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"WEDC hammered by Carpenter" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 27 October 2017 15:12

hammertimeWe discuss the secrecy surrounding the Foxconn contract with WEDC, health insurance costs, the U.S. Senate and the Koch Brothers' targeting of Sen. Tammy Baldwin with millions in misleading dark money attack ads.


STATEWIDE - We welcome WEDC board member and State Senator Tim Carpenter to discuss the secrecy surrounding the Foxconn contract with WEDC, which is so extreme that board members are expected to vote without seeing the contract.

Ahead of open enrollment sticker shock on November 1st, the panel reviews new Citizen Action research documenting that because of Scott Walker's sabotage Wisconsinites will pay thousands more on average for health insurance than Minnesotans in 2018.

We also talk about the U.S. Senate's sudden repeal of a key financial regulation from the Dodd-Frank law, and the Koch Brothers' targeting of Sen. Tammy Baldwin with millions in misleading dark money attack ads.

Robert reviews Wisconsin GOP infighting over the "T" word, and Anna Dvorak joins us to preview a Fair Maps town hall Saturday in Bay View.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #317

Download MP3

Citizen Action Press Clips

 
Democratic Radio: WEDC Audit is Déjà Vu for Wisconsin Taxpayers PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 26 October 2017 15:56

walker-wedcMADISON - Today, State Representative Melissa Sargent (D – Madison) offered the following Democratic Weekly Radio Address regarding this week’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s review of the WEDC audit.

The audit results once again raised concern about WEDC’s continued trouble executing contracts, verifying job numbers, and complying with state statutes.

 

The audio file can be found here.

The video file can be found here or viewed below.

A written transcript of the address is below:

melissa-sargentHi, I’m State Representative Melissa Sargent with this week’s Democratic radio address.

Wisconsin Democratic Legislators know we must prioritize the values, needs and dreams of all Wisconsinites and stand against any system that is rigged to favor the rich and the powerful.

This week, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee held a public hearing on the results of the nonpartisan audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, more commonly known as WEDC.

Not surprisingly the audit is eerily similar to one released two years ago. WEDC has proven time and time again to be derelict in its duties to taxpayers and our state.

I am gravely concerned by the audit results as it highlights a disturbing trend: WEDC’s inability to substantiate job creation claims or effectively execute contracts pursuant to Wisconsin’s laws, as well as a failure to comply with statutory requirements.

WEDC should be able to account for what they’ve done with the dollars that they’ve been given, but they aren’t able to, even though they have been asked many times.

Wisconsin state laws are not a buffet - state agents don’t get to pick and choose which laws they want to follow. Governor Walker wants to run this state like a business, but WEDC behaves in a way that no responsible business would.

Ironically, the WEDC hearing comes less than a week after the Foxconn package vote was postponed by the WEDC board citing contractual concerns.

Simply put, how can the Legislature, as stewards of Wisconsin’s taxpayer dollars, honestly entrust WEDC to a $3 billion contract like Foxconn when WEDC has demonstrated not once, not twice, but three times that they are not capable of adequately executing contracts, verifying job creation, and even complying with the state statutes?

Democrats believe in building an economy that works for everyone, WEDC isn’t building an economy that works for anyone.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 October 2017 16:09
 
Bowen to Walker: Stop trying to silence NFL players PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melanie Conklin   
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:43

packers-natl-anthemWalker’s way of playing identity politics designed to pit Wisconsinites against one another, says Rep. Bowen.


MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign launched a petition Tuesday demanding NFL players stop taking a stand against racial inequality. State Rep. David Bowen, Democratic Party of Wisconsin First Vice Chair, released the following response:

david-bowen“Gov. Walker’s campaign stunt of a petition is his way of playing identity politics designed to pit Wisconsinites against one another. If Walker thinks continuing to divide our state will get him national attention for another presidential run, he should take a good look at Donald Trump’s dreadful approval rating before mimicking him.

“Walker’s attempt to silence NFL players’ First Amendment right to protest racial inequality is anti-American. It’s especially shameful that Walker choose to engage in this divisive, race-baiting tactic on the same day that a report was released that shows Wisconsin ranks among the worst states for African-American youth. 

“The governor should spend more time focused on Wisconsin and repairing the public schools, roads and health care he has damaged rather than pandering for national attention with his anti-American petition. His moves to stoke anger and resentment are as cynical as politics gets.”

 
Sen. Tim Carpenter: Let’s See The Foxconn Contract PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Scott May   
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 15:47

foxconn-dealBefore the WEDC gives away $3 billion in taxpayer dollars.


MADISON – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), is formally requesting to see the Foxconn contract before the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) gives away $3 billion in taxpayer dollars to Foxconn.

tim-carpenter“The way Governor Walker and WEDC have proceeded with the Foxconn deal is fundamentally flawed," said Carpenter. "As a member of the WEDC board I find it the height of irresponsibility to be asked to vote on an unprecedented $3 billion dollar deal without first seeing the contract."

This will be the last opportunity to make sure Foxconn will be required to deliver on its promises. Wisconsin taxpayers must be protected before Governor Walker’s WEDC turns on the spigot and the taxpayer dollars start to flow.

"Let’s see the Foxconn contract before WEDC votes on it on November 8th," concludes the senator. "I cannot abrogate my responsibility to protect the taxpayers of Wisconsin by not knowing exactly what it is I am voting on.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 16:03
 
Funding Elections Commission Staff Ensures Secure and Efficient Elections PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 14:34

voter-fraud-signRepresentative Melissa Sargent and Senator Jon Erpenbach explain how important it is to override Governor Walker’s veto of Wisconsin Election Commission staff.


MADISON - To make our elections run securely and accurately, we need to repair the damage to the Wisconsin Elections Commission caused by Governor Walker’s veto last month, which removed five necessary staff from the Commission.

The simple reality is when government staff positions are eliminated, the services provided by those staff are also eliminated. Whether it is a snowplow driver, daycare license compliance officer, professor, veterans home nurse assistant, or an elections specialist, cuts to staffing or funding cause services to suffer. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has been at the receiving end of many staffing cuts, and with Governor Walker’s veto of five additional staff provided by the Legislature in the budget, our election system will simply not function as we need it to.

jon-erpenbachOur Elections Commission staff investigate complaints of fraud and misconduct in elections, but they are also in charge of the integrity and security of our elections systems. Among their many responsibilities, the Elections Commission is charged with communicating with and training our local election officials. We have a unique system for elections in Wisconsin: they are run from the local level with 1,853 municipal election clerks and 72 county clerks, and even though we have a statewide voter list, it is the partnership between our local and state election officials that truly makes sure our elections are secure and accurate. The Elections Commission provides all of these local officials need to know every change to the law that impacts elections, and trains these local officials on the process, laws, technology, court decisions and security of our elections.

melissa-sargentGovernor Walker issued his veto of the staff and told the Wisconsin Elections Commission to hire limited-term employees and contract employees. The Elections Commission will undoubtedly do everything in their power to “make it work” and come back to Legislature to request funding for staff in the next budget, but that doesn’t do much to ensure the integrity or security of our elections in the meantime. The Wisconsin Elections Commission should have the minimum staff they say they need to effectively and securely run elections in Wisconsin.

That is why we are co-authoring a bill restoring five full-time staff members to the Elections Commission—back to where the Commission was before Governor Walker’s veto—a provision that Republicans voted for in committee and on the floor of the Legislature. Yet, most Republicans did not sign onto this legislation despite supporting it mere months ago. We should at least restore the Elections Commission staff to the level provided for in the Legislature’s budget, which ensures election integrity and security in Wisconsin.

****

Written by Senator Jon Erpenbach, 27th Senate District, and Representative Sargent, 48th Assembly District

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 14:54
 
Andy Gronik - FoxConn Deal Gets Worse and Worse PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Andy Gronik Press Office, Brandon Weathersby   
Saturday, 21 October 2017 11:03

walker-WEDCMILWAUKEE - The FoxConn deal just gets worse and worse.

This week, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) delayed voting on the deal because they found a problem. They won't tell us what was wrong, but one member of the board described the problem as a "nuclear bomb."

Wow.

andy-gronikEarlier this year, Andy Gronik said that if he were a board member, and Governor Scott Walker brought him the Foxconn deal as a CEO, he'd fire him -- and the WEDC is proving that he would have made the right decision.

We don't know how bad the mistake in the contract is, because the WEDC is keeping it private, and the voting will happen in a closed session. That's not how it should be. With a deal this controversial and this critical to Wisconsin's future, we all should get a chance to see what we're signing up for.

Andy Gronik is calling on the WEDC to publicly release the FoxConn contract, and hold a public session for feedback on the deal. Join him and add your name to the petition.

In the effort to ram the Foxconn deal through, lawmakers almost signed a contract that "would not have protected taxpayers whatsoever."

You read that right -- lawmakers were more focused on another big corporation coming to Wisconsin than the hardworking folks who already live here.

As a successful progressive businessman, Andy Gronik has walked factory floors with workers and has appraised hundreds of manufacturing businesses. If Governor Walker had taken the same approach and listened to the workers of Wisconsin, he'd know that this deal isn't right.

That's why the WEDC should seize the opportunity to listen to hardworking Wisconsinites for feedback by publicly releasing the deal and holding a hearing to listen to workers.

Add your name now to demand a chance to see the deal that will impact Wisconsin for years to come. Join Andy Gronik.

 
Mike McCabe: What Government Does Needs To Be Done For Our Whole Society PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 21 October 2017 09:54

healthcareCandidate for Governor Mike McCabe talks about getting everyone in Wisconsin access to high-quality and affordable medical insurance.

Read more...
 
Foxconn Goes Nuclear? Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 20 October 2017 16:12

foxconngoesnuclearThis week, Trump and Walker's sneak attacks on health care, the $3 billion Foxconn giveaway, the Governor and the NFL, and more...


STATEWIDE - This week the panel digs into Donald Trump and Scott Walker's reckless sneak attacks on health care, before turning to potentially explosive developments in the $3 billion Foxconn giveaway.

We then discuss Scott Walker's soft announcement for re-election through a misleading video, the Governor's bizarre attempted intervention into the NFL national anthem protests, and finally Cory Mason's victory in the Racine Mayor's race.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #316

Download MP3

Citizen Action Press Clips

Last Updated on Monday, 23 October 2017 16:25
 
WDC Action Alert: Call on “Riot” Bills! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:37

union-crowd-rotundaMADISON - This afternoon, perhaps even while you’re reading this, I’ll be testifying at the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety hearing on the so-called “riot” bills. Here’s my prepared statement:

WDC testimony in opposition to ‘riot’ bills

These bills are such dangerous assaults on our freedoms of speech, assembly, and association that I urge you to contact your legislators and tell them to vote no on the bills.

You can contact them by calling the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 (266-9960 in Madison). The riot bills in the Assembly are AB395, AB396, and AB397, and their Senate companions are respectively SB303, SB304, and SB305.

There’s another dangerous proposal that is circulating: It would allow property owners and developers to fill in one million acres of our wetlands! Fortunately, a promising coalition of outdoors groups has come together to blow the whistle on this one:

Hunting, trapping, and wildlife groups oppose wetlands bill

And in an amusing and unusual development, two of the biggest business lobbies in the state are in a little spat:

The big boys fight in Wisconsin over ‘Dairyland’ name

Finally, I want to share with you the remarks I made last Friday night in Gays Mills, when I spoke to a great crowd of 50 people at an event sponsored by the Crawford Stewardship Project:

The assault on science and democracy

It’s long, but I hope you can plow your way through it, since I address the grave threats to our democracy, right here in Wisconsin, and nationally.

Best,

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

P.S. We depend on your financial support to do this urgent work of exposing the problem of money in Wisconsin politics, defending our First Freedoms, and standing up for democracy. So please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Thanks!

 
Democratic radio: Democrats promote expanding Family Medical Leave PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Bridget Esser   
Thursday, 19 October 2017 09:40

healthcare-family-drSen. Janis Ringhand talks about Senate Bill 215, to expand and improve our current Family Medical Leave Law and create a Family Medical Leave Insurance Program.


MADISON, WI – Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.

The audio file of this week’s address can be found HERE.

A written transcript of the address is below:

janis-ringhand“Hello, this is Senator Janis Ringhand with this week’s Democratic radio address.

“Senate Democrats are committed to supporting ideas and policies that increase the economic well-being of all Wisconsin families.

“Democrats have authored a plan, Senate Bill 215, to expand and improve our current Family Medical Leave Law and create a Family Medical Leave Insurance Program.

“Expanding our Family Medical Leave Law to allow employees to take time off time to care for not only themselves, a spouse, child, parent, domestic partner, in-law but also grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings makes sense and reflects the make-up of modern day families.

“Our bill allows workers to take up 12 weeks off if they become seriously ill or need to care for a sick family member without facing the threat of losing their job.

“Furthermore, Senate Bill 215 creates a Family Medical Leave Insurance Fund so employees can set aside money to use when they are forced to take time off because of a serious illness or to take care of a loved one.

“Not enough workers have access to paid Family and Medical Leave through their employer. Senate Bill 215 creates a new benefit for workers in every part of Wisconsin by enabling them to care for their families and keep their jobs in the event of a medical emergency.

“Creating a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program will save businesses money and provide economic security for workers. This common sense solution does the right thing for Wisconsin businesses, workers and families.”

 
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