Wisconsin Protests, Friday, February 25, 2011

50 RALLIES IN 50 STATES

Wisconsin state capitol rotunda packed with protestorsVisit MoveOn.org to find information about a rally in your state.

In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under fierce attack. Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich—and then cutting funding for education, police, emergency response, and vital human services.

On Saturday, February 26, at noon local time, we are organizing rallies in front of every statehouse and in every major city to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. We demand an end to the attacks on worker's rights and public services across the country. We demand investment, to create decent jobs for the millions of people who desperately want to work. And we demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.

We are all Wisconsin.

We are all Americans.

This Saturday, we will stand together to Save the American Dream. Be sure to wear Wisconsin Badger colors—red and white—to show your solidarity. Sign up today to join in!

Democracy is better in person (Photo by Delia Snyder)FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011 AFTERNOON NEWS ROUNDUP

MADISON MAYOR ASKS GOVERNOR TOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT KOCH-GATE

Read the entire post at City of Madison: Mayor Dave's Blog

REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS PRAISE SCOTT WALKER, BUT STOP THERE

From Politico:

In theory, Gov. Scott Walker's Republican colleagues love what he's doing in Wisconsin. But when it comes to the specifics of his proposal, well, it's mostly crickets. A few governors have embraced Walker's politically-risky proposals on collective bargaining but the majority of them want no part of it, preferring a more conciliatory approach to public employee unions.

In theory, Gov. Scott Walker's Republican colleagues love what he's doing in Wisconsin.

....

But when it comes to the specifics of his proposal, well, it's mostly crickets.

A few governors have embraced Walker's politically-risky proposals on collective bargaining but the majority of them want no part of it, preferring a more conciliatory approach to public employee unions....

Read more here.

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS CRITICIZE WISCONSIN'S WALKER

The Washington Post reports:

With the Wisconsin state Assembly taking the first major legislative step toward enactment of a controversial law to sharply curtail collective bargaining rights of public workers, Democratic governors meeting in Washington offered pointed criticism of the plan's architect, Republican Gov. Scott Walker....

Read the complete story here.

From AOL News: LABOR BATTLES RAGE ON IN WISCONSIN, IOWA, OHIO, INDIANA

NPR reports: BILLIONAIRE BROTHERS IN SPOTLIGHT IN WIS. UNION BATTLE

4:45 p.m. - FIRST LOOK: UNIONS LAUNCH TV AD CAMPAIGN BACKING WISCONSIN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

Visit the Washington Post to see the ad script and read more.

"ONE DAY LONGER" TO BE PERFORMED ON SATURDAY

From the Sudbury Star:

Five years ago, Sudbury's Mike O'Brien gave up chasing a music career after a decade of trying to make it. Then 25, he opted for what he calls a normal life.

He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and got a job as a miner with Vale Inco. He bought a house. Got married.

Less than a year into that so-called normal life, O'Brien -- known to fans and friends as OB -- found himself on a picket line with 3,000 other members of United Steelworkers, "and everything blew up in my face," he said.

Little did he know when he went on strike July 13, 2009 -- for what was to be almost a year -- he would soon be reunited with his first love. Music….

Read the entire piece here.

Mike O'Brien and his band, Kill the Autocrat, wrote the song "One Day Longer" and will perform tomorrow in Madison at the 5:00 p.m. rally.

More from the USW Blog here.

Ian's Pizza has been delivering pizza non-stop to the protestors -- orders for pizza have come in from all 50 states and 50 countries.4:20 p.m. - Mary Bottari reports:

Ian's Pizza in Madison is two blocks from the Capitol building and has been delivering pizza non-stop to the protesters, orders are coming in from all over the world and workers estimate they have delivered tens of thousands of pizzas. The order board at Ian's shows they have gotten orders for pizza from all 50 states and now 50 countries from Antarctica to Iceland to warmer climes -- Egypt, Uganda, Brazil, Pakistan and China. Time to send some carrots.

3:33 p.m. - SLEEP WITH THE FUZZ (UNION FUZZ THAT IS)

Erica Pelzek reports that the Wisconsin Professional Police Association will participate in the Capitol sleep over tonight. More from Channel3000.

WALKER MAKES MORE DAMAGING OMISSIONS TO WISCONSINITE GRETA VAN SUSTREN

2:32 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports it has been confirmed that groups will need to be out of Capitol rooms by 5:00 p.m. tonight. There will be no sleeping allowed on the 2nd and 3rd floors tonight, only first and ground levels. This news is according to Capitol police who are stationed throughout the building.

12:48 p.m. - Erica Pelzek reports that groups who have been stationed inside the Capitol may have to leave the Capitol rooms by 5:00 p.m. today, not tomorrow.

Click here to read the full transcript of the Walker-Koch prank phone call.

ASSEMBLY DEMS YELL 'SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!' AFTER VOTE TO STRIP WORKER'S RIGHTS

BIZ BEAT: WALKER EYES RAID ON EMPLOYEE INSURANCE FUND]

The Cap Times reports:

Gov. Scott Walker has always dismissed the idea of using segregated funds to help balance the state budget.

But buried on page 125 of the budget repair bill is a proposal to take $28 million in reserves from the state's health insurance/pharmacy fund and spend it in the second half of this year....

Read the complete story here.

WATCHDOG CALLS FOR CRIMINAL PROBE OF GOVERNOR WALKER OVER PRANK KOCH CALL

Donate to CMD!

The Washington Post reports:

The Public Campaign Action Fund provided me with a letter it has sent to the Dane County District Attorney, who has jurisdiction over state government matters, asking him to probe whether Walker engaged in an effort to solicit "illegal coordinated political spending," as well as whether he illegally did so from state property, i.e., his office.

In the letter, the Public Campaign Action fund, which leans liberal but also criticizes Dems, cites an exchange in which the Koch imposter asked: "Now what else could we do for you down there?" Walker gave a convoluted answer which, the group alleges, hinted at a request for Koch to bankroll paid media to back up Republican legislators who are under fire from labor:...

Read the full post here.

Wisconsin is the canary in the coalmine.TOM HAYNER: REPAIR BILL TAINTED BEYOND REPAIR BY KOCH PHONE CALL

Madison.com reports:

Dear Editor: The integrity of the legislative process around the budget repair bill has been tainted beyond repair by revelations in Governor Scott Walker's telephone call with a prank phone caller.

It's time for the Legislature to kill the bill.

Read more here.

KOCH EXECS RESPOND TO PRANK CALL: WE WILL NOT 'BACK OFF'

TPM reports:

"With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight," Fink said. "We will not step back at all. We firmly believe that economic freedom has benefited the overwhelming majority of society, including workers, who earn higher wages when you have open and free markets. When government grows as it has with the Bush and Obama administrations, that is what destroys prosperity."

Click here for the full report.

PRESS: KOCH BROTHERS' LATEST PURCHASE: WISCONSIN

From The Milford Daily News:

No matter how hard he and Fox News try to frame it as an attempt to solve Wisconsin's budget problems, Walker's legislation is nothing but a heavy-handed attempt to shut down unions by taking away their constitutional right to collective bargaining. That's what the protests in Madison, now spreading to other states, are all about.

Read more here.

PRANK CALL A HOT TOPIC - BUT YOU COULDN'T HEAR IT ON TV, RADIO

JSOnline reports:

Your first reaction upon hearing that Gov. Scott Walker had been phone-pranked - whatever your position on the budget battle - was to wonder what it sounded like.

But you can't always get what you want; after snippets of the call appeared on local newscasts, it disappeared from local airwaves. Why?

Because the FCC forbids airing phone conversations without the permission of the parties on both ends of the call and imposes fines on stations that air them.

Read the full report here.

For Sale Gov. Walker - Cash / Koch preferredHUNDREDS PROTEST OUTSIDE OF KOCH LOBBY

The Cap Times reports:

Jane Pedersen, one of the protesters, had traveled to Madison from Menominee three days ago with a handmade sign reading, "Walker: Bought by Koch brothers ???"

Thursday she had her poster in hand. The questions marks had been crossed through with a black marker. For her, the minor change held major significance.

"Now, it's a fact," she said, noting the prank call between Walker and blogger Ian Murphy and the new lobbying office. "There's a connection between Walker and the Koch brothers."

That bothers her. The connection between politicians and lobbyists is too great in most cases, she said, but in this case it seems extreme.

Aleia Mason was wearing a sandwich board sign made of cardboard and packing tape. She said even a week ago she got questions about her sign, which reads, "Koch Party, I want my country back." Now, she says, everyone knows who David and Charles Koch are.

"Its seems like it's reached critical mass," she says.

Read the full report here.

Count Walkula: Such a thirsty bloodsucker!KOCH EXECUTIVES SPEAK OUT ON WISCONSIN

From the National Review Online:

"With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight," says Richard Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries. "We will not step back at all. We firmly believe that economic freedom has benefited the overwhelming majority of society, including workers, who earn higher wages when you have open and free markets. When government grows as it has with the Bush and Obama administrations, that is what destroys prosperity."

Read the complete article here.

BUDGET-REPAIR BILL APPROVED IN EARLY-MORNING VOTE

JSOnline reports:

After a bitter, 61-hour debate that was the longest in living memory, the sleep-starved state Assembly voted in just seconds early Friday to approve a watershed proposal repealing most union bargaining rights held by public workers.

Just after 1 a.m., Republicans cut off debate on Gov. Scott Walker's bill and in pell-mell fashion the body voted 51-17 to pass it. In the confusion, nearly one-third of the body - 28 lawmakers including 25 Democrats, two Republicans and the body's lone independent - did not vote on the bill at all.

The complete story can be found here.

Why can't we be friends with benefits'SCOTT! DAVID KOCH': A crank call from a Buffalo blogger impersonating a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker reveals something of the mind of the governor. And what it reveals isn't pretty.

From a JSOnline editorial:

"Koch" at one point said he thought about "planting some troublemakers" in the massive crowds protesting Walker's bill. Walker demurred - but not because that would be wrong, a modern version of a Nixon dirty trick. "We thought about that," Walker said. He declined the offer because the "ruckus" might put pressure on him to give in.

As the call wound down, "Koch" suggested he'd jet Walker off to California "and really show you a good time."

"All right," the governor said. "That would be outstanding."

Actually, it would be unethical.

And then Walker signed off with a breezy, "Thanks a million!"

Which, unfortunately, may have been the most revealing statement of all.

Read the complete story here.


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