Live Reporting from the Wisconsin Protests

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. Consider making a contribution today. If you have scheduling information or tips for our reporters please contact us at (608) 260-9713 or


On July 13, 2011 CMD ended this on-going report into the Wisconsin protests which we have maintained since February 14, 2011. It has been an honor to report on the historic events from Wisconsin from our office 4 blocks from the Capitol and have this reporting picked up on so many sites across the country. Today we launch a new chapter in our reporting on the shadowy front groups and corporations behind the recent assault on workers rights and democracy. Visit our new website to learn more about the corporate agenda in Wisconsin and continue to visit for reporting on Wisconsin. -- The CMD team.


Wisconsin State Journal: Democrats cry foul over Republican redistricting maps

Democratic leaders expressed shock and anger Friday after Republicans unveiled their proposal for redrawing the state's congressional and legislative districts, saying the new lines favor the majority party and target Democrats involved in upcoming recall elections. But according to Republicans, 22 legislators will be affected, either by being drawn out of their district or by being paired with another legislator in their district. Of that group 12 are Republican, GOP leaders say. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Was senator threatened on budget vote?

A prominent business leader from state Sen. Rob Cowles' district was stunned when the veteran lawmaker explained why he voted in favor of Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget-repair plan. Cowles had contacted the business leader earlier this year to ask for the person's support in his upcoming recall election. "He said, 'I didn't like this (bill) either. I didn't like being put in this position. I didn't like anything about the way it was done,'" the business leader quoted Cowles as saying. "'But the governor's office told us if we didn't give them our support, they would run a tea party candidate against us.'" READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Wisconsin State Journal: State gears up for recall season opener

On Tuesday, Wisconsin begins the largest recall season in its history. By the time the final vote is tallied on Aug. 16, there will have been nine recall elections; six for Republican senators and three for Democratic senators. If Democrats can hold onto their seats and take three more, they return to power in the state Senate and have a formidable weapon to use against Walker. Passage of Republican-authored legislation, which has seen virtually no opposition in the GOP-controlled Legislature, will slam to a halt. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

La Crosse Tribune: Primary to be soft test for new voter ID law

Voters in Tuesday's primary election and next month's state Senate recall won't have to show a picture ID. But they will be asked. "It's a soft implementation to give everybody a chance to get used to it," said Reid Magney, spokesman for Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections. "The idea was because this was such a big change we don't want to disenfranchise anyone by springing this on voters. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Bloomberg: Senator Johnson Says U.S. Can Avoid Default If Debt Ceiling Not Raised

The U.S. won't have to default on its obligations to bondholders even if Congress fails to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by an August deadline, Republican Senator Ron Johnson said. "If we don't increase the debt ceiling, we'll have to live within our means," the freshman from Wisconsin said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital with Al Hunt" airing this weekend. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Wisconsin Protests photo gallery



I'm glad you mentioned that public workers choose to be in the public sector. When unions fall, anyone that has a problem with the way they are being treated has a right to leave their career and peruse another one. I don't have a union backing me. I don't have collective bargaining. When the economy took a down turn my company made cut backs, to keep my job, I picked up a second job. Maybe if I had collective bargaining, I wouldn't have to work two jobs but it probably would have killed the company that I work for. I firmly support Walker and his efforts to cut back spending. If Walker would have taxed Corporations they would most likely move out of state to a lower cost location.

Dear Andrew: I am so sorry to hear about the cutbacks you have faced and the stress of them. Many Americans are facing these difficult times resourcefully, like you. But I must dissent from the idea taking root that corporations cannot be taxed or jobs will be lost. That's a false choice, and it is one being fueled by corporatist politicians who have failed to insist on rational trade policies to protect our economy. American workers cannot compete with the wages in the third world countries and should not have to, or we will become a third world country ourselves. Rational tax policy creates specific incentives to do business here in the U.S. and would punish companies that ship jobs overseas. And, in Wisconsin, rational tax policies would include targeted incentives to reward creating and keeping good-paying jobs here (and not just the lowest-paid service industry jobs) and it would punish or require companies that would leave after receiving such benefits to pay back such grants or incentives. The documented fact is that so often when corporations get generic tax breaks they do not put that money into hiring more workers, and instead they pay the profits out to shareholders or to CEO's in the incredible compensation packages and bonuses that have been widely reported. Companies will increase production and hiring when the demand for what they are selling increases, not due to tax cuts, and the demand typically increases when millions of ordinary Americans have the money to spend. The American people are the backbone of this economy. The idea that corporations, the wealthiest entities in this country, cannot be taxed now should be anathema to Americans everywhere. The country should be providing greater incentives for local businesses and small businesses to grow and provide good-paying jobs for our workforce. It should not be pandering to global corporations whose actions have demonstrated that they are more interested in lining the pockets of their CEOs and shipping money to Wall Street investors than in investing in American people and communities. Lisa

So its okay that a CEO makes $100M a year and says that you need to work two or more jobs a year to survive. Why don't you take a breath and think what Jefferson,Franklin and the founders would think about this country has turned into. The founders KNEW the wealthy and corporations would enslave everyone else given the chance - WELL PEOPLE LIKE YOU DID !

I agree with you, Dick, and could not disagree with you more, Andrew. I think it is pretty unconscionable for the right-wing to be pitching talking points about the need for everyone to make sacrifices on the heels of extending tax cuts to the richest people in this country. Where's the sacrifice from the Koch brothers? Where are the sacrifices from the Goldman Sachs traders who are getting million dollar bonuses? But those nurses, Andrew seems to suggest, why can't they sacrifice more?

John Boehner; Where are the JOBS @ GOP?¿? So PROUD to finally see the hard-working, GOOD PEOPLE of WISCONSIN carrying on that grand tradition that has been ALL OF OURS history, when it comes to workers and the peoples rights! I am just so proud to see so many come to the "front line" to perhaps be the re-start to thinking about the working class instead of slowly being stepped on by corporate thugs and these politicians who want us all to not only "pay the piper" but who also just are starting (yes, sadly this is just their start) in leading us all spiralling down that road to eventual "corporate ownership" along with all our rights. This is just the start to a fight we will win, especially as it dawns on more and more John Q Public's that this is really about an agenda that will have consequences far into all of our futures if we don't stop it here and now - dead in it tracks - and see to it that we run to our polls and vote (while we still can) and fight against what is truthfully a certain type of "mean-spirited" ideology where it truly is "what's mine is mine, and I still want yours" where the only people who have any right to say who has rights are those who are in power - and as you can see will freely trample the rights of many just so long as they come out the winner every time. I truly can't say thank you enough to those who are now fighting back. It's in my eyes a true saving grace for all of us - to see and be inspired again by what I hope continues to be "truly hearing the people's voice start to come alive again - and again in Wisconsin. Labor and LaFollette and forward!

Lisa, glad you're here! Couldn't have said it better myself! Funnylady, try MSNBC for some real facts.

Grow up! Collective bargaining is not a right it's a priviledge! I'm tired of paying for your benefits while paying a fortune for my own! Try working for a living!!!

Dear Katwoman: Unfortunately, your note reflects a completely incorrect understanding on every front. The state employees you are talking about, firefighters, police, teachers, nurses, sanitation workers work plenty hard for a living. I challenge you to walk in any of their shoes for a day and then have the audacity to assert that they are not working for a living. It's a pity you are so badly misinformed. As for the "privilege" of collective bargaining, it was a legally recognized "right" in this state for over half a century and the contracts also create legally enforceable rights. The founder of the Republican party, Abraham Lincoln, said many things I think were incredibly wise but one seems particularly appropriate in this case: "It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." Next time why don't you give an opinion based on actual facts. Lisa

...Then who decides who is or is not awarded that privilege, and by what right do they decide it? By right of being super-rich? Here's what's a privilege and not a right: the privilege of having other human beings perform the labor that builds your mansions and provides all the luxuries beyond the reach of working people that you take for granted; the labor that made you rich and left them still poor -- until they fought for and won the right of collective bargaining. Oh wait...sorry, you're not rich either, are you?

I live in Wisconsin, have been to Madison, am an officer in my county Dem party, and I'm on the OFA email list......OFA is spreading INFORMATION about the rallies in Wisconsin, not organizing them. If you choose to sign up they send you updates, that's all. The Dem party hasn't even been that active because it was such an immediate groundswell of grassroots action no one could keep up, including the unions who are more "responding" to the people instead of the other way around! I've been around a long time and believe me this is not fake civic action going on. I went there with a friend who called and said he just wanted to go show support. On our own. Some catch a free bus to avoid parking problems but not because they are part of the groups paying for the buses. The organized groups show up marching together .all the rest of the people are individuals acting as individuals for the same cause.