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 am a 28 year veteran teacher in CA. I DO pay health care and retirement benefits. I pay $448 a month for my healthcare plan and $600 a mth for STRS (retirement) and have always paid for these benefits. I am fortunate in that I work for a district with supportive parents and a supportive community. As a result, our students do well academically. Although I have been a republican all my life, I do not agree with their "teacher bashing". It is too bad that all the information is not accurate. We do pay into insurance plans as well as our STRS plans and always ave done so. In addition, we are not overpaid or lazy, we love what we do, and we love "our kids". I am so tired of the politics. Please remember, many times teachers do sped their money to take classes ($3,000 last year for me) and supplies for their kids. We do care and love our students.

FL, Clearly you don't read newspapers or watch tv. The union members have AGREED to the cuts. What we are trying to protect are people's rights! You want to take away people's rights to sit down and talk to their employers? That is UNAMERICAN! You are the whiner who needs to read a paper and get a clue as to what we are fighting to protect: RIGHTS!

Any idiot that would say America is not broke is just plain wrong. But to insinuate that America has a ton of cash and it's just in the hands of the greedy rich bastards is delusional. The same thing was said by the uninformed in Germany in the early 20's before hyperinflation hit. If my income were (on average) $23,000 annually and I spent $36,000 (average) on a continuous basis, had committed to even more obligations and was obligated to pay possibly $40,000 annually while I hope to god my income goes up, but have no guarantees, most people would call me insane, bankrupt and broke. My only hope would be to either make more money or sell assets to pay down obligations. If you can't understand the above paragraph then quit reading now. You're too stupid to argue any further!!! This scenario was shown to my 5th grade daughter and she understood. She was perpelexed that anyone would be that foolish but she understood. When I told her that this is what the United States was doing she truly didn't understand how any grown up could be that insane. The fact of the matter is that is EXACTLY what is going on, just with alot more zero's! Further, the only time this country's debt was as high as it is now compared to what it earns was during World War II! During WWII our debt was 120% of GDP. It is now at about 97% of GDP and rising. It has NEVER been that high. This has nothing to do with Wall Street, the greedy business owner or the fat exec. This is the American government, both federal debt and intragovernmental holdings - a fancy term which is state debt like Wisconsin and loans against trust funds - like your Social Security money! Look at the value of the dollar. Its been going down for years. Look at a chart of gold. It's been going up for years! Why? The dollar is the worlds reserve currency. That means most of the world depends on the U.S. as the strongest economy on Earth. But most people that have lost a job in the last few years, or who have been to the gas station recently or who have shopped for groceries have noticed that things are getting more expensive. This is not due to some Wall Street conspiracy. It is because the world is losing faith in the U.S. economy, the dollar and our continuing spending binge! Which like Charlie Sheen is about to pop! The Middle East is a convenient excuse but the real fact is that there are other players in the world that the world is looking to more and more for security. These countries such as China with a debt to GDP of only 30%; Brazil with a debt to GDP of only 60% even Mexico is in better shape financially. All it would take is for several strong countries to get together and create the new currency and disband the dollar and the pain we feel is nothing. Some may start saying I watch too much Glen Beck! For your info I've watched him six times my entire life just to get some perspective of what the whole Beck phenomenon is. He is too over the top. I've also watched Rachel Maddow and Keith Oberman (when he was on). They are also over the top and corporate mouth pieces. Beck = Conservative and Maddow = Liberal, just deal with it and who really cares anyway! Get away from corporate mouth pieces and get the facts!!! So here we are in Madison, WI. The governor is asking for the Union to pay 12+-% of their health insurance and 6+-% of their retirement (I pay 100% of mine). He's also asking for unions to have less bargaining power but not to eliminate it altogether. SO WHAT! These people are LUCKY! The U.S. Government doesn't take care of their workers this well. And come to work at my small business and try this you'll be fired in a heartbeat. That's right, if my company were in the same shape as Wisconsin and you demanded these terms I'd throw your ass on the street faster than you can say adios! Then there's Michael Moore! He says the country is not broke. There's a lot of money swashing around. Private money. Good, I'll be at your house on Monday demanding that you pay my benefits, demanding that you give me a room to live in and while we're at it - make sure I have lobster at night and caviar in the morning. I'm sure he can afford it! I didn't understand all this about three or four years ago. Then i started digging and finding out the real truth. Not watching TV or browsing conspiracy theory websites but going to the source - the U.S. Government, state websites and departments and checking out public company records. The Facts; It's all out there. You just have to look. Anyone believing Michael Moore's rant about the country not being in dire financial shape, not being broke has either not examined the facts or is completely delusional. Most people would just say they didn't understand - folks, that's called being an idiot! I just can't believe this guy (Moore) is this stupid. Is someone paying him? But then again, he's getting you riled up and I'll bet you're "donating" to his cause. Gee, I wonder how much he keeps?!

Moore's point was that we don't really need to be broke. The statistic he gave is that the top 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 MILLION Americans COMBINED. Between 1944 and 1966, we taxed the super-rich at 90%. Today, we do it at 35%. Yes, America is running a deficit, but increasing revenue from the very top income brackets could go a long way towards correcting it (and we could go even further by taxing corporations-- 2/3 of corps don't pay any taxes). Sticking it to the poor- and middle- classes to make up for revenue shortfalls is just inhumane. And no, reducing taxes on the super-rich does not create jobs.See the prwatch article on this here:

It is wonderful to know we can all share our views freely. That is democracy. Also, a part of democracy is realizing that this past November the people of the state elected these officials based on their platform. Spending cuts always hurt. Cutting government spending either eliminates jobs or changes the pay structure. That is just how it is. In any case, we can't keep spending money we don't have. It is time for our public SERVANTS to make a sacrifice and contribute like most of the rest of us have to do for our pensions and health insurance. If we don't make the hard choices now, we won't have the money to pay ANY teachers or firefighters in the future.

It is time for the rich of this county- yes, Koches, you too- to make sacrifices they won't even feel for the sake of the common good. But wait- the Wisconsin state deficit comes from republican Gov. Walker's actions. He came into office with a State Surplus! He squandered that with giveaways to his campaign corporate supporters in less than 2 months. That's acting in the public interest? being a good money manager? Recall the governor.

Obviously, you are not a blue-collar worker and are living comfortably somewhere amidst the other country-club types and don't have family members who live paycheck to paycheck in the reality that is today's economy. When I cast my vote for Walker, I don't remember ANYTHING in his campaign about the fact that he was a Nazi tyrant who would screw the hard working citizens of Wisconsin. I for one, would like to CHANGE my vote for someone who screws the rich for a change and spares the deserving people who take a lot of crap from the general public and deserve to make enough to put food on the table. And no, I nor anyone in my family is an employee affected...

Public employes have made concessions for years to help the budget. My husband hasn't had a pay raise for 7 years, last year they agreed to a pay cut to help out the state and have had increased personal contributions to both heath care and pensions. This Bill is not about money. When Walker came into office there was a budget surplus. The only reason there is a deficit on the books now is because of incentives he has given to private companies. Public sector employees overall make considerably less than their private counterparts. They are dedicated employees from sanitation workers, policemen, nurses, parks workers, teachers, maintenance people, etc, etc. By the way they pay taxes too and put their money back into the economy. And yes they do SERVE the community, with the security of a pension and health care ( to which they do and are willing to contribute). They do not deserve to have their bargaining rights removed. It is Wisconsin's proud Labor history that has promoted workers rights for all workers - private and public. Unions got you workers safety, workmen's compensation, holidays, weekends, child labor laws, the 40 hour work week, etc. This is about political power and corporate gain. You're right the people voted. Maybe they weren't paying close enough attention. There are a lot of people who will be voting differently now.

...or wait, are you Tim Philips of Americans Against Prosperity? Dick Armey of Fiefdom Works? Well, in any event, thanks a whole bunch showing us poor, ignorant workers your fancy spin machine!