politics

The last eight years have represented a sea change in the Wisconsin political environment. The election of Scott Walker as governor in 2010 ushered in an era of Republican dominance at many levels, including the 2016 Presidential election. Donald Trump won Wisconsin, a result that surprised many national political observers.

The story of Wisconsin’s transformation is familiar to those who live in the state, but writer Dan Kaufman believes it also holds relevance to the rest of the country.

The election night map in 2016 brought many surprises, but none more stunning than Wisconsin's switch from blue to red — marking its first vote for a Republican presidential ticket since 1984.

Michigan and Pennsylvania also ended long Democratic streaks that night. But the Badger State was the big shock, because Barack Obama had carried it twice by comfortable margins and Hillary Clinton had led all through the fall in the most respected statewide poll.

Slate

Note: You can find the full audio from Leon Neyfakh's on-stage interview in Milwaukee at the bottom of this post.

The news these days is filled with stories of high-level leaks, dirty tricks, and a President with a habit of saying things you wouldn't expect to hear from a Chief Executive.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Rank-and-file Democrats and loyal Republicans don't agree on much in Wisconsin. But a new effort to lure a major event to Milwaukee has won approval from both sides of the aisle. 

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce - a generally pro-business and often politically conservative group - is backing a bid to lure the 2020 Democratic National Convention to Milwaukee. Prominent Democrats are behind the effort as well, including Mayor Tom Barrett. Advocates say it would bring in tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.

Paul Drinkwater / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globe Awards last weekend spurred almost immediate speculation by many about whether the celebrity would make a strong presidential candidate. In the days since, political analysts and regular people alike have debated whether her political skills would differ greatly from our current president, who also came from well outside the political sphere.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

In the United States, we talk a lot about the First Amendment and freedom of the press, and it’s part of our system of governance. And for decades, we’ve taken it for granted.

Courtesy of the ACLU of Wisconsin

When Faiz Shakir joined the American Civil Liberties Union this past January, the organization was still preparing for the inauguration of Donald Trump. Months prior to Shakir’s arrival, the ACLU released a letter addressed to Trump, threatening to sue him if he acted on several of his campaign promises.

He did, and they did. Since his first week in office, the ACLU has been fighting the Trump Administration in court. But in conjunction with these legal battles, the ACLU has been working to build up its political arm in Washington and around the country.

Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images

Politicians of all stripes are reacting to the latest schism in the Republican Party. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake - an outspoken critic of President Trump - announced he won’t seek reelection next year. And in doing so, he became even more outspoken in his criticism of the President and what he believes Trump represents.

Mitch Teich

Donald Trump grabs worldwide headlines, it seems, every time he sends a message into the Twitterverse, whether it's about North Korea, or the National Anthem protests by professional athletes.  Wisconsin writer John Nichols says that while those stories have importance, there are equally important stories involving members of the Trump Administration that are going underreported.

Sollok29 / Wikimedia

When the Panama Papers were released in 2016, the investigative report led to protesting in countries around the globe and deposed several world leaders.

Michelle Maternowski

A little more than a week after the Trump Administration announced it is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA and the White House are back in the news this week, as the President and Congressional Democrats both said a deal to legislate DACA might be at hand.

Warning: This post contains some very graphic language

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

The newly installed Trump White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, unloaded on the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and adviser Steve Bannon with some harsh language that would make a sailor blush.

Adam Glanzman / Getty Images

The 2018 elections are more than a year away, but already, several candidates are talking about challenging Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan has held his southern Wisconsin seat for nearly 20 years. But many constituents are upset with Ryan's shepherding of an Affordable Care Act replacement through the House.

Justin W Kern

Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal level are hoping to break through the gridlock when they resume work later this month on key pieces of legislation. Despite their majorities, Republicans haven’t been able to see eye to eye.

Take Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson -- one of the lawmakers slowing the Senate GOP effort to replace the Affordable Care Act. He expressed concern over his colleagues' plan last week.

As Americans prepare to celebrate the country's 241st birthday, they believe the overall tone and level of civility between Democrats and Republicans in the nation's capital has gotten worse since the election of President Trump last year, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. The same survey also shows distrust of many of the nation's fundamental democratic institutions among the public.

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