Politics & Government

Political news

Dave Reid, flickr

There have been some major policy issues debated in Wisconsin over the past few months – from changes to the board that oversees elections, to the future of the education and the state’s role in economic development. Most, if not all, of the changes coming from Madison have been made along partisan lines, as Republicans control both houses of the legislature and the governor’s seat.

That makes for a challenging period for Democrats in the legislature, including Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, who represents La Crosse and other parts of western Wisconsin.

The House of Representatives has easily passed a GOP-authored bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures.

The bill — called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015 — would require the secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence to sign off on every individual refugee from Iraq and Syria, affirming he or she is not a threat.

While a majority of the nation's governors have asked the Obama administration to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their state, a prominent Tennessee lawmaker has gone a step further: He's suggested the National Guard round up recently arrived refugees and prevent the arrival of additional refugees.

"If I err, it will be on the side of not having another Paris, France," said state Rep. Glen Casada, the chairman of the House Republican Caucus in the state Legislature. "When we let them in, we are letting terrorists in."

At every turn, this year's presidential campaign has proved conventional wisdom wrong. The aftermath of the Paris attacks might be another example.

As soon as the attacks were over, a chorus of (establishment) Republican voices predicted that the new focus on national security and terrorism would change the dynamic of the Republican race. This was the tipping point, they declared, that would finally usher out the outsiders leading the polls — Donald Trump and Ben Carson — in favor of more serious, experienced candidates.

nrcgov, flickr

There’s talk in Wisconsin of resurrecting nuclear power. Right now, there’s only one working plant here, the Point Beach facility along Lake Michigan. 

The state imposed a ban on new nuclear plants in 1983 after a few scares elsewhere.

On Wednesday, dozens of people packed into a hearing at the State Capitol to testify on a bill that would lift Wisconsin’s moratorium. Most who weighed in say they favor the change.

The superPAC backing Jeb Bush seemed to have everything it needed. It went into the primaries with the most money by far. Right to Rise USA had raised $103 million by June 30, with plenty of help from Bush before he officially announced his candidacy and could no longer legally ask for big contributions.

In September, Right to Rise put the money to work, announcing it would buy $24 million worth of TV ads in the first three nominating states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Copyright 2015 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Bernie Sanders proudly says he doesn't have a superPAC — one of those unshackled political committees that raise and spend unlimited money that the candidate couldn't accept.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., may not be running for president in 2016, but she was campaigning hard Wednesday to be an agenda-setting power broker.

At 9:30 a.m., she joined the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute to release the Women's Economic Agenda, a list of 12 proposals aimed at closing the gender wage gap. It covers issues such as raising the minimum wage, providing paid family leave and increasing access to child care.