News

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.
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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.

RAW STORY: US Chamber Opposed 9/11 First Responders Healthcare Bill For Fear of Higher Corporate Taxes

March 15, 2013
Daniel Tencer, John Byrne, Stephen Webster
news photo

(originally published on December 18, 2010)

The US Chamber of Commerce lobbied to kill a bill that would have helped cover medical expenses and compensation for first responders and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to documents available online.

The Chamber’s aim was to keep open a tax loophole benefiting foreign corporations that the $7.4 billion bill would have closed to provide funding for the American emergency workers.

FOLEY HOAG LLP: U.S. Chamber Sues SEC Over Payment Disclosure Rule to Foreign Governments

March 15, 2013
Paul Bork, Dean Hanley, Brandon White, Matthew Baltay
news photo

(Originally published on October 18, 2012)

On October 10, 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and three industry groups filed suit against the Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking to overturn the recently-promulgated SEC rule implementing the Dodd-Frank Act provision requiring disclosure of payments to foreign governments relating to oil, gas and mining projects.

AMERICAN RIGHTS AT WORK: The US Chamber's Anti-Union Agenda

March 14, 2013
Capital Research Center
news photo

(originally published on July 27, 2008)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s most powerful business lobbying organization1, has been campaigning against unions, fair labor practices, increases in the minimum wage, and legal protections for America’s workers for nearly a century.  The Chamber’s anti-union initiatives are just one part of its multi-issue agenda.  Unlike other anti-union organizations, this prominent lobbying force does not hide its alignment with big business.

NYTIMES: 45 Anonymous Corporate Donors Provided More Than Half of US Chamber's 2009 Funding

March 14, 2013
Eric Lipton, Mike McIntire, and Don Van Natta Jr.
news photo

(originally published on October 21, 2010)

Prudential Financial sent in a $2 million donation last year as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off a national advertising campaign to weaken the historic rewrite of the nation’s financial regulations.

CAMPUS PROGRESS: Tom Donohue's US Chamber is Biggest Obstacle to Progressive Change

March 4, 2013
Jake Blumgart
news photo

(originally posted on June 21, 2010)

The Chamber of Commerce is one of the biggest obstacles to progressive change in the United States. Claiming to represent the interests of American business, it is the largest lobbying group in the nation, with over 300,000 anonymous dues paying members and a staggeringly deep war chest and immense influence in both parties. From its cyclopean headquarters on H Street and Connecticut Avenue NW, the Chamber mobilizes its diverse membership to combat everything from environmental regulation to minimum wage increases.

NYTIMES: US Chamber Lobbying Heavily Against Climate Legislation

March 4, 2013
John Broder
news photo

(Originally published on november 18, 2009)

BACK in the 1990s when Thomas J. Donohue was president of the American Trucking Associations, a subordinate raised a question at a staff meeting.

Some of the association’s members, the aide said, wondered whether it was really necessary for the group’s president to fly on a private jet.

Mr. Donohue, a scrappy Irish-American born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, turned to his chief of staff and asked how many seats his jet had. “Well, eight, sir,” the aide said. “Tomorrow morning I want you to call and get a 12-seater,” Mr. Donohue shot back. The subject never came up again.

AUDIO: Hear Dennis Kucinich's speech at the Rally for Democracy

February 12, 2013
Liberty Tree Foundation

Dennis Kucinich and Ben Manski speak to Wisconsinites on February 12th, 2013 as part of Liberty Tree's "Shut the Chamber!" campaign kickoff (complete audio below, courtesy of WORT 89.9FM, followed by printed excerpts).

Ben Manski:

WISCONSIN WATCH: Redistricting entirely responsible for GOP’s "success" in congressional and legislative races

January 7, 2013
Kate Golden

In the aftermath of the Nov. 6 elections, words like “fickle” and “schizophrenic” are being bandied about to describe the Wisconsin electorate.

How else can anyone explain a group of voters who simultaneously picked Democrats Barack Obama for president and Tammy Baldwin for U.S. Senate while preserving a 5-3 Republican edge in its congressional delegation and giving the GOP a commanding majority in both houses of the state Legislature?

WSJ: Wisconsin's GOP legislature lays out their priorities for mining, education, taxes, and jobs

January 6, 2013
Dee J. Hall
news photo

Paving the way for a new mine, lowering income taxes and finding ways to train more workers for available jobs are among the priorities cited by top Republicans, who will control the Legislature.

The two-year session begins Monday and will run through May 2014. Republicans have a 59-39 majority in the Assembly, with one vacancy in a heavily GOP district, and an 18-15 majority in the Senate. Gov. Scott Walker is also a Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said much of the Legislature’s work will revolve around the governor’s proposed budget, expected to be submitted in mid-February.

“The budget controls the landscape for the first six months,” Fitzgerald said.

CAP TIMES: Law enforcement union sues Wisconsin over collective bargaining law that creates 2 classes of workers

November 14, 2012
Ed Treleven
news photo

A Wisconsin law enforcement union sued the state Tuesday over the state's collective bargaining law, alleging that the portions of the law pertaining to teachers and municipal workers that were found unconstitutional by a Dane County judge are also unconstitutional for state workers.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA), two police officers and a field agent for the state Division of Motor Vehicles, alleges that portions of Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law violates state workers' rights to speech, association, petition and advocacy under the state constitution.

Overpass Light Brigade groups challenge free speech restrictions around the country

November 13, 2012
Kit OConnell
news photo

One Victory, More Conflicts to Come?

Though the Austin Overpass Light Brigade won the right to hold lighted signs over a highway once, it can expect further encounters with police.

Democracy Now investigates the corporate influences behind the "Fix the Debt" campaign

November 13, 2012

As the White House begins a series of meetings today on the looming "fiscal cliff," a coalition of the largest corporate firms and advocacy groups is lobbying for wide-ranging cuts in government spending, including to programs like Medicare and Social Security. The group, which includes 80 of the country’s most powerful CEOs, is called the Campaign to Fix the Debt. It was co-founded by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, previously the co-chairs of President Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Critics have accused the group of using the budget crisis to push for corporate tax cuts.

GOP: arrest Federal officials who try to implement new healthcare law in WI

November 13, 2012
Patrick Marley

 

Madison - As Gov. Scott Walker contemplates whether to create a state health care exchange under Obamacare, he must contend with nine members of his own party who will serve in the Legislature for the next two years who say they back a bill to arrest any federal officials who try to implement the health care law.

Electoral maps rigged to favor well-funded incumbents

November 12, 2012
editorial

 

None of Wisconsin's races for the House of Representatives was even close last week.

Every incumbent won by double-digit margins.

CAP TIMES: Journalists face restrictions as they cover Election Night events

November 9, 2012
Jessica Vanegeren
news photo

Phil Ejercito, a Madison-based freelance photographer, took the usual steps prior to showing up Tuesday to photograph what turned into the election night victory party for Wisconsin’s new senator, Tammy Baldwin.

After showing identification, he was handed press credentials and then guided to the press area that included nearly 100 other journalists.

But as 8 p.m. approached and the ballroom at Monona Terrace began to fill with roughly 1,000 members of the public, a velvet red rope similar to what you’d find in a movie theater started to be drawn tight to cordon off the media area.