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Milwaukee Bucks Labor Agreement PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Thursday, 19 May 2016 14:25

milwaukee_bucksMADISON, WI – Today, the Milwaukee Bucks came to a historic agreement with our neighbors in Milwaukee that seeks to protect workers’ rights and improve the economic standing of Milwaukee families. Making sure that workers receive fair pay for an honest day’s work was a demand that many legislators brought to the table as their bottom line in negotiations on the Bucks arena last year.

While there were other pieces of the Bucks deal that I disagreed with, the promise of bringing good jobs to our neighbors put me in the ‘yes’ column when the final vote was tallied. I’m glad the Bucks made good on their promise, and am hopeful that this is just the beginning of a strong, mutually beneficial relationship between Milwaukee residents and a business that listens to them.

Permanent, living wage jobs to our neighbors who need them the most and the ability to unionize freely without interference or intimidation were paramount in getting support for the Bucks arena deal. The agreement announced today is a ‘first of its kind’ in Milwaukee that will protect employees and ensure a brighter future for our neighbors by guaranteeing they have the jobs they need to get ahead. These priorities represent the shared values of our community and should be made whenever our public resources are given to a private project.

With the signing of this agreement, the Bucks and the community have issued a simple challenge to other major developers hoping to come to Milwaukee: respect and contribute.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2016 14:36
 
Blue Jean Nation - "Fed up with one, let down by the other" PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 09:38

bernie-sandersDemocrats have a habit of compromising with themselves. Democratic voters love the ideas Bernie Sanders is putting out there, yet Hillary Clinton is considered the safer presumptive nominee.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 11:08
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Playing Nice in the Sandbox and the River PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 08:09

wakeboardingThe recreational sport of wakeboarding is popular along the Black River, but the constant large wakes caused by the boats has effected people’s use of the river and caused damage to piers and docks and erosion of the shore. Sen. Kathleen Vinehout attempts to find a solution that allows everyone to enjoy the river.

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"Skunks at the picnic" - Blue Jean Nation PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 10:45

donald-trumpDonald Trump is the Republican Party’s new national standard bearer. Trump’s pitch appeals to the darkest impulses, but it also zeroes in on how everyday Americans have been betrayed by ruling elites and how the government is serving a few at everyone else’s expense. The establishment types of both parties have conspicuous blind spots to this appeal, as both Trump and Bernie Sanders are seen as unwelcome intruders.


ALTOONA, WI - Establishment Republicans are having to come to terms in a hurry with the unsettling reality of having Donald Trump as the party’s national standard bearer. Nowhere is the discomfort higher than in Wisconsin where top GOP leaders and right-wing talk radio mouthpieces led the #NeverTrump movement, uniting behind a candidate they can’t stand in hopes of derailing one they despise and fear even more.

While they either can’t see it or won’t admit it, in some ways Trump is a perfect reflection of what the Republican Party has made itself. In other more important ways, Trump exposes the party leaders’ biggest blind spots.

Trump understands something the party brass can’t bring themselves to accept. Most voters — including many who consider themselves either Republicans or Democrats but also the self-described independents who make up the biggest single voting bloc — hate both major parties and believe that your average politicians are nothing but self dealers, interested first and foremost in advancing their own careers and feathering their own nests. Trump appeals to quite a few of those who are thinking this way because he’s already rich and famous and doesn’t need to hold any office to make a name for himself or line his pockets.

The other blind spot Trump is exploiting is that Republican insiders figure most Americans hate the government, period. For decades they have demonized anything having to do with government. Their message has been self-centered, putting the individual on a pedestal, and their policies have torn at the fabric of society. It’s clear Trump sees a miscalculation here. He’s found sizeable numbers of disenchanted voters — especially working-class white men — who clearly yearn for some common aim or uniting cause. He seems to instinctively sense that it’s not the government itself they hate, it’s a government that they believe stopped working on their behalf quite some time ago that has them exasperated. He’s offered them common enemies to unite around, tapping into powerful feelings of nativism and nationalism.

Trump’s pitch appeals to the darkest impulses, the fear of outsiders, the fondness for walls. But it also zeroes in on how everyday Americans have been betrayed by ruling elites and how the government is serving a few at everyone else’s expense. All of this leaves the Republican Party at greater risk of splintering and disintegrating than at any time in living memory.

bernie-sandersYou’d think this would put the Democrats in the proverbial catbird seat. But Democratic establishment types have conspicuous blind spots too. Those blind spots explain why they couldn’t see the Bernie Sanders insurgency coming and why they still can’t seem to fathom Sanders’ appeal, especially to young Millennials. Like Trump, but for different reasons, Sanders is immune from the “typical politician” characterization. With Sanders, the immunity was built up over a lifetime of standing on principle even when those principles weren’t fashionable. And like Trump, but in a vastly different way, Sanders calls Americans to a common purpose while Democratic insiders continue to cater to their most loyal constituencies and ignore other very large swaths of the population.

To party regulars, both Trump and Sanders are seen as unwelcome intruders, as skunks at the picnic. On one side, the skunk is feasting. The other side’s skunk is being shooed away. But the fact that the inner circle on both sides see both Trump and Sanders as such says a lot about the similar mindsets in the two major parties and the glaring vulnerabilities both parties have.

— Mike McCabe

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 11:09
 
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