FROM Patrick Marley
Collective Bargaining for Public Employees With a history of support for organized labor, Wisconsin was the first state with collective bargaining for public employees. But now, after three years of upheaval, Republican Governor Scott Walker has made it a bastion of opposition. The state Supreme Court has upheld Act 10, which all but eliminates collective bargaining with public sector unions. Patrick Marley is Statehouse Reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Is There a War on Voting Rights? Democrats and Republicans know that every vote counts, especially in a divided nation. All over the country, Republicans in state capitols are passing laws to limit what they call rampant voter fraud. Democrats say the GOP has declared war on the rights of voters who want to re-elect Barack Obama. We hear about a dispute that's fundamental to American democracy.
Voter ID and the 'Battle Before the Battle' Republicans insist that voter fraud is so common it could change the results of elections or at least diminish confidence in the integrity of the process. But Democrats say the GOP is pushing voter-identification laws to keep students, the elderly and especially African Americans away from the polls. In 2008, those voters were crucial to electing Barack Obama. Last year (except for the elderly) they stayed home, and Republicans won big. We hear what's happening in state capitols all over the country. Do both parties try to use election laws to their own advantage?
Wisconsin and the Rights of Government Employees Wisconsin's public employee unions say they've agreed to Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposed increases in pension and healthcare contributions. But they're into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited.
Standoff Continues in Wisconsin In Madison, protesters packed the Capitol again today as Wisconsin's Governor refused to negotiate his controversial budget bill. Republican Scott Walker's plan is aimed at a $137 million shortfall. The state's public employee unions say they've agreed to Walker's proposed pay cuts and pension contributions, but are into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited. The minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from enacting the Governor's proposal. President Obama's accused Walker of an "assault against unions," and minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from changing the law. We get the latest's on a bitter dispute focused on government workers and the economy.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?