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What’s the Matter with Wisconsin?

Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, faces a brutal reelection campaign next year. Donald Trump narrowly won Wisconsin, helped by Governor Scott Walker’s voter suppression tactics. Republican super PACs are already raising hundreds of millions to defeat her. At a recent fundraiser in New York City, she tells us about a book published last year by U. Wisconsin Professor Katherine Cramer, The Politics of Resentment. The book explores how upstate Wisconsin – which later voted heavily for Trump – passionately hates the downstate cities of Madison and Milwaukee, and government at all levels. That goes especially for the U.S. Forest Service, which holds a great deal of upstate land. Baldwin imitates the way upstate people shake their fists at Forest Service signs. With some cause: due to federal budget cuts, the Service lacks the staff to select and auction trees to the lumber mills, thus killing jobs in the upstate wood products industry.

Read my review of The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker from Dollars & Sense, March/April 2017.

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