Wisconsin

Wisconsin Protests, Thursday, March 10, 2011

AFTER WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE VOTES TO STRIP WORKERS OF THEIR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS, THURSDAY EVENING RALLY MAPS NEXT STEPS IN "PEOPLE'S FIGHT"

7:30 p.m. -- Erica Pelzek reports:

Hundreds of saddened—and livid—protesters gathered at a stage on State and Mifflin Streets outside the Wisconsin State Capitol Thursday evening after the state Assembly passed the budget repair bill eliminating collective bargaining rights for many of the state's unionized workers.

Center for Media and Democracy Submits Amicus Brief Defending Campaign Disclosure Rules

MADISON--The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has filed a brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court defending proposed disclosure rules passed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, rules that are being challenged by the Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity. In the brief, CMD also questions whether rights granted by Wisconsin's Constitution can be legitimately extended to corporations.

Americans for Prosperity Road Show is Classic Astroturf

For some, when the going gets tough, the tough gas up the custom-painted luxury motorcoach.

Americans for Prosperity protester in Madison, WISo it is with the Wisconsin branch of the Koch-backed group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), whose four-day, ten-city bus PR event across Wisconsin to support controversial Governor Scott Walker started in Kenosha March 3 and concluded in Madison on March 7 -- but not at the Capitol, where the bus would have been surrounded by the tens of thousands of people gathered to oppose Walker's union-crushing "budget repair" bill. Instead, AFP ended its tour at the Alliant Energy Center, where protesters against Walker's radical proposals who were outside in the cold easily outnumber the pro-Walker crowd in inside the rented space.

And so it went with AFP's "Stand with Walker" Wisconsin road show. At every stop, the AFP PR gambit was met by some supporters, but it was also greeted often by an equal or a substantially greater numbers of opponents. A little-watched YouTube video of AFP's stop at Serb Hall on March 3, 2011 shows a group of about a dozen Scott Walker supporters, and a sidewalk packed with what appears to be about several hundred demonstrators against the governor's extreme proposals.

New Ethics Complaint Filed With Focus on Koch Money in State

Monday morning, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed a complaint with the state's Government Accountability Board against Gov. Scott Walker, citing comments Walker made during a prank call phoned in by a Buffalo, NY blogger Ian Murphy masquerading as David Koch, one of the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries and a top contributor to Walker's gubernatorial campaign.

Wisconsin Protests, Monday, March 7, 2011

TWO WEEKS IN MADISON - A TRIBUTE

NEW ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED WITH FOCUS ON KOCH MONEY IN STATE

CMD's Erica Pelzek reports:

Koch money - Get used to this look - it will be yours, too!Monday morning, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed a complaint with the state's Government Accountability Board against Gov. Scott Walker, citing comments Walker made during a prank call phoned in by a Buffalo, NY blogger Ian Murphy masquerading as David Koch, one of the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries and a top contributor to Walker's gubernatorial campaign.

The "Badger Advocates": Corporate Advocates, Not UW-Madison Advocates

Madison, Wisconsin -- A new lobbying firm, the Badger Advocates, has opened on Capitol Square.

According to its newly-minted website, the Advocates "are dedicated to supporting the University of Wisconsin-Madison ... [and] will promote greater accountability through enhanced autonomy for this unique institution." This lobbying effort is similar to efforts afoot in other states to use state budget issues to privatize public higher education institutions and put more assets and power at the disposal of powerful corporate interests.

The lobby shop's PR description closely mirrors the title of the Wisconsin Public Research Institute's December 2010 report titled, "Making the University of Wisconsin More Accountable Through Greater Autonomy." WPRI is heavily funded by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a right-wing neo-conservative think tank.

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