Friday September 18, 2020

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Key swing-state election lawsuits could help shape the presidential race PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 18 September 2020 09:24

vote-47-mb1In Wisconsin, residents filed a lawsuit against state officials who forced in-person voting in April. The RNC and the Republican Party of Wisconsin back the defendants.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 September 2020 09:52
Housing Crisis in a Pandemic PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 09:41

eviction-noticeSen. Smith writes about the resources currently available to Wisconsinites to cover mortgage or rental costs, including those recommended by the Treasurers’ Homeowners Task Force, the CDC eviction moratorium and the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 10:08
Officials Encourage Wisconsinites Who Lost Health Insurance Anytime this Year to Enroll PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 13:59

healthcare-family-drAffordable healthcare is key to living a healthy life and that is no more true than during this COVID-19 pandemic.

$8 Million TRAVEL Grants Program Helps Tourism Industry PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 13:39

wakeboardingGrant application period open for tourism promotion and development organizations to support tourism operations, marketing impacted by COVID-19

Fauci disagrees with Trump that US rounding 'final turn' on pandemic PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Saturday, 12 September 2020 15:42

trump-fauci-200323-abcnewsIf Americans aren't careful, the pandemic could worsen says Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Evers Announces Judicial Panel Selections for the People's Maps Commission PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 September 2020 14:38

voting-2020Commission public hearing schedule announced, to hold first public hearing in October.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday the members who will serve on the People's Maps Commission, a nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps based on 2020 U.S. Census data. In January, the governor signed Executive Order #66 creating the Commission following his 2020 State of the State Address.

tony-evers“When elected officials are able to ignore the people they represent time and time again, something’s wrong, folks,” said Gov. Evers. “I am grateful for Justice Geske, Judge Troy, and Judge Higginbotham who have selected a diverse, talented, and energetic group of folks who are going to lead the way on fair maps for Wisconsin. These nine Wisconsinites have stepped up to serve their neighbors and communities across our state. They won’t answer to any elected officials, candidates, or political parties—they're going to be listening to people in every corner of our state to ensure Wisconsin’s next maps will truly belong to the people, not politicians.”

Fifty-four of Wisconsin's 72 counties encompassing more than 80 percent of Wisconsin's population have passed resolutions or referenda supporting nonpartisan redistricting. According to a Marquette University Law School Poll, more than 70 percent of Wisconsinites prefer a nonpartisan commission conduct redistricting. Although nonpartisan redistricting proposals have been introduced in the Legislature for several legislative biennia – and have even received bipartisan support – none of those proposals have passed the Republican-controlled Legislature. The governor’s proposed 2019-21 biennial budget included a nonpartisan redistricting proposal that was ultimately removed by Republicans during the Joint Finance Committee process.

In July, Gov. Evers announced the application process to serve on the Commission and that a panel of three retired judges—Justice Janine Geske, Judge Joseph Troy, and Judge Paul Higginbotham—would review and select commission members to ensure fairness and impartiality in the application process. The nine commission members were selected from a pool of 270 eligible applicants. Under Executive Order #66, commission members cannot be lobbyists, political candidates, state or local officials, or officers or members of the governing body of a political party.

The Commission will hold at least eight hearings across the state to listen to experts and Wisconsinites alike regarding redistricting, why it matters, and how it works. Following the release of data from of the 2020 U.S. Census, the Commission will use the information gathered during the public hearing process to prepare maps for the Legislature’s consideration. It will be up to the Legislature to take up and pass the maps created by The People’s Maps Commission. Selected members of the People’s Maps Commission are:

  • Elizabeth Tobias, of Racine, will represent the 1st Congressional District. Tobias is the executive assistant to the Board of Education for the Racine Unified School District. Tobias is a member of the Wisconsin Association of School Superintendents and the American Society of Administrative Professionals; 

  • Ruben Anthony, Jr., of Middleton, will represent the 2nd Congressional District. Anthony is the current President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison and previously served the Wisconsin Department of Transportation under both Democratic and Republican administrations;

  • Annemarie McClellan, of Menomonie, will be representing the 3rd Congressional District. McClellan is currently enjoying her retirement after a career in manufacturing and clinical research. She is currently the Co-President of her local chapter of the League of Women Voters and has served as a poll worker and election observer;

  • Christopher Ford, of Whitefish Bay, will represent the 4th Congressional District. Ford is an emergency physician serving one of the one of the highest COVID-19 prevalence populations in the state. He is a member of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine Residents Association, and an advisory board member of the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children;

  • Benjamin Rangel, of Milwaukee, will represent the 4th Congressional District. Rangel is a high school teacher in Milwaukee, teaching government and history. He is the managing editor of Bridge the City and previously worked as a development coordinator for City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps;

  • Susan Ranft, of Wauwatosa, will represent the 5th Congressional District. Ranft is the Vice President, Global Human Resources for Manpower Group, previously served as the President and member of the Governance Board of the Wauwatosa STEM Elementary School, and is an active member of TEMPO Milwaukee;

  • Melissa Prentice, of Sheboygan, will represent the 6th Congressional District. She is a librarian and public services manager for the city of Sheboygan at Mead Public Library. Prentice has been involved with the Wisconsin Library Association, her local chapter of the League of Women Voters, and was the library representative for the city of Sheboygan DIEB initiative working on diversity and inclusion;

  • Jason Bisonette, of Hayward, will represent the 7th Congressional District. Bisonette is the Dean of Students for a small K-12 tribal school on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation and the Board Chair for the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College; and

  • Anthony Phillips, of Appleton, will represent the 8th Congressional District. Phillips is a physician with Theda Care Hematology and Oncology and has been involved with several grassroots organizations working on election and campaign issues, including Fair Maps Wisconsin and Voters First WI.

Due to COVID-19, the People's Maps Commission will host virtual public hearings for each of Wisconsin's congressional districts. Agendas and additional details will be announced in advance of meeting dates. The hearing dates are as follows:

  • Thursday, October 1, 2020, 8th Congressional District
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020, 5th Congressional District
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020, 3rd Congressional District
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 4th Congressional District
  • January hearing date TBD, 7th Congressional District
  • February hearing date TBD, 1st Congressional District
  • March hearing date TBD, 6th Congressional District
  • April hearing date TBD, 2nd Congressional District

Additional information on The People's Maps Commission, the application and selection process, and general resources on redistricting are available here.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 September 2020 16:04
$18 Million in Public Transit Grants for Wisconsin Communities PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 September 2020 13:55

evers-in-gb-2019Grants will enable Beloit, Wausau, Sheboygan, Madison, Eau Claire, Racine, Green Bay, and La Crosse to purchase a total of 34 public transit buses.

G.I. Bill Is Great For Veterans, America, But Not Enough PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Friday, 11 September 2020 13:19

veteran-va-hospitalThe VA healthcare system has been continuously cut back by Republicans who want to privatize that system.

Brookfield, WI – It's one of the programs that has always paid huge dividends.  The G.I. Bill of Rights, an educational grant and a first time home buyer benefit for military veterans, has given opportunity to millions and contributed to the American economy. Democrat Tom Palzewicz, running for the Fifth Congressional District seat, is a classic case in point.

Upon returning home from a six-year hitch in the U.S. Navy, Palzewicz got his degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  That led to a career in banking, followed by a career as a business consultant. When he and wife, Terri, bought their first home, it was the G.I. Bill that made that a possibility.

vets-gi-bill“The educational access was essential to my getting established professionally,” said Palzewicz. “We would not have been able to buy our first home without the G.I. Bill. Terri and I would not have been able to afford the down-payment alone, but it was basically no money down. When you help veterans with college, they will repay that grant thousands of times over. It's a very good risk.”

While many will agree with the basics of the G.I. Bill, what is not necessarily thought about is healthcare for returning veterans. Palzewicz believes all returning veterans should have access to mental healthcare.

“The VA healthcare system has been continuously cut back,” said Palzewicz.   “The reason behind this action is that Republicans want to privatize that system.  In 2014 President Obama signed a reform bill to give the Department of Veterans Affairs the necessary resources they need to care for our men and women in uniform.  Obama made the move to hold people accountable for misconduct and reached out to more than 200,000 vets, who were on wait lists and did not have immediate access to care.”

tom-palzewiczPalzewicz stresses the need to take care of veterans and advocates for providing the requisite funding to the VA to ensure the programs are carried out.  He also sees the need to develop a universal healthcare plan to ensure that veterans are covered, as well as the general public.

“I think of universal healthcare as Medicare for all and that would mean our veterans are covered,” said Palzewicz. “ We need to build a better healthcare system. Once we have universal healthcare, which will benefit everybody, we no longer need to have a separate veteran's healthcare system. We no longer have to have a separate Medicare system or Medicaid system or Badger care.  It is straight forward, everybody is covered.

“From a financial standpoint, by just covering everyone, we can also save a lot of money which would otherwise go to funding all these separate agencies.  We put that money into paying for the coverage.  We can streamline the system, while ensuring quality care and save money in the process.”

Palzewicz understands the needs of returning vets and the necessity of their having access to specialized healthcare.  He would rather the focus be on fulfilling  those needs and not on the bureaucracy of multiple agencies duplicating effort.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 September 2020 13:47
Wisconsin Voices Continue to Hold Trump Accountable PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 11 September 2020 09:53

trump-golf-2020Wisconsinites "suffered and saw their livelihoods destroyed because of Trump...Like the rest of the country, we are reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump’s failed response," says President of Farmers Union.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 September 2020 10:12
Evers Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Honor of 9/11 PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 September 2020 08:17

9-11-memorialHonor on State Day of Service and Remembrance.

MADISON — On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #88 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Friday in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 lives lost in the attacks on Sep. 11, 2001 and in honor of the State Day of Service. 

tony-evers“On the 19th anniversary of September 11th, we pay tribute to the those who lost their lives, the survivors and surviving family members and loved ones, and the first responders, volunteers, and other countless heroes who responded during a time of great need,” said Gov. Evers. “We continue to strive toward that which has held us together when tragedy strikes, our resilience, our spirit of service, and the resolve to find strength through unity and purpose.”

The governor encourages Wisconsinites who wish to participate in the State Day of Service to do so safely by following all Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommendations. Wisconsinites can participate by finding service opportunities in their neighborhoods and communities paying it forward with an act of kindness. Some volunteer opportunities, including virtual or low contact opportunities, are available here at the United Way of Wisconsin, Serve Wisconsin and Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association website. 

Executive Order #88 is available here.

Fitzgerald Refuses To Debate in 5th Congressional District Race PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Thursday, 10 September 2020 09:28

scott-fitzgerald“He's counting on his heavily red district to automatically vote Republican, without considering the issues," says Democratic opponent Palzewicz.

Brookfield, WI – Scott Fitzgerald is setting a dangerous precedent.  The Fifth Congressional District seat is open in this election, but Fitzgerald will not consider a debate with Democrat Tom Palzewicz.  He will not return a phone call.  Fitzgerald is not interested in the democratic process, he prefers to do nothing as usual.

When Governor Tony Evers called the full-time Wisconsin Legislature back into session, the Republican majority complied in a “session”, as they graveled in and graveled out, doing absolutely nothing.  Fitzgerald, along with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, did what they always do—nothing.

Fitzgerald, Vos, has dominated the political landscape in Wisconsin for several years, from pushing through Act 10, to the recent Supreme Court action cutting off the Badger Bounceback Plan and the efforts by Evers to halt the spread of Covid-19.   Rather than legislating, Republicans seem to be more comfortable with litigating. Along the way, Fitzgerald and Vos have made Wisconsin one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation.

tom-palzewicz“Wisconsin has a full-time legislature and they don't even meet,” said Palzewicz.  “There is no democratic process in Wisconsin.  It is an authoritarian approach to governing, just ignore the public and do what you want.  Fitzgerald has used his power to gerrymander his district to heavily favor his candidacy, he doesn't go to work, and he won't debate.  He gets paid full time wages for not working.

“He's counting on his heavily red district to automatically vote Republican, without considering the issues, without any public exchange of ideas or positions.  He wants to ride to Washington on the coattails of President Trump, never having to stand up to scrutiny or challenge.  He is counting on people not paying attention.  Becoming a Congressman is not an entitlement, it's a privilege.  People expect their elected representatives to go to work for the collective good, not just for personal gain or party.”

Fitzgerald's unwillingness to debate follows the model of the retiring Jim Sensenbrenner, who never debated an opponent.  Sensenbrenner would hold town hall meetings, which were not listening sessions, but just personal appearances to advance his opinions.  For over 40 years, Sensenbrenner never changed his approach.

“Authoritarianism does not allow for the open exchange of ideas,” said Palzewicz. “Authoritarianism is the antithesis of democracy.  Fitzgerald wants to support the current regime in Washington and not allow the Congress to act, the courts to rule.  He will not support our institutions, such as the CIA, the FBI, the CDC, because Trump does not believe in them. Trump says that anyone who does not stand with him is anti-American and that he and he alone has all the answers for the country. I will fight for the right of people to be heard and that means listening and really hearing them.

“It's time for Americans to embrace what democracy is all about and not be fooled by the promises of those who have no intention of keeping them.  America is made great by its people being informed, active and not allowing authoritarianism to limit their choices.  It's time to give America back to Americans.”

Palzewicz welcomes any opportunity to debate the issues of the Fifth District.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 September 2020 09:41
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