A tale of two Wisconsins

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Call it “the two Wisconsins,” as the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance presciently did two years before the Great Recession: While Dane County booms and the bigger cities in the Fox River Valley and western Wisconsin prosper, the rest of the state is largely mired in a downturn that is a recession in all but name. > Isthmus

How a small Wisconsin town is making some hedge funds very nervous

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After a century-old paper mill in Brokaw closed a few years ago, the town of 250 residents effectively went bankrupt and will soon be dissolved. But it may live on through a federal bill named for it that would restrict the type of Wall Street activist hedge-funds that were blamed for the town’s demise. > CNBC

How the Democrats can take back rural America

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Appealing to “swing voters” isn’t the only way to revitalize the Democratic Party in rural America; developing smart, progressive policies that engage rural activists actually matters more. The base of progressive politics in rural America wants a bold opposition to Trump, not bland centrism, empty talking points, or a condescending “listening tour”. > The Nation

Cap Times: Tammy Baldwin is fighting for rural Wisconsin

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Sen. Tammy Baldwin and other farm-state senators succeeded in reversing President Trump’s cuts in rural programs. They’re now advancing a bipartisan agriculture appropriations bill that renews the federal commitment to robust rural investment. > The Cap Times

Almost a fifth of Wisconsin’s rural roads are in poor condition

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A new report suggests 19 percent of Wisconsin’s rural roads are in poor condition and 10 percent of the state’s rural bridges are deficient. National transportation research group TRIP studied federal road and bridge records for all 50 states and found Wisconsin ranks 16th from the bottom for rural road condition. > Wisconsin Public Radio

The great American fallout exposed by Kathy Cramer: How small towns came to resent cities

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It’s no secret Donald Trump benefited from rural voters. But Democrat or Republican, they usually tell Katherine Cramer – who has spent a decade visiting residents of small-town Wisconsin – the same thing: it’s the cities that get all the breaks, and then have the gall to look down on them. The Guardian looks at Cramer’s findings.

Why Tammy Baldwin has declared war on almond milk

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Plant-based beverages called milk are a major sore spot for dairy farmers in Wisconsin, where Trump swept up 70 percent of the rural vote. Baldwin has introduced a bill banning the nontraditional drinks from being labeled “milk” — one of several rural issues Baldwin and fellow Democratic senators have championed early and often this year. > Politico