Friday April 23, 2021

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Expanding BadgerCare is the Best Bang for our Buck PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Monday, 15 March 2021 15:28

badgercare-saveExpanding BadgerCare, as proposed in the budget, would net a $1 billion dollar incentive payment, and a recent Marquette Law Poll shows that 70% of Wisconsin residents approve.


MADISON - Who doesn’t love a good deal? It’s common for folks in Wisconsin to want to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck.

So why shouldn’t the Wisconsin legislature do the same? For years, Democrats have been pushing to expand BadgerCare because it ensures greater access to affordable, quality coverage, lower premiums and generates millions to be re-invested in programs that benefit all Wisconsinites. More coverage for less, that’s a great deal.

It’s a deal that just got better under the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Under this plan, if Wisconsin were to expand BadgerCare – as proposed in the Governor’s budget – Wisconsin would receive an additional billion dollar incentive payment.

Yes, you read that correctly. ONE BILLION DOLLARS. That’s in addition to the $634 million dollars of general purpose revenue Wisconsin would save and the 1.3 billion federal dollars we would leverage.

For those of you concerned about those big numbers and what that means for Wisconsin’s bottom line, it’s important to remember that Wisconsin would not save any money by choosing not to participate. Instead our tax dollars would go to other states that DO choose to participate. We are only one of twelve states that don’t.

If we have learned anything from the last year it’s the importance of access to affordable and quality healthcare. And once again, Gov. Evers is prioritizing healthcare for Wisconsinites by introducing a budget that makes critical investments in health services while also expanding BadgerCare.

jon-erpenbachWe’re now a full year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the stakes couldn’t be higher for our state’s ability to bounce back. The only thing standing between our state and over a billion dollars are legislative Republicans dead set on sticking it to the Governor.

During the last budget Republicans foolishly rejected BadgerCare expansion and there is absolutely no reason to make the same mistake again. Especially when there is even more money on the line.

There is no way to refute the fact that BadgerCare expansion is good for our state. States that have expanded their own programs saw positive impacts on their economies including: lower premiums, an increase in providers in rural areas, reductions in medical debt, reductions in infant mortality rates, and better reimbursements rates that helps attract and retain medical professionals.

More importantly it’s what you, the people of Wisconsin, want! The most recent Marquette Law Poll shows that 70% of Wisconsin residents approve of expanding BadgerCare.

It is the fiscally smart thing to do and the best deal for Wisconsin. To reject it would be a costly missed opportunity. Republicans have their second chance, and we should all be putting pressure on them to do what is right.

Jon Erpenbach represents the 27th Senate District which covers Sauk, Dane, Iowa, Columbia and Green County.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 15:50
 
Wis Democracy Campaign - No More Rigged Maps PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Sunday, 14 March 2021 16:09

voter-idMADISON - Last Thursday, the People’s Maps Commission held its hearing for the Second Congressional district, and I testified by Zoom. Here’s what I had to say:

No More Rigged Maps

There’s still time for you to submit comments to the People’s Maps Commission, which I’d encourage you to do by going here:

Public Input for People’s Maps Commission

We brought on a new staff member this week: Iuscely (Cely) Flores, our Racial Equity and Economic Justice Advocate. She hit the ground running with her posting on a new Economic Justice Bill of Rights that is being introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature:

Economic Justice Bill of Rights Gives a Glimmer of Hope

I wrote an editorial for the Wisconsin Examiner today on why we should all boycott the Uline Corporation. You can find out why here:

Boycott Uline

matt-rothschild-2018I’m also doing twice weekly radio commentaries for WMUU 102.9 here in Madison called Democracy Minute. If you’d like to listen to my praise for Biden’s recovery bill, here it is:

Hats off to Joe Biden

As you can see, we’re staying busy around here!

I hope you have a nice weekend.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

****

P.S. If you like the work we’re doing, please support us with a tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Thanks!

 
Stop the hate rhetoric against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Gordon Hintz Press, Rep. 54th Assembly District   
Friday, 12 March 2021 14:39

asian-american-pacific-islanderHintz supports President Biden's call to stop to this abhorrent, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric and to show all AAPI Wisconsinites they are valued and important.


OSHKOSH – On Thursday evening, President Biden, in a primetime address, condemned the uptick in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement:

gordon_hintz“I echo President Biden’s call to end the violence and hate rhetoric against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. As President Biden said in his speech last night, it is wrong, it is un-American, and it must stop.

“We must all condemn the racism and xenophobia that has long existed against the AAPI community, and which has increased since the start of the pandemic. Wisconsin’s AAPI communities and individuals are essential to the fabric of our state and nation’s history, and we have become more enriched because of their contributions.

“I urge all Wisconsinites to come together to put a stop to this abhorrent, racist, and xenophobic rhetoric and to show all AAPI Wisconsinites they are valued and they are important here in Wisconsin. Hate has no home in our state.”

 
Biden Just Made it Harder for GOP to Turn Down BadgerCare Expansion - Battleground Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 12 March 2021 11:43

biden-badgercare-2021MILWAUKEE - This week we discuss the historic passage of the American Rescue Plan, universal GOP opposition, and its implications in Wisconsin. In addition to the massive aid it provides to working people, the new law puts an extra $1.6 billion dollars on the table if Wisconsin finally passes BadgerCare Expansion. Will Legislative Republicans still stand in the way?

After reviewing major new agenda items that are moving in the next stage of Biden's reform agenda such as labor law reform, voting rights, and a massive green infrastructure plan, we have an exclusive interview with Wausau Mayor (and Citizen Action member) Katie Rosenberg on the city's exciting new guaranteed income pilot program.

Listen Now – Episode #483
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Press Clips

 
Gov. Evers Reflects on One Year of COVID-19 Response PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 12 March 2021 09:44

tony-evers-talks-2uLooks Ahead to Statewide Bounce Back in radio address.


MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address reflecting on the one year anniversary of his first statewide Public Health Emergency declaration on COVID-19 and his plan to ensure Wisconsin bounces back and better.

Audio file of Radio Address.

Hey, everyone. Governor Tony Evers here.

One year ago, on March 12th, I declared our first statewide Public Health Emergency for COVID-19.

At that time there was still so many unknowns. Not only in the nature of the virus itself, but what it would mean for our families, workers and businesses, and our communities.

We never could have known the tragedy it would bring to the families and loved ones of more than 6,500 Wisconsinites who died this year.

As we keep those lost in our hearts and on our minds, we now see light at the end of the tunnel.
Our vaccination program continues to expand and grow, and more than one million Wisconsinites have received their first dose and another more than 600,000 have completed their vaccine series.

And Wisconsin continues to be a national and regional leader in getting vaccines in arms.

As we see the road to recovery ahead of us and with federal relief funds on the way, it’s time for Wisconsin’s bounce back.

But we can’t just bounce back to the way things were before, we need to look forward and beyond the pandemic to build the future we want for our state.

That’s what my Badger Bounceback budget is all about.

Whether it’s investing in broadband to help businesses grow, students learn, and communities connect, expanding BadgerCare to ensure more Wisconsinites have healthcare coverage, or investing in our kids and schools, and the UW System and Technical Colleges to ensure we are building the next generation of innovators and leaders, there is obviously much work ahead of us.

Let’s get this done and let’s bounce back better. Take care, Wisconsin. Thank you.

 
False Election Claims Weaken Our Democracy PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jarret Brown, Green Bay   
Friday, 12 March 2021 06:06

gb-vote-47-linesWimberger claims false, Genrich, city staff, poll workers should be applauded for free and fair election in Green Bay.


GREEN BAY - Senator Eric Wimberger recently cited a “report” that included false claims about the handling of the November election by City of Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, the city’s staff, and poll workers. As an attorney and a public official, Wimberger has a duty to speak truthfully, act ethically, and defend democracy. Instead, he is trying to undermine the people’s confidence in the election results in order to rile up his base and damage Genrich politically by citing false claims.

eric-wimbergerThere is no evidence of any kind that anyone who was a part of administering the election did anything unethical, improper, or illegal. Wimberger’s insinuations are reckless, irresponsible, and dangerous. Furthermore, they are demeaning to the city employees and poll workers who took a degree of risk in order to ensure that every citizen had the opportunity to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genrich, the city’s staff, and the poll workers should be applauded for their efforts on election day. The process of freely and fairly electing government officials was carried out in a non-partisan and transparent way.

Jarrett Brown
Green Bay, Wisconsin

 
Raging Feminists Wrapped in Victim Blankets PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Laura Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Friday, 05 March 2021 18:10

laura-raging-femWoman, lifelong proud feminist, comments on where contemporary feminism seems to be going.


GREEN BAY, WI - This post might be particularly interesting to fellow Democrats. It’s part of the reason I’ve chosen to no longer be a member of my local chapter, the Democratic Party of Brown County Wisconsin .

I am proud to have been part of the women’s movement throughout my lifetime. A movement that won women the rights to vote, have credit cards, not be legally raped by their husbands, use birth control and generally be considered people instead of property, among other things.

As a result, issues such as basic inequality, sexual discrimination, the epidemic of domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse are now being addressed much differently and many freedoms have been won that had been denied to generations of women before mine.

However, I’m concerned about where contemporary feminism is going, and whether I can be part of it anymore. I’ve gotten old, but I’m still as passionately angry as ever about women being denied abortions, or treated like a piece of meat by lecherous bosses, or beaten up in their homes by husbands. I know what it feels like to have a loaded gun held to my head by an abusive husband, to be propositioned at work, denied a promotion solely because I was a woman. I have suffered my share of inappropriate comments and innuendoes from the opposite sex.

Regardless, I have always considered myself a survivor rather than a victim. I refuse to just assume I need protection from any person who doesn’t have a vagina. Being on guard and becoming enraged at every slight a man makes isn’t the most conducive way to effect change. And often, it turns the offender into he victim.

Outrage is easy to channel, hard to bottle up and at epidemic levels in so many areas of society that it’s difficult to take a step in today’s world without causing controversy. Moral certainty and intolerance are the vices that drag us into the worst of humanity’s sins. They do not provide the path towards a better future. Generalization is the mistake we make every time we set about changing the world by making enemies of those we feel have offended or insulted us in any way, or simply don’t agree with us.

Over the past few years mainstream feminism, like other forms of identity politics, has become obsessed with victimhood, in what I consider a seriously disempowering way. It has begun to feel like a religion, with its own strict rules about what women are permitted to say, do and think. And just as important, about what men are permitted to say or do, or behave.

In this world, a compliment, or a rude joke is harassment. A pat on the back is sexual assault. Asking someone out for a drink is abuse. Let me be clear: A violation of these rules may be unpleasant, but is NOT traumatic. Suggesting otherwise only diminishes the experience of those women who have indeed, suffered trauma.

laura-kiefert-2018For me, being a feminist has always meant supporting women’s freedom to be whoever they want to be, regardless of whether anyone else approves or not. I have come to believe that identity politics, taken to its extremes, is essentially divisive. The emphasis is on difference – what separates us from one another, not what unites us. Why would any confident, strong, capable woman want her identity wrapped up in being a victim?

In the highly competitive race for ultimate victimhood, contemporary feminism is already fractured along lines of class, race, sexual orientation, disability, and more. Women have become so enraged with the oppression they experience that they can’t hear anything but the muffled sound of their voices trying to escape from the victim blanket they have wrapped themselves so tightly in.

So, my advice is to stop raging. Solutions are not found when we are incensed. Instead of living in expectation of the next slight, try imagining that the vast majority of men want the same thing. The dream of a world more female shaped will only be realized using predominantly feminine qualities, such as reason, patience, endurance and emotional sensitivity. For that we need to be calm, rational and ready to listen, not in a state of rage. And, not by assuming the role of victim.

Laura Kiefert
Green Bay Progressive

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 March 2021 11:55
 
Wis Democracy Campaign - Article V Folly PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 05 March 2021 17:54

assembly-wi-robin-vosMADISON - This week, Republicans in the State Legislature introduced a bill, as they have before, to call for a Convention of the States, which is often referred to as an “Article V” way to amend the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a bad idea, for several reasons, which I outlined in testimony that I emailed to the Assembly Committee on the Constitution and Ethics:

Wisconsin GOP’s Misguided Move on Amending the Constitution

This week, we noted that Rebecca Kleefisch has been tossing a lot of money around to candidates here, as she prepares to run for governor. You can read about that here:

Former Lt. Gov’s New PAC Doled Out $121K to the State GOP, Legislative Candidates

matt-rothschild-2018And we’re continuing to meet with our partners in the Wisconsin Voting Rights Coalition to call attention to the nasty voter suppression bills that some GOP legislators are circulating. The Cap Times published my article on this, as you can see:

Matthew Rothschild: Say no to voter suppression bills

I hope you enjoy the nice weather this weekend!

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
“Busting the filibuster or bust” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 05 March 2021 11:38

filibuster-fightMILWAUKEE - This week the U.S. House passed a landmark voting rights bill, which will could set up the first major filibuster fight in the U.S. Senate. Are progressive Democrats ready for this fight and similar battles on the $15 minimum wage, immigration reform, climate transformation, a major jobs and infrastructure bill, and other key pieces of Biden’s agenda? Will centrist Democratic Senators yield to majority rule by ending the filibuster, or will they block the progressive reform Democrats promised voters?

QAnon Ron Johnson appears ready to lead the Senate Republican charge to block COVID relief for Americans, and the FBI shoots down his embarrassing theories about the Capital insurrection. We also preview the upcoming congressional fight for serious labor law reform which starts next week in the House. We close by welcoming State Representative Kristina Shelton and State Representative Francesca Hong’s chief of staff, Nada Elmikashfi, to discuss the new Economic Justice Bill of Rights for All Wisconsinites that was introduced this week.

Listen Now – Episode #482
Download Mp3
Press Clips

Last Updated on Friday, 05 March 2021 11:48
 
Gov. Radio Address - American Rescue Plan PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 04 March 2021 16:45

covid-19-restaurant-ownerMADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the American Rescue Plan and how it will provide much needed relief to Wisconsin's small businesses, workers, families, and schools.

Audio file of Radio Address.

tony-eversHi everyone, Governor Tony Evers here.

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan.

This is a new COVID-19 relief package that has broad support across Wisconsin because in addition to providing critical funding to continue to ramp up our vaccine distribution, this plan supports our small businesses with a $50 billion investment to help them keep their doors open and lights on. It also supports our workers and families with $1,400 relief assistance for individuals and it supports our communities with $350 billion going to state and local governments.

It also helps our kids by providing $130 billion to our schools and universities so that our kids and educators can learn and teach safely.

From Wisconsin small businesses and workers to our kids and schools, this federal assistance is needed by Wisconsinites in every corner of the state.

The American Rescue Plan, coupled with our Badger Bounceback agenda, will help make sure our communities and our state can get through this pandemic then bounce back and better than before. So, let’s get this done, folks.

Thank you.

 
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