Americans for Prosperity North Carolina is running deceptive robo-calls in predominantly African-American voting districts in North Carolina to try and drum up support for House Bill 810, a measure that loosens regulations on payday lenders and that is backed by financial interests. In the call, a woman identifies herself as "Joan with Americans for Prosperity North Carolina." "Joan" then tells call recipients they can "help create local jobs by supporting hometown lenders" by contacting Democratic House Representative Winkie Wilkins and asking him to support HB 810. "Joan" says the HB 810 will help "hometown lenders" and increase access to credit for "small businesses and families." The call does not mention that the bill raises the amount of interest lenders can charge on small loans from 25 to 36 percent, and provides for new fees and other measures that increase lender profits. The Center for Responsible Lending finds that the additional interest would cost North Carolina consumers between $50 million and $70 million, and that two thirds of that amount would accrue to CitiFinancial and American General, two big financial companies that have already received federal bailout money.
By Eric Carlson, Center for Media and Democracy
In July 2008, Florida lawyer Lynn Szymoniak received foreclosure papers on her home. Szymoniak had encountered financial difficulties after spending several years caring for her ailing mother while simultaneously fighting her own health problems, and failed to re-negotiate her adjustable-rate mortgage with her lender.
On Tuesday, the shareholders of Marshall and Ilsley (M&I) Bank of Wisconsin "voted" to give $71 million in bonuses to failed executives as part of an acquisition deal. "Voted" may not be the right word, since CEO Mark Furlong opened and closed the meeting within the span of five minutes, allowing no discussion and no questions from the dozen or so shareholders in the room. Furlong has apparently learned Robert's Rules of Order from his friend Governor Scott Walker and the rest of the gang in the Wisconsin Capitol.
This afternoon, the People's Rights Campaign, a coalition of labor and community organizations, organized a community action on Madison's Capitol Square.
At a rally held in front of Chase Bank on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin today, a few dozen people gathered to air their grievances against Chase and other U.S. corporations who will pay no taxes for 2010. Jeff Kravat of MoveOn hosted the rally along with Gene Lundergan, who gathered a group of four or five people to present a tax bill of almost $2 billion to the branch bank manager. This bill, for $1.988 billion, was drawn up using Chase's 2010 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a December 2008 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (pdf). When Lundergan, Steve Hughes of Young Progressives and several others approached the front entrance of the bank, they were refused admission by the security guard, so they left the bill propped in the front window.
On April 14 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa (R-California), held a hearing on state and municipal debt where the key question was State Budget Cuts: Choice or Necessity?
Chairman Issa started off by framing the issue in a manner that was thrilling to Wall Street barons and corporate big wigs. He said that states will face a shortfall of $112 billion in 2012 and the reasons for this were "obvious." The primary reasons, according to Issa, are reckless spending and unfunded or underfunded pension funds. The 2008 Wall Street financial crisis and the staggering job loss, which caused state and federal tax revenues to tank, were not mentioned.
And so it went. Flying in the face of fact and reason, Republicans insisted that states spend too much and that the best way to attack the state deficit problem is on the back of unionized workers, their only organized opposition in the electoral arena.
While Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan prepares to shut down the federal government to prove that government is bad, analysts say the radical agenda of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker suffered a major set back today as his good friend incumbent Justice David Prosser was defeated for Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Facebook event can be found here.
M&I Bank got a $1.7 billion bailout while working people get sold out. Their CEO got a golden parachute of $18 million only to turn around with his M&I Bankster cronies to be the largest contributors to Scott Walker's campaign.
Working people are fed up with big banks and the attacks on working families. We're not going to take it anymore.
On the day that the bill passed the Wisconsin Assembly effectively ending 50 years of collective bargaining in Wisconsin and eviscerating the ability of public unions to raise money through dues, a new front opened in the battle for the future of Wisconsin families.
Bagpipes blaring, hundreds of firefighters walked across the street from the Wisconsin Capitol building, stood outside the Marshall and Ilsley Bank (M&I Bank) and played a few tunes -- loudly. Later, a group of firefighter and consumers stopped back in at the bank to make a few transactions. One by one they closed their accounts and withdrew their life savings, totaling approximately $190,000. See a video clip. After the last customer left, the bank quickly closed its doors, just in case the spontaneous "Move Your Money" moment caught fire.
According to its newly-minted website, the Advocates "are dedicated to supporting the University of Wisconsin-Madison ... [and] will promote greater accountability through enhanced autonomy for this unique institution." This lobbying effort is similar to efforts afoot in other states to use state budget issues to privatize public higher education institutions and put more assets and power at the disposal of powerful corporate interests.
The lobby shop's PR description closely mirrors the title of the Wisconsin Public Research Institute's December 2010 report titled, "Making the University of Wisconsin More Accountable Through Greater Autonomy." WPRI is heavily funded by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a right-wing neo-conservative think tank.