Wisconsin

Wisconsin Protests, Thursday, March 3, 2011

JUDGE ALBERT'S INTERIM ORDER, ISSUED THURSDAY NIGHT:

"Based on the hearings before the court on March 1, 2011, through March 3, 2011, and the court having concluded that the current Department of Administration policy regarding access to the State Capitol violates the State Constitution and that unauthorized materials and people remaining in the State Capitol beyond closing each day are in violation of state law, now therefore, is it ordered that the defendant DOA shall do the following:

1. DOA shall immediately enforce its inherent authority pursuant to Admin. Chapter 2, including, but not limited to, taking such action as allowed under law to remove unauthorized materials and people remaining in the State Capitol after 6 p.m. today.

A CMD Special Report: Who Is the League of American Voters?

MADISON--A Special Report from the Center for Media Democracy, part one of a new series. A gaggle of secretly funded DC groups has launched an expensive PR blitz in Wisconsin in support of Scott Walker's controversial efforts to undermine union rights, part of a national assault on worker rights. A few unions have also begun running public education ads, but their sources are not kept hidden from public view; union dues are used for collective bargaining and union members can choose to make a separate donation to a Committee on Public Education fund for advertising. The total amount of anti-union spending in the works by groups funded by corporations or corporate CEOs or their foundations is unknown. What is known is that many such groups hide behind tax provisions that allow them to keep the identities of their major funders secret, insulating from public scrutiny the wealthy financial interests they are fronting and that are largely bankrolling their general operations.

New Rules in "Walker's Wisconsin"

Republican Senate Leader Cracks the Whip on Missing Democrats, While Dem. Assembly Reps. Set Up Offices on the Capitol Lawn

As the Wisconsin Senate remained in almost complete lockdown today, Wisconsin Republican leadership turned up the heat on the missing Wisconsin democratic legislators with an unprecedented series of new rules.

Officials Seek More Than Spin From Walker About "Troublemakers" Statements

Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's confession that he talked with political allies about potentially hiring "troublemakers" to disrupt the peaceful protests in Madison have drawn more questions from lawyers, police, Wisconsin state legislators and the mayor of Madison -- and a lot of spin by Walker. Through a spokesman, Walker has said that throughout the prank call he accepted with a fake "David Koch" that he "maintained his appreciation for and commitment to civil discourse." He continues to insist that the budget repair bill is about the budget, and that people other than him suggested using troublemakers to disrupt the crowd. Walker also maintains that he says the same thing in private as he does in public. But despite these responses, questions continue. Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz sent a letter to Walker asking him who made the suggestion to disrupt the protests, what was the nature of the suggestion, and asking what was Walker's immediate response to the proposal. The mayor also asked Walker why he rejected the "troublemakers" proposal due to political considerations rather than on legal and moral grounds. Walker has so far failed to publicly answer the growing number of questions about his statements, and public interest groups have been forced to file Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain the details of Walker's conversations about stirring up violence.

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Wisconsin Protests, Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MARY BOTTARI ON DEMOCRACY NOW!

Watch our own Mary Bottari speak on Democracy NOW! about thousands of protesters that were being denied entry to the State Capitol yesterday despite a court order to open the building to the public.

CMD REPORTS: WISCONSIN GOVERNOR DENIES COURT ORDER TO OPEN CAPITOL

From Mary Bottari. Read the full article here.

In a dramatic turn of events at the Wisconsin State Capitol today, Governor Scott Walker defied a court order to open the Capitol for normal business operations. State legislator, Representative Marc Pocan, called the move "not only unprecedented, but contempt of court as well."

On Monday at 8:00 a.m., the Wisconsin Capitol building, which was the site of dozens of major protests in the last two weeks -- including one of over 100,00 on Sunday -- was virtually locked down as the Governor moved to limit protester access in advance of his scheduled budget address on Tuesday.

After untold numbers were turned away at the door Monday and told they could not speak to their legislators, Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney pulled his deputies from the Capitol saying it was not their job to act as "palace guard." Wisconsin has some of the strongest open meetings and open government laws in the nation, and the local sheriff's department had played a key role in allowing protesters to exercise their legal rights in a public space, while keeping the protests inside and outside the Capitol safe and incident-free.

Utah Group Seeks to Recall Wisconsin Democratic Senators

The conservative American Recall Coalition, a group from Salt Lake City, Utah, is leading the charge to reel in eight Democratic Senators in Wisconsin who are among 14 lawmakers who left the state in protest of Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB).

The out-of-state group last week filed with the GAB website to recall the Senators, but initial filings did not have anyone from the local senatorial district as part of the recall requests.

"They didn't have any local people involved, so we contacted them and said they need to have one local person in each district," said GAB spokesman Reid Magney. "They withdrew those initial filings and made new ones and we are waiting for the signed paperwork."

Wisconsin Protests, Monday, February 28, 2011

CMD REPORTS: LEGAL ACTION TAKEN MONDAY TO KEEP CAPITOL OPEN, TUESDAY COMMITTEE HEARINGS "OPEN" TO THE PUBLIC

9:00 p.m. - Mary Bottari reports: Peg Lautenschlager, the former Attorney General of Wisconsin, announced Monday night on the Ed Schultz Show (MSNBC) that she had already filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) to keep the WI State Capitol open to citizens. The TRO was filed in response to the fact that citizens are having a more and more difficult time getting into the WI capitol building, as the Governor's office attempts to clear the building in advance of his 4:00 p.m. budget address on Tuesday.

Access to the capitol is protected by the Wisconsin Constitution and WI open records law when there is legislative business. Late tonight, Jonathan Rosenblum spotted committee hearing notices at the State Capitol with the following language at bottom:

"We Shall Not Be Moved"

A large, multi-union coalition gathered near the "Fighting" Bob LaFollette bust on the first floor of the East Gallery in the Wisconsin State Capitol this afternoon. Wearing gray T-shirts with the words "Wisconsin United for Worker's Rights" printed in red across an outline of the state, they sat down and started to sing, "We shall not be moved," just after the official building shut-down at 4 p.m.

"We know we have a right to peaceful protest," said Candice Owley, a Milwaukee nurse with the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. "We don't believe they should be removing us from the State Capitol."

Owley said those in her group planned to follow directions outlined by a grassroots group inside the capitol that has been preparing for today. The goal: to keep the protest peaceful, and allow those who wish to continue to keep vigil in protest of Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill to remain in the building.

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