New Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was barely a month into his term when he unleashed a political firestorm on Feb. 11, 2011. Facing a budget deficit, he sought to plug a fiscal hole by forcing higher benefit costs onto public workers and eliminating nearly all of their collective bargaining rights. The reaction was like turning on a spigot full blast. From teachers and game wardens to university professors and custodians, public workers started pouring into Madison — bringing signs, songs and even sleeping bags. It soon became clear: We were all in this for the long haul. Walker’s budget-repair bill was packed with controversial policy changes. The issue that resonated longest and loudest, however, was his bid to hobble public worker unions. It's the issue that filled the Capitol day after day and quickly made Wisconsin the epicenter of a national story as other cash-strapped governors considered similar measures.