News

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

October 30, 2014
Jessie Opoien
news photo

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

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

October 15, 2014
Jessica VanEgeren
news photo

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.

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

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

October 7, 2014
Don Vogt
news photo

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."

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

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

October 6, 2014
Dee J. Hall
news photo

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.

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 PROGRESSIVE: Business lobby fights equal pay for women

September 26, 2014
Jenni Dye
news photo

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).

POLITIFACT: Walker's promise of 250,000 new jobs broken

September 18, 2014
James B. Nelson

Economists say time has run out on top campaign promise

Shortly after he won the 2010 election for governor, PolitiFact Wisconsin told Republican Scott Walker that we planned to monitor progress on his top campaign promise -- that the state would add 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.

Bring it on, Walker said, adding that his official web site would be keeping its own tally.

Although there is no evidence that Walker kept his own public progress report, we have been updating that promise on our Walk-O-Meter each month.

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

ISTHMUS: WI tech leaders get little help from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

September 18, 2014
Marc Eisen
news photo

This is a problem.

The state's most powerful business voice has conspicuously little contact with Wisconsin's rising technology industry.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which claims more than 3,500 businesses as members, brags that "the success of the WMC government relations team in projecting and accomplishing a proactive business agenda has been second to none."

Well, yeah. On the surface, WMC has never been stronger. The support WMC has thrown to small-government, pro-business Republicans has paid off big time, to say the obvious.

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

ISTHMUS: WI tech leaders get little help from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

September 18, 2014
Marc Eisen
news photo

This is a problem.

The state's most powerful business voice has conspicuously little contact with Wisconsin's rising technology industry.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which claims more than 3,500 businesses as members, brags that "the success of the WMC government relations team in projecting and accomplishing a proactive business agenda has been second to none."

Well, yeah. On the surface, WMC has never been stronger. The support WMC has thrown to small-government, pro-business Republicans has paid off big time, to say the obvious.

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 PROGRESSIVE: Chamber's attack on Walker prosecutor's wife falls apart

September 15, 2014
Brendan Fischer
news photo

The investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is led by a Republican special prosecutor, was unanimously approved by Wisconsin's nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, and includes the participation of elected county District Attorneys from both political parties.

But according to an outlet bankrolled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the motivation for the "John Doe" probe can be traced back to a "weeping" teacher's union member married to Milwaukee County's District Attorney, John Chisholm.

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

Join Liberty Tree at the We are Woman Rally!

September 13, 2014

On Saturday, September 13th the We are Woman coalition will be
rallying on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to call for:

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: Federal court reinstates WI voter ID law for 2014 election

September 12, 2014
Patrick Marley and Jason Stein
news photo

A federal appeals court in Chicago Friday reinstated for now Wisconsin's voter ID law hours after the three-judge panel heard arguments on the subject.

The move by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for the state to implement the law for the Nov. 4 election, though it does not stop the ongoing appeal over whether the measure is unconstitutional.

"The state of Wisconsin may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November's elections," the unsigned two-page order reads.

The appellate court said Friday that it was satisfied by changes imposed on the law by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a separate decision earlier this year.

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: WI Supreme Court bought and paid for by corporate special interests

September 12, 2014
James Rowen

A short political quiz. Three questions.

1. Raise your hand if you were surprised that the right-wing majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court validated two of Scott Walker's signature measures - - Act 10, a false budget measure used to erase nearly all public employee collective bargaining, - - and the Voter ID law, (now blocked in Federal Court), aimed by Walker and his GOP legislative allies at phantom ballot box fraud to make voting harder in cities with large numbers of minorities and students that trend Democratic.

Everyone got that one, I see. No one was surprised. Me, neither.

But back to the Court:

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

WKOW: WMC head: Don't ban state subsidies to companies that outsource jobs

September 12, 2014
Greg Neumann

MADISON (WKOW) -- The top executive at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) says a proposal being considered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to ban financial awards for companies that outsource state jobs should be approached with caution.

"We don't want taxpayer funds going to subsidize the movement of jobs elsewhere," said Kurt Bauer, WMC Chief Executive Officer.  "Having said that, it is the political season and we think its not maybe the best time to establish a policy that maybe, ultimately, comes back to bite us as far as job creation and job attraction."

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

WKOW: WMC head: Don't ban state subsidies to companies that outsource jobs

September 12, 2014
Greg Neumann

MADISON (WKOW) -- The top executive at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) says a proposal being considered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to ban financial awards for companies that outsource state jobs should be approached with caution.

"We don't want taxpayer funds going to subsidize the movement of jobs elsewhere," said Kurt Bauer, WMC Chief Executive Officer.  "Having said that, it is the political season and we think its not maybe the best time to establish a policy that maybe, ultimately, comes back to bite us as far as job creation and job attraction."

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

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: Gogebic Taconite funneled big money into WI politics during mining fight

September 12, 2014
Lee Bergquist

The recent disclosure that Gogebic Taconite donated $700,000 to a Wisconsin political group is the latest example of how the mining company and its supporters used money, influence and the allure of jobs to persuade lawmakers to relax state environmental regulations.

Gogebic zoomed into Wisconsin politics in 2011. The company had plans for a massive open pit iron ore mine, but it demanded changes in mining laws before starting a multimillion-dollar regulatory review.

The $1.5 billion project quickly drew support from Gov. Scott Walker, Republican lawmakers and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state's largest business group.

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

BILL LUEDERS: After helping politicians win power, interest groups spend millions lobbying them

September 12, 2014
Bill Lueders

Given the many millions of dollars spent by interest groups to help determine who gets elected, it’s easy to overlook the many millions more being spent trying to influence them once they are. 

In the first six months of this year, Wisconsin’s 700-plus registered lobby groups collectively invested $14.1 million trying to shape state law or policy, according to new filings with the state Government Accountability Board. 

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

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL: Walker falling far short of promise to create 250,000 new jobs

September 12, 2014
James B. Nelson

Perhaps the most important number coming out of the state's July jobs report is this: 29,437.

That's how many jobs Wisconsin employers would have to add each month for the remaining five months of the year in order for Gov. Scott Walker to achieve his top campaign promise --  creating 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.

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

MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL: Walker falling far short of promise to create 250,000 new jobs

September 12, 2014
James B. Nelson

Perhaps the most important number coming out of the state's July jobs report is this: 29,437.

That's how many jobs Wisconsin employers would have to add each month for the remaining five months of the year in order for Gov. Scott Walker to achieve his top campaign promise --  creating 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.

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

EXPRESS MILWAUKEE: The buying of Walker's Wisconsin

September 12, 2014
Lisa Kaiser

Recently unsealed John Doe court documents shed light on what prosecutors call a “criminal scheme” in which Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and allied dark-money groups allegedly coordinated fundraising efforts.

According to prosecutors, Walker himself knew about the scheme and even boasted about it in an email to George W. Bush’s chief strategist Karl Rove, who now runs a super PAC that supports Republican candidates.

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

ISTHMUS: Don't believe WMC claims about impact of coal regulations

September 12, 2014
Bruce Murphy

As vice president of government relations for the big business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Scott Manley's fun job is to convince us the new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency will destroy our economy. Its requirement that coal emissions be cut by 34% by 2030 could be "devastating," he has warned, forcing Wisconsin to "commit an act of unilateral economic disarmament."

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

CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY: After subpoenas to big-money donors, WI GOP tried to quietly change law

September 12, 2014
Brendan Fischer

New documents indicate that just weeks after the first subpoenas were issued in Wisconsin's "John Doe" criminal campaign finance probe in October 2013, senate Republicans had begun working to change state law to legalize the activities under investigation.

Legislative Republicans surprised many in the state in March of 2014 when they tried to rush Senate Bill 654 through the legislature to explicitly carve-out an exception to the state's campaign finance statutes for so-called "issue ads," those thinly-veiled election messages that stop short of telling viewers to vote for or against a candidate.

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

ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: Life is worse in "right to work" states

September 5, 2014
Ross Eisenbrey

University of Oregon labor scholar and EPI research associate Gordon Lafer often points out how relatively poor the quality of life is in right-to-work states, on average, compared to states that don’t restrict union contract rights.

Politico just came out with a new ranking of the 50 states, on a combination of 14 different measures of quality of life, including “high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate.” Then they average those 14 to create one overall ranking of the states.

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

Majority of US Chamber of Commerce donations come from just 64 entities

September 5, 2014
Public Citizen

2012 Tax Forms Reveal Donation Amounts

WASHINGTON - More than half of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s contributions in 2012 came from just 64 donors, according to a new reportreleased today by Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch program.

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

Community Democracy, and the Future of Broadband

September 3, 2014
David Morris
news photo

Map shows municipal and locally-controlled broadband networks nationwide. Communities invest in telecommunications networks for a variety of reasons - economic development, improving access to education and health care, price stabilization, etc. They range from massive networks offering a gig to hundreds of thousands in Tennessee to small towns connecting a few local businesses. (Image: Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

UK's largest union calls for fracking ban and "democratic control of the energy industry"

July 24, 2014
Unite policy conference 2014
news photo

At UNITE’s 2014 policy conference, the following resolution was passed:

Composite C6 (Incorporating Motions D1, D3 & D4)

Standing in the names of:

North West/Merseyside AAC

North East, Yorkshire & Humber/300/22 Wm Morrison Distribution Stockton Branch

South West/001401 Bristol Finance & Legal Sector Branch

D. Environment

(i) Hydraulic Fracturing

Conference notes:

Nigerian communities challenge corporate power in quest for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Boldwin Anugwara
news photo

That Nigeria is facing power supply challenge is an understatement. But the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo, in this interview with CHARLES OKONJI, says the epileptic power supply has an exit date if only Nigeria embraces energy democracy. Excerpts:

You have been advocating energy democracy. Can you explain to us what you mean by energy democracy?

San Diego fights for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
John Farrell
news photo

San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of renewable content.”

See how this southern California city is striving for more clean energy and more local control in this interview with Lane Sharman, co-founder and chair of the San Diego Energy District Foundation. This podcast was recorded via Skype on May 21, 2014.

Denmark town achieves true Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Paul Kando
news photo

Ballen, Denmark, is one of 18 small villages on Samsø, an island of 4,000 residents. The new Energy Academy with its 11 new jobs is located here, doubling as a meeting house and visitor center for those who come here from the world over to learn how to become 100 percent energy-independent. The island has 21 huge wind turbines generating over 104 million kW h/year, enough to power 26,000 homes. Sixty percent of the island’s buildings are heated by 4 solar district heating systems, with straw-burning back-up boilers; the rest use electric heat pumps. Cars run on electricity.

Center for Social Inclusion maps the movement for Energy Democracy

July 24, 2014
Center for Social Inclusion
news photo

This map pinpoints communities across America that are innovating how to build their local economies while taking into their own hands the fight against climate change by developing community-scale renewable energy projects.

Gar Alperovitz on the cooperative economy's enormous potential

May 22, 2014
Orion Magazine

IN THE MID-1960s, when author, historian, and political economist Gar Alperovitz was working as legislative director for Senator Gaylord Nelson, change was in the air. Ink had dried on an early version of the Clean Air Act, the civil rights movement had won major victories, and the first Earth Day was in the works. The U.S. still faced plenty of serious challenges, but many Americans felt their country was capable of dealing with them successfully.

CommonBound: Moving Together Toward a New Economy

Date: 
June 6, 2014 - 9:00am - June 8, 2014 - 5:00pm

Location

Northeastern University Boston, MA

This June 6-8, more than 500 movement leaders, activists, practitioners, and newcomers will come together in Boston for CommonBound, the New Economy Coalition’s largest and most significant convening yet.

Public Banking & Economic Democracy

May 21, 2014
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
news photo
Private banks have not always been accepted institutions, fixtures of commerce, and purveyors of most of our economic transactions. Throughout US history, there have been robust public conversations about banks, largely due to their propensity to derail the economy when their business models fail. One example of this was in rural Vermont in 1806, when the state established their first public bank. Testimony on that bill, from Governor Tichenor lays out the problem:

Participatory Budgeting in NYC: Governing at the Grassroots

May 21, 2014
Mike Menser and Ron Hayduk
news photo

Like much of the rest of the globe, New York City is beset by two crises: economic instability and the changing climate. Any hope of making our intensely unequal and unsustainable city more equitable and resilient requires fundamental changes in the relationship between the government and its people, and between the economy and its infrastructure. This requires more than a change of administrations; it requires a reconstruction of the governance process itself.

Jackson, Miss. using worker-owned cooperatives to advance economic democracy

May 17, 2014
Gracie Davie
news photo

When Iya’Falola Omobola first crossed the Mississippi state border 10 years ago, she felt uneasy. A friend told her that she was “feeling the energy from all those bodies hanging in the trees.” Yet, Omobola’s feeling soon changed. Born into a family of civil rights and labor organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, Omobola came to see Jackson as the Phoenix that rises from the ashes.

Liberty Tree hosting Gar Alperovitz in Santa Barbara, CA

Date: 
May 1, 2014 - 12:00pm - May 2, 2014 - 1:00pm

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Community Democracy: America Beyond Capitalism?

For more information visit: www.democracysb.org