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  • Pocan settling in but searching for across-the-aisle cooperation
    Dem Mark Pocan’s friendship with Republican Robin Vos in the Assembly made them a political odd couple – a liberal from Dane County and a conservative from Racine County who disagreed on almost everything, but touted their ability to get along on a personal level. Finding the same kind of across-th... <more>

  • Abele prefers to avoid political labels
    Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele knows he’s not easy to pin down politically. While the first-term county exec has advocated for liberal causes -- the philanthropist has donated largely to Democratic campaigns and pushed for marriage equality -- his budgeting philosophy has been more fiscally... <more>

  • WisPolitics.com interview: New Assembly JFC Co-chair John Nygren
    For most budget watchers, staring at a $3.6 billion deficit at the start of budget season seems tougher than looking at a small surplus. But new Joint Finance Co-chair John Nygren says that's not necessarily the case. "A tough budget for Republicans is when you have some money," Nygren said in a n... <more>

  • WisPolitics.com interview: Returning JFC Co-chair Alberta Darling
    Joint Finance Co-chair Alberta Darling says there are still some in the state who may not agree with what Republicans did the past two years. But in looking at the plight of other states compared to the surplus Wisconsin carries into the upcoming budget, she says it's clear those reforms are worki... <more>

  • As Franklin returns to teaching, Marquette Law School mulls poll's future
    The future of the Marquette University Law School Poll is still to be hashed out. But poll director Charles Franklin believes the poll's results over the past year bear out the methodology and says there's plenty of opportunity for future polling. Franklin said in a WisPolitics.com interview that ... <more>

  • Vos hints at GOP education agenda
    Incoming Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is hinting at a broad GOP education agenda that will build off the Act 10 reforms Republicans pushed through last session. Despite his projection that more than $1 billion in new revenue will be available over the next two years to formulate the 2013-2015 budget,... <more>

  • Kooyenga, Pasch debate MPS and alternative schools
    State Reps. Sandy Pasch and Dale Kooyenga agreed last week that the state's school funding formula needs to change. But the lawmakers -- speaking during a WisPolitics.com luncheon in Milwaukee -- had vastly different positions on how the state's K-12 system should be better funded. Pasch, D-Shorew... <more>

  • Fitzgerald predicts big boost in state revenue
    Senate Majority Leader-elect Scott Fitzgerald has a gut feeling that the Legislature could have as much as $1 billion in flexibility as it constructs the upcoming state budget. Fitzgerald, re-elected to his old post last week after Republicans re-took control of the Senate, says he’s not basing i... <more>

  • Vos hopes budget can bolster those who sacrificed to balance the books
    After a contentious session and budget that saw a number of groups make sacrifices to help balance the state’s books, Robin Vos hopes to reward some of those same people. That goes for state employees, too. "If our revenues come back at the level where I hope they'll be, I want to make sure we pu... <more>

  • School board member Maureen May-Grimm focuses on education
    Maureen May-Grimm was filling up her car with gas her first day on the Mineral Point School Board when a citizen approached her and said his wife had been overlooked for a district job promotion. It drove home to her the impact of board decisions on those “I have to look in the eye every day.” And ... <more>

  • Feingold still on the campaign trail
    When pundits look at Wisconsin and wonder how a state that voted in June to keep Scott Walker could back Barack Obama five months later, some see a schizophrenic electorate. Russ Feingold doesn’t buy it. “I don’t see it as people lurching around in all kinds of different directions,” Feingold said... <more>

  • WisPolitics.com e-profiles: State party finance directors
    **Colleen Coyle** Colleen Coyle was born in Wisconsin's staunchly liberal capital city and returned to start her career in politics. But in the interim, the finance director for the state Republican Party made her home in more conservative-friendly Texas, graduating from Southern Methodi... <more>

  • Libertarian Party chair not concerned about possible spoiler role
    The chairman of the state Libertarian Party says he's not concerned that some of the 12 candidates his party has on the ballot around the state could be viewed as spoilers by supporters of the two major parties. “We like to make sure that people know that the more choices somebody has the more the ... <more>

  • Green Party chair: Major parties' cash advantage hard to overcome
    The Green Party of Wisconsin has just two candidates running for state or national office in Wisconsin on Tuesday Claude VanderVeen, the party’s state chairman, said there is a level of disgust with politics from many voters that could favor third-parties, but that the amount of money pouring int... <more>

  • Freshman Rep. Krug sees jobs, economy as top issues
    State Rep. Scott Krug says the issues in his current campaign for the 72nd Assembly District are largely the same as in his upset win over longtime Dem Rep. Marlin Schneider in 2010. Those include jobs and the economy, but also previous increases in taxes, regulations and spending. Krug says in a ... <more>

  • Pluess looks to tone down political divisiveness
    Justin Pluess says the top issue among both Democrats and Republicans on the campaign trail in the 72nd AD is the divisive nature of state politics. And the first-time Assembly candidate -- a Wisconsin Rapids firefighter, paramedic, and an instructor at Mid-State Technical College -- says he's in a... <more>

  • WisPolitics.com e-profiles: Wisconsin Obama campaign officials
    **Tripp Wellde** Tripp Wellde owes his career to President Barack Obama. Not only has he worked for the president's campaign since the early stages of his 2008 run -- serving as Iowa field director, Midwest regional director, Wisconsin coordinated campaign advisor and, currently, as Wisconsin s... <more>

  • WisPolitics.com e-profiles: State GOP communications staff
    **Nathan Conrad** Nathan Conrad is a recent arrival to Wisconsin politics after nearly a decade of political work he says was inspired by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "I grew up in a Republican household, but was never fully engaged until 9/11," the Oregon native and state GOP communications di... <more>

  • Bernier sees possible tweaks to voter ID, collective bargaining rules
    GOP freshman state Rep. Kathy Bernier says she'd make a few changes to voter ID if she had to do it over again and wouldn't mind expanding the collective bargaining changes, but says the state has been through enough upheaval for a while. Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, says the voter ID law -- now on h... <more>

  • Teacher Smriga says surplus should go to education
    After spending 43 years as a teacher, it should probably be no surprise that Dem Assembly candidate Judy Smriga opposes the collective bargaining changes Republicans pushed through this session and believes education is a good place to park money from a budget surplus -- should it materialize. She ... <more>


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