Mary Bottari's News Articles

Students and Teachers Rally on Anniversary of Wisconsin Uprising

With two rallies on Valentine's Day, students and teachers commemorated the first anniversary of Wisconsin's historic struggle against Governor Scott Walker's attack on the state's 50-year tradition of peaceful collective bargaining.

Walker introduced his proposal to end collective bargaining for most state workers on Feb. 11, 2011. On Feb. 14, 2011 the Teacher's Assistants Association, the graduate student union at UW-Madison, organized a march from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to the Wisconsin State Capitol to deliver thousands of Valentine's to Walker to protest the measure and planned cuts to the UW system.

Will Walker's Love Affair with Realtors Come Back to Haunt Him?

Scott Walker and his new team of criminal defense lawyers will be meeting with the Milwaukee County District Attorney soon to answer questions in a multifaceted "John Doe" probe being conducted by the DA into potentially illegal activities of Walker's staff during the time he served as Milwaukee County Executive. Because everyone involved in the investigation is subject to a gag order, the scandal has the state guessing about the next shoe to drop.

One of them may shine a light on Walker's long-time love affair with big money realtors.

WI Senate Leader Working Overtime to Stave Off Recall

  • Topics: Politics
  • Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is in a last-minute scramble to challenge "fraudulent" recall petition signatures.

    Of the six public officials facing recall in Wisconsin, Fitzgerald has the slimmest margin of recall signatures. While the effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker garnered 185 percent of the necessary signatures, the effort to recall Fitzgerald in a heavily Republican district turned in 123 percent of the amount needed.

    Thus, it was no surprise when Fitzgerald announced this week that he would challenge "more than 3,000" recall signatures -- enough to prevent a recall election against him, if he can convince the independent GAB to agree to strike the signatures.

    Chrysler’s New Super Bowl Ad Whitewashes WI Union Signs

    Wisconsin made a brief, unexpected appearance at the Super Bowl yesterday. A new ad by Chrysler, "It's Half Time in America," voiced by Clint Eastwood, included a short clip of the historic Wisconsin protests from February 2011. Many in Wisconsin recognized the misty evening shot of the King Street entrance to the Wisconsin Capitol with Colonel Hans Christian Heg, who led the all-Scandinavian Regiment into the Civil War, in the foreground.

    Secret Email System Revealed in "John Doe" Probe of Walker Staff

    The morning after his "State of the State" address where Governor Scott Walker reassured Wisconsin "We are turning things around. We are heading in the right direction," the Milwaukee County District Attorney charged two more Walker staffers with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of misconduct in public office.

    Darlene Wink and Kelly Rindfleisch were charged with conducting partisan campaign work while on the public payroll. The alleged crimes took place while Walker was Milwaukee County Executive and running to be governor. These charges are no joke in the state of Wisconsin, where in 2005, two Senate Democrats and the Republican Assembly Speaker were sentenced to jail time for similar crimes in an episode dubbed "the Caucus Scandal."

    Stress Testing Tim Geithner

    Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, in the State of the Union this week President Obama struck some of his most populist themes yet. He wants to tax millionaires, bring back manufacturing and prosecute the big banks. He touted his Wall Street reforms saying the big banks are "no longer allowed to make risky bets with customers deposits" and "the rest of us aren't bailing you out ever again."

    But are we safe from the next big bank bailout? Many experts are dubious and Wednesday the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen decided to test the theory in the most direct way possible. They used the administrative law process to formally petition the nation's top bank regulators to move swiftly to break up Bank of America (BofA) asserting in their petition: "The bank poses a grave threat to U.S. financial stability by any reasonable definition of that phrase."

    Scott Walker’s Plutonomy: An Economy for the One Percent

    While volunteer after volunteer from each of Wisconsin's 72 counties marched into the state's election board to deposit over one million signatures for the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Walker was nowhere to be found.

    At the hour petitions were being deposited on January 17, Mother Jones revealed that Walker was scheduled to attend a high-dollar fundraiser in the heart of the New York's financial district at 339 Park Avenue -- the towering headquarters for global financial giant CitiGroup. The $5,000 per couple fundraiser was hosted by none other than Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, former CEO of AIG.

    Stop Censorship of the Internet!

  • Topics: Activism
  • Thousands of websites across America have gone dark this week in protest of supposed anti-piracy bills in Congress.

    I first noticed when I went to to see how he was covering the Wisconsin protests, but his site was black with an eerie image of a mouse-controlled light that revealed the message "This site has gone dark today in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate... We need to kill these bills to protect our right to free speech, privacy and prosperity."

    WI Recall Petitions Under Guard as "GAB CAM" Goes Live

    So many signatures were delivered demanding the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other state officials, that one scribe dubbed it the "greatest popular democracy movement in Wisconsin history." Over 30,000 volunteers collected over 1.9 million signatures and delivered them to the state's nonpartisan elections board on January 17.

    Volunteers exceeded all expectations, delivering 1 million petitions for the recall of Scott Walker, an amount equivalent to 46 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial race. Never had so many, in the history of the United States, petitioned for the recall of a governor.

    One Million Petition for the Recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

    The petition drive to recall and remove Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has surpassed all expectations, collecting over one million signatures in just 60 days.

    Petitioners were only required to collect 540,000 by law. They far exceeded this number, making a successful legal challenge of the recall highly unlikely. This is the largest recall in U.S. history. Volunteers also gathered over 845,000 signatures to recall Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, as well enough signatures for four of the state senators who voted for Walker's collective bargaining bill in March 2011, adding hundreds of thousands more petitions to a pile estimated to weigh over one ton.

    The Governor was not immediately available for comment. At the moment the recall petitions were being filed, he was the guest of Citibank on Wall Street at a high-dollar recall fundraiser.

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