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Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response Costs Northern Wisconsin Jobs PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Thursday, 18 June 2020 10:28

verso-plant-wrOver 900 jobs to be lost as Verso plans to shutter paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.

WISCONSIN -- After crushing Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector with multiple trade wars, Trump’s failed Coronavirus response is adding to the damage. It was recently announced that Verso, which produces paper, will be shutting down its Wisconsin Rapids factory as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the full story here or parts of it below.

Wisconsin State Journal: Over 900 jobs to be lost as Verso plans to shutter paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids

trumpdonaldThe state’s paper industry has suffered another debilitating blow, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verso Papers announced Tuesday it would shutter its mill in Wisconsin Rapids by the end of July, putting more than 900 people out of work. The Ohio-based company also said it would close its mill in Duluth, Minnesota, by the end of June, a move that would eliminate about 235 jobs.

In a statement, the company said it is “exploring viable and sustainable alternatives” for both mills, including restarting the facilities if market conditions improve or closing them permanently and putting them up for sale.


The decision to close the two mills is driven by “the accelerated decline in graphic paper demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said. Stay-at-home orders have “significantly” reduced the use of print advertising including in retail, sports, entertainment and tourism. According to industry estimates, North American printing and writing demand fell by 38% year-over-year in April, and operating rates are expected to drop well below 70% in the second quarter. Verso also operates mills in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Quinessec, just north of Niagra, Wisconsin, and in Escanaba.

The mill in Wisconsin Rapids is the city’s largest employer and has been a staple along the Wisconsin River since 1904. The loss of jobs will be felt throughout central Wisconsin, Mayor Shane Blaser told the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

“During a time when so many have so little, with COVID-19 impacting our health and wealth, this news is even more devastating,” Blaser said. “My heart goes out to each and every one of these employees and their families.”


The state is now home to 35 pulp, paper and paperboard mills that produce $13.7 billion in product annually, according to the WPC.

Wisconsin Economic Development Secretary Missy Hughes said state officials “understand the importance of the paper industry,” which has an estimated $18 billion economic impact in Wisconsin.


In 2017, Appleton Coated in Combined Locks filed for receivership, closed, was sold and restarted some manufacturing but only about 150 of the company’s 620 employees were called back that year. In 2018, Kimberly-Clark, founded in 1870 in Neenah but now based in Dallas, Texas, cut about 5,500 jobs worldwide, about 13 percent of its workforce. Less than two weeks later, it announced plans to eliminate about 600 jobs in the Fox River Valley.



Trump Is Taking Wisconsin’s Working Class Down With Him PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Thursday, 18 June 2020 09:50

trump-tariffsDonald Trump's failures as a President and leader coming home to roost on the economy.

Senator Jeff Smith: The Movement America Has Been Waiting For PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 09:51

george-floyd-protest-eau-claireWe still have a lot of work ahead of us to address systemic racism and injustice, and it will take a collective effort to achieve equality.

Wisconsin DEMS: A Week In Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Saturday, 13 June 2020 10:13

covid-19-wh-trump-debunkDemocrats comment on Trump's disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic pain caused by his lack of leadership, and the violence against peaceful protesters he encouraged.

WISCONSIN - This week Wisconsin Democrats continued to hold Trump accountable for his disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cost over 113,000 Americans lives and millions of jobs, his attacks on the health care system, and his divisive and racist rhetoric in response to the national protests taking place in small and large cities across Wisconsin and the United States.

On Monday, an op-ed by Gary Mitchell, president of the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, highlighted how Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus, as well as his attacks on the Affordable Care Act, have put seniors in a perilous situation. Mitchell argues that “America’s seniors — and all who love them — desperately need President Trump and Republicans to end their assault on America’s health care.” -- and he’s right. For years Trump has promised to lower health care and prescription drug costs, but even in the midst of a pandemic he refuses to help people hold onto or get the care they need.

Just a few days later, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, State Representative Greta Neubauer, AFL-CIO State Treasurer Dennis Delie, and farmer and business owner Tina Hinchley blasted Trump for destroying the booming economy he was handed by the Obama-Biden administration. The speakers highlighted that while a great deal of the economic pain came from Trump’s failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic, his disastrous trade wars as well as the tax-scam bill he passed hurt working class Wisconsinites far before the virus came to the United States.

Black leaders like Rep. Moore, Democratic Party of Wisconsin 1st Vice Chair Felesia Martin, and Milwaukee Alderman Chevy Johnson called out Trump for his racist rhetoric that has been a keystone of his presidency. Recently, Trump has encouraged violence against peaceful protesters, bemoaned army bases having their names changed from Confederate generals, and has used a segregationist rallying cry to further divide the country.

Trump continues to fail Wisconsinites, and they will continue to hold him accountable until he is voted out of office on November 3rd.

Wis Democracy Campaign - This Historic Moment PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 12 June 2020 08:46

george-floyd-protest-mdsnMADISON - We’re living in a historic moment.

We’re witnessing the biggest mass movement in this country in the last 50 years. And from studying history, we know that progressive mass movements are what propel positive change in this country.

I reflected on this moment, and this movement, in a talk I gave by Zoom to the Rock County Progressives last night:

On Racism, Voter Suppression, and Democracy

We also posted something on the political spending by police unions. They were split about evenly, but the Milwaukee Police Association gave overwhelmingly to Republican candidates, as we note here:

Police Groups, Unions Spent $2.3M on Lobbying and Elections

On the gerrymandering front, I noticed that Scott Jensen is up to his old tricks again. He’s filed a request with his pals at the Wisconsin Supreme Court urging them to take up any lawsuits that might arise during the redistricting process next year. It’s a preemptive strike, as I explain here:

Scott Jensen Tries to “Pre-Rig” Redistricting

matt-rothschildI hope you find these postings to be of interest.

Have a nice weekend, and join a protest if you can.


Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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