Monday July 24, 2017

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Russ Feingold 'A bold thing to demand right now' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Russ Feingold   
Monday, 05 June 2017 11:21

russ-feingoldMADISON - This week I published an op-ed calling for a 21st Century Voting Rights Act to achieve today what the original VRA of 1965 set out to do: protect the equal right to vote for all.

To meet that standard today, we need to go beyond the original VRA and insist on a 50-state pre-clearance requirement to undo and prevent further voter suppression.

This is a bold thing to demand at a time when it seems like the deck is more stacked against us in Washington than ever. But right now, when we’re in the greatest legitimacy crisis our government has ever seen, is precisely the time we absolutely must demand this.

Thousands of your fellow supporters have already signed on to show their support for the 21st Century Voting Rights Act, but I didn’t see your name on the list. Will you join this effort today?

Join thousands of your fellow supporters now. Sign the petition to show your support for a 21st Century Voting Rights Act today.

A modern Voting Rights Act must include certain provisions, supplemented by state voting rights legislation if necessary, in order to truly restore legitimacy to our elections:

  • Establish an independent Office of Voting Rights, solely to review and approve any proposed changes to voting rights regulations in the country.
  • Establish a national standard for ID requirements that states cannot exceed.
  • Mandate same-day voter registration.
  • Mandate a minimum length of time for early voting.
  • Ban any change to voting laws within 90 days of an election.
  • Publicize any changes to voting regulations or procedures for a minimum length of time in multiple languages.
  • End felony disenfranchisement, which keeps one in 14 Black citizens nationwide from voting but only restrict one in 56 non-Black citizens.
  • End partisan gerrymandering so that the voters can choose their officials instead of officials choosing their voters.

Voting is the most important democratic right. Any infringement on the right to vote is a threat to the legitimacy of our democracy. This could be our generation’s civil rights moment, our 1965, and we must rise to meet it. We need a 21st Century Voting Rights Act. The onus is on us to demand one, and on Congress to pass it.

Sign the petition to show your support for a 21st Century Voting Rights Act today.

Just as the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 addressed many of the worst voter suppression tactics of its day, like poll taxes and literacy tests, so must the new 21st Century Voting Rights Act address modern abuses.

Thank you for standing up for our legitimacy,

Russ Feingold

 
Blue Jean Nation 'Show the way on health care, Wisconsin' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 03 June 2017 09:49

badgercareThe U.S. has the least efficient health care system among 11 developed nations, and solutions to this problem are not being developed in Washington. Wisconsin used to blaze new trails as a model for the nation to copy. Time to return to our pioneering roots.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 June 2017 10:56
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Gallagher Misses Out on Green Bay Town Hall PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 11:49

mike-gallagherConstituents show up to talk about health care and other issues with the person elected to represent them. He didn't show up to listen.


GREEN BAY - About a hundred constituents showed up last night at the Brown County Central Library last night to share their concerns with their new Congressman Mike Gallagher. He didn't show up to listen.

Granted, the "Town Hall" listening session had been organized by local liberal and Democratic advocacy groups, but did that make them any less his constituents? Gallagher had been elected last fall to represent the 8th Congressional District and all the people who live in it.

I had the "good fortune" to be on a stage in 2009 with then Congressman Steve Kagen as he fielded questions from Tea Party advocates about the bill that would become ObamaCare. It was not very pleasant. But he hung in there, and answered every question as best he could. He was elected to represent them too.

Many Republican elected officials today seem to prefer hiding out from their constituents, "speaking" only to them on FaceBook, on telephone conference calls, or at pre-arranged campaign stops at friendly venues. They screen all questions, and answer only those they select. They certainly don't dare to meet all the people they represent face to face.

According to news reports, health care coverage and the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, was the topic most wanted to discuss. Gallagher had supported the bill during a House vote earlier this month. A line of area residents presented their personal concerns, told stories about children with pre-existing conditions, told their fears about losing their health care, and fears about rising costs. An empty chair sat on the stage where their "representative" was supposed to listen.

Some critics called it political theatre. But that's the easy political cop out. So was Gallagher's "out of town on business" excuse. If people cannot talk to their representatives, who do they represent?

It appears many in Washington today, and not just Republicans, represent only the industries and businesses who pay their bills. Gallagher is just joining the long line.

That's not what our "representative form of government" was supposed to be about.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 12:48
 
State Budget Committee Action on Medicaid and DHS Falls Short PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Saturday, 27 May 2017 08:44

joint-finance-statebudRepublicans failed to plan for potential Federal changes to Medicaid and for healthy outcomes for families that may be affected.


MADISON - There are families all over Wisconsin losing sleep at night over the uncertainty that President Trump and Governor Walker have caused for individuals whose lives are affected by Medicaid.

Wisconsin Democrats value the health and success of all of our citizens and want to make sure we all have an opportunity for a healthy life. We have long advocated to accept the Federal Medicaid dollars Wisconsin taxpayers deserve. Taking that expansion would have put over $1.07 billion in our state budgets.

We have listened to the advocate communities and worked hard to quell the uncertainties we know families are feeling.

The opportunity for a healthy life should not be impacted by political games. Unfortunately Republicans have failed to plan for potential Federal changes and for healthy outcomes for families that may be affected.

 
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