Rebekah Wilce's News Articles

Charles G. Koch Foundation Hires and Fires Economists at Public University

According to news reports, the Charles G. Koch Foundation has bought "the right to interfere in faculty hiring at a publicly funded university." Kris Hundley of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the elder Koch brother's foundation "pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University's economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting 'political economy and free enterprise.'"

Koch Industries' Toxic Gifts to Wisconsin

Koch Industries ranks in the "top ten" of the Toxic 100 list of the Political Economy Research Institute, which identifies the top U.S. air polluters among the world's largest corporations based on their chronic human health risk. Koch Industries is included in the list as the parent corporation of a diversity of industrial facilities that process and distribute fossil fuels, paper, wood products and synthetic fibers. The pollution from these facilities has a significant effect on the natural environment and on human health.

Reverse Robin Hood Visits Banks Near WI Capitol

This afternoon, the People's Rights Campaign, a coalition of labor and community organizations, organized a community action on Madison's Capitol Square. Activists scrounged for their last pennies and taped them to "deposit slips" so that they could be deposited directly into the accounts of the CEOs of M&I Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Bank.

"Why should they have to pay any taxes at all when grubby peasants and working stiffs still have a few pennies left in their pockets?" asked the group's press release.

May Day March Unites Workers

May Day, or May 1st, became International Workers' Day in 1886, when it was the beginning of a multi-day general strike in Chicago in which workers demanded an eight-hour work day. On May 4, 1886, the strike ended in what became known as the Haymarket Affair.

Yvonne Geerts of the Immigrant Workers Union said, "In 2006, immigrant workers reclaimed May Day as a clear acknowledgment that immigrants are the first workers who recognize the importance and the practicality of unity with all workers. Today, thousands of working families are victims of the policies of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, via service cuts to important programs like BadgerCare, FoodShare, Education, and so much more. Solidarity, today, is more relevant than ever."

Madison's Battle of the Brats

The "World's Largest Brat Fest," which will take place over Memorial Day weekend at Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center, will serve brats donated by Johnsonville Sausage of Sheboygan Falls, WI. Johnsonville owners (the Stayer and Stayer-Maloney families) and other principals of Johnsonville Sausage contributed a total of $48,450 to Scott Walker's gubernatorial and other 2010 Republican state campaigns, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's Campaign Finance Database.

Taxpayers Demand Chase Bank Pay its Fair Share

At a rally held in front of Chase Bank on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin today, a few dozen people gathered to air their grievances against Chase and other U.S. corporations who will pay no taxes for 2010. Jeff Kravat of MoveOn hosted the rally along with Gene Lundergan, who gathered a group of four or five people to present a tax bill of almost $2 billion to the branch bank manager. This bill, for $1.988 billion, was drawn up using Chase's 2010 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a December 2008 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (pdf). When Lundergan, Steve Hughes of Young Progressives and several others approached the front entrance of the bank, they were refused admission by the security guard, so they left the bill propped in the front window.

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