Cap Times Op-ed asks: Can Wisconsin uprising grow nationwide movement?

June 16, 2011
Pat Schneider

It may have been a small crowd compared to those that thronged the state Capitol in the winter, but the “It’s Not Over” rally in May drew the kind of numbers that would have been stunning in any other year: 10,000 protesters gathered under a threatening sky to raise a collective fist against the political agenda of Gov. Scott Walker.

When Mahlon Mitchell, the first African-American president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, took the microphone on the steps of the Capitol, he evoked the civil rights movement to call on the crowd to steel its resolve.

WSJ: Labor groups file suit to block parts of collective bargaining law

June 16, 2011

One day after the state Supreme Court cleared the way for Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill limiting collective bargaining to become law, several labor organizations filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in an effort to prevent some of its provisions from taking effect in federal court.

WSJ: Assembly passes budget after 13 hours of blistering debate; Senate next

June 16, 2011
Mary Spicuzza and Clay Barbour

The state Assembly passed Gov. Scott Walker's state budget about 3 a.m. Thursday, sending it to the state Senate, which was taking it up Thursday.

Cap Times Op-ed exposes hypocrisy of state government criticizing unions for pension plans it pushed for

June 16, 2011
Robert Schaefer

Recent commentaries on Wisconsin public pension systems that blame public employee unions for what are perceived as excessive benefits have too often little or no actual knowledge of the facts. It’s time to set things straight.

JOHN NICHOLS: No checks, no balances — kangaroo court upsets rule of law in Fitzwalkerstan

June 16, 2011
No checks, no balances — kangaroo court upsets rule of law in Fitzwalkerstan

The founders of the American experiment separated the powers of the federal government they established, and encouraged a similar separation in the states.

Cap Times Editorial Board discusses Biddy Martin's departure

June 16, 2011
Cap Times Editorial Board

University of Wisconsin Chancellor Biddy Martin was, during her relatively short tenure as the head of the state’s flagship institution of higher learning, a relatively controversial figure.

GLENDALE NOW: Glendale opens only one polling location for recall election

June 15, 2011
Mary Buckley

Glendale - Plan to vote at City Hall on July 12.

The Common Council on Monday decided to open only one of its six polling locations for the recall election for the 8th District State Senate Race. Sen. Alberta Darling, who is being recalled, will be on the ballot as well as Sandy Pasch, who currently represents the 22nd Assembly District.

If more candidates submit the paperwork to run for the seat, the July 12 election will be a primary with a general election to follow in August. City Administrator Richard Maslowski said the election does not include all city voters as the 6th Aldermanic District and part of the 1st Aldermanic District are not part of the 8th Senate District.

Interview with CWA President on the nationwide assault against organized labor

June 15, 2011
David Moberg

Throughout his career in the labor movement, Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen has championed organizing new workers, mobilizing members for issue-oriented politics, union democracy, coalition-building and the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain. He has also played an important role in developing policy on technology and the structure of the telecommunications industry. But CWA represents workers in a wide range of industries beyond those related to its origin as a telephone union, including public workers.

Forbes blogger discusses the brewing constitutional crisis in Wisconsin

June 15, 2011
Rick Ungar

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, overturned the lower court decision that had barred implementation of Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining law on procedural grounds.

While Walker’s law will now take effect, this is the least of the problems revealed by the high court’s ruling.

MJS: Dem. Party challenge validity of recall petitions against Dem senators

June 15, 2011
Tom Tolan

The Democratic Party took state election officials to court Wednesday over the legitimacy of recall elections against three Democratic state senators.

The Democrats' action comes after six Republican state senators also challenged in court the decision of the Government Accountability Board to set elections in their recalls.

The board has scheduled recall election in the nine senatorial districts - July 12 for the six Republicans and July 19 for the three Democrats.

CAP TIMES: Martin sites many considerations for leaving UW

June 15, 2011
Todd Finkelmeyer

There were times, not so long ago, when Biddy Martin envisioned spending the rest of her career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

But after getting embroiled in a contentious debate with other higher education leaders across Wisconsin about how best to garner long-sought freedoms from state oversight, the 60-year-old UW-Madison chancellor announced Tuesday she is taking her talents to at least one more stop.

MJS: Unions seek to overturn court order reinstating collective-bargaining law

June 15, 2011
Don Walker and Patrick Marley

Madison - As state officials took steps Wednesday to all but end collective bargaining for most public workers as of June 29, a coalition of unions filed suit in federal court seeking to block the action.

PR WATCH: Protesters target DOA on Wednesday

June 15, 2011
Eric Carlson

Dozens of Walkerville activists marched from the Wisconsin state Capitol to DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch's offices at noon on Wednesday, June 15, to protest the former GOP state rep's archaic Capitol security measures.

Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council reacts to supreme court decision budget repair bill

June 15, 2011
Bill Lueders

It's important to be clear about what the state Supreme Court did not do today. It did not rule that the Wisconsin Legislature obeyed the state Open Meetings Law in passing changes to collective bargaining. It did not deem the Open Meetings Law a dumb idea. Rather, it concluded, on separation of powers grounds, that the judiciary had no right to "intermeddle" with the Legislature's interpretation of its own rules.

WSJ: Remove anti-craft beer provision from budget

June 14, 2011
Wisconsin State Journal editorial board

It’s too complicated and hasty to stay in the state budget — especially when it has so little to do with spending state money.

The Legislature this week should remove from its state budget sweeping changes to how breweries may operate in Wisconsin.

And if this last-minute addition to the budget reaches Gov. Scott Walker’s desk, he should veto its provisions. That way, the public, Wisconsin’s beer industry and state lawmakers will have ample time to analyze and weigh the implications as a stand-alone bill.

Op-ed in the Progressive about the true meaning of solidarity

June 14, 2011
Rebecca Kemble

This morning I woke up at 6:00 am after having gone to sleep well after 2:00. I was feeling anxious, thinking about how this week in Madison will shape up given the extreme measures Republican legislators and the Department of Administration are taking to make sure the 2011-2013 biennial budget gets passed into law.

WSJ: Protest starts to build at Capitol as Assembly vote looms

June 14, 2011
Doug Erickson

A few thousand protesters began making laps around the state Capitol late Tuesday morning and yelling "Recall Walker" in the rotunda, turning the Capitol Square once again into a hub of activism, emotional appeals and political theater.

CAP TIMES: Protests continue despite supreme court decision

June 14, 2011
Jessica Vanegeren

For a guy known for strong outbursts when he sees union rights being trampled, Marty Beil was quietly standing alone amid a crowd of several thousand outside the Capitol Tuesday evening, shortly after learning that a huge blow was dealt to his cause by the state Supreme Court.

CAP TIMES Op-ed discuses ALEC's nefarious influence on state governments over 30 years

June 14, 2011
Randall Schumann

Paralleling the role of the wizard in the “Wizard of Oz,” there is a little-known but powerful, big-business/corporate interest, national organization that has been at work behind the scenes of state government legislative proposals for the last several decades.

CAP TIMES provides more coverage of Biddy Martin's departure

June 14, 2011
Todd Finkelmeyer

Biddy Martin is leaving her post as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to become the next president at Amherst College, a highly regarded liberal arts school of 1,600 students located in Massachusetts.

CAP TIMES: 'Extraordinary' session never before used to pass budget

June 14, 2011
Jessica Vanegeren

If top Republican lawmakers move forward Tuesday with a plan to pass the state budget in "extraordinary session," it will be the first time lawmakers have used this speedy political maneuver to pass a budget in at least 80 years.

DANE 101: Assembly delays vote on budget until evening as protesters once again converge on Capitol

June 14, 2011
Emily Mills

The Assembly today opened their session as planned at 11:00 a.m. but immediately adjourned for the parties to go to caucus. An executive session of the Joint Committee on Retirement Systems has been called for 4:00 p.m. this afternoon to discuss adding the collective bargaining provisions to the budget, after which the Assembly will re-convene and take up the full bill.

NYT: Biddy Martin to leave UW to head Amherst College

June 14, 2011
Tamar Lewin

Carolyn A. Martin, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a flagship public research university with 29,000 undergraduates, is resigning to become president of Amherst College, a prestigious liberal arts college with 1,750 students.


DANE 101: Wisconsin Wave leads protests of WMC

June 14, 2011
Emily Mills

A protest contingent of about 100 marched from the Walkerville encampment at the Capitol down East Washington to the headquarters of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce on Monday, focusing their attention on one of the organizations they say is behind some of the worst provisions in the proposed state budget.


CAP TIMES: Republican legislators should stand with Wisconsin, not Walker

June 14, 2011
Cap Times Editorial Board

Until now, Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to remake Wisconsin as a brutish state where schools are underfunded, local services are starved, local democracy is rendered dysfunctional and working people can’t get a break was just that — an “attempt.”

Now, as the state Assembly and Senate move toward definitive votes on a budget plan that would implement Walker’s agenda, theory gives way to reality.


MJS: Collective bargaining limits may rejoin state budget bill

June 14, 2011
Jason Stein and Patrick Marley

Madison - The Legislature will write Gov. Scott Walker's frozen limits on collective bargaining into the state budget Tuesday if the state Supreme Court hasn't restored them by then, the leader of the state Assembly said Monday.

As time was running out for the high court to act and the budget showdown loomed, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) and other Republicans said they also would seek to pass the budget bill under so-called extraordinary rules that allow it to be advanced more quickly from one house to the next.

Ideas for local venues to hold an “Reboot the Budget" protest

June 14, 2011

A business whose owners, top executives, or PAC’s donated significant amounts of money to Scott Walker’s campaign such as:

  • M&I Bank – contributions totaled over $25,000
  • Walmart – PAC gave $15,000
  • Sentry Foods/Metcalfe's Market – contributions totaled over $5,500
  • Kwik Trip – contributions totaled over $10,000
  • Woodman's – contributed $1,000

WBP: The Budget's Effect on Wisconsin's Low-Income Families

June 13, 2011
Wisconsin Budget Project

How will the state budget impact low-income families? Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF) has updated two analyses to show how the budget -- as amended by the Joint Finance Committee -- will affect low-income families:

Additional Information: 

See the attached reports for more info

THE PROGRESSIVE: Protesters Descend on Wis. Manufacturers and Commerce

June 13, 2011
Ruth Conniff

On Monday, June 13, at noon, Wisconsin citizens organized by the group Wisconsin Wave marched around the Capitol building and converged on the offices of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the largest business lobby group in the state, to protest the WMC's support for Governor Scott Walker and his devastating state budget.


STAR TRIBUNE: Wisconsin craft brewers fight possible law changes for beer brewing industry

June 12, 2011
Carrie Antlfinger

MILWAUKEE - A fight brewing over beer in Wisconsin pits the growing market of craft brewers against a large, well-known brewer.

A group of craft brewers say a proposal being supported by MillerCoors, the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association, Tavern League of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Grocers Association and others would limit smaller brewers' ability to expand and could limit them from getting beer to consumers in the future.

"This is all about money and restricting competition. This isn't idle child's play," said Jeff Hamilton, president of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and Sprecher Brewing Co. in Milwaukee.

MJS: Even more tax breaks for manufacturers added to state budget

June 12, 2011
Kathleen Gallagher

Aiming to make Wisconsin more attractive to business, Republican lawmakers have proposed reducing the state tax on the production earnings of manufacturers and agricultural businesses to almost nothing by 2016.


GBPG: Wisconsin craft beermakers fight possible brewing changes

June 12, 2011
Carrie Antlfinge

MILWAUKEE — A fight brewing over beer in Wisconsin pits the growing market of craft brewers against a large, well-known brewer.


PRESS ADVISORY: Labor and community groups to hold march and press conference at WMC

June 12, 2011
Solidarity Roundtable

For Immeidate Release


Organizers will declare a people’s state of emergency and call for a mass mobilization against the two-year budget bill


THE PROGRESSIVE: Pocan warns of Republicans' efforts to force budget through legislature

June 11, 2011
Matthew Rothschild

Mark Pocan, Wisconsin state assemblyman from Madison, just issued a warning about how rapidly Republicans may move on the budget in the coming week. He also warned that they may decide to tuck into the budget the anti-collective bargaining bill that sparked such controversy over the past five months.

ELECTION DEFENSE ALLIANCE: Public vote counting the only way to ensure fair elections

June 10, 2011
Jonathan Simon

George Soros ("My Philanthropy," New York Review of Books, 5/23/11) paints a discouraging picture of an America in thrall to the Orwellian "Newspeak" now peddled to seeming perfection by the GOP.

THINK PROGRESS: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s War On Craft Beer

June 10, 2011
Alex Seitz-Wald

Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.

WBP: Icing on the Cake for Corporations, Crumbs for Working Families

June 10, 2011
Wisconsin Budget Project

As the Joint Finance Committee wrapped up its work on the biennial budget bill late last Friday night, June 3, one of the final motions that was offered was a brand new proposal for a large corporate tax break.

Progressive Dane: Don’t roll back fair housing protections

June 10, 2011
Jacque Pokorney and Michael Johnson

Dear Editor: Progressive Dane joins Affordable Housing Action Alliance in vigorously opposing Senate Bill 107 and Republican legislative efforts to eliminate municipal authority to regulate landlord tenant matters. SB 107 rolls back over a decade of improvements in housing access and tenant protection in Dane County and the city of Madison.