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Wisconsin doesn't have the highest per capita prison population in the nation. Far from it. At 366 per hundred thousand people--just under 23 thousand prisoners overall--Wisconsin is in the bottom half of all states for incarceration rates. But a campaign kicking off today would drop that rate even lower.
A coalition of religious groups under the umbrella group WISDOM are today announcing their efforts to cut the state's prison population in half in a few short years. The group appears to have no clear plan for achieving the goal of reaching 11 thousand prisoners. But, if it does so, it would still give the state a higher per capita prisoner population than Minnesota.
Over $8 million dollars was raised last year by the 22 Wisconsin legislators who were involved in recalls and special elections. And another $4 million was brought in by party raising committees. That brought the total to over 12 million dollars collected by the candidates and their direct supporters. Recall candidates were allowed to raise unlimited funds before their elections were scheduled. La Crosse Republican Dan Kapanke brought in the 2nd highest amount....$1.1 million. He was behind Alberta Darling who tallied $1.3 million. Kapanke was one of only two senators recalled last year. The Senate Democratic Committee brought in the third highest amount, at just over $1 million dollars. Also, legislators who were not targeted last year raised at least some money for their campaigns this fall. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said they brought in a total of around $2 million dollars.
He said the law is needed to stop voter fraud. Now Governor Scott Walker's photo bill gets it's first real test today....primary day in the state. And La Crosse City Clerk, Teri Lehrke, says she hopes you bring your id today.
Voters in Sparta will decide today whether or not the school district can raise extra money in a referendum for building improvements, after school programs and classroom technology. John Hendricks, the Superintendent of the Sparta Schools, says the referendum would not add to the current tax bill for homeowners because it would replace a referendum passed in 2007, currently in effect, which is set to expire this year.
When the 23rd annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference starts Thursday at the La Crosse Center, expect to see several thousand people milling around the downtown area. Center Director, Art Fahey, says this is one the largest events they will host this year...and he has seen it grow in size over the years.
In 1989, about 90 people attended the conference. Last year, over 3 thousand people attended the event. It is the largest organic farming conference in the U.S. organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.