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America's Dairyland, as confirmed by data and conventional wisdom, is one of America's most politically polarized states. They don't play racquetball together on Saturday morning or attend the same fundraising galas on Saturday night. For example: campaign financing."You guys come in and purchase—wait, I mean, fund [Wisconsin] Supreme Court justices and people like that," says Pocan, who prefers that election campaigns be publicly financed."That's a novel concept, Mark," is Pugh's retort, amid laughter from both men.
Not to get all Kumbaya about it—but can anyone around here get along anymore? Just see how Pocan good-naturedly, though pointedly, repeatedly interjects as Pugh goes on a rant about policy in a conversation in Pocan's office in Madison last fall. "We believe in free speech and the First Amendment rights of everyone to participate in democracy.""Even if that everyone," Pocan jabs back, "is only a hundred people—with a lot of money."Don't misunderstand the laughter. And style-wise, whereas Pocan typically comes across as amiable, Pugh can flash some charm but just as quickly go brass knuckles if it's a political fight.
At 8, Pocan was doing lit drops for his father, a Kenosha alderman who in 1984 came within 31 votes of being elected mayor. But like Pocan, he also traces his principles to his Kenosha roots, where he says he learned values later championed by President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.
Cops: Three shot dead during drag racing event were gang members (Union Grove, WI): Three Illinois men who were shot to death at point-blank range during a drag racing event in southeastern Wisconsin may have been targeted by a rival gang member, but a lack of cooperation has stymied the investigation, sheriff's officials said Monday. Pugh served as class president in ninth grade before entering Kenosha Tremper High School for grades 10–12, and Pocan won the same honor as a senior at Kenosha Bradford.