FROM Lisa Graves
The National Showdown in Wisconsin Three months after Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker took office last year there were massive protests in the state capitol. Democrats fled the state to prevent a legislative quorum for his proposals. But Walker finally got his way with enactment of new laws to restrict almost all collective bargaining for public employees and to increase their payments for health insurance and retirement benefits. Next Tuesday, Walker faces a recall against Democrat Tom Barrett , the Mayor of Milwaukee. We size up next week's election and learn what's at stake for the presidential campaign in a crucial swing state.
The National Showdown in Wisconsin Three months after Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker took office last year there were massive protests at the state capitol. Democrats fled the state to prevent a legislative quorum for his proposals. But Walker finally got his way with enactment of new laws to restrict almost all collective bargaining for public employees and to increase their payments for health insurance and retirement benefits. The first-term governor is making the kind of history politicians fear most, becoming only the third governor in US history to face a recall election. But Walker's being called a "hero" by Mitt Romney, and his fate could have a major impact on this year's presidential election. Big-time money from Republican outsiders is pouring into a state that could be the archetype of political polarization. If Walker survives, will it help Romney's chances against President Obama in the industrial Midwest? Will it be a blow to clout of organized labor?
The American Legislative Exchange Council: Who Is ALEC? When George Zimmerman admitted killing Trayvon Martin but he was not arrested, Florida's " Stand Your Ground " law became a household word. Then it turned out that 24 other states had similar laws. How did that happen? The answer is the American Legislative Exchange Council . We hear the pros and cons of the group called ALEC.
A New Look at the Sausage Factory Where Laws Are Made The Trayvon Martin killing has sparked a national firestorm over Florida's " Stand Your Ground " law. Now it turns out that 24 other states have similar laws because of a little known group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. " ALEC " brought state legislators from around the country together with lobbyists for the NRA to agree that Florida's law would become a model for other states. What other measures has ALEC originated? Is it democracy in action, or a way to enact special interest legislation without public scrutiny? Note: ALEC declined our invitation to participate in this program.
The War against Terror and Civil Rights It's been less than a week since Britain's MI-5 intelligence service said 1600 people are under surveillance for 30 terrorist plots linked to al Qaeda in Pakistan. Today, Queen Elizabeth presented Tony Blair's last program to Parliament , indicating that the Prime Minister will ask for new legislation to address the terrorist threat. Meantime, President Bush still wants Congress to approve his program of wiretaps without court warrants. Democrats say wait until next year. While everybody agrees it's essential to monitor communications between terrorist suspects, how much oversight is required to prevent abuse? We look at surveillance in Britain, assess the severity of the threat in this country, and consider whether intelligence agents are hampered by too many rules.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?