Weekly Update July 26, 2015

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Two companies fail after getting $1.4 million from Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs agency

By Dee J. Hall - Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Despite signs of trouble within the companies, Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs agency loaned about $1.4 million in taxpayer money to two northern Wisconsin firms that now have failed to fully repay the loans or create hundreds of promised jobs.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. sued the companies — Tomahawk Metal Products of Tomahawk and North American Finishing of Suring — along with four others for failure to repay state taxpayer-funded loans or comply with grant terms. The others sued since 2014 are TJ’s Taylor’s One Price Cleaners of Madison, Ratio Inc. of Monona, Building Committee Inc. of Milwaukee and Green Box NA Green Bay of De Pere.

WEDC made the ill-fated deals with Tomahawk Metal Products and North American Finishing in the first two years of the Walker administration as the governor attempted to fulfill a first-term promise to create 250,000 jobs. Walker fell short of that goal by about 100,000 jobs, and Wisconsin has remained in the bottom half of job-creating states throughout his tenure.

Late Friday, the agency disclosed it has settled its $360,933 claim against Tomahawk Metal Products for $125,360. In a statement, WEDC spokesman Mark Maley said the agency feared the company owner would declare bankruptcy, significantly delaying repayment to the state.

The shortfall in job creation is especially problematic for northern Wisconsin, which according to a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism analysis published in May, gets less than its share of WEDC funding despite higher levels of unemployment and poverty and lower wages.

Read more at Cap Times.

"Bad loans, pay to play politics, that's how our governor rolls. With all the failures piling up on this man since he took office back in 2011, it is beyond me how he was re-elected and now considered a front runner for the republican nomination for president. The incompetence is unbelievable. If he held any job in the private sector and performed the way he has as governor, he'd have been collecting unemployment a long time ago." - Robert Hansen, Southwest Dems Chair
Bernie Meet-Up at Greenfield Public Library, July 29

Meet other Bernie Sanders supporters and watch live streaming of Bernie Sanders in this national meet up event.

TIME: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT 
HOST: Bob Heule and Rob Hansen
LOCATION: Greenfield Public Library (Greenfield, WI)
5310 W. Layton Avenue
Greenfield, WI 53220
DIRECTIONS: Layton is 4700 south, using the Milwaukee street grid. The city of Greenfield is directly southwest of Milwaukee.

MSNBC Cans Only Cable TV Host Who Extensively Covered TPP

MSNBC announced on Thursday that "The Ed Schultz Show" would come to an end, to be replaced by a show hosted by political analyst Chuck Todd. Reportedly, two other programs, "The Cycle" and "The Alex Wagner Show," will also be cut as part of other programming changes.

The loss of Schultz is particularly troubling because he has managed a television program that has been more attentive to issues focused on economic inequality, labor unions and the wider economy than perhaps any other cable television show.

In particular, he covered the Trans-Pacific Partnership more often than the rest of the network's programs combined, as Craig Harrington and Brian Powell, researchers with Media Matters documented:

[During an 18 month period] CNN and Fox News each mentioned the TPP during two broadcasts. MSNBC's The Ed Show discussed the trade agreement on 71 broadcasts, but the TPP was mentioned on the network's other evening programming only twice (once by host Ed Schultz during coverage of the president's State of the Union speech and a passing mention by All In host Chris Hayes).

It has to be noted that Comcast, the company that owns MSNBC, is a big supporter of the TPP. Comcast hired a phalanx of lobbyists to spearhead a targeted campaign to push for Trade Promotion Authority, which recently passed. Included among the individuals it was paying was the former chief of staff for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Read More at Alternet.

Hillary Clinton’s Plan To Combat Climate Change With Half-A-Billion Solar Panels

By Emily Atkin

Hillary Clinton is going all in on renewable energy.

On Sunday evening, the Democratic presidential candidate released a fact sheet detailing her plan to fight climate change, and it focuses heavily on promoting clean energy generation across the country. 

Among other things, the plan includes a promise to install half a billion solar panels by 2021, or the end of Clinton’s first term. That would represent a 700 percent increase from current installations, she said. Clinton also promised that, if elected, enough renewable energy would be produced to power every home in the country within 10 years.

“We can make a transition over time from a fossil fuel economy, predominantly, to a clean renewable energy economy, predominantly,” Clinton said in Iowa on SundayYahoo reported.

Read More at Think Progress.
Join us for our August fundraiser in historic downtown Greendale.
5651 Broad St, Greendale, Wisconsin 53129
Make a contribution using secure.actblue.com

Featuring special guest State Representative Daniel Riemer

August 12, 2015
Panther Pub
5651 Broad St, Greendale, WI 53129
Under a Shroud of Secrecy and Security, ALEC Conference Gets Underway

By Rep. Chris Taylor (D-WI)

My 5th ALEC conference started like the others—under a shroud of secrecy and security.

The night before, I attempted to register at the host hotel, only to be told by hotel staff that they were under strict orders not to give out any information about ALEC to anyone who wasn’t staying at the hotel (I wasn’t). Though ALEC is known for trying to slide under the radar, this level of secrecy exceeded previous efforts. As I left, I noticed a police car outside.

And before I ducked out of the conference the next day, a security officer guarding the back door of the hotel warned me to take off my ALEC name tag, which must be worn at all times during the conference.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council, it is the most formidable right-wing policy machine in the United States.

ALEC is a three-legged stool consisting of state legislators, corporations and right wing think tanks that come together to push pro-corporation policies to maximize corporate profits, drive down workers’ wages and privatize everything.

Read More at PR Watch.

Did ISIL Arise Partly Because of Climate Change?

By Juan Cole

Democratic presidential contender Martin O’Malley sparked controversy this week by saying that the conditions for the rise of ISIL (ISIS, Daesh) were set by the impact on Syria of climate change, which drove farmers from their land into slums around cities and created extreme poverty. O’Malley’s assertion was immediately ridiculed on Fox News Channel and by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who called the allegation a “disconnect from reality.” Who is right in this debate?

It should not come as a surprise that O’Malley is indeed correct, especially since he chose his words very carefully. He said, “One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria and the rise of ISIS, was the effects of climate change and the mega-drought that effected that region,” which “wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, [and] created a humanitarian crisis…. It created the symptoms, or rather the conditions of extreme poverty that has led now to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence.” O’Malley did not attribute the radical extremism in northeast Syria only to climate change and drought, underlining that it was only one of the causes of the weakening of the Syrian state and the immiseration of the population, which made them so desperate that they even turned to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his hateful beheaders for salvation. It was, however, one cause among others, he said.

Read More at the Nation Magazine.

Tim Carpenter for 11th District Alderman Fundraiser
5614 W Forest Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The development of strong neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee is vital to the city's success. The residents of The 11th District deserve leadership that will advocate for the needs of their community and the city of Milwaukee as a whole.That is why we need your help to elect Tim Carpenter as the next Alderman for Milwaukee's 11th District.

Friend - $25
Supporter - $50
Sponsor - $75
Host - $100

All donations greatly appreciated, everyone is welcome.

Make checks payable to:
Friends of Tim Carpenter
2957 S. 38th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53215
Copyright © 2015 Southwest Regional Democratic Organization, All rights reserved.

Founded in 1952, The Southwest Regional Democratic Organization represents Region 5 of The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County.

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