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Walker’s WEDC Caught Red-Handed PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig   
Monday, 25 July 2016 08:42

out_sourced_wedcCitizen Action sounded the alarm two years ago on how Walker’s scandal plagued WEDC doles out public money. Walker promised to require corporations taking our job creation dollars to give 30 days notice of any planned outsourcing or downsizing. Now we find they're not even doing that!


MILWAUKEE - When Citizen Action sounded the alarm two years ago that Walker’s scandal plagued Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) doles out public money to corporations engaged in outsourcing jobs, they came up with a non-solution.

Walker’s WEDC promised to require corporations taking our job creation dollars to give 30 days notice of any planned outsourcing or downsizing.

Now, Citizen Action has discovered that Walker is not even doing that! When we filed an open records request WEDC lawyers found ZERO outsourcing notifications--this despite a series of corporations caught red-handed in recent months outsourcing jobs when taking money from WEDC.

Outsourcing can be the issue that turns the 2016 election in our favor, and even forces Scott Walker not to seek re-election, but only if we have the resources to tell voters about it.

If you agree, please make an emergency contribution to Citizen Action’s outsourcing election fund.

Outsourcing is the sleeping giant in the 2016 election because it is the smoking gun of the rigged economy.

The outright support for large corporations outsourcing Wisconsin jobs is political dynamite. The reason Walker’s jobs agency turns a blind eye to outsourcing is that they support it!

Citizen Action played a leading role in forcing votes on bills to cut off public loans, grants, and tax credits to corporations engaged in outsourcing. Shockingly, every Republican legislator voted wrong on the issue!

Wisconsin voters should be outraged about their senators and representatives supporting the outsourcing of their jobs, but only if we have the resources to communicate with them about it during the election.

If you agree, please send an emergency contribution to Citizen Action’s outsourcing election fund.

Sincerely,

Robert Kraig

Last Updated on Monday, 25 July 2016 09:08
 
Blue Jean Nation "Shred the playbook" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Sunday, 24 July 2016 16:37

playbook-bjnWhy do politicians keep behaving the way they do when it’s clear it only makes many dislike them? They stick with what they know, the handbook provided by consultants, handlers and party bosses.


ALTOONA, WI - Most people hate politics and don’t hide how little they think of your average politician. Makes you wonder why politicians keep behaving the way they do when it’s clear it only makes people dislike them more. Maybe it’s because they don’t know any other way to behave. They’ve been operating out of a well-worn playbook for so long that they know all the plays by heart. So they stick with what they know.

Most of the plays in the playbook have at least three things in common. They are decades old or older. They are expensive. And they work like a charm, if the goals are to alienate the general public and cripple democracy.

The first page in both parties’ playbook is nonstop fundraising. It’s the favorite play because it makes so many other plays possible. It’s why politicians see you and me as nothing more than ATMs.

The playbook then says spend heavily on paid media. Television, radio, direct mail advertising, online ads. This is political gospel. The conventional wisdom is looking less and less wise, however, when you consider that public trust in advertising has been falling. This trend is sure to continue in the future because young Millennials are especially distrustful of advertising.

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 July 2016 17:05
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Saying “Good Bye” to Benjamin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Monday, 18 July 2016 19:21

Benjamin LarsonSen. Kathleen Vinehout says farewell to staff member Benjamin Larson. Legislative staff play an important role in serving the public good and many people living in the 31st Senate District know Ben because they contacted the office.


MADISON - “I make the promises and my staff keeps them,” said former state Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center). I don’t know if Senator Schultz was the first to say this but his statement certainly describes the important role of Capitol staff.

Our 31st Senate District long-time staffer Benjamin Larson will be leaving soon for Minneapolis. Ben is following his wife who will take up advanced studies in the Twin Cities.

Legislative staffers touch many lives and Ben has certainly influenced the course of life for many people. He is often the first person people encounter when they contact our Capitol office.

Calling your state Senator might not be the first action taken when you have a problem with state government. The state bureaucracy is vast and varied. Usually people begin with the agency that handles the problem they face, like contacting the Department of Natural Resources if they need a permit or the Department of Public Safety and Professional Services for an issue with a license.

By the time folks get to our senate office, they are often frustrated and discouraged. The story of their problem is complex. Their situation did not fit some neat rules of state government and they feel like the proverbial square peg someone tried to pound into a round hole.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2016 19:37
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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign "2 GOP Payoffs" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 15 July 2016 10:19

follow-moneyMADISON - When we follow the money, sometimes something odd turns up.

That was the case with two of our stories this week.

The first seemed to be simply a gratuity for services rendered when the Republican Party of Wisconsin paid off $25,000 of Justice David Prosser’s campaign debt. But when we examined this “in-kind” contribution, it turned out to be even scuzzier, since the Party paid off a specific debt that Prosser owed to a particular vendor, who just happens to be one of Scott Walker’s chief fundraisers. Here are the gories:

State GOP pays $25K of Prosser’s campaign debt

The second story is about the DNR’s continued effort to give a sweetheart land deal to a couple that gave more than $6 million to try to get Scott Walker elected President. What’s doubly amazing is that the announcement of this renewed effort was obscured by an almost indecipherable bureaucratic notice. Somehow, I don’t think that was an accident, but see for yourself:

Walker’s DNR resurrects land deal with major contributor

And speaking of obscuring important information, this week there was a push in Congress to make it more difficult for consumers to find out if there are GMOs in our food—unless you’re in the habit of scanning barcodes into your phone while you hurry down the supermarket aisle. This is a bill not for consumers, but for industry, including in Wisconsin, as you’ll see here:

State food processors praise bill to restrict state food labeling

But here’s a happy note:

Three Koch Brothers’ groups were fined this week for illegal electioneering

We’ll keep following the money for you, and any more oddities that we can find.

***

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2016 13:59
 
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