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Mary Bottari
Mary Bottari is the Managing Editor of the Center for Media and Democracy, the award-winning publisher of, and

Entries by Mary Bottari

Hot Topics at ALEC's 2015 Meeting This Week in San Diego

(40) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 12:33 PM

Co-authored with Brendan Fischer

2015-07-20-1437408222-2140373-feel_the_burn.jpgThis week, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," will bring together hundreds of corporate lobbyists with state and local politicians at a posh hotel in San Diego for the group's annual meeting.

ALEC alum Scott Walker,...

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Scott Walker Begins His Run for the White House, A Report From the Badger State

(32) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 2:09 PM

Scott Walker announced for president today. After standing for 25 primary and general elections in 25 years, Walker has now set his eyes on the White House.

As he officially hits the campaign trail this week, he will tout himself as a "fresh face" and a bold reformer, a...

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To Celebrate the Fourth, Scott Walker's GOP Declares Secrecy

(0) Comments | Posted July 4, 2015 | 9:40 AM

By Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari

America fought a revolution against secret and unaccountable government, but this Fourth of July Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP are planning on gutting Wisconsin's open records law, the strongest in the nation.



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House Democrats Take the Moral High Ground on Trade

(21) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 2:24 PM

2015-06-15-1434388984-173119-stopfasttrackOLBCA.jpgPresident Obama made a rare visit to Capitol Hill on Friday in a last-ditch effort to rescue his free-trade agenda. He gave a short speech and took no questions, urging the House Democratic caucus to "play it straight," swallow their doubts, and hand...

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Scott Walker: The First ALEC President?

(133) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 5:45 PM

Co-written with Brendan Fischer

2015-06-03-1433342463-35813-alec_white_house_web.jpgWisconsin Governor Scott Walker will address the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in San Diego this July.

Walker's speech at ALEC will be a reunion of sorts. Walker was an ALEC member as a state...

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Scott Walker Dumped as Chair of the Jobs Agency He Created

(90) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 5:06 PM

2015-05-26-1432653624-6598041-walkers_wedc600x350px_0.jpgWisconsin Governor Scott Walker won his election in 2010 on a promise to create 250,000 new jobs. To lead the effort, Walker created his flagship Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in 2011 and named himself Chairman of the Board.

Now, as allegations of...

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Privatization Fail: Scott Walker's WEDC in Full Meltdown

(654) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 12:30 AM

During the 2010 campaign for governor, Scott Walker famously promised to create 250,000 jobs in his first term.

Toward this end, one of his first acts as governor was to privatize the state's economic development agency. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) opened its doors in July 2011. After a series...

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GOP Prosecutor Defends Scott Walker Criminal Probe, Says "Let's Get the Truth Out"

(146) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 8:49 PM

-- By Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari

2015-05-02-1430527728-3965560-scott_walker_630px.jpgTwo career prosecutors--one a Republican, one a Democrat--just called Scott Walker a liar, and not a single national newspaper took notice.

The comments came after Walker, an unannounced candidate for president, used an appearance on an...

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Koch Brothers Declare Scott Walker Is Their Man

(82) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 2:53 PM

Co-written with Brendan Fischer

Has Scott Walker won the Koch primary?

2015-04-21-1429629538-6988272-david_h_koch.jpgCharles and David Koch, the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held companies in the world and the overseers of one of the biggest private political organizations in the...

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Walker's Dark Money Allies Orchestrate Coup of the Courts

(231) Comments | Posted April 19, 2015 | 4:39 PM

Two court cases next week -- one being heard in open court, another being considered in silence behind closed doors -- will decide the future of Wisconsin campaign finance law, the independence of the Wisconsin judiciary, and will impact the future of presidential candidate Scott Walker.

The stakes could not be higher, but the...

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Hotel Industry Spins Wage Hikes as 'Extreme' While CEOs Rake in Millions

(72) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 8:48 AM

-- Co-written with Jody Knauss

2015-04-13-1428968357-1033496-HyattMark_Hoplamazian6.3Million600x350px.jpgHotels are making a killing. Occupancy rates are exceeding pre-recession highs, and are expected to reach record levels in 2016.  Profits per room are up over 11 percent this April compared to April 2014...

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WMC Spends $600,000 to Demote Chief Justice as Criminal Probe of Walker Campaign Looms

(30) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 9:09 AM

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), Wisconsin's premier lobby for corporate tax breaks and low-wage jobs, has unleashed a $600,000 ad blitz to strip Wisconsin's independent chief justice of her title just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court prepares to take up the "John Doe" criminal probe of Scott Walker and the...

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The ALEC-Backed War on Local Democracy

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 9:37 AM

Coauthored by Brendan Fischer

After the town of Denton, Texas passed2015-03-28-1427556023-6867707-Stop_Meddling_City_Hall600x350px.jpg a ballot initiative banning fracking in November 2014, the oil and gas industry reacted with outrage and swiftly filed suit. Politicians in the state capitol responded with a fusillade of bills to...

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Full Koch Press for ALEC Right-to-Work Bill in Wisconsin

(118) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 10:23 AM

As the Wisconsin legislature gets ready to ram through a union-busting bill that will significantly impact the economy of the entire state, the newest member of Wisconsin's Senate asked perhaps the most pertinent question of her Republican colleagues: "What beating hearts are for this bill?"

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Scott Walker Pushes ALEC 'Right to Work' Bill, Divide and Conquer Comes Full Circle

(221) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 3:29 PM

Just weeks ago, the Washington Post described Scott Walker as the first "It" candidate of the 2016 presidential races, but after stumbling over "truth," evolution, and whether or not the President is a Christian or loves America, Walker is getting ready to change the topic.

On Friday, Wisconsin GOP...

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Governor Scott Walker Tripped Up by the Truth

(502) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 12:52 PM

By Mary Bottari and Jonas Persson

MADISON -- This week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got tripped up by the truth.

First Walker announced he was going to slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin budget, devastating cuts that will fall hardest on students;

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Money Trail Revealed: Did Eric O'Keefe Pay James O'Keefe for Hatchet Job on Wisconsin GOP Senate President?

(19) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 8:38 AM

2015-01-28-ericokeefe.jpgIn 2014, as March drew to an end but the cold Wisconsin winter refused to let go, State Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) stopped at his favorite after-work hangout to relax after a long session in the Capitol. After a few...

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Koch-Tied Group Pushes New Union-Busting Bill in Wisconsin

(234) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Co-authored by Brendan Fischer

Just weeks after Wisconsin's controversial Governor Scott Walker was elected to a second term, a group with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers has launched a new effort to destroy unions.


In 2011, Wisconsin passed Act 10, a complex...

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President Walker? 5 Things You Should Know About Scott (Calvin) Walker

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 12:17 PM

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is walking and talking a lot like he is running for President of the United States. The Wisconsin governor who famously told his cabinet that he was inspired by Ronald Reagan in his effort to kill Wisconsin unions is throwing his hat into the ring, and...

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Richmond Voters Beat Chevron's Corporate Coup d' Etat

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 1:07 PM

Coauthored by Jonas Persson

In Richmond, California, three seats on the City Council were up for election; the city also stood to elect a new mayor. Nothing unusual in this, perhaps, was it not for Chevron's $3.1 million campaign to highjack the elections, which was first revealed by...

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