The Wisconsin State Senate passed the Assembly's version of the budget late Thursday night after nine hours of spirited debate, sending the $66 billion spending plan to Governor Walker for his signature.
The Republican-controlled Senate approved the measure 19-14 along strictly partisan lines. Lawmakers debated late into the evening amid audible reactions from gallery spectators and a boisterous rally on the front steps of the Capitol. Several audience members in the Senate chamber were removed during the course of the debate for disrupting the legislative session.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has enlisted Andrew Card, former White House Chief of Staff under President Bush, and Democratic former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh for a national "road show" to rally businesses to oppose government regulations. Communications for the road show are being handled by Chamber employee Thomas Collamore, who formerly was vice president of Philip Morris Corporate Affairs -- the department that was responsible for thwarting local, state and national policies to reduce tobacco use. The Chamber plans to formally announce the Bayh and Card road show on June 22, 2011, and then will start flying the two around the country to gather support for rolling back regulations designed to protect the environment, consumers and workers. A June 2 memo to the Chamber's Board of Directors says the two will give speeches, and attend events and media appearances at local venues across the country. The Chamber's effort is aimed at fighting the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, minimizing the power of the recently-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, blocking OSHA workplace safety and health programs, hampering employees' ability to join unions and other pro-business reforms. The Chamber has spent months soliciting millions of dollars in funding from Wall Street financial firms, insurance and energy companies for this anti-regulatory effort.
Dozens of Walkerville activists marched from the Wisconsin state Capitol to Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Mike Huebsch's offices at noon on Wednesday, June 15, to protest the former GOP state representative's archaic Capitol security measures.
In the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision reinstating Governor Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining plan, the Court's conservative majority not only neutered the Open Meetings Law, but in its rush to make a decision before legislative Republicans acted on threats, the Court overreached and potentially eviscerated the meaning of Article IV, Section 10 of the Wisconsin Constitution.
Filmmaker Robert Greenwald and his company Brave New Films have launched a new website that encourages visitors to comment on what they think has been left out of a new documentary movie about Sarah Palin. The website allows visitors to put words in Sarah Palin's mouth. Filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon created the two-hour-long, pro-Palin film, titled "The Undefeated," in response to what he feels is negative treatment Palin has received in the media. Bannon's movie portrays Palin as a martyr. The casting of Palin as a victim of repeated baseless attacks is punctuated by a scene showing a pack of lions tearing apart a zebra and another showing a man being buried alive. When people point out Palin has actually been defeated in a number of elections, Bannon says, "I want people to come out of this movie arguing and debating. That's what I want." The film premieres Friday, June 17, in Minneapolis. The winner of Greenwald's "edit Sarah Palin's film" contest will get a collector-edition Sarah Palin bobblehead doll dressed in army fatigues and holding a rifle.