Posted by Mary Bottari on March 23, 2012

Voces de la FronteraA federal court ruled yesterday that new election maps drawn by Wisconsin Republican lawmakers last year violated the Voting Rights Act and must be redrawn.

A panel of three judges ruled that Latino communities on the Southside of Milwaukee were disenfranchised by the overly partisan maps. The maps for Assembly districts 8 and 9 must be redrawn by the state legislature, which is now split 16-16 in the Wisconsin Senate, or the court will redraw them. However, the judges upheld all the other legislative and Congressional districts that Republicans drew last year stating that even though the maps caused problems for some one million voters and disrupted long-standing political relationships, the resulting population deviations were not large enough to permit judicial intervention under the law.

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 23, 2012

Sign that says "negotiation not annihilation"Governor Scott Walker is currently running a million dollar TV ad campaign on "Promises Kept," but after misleading the public on his plans to radically reshape collective bargaining in the state, Walker can't even be bothered to negotiate with the few unions who played by the new rules and are coming to the bargaining table in good faith.

Posted by Mary Bottari on March 14, 2012

Recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican senators are likely to be held on June 5 under an agreement presented in court by lawyers for the recall committees, the state Government Accountability Board (GAB) and lawyers for the state officials.

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 05, 2012

Wisconsin "Governer" Scott Walker may have trouble spelling his job title in his latest email, but he has no trouble raising and spending money on ads to improve his image as the state braces for a high-stakes, high-dollar recall campaign.

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 February 21, 2012

David KochOne year ago this week, blogger Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast pranked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by posing as billionaire David Koch on a phone call. As the crowds at the Capitol protesting Walker's bill to end collective bargaining were increasing in size and volume, the fake Koch inquired how Walker's efforts to "crush that union" were going. Walker's fawning response helped rocket the Wisconsin protests into the national media limelight.

Now the real David Koch reveals that crushing unions is indeed at the top of his agenda. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Koch talks about Walker, unions and the historical importance of the Wisconsin recall fight.

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 Anne Landman on January 25, 2012

The Cayman IslandsMitt Romney's 2010 tax returns show that in 2010, Romney and his wife, Ann, paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent on $21.6 million in income -- much lower than the 35 percent the country's top wage-earners pay -- and hold millions of dollars in multiple offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, a notorious tax haven. The official spin is that the Cayman accounts provide no particular tax advantage, that they pay higher interest rates and help "attract foreign investors." Romney's campaign counsel, Ben Ginsburg, assured journalists that Romney was in full compliance with U.S. tax laws, and Brad Malt, who operates the Romneys' blind trust, said Romney's Cayman funds are fully taxable and reported to the IRS. That may be so, but Rebecca Wilkins, a tax policy expert with Citizens for Tax Justice, points out that the federal government loses about $100 billion a year to just such foreign tax havens. Wilkins affirmed that the primary advantage to investors of setting up funds in places like the Cayman Islands is to help people avoid taxes. Jack Blum, a Washington, D.C. attorney who specializes in offshore banking and tax enforcement, said offshore investment vehicles allow investors to "avoid a whole series of small traps in the tax code that ordinary people would face if they paid tax on an onshore basis."

No
Posted by Mary Bottari on January 18, 2012

So many signatures were delivered demanding the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other state officials, that one scribe dubbed it the "greatest popular democracy movement in Wisconsin history." Over 30,000 volunteers collected over 1.9 million signatures and delivered them to the state's nonpartisan elections board on January 17.

Volunteers exceeded all expectations, delivering 1 million petitions for the recall of Scott Walker, an amount equivalent to 46 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial race. Never had so many, in the history of the United States, petitioned for the recall of a governor.

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 Lisa Graves on January 05, 2012

Thousands of Indiana workers rallied outside, and inside, their state capitol on Wednesday to speak out against Governor Mitch Daniels' renewed effort to force through so-called "right to work" legislation designed to undermine labor unions and workers' rights protected by collective bargaining.

Lisa Graves

Lisa Graves is CMD's Executive Director. She has served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government and other posts.

Posted by Sara Jerving on December 31, 2011

Truth telling in Colombia, a nation that bears the scars of politically motivated violence lasting half a century, has become increasingly difficult in response to new legislation intended to help heal the wounds of this Latin American nation, says one of the nation's renowned documentary film makers.

Posted by Wendell Potter on December 27, 2011

Let's say you have a Ford and decide to replace everything under the hood with Hyundai parts, including the engine and transmission. Could you still honestly market your car as a Ford?

That question gets at the heart of the controversy over who is being more forthright about GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to "save" Medicare, Republicans or Democrats.

Profit, risk, lossIf you overhaul the Medicare system like you did your Ford and tell the public it's still Medicare, are you doing so honestly?

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