Abby Rapoport

Abby Rapoport is a staff writer at The American Prospect. She was previously a political reporter for the Texas Observer. Her email is

Recent Articles

Go Big or Go Home

For those watching labor fights, the two very close, hard-fought games for the AFC and NFC championships yesterday (I'm talking football here, people), might have echoed what's happening in Indianapolis, host city to this year's Super Bowl. The battle over collective bargaining in one of the country's original manufacturing havens has already spawned teams, rules, and some hard-hitting tackles. And soon, one side may be trying for a Hail Mary.

The State of the Week

Each Friday—well at least most Fridays—I'm going to sum up the big news happening in states around the country. To make it more interesting I'm naming a State of the Week where the biggest news came from. See something that's missing? Tell me: or on Twitter @RaRapoport.

And this week's State of the Week is ... Wisconsin!

Back to the (Redistricting) Drawing Board

AP Photo

You might think that since the Supreme Court made a decision today regarding the ongoing Texas redistricting saga, that, well, something had been decided. But let's just be clear on what is still up in the air:

1. Whether the maps are discriminatory based on the Voting Rights Act

2. The date of the primary, currently scheduled for April 3 with almost no one believing that's a realistic date

3. Just what the district lines will be

Life Imitating Art—and Parks

Scrolling through clips of state news, I happened on the latest from Idaho:

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is launching a new program that allows vehicle owners to voluntarily pay a $10 fee when they register their cars that gives them access to 30 state parks in an effort to raise money for the embattled agency.

Director Nancy Merrill hopes the idea, modeled after a successful program in Michigan, will alleviate financial pressure on her agency that has been mounting since Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter moved to wean it from taxpayer support two years ago.

Common Sense Radicalism

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Apparently California Gov. Jerry Brown missed the memo. Across the country, governors outlining educational priorities for their states have focused largely on more testing and doing away with teacher tenure. The approach is so in-vogue, it reaches across party lines. A few examples: Last week, South Dakota's Gov. Dennis Daugaard outlined his education reform package, including merit pay for high performing teachers and the right to fire those whose students fail to perform on tests two years in a row. On the east coast, New Jersey Gov.