Daily Archives: June 5, 2012

Will Wisconsin be a bellwether?

Any attempted recall of a governor is remarkable for its rarity. But national media may be overdoing it in seeing the Wisconsin face-off between Republican incumbent Scott Walker (in photo) and Democrat Tom Barrett as “a bellwether for the presidential election and the future of organized labor,” as the Daily Beast put it. “Each side would have you believe the election means everything – until late Tuesday night, when one side will abruptly change tack and say it means absolutely nothing,” wrote Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson. And even if Walker fends off the challenge, the New Republic’s Alec MacGillis thinks that may not bode ill for President Obama’s re-election, but instead be “a statement of grudging pro-incumbent sentiment in a time of cautious optimism about a painfully gradual economic recovery.”

More contract concerns with SRS

Social service providers are balking at more new contract demands by the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. This time, SRS is mandating stricter limits on using state or federal funding to influence legislation, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. Providers already are barred from spending government money to lobby for or against a specific bill or policy. Language in the new contracts – which SRS says will be used by other state agencies – also prohibits providers from “indirectly” lobbying. What exactly that means is unclear and has caused some providers to refuse to sign the contracts. A national expert contends that the restrictions are unconstitutional, KHI News Service reported. Last month, providers that serve victims of domestic violence objected to other new SRS contract requirements that they contend are unrealistic or potentially harmful.