Occupation: Governor of Wisconsin
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It's not common for a governor to enter the national spotlight just weeks after taking office. But Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, invited the attention after he announced a budget plan that limited collective-bargaining rights for public-sector employees. Undaunted by two weeks of constant protests at the Capitol, some drawing tens of thousands of union workers and their supporters, Walker didn't back down. He calmly maintained that collective bargaining had to be reformed in order to tackle his state's $3.6 billion budget shortfall. He also declined to meet absentee Democratic state senators on the Illinois border across which they had fled in an attempt to block a vote on the proposal. For his efforts, Walker has become the public face of a new breed of budget-slashing governors who are responding to fiscal crises with deep sometimes draconian cuts.
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