Spotlight on Wisconsin

Money & Politics Blog: What a $pectacular year it was!

For Wisconsin residents, 2011 was the kind of year that helps explain why the Chinese consider “May you live in interesting times” to be a curse. Amid all of the hubbub and strife, many of us found ourselves hoping that things would get a bit less interesting.

As Wisconsin was thrust into the national limelight, the intersection of money and politics became a busy place. Here are a few highlights:

Money & Politics Blog: Ad campaign comes ‘close to the line’

Let no one doubt American ingenuity -- especially regarding ways to pour special-interest money into the political process.

In recent weeks, two conservative groups -- the Madison-based John K. MacIver Institute and national Americans for Prosperity Foundation -- have run three television ads praising changes in the state’s relationship with its public employees.

Money & Politics Blog: Turbine jobs are gone with the wind

Dec 14, 2011 - For a state that’s made “Open for Business” its official mantra, Wisconsin sure seems lukewarm about jobs in the highly competitive -- and lucrative -- field of wind energy.

Money & Politics Blog: Watchdog or attack dog?

In line at a downtown Madison coffee shop, Scot Ross is approached by a woman who jokes that he’s becoming “the poster child for the recall.”

Ross, the executive director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, is amused by such comments. He says his group is as neutral as Switzerland on the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans.

“We don’t tell people how to vote,” he insists. “We don’t advocate for the election or defeat of any candidate.”

Money & Politics Blog: Walker’s school message open to debate

As Wisconsin braces for a new round of recalls, including what will likely be the costliest race for governor in state history, it’s worth remembering that what matters most is not the money but the message.

Money is really just the means for delivering messages. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s messaging machine is already revved up, especially on the critical issue of education.