Harriet Rowan's News Articles

Wisconsin Governor Faces Protests at Home and On the Road

Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker was in Illinois, speaking to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce on April 17, and a huge crowd of protestors was there to "unwelcome" him.

While Walker compared himself to Honest Abe on the inside of the Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, an estimated 4,000 workers rallied on the outside. Props included a giant rat and a large Walker image on a board imprinted with the words "don't Badger us."

WI Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs Gets New Post

Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs announced today that he will be assuming a new position with Dane County starting in June. In a press conference held at the County Executive's Office, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that he had selected Tubbs as the new Director of Dane County Emergency Management.

Tubbs was applauded by many for his handling of the massive protests against Governor Walker's collective bargaining bill in the winter of 2011. Tubbs was responsible for the security and safety of Capitol staff as well as protestors inside and outside the Capitol building. Despite an 18-day Capitol occupation and protests topping 100,000 on a regular basis, there were no injuries and few arrests. Tubbs was praised by many protesters for his respectful communication, which helped maintain a peaceful atmosphere. In more recent months, Tubbs has received some criticism regarding the rising number of arrests in the Capitol.

Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch Defends ALEC on FOX

Wisconsin's Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was on Fox News' morning show, "Fox & Friends" defending the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and discussing the historic nature of the upcoming recall elections. Kleefisch and Governor Scott Walker are both facing recall elections on June 5.

SubGate: A Tasty New Scandal Rocks Wisconsin

Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, but not before word of the "SubGate" scandal rocketed around the state. Romney spent much of the week campaigning with Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, but in a "get out the vote" effort on Primary Day, Romney and Ryan were videotaped handing out free sandwiches to voters at a Cousins Subs shop in an apparent violation of Wisconsin law.

At the campaign stop Romney said: "I want to thank you for voting. Get your friends to go vote, get your friends to go with you, that's how you can legally vote multiple times. So bring your friends to the polling place, get out and vote, and if you want another sandwich, there are more back there."

Dr. Jill Stein: Green Party Candidate for President

Jill Stein, a doctor and activist from Massachusetts, is running for the Green Party nomination for President of the United States. Stein is the frontrunner for the party's nomination, running against comedian Roseanne Barr and veteran Green Party activists Kent Mesplay and Harley Mikkelson. Stein's campaign, headed up by Wisconsin native Ben Manski, is focusing on getting enough delegates in each state to win the party's nomination at the July 2012 Green Party convention in Baltimore and on securing November ballot lines in all 50 states.

Jill Stein is a physician, author, environmental health advocate, and mom. She has been particularly active on the issue of toxic chemicals and their effects on children and on campaign finance reform. She ran for Massachusetts' Green-Rainbow Party for Governor in 2002, for State Representative in 2004, and for Secretary of State in 2006.

Scott Walker Still Won’t Negotiate, Even Under His Own Terms

Governor Scott Walker is currently running a million dollar TV ad campaign on "Promises Kept," but after misleading the public on his plans to radically reshape collective bargaining in the state, Walker can't even be bothered to negotiate with the few unions who played by the new rules and are coming to the bargaining table in good faith.

CMD asks Wisconsin Candidates: What Would You Do About ALEC?

The Center for Media Democracy contacted Governor Scott Walker and the four candidates who have filed to run in the recall election against him. We asked them all to comment on the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on the state of Wisconsin and what they might do about it as governor.

Three Democrats and one Independent have announced that they are running against Governor Walker; a primary is likely May 8. There is speculation that other candidates may still announce their intentions to run. The general election is expected to be June 5.

Governor Walker did not respond to our request, but the other candidates did. Below we reprint their comments in full.

Firefighter Mahlon Mitchell Announces Run for Lt. Governor in Wisconsin

Mahlon Mitchell announced today that he is running for the position of Lt. Governor of Wisconsin in the upcoming recall election against the current Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. Mitchell is the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and a familiar face from the Wisconsin uprising.

Firefighters joined the struggle to preserve collective bargaining rights last year, even though firefighters were exempt from the collective bargaining bill. Firefighters saw it as their duty to stand up for their unions brothers and sisters: "We have a fire in the house of labor, we are here to put it out," Mitchell was fond of saying during the 2011 winter protests.

Wisconsin Wraps Up Contentious Legislative Session

The Wisconsin State Assembly wrapped up a marathon 33-hour session Friday, ending a contentious two-year legislative session marked by massive protests on the collective bargaining issue and an 18 day Capitol occupation.

Galloway Resigns, Senate Split 16-16

It was the last floor session before the six recall elections scheduled for the summer, which could change the balance of power in the Senate and the Governor's office. In a surprise move on the last day of the session, Republican Senator Pam Galloway, one of the targets of the recall, resigned for family health reasons.

In Honor of “Sunshine Week,” CMD Shines a Light on Politicians who Keep Wisconsin in the Dark

-- By Mary Bottari and Harriet Rowan

In honor of "Sunshine Week," a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) would like to recognize Wisconsin's champions of backroom deals, secret pledges and cloaked campaign contributions.

Sunshine Week, March 12-16, is celebrated by newspapers, governments and citizen's groups across the land, but not in Wisconsin, whose reputation for clean and open government has taken a pounding this year.

First, CMD would like to honor Wisconsin Rep. Joel Kleefisch for literally blocking the view of the State Assembly chamber. On the first day of Sunshine Week, black plastic was placed on the swinging Assembly doors, blocking the view of interested citizens of the Assembly floor.

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