Filmmaker Robert Greenwald Tells Truthout How the Koch Brothers Endanger Democracy and Our Health . BuzzFlash at Truthout first got to know Robert Greenwald when he and Earl Katz, who is now chair of Public Interest Pictures, were trying to get a film about the theft of the 2000 presidential election, "Unprecedented," off the ground. That was over a decade ago (4/12)
NYT Unloads on Scott Walker: The Wages of Ideology. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is struggling to fight off a determined effort to replace him in an extraordinary recall election scheduled for June 5. The original reason more than 900,000 Wisconsinites signed petitions to get him out of office was his signature on a bill that stripped most public employees of their collective bargaining rights (4/12)
Walker's snotty weak campaign start reflects his real personality. . The one benefit Scott Walker will see from the recall election, will be the dilution of protesters at his many stops throughout Wisconsin. It will be hard to keep up with him (4/12)
Mitt Romney's 'Women for Romney' surrogate is not for equal pay for women in Wisconsin. As he shakes the Etch A Sketch, Mitt Romney is trying hard to boost his appeal among women, after fully embracing the war on women just to keep up with Rick Santorum (4/12).
Walker flees Wisconsin people, Hides with Charlie Sykes. Even though everyone deserves to know exactly when Scott Walker first knew about the secret e-mail system run out of Walker's county executive office during his 2010 campaign for governor, don't look for a town hall question-and-answer session or a press conference on the topic (4/12).
Walker sends out conspiracy theory lackey to stall FBI “John Doe” investigation that continues to boil. It’s been pretty obvious that the database holding signatures of those who signed the Walker recall petition are becoming more about McCarthyistic techniques to make it a black list proving that the signatory is not a sucker for Walker (4/12)
Republican "War On Women" Is Not A Left-Wing Invention. The Dane County Democratic Party (web site) hosted a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at the Concourse Hotel in Madison featuring Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette and Wisconsin State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (4/12).
Paul Ryan's Cynical Catholic Claims. Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Graeme Zielinski in response to claims made by Paul Ryan to justify his radical budget (4/12).
Struggling Sean Duffy, Reid Ribble Tops in Waste of Taxpayer Dollars For two men who pound their chests as fiscal conservatives, Wisconsin Reps. Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble certainly can blow through hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money in no time flat. And, for seemingly no return (4/12).
Mitt Romney’s Campaign on Whether Romney Supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: ‘We’ll Get Back To You On That.’. On a press call this morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign was asked if Mitt Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Their response to the question was, “We’ll get back to you on that.” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate released the following statement on the Romney campaign’s initial failure to take a position on pay equity for women (4/12).
No War on Women in Wisconsin?. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 202, essentially a reversal of Wisconsin's Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (Act 20), into law on April 5, 2012, more than a month after the bill was passed (4/12).
Wendy's is the 6th Firm to Say It is No Longer a Member of ALEC. Wendy's International, the parent company of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburger, is the sixth corporation to say that it is no longer a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the past week (4/12).
George Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges for death of Trayvon Martin. Prosecutors Wednesday charged a neighborhood watch guard with second-degree murder in the killing of an unarmed US black teenager that sparked nationwide anger amid suspicions it was racially motivated (4/12).
John Mellencamp informs Gov. Scott Walker of his liberal beliefs. Liberal rocker John Mellencamp wants Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports collective bargaining and union powers and says Walker should be aware of that before using his song "Small Town" on the campaign trail (4/12)
4 Ways the Big Banks are Still Screwing Homeowners — And How They're Fighting Back. Here's how the banks are still doing exactly as they please when it comes to homes. But there's hope (4/12).
Meet the Rising Republican Star Who Would Love to Punch Hillary Clinton in the Face In case you haven't noticed, Wisconsin's been fraught with untenable political tumultuousness since one-man Human Centipede Scott Walker was elected governor. He's bullied teachers, attacked gay couples' hospital visitation rights, signed a repeal of Wisconsin's equal pay law, and rolled back sex education to an innocent time when kids thought storks brought babies (4/12).
Ryan's Recycled "Tipping Point" Scare Tactic Divides Americans, Hides Hypocrisy. . Have you seen the Paul Ryan headline yet? "Ryan says U.S. at financial and cultural 'tipping point'" Hmm, that late breaking headline sounds really familiar. Oh my gosh, here’s that same story as summarized so perfectly by Dana Milbank way back on March 20th (4/11).
For what you do, no bud for you. Bud Selig is the commissioner of major league baseball. The lords of the game pay him an enormous salary to do very little. Very little. Selig has a chair at the University of Wisconsin history Department. How did that happen? (4/11)
Republican "War On Women" Is Not A Left-Wing Invention. Right-wing media are claiming that a Republican "war on women" is "phony" and "invented" by the left to distract attention from issues such as the economy and gas prices. But Republicans throughout the country have indeed pushed a plethora of legislation during the past few years that would result in limiting women's reproductive rights, access to health care access, and access to equal pay; moreover, right-wing media themselves launched a bullying campaign against Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke after she testified in favor of expanded contraception coverage. (4/10).
GOP Panicking on John Doe Criminal Probe . One Wisconsin Now sent letters today to 9 current Wisconsin State Senators asking them to revoke their membership in the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Senators would join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and corporations like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Intuit and Kraft who earlier announced they've pulled their support. The letter also asks that the nine refund the tax dollars that were used to purchase ALEC memberships on their behalf (4/11).
What is going on? If you need to know what’s wrong with American conservatism in the early 21st century you have only to look at their view of the Girl Scouts. You would think that legislatures would want to honor the 100th anniversary of an organization like the Girl Scouts but empowering women isn’t exactly what the patriarchal GOP is about (4/11).
Russell gets new lawyer in Doe case. Timothy Russell, the former Scott Walker aide facing felony embezzlement charges, has a new lawyer with Republican leanings. The attorney is Dennis Krueger, a former state prosecutor who recently joined Milwaukee attorney Michael Maistelman's law office. Krueger pops up in court records as one of Russell's lawyers as of Friday, the same day another lawyer -- John Birdsall -- withdrew (4/11).
Democrats question legality of running as a 'fake' candidate. Undaunted by claims that running as a fake Democratic candidate in the recalls constitutes criminal election fraud, six such candidates filed paperwork Tuesday to run in the May 8 primary (4/11).
UWM professor predicts Scott Walker will be GOP's VP choice. UWM Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee is making a bold prediction for the Republican VP candidate: Scott Walker. (4/11).
Paul Ryan's Cynical Catholic Claims. Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Graeme Zielinski in response to claims made by Paul Ryan to justify his radical budget (4/11).
A little word game for the Fake Democratic Candidates... . Let’s see if the illegal and unethical electioneering by the Wisconsin Republican Party will stand up to a little test I came up with (4/11)
List of Bills Walker Signed Into Law Last Week. It's been well documented for some years now that abstinence based education *increases* the number of teen pregnancies AND that when you tell teenagers the truth about sex, as they do in Europe, not only do you get fewer pregnancy, you actually get fewer teenagers having sex in the first place (4/11).
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From GAB: Legal defense funds
NOTE: Since Scott Walker has set up a legal denfense fund, perhaps allowing him to siphon large amounts of the out-of-state monies he has been raising to fight his recall. The administration is doing a lot of spinning over this, so here is GAB's official position (and it doesn't sound good for Walker).
Except for the transfer of campaign contributions to a defense fund for the limited purposes permitted under Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws, Wisconsin Statutes forbid a state government official to use his or her government position to seek or obtain contributions to a so-called defense fund to pay personal legal expenses. Use of government position to obtain financial gain and personal advantage for oneself is precisely what Wisconsin’s Code of Ethics for Public Officials forbids.
The State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board administers statutes that prohibit a state governmental official to use his or her government position to obtain money or anything of substantial value for the private benefit of the official or the official’s family. [§19.45(2), Wisconsin Statutes] The Statutes further prohibit an official’s solicitation or acceptance of money that could reasonably be expected to influence the official’s vote, actions, or judgment or could reasonably be considered a reward for the official’s past action or inaction. [§19.45(3), Wisconsin Statutes] The Statutes also forbid an official to solicit or accept money from a lobbyist or from a business or organization that employs a lobbyist to affect Wisconsin’s laws. [§13.625 (3), Wisconsin Statutes] An official’s use of the title or prestige or power of government office to obtain money from others in order to pay the official’s private, personal expenses would be patently offensive and illegal.
The statutes that the Government Accountability Board administers create no exception for a “legal defense fund”. It is equally improper for a state government official to make use of his or her government position to obtain money for the official’s vacation fund, please-pay-my-home-mortgage fund, who-will-pay-my-child’s-tuition fund, or I-would-like to-remodel-my-house fund.
LIMITED EXCEPTION: LEGAL DEFENSE FUND LIMITED TO DEFENSE OF
VIOLATIONS ALLEGED UNDER CHAPTERS 11 AND 12,WISCONSIN STATUTES
Wisconsin Statutes permit a state government official who is being investigated for or charged with a violation of campaign finance laws [chapter 11, Wisconsin Statutes] or prohibited election practices [chapter 12, Wisconsin Statutes] to establish a “legal defense fund” for expenditures supporting or defending the candidate while that person is being investigated for, or charged with, or convicted of a violation of those chapters.
1 The prohibition is on “use of office or position” for private advantage. An official may accept financial support from a parent, grandparent, other family members, or even a close friend if the support is unrelated to the recipient’s holding or having held a government position. The director of the State of Wisconsin Elections Division has authorized the Government Accountability Board to say that the Elections Board’s staff concurs in this guideline insofar as it interprets chapter 11, Wisconsin Statutes.
A candidate may transfer a contributor’s campaign contribution to a legal defense fund to support or defend a candidate who is being investigated for, or is charged with, or has
been convicted of violating campaign finance laws or prohibited
election practices if, but only if, the contributor consents. [§11.64,
A lobbyist may not contribute to a legal defense fund. A lobbyist who has previously contributed to an official’s campaign may not authorize the transfer of the lobbyist's campaign contribution to a legal defense fund. [§13.625, Wisconsin Statutes]
REPORTING CONTRIBUTIONS TO A LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
An official required to file a Statement of Economic Interests with wisconsin's Government Accountability Board must identify each person who, during the prior year, contributed more than fifty dollars to a “legal defense fund” established under §11.64 to benefit the official.