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Republicans Put Politics before Farmers - Again PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:59

door-county-peopleRepublican inaction on Joint Committee on Finance and rejection of Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff a blow to farmers.

MADISON – While Wisconsin is in the midst of a dairy crisis, Republicans have, once again, put politics ahead of Wisconsin farmers, and rejected the nomination of an overwhelmingly qualified candidate to lead the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). For the first time in modern Wisconsin history, Republicans have rejected a Secretary, purely for political reasons.

jon-erpenbach“Due to Republican inaction, farmers across Wisconsin were left waiting as the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) sat on funds to assist farmer mental health for months,” said Senator Erpenbach. “Our Agriculture Secretary - whose job it is to defend and advocate for farmers- had the courage to stand up and fight for farmers and against suicide. Unfortunately, that courage wasn’t replicated on the Senate floor today with no explanations of switched votes that cost our farmers the best qualified candidate for the job.”

Agriculture communities are near and dear to Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff, and that is what Wisconsin should expect from someone in that role. Until today, Republicans had come out in support of his leadership, experience, and vision for our farming communities. Every Republican on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions, had already voted in favor of Secretary-Designee Pfaff in February, including Senators Marklein, Petrowski, Testin, Jacque, and Bernier.

More importantly, organizations across the state have urged the legislature to support his confirmation, including the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, among others.

“When the United States Secretary of Agriculture comes to our state and tells our farmers to go big or go home, and the Republicans serving in our State Senate continually cause uncertainty for our agriculture communities, from leaving mental health unfunded to rejecting a highly qualified secretary because he stood up for farmers, we have to ask what Republicans stand for. After today, it is hard for anyone to say that Republicans stand for farmers.”

Testin Abandons Wisconsin Farmers Say WisDems PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Katie Iliff   
Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:41

tractor-flagDespite pleas from farm families, Republicans rejects DATCP Secretary

MADISON - Amid the ongoing dairy crisis caused by President Trump’s unfair trade war, local family farms were dealt another blow as Senate Republicans voted to reject Governor Tony Evers’ appointment of Brad Pfaff as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Their opposition comes at a time when Wisconsin farm bankruptcies and farmer suicide rates are on the rise.

“It is unconscionable that Republicans would stoop so low and reject Secretary-designee Pfaff who has been nothing but a credible and knowledgeable advocate for local family farms,” said SSDC Executive Director Katie Iliff. “To add insult to injury, Republicans like Senator Patrick Testin, that have already voted in support of Pfaff, turned their back on our rural communities and jeopardized our dairy farmers. The residents of central Wisconsin deserve better than Patrick Testin who is clearly more interested in playing petty political games.”

As members on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions that represent predominantly rural areas Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Sen. Petrowksi (R-Marathon), Sen. Testin (R-Stevens Point), Sen. Jacque (R-DePere), Sen. Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) all previously voted in support of Secretary-designee Pfaff. Their flip-flop is the latest example of Republican obstruction that further escalates the dairy crisis in Wisconsin.

Republicans Put Politics over Wisconsin’s Farming Communities PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 14:50

wisc-dairy-farmRejection of Brad Pfaff for Agriculture post is a cynical, partisan maneuver made with no thought for Wisconsin’s farming communities says Hintz.

MADISON - On Friday, Senate Republican leadership indicated that there were not enough votes in their caucus to confirm Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement:

gordon_hintz“Brad grew up on a farm and has dedicated his life to advocating for Wisconsin farmers, agriculture, and our rural communities. This is politics at its worst, and most vindictive. To be clear, the only reason this is happening is because Brad Pfaff dared to shine a light on the disgraceful Republican inaction on access to farmer mental health care. To Republicans, standing up for farmers was a fireable offense. This is a cynical, partisan maneuver made with no thought for Wisconsin’s farming communities. This action will create more instability for family farmers who have already been harmed by a reckless trade war and chaos at the federal level.

“I have known Brad personally for 23 years and you would be hard pressed to find someone with his breadth of experience in Wisconsin agriculture and who has served their state in numerous capacities most of their adult life.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2019 15:22
Republican Pettiness Threatens Family Farmers PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 14:32

farm-familyEven while Wisconsin lost nearly 700 dairy farms last year as President Trump escalated his reckless trade war, State Republicans reject appointment of tireless advocate and ally for farmers.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2019 16:16
WI Democracy Campaign: Wis. Insurance Lobby PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 14:13

wdc-logoMADISON - We just posted our “Influence Peddler of the Month,” and this month it goes to the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, which has spent $3.4 million since 2011 to push through a raft of anti-consumer laws, as you’ll see here:

Influence Peddler of the Month – Wisconsin Insurance Alliance

Earlier this week, we posted an item on the anti-protest bill aimed at pipeline demonstrators. It’s a bill that’s supported both by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and by the AFL-CIO of Wisconsin:

Felony Trespass Bills Draw Support from Infrequent Bed Fellows

Next week, on Wed night, I’m giving a talk in Hartford on "Why We Need to Ban Gerrymandering in Wisconsin." It’s at 6:00 p.m. at the Jack Russell Memorial Library, 100 Park Avenue. So if you’re in the area, please come.

matt-rothschildAnd then on Saturday, I’ll be speaking at the big statewide Fair Maps for Wisconsin Summit in Marshfield, which I hope you’ll also be able to attend. It’s at the Hotel Marshfield, and for more information on it, please go here:

This movement to ban gerrymandering is one of the most exciting grassroots efforts under way in Wisconsin right now, and we’re thrilled to play our part in it.

I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.


P.S. If you support our work for fair voting maps, and for exposing the influence peddlers, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Thanks!

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