BREAKING DOWN WALKER’S BUDGET A detailed look at some of Gov. Walker’s most prominent budget proposals University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Walker’s budget means big cuts across the board
UW System split, large funding cuts in budget
Local governments, schools and UW System will face huge decreases in state funding.
By Alex DiTullio and Kayla Johnson
By Patrick Tricker The Daily Cardinal
In front of a joint session of the legislature Tuesday, Gov. Scott Walker presented his 2011-’13 budget, which reduces Wisconsin’s projected shortfall of $3.6 billion to $250 million. Most of the savings come from cutting $1.25 billion of aid to local government, a reduction of 9.2 percent compared to 2009. Walker said this will result in a net increase of more than $150 million because of savings in the budget repair bill, which has yet to be passed by the Senate. “Instead of making the tough decisions that are needed, Gov. Walker has left it to local towns, cities and counties to make the tough decisions that he is unwilling to make himself.” Jennifer Shilling state rep. D-LaCrosse
“This is why it is so vitally important for the Senate Democrats to come back and do their jobs,” Walker said. “If they
do not, our schools face massive layoffs of teachers. However, if they do come back, overall savings for schools across the state will outweigh reductions, ultimately allowing schools to put more money in the classroom.” Outside the Capitol, tens of thousands of protesters gathered to show their continued discontent with Walker’s budget repair bill, while police limited public access to people seeing their legislators and some protesters. Walker commended the protests and resulting national attention as necessary for healthy public debate. “A great deal of attention has been focused on Wisconsin. That’s okay because freedom thrives each time there is a passionate debate in our society,” Walker said. “Passion and civility can go hand in hand, and that’s what’s on display here in Wisconsin.” Delivering the Democrats’ response, state Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-LaCrosse, accused Walker of limiting democracy by restricting access to the Capitol and said his budget cuts would hurt families and communities. “Instead of making the tough decisions that are needed, Gov. Walker has left it to local towns, cities and counties to make the tough decisions that he is unwilling to make himself,” Shilling said. In addition to cutting aid to local governments, the budget saves $600 million by denying state agencies’ requests, $440 million in debt restructuring and $500 million in Medicaid re-estimates and efficiencies. Walker said his budget would
The Daily Cardinal
Ben Pierson/the daily cardinal
Gov. Scott Walker announced his budget Tuesday, saying the proposed cuts would reduce the state deficit by 90 percent. reduce all funds spending by $4.2 billion compared to the 2010-’11 fiscal year. The bill limits the amount local governments could increase property taxes to prevent them from offsetting the aid decreases. Additionally, recycling requirements and corresponding financial assistance would be drastically cut, and the early release program, which allowed decreased prison sentences for good behavior, would be eliminated, costing the state more money. Walker’s budget would provide $196 million for
the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and eliminate the capital gains tax on investments in Wisconsin companies, costing the state $36 million. Walker said he was confident his budget would help meet his goal of creating 250,000 jobs. “Our budget lays that foundation by freeing taxpayers to create jobs in the private sector, by limiting the size and scope of government and by focusing our government on meeting core priorities,” Walker said. “Where we must make reductions, we do so wisely.”
Judge issues injunction requiring public access to the Capitol Confusion reigned at the Capitol Tuesday as protesters were denied access into the building for the second straight day despite a judge ordering the doors be opened for the public. The Department of Administration changed access rules throughout the day. People were admitted on a one-to-one basis up until 5:30 p.m., at which no one was allowed access. “These procedures are intended to keep the total number of Capitol visitors at a level that will allow state government to continue in a safe and secure environment,” the DOA said in a statement. Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser issued the tempo-
rary injunction and restraining order to keep the Capitol open to the public Tuesday during normal business hours or when hearings, listening sessions or court arguments are being conducted. The DOA said they complied with this order even though access to the Capitol remained restricted. Scott Trigg, a dissertator, was protesting on Sunday when the police announced demonstrators could return Monday at the start of business hours. “The next day, Walker’s department of administration said ‘We’ve changed the rules,’” Scott said. “It’s a complete sham.” State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, access page 3
Kathryn Weenig/the daily cardinal
Protesters scrambled to get into the Capitol Tuesday after a judge issued an injunction requiring the DOA to let them in.
While some are optimistic, others remain hesitant about substantial changes to the UW System proposed in Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011’13 budget. In an effort to combat the budget deficit, Walker proposed a plan to remove UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee from the UW System, in addition to cutting $250 million in state aid from the system, $125 million of which will be directly from UW-Madison. Chancellor Biddy Martin said although the “very deep and painful” cuts would require the university to make sacrifices, the flexibility granted through the removal of UW-Madison from the system would the blow. “What we have got to do now is use all the tools we have available to us, which will include greater flexibility, some tuition increases that we have to be very thoughtful about and some actual cuts, because there is no way to do all of this without changing something in the way we are operating,” Martin said. Martin said although it is too soon to announce how the 13 percent cut will materialize at the university level, deans, unit heads and academic planning councils have already started working to allocate the cuts. “What we’ve asked everyone to do is think really hard about their priorities, about the university’s strength, about our educational programs and make strategic decisions, not just cut everything across the board,” Martin said. In a similar fashion to UW-Madison, Walker’s budget proposes establishing UW-Milwaukee as a public authority model. As a public authority model, the universities would have independent governing boards and would receive their funds from the state in block grants to be allotted at their discretion. Walker brought up the possibility of a flexibility model for UW-Milwaukee after meeting with UW System chancellors in February. Some in the UW-Milwaukee community have apprehensions concerning the split. “We welcome the governor’s commitment to give us greater flexibility, however we don’t know what the impact of moving to a different governance system would be on our campus,” said UW-Milwaukee Vice Chancellor for University Relations Tom Luljak in a statement. As the only two research universities with doctoral programs in split page 3
“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”
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I’d be the girl walking Oscar winners off stage
Volume 120, Issue 99
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Kathleen Brosnan ’leen back
ne time, a man with dreads, wearing a brown, suede, fringed jacket belted out, “We all want to be big big stars, but we don’t know why and we don’t know how,” while bopping around in the most awkward yet awesome way possible. That man was Adam Duritz from Counting Crows, and the song was “Mr. Jones”—my main jam back in the day. Adam, you don’t know why we all want to be stars? I can tell you: It’s so we can go to the Oscars. And, you don’t think we know how to become stars? For me at least, after my failed stint as a local theatre actress, I decided screenplays would be my ticket. So, in third grade I started writing “The Elephant that Jumped on Trampolines.” That gem would be a Disney Classic by now if it hadn’t been for Oprah. I was scarfing down Cheerios and working on my script—spoon in one hand, pen in the other, just like all overworked 9-year-old screen-
writer prodigies—when I heard Oprah’s voice booming from our family room. Her disheartening words still ring in my ears, “In California, everyone and their dog has written a screenplay.” And that was it. In three brief seconds, Oprah shattered my dreams. I put “The Elephant that Jumped on Trampolines” on the back burner and attended to kid stuff, like setting records on my Skip-It. Even though I’ve set my Oscar ambitions aside, I still get super excited to watch them. Here is how a conversation went with my roommate when I proposed hosting an Oscar party… Me: The Academy Awards are less than a week away. I’m really, really pumped. I’m not a big fan of award shows, but I really love movies and I enjoy celebrating them. I’m not saying we should make it an overblown event, but we should definitely get some brats, and you should make that nacho dip everyone goes berserk over. I mean, Packer fans got their Sunday glory three weeks ago, now it’s my turn. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for them, but the Oscars have a little somethin’ somethin’ for everyone.
Roommate: Say it.
Me: I don’t think costumes should be mandated in order to get in, but we can probably work in prizes for those who make the effort to dress up. For the past few days I’ve been wrestling over whether to be Milton from “Office Space” or June Carter from “Walk the Line.” I know they’re kind of on opposite sides of the spectrum, but once you’ve had time to think it over, let me know your thoughts.
Me: No, no, I couldn’t.
Roommate: … Me: Oh, oh and how about Oscar speeches? You know, like during commercials? Everyone can either come with a speech prepared or do one on the fly, whatever is more their style. Then everyone will applaud and it will be just like the real thing. Roommate: I’m really hoping you haven’t already prepared one. Me: Pshh of course not. Roommate: Oh my God. You totally have. Me: Well maybe just a little bit.
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Roommate: OK. Me: Fine, well if you’re going to force me... Roommate: I really don’t care— Me: I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and for allowing me to spend many hours in front of the TV watching movies. I would like to thank the Academy because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing. And I’d like to thank Bill Murray, who I’ve never met but just seems like the coolest guy in the world. After not being recognized for your performance in “Space Jam,” I would like to share this one with you Bill. Oh, but I definitely would not like to thank Oprah. Definitely not. Roommate: Get a life. Do you dance like Adam Duritz? Have any Oscar dreams of your own? Have you ever practiced an acceptance speech? Don’t be shy. Please share with Kathleen at email@example.com.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
UW medical school selects new associate academic dean The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has selected Dr. Elizabeth Petty as the new senior associate dean for academic affairs, the university announced Tuesday. Petty, who will begin the position this summer, is currently the associate dean for medical student education at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is also a professor of internal medicine and human genetics. The position will mean a return to Wisconsin for Petty, who received her medical degree from the UW Medical School in 1986. Before attending UW, she obtained her BA in biology and
split from page 1 Amanda Salm/Cardinal File Photo
The Alcohol Density License Plan received an extension until July 5 in order for city officials to have additional time to propose changes to the plan.
City Council approves final labor agreement for library workers By Maggie DeGroot The Daily Cardinal
The last of the city of Madison labor contracts, along with an extension of the Alcohol License Density Plan and several alcohol license proposals, were approved at the Common Council meeting Tuesday night. Council members adopted the final labor agreement between the city and the library pages through Dec. 31, 2012. Library pages work at the branches of the Madison libraries. The agreement incorporates the wage and benefit provisions currently provided to library pages and a 3 percent wage increase in December 2011. It was the first contract for the library pages, Jennifer McCulley, Staff Representative
access from page 1 D-Madison, who has been adamant in her support for protesters’ access to the Capitol, posted on her Facebook during Gov. Scott Walker’s budget address
for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40, specifically Local 60, said. “We appreciate City Council doing the right thing by passing the final library pages’ contract,” McCulley said. The passage of the contract puts all city unions on the same playing field in terms of benefits through the end of 2012, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said. Verveer said these employees, who joined Local 60 last fall, voluntarily voted to join the union and pay union dues. Council members also voted in favor of extending the sunset period of the Alcohol License Density Ordinance until July 5. The plan was supposed to sunset this month.
ALDO limits the number of alcohol licenses granted to bars and restaurants around downtown Madison. Alcohol License Review Committee members requested the extension so they will have additional time to propose changes to the plans. Council members also adopted several alcohol and entertainment licenses for downtown venues. Tiki Shack, located on State Street, was approved for an alcohol license granted it follows the Alcohol License Review Committee’s conditions such as staying under capacity and serving food during operating hours. Council members also granted a new alcohol license to Osaka House on State Street as long as food will be served during operation hours.
that “the assembly gallery [is] chock-full of lobbyists.” The doors of the Capitol were closed to all visitors after the Joint Finance Executive Session Tuesday night. According to a statement released by the DOA, the build-
ing’s King Street entrance will re-open on Wednesday, March 2 at 8 a.m., with visitors being permitted admission under the same one-to-one system established Tuesday morning. —Samy Moskol
the UW System, UW-Milwaukee community members worry they will not be able to compete with UW-Madison for necessary resources. “UW-Milwaukee is in a different position than the Madison campus, which has many more resources available to it,” Luljak said. Some student leaders at UW-Milwaukee, however, see the proposed split as a doubleedged sword. UW-Milwaukee Student Government President Travis Romero-Boeck said he worries that the university lacks commonalities with what would be the remaining system schools. Additionally, Romero-Boeck said UW-Milwaukee serves different constituencies than UW-Madison, something he believes could hinder the success of a separation and alter the demographic that the school currently serves. “Not every school has the infrastructure and the tuition revenue to do this,” RomeroBoeck said. “I’m not even sure, at this point, that Milwaukee could do it.” The budget proposes an expansion of the G.I. Bill to provide
art history from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. Petty focuses her research on genetic mapping and syndrome identification. Outside of the laboratory, she is “actively engaged in collaborative research projects to explore how people understand and PETTY use information about genetics in their lives and the impact advances in genetics… has on them,” according to her University of Michigan webpage. reimbursement of academic fees to veterans for up to 128 credits or eight semesters at a higher education institution. Walker’s proposed budget also includes the phasing out of the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, a scholarship program aimed at lowincome and first-generational students, limiting it to students who sign up before Sept. 30, 2011. The foundation, requiring a B average and community service, provides support and financial aid to high school students whose families earn $80,000 or less to gain admission to partnered higher education institutions. Also in the budget, Walker proposes to eliminate in-state tuition rates for undocumented persons at UW-Madison, UW System campuses and technical colleges. Walker also proposed in his budget and highlighted in his address that all UW System four-year campuses be authorized to create a charter school. Martin said she was surprised by the governor’s charter school proposal as she was not aware it was a major issue. She said she could not remember any UW chancellors, including herself, expressing an interest in creating a charter school.
City in Brief West Beltline temporarily shut down The West Beltline Highway between Gammon Road and Whitney Way was temporarily shut down for three hours Tuesday due to falling ice. The large chunks of ice fell onto the highway from the tower of WMTV, the local NBC station, start-
ing around 2 p.m., Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said. There were no reports of ice striking moving vehicles, DeSpain said. Ice was, however, hitting the roadway. All lanes of the West Beltline Highway reopened around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Three men attack Madison man
Matt Marheine/the daily cardinal
A public hearing was held Tuesday to discuss public access to the Capitol, an issue which has been up in the air since the Department of Administration required protesters to leave Sunday afternoon.
Three men attacked a 21-year-old Madison man on the 300 block of North Henry Street early Saturday morning, according to police. The victim told police he was punched several times. He was not seriously injured in the assault, Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said. “Prior to the battery, he indicated his attackers made derogatory comments to him while
he was dancing inside a bar,” DeSpain said in a statement. Police said they believe the first suspect has blonde hair, is 19 to 22 years old, around 5'10'' and 145 to 155 pounds. Another suspect is said to be a 19-year-old with brown hair, around 5'7'' and weighs between 130 to 140 pounds, police said. The third suspect is said to be Caucasian and 19 to 22 years old, police said.
THE BUDGET l
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
How Wisconsin will spend $59.2 billion By Ariel Shapiro, Alison Dirr, Mike Scanlan and Parker Gabriel
The UW System and uw-madison
aid to local governments
2011 UW System Funding: $1.15 billion 2012 System Funding $575 million
Cities to face decreases in state assistance, as well as a cap on property taxes.
2012 UW-Madison Funding $378 million
Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal calls for major changes to the UW System and drastic funding cuts to higher education. The proposal divides a $250 million cut equally between the UW System and UW-Madison over the next biennium, while also giving both UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee public authority status. The proposed cut of $125 million to UW-Madison over the next two years amounts to a 13 percent decrease in state funding for the university, according to a statement by Chancellor Biddy Martin. The budget also included a proposal to give UW-Madison public authority status by July 1 of this year, thereby splitting the university from the UW System. Similarly, over the next two years system administration will be required to allocate $250,000 to a plan meant to give UW-Milwaukee the same public authority status. These cuts come with what the budget called a “modest” tuition increase for all UW System institutions. Wisconsin technical colleges would also sustain a cut of $71.6 million over the next two years.
Individual Aid 22 percent Local Assistance 51 percent
University Funding 7 percent All Other State Operations 13 percent
State spending for the 2012-’13 fiscal year
Graphic by dylan moriarty
Expenditures reduced by $500 million.
Decreases funding by $53.5 million, a 4.7 percent cut from 2011 to 2012.
Although the budget does not propose slashing funds for Medicaid, it intends to curb what Walker called unsustainable growth in the program, which subsidizes health care for lowincome families and individuals, According to the proposal, the increased participation in Medicaid over the past two years is because of the federal stimulus funding the program received. Instead of cutting the program’s funding, Walker is planning for Medicaid to reduce its expenditures by $500 million. The proposal also said the state will seek permission from the federal government to change eligibility standards for Medicaid and cut the number of participants in the program. Without that change, the report said Medicaid will exceed its budget by $100 million.
The Wisconsin Department of Corrections would see some significant changes under Walker’s proposed budget. The new budget would end the early release program for prisoners who have demonstrated good behavior, and would also cut the department’s overall funding. The state would cut corrections funding the by $22.7 million in fiscal year 2011-’12 and $29.9 million in fiscal year 2012-’13, though repealing the early release program would increase costs. However, the state will provide increased funds for certain programs, including the DNA criminal data bank and investigations on internet predators targeting children.
Department of Agriculture 2011: $27.3 million 2012: $26.2 million Change: -4.1 percent Health Services 2011: $2.1 billion 2012: $2.6 billion Change: +24 percent
Transportation Increases highway funding by $410 million from last year.
$834 million cut over the biennium. Walker’s budget proposal would reduce aid to elementary and secondary education by $834 million over the next two years. The proposal would limit participation in the Wisconsin Covenant Program to students pledging before Sept. 30. After that, the program would be discontinued to dedicate more funds to higher education financial aid and grant programs. The budget would also modify the Milwaukee Parental County Program. The program currently allows students to attend private schools in the city of Milwaukee at no cost. Under the new budget, enrollment caps would be repealed and any school in Milwaukee County would be allowed to participate. Walker’s budget also allows all fouryear UW campuses to sponsor independent charter schools. Charter school teachers would only be required to have a bachelor’s degree instead of being licensed by the Department of Public Instruction.
Corrections 7 percent
Local governments would see a decrease in state aid totaling $96 million under the proposed budget, as well as limitations in their ability to generate more revenue. For 2012, county governments would see a $36.5 million cut and municipalities a $59.5 million cut, in addition to the $438.4 million proposed decrease in school district funding. Local governments would then face lower property tax revenue limits, which would be 5.5 percent less than what was outlined in the 2010-’11 fiscal year. Such a cap would make it more difficult to make up for lost funds. County and municipal governments would also no longer be required to have recycling programs for solid waste, and the state would cut all funding going towards recycling. All of the money in the fund for recycling and renewable energy would be converted to the economic development fund.
Department of Public Instruction 2011: $5.5 billion 2012: $5.1 billion Change: -7.3 percent
Military Affairs 2011: $22.9 million 2012: $19.5 million Change: -15 percent
Technical Colleges 2011: $145 million 2012: $108 million Change: -25 percent
Department of Tourism 2011: $2.9 million 2012: $3.5 million Change: +22 percent
Differences in state funding for Wisconsin programs This graph tracks the percentage change in funding that some agencies would face under the proposed budget from the 2011 fiscal year to the 2012 fiscal year. Although a few agencies would see significant increases in funding, many would face huge cuts or be eliminated entirely. The numbers above are based on money from the General Purpose Fund.
Natural Resources 2011: $120 million 2012: $63.5 million Change: -47 percent
Environmental Improvement Program 2011: $47.4 million 2012: $15.9 million Change: -67 percent
Walker included $5.7 billion in funding for transportation over the biennium. The new budget cited economic development and the wellbeing of those in Wisconsin as reasons for increasing the funding. The reconstruction of the zoo interchange near the Milwaukee County Zoo, one of the most expensive projects to come from the new funding, would receive $420 million. Part of that funding—$195 million—would also be devoted to completing interchange construction on I-94 between Milwaukee and Chicago. The transportation fund would also increase by $95.1 million as proceeds from existing car-related taxes and fees would be diverted to it. The new budget will not fund any expansion of Wisconsin’s commuter rail services, although it does provide $4.3 million in state funds and $3.4 million in federal money to cover the increased cost of Amtrak service between Milwaukee and Chicago.
Department of Commerce 2011: $26.8 million 2012: $0 Change: -100 percent
Art Board 2011: $2.4 million 2012: $0 Change: -100 percent
6 Wednesday, March 2, 2011
PATRIOT Act extension: An assault on liberty miles kellerman opinion columnist
iberty is the most essential element in a successful relationship between a government and its people. We enjoy our freedom and place immense value in our personal privacy. Thus, a government that rewards these rights generally earns our trust. But when such basic human entitlements are threatened, we respond. When the British Empire denied our freedom to enjoy representation in government—we fought. When slavery suppressed the freedom of life from black Americans—we reformed. And when a governor attempted to suppress unions’ freedom to bargain—thousands took to the streets. Now I’m not suggesting that these events are in any way equal or exclusive. But the struggle for liberty, in all forms, is a continuous and all-encompassing battle between the individual and the government. In any such relationship our personal liberties must be suppressed to a certain extent—we can’t all run around naked and set buildings on fire. But when it comes to the suppression of our personal freedoms, there’s a fine line between what is and isn’t acceptable. The recently extended PATRIOT Act, with all its intrusions and unconstitutional breaches of privacy, blasts through that line with the ferocity and power of a high-speed rail. The renewal proposal, cosponsored by none other than U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., extends the following three provisions: 1. The government may implement “roving” wiretaps that allow them to keep track of “suspected terrorists.” 2. The government may obtain “tangible records”—i.e. documents and information of any kind from banks, telecommunication companies or libraries without informing the customer. 3. The so-called ‘Lone Wolf’ provision allows the FBI to keep track of non-American suspects with no ties to a specific terrorist group. Never has a bill been so ironically named. Patriots, at least in the colonial sense of the word, fought for the freedom of religion, freedom of representation and the right to certain personal liberties. The most basic of these liberties is outlined quite clearly in our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If the authors of the Constitution could see us now, they would be rolling over in their graves. But what does this tell us about the senators and congress-
men who voted for the bill, and President Barack Obama, who signed it into law? Quite simply—they should not hold political office. In fact, I’ll extend that notion to those who abstained (excluding Gabby Giffords for obvious reasons), for evil prevails when good men fail to act. Any elected member of government who would purposely aid in the reduction of our constitutional rights in pursuit of power grossly abuses their position. Obama is particularly disappointing. While it must be noted that he never promised to eradicate the PATRIOT Act but rather modify its most overbearing provisions, in extending the bill he has outright contradicted himself. In multiple debates and public forums during the 2008 campaign, including a notable event in Lancaster, Pa., Obama specifically pointed out that the provision allowing for unrestrained access to personal documents and library records went too far, yet he has extended that very same provision. For the sake of playing devil’s advocate, let’s address two possible explanations for his change of heart. First, perhaps this is political. It’s quite possible that Obama has softened on the shadier provisions of the extension to appease a Republican-controlled congress in preparation for future bills. With bad blood between parties, perhaps the president is seeking a moment of appeasement, extending the olive branch, if you will. If this is the case, it still fails to justify his decision. Sure, you could argue negotiation is the nature of politics, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s abandoned the Constitution in pursuit. Second, let’s entertain the GOP reasoning—the PATRIOT Act is a necessary tool in fighting terrorism. In the very same public forum that Obama cried foul over the library records provision, he pointed out that before the PATRIOT Act, the government “could not wiretap a phone that was not land-based.” Wait a second, since when do we justify law in the pursuit of wiretapping? And even if such extensions are necessary, why must the provision extend beyond those tied to terrorist organizations? The answer doesn’t exist, for no action in the pursuit of power, wealth, or protection is worth the cost of our civil liberties. The PATRIOT Act was passed by a dazed and confused congress, high off the emotional roller coaster that was 9/11. Now this very same body, led by a contradictory leader, keeps the hellish flame burning. The bill is inarguably an unconstitutional power-grab worthy of an Orwellian comparison, and an attack on our rights is a far greater threat than any terrorist could impose. So if we must choose between our safety and our rights my answer is quite clear: Give me liberty, or give me death! Miles Kellerman is a sophomore majoring in political science. Please send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walker’s bugdet repair targets DNR wardens Don radcliffe opinion columnist
n Saturday afternoon, I saw various protesters at the Capitol fighting for a number of causes. What really caught my attention, however, were the numerous Department of Natural Resources wardens present. I asked two of them, “Is Scott Walker cutting your benefits, too?” The only response they gave me was a grim nod. When I spoke to another warden, he responded by informing me that many DNR employees plan to retire shortly. When I ran across a forester outside of the Capitol, she was not happy about Gov. Scott Walker’s plan. She told me DNR employees don’t make much as it is and they are subject to added burdens from the budget repair bill. DNR wardens provide an amazing array of services for Wisconsin. The DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, lays out the following Warden Service mission statement: “1: Maintaining healthy and diverse wildlife populations and habitats. “2: Enhancing opportunity, safety, and enjoyment of outdoor recreational experiences in Wisconsin. “3. Enhancing public safety by being ready to respond to emergencies, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism.” The point is, these guys are vital to the quality of life in Wisconsin. They affect everything from the songbirds in your backyard to the air you breathe. Everything in society comes from the environment, and our conservation wardens make sure our precious natural resources remain intact. When wardens aren’t attending public events, they are making sure hunting, fishing, boating, ATV use and snowmobiling activities go smoothly. These jobs are not the ones to screw over.
My experiences at the Capitol inspired me to look into the matter. What I dug up is scary. Apparently, Walker has a grudge against the DNR. According to Fox News, he said, “The DNR is out of control.” His concerns stem from the management of whitetail deer populations and his limited personal experience deer hunting over the last few years, which is obviously a public relations grab. Still, under Walker’s budget repair bill, wardens face serious cuts. While this is a job with high academic, physical and emotional standards, wardens don’t receive ample compensation for their hard work—they are only paid around $21 an hour. There is already a small number of wardens as it is. Columbia, my home county, has only two wardens, making their individual roles all the more vital for the preservation of natural resources. But Walker says the DNR is seen as a tyrannical force (hypocritical?), neither listening to the public nor bending on issues. Sound like anyone we know? He is proposing reform of the system, which is not a bad idea; the DNR does have a bad public relations reputation. But Walker has no environmental background, so granting him control over environmentally relevant policy is dangerous. The scariest aspect of Walker’s role as governor is the fact that he controls the DNR budget. Over the past few weeks we have seen how much of a control freak he can be. In order to be successful, Walker needs to consult more qualified workers in the environmental field when making these policy decisions. Perhaps the most tragic loss the budget repair bill brings to the state’s natural resources is the loss of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund, which is Wisconsin’s account for buying public land. Since its birth in 1989, the program has saved more than 500,000 acres of Wisconsin land from the effects of development and urban sprawl. This includes almost
8,000 acres to keep the shores of the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage and the Willow Flowage scenic and beautiful. The lands saved provide priceless aesthetic value and stimulate the economy by promoting tourism. The repair bill puts a hold on the program’s funding after this year for an indefinite amount of time. And with Walkers love for big business and cuts to public institutions, I don’t see it coming back until he’s out of office. If Wisconsin is to remain a beautiful and treasured state, this program is imperative. Our quality of life is at stake. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Walker stated that he does not plan to withdraw benefits from law enforcement and fire department workers because he does not want to risk public safety, yet despite the fact that public safety is clearly a DNR mission, this immunity does not extend to conservation wardens. Walker doesn’t seem to think education or the environment maintain a high level of importance. What he does think is important, however, is business. Yes, the tax breaks proposed for businesses are equivalent to the current budget deficit; therefore none of the attacks to our state’s environment are necessary. Walker’s actions border criminal—taking campaign contributions from rich corporate owners to protect the upper class. He’s more concerned about kissing David Koch’s ass than he is about the future of our children. In reading this article, I hope you find one more reason, in a figurative sea of reasons, to “kill the bill,” and hopefully recall Scott Walker. I don’t want my children to see the environmental and educational consequences of this misinformed governor’s mistakes. Let’s get him out of office so we can preserve the lands that make Wisconsin thrive. Don Radcliffe is a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering. Please send all feedback to email@example.com.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
‘Guitar Hero’ runs out of star power after five years By David Zhang the daily cardinal
photO courtesy Sub-pop records
Jason Quever returns with his fourth studio record under the moniker Papercuts, but this one feels a little shallow.
Shallow Papercuts disc doesn’t measure up By Jon Mitchell
rity it can’t escape. Guitars and tambourine anchor It’s an experience lost on our “I’ll See You Later I Guess,” a generation, but one of the cool- song that drones on as tediously est things about record players as its title. “Chills” offers a feudwas how they enabled their users ing three-part harmony between to size up an album with the guitar, organ and Quever’s voice, flick of their fingers. but fizzles out before anything I grew up on Stevie Wonder’s momentous develops. “White Are Songs In The Key of Life, so for The Waves” pits swelling piano and me, a slight adjustment of the guitar jaunts against indiscernible needle and my speakers would lyrics. “The Messenger” is plain jolt from the bursting horns of boring. And so on. “Sir Duke” to the smooth harInterestingly enough, Fading monica of “Isn’t She Lovely.” Parade will probably receive as It’s a good thing I didn’t much, if not more, attention than grow up playing with Papercuts’ any of its predecessors. By signing Fading Parade, because practi- to Sub-Pop Records and continucally all of its ing very much in CD REVIEW 38 minutes the vein of fellow sound identiSub-Poppers The cal and form Shins and Beach a hazy wash of House, Papercuts reverb-drenched is sure to get more m o n o t o n y. attention in the Shifting the neeindiesphere, but dle to any point Fading Parade Fading Parade on the record isn’t likely to bring Papercuts would sound them nearly the like little more than skips in a same acclaim. really long, drawn-out song. The self-recorded, bedroomThroughout his career, pop style that shaped Fading Parade Papercuts’ main man Jason is often successful—perfectly suitQuever has drawn comparisons ing the monologues of artists Kurt to—and earned touring spots Vile, Here We Go Magic and with—indie stars Beach House Quever’s earlier work. But ultiand Grizzly Bear, with his emo- mately the subtle, atmospheric eletive melodies and sunny deliv- ments only work insofar as there’s ery. And while Papercuts’ fourth something captivating underlyalbum finds Quever’s voice once ing them. On Papercuts’ past two again implanted in a sea of organs, albums, 2009’s You Can Have guitars and drums, something’s off What You Want and 2007’s Can’t this time, resulting in an album Go Back, it may have taken some that’s heavy on atmosphere and palate dissecting to uncover their lacking in substance. intrigue, but there was something Opening tracks “Do You Really always waiting to be discovered. Want To Know” and “Do What Fading Parade, however, sounds as You Will” provide the album’s best empty the fifth time around as it moments with uplifting choruses did the first. and tight rhythms, but they don’t I don’t know how much thought come close to finding the warmth Quever put into titling his record or straight-up appeal of past gems Fading Parade, and based on some “You Can Have What You Want” or of its track names, I’d guess not a “John Brown.” Closer “Charades” lot. But it’s surprisingly fitting. On also starts promisingly, evoking the one hand, Quever’s recording style sunny guitar arpeggios of the band makes the album sound extremely Real Estate. distant; like a cross-town parade that While Fading Parade starts you can vaguely decipher through and ends at a peak, the mid- the noise of the town. On the other, dle stretch of songs—which Quever’s work here is but a sliver for such a short album sounds of its former self; what once was a painfully protracted—pulls the triumphant march has slowed to album into an abyss of medioc- mere stagger.
Feb. 9, 2011 marked an event we’d foreseen yet wished to avert— the official death of the “Guitar Hero” game franchise, shut down by publisher Activision following poor sales despite multiple attempts to expand their “Hero” brand. An obscure budget title for Sony’s aging Playstation 2, the game blossomed into a veritable touchstone for original distributor Harmonix, and later Activision Blizzard, before spiraling into obscurity, with its final entry—“Warriors of Rock”—selling under a million copies at launch. Yet in its fleeting five-year lifespan, it has left an indelible mark on both mainstream music and gaming culture, putting it among the most pervasive cultural and musical phenomena of the 21st century. And so, though it’d be of modest effort to simply concoct various ‘axe’ puns at the late franchise’s expense, I find it fitting to send off this oncevenerable series in the manner of any fallen rock star: a eulogy, reminiscing upon better days and brighter futures.
senior music writer
Formation/Early releases In November 2005, “Guitar Hero” was unceremoniously born to developer RedOctane and publisher Harmonix, yet it surmounted a paltry $30,000 marketing budget and established rhythm-game stigma to win countless accolades and earn over $45 million within a year of its debut. Tawdry plastic guitars entered American homes, revitalizing both the music game genre and market feasibility for elaborate gaming peripherals. Less than a year later, “Guitar Hero II” rocked onto shelves, sporting nearly identical gameplay, but with an expanded tracklist, as well as a new guitar controller. It moved twice as many units, establishing “Guitar Hero” as a viable franchise to demographics beyond the hardcore gamer. Mainstream success Phenomenal sales resulted in intense corporate interest in the franchise, eventually resulting in RedOctane being acquired by Activision and Harmonix by MTV Games, divorcing the two creators. The rights to the series transferred to Activision, resulting in yet another game in 2007—“Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock,” the first to be developed by a studio other than RedOctane. Despite the shuffle, the game once again topped the charts, backed by corporate funding to license original master tracks, as opposed to the cover versions that comprised the bulk of the previous titles. And speaking of bulk, the game featured yet another new guitar controller. But while Guitar Hero became the apparent definition of music games, RedOctane’s former partner Harmonix did not stand idly by. Within a month of the third entry’s debut, Electronic Arts debuted “Rock Band,” which recycled much from the “Guitar Hero” formula, but expanded to include a full ensemble of percussion, bass and vocals (complete with peripherals, naturally). A year later, “Guitar Hero: World Tour” would feature those same instruments, but played catch-up in the genre it pioneered. The game performed amiably, but established a disturbing precedent, with future competition poised upon newer or more expensive peripherals rather than significant gameplay innovation. Ironically, a majority of consumers purchased both, which nearly
doubled the number ungainly plastic instruments in the United States’. Later work The later 2000s would see “Guitar Hero” conforming stubbornly to its established corporate formula; besides releasing specialized titles for the likes of Metallica and Van Halen, the series continued its resolute pace of one game each year, offering diverse and star-studded tracklists, but little else. Despite several failed spin-offs (DJ Hero and Band Hero), Activision still seemed confident in its tradition of annual releases and big-box retailers. 2009’s “Guitar Hero 5” was perhaps the series’ last great hurrah, still earning critical praise and respectable sales worldwide; afterward, its decline and inevitable demise became increasingly evident. Final days/Aftermath On Feb. 11, 2010, Activision
closed RedOctane, the series’ original developers, in the wake of declining sales and an economic recession. Granted, since its acquisition, the studio had ceased direct development of “Guitar Hero” titles, but news of their closure sparked speculation regarding the franchise’s future, as well as its next game. Surprisingly, the sixth game was released on schedule that same year. However, the thrown-together “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock” proved disappointing for critics and investors alike. Almost a year later, the franchise, too, breathes its last breath. Just three years ago, it seemed implausible for such a monolithic series to fail so quickly. In the wake of this passing, we will certainly not want for alternatives. Moreover, it’s a signal of the nature of entertainment, perhaps the corporate agenda and creative license don’t quite mix. Alas, “Guitar Hero,” we barely knew ye.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
NASCAR could stand to change things up to increase its appeal Parker Gabriel
parks and rec
f you’re the type of person who is easily excited by the latest restrictor plate technology or gets goose bumps when Talladega is brought up, you probably just want to move on before you read any further. Maybe, instead, turn to page one and check out what your cronies are up to in the Capitol these days. If, however, you don’t mind a little NASCAR bashing—or at least can tolerate questioning of the sport’s practices—feel free to stick around. I just don’t really get the allure of stock car racing as a spectator sport. Don’t get me wrong, I liked to drive fast when I first got my driver’s license and I have been known to play Gran Turismo and Need For Speed: Shift, but participation is at the center of excitement for me. Maybe I just don’t know enough about it. That must be it. Still, when it comes to NASCAR, here’s a few of things that really curb my enthusiasm:
The Nationwide Series In principle, having a lower racing league makes sense. After all, young baseball players cut their teeth in the minors, hockey has all sorts of junior leagues and the NBA D-league has provided Brian Butch and Joe Krabbenhoft the opportunity to continue playing hoops. The thing you won’t find when the Sioux City Skyforce takes the court, though, is Kobe suiting up for the opposition.
I just don’t really get the allure of stock car racing as a spectator sport
Why do the biggest stars in the Sprint Cup get to race in the Nationwide Series? You end up with running orders that look exactly the same as the major ones. In the latest Nationwide race, on Feb. 26, the top four finishers were Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. I can almost guarantee you I wouldn’t know the top four finishers in the next tournament on golf ’s Nationwide Tour, and I like golf a lot more than I like NASCAR. If Sprint Cup drivers don’t get points for Nationwide races, and verse visa—after all, Trevor Bayne, that 20-year-old kid who won the Dayton 500 a couple weeks ago, isn’t actually collecting Sprint Cup points this year—then why switch back and forth? I could see a system like in golf where amateurs and Nationwide guys play in some tournaments. That would give
guys like Bayne a chance to do what he did, but to be always crossing over defeats the purpose of separate leagues. The Race to the Chase If I were willing to go as far as calling NASCAR a sport, I would say the Race to the Chase is the stupidest name in sports. I think it’s supposed to lend some sort of excitement to the build-up for the final 10 races— when only 12 drivers are still alive to win a championship but everyone still races. It doesn’t. Legends and Leaders sounds like marketing gold compared to the Race to the Chase. Can’t they just do it like they did circa 1999? There was no Race to the Chase; there was a much higher number of prodigious mustaches and mullets, the whole series was named after a big tobacco company, and the decals on the cars were way more awesome. Because I looked on Wikipedia, I happen to know that Jeff Gordon and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcar took home the Daytona 500 title that year. He won last week in Phoenix too, but his new rig looks more like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and less like a coat that Donny Osmond might don while signing about dreams in the desert. Overly Oval NASCAR is far and away the most popular racing series in the United States, but all they do is go around in circles. I’m well aware of the bump-draftin’ and three-wide racin’ and the omnipresent threat of ‘the big wreck,’ but seriously, would a couple more road courses hurt? There are only two road courses on the schedule this year, and only certain guys, including our man Osmond—I mean Gordon— have a realistic shot to win. It’s useless to try to list the ways Formula One is superior to NASCAR—a simple piece of paper that says ‘every way possible’ would suffice—but amazing integration of cities, landscape and culture into the courses is one major sticking point. The first F1 race of the season got canceled because it was supposed to be in Bahrain, but there’s too much violence in the Middle East. The closest to Middle Eastern violence NASCAR has 7/11 stickups and tobacco chew robberies in Tennessee and Kentucky. In addition to all that, we get the overly dramatic announcers that treat the Pocono 500 like a four-hour Kentucky Derby and the Real World-style reality drama in pit lane every other week. It all seems forced and a little bit wack, but people still eat it up. Not me. I don’t want it in my digestive system. Just like the Chicago rapper turned aspiring politician Rhymefest, I’m wacktose intolerant. How do you feel about NASCAR? Think it could stand to change some things? E-mail Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Marheine/Cardinal file photo
Matt Marheine/Cardinal file photo
Sean Dolan and Craig Smith led a players only meeting following Wisconsin’s loss to St. Cloud State on Saturday. The Badgers said that in the aftermath of that meeting they have become closer as a team.
Badgers hoping adversity helps build camaraderie By Ryan Evans The Daily Cardinal
With the Wisconsin men’s hockey is winless in it’s past six games and home ice advantage in the WCHA playoffs and a berth in the NCAA tournament slowly slipping between its fingers, it would be easy to get down on the team and focus on all of the negatives of what is happening. However, head coach Mike Eaves and his team are looking at this situation as an opportunity to grow and come together as a team in order to get back on track in time for this weekend’s crucial showdown with Colorado College. Eaves said what the team is going through right now is part of a process that happens to every team at some point during a season. He used the 2006 Wisconsin hockey team that captured the national title as an example. During that season, the ’06 Badgers went on a rough stretch losing seven of 11 games, which culminated in being swept on the road by Minnesota State-Mankato. “We went through the same thing we are going through now with the ’06 team,” Eaves said after Saturday’s 7-3 loss to St. Cloud. “It’s part of the process of a team coming together. I’ve lived through this. When you look at what happened in ’06, if that didn’t happen in Mankato, we don’t win the national title. Guaranteed. Why? Because that team took the reins at that time. Something bad turned out real good for us.” With this year’s Badgers in a similar situation following a sweep at the hands of St. Cloud State this past weekend, Eaves hopes that his team can take the reins from here on out and use this adversity to grow and turn this ship around. “It’s how you handle it, it’s what you get out of those moments and how you try to right your ship,” Eaves said. “It goes on with every team and part of the process of coming together and trying to maximize its ability to do something special together. This is a big opportunity for this team and this coaching staff to grow as a group.” “Our hope is that by Friday we find our stride here, get our level of confidence back, work hard and regain that winning feeling again.” Wisconsin took the first steps to
getting back on track immediately following Saturday’s loss. After the game the players held a closed-door meeting that lasted almost an hour, aiming to try and figure out what was wrong and how to correct it. After that, the captains met with the coaches and then the team came together as a group. “When we met as a team, everyone has an opportunity to step up and say their piece and say what they felt needed to be said at that time,” senior forward and team captain Sean Dolan said. “It definitely brought us closer as a team and will only make us stronger in the end.” “After a tough loss like Saturday’s you kind of throw everything out onto the table, especially this late in the season,” sophomore forward Craig Smith said. “If there was anything that needed to be said, it was said Saturday night, and we’re going to move on from that.” The biggest thing that came out of the meeting was a list, created by the players, which addressed the things that this team has to do to get back on the right track. Eaves said the three
main parts of the list were the players taking the reins, building their confidence back up and managing their on and off-ice routines. “Having success comes from gaining confidence,” senior forward Podge Turnbull said. “We have to get back to what works for us: Having fun and taking care of the details on and off the ice and make sure when we’re at the rink it’s all business.” With Colorado College on tap this weekend at the Kohl Center for the most crucial games of the season, the Badgers have had to come together in a hurry. Eaves and the rest of the team are hoping that this rejuvenated sense of camaradarie will help Wisconsin capture the three points it needs against the Tigers to clinch home ice advantage in the WCHA playoffs. “Through this all it has helped us come together and work toward building that trust with each other again,” Dolan said. “For us to come together and still feel like we are a tight-knit family is something that is going to benefit us this weekend.”