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February 19 Update From The DPW Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 20 February 2017 14:21

martha-laningVote Tony Evers for Superintendent on Tuesday, Feb. 21st, how Trump puts National Security at risk, Democratic National Committee Chair Elections, Day Without Immigrants, Ron Kind’s Education Plan, and Things You May Have Missed.


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

Remember to Vote Tony Evers for Superintendent on Tuesday, Feb. 21st

If you haven't already, make a plan to vote for Tony Evers for Superintendent during Tuesday's spring primary elections. There are a host of important races on the ballot, including Evers' re-election bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Tony Evers is the only candidate in the race to oversee our state's schools who is a champion for fairly funding our public schools, increasing graduation rates, and creating pathways to family-sustaining jobs for young adults. People from all over Wisconsin are showing the enthusiasm Tony needs to win re-election.

Learn more about Tony on his website tonyforwisconsin.com
Learn more about what you need vote on Tuesday at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ .

President Trump and General Flynn Put National Security at Risk

American leadership is essential to keeping us safe and keeping our economy growing in the years ahead. But this week, our security was threatened, when it was revealed that President Trump's National Security Advisory, Michael Flynn, discussed previously administered sanctions against the Russian government with a Russian ambassador. Despite awareness of these potentially illegal conversations, Trump continued to give Flynn access to highly sensitive and classified information for weeks. 

Here is a great graphic showing the timeline which is really disturbing. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/14/us/politics/flynn-call-russia-timeline.html

Just because Flynn has resigned doesn’t mean this scandal is going away. Trump aides had repeated contact with Russia throughout his campaign, and Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin has the potential to undermine our democracy. This issue deserves to be fully investigated, and thankfully Wisconsin Democrats like Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan are calling for such an investigation.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin Republicans are more concerned with protecting themselves than examining Trump’s dangerous contact with Russia. Paul Ryan has defended Flynn, and Senator Ron Johnson is more focused on where the leaked information is coming from than the incriminating evidence itself. The people deserve to know just how beholden Trump is to Russia, but Wisconsin Republicans have turned this national security crisis into a partisan issue.

This week, I went on Wisconsin Public Radio to talk about this issue and urge Wisconsin Republicans to do the right thing. Take a listen and share it with your networks: http://www.wpr.org/listen/1062636

Democratic National Committee Chair Elections

Next weekend, the Democratic National Committee will select its next Party Chair during the DNC Winter Meetings in Atlanta, February 23–26. I’m proud to be casting my vote for Congressman Keith Ellison, a truly progressive Democratic leader. Keith will unleash the resources we need to build a stronger party message and a grow our grassroots field program that outpaces our counterparts not only in Wisconsin but across the nation.  

Congressman Ellison believes grassroots efforts are key to winning elections.  That's why he raised over $1 million dollars to support the Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party's initiatives and is credited with increasing turnout in his own safe district by a margin that helped the state wide races, like Governor, prevail in a very difficult year.  I know he has the vision and track record to implement a grassroots plan that will invigorate our diverse Democratic coalition and get people out to vote. Grassroots leadership is more important than ever, and Congressman Ellison’s grassroots experience will move our party forward.

In the lead up to the Winter Meeting, the DNC has held the most transparent officer election in party history. The DNC held four regional forums for DNC members and the public to hear from candidates for officer positions. All of these forums were open to the public and live-streamed on social media, and have since been posted in full on the DNC’s website.


Keep Up The Resistance

I am inspired each day by your activism in response to the out-of-touch lawmakers in Washington who want to pass truly un-American legislation at the expense of everyday American people and their families. Many thanks to all of you who are writing letters and postcards, calling offices, and attending town hall meetings. 

The resistance movement is growing, exploding to more than 4,500 local groups resisting the extreme right-wing Republican agenda in nearly every congressional district in the country. If you haven't already, take a look at the resources available for resistance on Indivisibleguide.com

Day Without Immigrants March a Symbol of the People’s Voice

This past Monday, thousands of demonstrators participated in a massive Day Without Immigrants march in Milwaukee - a symbol of the crucial impact immigrants have on our nation. With hundreds of local businesses closing, Monday's march helped paint a picture of what life would be like without one of our most important communities.

While voices on the right, like Milwaukee County’s Sheriff David Clarke, have tried to downplay the impressive display by the grassroots, there is no denying the power of the people’s voice. As Trump continues to attack immigrant communities with mean-spirited and unconstitutional executive orders, we must show that we will not back down. The only way to stand up to Trump and his Republican allies is to make our voices heard through peaceful and meaningful marches and protests. Republicans need to know that an attack on any community is an attack on all Americans, and we will continue to express our free speech until we are heard.  

Read more about Monday's march on JSOnline.com

Honoring the Life of Marcel Dandeneau

Marcel Dandeneau, a former state representative, died of cancer earlier this month. A committed activist for Democratic values, Dandeneau also served in the Korean War and was a teacher for nearly 30 years in Racine County. Dandeneau lived a life devoted to service and helping others, and his generosity and devotion are truly admirable. My condolences go out to his family during this tough time.

The Racine Journal Times did an excellent job of telling Marcel's story this week.

Rep. Ron Kind’s Introduces Education Plan Will Allow Wisconsin Students to Excel

Representative Ron Kind introduced his Higher Education Action Plan to an attentive audience of students and leaders from Wisconsin Technical Colleges this week. Representative Kind, who has always been an outspoken supporter for college affordability, cited higher education as a key to success for both Wisconsin and the nation as a whole.

In order to achieve his goal of enhancing the availability and impact of higher education, Rep. Kind has broken his plan into three distinctive parts. First, all high schools and especially those in rural areas need to be given the materials to educate students on their options for earning a degree. Secondly, Rep. Kind wants to ensure all Wisconsinites have access to affordable financial aid to whatever degree they pursue, be it a technical college or 4-year university. Finally, his plan focuses on making sure college graduates are able to compete for well-paying jobs and able to support themselves upon graduation. Ron Kind’s plan is exactly what Wisconsin needs to guarantee students can graduate high school or college with optimism for the future.

Read more about the Congressman's new education plan through his column in the Pierce County Herald.

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

With Sean Duffy out, Republican field for U.S. Senate in 2018 wide open
"'The Republican establishment in Washington is scrambling to avoid a divisive, messy Republican primary in Wisconsin,' said Gillian Drummond, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. 'No matter what circus emerges, Tammy Baldwin will continue to stand up to the powerful interests in Washington and fight for a Wisconsin economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.'" 

Sen. Johnson won’t commit to town hall meeting during Congressional recess
"Truax is part of group planning a town hall meeting of its own at the Brown County Library next week. They sent a letter inviting Senator Johnson to attend the event but so far they haven’t heard back."

Wisconsin taxpayers could pay another $175,000 for redistricting maps
"Taxpayers will spend up to $175,000 so state lawmakers can try to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to keep in place maps of legislative districts that help Republicans. The bill will add to more than $2.1 million in legal fees taxpayers have already paid to establish the maps and defend them in court. States must draw new legislative boundaries every 10 years to account for population shifts. With control of all of state government in 2011, Republicans crafted maps that greatly helped them in elections."

John Humphries suggested consulting contract to rival in superintendent's race
"Evers campaign spokeswoman Amanda Brink said the takeover plan Humphries and Holtz discussed would affect 'almost 20 percent of the public school kids in Wisconsin, and would strip away parents and community members’ rights to weigh in on their local districts.' Brink called it 'a massive power grab.' 'This is a proposal for a heavy-handed, top-down approach struck through a backroom deal between a few unnamed business leaders and two politicians looking out for their own financial interests,' Brink said.

State superintendent candidate: Challenger offered 6-figure job to drop out of race
A candidate for state superintendent offered an opponent a taxpayer-funded $150,000 job if he dropped out of the race and sought the same for himself if he were the one to drop out, his challenger alleged Wednesday.

Beloit May Not Be Eligible For Higher Aid
"If the School District of Beloit has 7,000 students, for example, it stands to forfeit roughly $4 million over the two-year period covered in the biennial budget, and more millions every year thereafter. "

Vruwink proposes anti-gerrymandering bill
"State Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, has co-authored a bill that would remove partisan redistricting from state legislative districts, according to a release. Vruwink's proposal would give redistricting power to the Legislative Reference Bureau every 10 years. Republicans outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the state Assembly and 20-13 in the state Senate, which is not reflective of Wisconsin's population, Vruwink said in the release."

Board: Unclear how 'enhanced oversight' results from Scott Walker plan to ax for-profit college watchdog
Board members of Wisconsin’s for-profit college watchdog said Wednesday they’re concerned by Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate the board in the next state budget. Walker, in his 2017-19 budget proposal released last week, moved to eliminate the state Educational Approval Board and transfer its duties to another agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services. The board licenses and regulates for-profit schools, which have weathered criticism for questionable marketing practices and degree programs.

Doyle, Walker differ on state budget locally
"Doyle cautioned that Walker’s proposed numbers could change as the Legislature picked the budget apart and different groups and interests battled it out in Madison. Numbers could also change as better information is gathered on the financial impacts of proposals such as the call to switch to a self-insurance system for public employees, which Walker’s office has estimated would save the state $60 million and is tied to the increased K-12 funding. 'Don’t spend the money until you have it in your bank account,' he told the board."

Last Updated on Monday, 20 February 2017 16:32
 

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