Friday November 22, 2019

Forward with Education & Reason

Democratic Radio: Honor our Past, Present, and Future on the Fourth of July PDF Print E-mail
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 04 July 2019 08:46

4th-cedarburgMADISON, WI - This week, State Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) talks about Independence Day, as Wisconsinites come together with friends and family to celebrate at parades, barbeques, and festivals.

Independence and Freedom for All PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 03 July 2019 09:14

4th-statue-fireworksAs we celebrate our country’s independence on July 4th, it’s important for us to remember the incredible progress we’ve made and to look forward to the work that must be done for all Americans to truly celebrate their freedom.

Sen. Shilling: Democratic Vision Prioritizes Future Success PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Shilling, State Senator 32nd District   
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 09:14

door-county-peopleQuality schools, affordable health care and clean drinking water are central to Gov. Ever's budget and vital to restoring Wisconsin's reputation as a place where the next generation wants to live, work and raise a family.

Continue fight to end gerrymandering ourselves says Hansen PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Friday, 28 June 2019 09:44

supreme-courtGREEN BAY, WI - It is no surprise that the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the Republicans on the issue of gerrymandering. Just as it is no surprise that the State Supreme Court routinely sides with the Republicans on cases related to the preservation of or limitations on the GOP’s political power.

dave_hansenThe era of non-partisan impartiality and ruling on the law has long been over with the appointment and election of activist conservative judges on our highest courts and our state and nation are worse off for it.

Because we can no longer trust either court to do what is best for the people with respect to ending political gerrymandering by either party it is important now more than ever to continue the fight to pass non-partisan redistricting in Wisconsin, a change to the law that is supported by over 70% of Wisconsin voters.

The Fight to Ban Gerrymandering in Wisconsin Goes On! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 27 June 2019 11:38

supreme-court-washingtonU.S. Supreme Court decision means Wisconsin gerrymandering case, set for a re-hearing in federal court next month, is now dead. It's time to take direct political action.

MADISON, WI - The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court today on two gerrymandering cases was disappointing but not surprising. And for the vast majority of Wisconsinites who want to ban gerrymandering in our state, this is not the end of the story. Not by a long shot.

The conservative high court, in a sweeping ruling, rejected the arguments in the North Carolina and Maryland cases that partisan gerrymandering should be remedied by the courts.

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions."

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the four liberals on the court, dissented bluntly. Gerrymandering, she said, is “anti-democratic in the most profound sense," and the types of partisan gerrymandering presented to the Court in the North Carolina and Maryland cases “imperil our system of government. Part of the Court's role in that system is to defend its foundations. None is more important than free and fair elections.”

So what does this mean for Wisconsin?

On the down side, it means that the big Wisconsin gerrymandering case, aka the Whitford case, which is set for a re-hearing in federal court next month in Madison, is, for all practical purposes, now dead in the water.

But on the up side, the movement to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin has never been more alive.

Already, 47 county boards in Wisconsin (out of 72) have passed resolutions urging our state legislators to ban gerrymandering.

Eight counties have passed advisory referendums, by overwhelming margins, in favor of banning gerrymandering.

And in a Marquette Law School poll earlier this year, 72 percent of Wisconsinites said they were in favor of such a ban. And that included 63 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents.

The people of Wisconsin are on board!

And now two bills in the state legislature have been introduced to ban gerrymandering and give us independent, nonpartisan legislative and congressional redistricting.

Senator Dave Hansen introduced SB288 on the Senate side. And Representative Robyn Vining introduced AB303 on the Assembly side.

matt-rothschildPlease contact your legislators and urge them to support these bills.

If you don’t know your legislators, click here -- opens new window of map of Wisconsin legislative districts where you enter your address in top right search bar.

You can contact your state legislators by calling the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 (266-9960 in Madison).

“Trumped up 2020 election” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 21 June 2019 14:24

trumpPodcast on Trump’s made for Fox TV campaign kick-off event, critical state budget votes scheduled for next week, and more...

MILWAUKEE, WI - We discuss Trump’s made for Fox TV campaign kick-off event in the wake of his trumped up fight with Iran. Will Trump decide that releasing the dogs of war is to his political advantage?

Next, we dig into the critical state budget votes scheduled for next week, the growing right wing opposition to the GOP budget, and the options available to Governor Evers should a terrible budget reach his desk. We preview next Monday’s BadgerCare Expansion statewide Day of Action (see details below).

Finally, the panel dives into the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders dynamic in the Democratic primary election, looks ahead to the first Democratic  presidential “debate,” and discusses Beto O'Rourke's LBJ like ascent from political unknown to presidential contender.

Listen Now - Episode #397
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Democratic Radio: Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom and Achievement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 20 June 2019 16:53

juneteenth-1900MADISON - Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) presents this week’s Democratic Address on Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Audio File of Radio Address

david-crowleyHello, this is State Representative David Crowley with this week’s Democratic Address.

This week, Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, and legislative Democrats honored Juneteenth at events in Milwaukee and Madison. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

It was on this day, 154 years ago, that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended, signaling the end of slavery.

Juneteenth, today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement. It recognizes and encourages continuous self-development and a respect for all cultures. As we reflect on the history of slavery and the lives lost in the fight for equal rights, we must acknowledge and address the racial disparities in our state.

A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Wisconsin as the lowest of all states in its ability to prepare African American children for educational and financial success. The disparity in graduation rate is the highest in the country for African American students. The current incarceration rate for African American Wisconsinites is 10 times higher than for white Wisconsin residents.

While this year marks the 57th celebration of Juneteenth in Milwaukee, there is progress to be made when it comes to economic equity, criminal justice reform, and fair housing practices.

We are still fighting against measures to restrict voting rights. We are still working to ensure all children, regardless of zip code, receive a quality education.

I am proud to chair the Legislative Black Caucus. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We honor them, and the legacy they built in our state. Democrats will continue to pursue an agenda that builds on our successes and addresses the challenges facing our state as we work toward a more fair and equal society.

Thank you.

Democracy Campaign: Bogus Lame Duck Decision! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Sunday, 16 June 2019 11:59

supremecourt-justicesMADISON - The rightwingers on the Wisconsin Supreme Court revealed again this week that they don’t care about the law or the evidence. All they care about is backing their buddies, with any shoddy rationale they can think of. Here’s my take on their decision this week on the “stay” on the lame-duck legislation:

Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Bogus Stay on Lame Duck

In another bad decision, an administrative judge ruled in favor of Foxconn’s so-called right to grab 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan. We found out something about that judge:

Foxconn Case Judge Was Former Walker Aide, Contributor to GOP Candidates

As you might recall, over the last eight years, the Republican legislature passed more than 160 laws that limited local control. Well, that hasn’t satisfied them yet, as we note here:

GOP Budget Committee Seeks to Restrict Local Control Over Quarries, Sand Mining

matt-rothschildAnd in another case about pollution, we laid out the political contributions on both sides of the aisle that employees of Johnson Controls have been making. Now Johnson Controls is in trouble with the Wisconsin Department of Justice:

DOJ Reviewing Case Against Accused Polluter, Big Campaign Donor

I hope you find these stories informative.

Democratic Radio: Medicaid Expansion will lower Health Insurance Premiums in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 07 June 2019 10:24

medicaid_checkupMADISON, WI - This week Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) talks about Healthcare in Wisconsin.

Audio File of Radio Address

Hello, this is State Representative Evan Goyke with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

evangoykeOne of the leading policy research organizations on health care, Health Affairs, released a new study this week showing that expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin will substantially lower health insurance premiums on the individual market. The study compared premiums in Wisconsin to premiums in our neighboring states that expanded Medicaid.

The research found that expanding Medicaid produced insurance premiums that were 19% lower in other Midwestern states as compared to Wisconsin. There is a direct correlation between how much people pay for private health insurance and whether or not a state accepted the Medicaid expansion.

Despite this, Republicans have steadfastly refused to accept the expansion here in Wisconsin. That is real money in real people’s pockets Republicans are turning away.

This comes down to dollars and cents. Expanding Medicaid saves Wisconsin taxpayers $325 million dollars in this budget alone. It also allows us to bring in $1.6 billion dollars in federal funding. Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance refused that deal.

Instead, they opted to charge state taxpayers an additional $300 million dollars to avoid accepting that billion dollars in federal funds. That is fiscally irresponsible.

Here in Wisconsin, families work hard. We stretch our dollars as far as they’ll go. But not legislative Republicans.

They are wasting your taxpayer dollars and causing your premiums to rise in order to score cheap, political points.

The Health Affairs study shows that Medicaid expansion isn’t just the right thing to do morally, it’s the right financial decision for Wisconsin. Democrats will continue to stand with Governor Evers, and we will continue to fight for Medicaid expansion.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 June 2019 10:37
"How Progressives Can Win the Rust Belt in 2020" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 07 June 2019 09:42

battleground_pa_waveHow can progressives win back the industrial states lost to Donald Trump in 2016?

MILWAUKEE, WI - This week Battleground Wisconsin takes to the road to dig into the question of how progressives can win back the industrial states lost to Donald Trump in 2016. We have a series of interviews of state and national leaders recorded live at the People's Action national convention in Washington, DC. First the iconic progressive leader Heather Booth, the focus of a major documentary film, gives us a road map to progressive victory. Next we talk to Michigan State Representative Lauri Pohutsky, a strong progressive candidate who won a purple district in 2018 with the assistance of Citizen Action's fellow People's Action affiliate, Michigan United.

Finally we have an in-depth interview with one of the most respected African American organizers in the country, Ohio Organizing Collaborative Director DaMareo Cooper, who helps us dig into the need to win the industrial Midwest with a unified urban/rural/suburban strategy.

Listen Now - Episode #395
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