News

CAP TIMES: Does freedom of the press still apply in state Capitol?

August 23, 2013
Cap Times editorial board
news photo

The U.S. Constitution is absolutely clear in its language:

There can be “no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The Wisconsin Constitution is absolutely clear in its language:

“No laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.”

Yet Progressive magazine editor Matt Rothschild was arrested at the state Capitol last week while reporting on the arrest of participants in the Solidarity Sing Along.

Rothschild made it clear that he was a reporter doing his job.

There is no evidence, and no suggestion, that he did anything that any working journalist would not do when covering a controversial event.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STATE JOURNAL: Despite arrests, Capitol protest grows

August 20, 2013
Matthew DeFour
news photo

Participation in the noontime Capitol protest against Gov. Scott Walker continued to crescendo Monday despite nearly four weeks of almost daily arrests for gathering in the rotunda without a permit.

New participants, many of them from local police and firefighters unions, said last Thursday’s arrest of a journalist, a Madison City Council member and a 14-year-old girl encouraged them to join the more than 2-year-old Solidarity Singalong.

“That to me was the last straw,” said Brian Austin, a Madison Police officer. “It just seemed absolutely absurd to me that this is happening in Wisconsin.”

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Factsheet

August 19, 2013
Wisconsin Wave

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is Wisconsin's biggest and most powerful corporate lobbyist group. Learn more about WMC's spending on elections and lobbying, positions on issues and policies, and the effects of WMC's agenda on Wisconsin.

APPLETON POST-CRESCENT: Take first step towards nonpartisan redistricting

August 16, 2013
Appleton Post-Crescent

When it comes to redistricting, we have a simple request. We’d like a hearing.

Today, we’re using Post-Crescent Media’s editorial voice as part of a statewide effort to urge our lawmakers to take the first steps on redistricting reform. We’re asking them to schedule hearings on Assembly Bill 185 and Senate Bill 163 when they return to Madison this fall.

It’s time to move in the right direction.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

MIKE MCCABE: Public and pols far apart on money in politics

August 10, 2013
Mike McCabe

There is a conspicuous and growing disconnect between the public and the elected officials who are supposed to be representing the citizenry. Nowhere are the representatives and the represented more disconnected than on the subject of money in politics.

Poll after poll shows a tripartisan consensus among members of the general public — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike — that money is playing far too great a role in our elections, is having a poisonous effect on governing, and needs to be reined in.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STATE JOURNAL: Walker creates stir with talk of stripping police, firefighter union rights

July 31, 2013
Steven Verburg
news photo

 

Gov. Scott Walker stirred things up Monday with talk about extending the state ban on public sector union rights to police and firefighters, before downplaying the idea Tuesday.

Walker and Republican lawmakers exempted police and firefighters from Act 10 of 2011, saying that they couldn’t risk strikes by public safety personnel.

At a public event in Milwaukee on Monday, Walker said he would consider expanding the law, and that police and fire workers may now be willing to forgo union rights taken from other government workers — collective bargaining, paycheck dues withdrawals and arbitration to settle disputes with management.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: Walker worst governor in America

July 30, 2013
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
news photo

 

In the past he’s employed illegal tactics and abused his power to round up votes, but Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) didn’t have to break a sweat to win this contest. 

For racking up a record that has veered from unethical conduct to staggering incompetence, CREW’s voters awarded Gov. Walker the title of Worst Governor in America.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

A BAGFUL OF CASH: How the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Orchestrated a Corporate Takeover of Government

July 16, 2013
Carl Gibson
news photo

The US Chamber of Commerce-- a 101 year-old organization formed as corporations’ first union—is the chief agent behind Congress’ kowtowing to corporate interests, the Supreme Court’s favorability to corporations in its rulings, and presidents of both parties’ insistence on accommodating the wishes of multinational corporations at the expense of working-class people all over the world. This report outlines how the Chamber first formed, their blueprint for ultimate success as revealed in the confidential Powell Memo, how that blueprint has been realized in the 40 years since its writing, and the devastating effects of that agenda on small business.

Document: 

FLOWERS & ZEESE: Learn to build economic democracy at the Democracy Convention!

July 15, 2013
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

Another jobs report is in and it shows continued waddling along in job creation, just enough to keep the unemployment figure stable. The reality is the collapse has cost the nation 3 million jobs and that number is not shrinking. The “Lost Out-Put Clock” shows the nation has lost $4,602,667,601,6089 in national income and counting since the 2008 collapse.

JOHN NICHOLS: 16 states call to overturn 'Citizens United'

July 10, 2013
John Nichols
news photo

The most undercovered political movement in the United States — and there are a lot of undercovered political movements in the United States — is the broad-based national campaign to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that ushered in a new era of big-money politics.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

RAW STORY: Gogebic hires private paramilities to guard Wisconsin mining site from protesters

July 9, 2013
Stephen C. Webster
news photo

Heavily-armed, masked paramilitary forces descended upon the Gogebic Taconite mining site in Wisconsin over the weekend, much to the chagrin of local residents and elected officials.

“I’m appalled,” state Sen. Bob Jauch (D) told The Wisconsin State Journal on Monday. “There is no evidence to justify their presence.”

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

MIKE JOHNSON: Chamber-backed pols defeat Madison donation disclosure proposal

July 7, 2013
Mike Johnson

A recent Madison City Council vote left me pondering a line from "The Simpsons" TV show: “Y'know, a town with good legislation is like a mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how he got it and danged if he knows how to use it!”

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

WI Citizens Media Cooperative: Citizens testify for strong mining ordinance

July 5, 2013
Rebecca Kemble
news photo

On July 1, 2013, over a hundred people attended the Iron County Zoning Committee’s public hearing on a proposed mining ordinance in Hurley, Wisconsin.

Twenty-three of the twenty-eight people who testified urged the Committee to develop an ordinance containing the strongest possible protections for public health, safety and shared natural resources.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Walker joins Koch brothers' pledge to oppose climate action

July 3, 2013
Steven Elbow
news photo

You’ve no doubt heard about Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” Well, there’s a new pledge in town, and several Wisconsin conservatives have signed on.

This pledge is called the “No Climate Tax Pledge,” but it might as well be called the “Koch Brothers Protection Pledge,” since it was devised by a group co-founded and backed by the billionaire brothers whose companies, according to the EPA, emitted over 24 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2011.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: Researcher: Walker 'fed us a sedative' when stimulus was needed

July 3, 2013
Mike Ivey
news photo

The latest job numbers are out and while Wisconsin has showed some slight improvement, the state still trails most of its neighbors and the nation as a whole coming out of the Great Recession.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

NYT: Big companies paid a fraction of corporate tax rate

July 2, 2013
Nelson D. Schwartz

The biggest, most profitable American companies paid only a fraction of the taxes they would owe under the official corporate rate, according to a study released on Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

Using allowed deductions and legal loopholes, large corporations enjoyed a 12.6 percent tax rate far below the 35 percent tax that is the statutory rate imposed by the federal government on corporate profits.

The findings come amid rising criticism of the tactics that some big companies use to lower their tax bills.

ISTHMUS: Scott Walker's high-speed fail: Train service would have started now

June 27, 2013
Dave Cieslewicz
news photo

Train cars are referred to as "rolling stock." Now, thanks to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislators who run this state, Wisconsin is thought of as a "laughingstock."

Had Tom Barrett won the election for governor in 2010, right now, June 2013, would have seen the opening of Madison's high-speed rail station, connecting us to Milwaukee and Chicago immediately and the Twin Cities eventually.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

ISTHMUS: Wisconsin goes back to budget deficits

June 27, 2013
Joe Tarr

Andrew Reschovsky is disappointed.

The economics professor at UW-Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs has been studying the state's problem with budget deficits for decades.

And say what you will about Gov. Scott Walker, one thing he did do was eliminate that pesky deficit in his last budget. But, Reschovsky says, the 2013-15 $68 billion budget recently approved by the Legislature and awaiting Walker's signature shows a government up to its old tricks.

"After years of saying we need to have a balanced budget, very quickly they've turned around and set us up for a deficit," Reschovsky says. "We finally got our house in order and then we're back to creating another structural deficit."

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

CAP TIMES: WMC lobbyists 'very excited' about GOP budget

June 24, 2013
Jack Craver
news photo

The gang at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is "very excited" about the budget that now awaits Gov. Scott Walker’s signature. The state’s largest business association released a video on Friday featuring four of the group’s lobbyists discussing the many elements of the budget that will benefit Wisconsin companies.

I was notified of the YouTube clip by a disgruntled legislative staffer, who described its contents thus: “Just a few of the former GOP staffers who give the Legislature its marching orders from outside the building.”

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our democracy from WMC's big-money agenda, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

JOHN NICHOLS: Budget fails majority of Wisconsinites

June 20, 2013
John Nichols
news photo

Assembly Democrats had planned to propose more than 200 amendments to the biennial budget that the chamber voted on Wednesday. But in a surprise move, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, simply announced that his caucus was ready to vote.

The Wisconsin progressive tradition tends more toward a fight-it-to-the-bitter-end approach, especially when a budget is as fundamentally flawed as this one.

But it is easy to understand the frustration of Assembly Democrats, whose efforts to work with the Republican majority were so frequently thwarted during the budget-writing process.

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Walkernomics 101/Public Asset Auction- Take Action to Expose the WMC Budget

Date: June 20, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
Intersection of State St. and Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703

Join us on the Capitol steps for some good old fashioned street theater to expose how the 2013-15 WMC budget is destroying our state's economy and impoverishing Wisconsin students, workers, and families.

...Read More

No Means No... Stand Against Forced Vaginal Probes

Date: June 20, 2013 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Location

Wisconsin State Capitol
Intersection of State St. and Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703

A group of concerned folks from around the state is planning on meeting up at the Capitol on Thursday to protest the latest round of attacks on women's rights by the state legislature.  This event follows the Wave's own action at noon to expose the WMC budget.

More info on this action below, as well as on facebook.

...Read More

TNM: Elizabeth Warren Warns Supreme Court Owned by Chamber

June 18, 2013
@LOLGOP

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) used her remarks at the 2013 American Constitution Society for Law and Policy National Convention to warn that the Supreme Court is being captured by interests representing America’s biggest corporations:

MIKE KONOPACKI: Scott Walker’s jobs fraud

June 17, 2013
Mike Konopacki

(Originally published April 19th, 2013)

Actually, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda is an unqualified success. Everything Walker has done over the last two years was designed to keep wages low and ensure employers a weak and desperate labor force. It’s simple supply and demand — high unemployment ensures low wages.

The March 2013 BLS statistics rate Wisconsin 44th in the nation in job creation. Wages fell by 4.1 percent and unemployment rose to 8.4 percent. Critics blame Walker’s austerity policies. Walker blames the “uncertainty” of peaceful protests and recall elections.

CAP TIMES: Chamber pays Walker to impose its policies, ranks Wisconsin 44th in economic performance

June 17, 2013
Mike Ivey

(Originally published May 3rd, 2013)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this week for America’s Small Business Summit, an annual event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

There, Walker appeared on a special panel titled “How to Lead Enterprising States,” joining with the governors of Maine and Pennsylvania.

“I participated in a good discussion about what we’ve done, and what we can continue to do, to help small businesses grow and thrive,” Walker said in summing up the trip for his weekly radio address.

MJS: Walker withdraws support for student regent after learning he signed recall petition

June 14, 2013
Karen Herzog and Patrick Marley

A University of Wisconsin-Platteville engineering student anticipating a new seat on the UW System's Board of Regents was renounced at the eleventh hour by Gov. Scott Walker, who withdrew the young man's appointment after finding out he had signed a petition as an 18-year-old freshman calling for the governor's recall.

Joshua Inglett, who finished his sophomore year last month, said an aide to Walker asked him Wednesday evening whether he had signed the recall petition. He told him he had, and within hours another Walker aide left him a voice mail that made it clear to Inglett he wouldn't get the position.

SCWMTA's Corporate Prom!

Date: June 12, 2013 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location

High Noon Saloon
701A E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
Corporate Prom Invitation.jpgCelebrate the coming of age of "corporate persons" as they turn 18, go to prom, gain the right to vote (oh wait, they don't need that, they can just buy elections)! Join us at SCWMTA's (South Central Wisconsin Move to Amend) Corporate Prom, come dressed in your best prom/corporate attire.
...Read More

WISCDC: Legislature seeks to ram through further attacks on voting rights, clean government

June 3, 2013
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

From the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign:

Word out of the Capitol is that a state Assembly committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 4th at 10am at the Wisconsin State Capital (417 North) on yet-to-be-introduced legislation that restricts voting rights while enhancing special interest influence over elections, with a committee vote on the bill coming later next week.

A Day of Action to Save our Public Schools

Date: June 4, 2013 - 10:00am - 1:00pm

Location

Room 412 East in the State Capitol in Madison
Intersection of State St. and Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703

From the Institute for Wisconsin's Future:

As you know. the voucher "compromise" is headed for the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on Tuesday, June 4. In the meantime we hear that the highly-paid lobbyists from the for-profit school industry are busy at the Capitol today making the deal even worse for public schools. They are pressuring GOP legislators to remove the enrollment limits and up income eligibility from yesterday's deal.

...Read More

Action Alert: What you can do to stop School Privatization in Wisconsin

June 3, 2013
Institute for Wisconsin's Future

From the Institute for Wisconsin's Future:

JFC close to secret deal on vouchers; vote could be yet today …… it’s time to act again!

Folks …. we are in crisis mode!

There is one thing for sure about the budget process in the state of Wisconsin: Nothing is for sure and secret deals can change the course the state takes for decades to come.

It is being widely reported that Republicans have reached a behind-closed-door deal to expand vouchers statewide. Don’t be fooled, this is not a good deal for Wisconsin’s 424 public school districts, 870,000 public school children, or the communities of Wisconsin.

More Info: 

NYT: Chamber head Donahue transformed group into horrifying political colossus

June 1, 2013
Sheryl Gay Stolberg

THOMAS J. DONOHUE is not one for sweet talk. No sooner had he been named president of the United States Chamber of Commerce in 1997 than he promised to “make life miserable” for Bill Archer, a powerful member of Congress. In the next breath, he suggested that John Sweeney, the union leader, needed to be punched in the mouth.

Taking on the Chamber with Operation Green Jobs

Date: May 18, 2013 - 12:00pm - May 24, 2013 - 12:00pm

Location

N 3rd St/W Cumberland St
View march route at bit.ly/greenjobsroute
Philadelphia, PA 19133

Operation Green Jobs to conclude 150 mile march at U.S. Chamber of Commerce

May 23, 2013
 
Press Contact:
Cheri Honkala (215) 869-4753
Jake Parent (202) 834-5593
Carl Gibson (608) 443-6294
 
Unemployed Workers March from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. to Tell U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Stop Blocking Green Jobs.
 

Shut the Chamber is marching on the U.S. Chamber!

May 18, 2013

Shut the Chamber is joining with unemployed folks from across the country in a 150 mile from Philadelphia to D.C. to take on Washington’s puppet masters- the U.S. Chamber.  And we need your support!

Even if you can’t march with us, you can participate in our virtual march by uploading a picture of yourself here along with a story of why you’re standing with us to shut the chamber.

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL: US Chamber Affiliate Throws $10,000 At City Council Candidates

April 1, 2013
Dean Mosiman
news photo

(Note: The Greater Madison Chamber of Comerce is an affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which is the US Chamber of Commerce's legislative arm in Madison.)

(Originally published on March 31, 2013)

The Madison City Council will have a new look after Tuesday’s election. The big question: How new?

The council will have at least four new members with newcomers taking open seats, while 10 incumbents have opponents.

Campaigns in 11 races have attracted support, cash or both from groups from the leftist political party Progressive Dane to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, which distributed more than $10,000 in the finance period ending March 18.

TRUTHOUT: US Chamber Attorneys and Military Contractors Conspired to Hack Political Opponents

March 15, 2013
Brad Friedman
news photo

(Originally published on March 12, 2013)

So what do the Chinese Government and the Rightwing mega-lobbying group calling itself the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have in common? Apparently, they are both interested in hacking into the computer networks of their perceived political opponents and appear to be using very similar techniques and tools to do so, as The Nation's Lee Fang reported on Monday.