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Wisconsin protest shows state's evolving political history

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In his campaign for the governor’s office, he ran on a platform critical of state spending and in favor of rolling back state tax increases for small businesses and top earners.

He also positioned himself against President Obama in refusing to build a high-speed rail line from Madison to Milwaukee, saying it would be too costly and end up unprofitable.

Walker's boldest move

Last week, Walker made the boldest move yet in his political career by introducing a bill that strips away collective bargaining for everything other than wages and removes other union rights from non-law-enforcement state workers – all with the stated intent of plugging the state’s $3.6 billion forecasted budget gap over the next two years.

Critics say Walker is engaged in nothing but union-busting to get a leg up in his party and earn bragging rights with his fellow Republicans following the November midterm elections, which flipped control of most state legislatures to their party.

“The perception is that Walker wants to prove he belongs in the same conversation as [New Jersey] Gov. Chris Christie and that he is someone who can be seen nationally as an innovator in cutting government and who deserves national attention,” says JR Ross, editor of Wisconsin Politics, an online media outlet that covers state news.

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