Posted by Mary Bottari on June 29, 2012

As the race for Wisconsin's open U.S. Senate seat heats up, China has taken the spotlight. Republican candidate Eric Hovde has launched an ad blaming the outsourcing of U.S. jobs on the corporate tax rate.

The ad appears to be in response to Democratic candidate Tammy Baldwin's recent ad on China. Baldwin slams China, for violating trade rules by dumping paper on the U.S. market and harming the Wisconsin paper industry, which employs some 50,000 workers.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari, CMD's Deputy Director, is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analyst on trade.

Posted by Emily Osborne on June 13, 2012

Press and protestors outside the governor's mansion (source: Leslie Peterson)On June 12, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held the "Beer and Brat Summit," touted as an effort to bring lawmakers from both parties together, although some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle found reasons not to attend this PR event. Brats are a Wisconsin tradition but even they have become politicized over the past year with one of the major brat makers financially backing Walker's political campaign.

Walker's PR Plan to Use Beer and Brats

Ninety-eight state lawmakers -- 60 Republicans, 37 Democrats and one independent -- said they planned to attend the event, which offered a spread of beer, brats, and other specialties from the Dairy State.

Posted by The PRW Staff on June 01, 2012

Walker and Barrett Clash: Dead Child, John Doe and New Jobs Numbers Dominate Debate

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his recall challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett met in Milwaukee last night for their second and final debate. The structure of this debate, moderated by one of Wisconsin's leading newsmen, WISN's Mike Gousha, allowed for more back and forth between the candidates and led to heated moments as underdog Tom Barrett went on the offense. Barrett slammed Walker for cutting a campaign ad that features a dead child in an attempt to criticize Barrett for the Milwaukee Police Department's under-reporting of crime. There is no evidence that Barrett knew about the under reporting or the tragic death of the child. Barrett defended his police department: "Milwaukee police arrested that man and put him in jail, but did not use the right code when reporting the crime... you should be ashamed of that commercial, Scott Walker," Barrett charged. Walker did not apologize.

The PRW Staff

The author, PRW Staff, is for short reports/compilations that are attributable to more than one staffer or for staff posts of guest reporters.

Posted by The PRW Staff on May 28, 2012

Walker's Record on Veterans Under Fire

On Memorial Day, Wisconsinites are honoring those men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. This year, Memorial Day is taking place in the context of a historic recall election that is just eight days away, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is facing criticism from veterans and others over his handling of veterans affairs. An editorial in the Capital Times, reminds us that two of Walker's associates from his days as Milwaukee County Executive have been charged with embezzling money from the "Operation Freedom" charity for families of fallen soldiers. Tim Russell, a former Walker top aide, and Kevin Kavanaugh, a Walker appointee, were charged earlier in the year with embezzling over $62,000 from the veterans fund. Russell used the money to take expensive cruises and vacations with his boyfriend, Brian Pierick, who was also charged with child enticement. All three men are awaiting trial. The charity had been run by a local Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Milwaukee County, with no complaints. But Walker took control of the "Operation Freedom" charity away from the VFW and handed it over to his aide Russell, a decision still deserving of an explanation says the Capital Times.

The PRW Staff

The author, PRW Staff, is for short reports/compilations that are attributable to more than one staffer or for staff posts of guest reporters.

Posted by Harriet Rowan on May 20, 2012

Crowd of nurses with robin hood hats. Photo courtesy of Stacey Burns (@wentrogue)Thousands of nurses from around the world descended upon Daley Plaza, in the heart of Chicago on May 18, to demand that the richest nations in the world put an end to austerity politics and start asking the people who collapsed the global economy to do more to "heal the world."

Wearing red National Nurses United (NNU) scrubs calling for "an economy for the 99%" and zippy green Robin Hood hats, made for them in Europe, the nurses were joined by Occupy Chicago and thousands of community activists in what may be one of the most colorful demonstrations in days of protests marking the G8 meeting at Camp David and the NATO Summit in Chicago.

Posted by The PRW Staff on May 16, 2012

Sentencing for Key Former Walker Aide In John Doe Criminal Probe Delayed Until July

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that sentencing of Darlene Wink, a former county aide to Governor Scott Walker, has been delayed until July 17 so Wink can continue to help prosecutors. Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf asked for a long delay, noting, "the prosecutions are not yet closed." Wink was caught Facebooking comments, while at work, about Walker and his opponents during his 2010 race for governor. She was one of two Walker staffers later charged with spending a great deal of time fundraising and working on the gubernatorial campaign while on the public payroll as part of a wide ranging John Doe investigation being run out of the Milwaukee District Attorney's office. The probe has resulted in 15 felony indictments against a number of former Walker staff and associates, prompting Walker to hire two sets of criminal defense attorneys and to set up a criminal defense fund. Learn more about the John Doe investigation, and charges against Walker's former staff here.

The PRW Staff

The author, PRW Staff, is for short reports/compilations that are attributable to more than one staffer or for staff posts of guest reporters.

Posted by Mary Bottari on May 11, 2012

Video was obtained and released by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel less than a month before the June 5th recall election for Wisconsin governor that shows newly elected Governor Scott Walker in a frank conversation with one of his biggest supporters.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari, CMD's Deputy Director, is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analyst on trade.

Posted by Mary Bottari on April 25, 2012

states with statistically significant employment changes from March 2011 to March 2012The banner headline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning "State posts largest percentage job loss in U.S. over past year" underscores a serious problem that folks living in Wisconsin are already familiar with. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin was the only state in the country to have statistically significant job losses in the past year. Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012. The majority were government jobs, but that number included 6,100 private sector jobs, the most private sector jobs lost in any state.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari, CMD's Deputy Director, is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analyst on trade.

Posted by Mary Bottari on March 27, 2012

Congressman Paul RyanCongressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace talking about his new GOP budget plan. After the disastrous roll out of last year's budget plan, widely panned for its $6,000 Medicare voucher, Ryan has polished up his approach. He says the new plan would simplify the tax code, "broaden the tax base," and close tax loopholes. You can watch the interview here.

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari, CMD's Deputy Director, is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analyst on trade.

Posted by Harriet Rowan on March 27, 2012

Jill SteinJill Stein, a doctor and activist from Massachusetts, is running for the Green Party nomination for President of the United States. Stein is the frontrunner for the party's nomination, running against comedian Roseanne Barr and veteran Green Party activists Kent Mesplay and Harley Mikkelson. Stein's campaign, headed up by Wisconsin native Ben Manski, is focusing on getting enough delegates in each state to win the party's nomination at the July 2012 Green Party convention in Baltimore and on securing November ballot lines in all 50 states.

Jill Stein is a physician, author, environmental health advocate, and mom. She has been particularly active on the issue of toxic chemicals and their effects on children and on campaign finance reform. She ran for Massachusetts' Green-Rainbow Party for Governor in 2002, for State Representative in 2004, and for Secretary of State in 2006.

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