Tuesday August 20, 2019

Forward with Education & Reason


Commentary from us and our readers.

Democratic Radio: Wisconsin Famers Deserve Better PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Thursday, 25 July 2019 16:35

farm-familyMADISON, WI – Senator Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire) offered the Democratic weekly radio address this week after Republicans on the Joint Finance  Committee refused to take up an agency request for critical funding for farmers and farm families in Wisconsin.

Sen. Smith: “Enough of Divide and Conquer Politics” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 24 July 2019 00:43

scott-fitzgeraldWisconsin is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the unique cities that make up our state. Building relationships between our rural and urban communities makes us stronger.

Democracy Campaign: Foresight of Justice Stevens PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 19 July 2019 15:02

wdc-logoMADISON - I was sad when I heard the news that Justice John Paul Stevens had died.

I was sad for personal reasons, since Justice Stevens and my father practiced law together in Chicago for many years and were very close.

And I was sad for political reasons, since Justice Stevens, when he was on the Court and afterwards, used his calm and logical and brilliant voice to advocate for a pro-democracy jurisprudence.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in his scorching dissent in the Citizens United case, and I excerpted some of his most powerful passages here:

Justice Stevens’s Dissent in Citizens United Lives On!

He warned that corporate special interests would have a field day, and so they have, here in Wisconsin, as we pointed out the record spending by corporations and PACs last season:

PAC, Corporate Contributions Hit Record $27M

And we also posted something this week on the record amount spent in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race earlier this year:

2019 Supreme Court Race Cost Record $8.2 Million+

This week, we also weighed in on the issue of the veto power of Wisconsin’s governor, which we have consistently viewed as overbroad:

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on Gov’s Veto Power

And on Tuesday, there was a jam-packed press conference in the State Capitol in favor of legislation to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin. Here’s what I said at that press conference:

A Democracy with Fair Play (or watch here)

Those companion bills, by the way, are SB288 and AB303. Please contact your legislators to support those bills, and please contact the chairs of the relevant committees to demand they hold public hearings on them.

matt-rothschildThe chairs of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection are Senator Stroebel (Chair) and Senator Kapenga (Vice-Chair).

The chairs of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections are Representative Tusler (Chair) and Representative Sanfelippo (Vice-Chair).

You can reach state legislators at 1-800-362-9472 or 266-9960 in Madison.

Thanks for your activism on this issue!

Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2019 15:17
Democratic Radio: Fair Maps for a Fair Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 18 July 2019 10:34

voters_lineMADISON - Rep. Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) talks about bill she and Senator Dave Hansen rolled out this month that would create a non-partisan redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Audio File of Radio Address

Hello, I am State Representative Robyn Vining with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

Senator Dave Hansen and I rolled out a bill this month that would create a non-partisan redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Every 10 years, new lines are drawn for legislative districts. The bill we authored would take that power away from politicians, and place the responsibility with a non-partisan service agency called the Legislative Reference Bureau.

robyn-viningOur democracy has been threatened by partisan gerrymandering. Rigged maps allow politicians to ignore the will of the people, because their legislative seats are safe. Gerrymandering also distorts election results.

Last November, all five statewide elections in Wisconsin were won by Democrats. Assembly Democrats received 200,000 more votes than Assembly Republicans statewide. And yet, in the State Assembly, the divide stands at 63 Republicans and 36 Democrats.

Wisconsinites have a constitutional right to be fairly represented by their elected officials, regardless of their political affiliation. They have a right for their voices to be heard. But right now, legislators are ignoring the will of the people – because they don’t have to listen.

The public overwhelmingly supports Medicaid expansion – 70% in fact – but their legislators are not listening.

Legislators are ignoring this directive from their constituents because there is no electoral consequence for failing to act. Gerrymandered maps are protecting the seats of representatives who do not represent the interests of the people.

It is beyond time we take the important step of creating a non-partisan redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Our state motto is “Forward”. Let’s bring back fairness, because the people deserve it. If we do not move forward with fairness, we have not moved forward at all.

Thank you.

Democratic Radio: U.S.A, Equal Pay PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Friday, 12 July 2019 08:27

u.s.womens-soccer-teamSenator Jon Erpenbach talks about the U.S. women’s soccer team and the importance of paying women fairly.

MADISON, WI – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) offered the Democratic weekly radio address.

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

A written transcript of the address is below:

jon-erpenbach“Hi, I’m state Senator Jon Erpenbach with this week’s radio address.

“When the U.S. women’s soccer team won their fourth World Cup, fans erupted into the chant exclaiming “equal pay,” and that chant followed them back home, inspiring men, women, and children alike. Undoubtedly it is way past time that we recognize that it shouldn’t matter what your profession is- everyone deserves to be compensated for their hard work fairly, but more importantly, free from discrimination based on gender.

“Wisconsin once honored this sentiment by passing the Equal Pay Enforcement Act law in 2009, but the legislation was later repealed by Republicans in 2012. On average, including here in Wisconsin, women earn around 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, and that gap is larger for women of color. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, since women make up nearly half of our workforce and are huge contributors to our economy.

“By not paying women fairly, we are only hurting our state’s ability to grow. In order for our communities to thrive, we need to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to succeed. Knowingly discriminating against workers based on their gender is just wrong.

“As we enter the second half of 2019, we know that enacting Equal pay legislation is far overdue. It is time for us to end discrimination in the workplace, and endorse equal pay for equal work. As the chant goes, ‘U.S.A., Equal Pay.’”

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2019 10:24
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