Group takes aim at low-wage jobs

Wisconsin Jobs Now! has in recent months been targeting fast food franchises and other stores in Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau as part of a national campaign. Participants want a wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize.

State cool to climate-change action

Of the more than 600 bills introduced in Wisconsin’s 2013-14 legislative session, none contains the terms “climate change,” “greenhouse gases” or “global warming,” and only a handful deal with energy policy.

GOP pressed on redistricting

Wisconsin’s last redistricting, after the 2010 Census, was done in secret and cost taxpayers more than $2 million. Ruling Republicans strategically carved districts to maximize their electoral prospects, much as Democrats would had done had they been able.

A GOP-backed anti-gun bill

A bill now being drafted for state Sen. Alberta Darling would mandate a three-year prison term for illegal firearm possession. Darling said she acted after talking with law enforcement officials in Milwaukee, where 23 people were shot, seven fatally, during a single week in early August.

Out-of-state donors buoy Walker

Of the $3.5 million received by Walker in the first six months of this year, nearly $2 million came from out of state. This continues a trend that began when Walker first announced sweeping changes to the collective bargaining power of most public employees.

Feingold cause plays big in state

In politics, as in comedy, timing is key, even if it’s accidental. The same week in February 2011 that Russ Feingold announced the formation of the advocacy group Progressives United to “stand up to the exploding corporate influence in our political system,” events in Wisconsin gave him something to advocate about.

The state budget, by the numbers

The biennial state budget is, in theory, fundamentally about numbers. So here are some numbers from and about the 2013-15 budget as crafted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature.