Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 16:58
Democratic Party Chair Martha Laning wishes you a happy holiday season and talks about spring program preparations, listening, the VAN Grant program, Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump silence on Buy America, and more...
MADISON - There is a lot to discuss this week but before diving in I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and new year. This will be my last Chair Update until January - stay warm, rest up, and let's get to work with renewed efforts in 2017!
The Big Idea
We are doing a number of things to get our spring program underway including:
Hosting candidate recruitment conference calls with county parties.
Calling around to various county party chairs to talk about recruitment.
Creating resources for spring candidates and county parties.
Partnering with Wisconsin Progress on some of their training sessions.
Designing training programs for spring candidates and county parties.
General consulting with candidates, similar to how we operated this fall.
We are committed to working closely with our local parties, activists, and candidates to ensure we can start taking back our Republican-led state.
Deep Dive Update
In the past week we met in Hayward and Eau Claire to hear from our volunteers, party members like yourselves, candidates, and staff members. It has been extremely helpful gathering this information, which we will use when we meet in February we will use this information to strategically plan how we move our party forward.
Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is committed to supporting and electing progressive candidates to several local offices across Wisconsin. That’s why this year, we’re continuing our local candidate VAN Grant Program! Through the VAN Grant program, candidates who meet the program’s criteria and are committed to voter contact will have the VAN in-kinded to their campaign. Read more about the VAN Grant Program here.
DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile called on Congress to launch a thorough, independent, and bipartisan investigation into the Russian government’s unprecedented interference in the 2016 election. The intelligence community concluded that the Russian government orchestrated a series of cyberattacks on campaign committees and organizations over the past two years and used stolen information to influence both the Presidential campaign and Congressional races over the past two years. Read Donna Brazille's Statement on Russia's involvement here.
UW-Madison says state cuts threaten research stature "UW-Madison slipped to sixth place overall, a seemingly small drop. But it was among only four universities in the National Science Foundation's top 30 — and the only one among the top 10 — to report a decline in research and development spending in the last fiscal year. And its 3.6% single-year slide was the largest among the top 30, the NSF data showed." Read the full story here.
Tammy Baldwin announces federal funding to combat opioid epidemic "A task force for combating Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic could have a little more to work with. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, announced Friday that $1 billion in federal money has become available for states to fight the ever-growing epidemic of painkiller abuse and heroin addiction, which has been on a steady rise nationwide for more than a decade." Read the full story here.
U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved In U.S. Election Hack "Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said." Read the full story here.
Silence from Trump Tower on Buy America "The time is now for Donald Trump to take a stand in support of American workers by calling on Republican leadership in Congress to support strong Buy America requirements in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), also known as the Water Infrastructure Improvements Act (WIIN). Just one week ago in Cincinnati, President-elect Trump said his infrastructure plan would follow two simple rules: “Buy American and hire American.” I support that position, but unfortunately, the Republican establishment in Washington didn’t hear him. They have removed my Buy America standard from water infrastructure legislation and Trump Tower has since remained silent."
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 14:27
Democratic Party Chair Martha Laning on her latest statewide listening sessions, the State Chairs and Executive Directors meeting in Denver last week, Russian interference in the presidential election, and clips you may have missed but really need to see.
MADISON - The past week has been a very busy one with our Association of State Chairs meeting and several debrief meetings around Wisconsin. The meetings have been very helpful at putting together the pieces of the story as to how this election turned out so differently from what we expected.
Deep Dive Update
We are about half way through the listening sessions with volunteers, party members, candidates, and staff that we are doing across the state. Through the sessions we are gathering a lot of valuable information from activists that will help us plan for the changes we need to make. In addition, this week we are meeting with our nonprofit partners to discuss the campaign and hear their thoughts and opinions. The final phase of informational gathering won’t start until January when the state releases the detailed voting records. All of this information will be used for our strategic planning in early February.
The Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) meeting
The State Chairs and Executive Directors met in Denver last week. The meeting is an opportunity for the DNC to brief us on research they have pulled together, network with other chairs to learn from each others success and challenges, and finally to set a plan for how to move forward.
There was a lot of discussion about the Democratic National Committee Chair election that is coming up in February. The ASDC is developing a list of priorities the organization can all agree are important for our next chair to implement in order to create a stronger, more nimble organization that support State Parties. There are currently four announced candidates for the DNC Chairmanship.
I have endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison because of his strong belief that we need to build our party from the grassroots up. Rep. Ellison has gone out of his way to come to Wisconsin to help us build grassroots activism by speaking at Fighting Bob Fest and community events like our Bus Tour Breakfast in Milwaukee with local elected leaders. Keith won his first election by turning out brand new voters, he doesn’t just talk about it – he makes it happen. He puts 200% into everything he does. There was a concern that Keith would be fulfilling two roles, both as a representative to the US Congress and DNC chair if elected, which many felt was too much. This week Rep. Ellison announced, that if elected, he would give up his congressional seat. Just another example of how committed he is to the party and an example of how he listens to the concerns of his fellow Democrats.
Keith has also been endorsed by a wide variety of organizations, legislators and activists like the AFL-CIO, IBEW, United Steelworkers, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Gwen Moore, Representative John Lewis, and Representative Mark Pocan. We have great Democrats running for the DNC Chair and I will be happy to work with any of them. However, I strongly believe in Rep. Ellison’s commitment to building parties from the ground up and I think this election proved just how important that is. You can learn more about Representative Keith Ellison at keithforDNC.org
The Big Idea
As I am sure many of you saw, it has become quite clear the Russians directly interfered in the presidential election to try and help Donald Trump win. The race is over and it is time for our country to move forward, BUT there absolutely must be a further investigation into Russia's actions.
I am dismayed by the lack of outcry from the Republican Party, particularly here in Wisconsin, in response to Russia's meddling in our election. The fact Donald Trump has rejected the CIA's findings, and Republican leaders are dismissing the evidence as well, is some of the most unpatriotic nonsense I have ever seen in my life. What's worse, Trump and many of his Republican colleagues are now attacking the CIA, not Russia and what they did.
The integrity of our democracy, and democracies around the world, are at stake as Russia continues to try to undermine free and fair countries. You shouldn't have to be a Democrat or Republican to see there should be strong bipartisan support to look into Russia's actions and punish them for what they have done. I hope Sen. Ron Johnson will realize this isn't a partisan problem, this is an American problem that we all have to work together to solve.
What You May Have Missed But Need To See Now
Bernie Sanders sat down with MSNBC's Chris Hayes in Kenosha to talk about the election and how we forward on as a party. It's very much worth the watch! Watch the full interview here.
For the 20th straight quarter, Wisconsin Republican's failed agenda has left Wisconsin trailing the national average in private sector job growth. Over 70% of new jobs in Wisconsin are created by small businesses, yet the Republican-led legislature refuses to make the proper investments that would create jobs and boost Wisconsin's economy. Read more about the GOP's failure here.
Unbelievably Rep. Sean Duffy had the audacity to call Madison undemocratic and a communist community because of the hand recount that took place. What he failed to mention was 47 counties did full hand recounts, and thirteen others did partial hand recounts. Read more about Duffy's comments here.
We hope Speaker Ryan, Sen. Johnson, and Rep. Duffy will consider the damage repealing the ACA would have on our country: "In 2009, when Obama took office, about 50 million people were uninsured. The report projects that after repeal, 59 million people will lack coverage by 2019, compared to 29 million if the ACA remains in place." Read the full article here.
As Sheriff David Clarke neglected his duty to serve Milwaukee, four people died in the prison he oversees since April, and went so far to blame the inmates for their own deaths. This includes an individual who died of dehydration after the water to their cell was shut off. Now, the mothers of the deceased are calling for the Sheriff to resign. Read more about the call for Sheriff Clarke to resign here.
Last week Senator Jennifer Shilling gave the weekly Democratic radio address. She highlighted the need for working families to have more workplace flexibility so they receive the wages and benefits they need to get ahead. You can read and listen to Sen. Shillings address here.
Current leaders want to continue work to unite the party behind progressive values, strengthen county parties, do solid fundraising, and build a strong team for future elections.
MADISON – Today, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Martha Laning and First Vice Chair Representative David Bowen announced their re-election campaign ahead of the 2017 Democratic Party of Wisconsin officer elections.
"It has been our honor to serve the members of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin since our election in 2015,” Democratic Party Chair Woman Martha Laning stated. “We have worked hard to unite the party behind our progressive values, strengthen our county parties, continue our solid fundraising, and build a strong team.
We have an incredible team of Democrats who gave this past election all they’ve got. Though the results were not what we wanted on Election Day, we’re inspired by the passion and commitment of the thousands of volunteers, community leaders, candidates, campaign staff and more who worked so hard to elect Democrats this November,” Laning continued.
Laning and Bowen have been traveling the state meeting with local Democrats at listening sessions in communities like Hayward, Wausau, Eau Claire, Neenah, La Crosse, Dodgeville, Madison, Milwaukee and Sheboygan to debrief the 2016 election results and work with local party activists and leaders to identify the next steps to rebuilding the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
“It is clear that our team is more committed than ever to building a strong party that will unite Wisconsinites across our differences,” Laning commented. “That’s why we are proud to announce our intention to run for re-election as Chair and First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.”
"I am proud of the work Martha and her team have done in the past 16 months toward making our Democratic Party one that embraces the values and goals of people in every corner of Wisconsin," said First Vice Chair Representative David Bowen. "As the party of inclusion, we need leadership that can continue delivering our positive message that no matter where you are located or your economic situation, ours is the big tent party that fights against the status quo and for the progressive values that will make our state and nation work for everyone. Martha is the right person for the job and I'm proud to support her and help our party embrace new ideas and winning strategies."
Laning continued, “We have been and will continue to be a leadership team who is committed to working with our party membership to identify ways to build a stronger party to turn our state around. As a party, we’ve come a long way in the first 18 months of our tenure and look forward to building on the work we’ve done to strengthen our team and improve our party’s efficacy as we gear up for critical elections in 2018 when we re-elect Tammy Baldwin to the United State Senate and remove Scott Walker from the Governor’s Office.”
Laning, a business woman and nonprofit fundraiser from Sheboygan, and Bowen who represents Wisconsin’s 10th Assembly District in Milwaukee, were first elected to their posts in June of 2015 by the membership of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. They will seek re-election during the upcoming DPW Convention in Middleton, WI from June 2-3, 2017.