The headlines in Wisconsin are all about the $25 million dollar man -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Walker's campaign committee has raised an eye-popping $25 million for the recall, $13 million since January 2012 when close to 1 million signatures were filed with the Wisconsin elections board triggering a recall election. Walker spent a huge sum $5 million on direct mail, rivaling the $4.5 million spent on TV. The direct mail allows him to build a national data base of funders to tap for the recall.
News Articles By Mary Bottari
Right-wing media is all fired up! The Washington Times, Fox and Breitbart bloggers have uncovered concrete evidence of President Obama's commie pinko sympathies. Obama's new seven minute campaign commercial ends with one word: "Forward."
This spring, in coordinated actions across the country, retirees who lost their pensions, families whose homes are underwater, students with impossible debt, the unemployed and underemployed, family farmers, immigrants, vets and more will be knocking on the doors of corporate boardrooms, holding CEOs of major American firms responsible for crashing the economy then turning their backs on their fellow Americans. With hundreds of shareholders on the inside and thousands of folks on the outside, the largest shareholder demonstrations in U.S. history are underway and spreading across the land.
Their goal is nothing short of transformational: to wrest control of our democracy back from the robber barons and CEOs that systematically block any effort to create an economy and a body politic that serves the needs of the vast majority of Americans and not the elite few.
The 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.
This week the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced that it would disband its controversial "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" to "Sharpen its Focus on Jobs, Free Markets and Growth." The disbanding of the source of a few of its more extreme proposals on voter ID, "Stand Your Ground/Shoot to Kill," and AZ SB1070 will do little to clean up ALEC's reputation. Each of ALEC's nine task forces is a little shop of horrors of legislative proposals that only Milton Friedman could love.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 202, essentially a reversal of Wisconsin's Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (Act 20), into law on April 5, 2012, more than a month after the bill was passed. Despite Walker's attempts to sign the bill in secret, without the customary notice given to legislators and the public, the move did not go unnoticed and was rapidly drawn up into the national battle over what women's advocates and leading Democrats have dubbed a national "war on women."
Roll Call reports that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will join Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft and Intuit in withdrawing its financial support from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Roll Call rarely writes about ALEC, but did have an exhibition booth at the ALEC 2011 meeting in New Orleans.
Gates spokesman Chris Williams, while careful to note that Gates has never been a formal ALEC member, told the paper that it does not plan to renew its financial support for ALEC's education initiatives. "We have made a single grant, narrowly and specifically focused on providing information to ALEC-affiliated state legislators on teacher effectiveness and school finance," said Williams.
Congressman 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.
A 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.
In an interview with Fox News legal eagle Greta Van Susteren, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says his upcoming recall election will be a "Waterloo" moment for national unions that will "invest everything possible to try and take me out to send a message."
Van Susteren fell for Walker's Emperor Napoleon spin, giving him ample time to describe how he is being unfairly persecuted by big-money, out-of-state unions who apparently imported all the protestors last year who surrounded and occupied the Wisconsin State Capitol. "When that started to happen, when you see the buses of people come in, the charter planes coming in -- and the money they spent. I mean, they dumped $4 million to $5 million even before any campaigns last year," Walker said.