Tuesday September 26, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

"Eye on 2018 Election" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 25 August 2017 07:59

eyeon_2How the Foxconn giveaway will shape the political environment and test candidates in the Governor's race, Paul Ryan’s fake town hall with CNN, and more...

MILWAUKEE - We take a sneak peak at the developing 2018 governor's race. We discuss how issues like the Foxconn giveaway will shape the political environment and test candidates. Robert updates us on on the growing public opposition to the Foxconn deal, including 3 news events held by Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative in Eau Claire, Wausau, and Appleton.

Jorna reviews Paul Ryan’s fake town hall with CNN that was not open to the public. Also, GOP Sen. Tom Tiffany is threatening Wisconsin’s mining moratorium and Citizen Action is hosting a forum featuring 2018 Supreme Court candidates Rebecca Dallet and Tim Burns in Milwaukee on Thursday, September 14th @ 6pm.

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Wis Democracy Campaign "Trump, Walker, and Us!" PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 25 August 2017 07:33

wdc-countiesFair district maps campaign, Foxconn, state party fundraising, and more...

MADISON - After Charlottesville, and Donald Trump’s reprehensible responses to it, more and more people are becoming aware of how fragile our democracy is.

Last Sunday, I went up to Stoddard, Wisconsin, to give a talk to the Vernon County Democrats on this subject, and I noted that democracy is not doing too well under Scott Walker, either. But I also laid out reasons for hope, as you’ll see here:

Our democracy is hanging by a thread

Tonight, I’m going up to Shell Lake, near Spooner, to give a similar talk to the new group, Indivisible of Northwestern Wisconsin. And I’d be happy to give a talk in your community, too, so just send me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I know there’s a hunger for this discussion.

While watching the news on Monday, I saw that Walker got some UW doctors to front for him and Foxconn. We found out who the doctors were, and some were donors to Walker:

Walker flanked by donors at UW Hospital to promote Foxconn

And in one of our periodic postings, we noted that Republicans in Wisconsin are far outraising their Democratic counterparts so far this year:

Wisconsin GOP outraises Dems 3 to 1 in the first six months of 2017

I mentioned that I’m not losing hope. Here’s one reason: The tremendous momentum in Wisconsin for adopting fair voting maps – for ending gerrymandering in Wisconsin once and for all. The momentum picked up speed in just the last two weeks:

Three more counties on board for Fair Maps!

It’s this activism for democracy at the grassroots, which the media tends to ignore, that will bring us through the Age of Trump and the Age of Walker.

Of that, I am sure.


Matt Rothschild


If you’d like to support the urgent work we do here at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, please send us a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 August 2017 07:50
Blue Jean Nation 'The taproot of our many problems' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 06:56

trump-walkerWe have a poisoned political culture that glorifies greed, dooming us to a government that works for a wealthy and well-connected few at everyone else’s expense.

ALTOONA, WI - Wisconsin is up to its eyeballs in problems. Our state has lost its way. It is becoming a shadow of its former self. Same goes for the country as a whole.

The problems vary from place to place. Go to Trempealeau County and you see hills and bluffs disappearing and hear fears expressed over the effects of breathing the fine dust that hangs in the air or drinking water that has turned an amber color. In the Central Sands region you see lakes and streams drying up because a few are being allowed to drill high-capacity wells and hog all the water. In Kewaunee County you are told about massive industrial feedlots and how a third of private wells have been poisoned and you see someone turn on a water tap and what comes out of the faucet is brown and smells like cow manure. A few counties away parents are frightened about what old lead pipes in their community’s water system might be doing to their children.

Real peopleSomewhere else you run into young Millennials buried under a mountain of student debt. One owes $30,000. Another $80,000. A third carries over $100,000 in debt. All of them wonder how they are going to dig out of the hole they are in. All of them wonder when — or if — they will ever be able to buy a car or make a down payment on a house. Another place you meet a farmer who now is expected to file payroll taxes online but has no Internet access out on the farm.

At the next stop everyone is talking about the criminal justice system and racial profiling and mass incarceration. And how impossible it is to make ends meet earning the minimum wage. Then you meet some former factory workers who used to make $25 an hour working on an assembly line but could only find work paying $11 or $12 an hour after the plant closed. Their standard of living has been cut in half. They find little comfort in the news that the state’s unemployment rate is coming down some. They can find a job. What’s next to impossible to find is work that keeps them in the middle class.

Down the road a piece are town officials agonizing over a decision to tear up paved roads and go back to gravel because they can’t afford to maintain the pavement and keep filling all the potholes. Next you arrive in a community where the townspeople are resigned to their local school closing. They know how that school is a hub of local activity, and they know losing it will be a death sentence for their town.

The problems vary widely from place to place. But they all grow from the same taproot, a poisoned political culture that glorifies greed, dooming us to a government that works for a wealthy and well-connected few at everyone else’s expense and an economy that benefits a privileged few and leaves so many behind. The issue is inequality, both political and economic. The problem is privilege, both political and economic.

Solving the many problems plaguing Wisconsin and America depends on remedying the one behind them all.

— Mike McCabe

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 07:46
Looking at the FOXCONN Deal with a Wisconsin Perspective PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 16:29

Walker-gouThere is real desperation here, because our job growth has trailed the National average 22 straight quarters, but that doesn’t mean we need to give away the farm. We can do better.

MADISON - Every single elected official is interested and willing to help businesses build and create family supporting jobs here in Wisconsin. That’s because our job growth has trailed the National average 22 straight quarters, every single quarter since Governor Walker created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). There is real desperation, because there is real need. But that doesn’t mean we need to give away the farm (literally) for the big fish that falls into our lap. We can work hard and build the businesses we have with investments in education and training, infrastructure, and our assets as a state like the environment.

erpenbachWe all love Wisconsin because it is such a beautiful area to live, raise a family, and retire. Every corner of our state has pristine natural areas we all use for recreation, hunting and other leisure activities. Sacrificing those natural areas as a part of the FOXCONN deal is foolish. Directly putting our water, air and environment at risk is bad public policy. The “give away our environment” attitude with this deal also opens the door to exempt future economic development deals from environmental approval rules and is simply unacceptable. We have dozens of examples of Wisconsin businesses that have grown and flourished without dumping waste and diverting streams and sacrificing Great Lakes waters.

Next we need to examine the deal. Is it really the best we could get for our taxpayer investment or does it reflect the political desperation some leaders feel because of their own failures? Any taxpayer funded investment should demonstrate the best return on investment we can get, build family supporting jobs to replace the union living wage manufacturing jobs we have lost, and have real recovery claw backs if the business packs up and moves or if they automate and eliminate jobs in the process. Governor Walker and WEDC do not have an awesome track record with recovery when companies outsource jobs and the potential replacement of supported jobs with automation is a brave new world for all of us.

The deal does have benchmarks before funds are released which is good, but lacks claw backs if jobs are outsourced or automated – the new Assembly version is just the same. Claw backs require businesses to pay back taxpayer costs if the business fails to keep the contract. Wisconsin needs to be able to at least try to take on FOXCONN if they damage our environment and our economy. FOXCONN is not a Wisconsin company building their future here. They are a Taiwanese company looking to avoid President Trump’s tariff threats and we are just the state with the best deal for them.

We cannot let the relentless pursuit of jobs take away what makes Wisconsin our home. We can do better.


If you would like more information on FOXCONN and special session Senate Bill 1 contact my office at 608-266-6670 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 16:50
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