Wisconsin Could be the First State to Defeat Anti-Gay Amendment

Julaine Appling, executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, made the following comment in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"It reminds us there is an awesome job of education that must be done."

Who is Appling planning on educating and why?  Well, apparently she is planning on teaching Wisconsinites some sort of lesson because a new Wispolitics poll shows that she is on the losing side of the attempt to ban civil unions and gay marriage.  Apparently she feels that an increasing amount of Wisconsinites are ignorant because they disagree with her extreme views.

The new Wispolitics poll should be very encouraging on several levels to the opponents of the Discrimination Amendment. The poll found that only 49% of Wisconsinites favored the Amendment banning civil unions and gay marriage, while 48% opposed it.  The poll has a 4% margin of error which tells us that this could go either way but the momentum is clearly on the side of the Amendment's opponents.

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Wisconsin Gov. Announces "Declaration of Energy Independence"

Today Governor Doyle announced Wisconsin's "Declaration of Energy Independence" at a press conference in Green Bay. In the announcement he declares that Wisconsin should take the lead in renewable energy production. Some specific goals, according to a report by the Green Bay Press Gazette, include generating 25 percent of Wisconsin's power and 25 percent of the state's transportation fuel from renewable resources by 2025. He is also urging Wisconsin to capture 10 percent of the renewable energy industry's market share by 2030, this is likely to bring tens of thousands of jobs to our state.

The Governor's office states that we will achieve these new goals through comprehensive efforts such as grant funding, incentives for research, support for ethanol and other biofuels, and a new initiative to make several University of Wisconsin campuses 100% energy independent within five years. Governor Doyle is also directing state agencies to work toward achieving the goals in the Declaration. The Governor's press release goes into even more detail regarding the first actions to be taken within the next few months.

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Honoring Wisconsin's Fallen Soldiers

As our nation celebrates its birthday let us all take the time to remember those soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq and Afganistan.

Let us never forget that each tragedy is much more than a number and leaves in its path a terrible loss to a family and a community.

In yesterday's Forward Report ( http://onewisconsinnow.org/report.html )we have listed the names, pictures and links to stories about all of Wisconsin's fallen soldiers from Iraq and Afganistan.

*Originally posted at One Wisconsin Now's One Blog at
http://onewisconsinnow.org/blog/?p=35

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Wal-Mart Allies Choose Higher Taxes Over Fair Share

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the amount of uninsured workers being forced onto state programs has risen 13% in the last year.  Here are a few specifics from the story:

A recent state Department of Health and Family Services analysis shows that at the 18 biggest employers of BadgerCare recipients, the total number of employees and their spouses and dependents enrolled in the program was 5,573 in March 2006, up from 4,923 in April 2005.

It should be no surprise that the employer topping this list is Wal-Mart Inc.  They came in first with 904 employees enrolled in BadgerCare, the state health care program for low-income families.  They have over twice as many as McDonald's Corp. which placed second.

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Second Guessing Conservative Tax Theory

Last week the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance released a report based on their interpretation of U.S. Census data.  According to their report, they almost seemed reluctant to admit that Wisconsin's tax burden has gone down for the last several years.  Even so the group ranks Wisconsin as the nation's sixth-highest in taxes for 2004.

Although there is research that demonstrates that this high tax reputation is more hype than fact, there is a different point to be made here.  So for the sake of argument, let's say that the WISTAX ratings are accurate.

Rounding out their list of states with the highest taxes: they rank Vermont in 5th place, then Hawaii, Maine, Wyoming, and the highest taxed state is New York.

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