Corporate Social Responsibility

Wisconsin Workers "Fight For Fifteen"

Wisconsin workers are joining the "Fight for Fifteen" -- better wages for those at the bottom of the U.S. payscale. Three cities in Wisconsin were among 58 across the United States where thousands of low-wage fast-food workers walked off their jobs to demand a living wage, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize without being penalized. The coordinated actions on August 29 constituted the largest fast food strike in U.S. history.

New Report By U.S. PIRG Targets Cash Stashed Overseas

In our new report on Fix the Debt, CMD reveals that part of the Fix the Debt's hidden corporate agenda is to push for new tax loopholes that would actually add to the deficit. Specifically, many Fix the Debt firms want to exempt money made offshore from taxation in the United States. Opening this new loophole would cost the Treasury some $1 trillion over 10 years according to Citizens for Tax Justice.

Climate Campaigners Demand UW Divest from Fossil Fuel

MADISON -- This morning, a group of students and alumni delivered over 1,000 signatures to University of Wisconsin Foundation President Mike Knetter demanding that the university divest its holdings from the fossil fuel industry. The activists point to science that shows the industry is slowly cooking the planet and divestment, or "hitting them where is hurts," as a moral imperative.

"Buying Influence," a Special Report Released; ALEC Corporate Slush Fund Pays for State Lawmakers' Junkets

Internal records show ALEC corporations have spent an estimated $4 million to send legislators to posh resorts since 2006

For Immediate Release: October 26, 2012
Contact: Sara Jerving, Center for Media and Democracy, (608) 260-9713; Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 736-5770

Corporate backers of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have funneled more than an estimated $4 million in gifts to state legislators for travel, hotel rooms, and meals at posh resorts since 2006, according to estimates based on internal ALEC records. The corporate lobby front group is already facing an Internal Revenue Service review of claims that it violated federal law by posing as a charity.

Adidas Tells WI Court It Has No Obligation to Help Exploited Workers

Despite promising U.S. universities that it would help ensure fair labor practices, Adidas, the world's second largest athletic shoe and apparel company, has told a Wisconsin court that it can't be required to "stand in the shoes" of its global suppliers who owe millions of dollars to workers, according to a court document reviewed by the Center for Media and Democracy.

Wal-Mart Does Good by Leaving ALEC

It's big news when one of the largest corporations in the world changes its policy. And, today, the really big news is that Wal-Mart announced it was leaving the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been called "a corporate lobby masquerading as a charity."

The Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed almost a year ago to shine a spotlight on ALEC. CMD's analysis and ongoing investigation have fueled hundreds of news articles and other reports exposing deeply troubling information about ALEC's operations and extreme agenda. And, CMD has served as a research engine that has helped empower hundreds of thousands of people to speak out against ALEC's agenda and activities. Through ALEC's task forces, corporate lobbyists are voting behind closed doors as equals with legislators on templates to change our laws.

BP's Gulf of Mexico PR, One Year Later

Finger-pointing over the Deepwater Horizon disaster resumed recently after the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Coast Guard issued a joint report (pdf) which concluded all three corporate participants in the calamity -- BP, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton -- were at fault. The report concluded all three companies violated federal laws and safety regulations by "failing to take necessary precautions to keep the Macondo well under control at all times." The report also found all three companies were "jointly and severally liable for the failure to comply with all applicable regulations." That means all three companies are mutually responsible for the accident, and each can be held singly responsible for the entire debacle. The report parsed blame among the companies for sloppy materials and workmanship, inadequate training, failure to properly assess risk and conduct proper testing, failure to abide by stop-work work policies after multiple anomalies were discovered, and so on.

Wisconsin Becomes Part of Gas Industry's Land Grab

The methane gas industry is snapping up land across the United States, and it's not only regions with gas reserves its after. Part of the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," which has become big business in the nation, requires a fine silica sand. The sand is most easily accessible in the state of Wisconsin, which means the industry is looking to scrape the Midwestern state of it's rolling hills by extracting its sand. This new scramble for sand mining has local residents concerned about the health and environmental impacts on their communities.

The industry of sand mining is booming along with the national increase in "natural" gas drilling. The industry is touting methane gas as a "bridge fuel" to wean the nation of its petroleum addiction, but the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing has citizens up in arms because the process leaks harmful toxins into the nation's water supplies -- and the overall process of methane gas drilling is just as dirty, if not dirtier, than using petroleum.

Through the Toxic Mirror: Vietnamese and Americans Continue to Suffer Effects of Agent Orange

Vietnam is the toxic mirror into which avaricious corporations do not want ordinary people throughout the world to look. Inside of this mirror, we see polluted rivers and streams, dying lakes, poisoned oceans, and contaminated food and water.

- Fred Wilcox, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam, due out September 13, 2011

Fred Wilcox is a writing professor at Ithaca College and a long-time peace activist. In 1983, his book Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange broke the story of the suffering of American veterans of the Vietnam War due to poisoning by Agent Orange used as a defoliant. On September 13, Seven Stories Press will release his latest book, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam, which chronicles the effects of chemical warfare on the Vietnamese people. On the same day, Seven Stories will also release a new edition of Waiting for an Army to Die.

In an interview with the Center for Media and Democracy, Wilcox said he hopes that both books will "open a conversation about war, about what we should never do in war, about our environment, about cancer, and about how we as a nation can commit these crimes and then claim we're not responsible."

Koch's "Response" Agrees with Parts of Greenpeace Toxic Koch Report

By John Deans of Greenpeace, August 26, 2011.

On August 25, 2011, Koch Industries issued a response to the Greenpeace report that CMD cross-posted last week, via Below is Greenpeace's August 26, 2011, counter-response to Koch. The original can be found here.

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