Wisconsin's politics exploded on Feb. 11, 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from public employee unions. tens of thousands of protesters descended on the state Capitol, and Walker became a national conservative star. But as Walker's calendars revealed, he was known to the conservative establishment beforehand: Two weeks before Walker dropped what he referred to as his "bomb," he had dined at the Washington, D.C., area home of Republican power broker Fred Malek. The political turmoil sparked questions about how and with whom Walker had spent his time in office, questions that took on increased urgency as he faced a historic recall election in June 2012. The Center digitized and coded all 4,414 entries of those calendars to examine those questions. At the heart of the project was a series of four major data visualizations offering the public deep dives into the calendar data and analyses. The innovative, CAR-based approach to these calendars allowed reporters to break new ground about a man who had become one of the most thoroughly covered governors ever.
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