News

FOND DU LAC REPORTER: Wisconsin business coalition opposes "right-to-work" law

December 18, 2014
Scott Bauer
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MADISON — A newly formed coalition of more than 300 construction-related private businesses in Wisconsin announced Wednesday that it will work to defeat a right-to-work proposal being discussed by Republican leaders in the Legislature.

Formation of the group comes as talks proceed behind the scenes among Republicans who control the Legislature about the timing of a right-to-work bill and what form it may take.

Gov. Scott Walker repeated his message on Wednesday, during a brief speech to Republican state senators in the Capitol, that he sees right-to-work as a distraction from his agenda. He told lawmakers he wants them focused on his legislative agenda, but he also didn't promise to veto a right-to-work bill should it pass.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

SUN PRAIRIE STAR: WMC's 2015 priorities include "right-to-work" law, tax cuts for rich

December 8, 2014
Kurt Bauer
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Wisconsin's transformation from an anti-business to a pro-business state has been remarkable, but it is also incomplete. There is more work to be done in order for our state to achieve its full economic potential.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin doesn't control its own economic destiny and wrong-headed federal policies and uncertain global economic and geopolitical conditions are holding us back.

But, that shouldn't be an excuse to take our foot off the reform accelerator in order to improve Wisconsin's business climate. Here are some reforms the 2015-16 Legislature should consider.

Worker Freedom: Should joining a private-sector union be voluntary as it is in 24 states or should it be mandatory?

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

ALTERNET: Corporations get $760 from government for every $1 they spend on elections

December 8, 2014
Alex Eleffson
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The 2012 and 2014 elections were the most expensive in American history and were financed largely by corporate money. So why are American companies so eager to put up so much cash for political influence? Because it pays. A lot.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Why Washington should fear the silence of the anti-war movement

December 8, 2014
Ben Manski
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On this 73rd anniversary of the last declaration of war by the United States, as the Pentagon escalates its military actions in Iraq and Syria, the silence of the U.S. peace movement carries an ominous warning for Washington, DC. The streets of major U.S. cities are not filled with anti-war demonstrations, yet the apparent quiet does not signify consent. A look at history shows why.

BILL LUEDERS: WMC and other groups dropped big money in 2014 WI elections

December 4, 2014
Bill Lueders

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans rode to victory in the Nov. 4 elections because they got more votes. Period.

Redistricting may have produced fewer competitive districts. But unlike 2012, when the GOP won big despite getting fewer overall votes, this time the party maintained its 5-3 edge in Congress and tightened its control of both legislative houses by dominating turnout.

But money and redistricting did play a huge, perhaps decisive role. How huge? Consider the state’s races for Congress.

In the two-year funding cycle that began Jan. 1, 2013, Wisconsin’s House candidates raised $21.4 million, a new record. And that was just as of Oct. 15, with nearly three weeks to go.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

BARABOO NEWS REPUBLIC: WI state chamber's main product is misinformation

December 4, 2014
Pat Nash
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Well, it’s over. Republicans won their battle to re-elect Gov. Scott Walker and retain their majority in the Legislature. One of the reasons they won is due to the state’s chamber of commerce, the biggest business group in Wisconsin.

When most people think of a chamber of commerce, they think of an organization that works to increase business and prosperity in their state or community. When they think of its members, they think of people who work hard to run a business and want everyone in the community to thrive. And most of us assume that the leaders of these groups are people with integrity.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Ben ManskI: Seattle WTO Uprising Still a Force in World Events, 15 Years Later

December 1, 2014
Ben Manski
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We live in an era in which it is increasingly normal for individuals not only to reject the power of corporations over their lives, but for some to even occupy public space and defy police and established authorities. Ben Manski discusses how this era was inaugurated on November 30th, 1999 in the streets of Seattle.

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: Incoming Attorney General names WMC lobbyist as top aide

November 25, 2014
Patrick Marley
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A lobbyist for Walmart, the state's biggest business group and more than a dozen other businesses and organizations will serve as the top aide to incoming Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Schimel, the Republican district attorney for Waukesha County, announced Tuesday that he had appointed Andrew Cook to serve as his deputy secretary.

"Andrew was a key adviser to my campaign, where he displayed his broad knowledge of civil law and state government," Schimel said in a written statement. "He is a trusted adviser and his abilities will serve the Wisconsin Department of Justice well in protecting our citizens."

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

BARABOO NEWS REPUBLIC: Schultz's successor is beholden to WMC

November 19, 2014
Daniel Holzman
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Pat Bomhack did not have much of a chance against Howard Marklein for the Dale Schultz senate seat.

In the Oct. 20 candidates’ forum on 92.1 WRJC FM, Bomhack stated again and again that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce bought $668,000 in TV attack ads against Bomhack. The American Federation for Children, a Wall Street for-profit, school voucher corporation, gave $50,000 worth of support for Howard Marklein. Marklein was silent.

Newspaper reporters were at the forum and wrote the story, but no journalist mentioned the WMC and AFC big donor support for Marklein. Bomhack’s message never got out. The missed story was, where were all the TV attack ads coming from, and what made Marklein so attractive to the AFC and WMC?

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

UK students take to the streets to demand 'free education'

November 19, 2014
Common Dreams
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Those are the calls being voiced in the streets of London on Wednesday as thousands of students marched for publicly-funded ("free") education nationwide. The protest was also billed as a direct challenge to austerity cuts to higher education imposed by the conservative government led by David Cameron.

Why doesn't the US observe Armistice Day?

November 11, 2014
Rory Fanning
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On Tuesday, the United States should be celebrating its 95th Armistice Day, pausing as a nation to think about the terrible costs of war – including the loss of so many lives. Unfortunately, we replaced it with a very different holiday.

Remembering the Christmas Truce of 1914

November 11, 2014
Veterans for Peace
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December 2014 will mark the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914. During 2014 VFP National will plan activities to share with chapters to celebrate this memorable moment in history.

Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

RYDER and HAYDEN: Importance of the War Powers Resolution

November 10, 2014
Paul Ryder and Tom Hayden

[Research by Paul Ryder]

The nation needs a full public debate and a Congressional vote on whether to authorize the current American military interventions in Iraq and Syria and, if so, under what conditions. The past is prologue:

April 4, 1956: President Dwight Eisenhower’s news conference --

Q: Sarah McClendon, El Paso Times: Sir, would you order those Marines that were sent over to the Mediterranean and over in that area, would you order them to war, without asking the Congress first?

Tom Hayden: Letter to Congress on Escalation in Iraq & Syria

November 10, 2014
Tom Hayden

Dear Members of Congress,

The New War has escalated since we sent this letter November 3, 2014. President Obama has dispatched another 1,500 US troops and requested $5 billion in new funding. The president also has requested a congressional authorization. It is time for Congress to act and widen the public debate.

One of the bitter lessons of Vietnam, learned again in Iraq, is that it is relatively easy for Congress to authorize a war, but far more difficult to end one. Instead, there comes quagmire, suffering, cost, regret and political fallout.

IPS to host webinar on "U.S.-ISIS Crisis and Washington's New Wars" on 11/13/14

November 10, 2014
Institute for Policies Studies
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Join Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism project, for an in-depth discussion on the crisis. We will discuss:

  • Why is the Obama administration going back to war in Iraq and Syria?
  • What is ISIS and why are they considered such a threat?
  • Is this U.S. war helping the Syrian regime?
  • Who – AND IN what country – is next?

Please join us for this important discussion – and invite your friends!

CHIPPEWA HERALD: Environmental violations, ethical issues widespread in frac sand industry

November 8, 2014
Allison Geyer
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More than half the frac sand companies operating in Wisconsin have violated Department of Natural Resources regulations, manipulated local governments or engaged in “influence peddling and conflicts of interest,” a study by an advocacy group has found.

The Land Stewardship Project, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture, released this week a 30-page report that compiled and analyzed public data and news reports on Wisconsin’s booming frac sand industry.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

WMC lobbyist claims raising minimum wage would hurt workers

November 5, 2014
Charlie Mathews
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MANITOWOC – Scott Manley sought to make the case that raising the minimum wage would likely hurt and not help those individuals making the federal and Wisconsin minimum of $7.25 per hour.

"The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates about 500,000 lost jobs nationwide, but the possibility of up to a million," Manley told a Monday Business Connects with Government audience at the luncheon program sponsored by The Chamber of Manitowoc County.

The vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce said higher labor costs from government-mandated wage hikes do not result in additional efficiency, output or productivity.

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For more info on Wisconsin Wave's WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

The struggle for democracy in D.C. moves forward

November 2, 2014
Scott McLarty - Firedoglake
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Originally published on September 16th, 2014

“The capital of the nation is the last plantation!” “Free D.C.!”

For decades, residents of “America’s last colony” have clamored for the same irrevocable rights as other citizens of the United States.

CAP TIMES: WMC defends graphic depicting pay equity advocates as "anti-business"

October 30, 2014
Jessie Opoien
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Democratic lawmakers and Wisconsin's primary corporate lobbying group clashed Tuesday over the repeal of the state's Equal Pay Enforcement Act.

A group of state lawmakers and others held a news conference at the State Capitol admonishing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce for a fundraising plea that characterized a woman advocating for pay equity as "anti-business."

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Chevron engaged in massive election spending to subvert local democracy in Santa Barbara

October 28, 2014
Colin Loustalot - Santa Barbara Independent
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The majority of oil wells in the county today do not use the high-intensity techniques (fracking, acidizing, and steam injection) banned by Measure P.

So why are oil companies spending millions of dollars to defeat it?

STATE JOURNAL: WI Club For Growth's tax-exempt status challenged over political spending

October 27, 2014
Matthew DeFour
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MADISON – A conservative group at the center of a John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign should be prosecuted for violating Internal Revenue Service laws and have its tax-exempt status revoked, according to a complaint filed Monday by the liberal Center for Media and Democracy.

The Wisconsin Club for Growth filed as a tax-exempt 501(c)4 “social welfare” organization in 2011 and 2012, telling the IRS that it spent $0 for political purposes.

But according to the complaint, Club for Growth spent almost all of the more than $20 million it raised to help elect Republican candidates in the Wisconsin Senate and gubernatorial recall elections.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Wisconsin Supreme Court mired in conflict of interest

October 27, 2014
Tim Morrissey
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MADISON, Wis. – The future of the now stalled John Doe probe into alleged campaign finance law violations by Gov. Scott Walker could rest with the state Supreme Court.

But Mike McCabe, executive director of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, says four of the seven justices were elected because of ads run by the very groups under investigation.

"They're up to their eyeballs in conflicts of interest and there's no way the public could trust that they could deal with that case impartially, because they'd be dealing with three groups who played a huge role in getting them the job," he maintains.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Detroit's water crisis is a democracy crisis

October 21, 2014
Sarah Lazare - Common Dreams
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Detroit's "unprecedented" shutoff of water utilities to city homes condemns residents to "lives without dignity," violates human rights on a large scale, and disproportionately impacts African-Americans, United Nations investigators declared Monday following a two-day inquiry.

Tribal activists plan community owned solar power plant

October 17, 2014
Mary Hansen - Yes! Magazine
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A proposed community-owned solar project on an abandoned coal mine in Arizona illustrates how cooperative economics make it possible to stop extracting fossil fuels—without leaving workers behind.

CAP TIMES: WMC, Gogebic Taconite used dark money to target anti-mining bill legislators

October 15, 2014
Jessica VanEgeren
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The financial power and influence of an out-of-state mining company and business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce were used to directly target two Wisconsin lawmakers who stood in the way of the passage of a new state mining bill.

An article posted Tuesday by ProPublica, a national investigative journalism outlet, and The Daily Beast gives a comprehensive overview of the money WMC and Gogebic Taconite, a Florida-based Cline Group subsidiary owned by billionaire Chris Cline, spent to oust freshman Democratic Sen. Jessica King and run ads against Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

Medea Benjamin: Corporate media responsible for selling ISIS war

October 10, 2014
Medea Benjamin

A war-weary American public that a year ago resoundingly rejected US military intervention in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime now is rallying behind the use of force to destroy the so-called Islamic State (Isis).

MANITOWOC HERALD TIMES REPORTER: Repeal of Equal Pay Act hurt women

October 7, 2014
Don Vogt
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Legislation can be a confusing matter. And so it is for the Equal Pay Enforcement Act passed in 2009.

On introducing the bill, state Sen. David Hansen said, "What this bill is about is restoring fairness to all workers in Wisconsin and their families, whether they are women who are being shortchanged even though they are doing the same job as the men next to them or the middle-aged worker who finds himself let go just short of retirement so his employer can avoid fulfilling their promise to provide for his retirement."

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

STATE JOURNAL: WI Supreme Court majority to decide on investigation of groups that spent millions to elect them

October 6, 2014
Dee J. Hall
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Should the four-member conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court decide a case involving groups that spent more than $8 million to get them elected?

That is one question under debate as the high court considers whether to wade into the stalled “John Doe” investigation. A federal court rejected a challenge to the investigation by one of those groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth, late last month, sending it back to the state courts to decide.

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For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

The New War, the Forever War, and a World Beyond War

October 3, 2014
World Beyond War
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A statement on the current and enduring crisis, by the coordinating committee of WorldBeyondWar.org

SUMMARY

Week of action to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Nov. 8-14

October 3, 2014
Action Alert from PopularResistance.org
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This fall, communities across the U.S. will once again join international allies in a global week of action against unjust trade. With Obama pushing to announce a TPP “framework” in November and the threat of Fast Track tripling in the lame-duck session, we need to demonstrate that hundreds of thousands still oppose corporate agreements meant to put profit before people and the planet.

Community organizing successfully ends militarized-policing convention's presence in Oakland

October 1, 2014
War Resisters League
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On Friday, September 5th, hundreds of of protesters gathered in front of the Marriott in Downtown Oakland, CA, to stand against Urban Shield and declare two major victories: Urban Shield will no longer be held at the Marriott and it will no longer take place anywhere in Oakland. Reclaiming the streets in celebration of our power, we made it loud and clear that we do not welcome militarization and policing of our communities.

THE PROGRESSIVE: Business lobby fights equal pay for women

September 26, 2014
Jenni Dye
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Is thinking that I should be paid the same as a man if I do the same work a radical, anti-business threat? According to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce--the largest business lobby in the state of Wisconsin--it most certainly is. 

This “threat” appears to be a compelling reason for businesses across the state to open up their checkbooks and donate to the WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. 

More Info: 

For more info on the Wisconsin Wave's Shut the Chamber campaign to take back our government from big money, visit http://wisconsinwave.org/shut-chamber-wisconsin

The Global Climate Strike: Why We Can't Wait

September 24, 2014
Ben Manski and Jill Stein

The following article written by Liberty Tree board members Ben Manski and Jill Stein describes an idea currently under consideration within the Global Climate Convergence process . . . (the GCC is a project of Liberty Tree).