Email date: 3/4/11
In this update:
1. Wasting away in Walkerville
2. Future of the Supreme Court caught up in state budget mess
3. The story of Citizens United
Wasting away in Walkerville
For the first time in living memory people including a former congressman were denied entry to the State Capitol during regular business hours as the public uprising against Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting legislation entered its third week. Dozens of protesters stayed overnight on the Capitol grounds in a camp they dubbed “Walkerville.”
The Walker administration’s decision to restrict public access to the people’s house this week – even in defiance of a court order – is a shameful stain on Wisconsin’s tradition of open government. Because the events that have unfolded in Wisconsin are unprecedented in state history, how and where all this ends is anybody’s guess. One thing is sure, though. As Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial writer Ricardo Pimentel wrote in a recent column, it didn’t have to be this way. The column includes a remark from the Democracy Campaign’s director that was made in a recent blog.
Walker’s extremist approach has set forces in motion that have opened gaping wounds that will take a very long time to heal and will leave permanent scars. What a waste.
For more thoughts on these historic developments, go here to watch WDC director Mike McCabe’s speech at the People’s Legislature rally last Sunday.
Future of the Supreme Court caught up in state budget mess
On the heels of springing a massive power grab masquerading as a “budget repair” bill for the current year, Governor Walker this week unveiled his budget blueprint for the next two years. Walker proposes huge cuts in funding for public schools, health care assistance for the poor, elderly and disabled, as well as potentially devastating reductions in funding for local community services. Among the proposed cuts is the elimination of a key funding source for the Impartial Justice Act reforming state Supreme Court elections.
The controversy over Walker’s plans and the mass demonstrations that erupted in response to them have changed the dynamics of the upcoming April election for Supreme Court. Our latest Big Money Blog makes the point that the election now is shaping up as a referendum on Walker.
The story of Citizens United
Check this out. It’s from the makers of the Story of Stuff films.