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Blogger Profile: Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is the Director of the Center for Media and Democracy’s Real Economy Project and editor of the BanksterUSA.org site for bank busting activists. She is an experienced policy wonk and public interest advocate. For the last ten years she has served as a senior analyst for the Washington, D.C.-based consumer group Public Citizen in its Global Trade Watch division. She has investigated and documented the impact of international trade agreements on public policy including in the areas of financial services, health care, toxics regulation, food safety, and the environment. Prior to her stint at Public Citizen, Mary was press secretary for U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and worked for many years in the Wisconsin State Senate. She has an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her family. Her favorite Wisconsin cheese is Prairie Ridge Reserve.

Mary Bottari's Blogs

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Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

September 21st, 2012

"Won't Back Down" Film Pushes ALEC Parent Trigger Proposal

Well-funded advocates of privatizing the nation's education system are employing a new strategy this fall to enlist support for the cause. The emotionally engaging Hollywood film "Won't Back Down" -- set for release September 28 -- portrays so-called "Parent Trigger" laws as an effective mechanism for transforming underperforming public schools. ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

June 4th, 2012

Will Scott Walker Be Given a Pink Slip, an Orange Jump Suit or a Second Chance?

Madison -- Since September of 2010 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) has been detailing an ongoing "John Doe" criminal investigation being run out of the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office involving Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's former staff and associates. The wide-ranging investigation has included allegations of campaign finance malfeasance, embezzlement ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

May 30th, 2012

Is "Right to Work" Next on Walker's Agenda?

Many are wondering if making Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state is next on Governor Scott Walker's agenda if he wins the recall election on June 5. Right to Work laws weaken unions by allowing members to opt out of paying dues. Workers get the benefit of working in a ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

February 23rd, 2012

On Anniversary of Prank Call the Real David Koch Wants to "Stop Union Power" in Wisconsin

One year ago this week, blogger Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast pranked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by posing as billionaire David Koch on a phone call. As the crowds at the Capitol protesting Walker's bill to end collective bargaining were increasing in size and volume, the fake Koch inquired ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

January 25th, 2012

Scott Walker’s Plutonomy: An Economy for the One Percent

While volunteer after volunteer from each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties marched into the state’s election board to deposit over one million signatures for the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Walker was nowhere to be found. At the hour petitions were being deposited on January 17, Mother Jones revealed that ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

December 21st, 2011

Break Up Bank of America Before it Breaks Us

On Monday, Bank of America (BofA) stocks briefly traded for under $5. Yes, you could buy a share of BofA for less than the noxious debit card fee they tried to force down your throat. BofA is massive, with assets equivalent to 15 percent of U.S. GDP. So why is ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

December 12th, 2011

FOX News, OWS, Banksters, and Bombs

Last week, tragedy was averted when savvy security at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, spotted a suspicious package and sequestered a letter bomb intended for the DB CEO. This was the second time Deutsche Bank was attacked in this manner. In 1989, their CEO was killed by a bomb later ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

November 4th, 2011

Robin Hood Tax Gains Ground at the G-20

The G-20 meeting in Cannes got underway this week. The sunny beach resort, playground to movie stars and media moguls was an odd choice for a somber G-20 meeting. As President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner touched down in Air Force One, the Greek government was on the verge ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

November 1st, 2011

Positive Policing From Wisconsin's "Original Occupation"

After two tours of duty in Iraq, 24-year-old Wisconsin native Scott Olsen managed to escape unscathed and with seven medals for valor. But Olsen was critically injured in an Occupy Oakland march last week by a police projectile. According to eyewitnesses, Olsen was acting as a human barrier between unarmed ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

October 12th, 2011

Chicago to Wall Street: Pay US Back!

While the Occupy Wall Street movement is sweeping the country and peaceful arrests are mounting, Chicagoans took to the streets this week to hold the big banks accountable for crashing the economy and to demand city, state and federal policies that work for working families. For many, the goal was ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

October 4th, 2011

The Occupation Is On The Move, Find a Big Bank Protest Near You

U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone used to say "sometimes you have to pick a fight to win one." Now Occupy Wall Street has picked one, right in Jamie Dimon's backyard. But it won’t stay contained in Zuccotti Park. While Brookfield Properties called the park a "public sanctuary" in 2005, they have ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

July 23rd, 2011

Consumer Bureau Launches in Shark-Infested Waters

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) throws open its doors to consumers this week, officially starting its mission to safeguard Americans from overly complex financial products and malignant banking practices. The bureau is the culmination of a national grassroots effort to hold the big banks accountable for the 2008 economic ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

July 20th, 2011

ALEC Exposed: Milton Friedman's Little Shop of Horrors

Although he passed away in 2006, states are now grappling with many of the toxic notions left behind by University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman. In her groundbreaking book, The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein coined the term "disaster capitalism" for the rapid-fire corporate re-engineering of societies still reeling from shock. ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

July 6th, 2011

Women’s Groups Call on Judge to Step Down Pending Investigation into Choking Incident

In the wake of allegations that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser placed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold in her office, women’s rights organizations and elected officials across the state are calling for him to step down until investigations are complete. Tense Confrontation Over Collective Bargaining Ruling ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

May 26th, 2011

Wisconsin Judge Declares Walker’s Collective Bargaining Bill “Null and Void”

Today, Wisconsin Judge Maryann Sumi ruled Governor Scott Walker's "budget repair bill," which would eviscerate collective bargaining rights for most public workers in the state, "null and void." Sumi ruled that lawmakers clearly violated the state's open meetings law in their rush to pass the bill at the height of ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

May 18th, 2011

Robin Hood Storms Chase Castle and M&I Execs Get Piggish

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, ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

May 7th, 2011

Big Bank Backlash: From Coast to Coast People are Moving their Money

As the economy continues to stutter and new unemployment claims surge to an eight month high, it hasn't escaped the notice of people on Main Street that the folks on Wall Street are back in the black. According to FORTUNE magazine, profits of the 500 largest U.S. corporations have surged ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

April 28th, 2011

Fire Fighters Turn off the Spigot

Remember when the fight broke out in Wisconsin over the right to collectively bargain and President Obama and a phalanx of national democratic leaders spread out across the country fighting for the rights of American workers?  Right, we don't remember that either. As unions battled for their very existence, the ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

April 18th, 2011

Sarah Palin: The Koch Brother’s Union Maid

Tax Day was approaching and the righties were out to denigrate government workers and government spending. Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, who quit her job in 2009, headlined a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, bought and paid for by the front-group Americans for Prosperity (AFR), but billed as a “grassroots” ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

April 6th, 2011

Court Race Throws a Spanner in the Works of Wisconsin Wingnuts

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. The AP ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

March 26th, 2011

Have You No Decency, Scott Walker?

William Cronon is a professor of history, geography and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the prize winning author of many books such as Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England, which revolutionized the study of environmental history. He is known as ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

March 23rd, 2011

Will “Bitches” and “Turds” Decide the Fate of Wisconsin?

The reign of lawlessness continues in Wisconsin. Last week, a local court issued a stay temporarily blocking the implementation of Governor Scott Walker's radical proposal to do away with most collective bargaining rights for public workers and cripple labor's ability to collect union dues. The court put a halt to ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

March 12th, 2011

WI Firefighters Spark "Move Your Money" Moment

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 ... continue reading

Mary Bottari

Director, Real Economy Project

March 4th, 2011

Scott Walker Down the Rat Hole with the Palace Guard

The Wisconsin State Capitol has erupted in a torrent of lawlessness this week that schoolchildren will be reading about for years. No, I don't mean rowdy protests resulting in mass arrests. Even though some 300,000 people have visited the capitol in the last two weeks, the crowds have been peaceful ... continue reading

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George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
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Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
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FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
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I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
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Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
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ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
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I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
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I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
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How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
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Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
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Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
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When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
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Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
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This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
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The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
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Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
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"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
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RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
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Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
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Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
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Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
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Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
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Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
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Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
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Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
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More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
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Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? ...by Ray McGovern www.michaelmoore.com Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
9:25 PM
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