News Articles By PRWatch Editors

Recall Roundup May 15, 2012

Politifact on Walker: "No Movement So Far on Promise to Add 10,000 Businesses"

During Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's 2010 campaign, he made two related promises. One was to bring 250,000 new jobs to Wisconsin by the end of his term, and the other was to create 10,000 new businesses in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took a look at the number. Politifact found that "the numbers have gone backwards." One year into Walker's term there were 9,485 fewer businesses. As of April the numbers had improved slightly, but Wisconsin was still down 4,338 businesses from when Walker took office. The paper goes on to say that on the campaign trail Walker has been using numbers that only represent newly registered businesses, not taking into account businesses that have failed or ceased to operate. "In sum, Walker has made no movement so far on his promise to add 10,000 businesses."

Recall Roundup May 14, 2012

With the June 5th recall elections less than a month away these are some of the top news stories out of the State of Wisconsin related to the recall.

A Walker Top Donor Has a Problem Paying Taxes

Last week, a video surfaced of Governor Scott Walker speaking with a major donor in January 2011, just weeks before Walker introduced his "budget repair bill" stripping collective bargaining rights from most public workers. Publicly Walker justified the measure by saying the state was "broke" and there was no other choice. The video shows Walker telling Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks a different story. She asks him how to create a "red state," and Walker explains his plan to "divide and conquer" unions. Hendricks is one of Walker's biggest contributors, writing him a single check for $500,000. She is also the owner of ABC Supply Company. This weekend, the tax experts at The Institute for Wisconsin's Future took a closer look at the company Hendricks owns. According to the IWF, "Hendricks, whom Forbes magazine says is worth $2.8 billion, heads Beloit-based ABC Supply Company, which the magazine calls 'the nation's largest roofing, window and siding wholesale distributor' with annual sales approaching $5 billion. ABC Supply may be a huge money-maker for Hendricks, but the Wisconsin corporate income tax returns she files claim the company makes not a penny in taxable profit." Tax data from more recent years was not available.

Syngenta Hired Guns Attack New Documentary

For Immediate Release:

May 11, 2012

Contact: Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network, 916-216-1082

Syngenta Hired Guns Attack New Documentary

PR firm and paid spokespeople mount aggressive response to new film "Last Call at the Oasis"

San Francisco, CA -- As a new film highlights water contamination throughout the U.S. Midwest from Syngenta's flagship herbicide atrazine, the world's largest pesticide company has mounted a PR counter-attack downplaying the human and environmental health risks of a chemical linked to birth defects, low birth weight and certain cancers. Atrazine was banned in the EU in 2003, leaving the U.S. market as one of Syngenta's most profitable and vigorously guarded markets.

ALEC Leader Admits Last Week's Announcement Was a PR Stunt

-- by Campaign Staff at

picture of two men in suits shaking handsLast week, ALEC acknowledged that it was reeling after its corporate sponsors -- some of which pay hundreds of thousands of dollars at times for membership in the right-wing group -- started dropping like flies. In a statement that sidestepped any admission of wrongdoing for pushing voter suppression and Stand Your Ground/Shoot First bills nationwide, ALEC announced, "We are eliminating the ALEC Public Safety and Elections task force that dealt with non-economic issues, and reinvesting these resources in the task forces that focus on the economy."

CMD's Lisa Graves a Finalist for Milwaukee Press Club Award

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is pleased to have an article chosen as a final entry in the 82nd Annual Milwaukee Press Club Awards (MPC) for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism. The finalists will be announced at MPC's May 18th Gridiron Awards Dinner at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The article "Group Called 'Citizens for a Strong America' Operates out of a UPS Mail Drop but Runs Expensive Ads in Supreme Court Race?" written by Lisa Graves, CMD's Executive Director, was nominated in the category of Best Investigative Story or Series. The article illustrates how the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity group propagates shell organizations, like "Citizens for a Strong America" to meddle in Wisconsin politics, in this instance in the 2011 race between Joanne Kloppenburg and Justice David Prosser. CMD's work was featured on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show.

Sunday New York Times Front Page Story on ALEC

Below is an excerpt of the April 21, 2012 front page New York Times expose on ALEC.

New York Times: Conservative Nonprofit Acts as a Stealth Business Lobbyist

By Mike McIntire

Desperate for new revenue, Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation last year that would make it easier to recover money from businesses that defraud the state.

It was quickly flagged at the Washington headquarters of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a business-backed group that views such "false claims" laws as encouraging frivolous lawsuits. ALEC's membership includes not only corporations, but nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country -- including dozens who would vote on the Ohio bill.

Grassroots Campaign Makes ALEC Try to Stanch Bleeding of Corporate Donors

ALEC Companies and Politicians Must Be Held Accountable for Vigilante Laws and Bills Making It Harder for Citizens to Vote, plus other Extreme Measures Dressed Up as "Job" Bills


Contact: Nikolina Lazic at (608) 260-9713 or

MADISON, WISCONSIN -- The Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director Lisa Graves issued this statement today in response to ALEC's announcement that it is disbanding its "Public Safety and Elections Task Force":

ALEC Exposed in Missouri: Who Is Writing Our Laws?


Contact: Sean Soendker Nicholson at (573) 427-7326 or

JEFFERSON CITY -- Progress Missouri today released a detailed research report exposing the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in creating our laws. The research report shows the effect of ALEC, which allows large corporations to write big-business friendly bills and helps legislators advance this legislation on the state level, on Missouri's political system.

ALEC Holds Tight Grip on Arizona Legislature

April 12, 2012


Contact: Justin Greenberg or Miranda Blue at

PHOENIX -- Legislators in Arizona continue to advance extremist legislation inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its out-of-state corporate backers, according to a new analysis by People For the American Way Foundation, Common Cause, the Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Now. This report shines a new light on the Arizona Legislature's unprecedented ties to the secretive organization, which recently drew nationwide fire for its role in implementing radical policies across the country like "Shoot First" laws and voter suppression laws, and anti-worker measures. ALEC's extreme agenda has recently led companies such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Wendy's, KRAFT and Intuit to withdraw from the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday also withdrew its support from ALEC.


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