News

PR WATCH documents the other disturbing provisions of Walker's bill

February 26, 2011
Brendan Fischer

While news coverage has focused on how Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill attacks the state's 300,000 public sector workers (and by extension, the entire middle class), the law is increasingly recognized as an attack on the poor. It curtails (and perhaps eliminates) access to the Medicaid programs relied upon by 1.2 million Wisconsinites, limits access to public transportation, and hinders rural community access to broadband internet. The bill keeps the poor unhealthy, immobile, and uninformed.

SLAC: Students Sit-in to Oppose Walker’s Plan to Transform Wisconsin into a “Sweatshop State”

February 27, 2011
Student Labor Action Coalition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Student Labor Action Coalition Refuses to Surrender Occupied Capitol

Students Sit-in to Oppose Walker’s Plan to Transform Wisconsin into a “Sweatshop State”

February 28, 2011- After 11 days of students and workers occupying the State Capitol that culminated the stalemate between unions and Governor Walker over the proposed Budget Repair Bill, the Governor has ordered law enforcement to clear the State Capitol building of protesters by 4pm today.  In response, the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC), an affiliate of the nation-wide student network United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), in concert with other concerned groups, has resolved to defy orders to leave the capitol, donning USAS T-shirts and UW-logo sweatshirts made in the unionized Alta Gracia factory.    

WSJ recaps the events of the unprecedented events of the past two weeks

February 27, 2011
Dan Simmons

On Feb. 7, with Wisconsin united in the afterglow of a Green Bay Packers victory in the Super Bowl, brand-new Gov. Scott Walker convened a dinner meeting of his Cabinet at the Governor's Mansion.

Walker held up a photo of President Ronald Reagan, who had famously fired striking air-traffic controllers, and said his plan to sweep away decades of protections for state public employees in a stop-gap budget bill represented "our time to change the course of history."

 

WSJ publishes timeline of budget bill protests from 2/14 through 2/27

February 27, 2011
State Journal Staff

FRIDAY, FEB. 11: Gov. Scott Walker unveils his budget repair bill, which would curb most collective bargaining rights for most public employees and ask them to increase contributions for benefits. Democrats and labor leaders call it union busting and begin to mobilize against it.

SATURDAY, FEB. 12: Union leaders start lining up workers to testify Tuesday at the Capitol on the bill. 

FDL: Police, DOA, severely restrict access to Capitol

February 28, 2011
David Dayen

Just got an alert from the Capitol City Leadership Committee (which is what the protesters who held the building last night have taken to calling themselves). The Capitol Police were supposed to open the building to the public at 8am. Two hours later they are still not letting anyone into the building. It’s particularly cold out in Madison today, with big crowds outside trying to enter. The media relations person for the CCLC, Thomas Bird, told me that one lady, who has been coming to the Capitol from the beginning, has colon cancer, and it took a long time for them to finally persuade the police to get her in.

FDL: Update on situation in Capitol as of 12pm Monday

February 28, 2011
David Dayen

A bit more on the fast-moving story in the Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin:

• Clearly Scott Walker and the Capitol police are trying to deprive protesters of having access to the building. Both Defending Wisconsin and a coalition of labor unions have filed lawsuits and other enforcement actions. Defending Wisconsin went to US District Court to try to pry open the Capitol. Labor is separately filing for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

CAP TIMES: Police decline to make arrests, protesters continue to occupy Capitol Sunday evening

February 28, 2011
Judith Davidoff and Shawn Doherty

Madison police officer Brian Austin has been protesting every day since Gov. Scott Walker announced plans two weeks ago to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for most public workers, even though police and fire unions are exempt. He stayed overnight in the state Capitol on Friday and was back Sunday night despite orders from state Capitol Police to leave by 4 p.m. Austin said he was simply keeping his promise to the residents of Wisconsin.

CAP TIMES: Life inside Capitol being made difficult for protesters, Assembly Dems

February 28, 2011
Steven Elbow

State Rep Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, says she was denied access to the Capitol at several entrances this morning because she refused to show her Capitol ID card.

"I said I'm a representative, but I don't feel you have any legal basis for restricting my access whether I have a Capitol ID or not," she says.  "And they said, 'Our orders are that no one gets in this building unless they have a Capitol ID.'"

AP: Speaking to governors Obama makes general statements about not vilifying public workers

February 28, 2011
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a concession over his divisive health care overhaul, President Barack Obama offered Monday to let unhappy states design alternative plans as long as they fulfill the goals of his landmark law.

Addressing the nation's governors, Obama also challenged state chiefs who have sought to balance their budgets through weakening unions and curbing employees' benefits, telling them that they should not demonize workers.

DAILY KOS examines possible unconstitutionality of closing the Capitol

February 28, 2011
mandoliniment

Ok, this is going to be a long one, so bear with me.

Initial background: there is a quote in circulation that purports to be from the Wisconsin Constitution, reading "The legislature cannot prohibit an individual from entering the capitol or its grounds". These words do not, in fact, appear in the Wisconsin constitution; Article 1 Section 4 reads, in it's entirety

CAP TIMES: Rep. Roys denied access to Capitol Monday

February 28, 2011
Steven Elbow

State Rep Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, says she was denied access to the Capitol at several entrances this morning because she refused to show her Capitol ID card.

"I said I'm a representative, but I don't feel you have any legal basis for restricting my access whether I have a Capitol ID or not," she says.  "And they said, 'Our orders are that no one gets in this building unless they have a Capitol ID.'"

MOTHER JONES gives historical and political context to the events in Wisconsin

March 1, 2011
Kevin Drum

IN 2008, A LIBERAL Democrat was elected president. Landslide votes gave Democrats huge congressional majorities. Eight years of war and scandal and George W. Bush had stigmatized the Republican Party almost beyond redemption. A global financial crisis had discredited the disciples of free-market fundamentalism, and Americans were ready for serious change.

Or so it seemed. But two years later, Wall Street is back to earning record profits [3], and conservatives are triumphant [4]. To understand why this happened, it's not enough to examine polls and tea parties and the makeup of Barack Obama's economic team [5]. You have to understand how we fell so short, and what we rightfully should have expected from Obama's election. And you have to understand two crucial things about American politics.

 

Madison rabbi says budget "repair" bill goes against Jewish values

March 1, 2011
Laurie Zimmerman

MADISON, Wis. (JTA) -- More than 100 Jews from all three Madison synagogues gathered Feb. 25 to celebrate Shabbat with services in the Wisconsin State Capitol. Four Madison rabbis led the services for the community members who had crammed into the North Gallery.

Below us, the Capitol Rotunda was teeming with energy -- protesters from all over the state were waving signs of opposition to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget repair bill.

PR WATCH writes about the Republican's legally questionable power grabs

March 4, 2011
Mary Bottari

The Wisconsin State Capitol has erupted in a torrent of lawlessness this week that schoolchildren will be reading about for years. No, I don't mean rowdy protests resulting in mass arrests. Even though some 300,000 people have visited the capitol in the last two weeks, the crowds have been peaceful and fun; no arrests have been reported. I mean the convulsion of lawlessness that has seized Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican leadership -- a track record that would make Richard Nixon proud.

 

PR WATCH: Judge issues temporary restraining order blocking implementation of Walker's union-busting bill

March 18, 2011
Brendan Fischer

A second judge has castigated Wisconsin Republicans for excluding the public from the legislative process. Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi has issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of Governor Walker's union-busting bill on grounds that the conference committee's rushed passage of the bill on March 9 likely violated state Open Meeting laws. 

CAP TIMES: National veterans group hosts worker solidarity march Saturday

March 19, 2011
Judith Davidoff

The morning the state Assembly was debating Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill to sharply curtail collective bargaining rights for public workers, protesters and police got into a brief tussle at the Martin Luther King Boulevard entrance to the Capitol because nobody, including Rep. David Cullen, D-Milwaukee, was being allowed into the building. At one point, a man yelled out to the police officers guarding the doors: "This is what we get for fighting for democracy in Iraq?"

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March 22, 2011
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Mexican Electrical Workers go to Wisconsin

April 1, 2011
Mexican Electrical Workers Union

For Immediate Attention

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Contacts:        
Ignacio Meneses 313-318-5159
Teresa Gutierrez 917-328-6470

A delegation of workers affiliated with the Mexican Electrical Workers Union of (SME) headed by Jose Humberto Montes de Oca, Secretary of the Interior of this organization, will participate this next Friday April 1st in the massive protest against the law that annuls the Collective Bargaining of the workers of the public services of Wisconsin to endorse their struggle. 

 

Students rally against proposed "Badger Partnership"

April 26, 2011
Katherine Krueger

Students organized on opposing ends of State Street, in Bascom Hall and the Capitol to advocate for equally polarized viewpoints of the New Badger Partnership on Tuesday.

Nearly 100 University of Wisconsin students hosted a rally against the proposal — which would make UW independent from the UW System — at the main administration building, Bascom Hall. The rally culminated in an impromptu meeting with Chancellor Biddy Martin, while members of a student organization advocated in favor of the plan by meeting with legislators at the Capitol.

Take Back the Land leads forclosure protest

April 27, 2011
Channel 3000

Madison Group Protests M&I Bank Foreclosure- Protesters Say Housing Rights Are Human Rights
 
MADISON, Wis. -- The Dane County Courthouse was the site for protests on Tuesday morning.Volunteers with Take Back the Land-Madison were protesting a home foreclosure by M&I Bank. They called for an end to bailing out the banks instead of people.

 

CAP TIMES: Missing Verona ballots cause glitch in Supreme Court race recount

April 29, 2011
Steven Elbow

Newly appointed Dane County Clerk Karen Peters initially had doubts that the county could finish hand counting some 182,000 Supreme Court ballots within a 13-day deadline. But on Thursday she expressed confidence that it could be done.

But that was before the glitch.

Post Your Recount Observations on this Webpage

May 1, 2011
Brian Pruka

The Wisconsin Wave has established this webpage for citizens monitoring the Wisconsin Supreme Court recount as a place where we can share our news and observations.  Bookmark this page if you want the latest recount news from citizens on the scene at courthouses around the state.

GESVAIN: Recount observers needed EVERYDAY 8am-8pm -- all districts

May 1, 2011
Karen Geszvain

(Editor's Note: Wisconsin Wave does not endorse or support any campaign or campaign committee. The following posting was written by a recount volunteer for the Kloppenburg campaign. We are posting this for its information/news content only.

Note that the only citizen recount monitors who are allowed to stand behind the official recount tabulators --and therefore the only citizen recount monitors who actually see the markings on the ballots-- are those monitors designated by one of the campaigns as a representative of their campaign.

We citizens monitoring the recount as nonpartisans must sit in a gallery that is cordoned off from the tables where the ballots are being counted. We are not able to see the markings on the ballots, We are there to watch the proceedings to document how questioned ballots are dealt with.)

 

The posting below is from a friend of mine who has been helping with the WI Supreme Court recount. Passing this on with her permission (sorry for the delay!).

To help monitor the recount, just show up at the Dane County recount site (City County Building, 310 MLK Blvd, Room 354. Enter on Wilson St when building is closed.) any time today or future days from 8am to 8pm, or call the Kloppenburg campaign at 608/218-1203 to make arrangements for possible other places to help.
 
Additionally, my same friend e-mailed me this this morning: "The lead Kloppenburg person said some mornings it has been only herself representing Kloppenburg from 8am until 11am or so, while Prosser has one observer for every poll worker. Prosser's people are also paid and they have at least one or more lawyers present. We didn't have a lawyer today and could have used one."
 
The Kloppenburg campaign needs volunteers! I'll be there today.
 

Govt. Accountability Board: Waupaca County Discovers Canvass Error

May 2, 2011
Government Accountability Board of Wisconsin

Waupaca County officials have discovered two errors in the original canvass of the Supreme Court election.  Here is Waupaca County Clerk Mary Robbins' explanation to G.A.B. staff:

Govt. Accountability Board: Recount Daily Updates (as of 12:50pm, Tuesday, May 2, 2011)

May 2, 2011
Government Accountability Board of Wisconsin

Note: These are unofficial recount results that have not been certified by the G.A.B.

As of 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, 2011, 1,942 Reporting Units have reported results, which have been reviewed by G.A.B. staff.  That is approximately 54 percent of the of the 3,602 total Reporting Units.

So far, counties have recounted 718,230 votes, which is approximately 48 percent of the original votes cast in the State Supreme Court race.

There are 27 reporting units not included in this posting that have been reported but are being further reviewed by G.A.B. staff

GAB Excel Spreadsheet: 47 Counties Still Working on Recount

May 2, 2011
Brian Pruka

If you are interested in attending and watching the recount, below are listed the 47 Counties that still have voting recount data to report, according to the Excel spreadsheet published by the Wisconsin Accountability Board website at their 12:50pm, Tues., May 2nd Recount Daily Updates.

By this evening it is likely that several of these counties will have finished their recount. I will try to have an update posted tonight after the GAB posts their Excel spreadsheet for the evening.

BRADBLOG.COM: WI's Supreme Court Election 'Recount' is a Mess

May 3, 2011
Brad Friedman

Wisconsin is no Minnesota.

Where Minnesota's post-election hand count of the 2008 U.S. Senate election between then Sen. Norm Coleman and now Sen. Al Franken was, as we wrote at the UK's Guardian at the time, "one of the longest and most transparent election hand-counts in the history of the US," Wisconsin has made it extremely difficult (putting it nicely) to know what the hell is actually going on in their statewide "recount" of the April 5th, 2011 state Supreme Court election between Justice David Prosser and Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Images from Waukesha County recount from today, Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011
photos forwarded via Facebook

The following three photos were sent by citizen observers at the Waukesha County recount this evening. Photos received at 7:15pm, Thursday, May 5th. The ballot bags pictured are from the city of Brookfield. Open ballot bags.

Nonpartisan Advocacy Group Offers $25,000 Reward For Evidence of Tampering in Wisconsin's Supreme Court Election

May 5, 2011
www.protectourelections.org

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProtectOurElections.org today offered a $25,000 reward for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons for election tampering, resulting in reversal of the current outcome of the April 5, 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election in which David Prosser is said to lead JoAnne Kloppenburg by more than 7,000 votes." A reward poster is located at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/SC-Reward.pdf.

WWW.BRADBLOG.COM: CITY OF BROOKFIELD BALLOT BAGS FOUND 'WIDE OPEN' IN WAUKESHA COUNTY, WI

May 5, 2011
Brad Friedman

Five out of six bags of ballots from first batch to be counted out of the City of Brookfield in Waukesha County, WI today, were discovered "almost wide open" during Day 8 of the statewide Supreme Court election "recount". The bags were open and unsealed, according to both photographic evidence and an eye-witnesses account from the counting room. (Many more exclusive photos posted below.)

 "When the ballot bags were taken out and placed upon the counting table, we were literally stunned," one of the citizen observers, Mary Magnuson, a Kloppenburg volunteer, told The BRAD BLOG this morning. "5 out of the 6 ballot bags were almost literally wide open, and ballots could be clearly seen."

BREAKING: Legislative committee recommends cuts to WI Arts Board

May 6, 2011
Patti Wenzel
news photo

The Joint Finance Committee voted today to end the independent agency status of the Wisconsin Arts Board, moving the oversight of arts to the Tourism Board. The proposal will now go before the State Assembly and Senate for final approval as part of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-13 biennial budget. The vote was along party lines with 14 Republicans voting in favor and four Democrats voting against.

The committee did restore some of the cuts Walker proposed, returning over $350,000 to the agency over the next two years. The Board was facing a drop from $3 million to $750,000; now it will have just over $1 million in the next budget period.

The JFC also reversed Walker by allowing the Arts Board the autonomy to select its own executive director in the future.

Waukesha Recount Eyewitness: Custody of Ballot Bags in Waukesha Raises Serious Concerns

May 11, 2011
James Mueller


From: Jim Mueller, observer at the Waukesha County recount
To: Citizens concerned about the integrity of the Waukesha County recount
RE: Please encourage the (Kloppenburg) Campaign to insist that these steps listed below be taken. If the Board of Canvssers refuse, they look like they aren't doing a good job or ....?
Date: Wed., May 11, 2011
 

Following is an email message that I just sent to Melissa. (editor's note: Melissa Mulliken, campaign manager for The Kloppenburg for Justice committee).

Melissa,

The ongoing compromised state of ballot security in Waukesha County should be stopped immediately.

PROTECTOURELECTIONS.ORG: Nonpartisan Advocacy Group Offers $25,000 Reward For Evidence of Tampering in Wisconsin's Supreme Court Election

May 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ProtectOurElections.org today offered a $25,000 reward for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons for election tampering, resulting in reversal of the current outcome of the April 5, 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election in which David Prosser is said to lead JoAnne Kloppenburg by more than 7,000 votes." A reward poster is located at http://www.velvetrevolution.us/images/SC-Reward.pdf.

 

BRADBLOG.COM: Many Problems Observed in Milwaukee 'Recount' of WI Supreme Court Election

May 11, 2011
"eowyn_of_rohan"

But No Media Reports!:  Open ballot bags, mistallied ballots, high undervote rate, observation obscured and other unreported concerns...

[BragBlog Ed Note: The following account from an observer at Milwaukee County's machine "recount" of ballots from Wisconsin's April 5th Supreme Court election between incumbent Republican David Prosser and independent Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, comes on the heels of recently documented reports of complete chain of custody violations such as "wide open" ballots bags in Waukesha County --- where the stunning announcement of the addition of some 14,000 votes two days after the election reversed the originally reported results to give Prosser the unofficial lead over Kloppenburg for the 10-year seat on the state's highest court --- as well as earlier reports of ballots discovered unsecured for weeks in Dane County's city of Verona and unexplained variance

Brian Pruka: WHAT I SAW IN WAUKESHA and WHY I AM CONCERNED

May 11, 2011
Brian Pruka


On Monday, May 9th, I drove from Madison to Waukesha to observe the Waukesha County recount of the WI Supreme Court election. I observed from 2:30 pm until the day’s recount was finished at 7pm.

I began the day as a citizen observer. Observers sit in the gallery, a row of chairs behind a line that separates them from those conducting the recount (the official “tabulators”) and campaign-designated observers who are allowed to look over the shoulders of the tabulators. As an citizen observer I was only 4-6 feet from the first row of tabulator tables. But I wasn’t close enough to actually read anything in the poll books or ballots or computer tally tapes being processed.

Anne McClintock analyzes the recent uprising in Wisconsin

May 13, 2011
Anne McClintock

On arriving in Madison some years ago, I went to the huge Farmers Market that winds round the Capitol. Startled by the slow-moving procession of orderly, white shoppers all pacing in the same direction, I dubbed the market throngs “The Million White Person March,” little imagining how in the spring of 2011 this deep-rooted Wisconsin sense of discipline, good-neighborliness and community pride would fire into the largest rallies in defense of labor rights and democratic process that the United States has seen in eighty years.