Posted by Harriet Rowan on March 16, 2012

In honor of "Sunshine Week," a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) would like to recognize Wisconsin's champions of backroom deals, secret pledges and cloaked campaign contributions.

Posted by Emily Osborne on March 14, 2012

Protestors at the "mad as hell" rally for women's rightsHundreds of protestors showed up to the "Mad as Hell" rally on the Wisconsin State Capitol steps March 13 to protest a series of bills being pushed by Republican lawmakers that would take away a number of women's rights and interfere with women's access to health care in the state.

The rally was led by The Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and a number of other women's rights groups.

"Unfortunately, we have one of the most anti-women's health, anti-choice, anti-birth control legislatures that Wisconsin has ever seen," said Tanya Atkinson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

Posted by Harriet Rowan on March 12, 2012

picture of the crowd at the Wisconsin Capitol"Change is in the air and I'm not just talking about the weather," Lori Compas told a crowd of an estimated 50,000 people gathered at the Wisconsin State Capitol last Saturday on a sunny and unseasonably warm afternoon. "I'm talking about an awakening all across Wisconsin. A renewed sense that all of us matter, [that] all of us have a voice, and by working together we can bring our state back to its best traditions." The mass rally at the Wisconsin Capitol, marking the anniversary of the passage of Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining bill, displayed a sense of celebration rather than protest.

Posted by Harriet Rowan on March 07, 2012

This weekend, marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of Wisconsin's Act 10, the so-called "Budget Repair Bill" which stripped most public employee unions of their right to collectively bargain and sparked what has become known as the "Wisconsin Uprising." There will be a series of events in Wisconsin this weekend to mark the anniversary.

Posted by Emily Osborne on March 06, 2012

After news of Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic insults towards Georgetown Law Student Sandra Fluke hit the airwaves, Ultra Violet, a non-profit online community "fighting to expand women's rights and combat sexism," launched an online petition targeting Limbaugh's advertisers. Limbaugh, the same man who was stopped at an airport for carrying illicit bottles of Viagra on a trip to the Dominican Republic, called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified before Congress arguing for the importance of contraception coverage by universities and employers, regardless of their religious affiliation. Adding fuel to fire, Limbaugh demanded that Fluke release tapes of her having sex to the public in exchange for contraception coverage.

Posted by Rebekah Wilce on March 05, 2012

As snow started to fall, a Mennonite dairy farmer arrived at the courthouse in Baraboo, Wisconsin, on March 2 for a hearing on four charges against him related to the production and distribution of milk and other foods. Vernon Hershberger operates Grazin' Acres Farm, a small family dairy farm in Loganville, and is part of a private food club that leases his cows and receives distributions of raw milk and other foods via what he calls a members-only "food pantry" on the farm.

Rebekah Wilce

Rebekah Wilce is a reporter and researcher who directs CMD's Food Rights Network project.

Posted by Jonathan Rosenblum on March 02, 2012

Wisconsin flag altered to have palm trees, saw Fitzwalkerstan, and "ignore public comment" in latin.It was just another balmy-frigid February 28 for Andrea Musher. She stood outside the Wisconsin State Capitol with a green parasol, a pink frangipani, and a sign with palm fronds rising forth.

Madison's former poet laureate, Musher was one of about 25 protesters who gathered on what they called "Palm Tuesday" to celebrate the emergence of a new Wisconsin state tree, which could be dubbed the "O'Reilly Palm."

The event commemorated the anniversary of the day Fox News ran video of violent "Wisconsin" protesters, with palm trees waving in the background. Musher's palm was intended to help people understand that Fox "pretends to be a news source. Instead they are a source of propaganda and fabrication."

Posted by Sara Jerving on February 25, 2012

On February 29th, Occupy groups in over 70 cities will be targeting corporate members of the highly-influential American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is best described as a "bill mill" for corporate special interest legislation. Through ALEC, corporations vote behind closed doors with state legislators on changes to the law they desire that often directly benefit their bottom line. Along with right-wing legislators from across the country, corporations are given "a voice and a vote" on "model" bills to change the law in almost every area affecting people's rights. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces. They fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They have their own corporate governing board. They vote as equals with legislators to pre-approve legislation. Participating politicians then bring these bills home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing their origins in ALEC. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a "unique," "unparalleled" and "unmatched" organization. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door. This is not what democracy is supposed to look like.

Posted by Brendan Fischer on January 20, 2012

U.S. ConstitutionJanuary 21 marks the second anniversary of Citizens United v. F.E.C., where a narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court asserted that the Constitution prevents Congress from limiting the amount of money that can be spent influencing our elections. The Center for Media and Democracy is working with a constellation of groups in support of amending the Constitution to reverse the decision and address the distortion of the democratic process.

Brendan Fischer

Brendan Fischer is CMD's General Counsel. He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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