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Jon Erpenbach: It’s Time to Stand Up for our Agricultural and Rural Communities PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Friday, 31 January 2020 10:43

door-county-peopleState Senator says family farms are Wisconsin’s legacy and makes proposals to better address the real issues that our rural communities are facing.


West Point - The story is starting to become cliché. Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support a proposal that benefits our state, Republican leadership cries “partisanship”, and blocks action until an undetermined future date. We saw this happen with funding to combat homelessness, which still has seven pending proposals awaiting Republican action, and now we are watching this happen with Governor Evers’ call for a special session to help our agricultural and rural communities.

During the State of the State Address, Governor Evers announced that he will be prioritizing Wisconsin’s farmers, and called for a special session to take up proposals to help alleviate the strain on our rural communities. The special session was scheduled for Tuesday, and unfortunately, the day came and passed with no discussion, no debate, and no progress. In fact, Republicans chose instead to ignore our farm crisis and hold a partisan political rally of their own.

Democrats stand ready to take up a plethora of proposals, from passing the Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports (WIDE) to providing grants to small dairy processing plants and increasing support for farmer mental health. Unfortunately, Republicans were nowhere to be found. For generations, farmers have served as the backbone for our state, and it is time that we step up and support our agricultural industries and rural communities.

Wisconsin unfortunately leads the nation in farm bankruptcies, with an average of 2 dairy farms closing per day. Whether it is effects of global warming wiping out crops, bad federal policies disrupting trade or slapping on unnecessary tariffs, or massive corporate farms shutting down their competition, each day these challenges stack up and get harder to address. These challenges are outside of the control of Wisconsin farmers, and it will take legislative action to keep our state alive.

jon-erpenbachThe truth is, agricultural diversity is one of Wisconsin’s greatest strengths. That’s one reason why it’s vital we do everything we can to maintain our smaller family farms. Agriculture contributes nearly $105 billion to our state’s economy and thousands of jobs. From vegetables, to cranberries to leading the nation in cheese production, our agricultural industry should not be taken for granted.

Thankfully, Governor Evers did more than call a special session, he also signed an Executive Order to create the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity. The commission is tasked with going out into our communities to listen to the issues that are affecting farmers, the agricultural industry and rural businesses. The commission will create recommendations based on the information they gather and report back to the Governor, so that we can better address the real issues that our rural communities are facing.

Additionally, the Governor announced his plan to work with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to establish the Office of Rural Prosperity. This action will help to ensure that our farmers, agriculture, and rural communities are a part of Wisconsin’s economic development strategy.

Wisconsin depends on our farmers, so this crisis is not their burden to carry alone. It is the food that comes to our tables, the farmer’s markets that bring people together, the businesses that depend on access to locally grown food, and the communities that keep our state afloat. Our farms are Wisconsin’s legacy. The least we can do is show up to the discussion.

 
Special Session on Agriculture Necessary Says Hintz PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Tuesday, 28 January 2020 17:36

trump-tariffsSession could help family farms increase access to new markets and maximize their ability to compete in the current economic environment crippled by President Trump’s disastrous trade war.

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House Must Pass Additional Articles of Impeachment For the Future of Our Children PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Saturday, 25 January 2020 13:04

andrew-johnson-impeachment“I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.” (From Senate Rules for Impeachment Trials - Rule XXV)


TUCSON, AZ - Our goal, as adults, should be to act in ways today which can ensure that, in the future, our children when adults will inherit a democratic republic form of government to use to face and solve the problems of their times.

For over 240 years adults before us have taken precautions to preserve our form of government for our use.

It is our duty to do the same for tomorrow’s adults.

House Judiciary Committee must now draft full AOI and submit for House vote!

House Speaker Pelosi made a grave mistake when over-ruling the sage advice from House Democrats to impeach Trump for a wide variety of “treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors” reasons.  She chose just two charges.  The Senate “trial” proves that is a mistake.  The liars and cheats are in control.

Common Cause submitted 9 articles of impeachment (AOI) to the House.  Ralph Nader/Fisher/Fein and Constitutional scholars submitted 12 AOI.  Authors David Swanson, Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon’s new book argues Trump Articles of Impeachment – 25 Grounds for Removal.  Others have outlined more.

House Judiciary Committee impeachment should re-commence and consider these AOI recommended by three groups.

Common Cause:

Abuse of Power (Ukraine)

Bribery (Ukraine)

Obstruction of Justice (Ukraine and Broader Impeachment Inquiry)

Campaign Finance Violations (Ukraine)

Obstruction of Justice (Russia investigation)

Abuse of Power (Russia Investigation)

Foreign and Domestic Emoluments

Abuse of Power (Failure to Adequately Safeguard U.S. Elections From Foreign Interference)

Campaign Finance Violations (“Hush” Payments)

Nader/Fisher/Fein:

Contempt Of Congress (Stonewalling Congress on documents and witnesses and other offenses)

Abuse Of The Powers Of The President And Abuse Of Public Trust (Chronic lying, fostering division, rancor, inciting violence, threatening civil war, failing “…to superintend or check the chronic lawlessness of his subordinates...”)

 

Appropriations Clause, Revenue Clause (Illegally “…raised tens of billions of dollars by unilaterally imposing tariffs …”)

Emoluments Clause (“…refused to place his assets in a blind trust…” and continues to enrich himself by operating enterprises while in office)

Treaty Clause (Unilaterally, thus illegally, terminated the INF nuclear treaty with Russia)

Declare War Clause (“…has initiated presidential wars in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan…” and illegally threatened wars with “…North Korea, Iran and Venezuela…”)

Take Care Clause; Presentment Clause (Illegally revoking federal regulations, illegally legislating by executive order, issuing unconstitutional signing statements for Congressional laws he does not like)

Due Process Clause (Like previous administrations violating the Fifth Amendment by targeted killings depriving “…of life…without due process of law...” by acting “…as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to kill American citizens or non-citizens alike, on or off a battlefield…”)

Appointments Clause (Avoiding the required Senate confirmations of agency secretaries by appointing acting secretaries)

Soliciting A Foreign Contribution For The 2020 Presidential Campaign And Bribery (Ukraine case)

Violating Citizen Privacy (Violating Fifth Amendment by electronically spying on Americans without proper warrant)

Suppression Of Free Speech (Violating First Amendment by “…stretching the Espionage Act to prosecute...” those “…exposing government lies… wrongdoing…”)

The Swanson book outlines additional AOI for consideration by the Judiciary Committee such as:

Interference With Voting Rights
Discrimination Based On Religion
Abuse of Pardon Power
Politicizing Prosecutions
Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria
Separating Children and Infants from Families
Tax Fraud and Public Misrepresentation
Assaulting Freedom of the Press
Supporting a Coup in Venezuela
Unconstitutional Declaration of Emergency
Instructing Border Patrol to Violate the Law
Declaration of Emergency Without Basis In Order to Violate the Will of Congress
Illegal Proliferation of Nuclear Technology
Refusal to Comply with Impeachment Inquiry

Above are 35 articles of impeachment and Trump’s crime spree grows by the day.

He must be impeached by the House then tried in the Senate on all these major AOI.

The American public deserves a fair, through and transparent trial.  The public now believes Mr. Trump should be removed from American politics via impeachment.  Millions of us believe he should then be prosecuted in federal court for his crimes with a jury that is NOT controlled by paid off, frightened, corrupt senators.

****

Buzz Davis, formerly of WI now of Tucson, is a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer Vietnam Era, city and county elected official, union organizer and longtime progressive activist, member of Common Cause and Veterans for Peace and a retired state government planner.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2020 19:51
 
Sen. Shilling: Fighting for America’s Dairyland PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jennifer Shilling, State Senator 32nd District   
Friday, 24 January 2020 10:51

farm-familyWe need a meaningful and comprehensive approach to help our farmers and rural communities succeed.

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Sen. Hansen Responds to Gov. Evers’ State of the State Address PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Jay Wadd   
Thursday, 23 January 2020 17:44

sos-2020MADISON - On Wednesday, January 22, Governor Tony Evers delivered his second State of the State Address. Green Bay's Senator Dave Hansen had the following comments in reply.

dave_hansen“Governor Evers focused on those things that will make our state stronger by investing in our rural economy and farm communities, helping lessen the burden on people being crushed by high-priced student loan debt, and by continuing to push for non-partisan redistricting, the first step ending the polarization and division in our state government.

“His call for an end to the Dark Store Loophole and a cap on the skyrocketing cost of insulin contrasts sharply with the Republicans’ lack of concern for, or the lack of understanding of, two of the more significant challenges facing families and seniors.”

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 17:53
 
More Work to be Done for Wisconsin Communities PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Thursday, 23 January 2020 17:31

tony-eversState of the State Highlights Positive Democratic Vision, says Shilling.


MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement in response to Gov. Evers’ State of the State address:

jennifer-shilling“It couldn’t be clearer that the public overwhelmingly supports Gov. Evers and Democratic solutions to propel our state forward. Democrats believe in prioritizing the people of Wisconsin and addressing the issues residents face every single day by lowering health care costs, strengthening clean water protections, and expanding economic security for families and seniors. Whether it’s accepting federal health dollars, closing the Dark Store Loophole, investing in local schools or legalizing medical marijuana, Wisconsin residents trust Democratic efforts to tackle the tough issues.

“I believe these goals are well within our reach, but time is of the essence. As legislators we cannot ask the people of Wisconsin to settle for any less than they deserve. The longer Republicans refuse to do their job, the longer these challenges facing our communities will persist.

“My Democratic colleagues and I remain committed to working with Gov. Evers to advance bold solutions and ensure Wisconsin is a place where the next generation wants to live, work, and raise a family.”

 
Democratic Radio: “It’s Time to Close the Dark Store Loophole” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Thursday, 23 January 2020 16:37

menards-wiMADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the Democratic weekly radio address regarding the need to close the Dark Store loophole.

“Imagine the lost revenue to municipalities and school districts if every large chain stops paying their share of property taxes. Individual homeowners would then pay more. When their property taxes go down, these big box stores do not lower their prices, they just earn more profit.” – Senator Mark Miller


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


A written transcript of the address is below: 

mark-miller “Hello, this is Senator Mark Miller with the weekly Democratic Radio Address:

“Something is happening all across the state of Wisconsin that many people are still unaware of, but may dramatically raise your property taxes.

“I’m talking about the Dark Store Issue. A state Supreme Court decision in 2008 allowed large box stores and large chain stores, like Walgreens, to successfully challenge their property tax bills, by claiming that their stores should be assessed the same as similar, VACANT stores – or Dark Stores. Imagine the lost revenue to municipalities and school districts if every large chain stops paying their share of property taxes. Individual homeowners would then pay more. When their property taxes go down, these big box stores do not lower their prices, they just earn more profit.

“Fortunately, there is legislation to protect homeowners and small businesses from these huge property tax increases. Big Box stores should pay their property taxes, just like other property owners.

“Unfortunately, the powerful special interest lobbying group, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) opposes protecting homeowners.  The Senate Republican Leadership is cow-towing to WMC and is blocking this bipartisan legislation that would protect property taxpayers. Unfortunately Republicans in the legislature repeatedly block every attempt to bring this important bill before the body.

“Tell your senator the Dark Store bills to protect homeowners must be scheduled for a vote now!”

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2020 16:47
 
SOS Outlines Work to be Done PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Thursday, 23 January 2020 10:29

tony-evers-2019-sosSenator Erpenbach responds to Wednesday's State of the State Address.


MADISON - On Wednesday, January 22, Governor Tony Evers delivered his second State of the State Address. After a both successful and trying year in 2019, Governor Evers was able to deliver on promises and move the needle on many of the issues that Wisconsinites care about. From cutting taxes for middle-class families, investing in education, to making improvements to our infrastructure, Democrats were able to show up and accomplish many important things for our state.

jon-erpenbachSenator Jon Erpenbach released the following statement:

“While we made great strides this past year under Governor Evers’ leadership, there is still a lot more to do,” said Senator Erpenbach. “We are ready to reach across the aisle on vital issues, such as addressing homelessness, ensuring access to affordable health care, and making sure our economy works for everyone. Wisconsinites expect their representatives to show up for them, their families, and our communities. We are ready to get to work.”

 
SOS Address Focuses on Opportunities for Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Thursday, 23 January 2020 10:13

sos-2020Democrats are ready to get to work says Hintz.


MADISON – Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement after Governor Tony Evers’ State of the State Address:

gordon-hintz“Tonight, Governor Evers laid out a clear vision for Wisconsin’s future. He highlighted the opportunities we have as a state, and what we can accomplish in the remainder of the legislative session,” Rep. Hintz stated. “His agenda focuses on the issues that matter to Wisconsin families – health care costs, public education, and an economy that works for everyone. As the governor pointed out in his speech, these should be easy, bipartisan wins because they affect every legislative district in the state.”

“The people of Wisconsin deserve elected officials who will show up and get to work on their behalf. With two months left in the legislative session we have the time to accomplish so much for the people we serve.”

Governor Evers continued his call for the legislature to complete a list of priorities before the end of session including:

·         Closing the “Dark Store Loophole”

·         Capping the cost of insulin at $100 per month

·         Creating a non-partisan redistricting process

·         Strengthening clean water protections

·         Making higher education accessible

·         Legalizing medical marijuana

·         Tackling the student loan debt crisis

·         Investing in our rural communities

·         Addressing homelessness in Wisconsin

“We are at our best when we work together to get things done. It is my hope that we can take on these challenges in a bipartisan manner without being stopped by gatekeepers in Republican leadership who are more concerned with thwarting Governor Evers than creating opportunity across the state.”

 
Here’s How Trump is Hurting Women in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Priorities Wisconsin, Cassidy Geoghegan   
Tuesday, 21 January 2020 11:16

donald-trump-kissTrump likes to talk like he supports women, but does he walk the talk? Here are nine ways he hurts them everyday.

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