Monthly Archives: August 2011

Think Progress: Koch Responds To Buffett: ‘My Business And Non-Profit Investments Are Much More Beneficial To Society’

-By Lee Fang

August 20, 2011- America’s current tax system forces people making $50,000 a year to pay a higher rate than hedge fund managers making $2.4 million an hour. Warren Buffett penned an op-ed last week declaring that America’s super-rich have been “coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.” Lamenting the numerous tax loopholes and special breaks afforded to billionaire investors, Buffett noted that in his entire career, even when capital gains rates were as high as 39.9 percent, he never saw anyone “shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.”

RAW Story: Wisconsin’s photo ID law for voters facing lawsuit

-By Andrew Jones

August 22, 2011- The law requiring Wisconsin's citizens to show photo ID in order to vote is facing a possible lawsuit, as opponents of the law say it violates the state's Constitution.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the League of Women Votes of Wisconsin is preparing the lawsuit that alleges the law violates 'right to vote' provisions of the state constitution not present in the U.S. Constitution.

"It is absolutely clear that the Legislature paid no attention to the (right to vote) provisions of the Wisconsin Constitution when it passed voter ID," said their attorney Lester Pines. "I'm not aware of any point in which they came up."

AP: 2 Wisconsin Democrats keep their Senate seats

-By Scott Bauer

August 16, 2011- MADISON, Wis. — Two Democratic Wisconsin state senators targeted by Republicans survived their elections Tuesday, ending a tumultuous summer of recalls spurred by anger over how lawmakers reacted to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal curbing collective bargaining rights of public workers.

Democrats picked up two seats through the nine recalls but were unable to wrest majority Senate control away from the GOP, which now holds a narrow 17-16 majority. Before the recalls, Republicans had a 19-14 edge in the chamber.

The two senators facing recall Tuesday were among the 14 senators who fled the state in February in opposition to Walker's proposal which passed despite their absence and has been held up by the state Supreme Court.

Democratic Sen. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie defeated Kenosha attorney Jonathan Steitz, and Sen. Jim Holperin of Conover beat tea party Republican Kim Simac of Eagle River.

A third Democrat won a recall election last month. Two Republicans were defeated in six recall elections last week.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wirch retains Wisconsin Senate seat in recall vote

-By Georgia Pabst

August 16, 2011- Longtime Democratic legislator Robert Wirch beat back a challenge from Republican political newcomer Jonathan Steitz in Tuesday's recall election in Senate District 22 in the Kenosha County area.

Wirch, 67, was one of the 14 Senate Democrats who left the state last winter during Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill battle that eliminated most collective bargaining for public employees.

The move led to recall efforts of Wirch and two other Democratic senators. He's been in the Senate since 1996 and was in the Assembly before that.

Soon after the race was declared Tuesday for Wirch, Democrats issued this statement from him:

"I am proud to continue to represent the people of the Kenosha region.

"The future of Wisconsin depends on the strength of our working, middle class families and I look forward to returning to Madison with two new Democratic Senators to enact a moderate, Wisconsin agenda that supports them."

Last week, Wirch said he'd try to bring moderation and compromise back to Madison.

AP: Rick Scott pays less than $400 annually for state health insurance

August 10, 2011- TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott, a critic of the federal health care overhaul, is paying less than $400 a year for health insurance for himself and his wife.

While Scott is accepting no salary for his job as governor, the multimillionaire and former hospital chain executive chose to enroll in the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance plan offered by the state of Florida.

Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It's a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies.

Nearly all 160 state legislators are also enrolled in the program that costs just $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage.

Brian Burgess, a spokesman for Scott, confirmed the governor and his wife are enrolled in the state health insurance plan, but refused to discuss why Scott signed up. He called the governor's health care coverage "private matters."

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