Hundreds of thousands surrounded the Wisconsin State Capitol building a year ago in response and protest of Governor Scott Walker's radical agenda, including his proposed "budget repair bill" to balance the budget on the back of state workers. There to document history in the making, was independent filmmaker Sam Mayfield from Burlington, Vermont. Sam was seen everywhere with her high definition camcorder, at Walker press conferences and climbing though Capitol windows with protesters. In the many months she was in Wisconsin, she obtained hundreds of hours of footage -- often at moments when hers was the only camera present. Among her hundreds of interviews with newsmakers and protesters, the Center for Media and Democracy's Mary Bottari was interviewed for the project on the role that ALEC played in shaping the Walker agenda. "People really need to pay attention to this and start bird-dogging these institutions, these legislators and these corporations and taking back their democracy," Bottari said of ALEC.
With the 2012 legislative season and another episode of the Great American Campaign Circus dawning over the nation, Arizona may find itself the proving grounds for possible reform in the age of "pay-to-play" politics.
Madison, WI, January 9, 2012—The Center for Media and Democracy today joined a coalition of public interest organizations in calling for the United States Supreme Court to agree to follow the Code of Conduct for U.S. judges.
CMD joined the Alliance for Justice, American Association of University Women, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, CREDO Action, Equal Justice Society, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Employment Lawyers Association, People for the American Way Foundation, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group in a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The letter calls on the Court to "take it upon itself to agree to be bound by the Code," and "do so unequivocally and publicly." (The coalition's letter to Chief Justice Roberts is uploaded down below.)
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.
Editor's note: This quick snapshot about who is behind the pro-Romney "Super" PAC is a summary of CMD's recent analysis of the problems with Super PACs.
In the Iowa caucus race, the pro-Mitt Romney Super PAC called "Restore Our Future" massively outspent the candidate's official presidential campaign on advertising. The Restore Our Future PAC spent over $3 million in ads, primarily negative ads against Newt Gingrich, who was the target of more than 1,200 negative ad spots from this PAC and others in the span of about a month.
Contrary to most press accounts, there was a decisive winner in the Iowa caucuses last night, and it was neither Rick Santorum nor Mitt Romney. The "winner" was the so-called "Super" PACs (political action committees), the mutant front groups for political candidates that were "created" in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that unleashed corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited money influencing elections.
A new film from the Brave New Foundation outlines the role of the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council in new voter suppression tactics; the Center for Media and Democracy is one of the voices featured in the film.
Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state and federal laws that govern your rights. The so-called "model bills" of this corporate bill mill -- which has been funded by Koch profits and other corporations -- reach into almost every area of American life, including the right to vote.
Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan has been trying to dismiss recent studies suggesting America's tax system has disproportionately benefitted the super-wealthy. But his claims about upward mobility have themselves been refuted.
MADISON -- Wisconsin legislators heard Monday from the president of a group alleging the University of Wisconsin's admissions policies discriminates against whites. Students had protested when the group's report was first released in September, but on Monday they stayed out of the Assembly hearing to communicate to legislators there are more important issues facing the state.
British Conservative Party defense secretary Liam Fox is in the midst of scandal that has grown deeper as ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are revealed. Pressure has been growing on Fox in recent weeks after having been caught in a lie about unethical dealings with his friend and former flatmate, and more ethical problems arising from the operation of a recently-dissolved, ALEC-connected "charity" Fox founded.