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Democracy decays with focus on candidate funding, author says

Democracy decays with focus on candidate funding, author says

A local author and national political reporter's newest book discusses campaign funding and the 2012 presidential election.

The book, "Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America," written by John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney, was published earlier in June.

Nichols and McChesney both live part-time in Madison.

Nichols said the high-cost campaigns are threatening to make democracy too finance-focused.



Watch Nichols discuss the book, his theory of “Dollarocracy,” the media election complex and more with News 3 Monday.

56 arts projects, orgs get cut of $91K grants

More than 50 area artists and organizations got a cut of $91,775 in funding earmarked for cultural programs, city representatives said.

At its May 21 meeting, the Madison Common Council approved the recommendations of the Madison Arts Commission to award 56 of Madison's artists and non-profit organizations.

The commission said more than 90 percent of funding applicants received a grant, which MAC chair Leslee Nelson described as seed money.

“Especially for new projects, even a small amount of funding provides an endorsement that groups use to find additional resources required,” Nelson said in a news release.

The projects funded ranged from theatrical productions, dance and ballet programs, musical instruction at various schools, and more.

For a list of the 56 organizations and projects, visit the City of Madison website.

PTO presidents consider education challenges

PTO presidents consider education challenges

Although the school board elections are over, education-related issues still weigh on parents’ minds.

For Suzanne Swift, the president of Franklin-Randall Elementary School’s parent-teacher organization, the issues are the same as they have always been, despite certain ones being used by candidates to "hang their hats on.”

Filmmakers, political figures to take part in 'We Are Wisconsin' screening

Filmmakers, political figures to take part in 'We Are Wisconsin' screening

Documentary on Act 10 protests, movement to show at Alliant Energy Center  

On the second anniversary of the signing of Act 10 -- the 2011 bill passed by Gov. Scott Walker that stripped unions of nearly all bargaining rights -- activists will mark the date with screenings of a documentary on the anti-union law, "We are Wisconsin," plus a live webcast of a town hall discussion Monday at 6 p.m.

Senate passes mining bill

Senate passes mining bill

The state Senate has approved a Republican bill that would dramatically overhaul Wisconsin's mining regulations.

The measure is designed to ease the regulatory path for Gogebic Taconite's plans for a huge iron mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior.

The GOP contends the mine would create hundreds of jobs. Minority Democrats counter the bill would relax environmental protections and open the door to pollution that would devastate the pristine region.

The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill 17-16 Wednesday after nearly nine hours of debate.

Democrats said they are disappointed but not shocked that the bill passed because they knew early on they didn't have the votes to stop it.

Republicans defended their bill and the process used to pass it all day as well as afterward to reporters.

Senator to talk with seniors on mining bill

Senator to talk with seniors on mining bill

Democrat will discuss issues on the controversial legislation at forum    

The Madison Senior Center downtown will host a presentation with Senator Tim Cullen in mid-February on mining legislation.

Cullen, D-Janesville, will talk about mining issues and take questions on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. in a political forum at the center.

As part of a Senate committee on mining, Cullen heard testimony from experts and people affected by the proposal to mine iron ore in Northern Wisconsin. He drafted a bill to permit mining without changing environmental protections.

County joins efforts to help youth vulnerable to sex trafficking

Funds, coordination key topics in conversation on ending the crime    

Dane County is taking steps to raise awareness on the issue of human sex trafficking.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Thursday that the county is focused on coordinated education efforts and resources for homeless and runaway youth.

The 2013 county budget includes $30,000 to replace recently eliminated federal funds that support outreach services to homeless and runaway youth, a group that youth advocates cautioned are susceptible to trafficking.

"At the very base, this problem exists because there's a demand for people to buy sex," Parisi said. "People need to realize if they're going to go out and purchase someone's body to use, that is not a victimless crime."