Posted by Eric Carlson on June 14, 2011

Republican state lawmakers announced on Monday their decision to introduce Governor Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining measure as a budget amendment during Tuesday's extraordinary session, despite unfinished Wisconsin Supreme Court deliberations on the proposal.

Up Your But-get Walker signTuesday's legislative activity promises to rouse the residents of Walkerville, the new tent city surrounding the capitol. State Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said authorities are planning for increased crowds, and the Wisconsin Education Association Council has urged its 98,000 members to descend on Madison's Capitol Square, to protest a budget that guts public schools, strips workers of their rights and erodes our state's quality of life."

Posted by Anne Landman on June 10, 2011

PrivacyThe Center for Media and Democracy has joined a coalition of privacy, consumer and civil rights organizations in signing onto comments from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) (pdf) opposing a proposal by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) to expand "E-Verify," a national internet-based employment verification system that lets employers check citizenship status and verify employment eligibility of people applying for jobs. DHS plans to integrate records from state motor vehicle agencies' systems and change the verification process to include validation of a driver's license, driver's permit or ID card from a state or local jurisdiction. Groups signing onto EPIC's comments say the DHS proposal to integrate driver's license information into Homeland Security's database is unlawful and is very similar to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which established new federal standards for state-issued driver's licenses and other ID cards. Some states have declined participate in the REAL ID Act. EPIC and other groups oppose provisions in the DHS proposal that would, for example, allow DHS to distribute E-Verify records to public and private parties, and disclose E-Verify data "to the news media and the public" with just a vague exception for any "particular case [that] would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

Posted by Nikolina Lazic on June 10, 2011

Netroots Nation speakerbadgeCenter for Media and Democracy's Executive Director, Lisa Graves, the Director of our Real Economy Project, Mary Bottari, and Senior Fellow on Health Care, Wendell Potter, will be speaking at this year's Netroots Nation convention. The conference will take place from June 16-19 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Further details and the agenda click here. Stop by the CMD table at the Exhibition Hall and sign up for our IPad 2 raffle. For the very lucky, there may even be cheese curds!

Posted by Anne Landman on June 09, 2011

AFP Michigan's "eviction notice"The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has been posting fake eviction notices on the doors of residents of a Detroit, Michigan neighborhood, frightening homeowners in a city with one of the country's highest foreclosure rates. AFP 's goal is to get people to oppose construction of a new bridge that would connect Detroit with Canada. Canada agreed to fund a loan to construct the bridge, to be called the Detroit River International Crossing. AFP argues that the bridge is "unwarranted" and a "boondoggle." Large capital letters near the top of AFP's flyer say "EVICTION NOTICE." The medium-sized print at the top says "This property is subject to seizure by the Michigan Department of Transportation." The fine print says the property in question could be seized if a bill approving the bridge is passed. The editorial editor of the Detroit Free Press called AFP's fake eviction notices "emotional terrorism." Scott Hagerstrom, state director of the Michigan chapter of AFP, refused to apologize for the flyer or for rattling Detroit residents. Hagerstrom said, "It was meant to startle people ... We wanted people to read it."

Posted by PR Watch Admin on June 07, 2011

It All Had to Start SomewhereSince Monday, February 14, CMD reporters have been on the streets providing live coverage of the historic protests in Madison, Wisconsin and related legal and political battles. We focus on the corporations and spinmeisters pulling the strings. CMD is supported by small contributions from people like you.

Posted by Eric Carlson on June 07, 2011

Inside the Wisconsin state Capitol on Monday, June 6, Supreme Court Justices began hearings on the controversial collective bargaining measure proposed by Governor Scott Walker. Outside the Capitol, thousands of community members and employees from across the state rallied against the Walker-sponsored budget, chanting "Recall Walker" and "Walker, we won't back down! This is a union town!"

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold led the march from Madison Fire Station 1 toward the Capitol. Feingold was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, and marched up to the Capitol with Rock County AFSCME member past the standing "Walkerville" tent encampment, whose friendly inhabitants set up refreshment tables to help crowds battle the crushing heat. Feingold refused to address speculation that he might oppose Scott Walker in the next election, but signs, T-shirts and chants of "Russ for Governor" indicated mounting support for his candidacy.

Posted by The PRW Staff on June 06, 2011

Guest post by Jean Ross, RN and Co-President for National Nurses United

The fight in Wisconsin continues to be an ongoing an inspiration to the entire nation. As a registered nurse for 37 years, I have been part of a proud tradition of protest as well. My number one priority, as it is for all nurses, is to advocate for my patients. This is a daily struggle we must wage against corporate insurance and hospitals that care more about the bottom line than patient care. As nurses we fight every day for our patients -- by marching on our administrators, disrupting our halls of government, and protesting in the streets.

Posted by Jessica Opoien on June 04, 2011

"This is the Wisconsin revolution, and it's powered by beer!"

John Nichols, associate editor of the Capital Times and Washington correspondent for The Nation, gave a rousing introduction to Friday's "Save Our Craft Beers" rally, held on the State Street side of the Wisconsin state Capitol at 5:00 p.m. Protesters gathered to unite in opposition against a measure added to the budget by the Joint Finance Committee that effectively bans brewers from purchasing wholesale distributors and, according to the Wisconsin Positive Business Alliance, requires new wholesalers and breweries to secure 25 "separate, independent retail customers before a wholesale license can be granted."

Posted by Mary Bottari on May 26, 2011

On May 26, Wisconsin Judge Maryann Sumi ruled Governor Scott Walker's "budget repair bill," which would eviscerate collective bargaining rights for most public workers in the state, "null and void."

Sumi ruled that lawmakers clearly violated the state's open meetings law in their rush to pass the bill at the height of the capitol protests, and that the public interest in the enforcement of the state's open records law outweighed the public interest in sustaining legislative action.

Posted by Anne Landman on May 24, 2011

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) (Getty Images)The Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause, the AFL-CIO, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Public Citizen and other organizations have signed onto a letter to members of Congress opposing a draft bill by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) that would weaken whistleblower protection and award programs at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC). Grimm's bill seeks to strip newly-enacted protections for whistleblowers who face retaliation for contacting enforcement agencies. It would also remove incentives for corporate insiders to inform regulators about wrongdoing, hamstring enforcement at the SEC and CTFC and give lawbreaking financial firms a way to escape accountability for their actions. The programs Grimm's bill is trying to gut are based on America’s most effective anti-corruption statute: the False Claims Act, which has returned more than $27 billion taxpayer dollars since 1987. The programs were created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to help the SEC and CTFC monitor securities and commodities markets and help avert another Wall Street collapse. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC and the SEC can compensate whistleblowers whose disclosures lead to enforcement actions with penalties of $1 million or more. Such programs help  protect taxpayers by encouraging insiders with critical knowledge of large-scale corporate misconduct to come forward and report it. You can read the letter and see all the groups who have signed onto to it here (pdf).


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