away—it seems like a good time to take an in-depth look at the top-ten candidates and their current stands on the issues. This is a just-the-facts review. Today…Scott Walker. The current governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker is a hard-core Republican who’s been involved with state politics for more than 22 years. He is a minister’s son and a born-again evangelical. Walker rose to national prominence because of his controversial efforts to reform Wisconsin laws affecting public unions’ collective bargaining rights. That battle led to a recall election, which he won, and he was subsequently elected to a second term in 2014. He is credited with disempowering Wisconsin’s public unions and making it a right-to-work state. Walker’s candidacy has been somewhat controversial, in part, because he...

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ALEC Conference Funding Dominated by Big Polluters

by Nick Surgey – At the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2015 annual meeting in San Diego, California, dirty energy companies and their supporters–including ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Duke Energy–continue to dominate the funding of activities, according to a list of conference sponsors obtained jointly by the Center for Media and Democracy and Greenpeace. At the top of the agenda, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker spoke to ALEC delegates over breakfast on Thursday. Walker is now campaigning on a promise to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if elected President in 2016, a plan which was earlier debated by ALEC at its December 2014 conference and is in line with ALEC’s long-term legislative agenda. At ALEC conferences and meetings, rhetoric against the EPA–and in particular the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution–is frequently extreme. ALEC sessions have repeatedly featured overt denial of climate change science. During recent...

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The Most (And Least) Extreme Republican Presidential Candidates On Climate Change

by RYAN KORONOWSKI – The GOP field is (almost) complete, after Ohio Governor John Kasich became the 17th major candidate to announce his presidential run last week. This means we can draw some conclusions about the opponent the eventual Democratic nominee will be facing in the general election. It’s an extremely safe bet that the Republican nominee will not take more action to confront climate change than President Obama has. The question is more how much of the president’s climate agenda the nominee would reverse, repeal, or ignore. The next president will have a lot on his or her plate — implementing or rolling back the Clean Air Act’s provisions to regulate carbon pollution; defying or leading the world in carrying out an expected U.N. climate agreement; committing the United States to low-carbon energy or doubling down on fossil fuels. Pope Francis just told the world through the Vatican’s latest...

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Is Scott Walker Less of an Extremist than Donald Trump?

by Robert Naiman – Count me among the Democrats who are totally delighted that Donald Trump is running for the Republican nomination for President, that he is a frontrunner in polls of Republican voters, that he cannot be prevented from participating in the Fox News debate, that he is sucking oxygen from other Republican candidates, that the Republican Party establishment cannot figure out what to do about him. Donald Trump illustrates so much about the impact of big money in politics (including in media coverage) and about what is considered extreme and what is not considered extreme by the Republican Party establishment and big media. Bernie Sanders rails against the political power of the billionaire class. Isn’t Donald Trump a great poster child for this? If Donald Trump were not a billionaire, would he be a frontrunner in polls of Republican voters? Would big media care very much about his political...

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Scott Walker Tries (and Fails) to Clarify His Position on Marijuana Legalization

by Jacob Sullum – Federalism and the urge to bash Obama pull him in opposite directions In a column last month, I noted that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, had not taken a clear position on the proper federal response to marijuana legalization in states such as Colorado and Washington. He still hasn’t, although not for lack of trying. Via BuzzFeed News, here is how Walker addressed the question in a radio interview on Wednesday: Host: In 30 second, would your Justice Department go after Colorado for legalized marijuana sales? Walker: For me I think that should be a state issue, but I also think that you can’t ignore the laws. And until the federal government changes the laws, you don’t get to pick and choose in a just society whether you enforce the laws or not. You have to change them. Host: So yes,...

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Five Things to Know About the Scott Walker John Doe Ruling

by Brendan Fischer – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has single-handedly rewritten the state’s limits on money in politics, rendering the state’s disclosure laws and contribution limits meaningless, and opening the door to unlimited funds directly from corporations and foreign firms. In a 4-2 decision that broke along ideological lines, the Court’s conservative majority ended the John Doe probe into whether Governor Scott Walker illegally coordinated with supposedly “independent” dark money groups during the recall elections. The Court declared that any coordination that did occur didn’t violate the law, since it only involved so-called “issue ads” that stopped short of expressly saying “vote for” or “vote against” a candidate. In doing so, the Court’s majority overturned years of precedent and practice in Wisconsin, issuing a decision that might be used to strike down campaign finance laws across the country. Previously, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice’s campaign was fined $60,000 for engaging in the same type of...

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Scott Walker Steals Campaign Logo From Eyeglass Company, Hilarity Ensues

by JOHN PRAGER – Scott Walker isn’t exactly known to be bursting with innovation, as is evidenced by his new campaign logo. After teasing his campaign logo for days on Instagram, Walker rewarded those of us who eagerly awaited the revelation of the symbol that would represent his campaign — the one that would define his legacy as a candidate. On Friday, the wait was over, and Walker showed us…the America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses logo. Now, some of you may be thinking, “Would a man who had the strength of character to almost irreparably damage workers’ rights in his own state, the moral fiber to call granting same-sex couples equal marriage rights a “grave mistake,” and the integrity to accept money from quite literally anyone — including a hate group that inspired Dylann Roof’s bloody massacre — stoop to the level of stealing a corporation’s logo? Well, the answer is “yes,”...

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Court Orders Prosecutors To Stop Investigating Scott Walker’s Alleged Illegal Coordination

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – In a major victory for Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled early Thursday morning along partisan lines to halt the investigation into whether the newest Republican presidential candidate illegally coordinated with right-wing advocacy groups during his 2012 recall campaign. Saying they want to “prevent the chilling of otherwise protected speech,” the Court’s four conservative justices ordered that the probe be terminated, and that those working on the case “permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation.” They also emphasize that anyone connected with the alleged crime is not longer obligated to cooperate with investigators. Though the first John Doe probe into Walker’s campaign resulted in the criminal conviction of several of his staffers, the justices wrote of the new effort: “The special prosecutor’s legal theory is unsupported in either reason or law.” They also scolded prosecutors for investigating “citizens who...

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Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Struggles While Next Door, Democratic Run Minnesota Thrives

by WES WILLIAMS – At first glance, you might think that Wisconsin and Minnesota are very similar states. In many ways, they are. They’re both large midwestern states with a mixture of urban and rural areas, with economic activity ranging from manufacturing to farming, with almost the same number of residents. But under the administrations of Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton in Minnesota, the states have become a study in contrasts when it comes to their economies. Scott Walker is running for president. He has already hinted on any number of occasions that he would like to see America run the way he is running Wisconsin. But Wisconsin’s economy is puttering along, while Minnesota’s is booming. Let’s look at why the two states seem to be on different economic paths. The raw data. Forbes provides a ranking of the best states for business. Keep in...

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Koch Crony Scott Walker Actually Called The Minimum Wage ‘Lame’

By RYAN DENSON, Addicting Info – The man who decimated unions, cut millions from education and given his state the seven-day work week now says the minimum wage is a “lame idea” from the left. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Right after becoming the one millionth Republican to enter the presidential race, Walker’s first interview was with Sean Hannity. While attempting to justify his disgusting treatment of workers, Walker claimed that the minimum wage was a “lame idea” the Democrats have put forth to keep jobs: “The left claims they’re for American workers, and they’ve got lame ideas, things like minimum wage. We need to talk about how we get people skills and qualifications they need to get jobs that go beyond minimum wage.” Ah, yes, the thing that could lift five million Americans out of poverty is a “lame idea.” The thing that allows employees to have the even...

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Scott Walker Begins His 2016 Run for the White House

by Mary Bottari – After standing for 25 primary and general elections in 25 years, Walker has now set his eyes on the White House. As he officially hits the campaign trail this week, he will tout himself as a “fresh face” and a bold reformer, a man who took on the big unions and revitalized Wisconsin’s economy, a straight shooter who says what he is going to do then does it. From our bird’s eye view on the Wisconsin Capitol, we think all these claims deserve close scrutiny. Here is what you need to know about Walker’s record. Walker could be the first ALEC president with the backing of the Kochs. On the campaign trail, Walker has boasted of a long series of legislative “reforms,” failing to mention that almost all of them have their roots in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). At ALEC, lobbyists and politicians vote behind...

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Scott Walker Wants To Run The Country. Here Is How He Ran Wisconsin

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – With the wealthy and powerful Koch brothers behind him and a contentious state budget out of the way, Wisconsin’s polarizing Gov. Scott Walker will announce Monday evening what many have long suspected: that he will seek the Republican nomination for President in 2016. Much of Walker’s appeal to conservatives lies in his record of enacting far-right policies as the governor of a historically progressive, working class swing state. Riding over more than a century of strong labor history, he passed laws in 2011 stripping away collective bargaining rights from public sector unions, triggering a weeks-long occupation of the state capitol by tens of thousands of protesters. Then, earlier this year, he signed a so-called “right to work” law that will further cripple workplace organizing in the Badger State. At a time when both conservative and progressive states across the country have embraced a boost in their...

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Last-Minute Assault on Wages and Workers in Wisconsin Budget

by Jody Knauss and Mary Bottari – The Wisconsin legislature sent a $72 billion biennial budget bill to Governor Walker’s desk Thursday, giving him just four days to process and sign the budget before his July 13 scheduled presidential announcement. The bill slashes $250 million from the University of Wisconsin System, advances school vouchers and the corporate privatization of Wisconsin public schools, and is chock full of public policy provisions that did not have public hearings or public input. Although the governor has recently been projecting surpluses for the next fiscal year, the drastic cuts in state programs will still leave the state facing a structural deficit of some $490 million, according to the Wisconsin Budget Project. Last weekend, the Joint Finance budget-writing committee produced a large addition to the budget, an anonymous “999 motion” that took 24 pages just to summarize. Tucked into the motion were major changes...

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Scott Walker’s Wife And Kids Support Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, Disappointed With His Reaction

By STEPHEN D FOSTER JR, Addicting Info – Even as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker voices his staunch opposition to same-sex marriage, his own wife and kids stand united against him in favor of marriage equality. Last month the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, thus legalizing marriage equality across the nation. The decision, of course, drove conservatives into temper tantrum-throwing frenzy, with Mike Huckabee leading the hissy fit parade against the “imperial court.” Scott Walker, who is poised to become the one millionth entry into the Republican Party presidential sweepstakes, has been and continues to be an outspoken anti-gay conservative Christian, and he didn’t hold back after the Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling. Calling the decision a “grave mistake,” Walker called for his state to reject “judicial activism” and called for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. “As a result of this decision, the...

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Scott Walker Tries To Use A Back Door To Get Rid Of Wisconsin’s Living Wage Law

By ALICE OLLSTEIN, ThinkProgress – Only one hurdle stands between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his upcoming bid for the White House: passing a budget to keep his state chugging for the next two years. After months of uproar over provisions to slash hundreds of millions of dollars from state universities and strip the values of “truth” and “service” from their mission, lawmakers in Madison missed their July 1 deadline to pass the budget. In the ensuing scramble, Governor Walker and his allies in the statehouse used the 4th of July holiday weekend to insert several more controversial provisions into the massive document, which local press called “a grab bag of pet projects.” Walker and Republican lawmakers have already been forced to retreat on one of them: a gutting of the state’s open records law that would have barred reporters and the public from accessing the documents that reveal how...

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