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Featured Work

James O'Keefe Cronies Unveiled in Attempted Sting on CMD

by Jonas Persson

Ryan Sorba and James O'Keefe III
As Tea Party sentiment swept the country a few years ago, the media saw a new brood of young Republicans. Smooth and confident but also prone to anger and aggression, these budding "rock stars" of the movement held prominent positions in campus organizations bankrolled by the GOP. But it was an uneasy relationship. Their frat boy hijinks were often excused by party officials. After all, they were the future of the Republican Party. As for any misogynistic or xenophobic pranks, well, boys will be boys.

Sometimes, however, they went too far. Read the rest of this item here.

Federal Panel Suggests Koch-Tied Judge Overreached When He Halted Walker Probe

by Brendan Fischer

Seventh circuit court-logo200px.jpg
Federal Judge Rudolph Randa may have overreached when he halted the state criminal investigation into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allied groups, a panel of federal appellate judges suggested on Tuesday.

“This is a federalism issue,” Diane Wood, chief judge of the 7th Circuit court of appeals, said of the case. “Should a federal court step in and stop a state proceeding?”

“Federalism is certainly present…“ replied Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) attorney Mark DeLaquil, from the Washington, D.C. law firm Baker & Hostetler.

“Its predominant!” Wood interjected.

The case, an appeal of federal Judge Randa’s order from May halting the criminal campaign finance investigation, has major implications both for transparency in Wisconsin elections and for the future of Walker’s political career. Read the rest of this item here.

Historic Debate: Senate Advances Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

by Brendan Fischer

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
"We are here to fight back against a Supreme Court that says there is no difference between free speech and billions of dollars spent by the privileged few to swing elections and buy off legislators," Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said September 8, as the U.S. Senate kicked off a historic debate over a proposal to amend the constitution to limit the role of money in politics in the wake of Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United.

"There are times when action is required to defend our great democracy against those who would see it perverted into one more rigged game where the rich and the powerful always win," she said. "This is the time to amend the constitution."

Late Monday night, the Senate voted to advance the amendment 72-18, meaning it will be debated in the coming days before a vote later this week. Many Republicans voted to advance the bill, highlighting the sensitivity of an issue that has widespread support among grassroots Democrats and Republicans during an election year. Read the rest of this item here.

Oregon Residents Challenge the State "Right-to-Farm" Law

by Rebekah Wilce

Pesticide applicator's helicopter
A group of residents of the Cedar Valley area near Gold Beach in Curry County, Oregon say their properties were doused with pesticides by a helicopter aiming for privately-owned timberlands last October.

In what has been called a "severe sanction," the pesticide applicator and the aerial spray company he owns have been fined $10,000 each by the state and had their pesticide licenses suspended for a year for providing false information that misled investigators.

But at least one of those affected says this basically amounts to a big traffic ticket, when instead he believes the incident should be considered an act of "criminal trespass" linked to 45 illness reports. Read the rest of this item here.

Koch Operative: Raise the Wage, Totalitarianism and Terrorism Follow?

by Brendan Fischer

David and Charles Koch
Leaked audio from the latest Koch summit shows Charles Koch's "intellectual sounding board," Richard Fink, drawing a direct line between increasing the minimum wage and the rise of fascism, totalitarianism, and terrorist suicide bombers.

"So the big danger of minimum wage isn’t the fact that some people are being paid more than their valued-added," Fink told the gathering of donors and GOP operatives in Dana Point, California this summer, according to a recording obtained by The Undercurrent. Instead, he claimed, 500,000 people would lose their jobs, "putting them unemployed, making dependence part of government programs, destroying their opportunity for earned success. And so we see this is a very big part of recruitment in Germany in the 20s." Read the rest of this item here.

Fight for 15 Gets into the Ring with Taco Bell

by Mary Bottari

The chant “come on out, we’ve got your back!” echoed through the air at Taco Bell as peaceful protesters took the “Fight for 15” directly to the fast food giant, calling on workers to walk off the job.

Protesters were targeting McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell with more than 150 actions across the nation. Taco Bell is owned by YUM! Brands. With $13 billion in annual revenue, the top five YUM! executives received $30 million in compensation in 2013. That is not what their workers are making in Madison, however, where the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Read the rest of this item here.

Recent Articles from

Leaked Audio Suggests Koch's AFP Violated Law During Walker Recall

by Brendan Fischer

Leaked audio from an invite-only Koch donor summit highlighted the role of the billionaire brothers in boosting Scott Walker in Wisconsin -- and suggests that David Koch's Americans for Prosperity Foundation may have violated its charitable status during the state's 2012 recall elections.

Phil Cox, Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), told a gathering of right-wing donors this summer that Americans for Prosperity (AFP) was a "tremendous partner" and "heavily involved" during Wisconsin's 2012 recall elections. He also thanked David Koch for "his very strong support of the RGA," according to a recording obtained by The Undercurrent. Read the rest of this item here.

New Docs Undermine Walker Statements on Criminal Probe

by Brendan Fischer

Despite claims that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is not a "target" in the state's criminal campaign finance probe, newly-released documents demonstrate that prosecutors are indeed looking at potentially criminal activity by the first-term governor and 2016 presidential hopeful.

The latest round of documents released in Wisconsin's "John Doe" investigation shine new light on the stalled inquiry into alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections. Read the rest of this item here.

Bad Labor News for Wisconsin

by Ruth Conniff

Wisconsin workers face a lousy jobs picture this Labor Day, according to a new report by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS).

The national labor market has only recently recovered enough to reach pre-2007 jobs numbers. Overall, as more workers seek jobs than seven years ago, the nation still faces high unemployment and sluggish wage growth.

In Wisconsin, the situation is considerably worse.

Overall, the state still falls 21,900 jobs short of where it was seven years ago--and about 58,000 jobs short of where it would be if it had kept pace with the national recovery rate. Read the rest of this item here.

by Jonas Persson

When Governor Jerry Brown signs Assembly Bill 1522, California will join a growing number of states where temporary or part-time employees no longer have to face the excruciating dilemma: go to work sick, or lose pay or your job.

The bill, which allows workers to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of three days a year, passed over the weekend with a 52–25 vote in the State Assembly. With more than 6 million workers -- or 44 percent of the California workforce -- covered, it is by far the biggest expansion of paid sick days in the country. Read the rest of this item here.

The Case that Could Decide KXL

by Dave Saldana, Keystone PipeLIES Exposed

It's not often that a state court hears a case that has global consequences. But it's about to happen, and the public will have a ringside seat to watch the fight.

This Friday, September 5, the Nebraska Supreme Court will hear arguments in Thompson v. Heineman, the state's appeal from the lower court decision that put Keystone XL on hold. The lower court held that the law the governor used to bypass the state's Public Service Commission and grant TransCanada eminent domain over private property for its proposed pipeline was unconstitutional. Read the rest of this item here.

Federal Judge Overturns Kaua'i Pesticide and GMO Law

by Rebekah Wilce

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren overturned Kaua'i County's law regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) this week. He ruled that it was preempted by Hawai'i state law, although not by federal law.

The four chemical companies operating on Kaua'i -- DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta, Dow Chemical subsidiary Agrigenetics, and BASF Plant Science -- challenged the law in court, arguing that it is invalid and unfairly targets their industry.

The county law, Ordinance 960, was passed in November 2013 and would have gone into effect this month. It requires buffer zones between fields spraying pesticides on GMO crops and sensitive areas like schools and hospitals. It also requires chemical companies and large farms to disclose types and quantities of pesticides they spray as well as the location of fields growing GMO crops.

Read the rest of this item here.

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Thank you, in advance, for helping to make SourceWatch even stronger!

Editors' Pick

Walker’s Snow Job

by Mary Bottari

Walkers WEDC200px.jpg
The governor’s race in Wisconsin between the Republican incumbent, Scott Walker, and his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke, is coming down to one issue: jobs, jobs, jobs.

This summer Walker launched aggressive ads against Burke, charging that her family’s giant bike company, Trek, had outsourced jobs, an unusual line of attack for a pro-trade Republican who once sported a Chinese-U.S. flag pin. The Walker camp also dug out a failed economic development grant from the time she was the head of the state Department of Commerce.

The Walker team is cleverly trying to hit Burke where Walker himself is most vulnerable. It was not Burke who bungled a promise to create 250,000 jobs, then presided over one of the worst jobs creation records in the region. It was not Burke who created a scandal-plagued jobs agency, which has come under fire from federal officials and state auditors.

In November 2010, Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin on his jobs pledge and on his slogan to make Wisconsin "open for business."

On January 3, 2011, Walker was sworn into office and immediately called the legislature into a special session to get to work on his jobs agenda. One of the first bills Walker introduced privatized the Department of Commerce’s economic development functions. Walker made himself the chairman of the board of the public-private hybrid, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Read the rest of this item here.

Walmart’s Spin on Workers and Manufacturing Exposed

Walmart exterior200px.jpg
In response to the increasing media interest around the business practices of America's largest employer and retailer, the Center for Media and Democracy launched a new web resource on Walmart that fact checks the company’s advertisements and statements. Using the model of, Walmart’s profile in SourceWatch details Walmart’s employee pay and policies, its PR on veterans, its lobbying and political contributions, environmental impact and its spin on domestic sourcing. The site also includes a section analyzing the impact that the company’s business practices on shoppers.

Read the rest of this item here.
Visit the Walmart SourceWatch page for more!

Follow the Money! Wiki Resource

The Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of ALEC Exposed, brings you this unique wiki resource on the billionaire industrialists and the power and influence of the Koch cadre and Koch cash.

Read about Koch Funding Vehicles:

The Kochs' Anti-Civil Rights Roots

Vist Koch Exposed for more.

Watch the Video!

Watch Lisa Graves talk about her new article, "The Koch Cartel: Their Reach, Their Reactionary Agenda and Their Record."

Read the article here.

Featured SourceWatch Article is an interactive wiki website that depends on readers like you to improve content. If you want to help us grow SourceWatch with well documented research and become a volunteer editor, click here for more information.

Generation Opportunity

Excerpt from a longer SourceWatch article on Generation Opportunity:

Generation Opportunity (GenOp) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization based in Arlington, Virginia funded by Freedom Partners, a multimillion dollar Koch-tied funding vehicle. On the group's website, its describes itself as "a free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people promoting the best of Being American: opportunity, creativity and freedom."[1] According to OpenSecrets, "[i]n the three years for which tax information is available, Generation Opportunity has raised almost 86 percent of its funds from just two Koch-linked nonprofits."[2] In 2014, Generation opportunity has spent big money in Senate races against three Democrats: Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Udall (D-CO). Mary Bottari reported on that, "Gen Opp spent a total of $900,000 against Udall, $825,000 against Hagan, and $550,000 against Landrieu, bringing the ad buy to $2.275 million."[3]

2014 Election Cycle Ad Buys

”Shopping spree” ad that ran against Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado.
Generation Opportunity, a 501(c)(4) organization, has launched ad buys in several targeted Senate races in 2014, including ads against Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Udall (D-CO), costing over $2 million.

The organization has launched two basic ads in multiple states. One ad, used against Landrieu and Udall, caricatures the senators. In the ad, the two are played by actors and are depicted as children in a shopping cart, who appear to be gleefully overspending on unnecessary items. The ad criticizes their votes on government spending, claiming they are footing younger generations with the bill.[4][5]

Read the entire SourceWatch page on Generation Opportunity here (including source citations).

Web Resource on Outsourcing & Privatization

CMD Launches to "Expose the Private Companies Behind the Corporate Takeover of Public Services"

by PRW Staff

Outsourcing America Exposed
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of the award-winning, launched, a web resource devoted to helping taxpayers identify the corporations seeking to privatize public assets and services in their communities: including their schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, court systems, and more.

CMD has unveiled corporate profiles of America’s most notorious corporations that are quietly working with state and local lawmakers to take over public services with little accountability, along with in-depth examinations of the CEOs personally profiting from this corporate coup.

Read the profiles on featured privatizers:

Read the rest of this press release here.


Reporters' Guide to Rex Sinquefield and the Show-Me Institute

by Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischer

A-Reporters-Guide-to-Rex-Sinquefield cover200px.jpg
The Center for Media and Democracy and Progress Missouri released a new report on April 29 entitled, "Reporters' Guide to Rex Sinquefield and the Show-Me Institute," that should be an eye-opener for Missouri residents and national press.

"Sinquefield is one of the top right-wing political funders in the country, and the single top political spender in Missouri, where he has spent at least $31.5 million since 2006 seeking to reshape Missouri laws, legislators, and policies according to his own ideological mold," said co-author Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy/The Progressive. 

Read the full report here

Featured Video

Outsourcing America, Privatization Bites Back

Outsourcing America, Privatization Bites Back

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