Wisconsin

Wisconsin Protests, Friday, March 4, 2011

LAURA FLANDERS INTERVIEWS MICHAEL MOORE ON MADISON PROTESTS

NEW REPORT DEBUNKS "LEAGUE OF AMERICAN VOTERS" ROBO-CALLS FOR WALKER

The Center has issued a new report debunking the misleading robo-calls unleashed in Wisconsin this week and providing readers with information to get off LAV's call list and other actions they can take. CMD/PRWatch has also issued a detailed report on who the DC-based group is and what their connections are to the moneyed interests, including to a FOX "analyst." Click here to read the full report.

New York Times Retracts Information on Front Page Story Implying Union Support for Walker

On February 21, the New York Times created a stir in Wisconsin by printing a front page article giving the impression that union families supported Governor Scott Walker's attempt to remove collective bargaining rights from workers. On February 26, The Times retracted information related to this article.

The lead of the story, entitled "Union Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray", featured a former Janesville General Motors employee Rich Hahn, who was characterized as "...a man who has worked at unionized factories, [and] a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker's sweeping proposal to cut the benefits and collective-bargaining rights of public workers." In the story reporters A.G. Sulzberger — said to be the son of New York Times Co. Chairman of the Board Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.— and Monica Davey spend very little time quoting Hahn but a lot of time characterizing him. "He says he still believes in unions, but thinks those in the public sector lead to wasteful spending because of what he sees as lavish benefits and endless negotiations," the story says of Hahn.

Fox News' "Madison Protest" Footage Aims to Deceive

On February 28, the O'Reilly Factor aired a video news segment by Fox Channel reporter Mike Tobin, who was shown reporting from inside the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. "News" footage aired during his broadcast of goings-on outside the capitol depicts an angry, out-of-control, crowd of pro-union protesters yelling and pushing people around. But the protesters in the video are wearing shirtsleeves and standing on a street lined with tall palm trees and other green, leafy foliage -- and that is absolutely not February in Madison, where no palm trees live outside of greenhouses and where temperatures have been well below freezing for most of the winter. Fox clearly used out-of-town footage to depict the "violence" it is hyping as happening in Madison. The segment is two minutes, nine seconds long, and the palm tree footage occurs at the 1:42 mark, as wording on the screen says "Union Protests."

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National Right-Wing Spin Machine Gears Up In Wisconsin

National Republican donors, apparatchiks and strategists are coming to the defense of embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Shadowy "issue ad" groups that do not disclose their funders as well as heavy hitter political action committees are rushing to the aid of embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose poll number are dropping like a rock. The list of outside big money attacking Wisconsin state workers and teachers read like a "who's who" of the Republican donor and special interest group apparatus.

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.

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