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Russ Decker

"Mike Ditka once gave us all a Christmas gift," said Brian McCaskey, senior director of business development for the team, at a ceremony on Friday. "It was a crystal bear, and on it was engraved the words, ‘Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.’

With the revelation that Gov. Scott Walker's campaign spokeswoman had to resign because she was headed to 20 days in jail for a second drunken driving offense, we take a look back at some other regrettable alcohol-fueled incidents in Badger State history.

This week one lone man, state Sen. Russell Decker, a member of the Democrats’ caucus and majority leader of his party in that chamber, at the behest of his members, called an extraordinary session of the state Senate for the purpose of considering and approving 17 contracts between the state of Wisconsin and the several labor unions that represent state workers.

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Long legislative sessions are rarely dramatic, let alone melodramatic.

But this week a soap opera played out at the Capitol that was so full of intrigue it made "As the World Turns" look like watching a yule log burn on TV.

There was betrayal, conspiracy and unbridled anger. There was even a villain straight out of central casting — Sen. Russ Decker, D-Wausau.

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The state Assembly voted to take action on the contracts but the Senate majority leader did not move to schedule a special session for the agreements. But Senates Democrats may do so anyway.

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Tuesday’s elections brought a massive shift pushing Wisconsin from blue to deep red, and two Republican brothers from Dodge County seemed poised to take over and start running the Legislature their way.

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More furlough days for state workers, employee contributions to pensions, fewer people on BadgerCare, a challenge to federal health care reform and lower taxes for corporations are likely to be top agenda items in the wake of a Republican wave that swept Democrats out of power.

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A state law that provides farmland property tax breaks has allowed developers to shift nearly $5 million in taxes to residential and commercial property owners in roughly a dozen Wisconsin municipalities, according to a study state auditors released Thursday.

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