Wisconsin Wave

Uniting Wisconsinites for democracy and shared prosperity

This is an archived version of the Wisconsin Wave website.

Few Wisconsinites Contributing to SuperPAC's


Eighteen people with Wisconsin ties are among the donors to so-called “super PACs,” a new breed of campaign fundraising machine. But compared to Texas, New York and California, where super PACs raised upwards of $10 million, those Wisconsin donors contributed a whole lot less.

Itemized super PAC contributions with Wisconsin addresses totaled $428,301 in 2011, according to Federal Election Commission filings released last week.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has posted a searchable database of nearly $93 million in super PAC contributions below.

Scott Walker and the Secret "John Doe" Investigation Explained


A dark cloud hangs over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Indiana's New 'Right to Work' Law: More Jobs or Lower Wages For All Workers?


After a protracted battle, Indiana in early February elected to make union dues optional for workers in union jobs. It's the first state in more than 10 years to adopt a so-called right-to-work law and the first state ever in the industrial Midwest to go that route.

GOP Lawmakers, Pledged to Secrecy, Told to Ignore Public Comments on Redistricting


As legislative leaders secretly developed new election maps last year to strengthen their majority, Republican lawmakers were told to ignore public comments and instead focus on what was said in private strategy sessions, according to a GOP memo that became public Monday.

Other newly released documents also show almost all Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the new maps while they were being developed.

JOHN NICHOLS: Chrysler Super Bowl ad features Wisconsin union rally, but edits out union signs

The one truly stunning ad on Super Bowl night was a moving two-minute Chrysler commercial featuring actor Clint Eastwood. Aired at halftime, the ad hailed the renewal of the American automobile industry and featured images of union firefighters and factory workers.

At the 50-second point in the ad, images from last year's mass pro-union protests in Madison were featured.

But something was missing: union signs.

JOHN NICHOLS: How Scott Walker and ALEC plotted the attack on Arizona's Unions

Two days after Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected Governor John Kasich’s anti-labor agenda by a sixty-one to thirty-nine margin in a statewide referendum, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker jetted to Arizona to launch the next front in the national campaign to attack union rights.

After meeting with former Vice President Dan Quayle, Walker was whisked over to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, where he briefed a thousand Arizona conservatives on how they could attack “the big-government union bosses.”

WSJ: Assembly committee passes devastating mining bill

Republicans on the state Assembly's jobs committee Tuesday approved a bill that would streamline Wisconsin's iron mining permit process, brushing aside Democrats' claims that the measure is a license to pollute.

The bill is designed to jump-start Florida-based Gogebic Taconite's plans for an iron mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior. The measure has triggered a fierce debate between Republicans looking to deliver on campaign promises to create jobs and environmentalists who say the mine would ruin the pristine area.

WSJ: Indoor Capitol protest photos tell the 'real story'

For five of the 17 days last February that protesters lived in and slept in the state Capitol, photographer John Riggs was there, with little more than his camera. 

Shooting pictures inside the historic building was difficult: Light conditions were low and events were unpredictable. But Riggs, owner of Tamarack Studio and Gallery just east of Capitol Square, found the occupation sparked by political events so personally moving, so filled with creativity and so peacefully "utopian" that he felt it needed to be documented in a show and a book.

UPPITY WISCONSIN: Request for data base tries to cause more chaos in recall process

Republican lawmakers have an unlimited capacity for mischief, especially when it comes to trying to delay the inevitable recall elections coming sooner or later this year.

State Rep. Robin Vos has asked the Government Accountability Board to create an online, searchable data base of everyone who signs a recall petition.

Why? So citizens can search the hundreds of thousands of names looking for mistakes, he says:

DAILY KOS: Pulaski WI Marching Band Plays "Union Maid" in Rose Bowl Parade

The Pulaski High Marching Band, of Pulaski Wisconsin, made an awesome statement in yesterday's Rose Bowl Parade.

It was quite an honor for the Red Raiders from this small town (pop. approx. 3000) northwest of Green Bay to be marching in 80-degree weather in Pasadena, while their proud community looked on from windy 18-degree Wisconsin.

The TV coverage started as they marched along playing "On Wisconsin," looking properly Badger-like in their red uniforms.

And then they got to the grandstand, at about 1:15 in the YouTube ... listen to what happened.

JOHN NICHOLS: Former state legislator Frank Nikolay embodied the best of Wisconsin's progressive tradition

Frank Nikolay learned his New Deal Democratic politics the hard way, as a poor kid in the Great Depression. He knew what it meant when a family fell on hard times and he knew what the government — yes, the government — could do to help them get back on their feet and on the road to prosperity.

Nikolay, who would become one of Wisconsin’s most respected lawyers, a leader in the state Legislature and a contender for statewide office, had no taste for those who suggested that government was the problem. He said they were either lying to themselves or lying to the people.

HUFF POST: The Truth is a Lie? A Lie is Truth?

Paul Krugman wakes up this morning, mourning the death of Politifact. He has good cause! In announcing its 2011 "Lie Of The Year," the truth-squadding agency has settled on something that isn't so much a "lie" as it is "100 percent true on its face," and the selection seems to have been made because it doesn't seem to understand some very basic things about Medicare's defined health benefits.

ED GARVEY: More corruption among Wisconsin's Supreme Court justices

We know the marching song is "On Wisconsin," but not so today as corruption involving a justice of the state Supreme Court, a major law firm, members of the Legislature secretly working with a mining company, and WMC to "relax" environmental protections to help the mining company in the "new" mining bill that has no sponsor is now part of the new marching song. "Not Wisconsin, not Wisconsin, line your pockets now..."

WSJ: Waukesha County clerk 'likely broke state law' during April Supreme Court race

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said Tuesday she believes she has been exonerated even though her office is undertaking numerous changes in how it handles ballots following the non-reporting of 14,000 votes in the spring Supreme Court election.

State investigators in September determined that Nickolaus likely broke the law by not reporting the votes in the hotly contested race between Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, but her conduct was unintentional and not criminal.

CAP TIMES: ACLU sues over Wisconsin voter ID law

A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Milwaukee alleging that Wisconsin's new voter ID law is unconstitutional and will deprive people of the right to vote.

CAP TIMES: Madison lawmaker seeks to expose ties between Walker, mining interests

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, submitted an open records request Monday to Gov. Scott Walker, seeking all communications with Gogebic Taconite regarding the 183-page Republican mining bill released Thursday.

"Many conservation leaders believe this bill is a massive handout to big corporate polluters and the mining industry," Roys said in a prepared statement. "Secret corporate-drafted bills are bad for Wisconsin and the public deserves to know how much influence lobbyists for out-of-state mining companies had in drafting this bill."

DAILY KOS: Standoff Coming in Wisconsin Against Restrictions to Protest at Capitol

Things may be coming to a head in Wisconsin soon, most interestingly, almost exactly when we will be doing a whole lot of analysis on the Wisconsin uprisings’ past and future at Netroots New York.

CAP TIMES: Capitol protest limits violate constitution

Gov. Scott Walker in February admitted on Greta van Susteren’s Fox News program that he and his aides considered using agent provocateurs to create violent incidents in order to discredit protests at the state Capitol. More recently he has made it clear that he will go to any length to stifle dissent against his policies.

CAP TIMES: Integrity of Wisconsin's elections further in dobut as GAB comes under partisan control

One of the best ways of ensuring the integrity of our elections is to have an independent, nonpartisan watchdog. Wisconsin already has that, in the form of the Government Accountability Board. The GAB is made up of retired judges and a nonpartisan staff charged with keeping elections clean. But now the independence of the GAB is under threat.

NYT: Experienced government workers flee public sector after year of attacks

MADISON, Wis. — As states and cities struggle to resolve paralyzing budget shortfalls by sending workers on unpaid furloughs, freezing salaries and extracting larger contributions for health benefits and pensions, a growing number of public-sector workers are finding fewer reasons to stay.

NAACP: States systematically taking away voting rights for blacks and Latinos

The largest civil rights group in America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is petitioning the UN over what it sees as a concerted efforted to disenfranchise black and Latino voters ahead of next year's presidential election.

PR WATCH: ALEC orchestrated nationwide attacks on workers, public sector institutions

On the one-year anniversary of an important American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting in Washington D.C., Wisconsin's public safety officers gathered to prepare for the next stage in the fight for labor rights. 

WSJ: Egyptians stood in solidarity with Wisconsin, now we must return the favor

CAIRO - The Egyptian Military and Central Security Forces have committed crimes against humanity in the struggle for control of Tahrir Square.

I have been in Tahrir all day and well into the night on recent Fridays. I witnessed hundreds of thousands of Egyptians peacefully rallying to express their political opinions and opposition to the continuation of military dictatorship in Egypt.

CAP TIMES: Gov. Walker's cuts to Wisconsin education decimating public education

State officials recently announced this year’s final state aid sent to local school districts. All but 13 of Wisconsin’s 424 local school districts received cuts. The historic school aid reduction in Wisconsin is the second largest per pupil cut in the nation.

Local education leaders, parents and teachers are concerned about the long-term effects of such deep funding cuts.

AP: Public employees hold general strike in Britain

ONDON (AP) — Paramedics, emergency crews, teachers and even some employees from the prime minister's office took to the streets of Britain for the country's largest strike in decades — drawing attention to government cuts but failing to bring the nation to a standstill.

Public sector employees staged the one-day walkout Wednesday over government demands that they work longer before receiving a pension and pay more in monthly contributions, part of austerity measures to tackle Britain's 967 billion-pound ($1.5 trillion) debt.

Arundhati Roy addresses People's University in Washington Square, NYC

This is the text of a speech given by Arundhati Roy at the People's University in Washington Square, NYC on November 16th, 2011 (video link below).

Tuesday morning, the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We're not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for justice. Justice, not just for the people of the United States, but for everybody.

AMY GOODMAN: The Brave New World of Occupy Wall Street

We got word just after 1 a.m. Tuesday that New York City Police were raiding the Occupy Wall Street encampment. I raced down with the “Democracy Now!” news team to Zuccotti Park, renamed Liberty Square. Hundreds of riot police had already surrounded the area. As they ripped down the tents, city sanitation workers were throwing the protesters’ belongings into dump trucks. Beyond the barricades, back in the heart of the park, 200-300 people locked arms, refusing to cede the space they had occupied for almost two months. They were being handcuffed and arrested, one by one.

MOTHER JONES: Conservatives Plot to Sabotage Scott Walker Recall Effort

A group of self-identified conservatives say they plan to sabotage the effort to recall Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker [1], which begins on Tuesday, by burning and shredding recall petitions they've collected and misleading Wisconsinites about the recall process.

WSJ: Workers held occupation in state capitol in 1936

When protesters occupied the Capitol last spring, they followed in the footsteps of demonstrators who seized the building in 1936.

In March of that year, new employees of the federal Works Progress Administration found they could not make a living wage. WPA jobs paid only a fraction of what private businesses paid for the same work, and administrators could not always guarantee a full week's labor. Workers found they simply could not keep body and soul together.