Tuesday June 19, 2018

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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning July 8 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Saturday, 09 July 2016 08:22

martha-laningMADISON - This week I will address the multiple senseless killings we saw this week, an interview I had with WGTD, the continued efforts of Planned Parenthood, the importance of investing in early childhood education, properly funding Wisconsin's infrastructure, and Donald Trump's continued bigotry.


It’s been an emotional week for all of us as we seek to cope with the past three days of senseless violence that has gripped our nation and dominated news headlines.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile who joined a long list of law abiding African Americans unjustly killed by police solely for the crime of having darker skin. Again and again, we have seen the systemic racism in our country played out on the evening news in the form of another member of our community having their life taken for no reason.

Throughout our nation's history, we’ve taken to the streets, marching and protesting to highlight the need to transform policing in America. Last night in Dallas, people of all colors and creeds joined together to demonstrate the urgent need for justice, transparency, and accountability. The peaceful demonstration ended abruptly due to the actions of a lone gunman targeting caring police officers, killing five officers and injuring six others.

Police put their lives on the line each and every time they report to duty - their job is not an easy one. We grieve for the families of the Dallas police officers who were targeted while serving their community. The demonstrations happening around the country have been peaceful and focused on highlighting an important issue. We implore others to remember that violence is not the answer to the problems we face at this time.

Please, let me be clear, what we saw in Baton Rouge was an act of terror; what we saw in St. Paul was an act of terror, and what we saw last night in Dallas was an act of terror. We cannot abide by the status quo, continue to stoke flames of racial division, and turn a blind eye to the important business of making sure that our country is one that stands by its promise to ensure justice and equality for all.

To truly honor the lives of those taken from us through senseless violence this week, we need to come together to summon the political will to recognize injustice and to ensure that justice is truly for all.


This week I sat down with WGTD, an affiliate of NPR, to discuss our party’s goals going into the Democratic National Convention. Democrats across the state are standing strong and unified behind our shared common values, poised to win races up and down the ticket this November. The general election will pose a new challenge, but we are confident that Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. The national convention will be an exciting opportunity for Democrats from all 50 states to come together in unity and show an outpouring of support for our nominee and the principles we all hold as Democrats. The nation will see our strength and dedication, and join us on this journey toward progress. The interview will air next week, and I will be sure to share a link with you all in next week’s update!


Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin and Democratic legislators are calling to repeal a section of Wisconsin’s abortion laws, which are nearly identical to those in Texas that the Supreme Court struck down for being unconstitutional. Just last week, the Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin’s appeal to reinstate a law requiring doctors who perform abortion to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, with multiple justices citing our state’s law were almost the same as those in Texas. While the Supreme Court rejected Wisconsin’s appeal and the law is not legally binding, the law remains on the books. As stated by Planned Parenthood legal and policy associate Mel Barnes, the allowance of the law to stay in the books violates the civil liberties and dignity of Wisconsin women. The Supreme Court’s decision reminds us why it is so important we support Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. It is critical in order to protect women’s constitutional rights to safe and accessible contraceptive and reproductive health care and moving our society forward.


Psychology professor Seth Pollak and economist Barbara Wolfe recently conducted a study focusing on socioeconomic brain research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which highlights the importance of early education. The study found that lags in the critical area of the brain, responsible for learning, memory, and comprehension, are linked to the 20 percent gap in test scores of low-income children. These findings suggest student’s ability to succeed in Elementary and Middle School relies on the student’s early education environment. Children that do not have a structured early education early in life, especially those growing up in poverty, could experience delayed brain development that significantly harms their educational progress. As we all know, a major key to success later in life is receiving a quality education when you are younger. It is imperative that regardless of a child’s zip code or their parents’ income they receive the quality education they deserve. Instead of slashing education budgets like we have seen over the past several years, we should be making the necessary investment in our future by properly funding our public education system. These findings prove the importantance and need of proper government funding to support early education programs, and ultimately, the prosperity and successful future of Wisconsinites.


Earlier this week, State Senator Janis Ringhand released an excellent statement demanding expansion of and investment in state infrastructure. Criticizing Scott Walker and legislative Republicans' do-nothing strategy concerning our roads, bridges, and highway system, Sen. Ringhand warns when we ultimately fix and upgrade our roads and bridges, the price tag will be much larger, to the tune of an excess of  $700 million that taxpayers will be on the hook for. Instead of being responsible and making the proper investments, Scott Walker and the Republicans are playing chicken with Wisconsinite’s safety and are ultimately going to cost the state far more money.

I agree with Sen. Ringhand: investing in Wisconsin's infrastructure shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Sen. Ringhand calls for us to adopt the local government model in order to work together and solve this crisis while simultaneously improving road safety and creating economic opportunities. For Governor Walker and legislative Republicans to let our crumbling infrastructure continue to deteriorate while motorist safety suffers and economic development opportunities are lost is simply irresponsible.


This week, Donald Trump tweeted out a picture of our presumptive presidential nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, using anti-Semitic imagery of money and the Star of David to call Secretary Clinton “corrupt.” After months and years of Donald Trump’s racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and bigotry, we now expect this from the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. What is surprising is that prominent Wisconsin Republicans continue to support such an abhorrent candidate. Gov. Walker, Sen. Johnson and Speaker Ryan can denounce Trump’s comments all they want, but at the end of the day they still support him as their nominee for President. In the case of Governor Walker, that will also mean speaking in support of Trump at the GOP convention, which he agreed to earlier this week. Wisconsinites know better than to support Donald Trump, so why don’t our elected leaders?

Ron Johnson's Lecture at the Milwaukee Rotary Club PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 17:39

ron-johnsonMiddleton – In response to Sen. Johnson's lecture today at the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, RFW Communications Director Michael Tyler released the following statement:

"In a single conversation, Sen. Johnson reminded Wisconsinites that on the issues that matter most, he continues to side with the corporate interests and Washington Republicans and refuses to listen to this state’s middle class and working families.

"Sen. Johnson praised the disastrous TPP trade deal while blatantly admitting that he won't come clean with his position until after the election. He ducked and dodged his way through every question over his support for Donald Trump. He doubled down on his intention to jeopardize retirement security for Wisconsin’s seniors by privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a voucher program.  And he continued to advocate for another massive, reckless ground invasion in the Middle East.

"Sen. Johnson failed to connect with the people of Wisconsin today. The only thing he accomplished was reminding Wisconsinites that he’s all Washington."

Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning July 3 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 09:52

martha-laningMADISON - I wanted to recap a few things: the big Supreme Court decision this past week, a Common Sense Gun Safety legislation rally we saw Democrats put together, a new study showing Scott Walker's priorities are designed to help the rich, the death of the Government Accountability Board, and the draft of the new DNC platform.


On Monday, June 27, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down crucial parts of the restrictive Texas anti-abortion law HB2. The law imposed strict requirements on abortion providers and impeded women from getting the safe health care they need. The Supreme Court concluded the restrictions HB2 imposed on clinics were unnecessary, offered no medical benefits sufficient to justify obstructing abortion access, and violated the Constitution. Immediately extending the reach of Monday’s ruling, the Supreme Court denied an appeal over a nearly identical Wisconsin law. The Supreme Court dashed the hopes of Scott Walker and Republicans to reinstate state laws requiring abortion doctors to hold unnecessary admitting privileges at local hospitals, which were struck down as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in 2015. The Supreme Court’s decision reminds us why it is so important we support Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. It is critical in order to protect women’s constitutional rights to safe and accessible contraceptive and reproductive health care and moving our society forward.


This week, our Executive Director Kory Kozloski and I attended an event hosted by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, where we celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Scott Walker’s appeal to uphold our regressive anti-women’s health legislation. This comes in the wake of their decision to strike down laws in Texas that were making it nearly impossible for women to successfully seek an abortion. A woman’s personal health care decisions should be made by a woman, with her family, her faith and the counsel of her doctor. The Supreme Court sent a clear message today that the Wisconsin Republican law is unconstitutional.  Women, Democrats, and Planned Parenthood have a lot to celebrate this week.


Representative Mark Pocan, accompanied by Madison Mayor Paul Slogan, State Representatives Christ Taylor and Terese Berceau, and Michael Johnson of the Boy and Girls Club led a press conference to continue the call for common-sense gun-safety legislation. It is clear the pressure we Democrats are applying is working, as it was announced today that there will be a vote in the House on gun legislation. This comes after we saw Democrats occupy the House floor for 26 hours, demanding the House hold a vote. Thank you to our Democratic legislators who fought for this issue to keep Americans safe.  We are all better off when we work together and I am glad to see the Republicans starting to move on this important issue. Democrats, Republicans, and sportspersons alike agree we need to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals to help keep Americans safe.


This week, information requested by Democratic State Representative Gordon Hintz was released by the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, showing Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans’ tax legislation is giving a $21 million tax break to 11 of Wisconsin’s wealthiest taxpayers. It is shameful they would prioritize a group of people, who are estimated to make $35 million or more per year, over everyday Wisconsinites who are struggling to get ahead. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the Manufacturing and Ag tax credits have cost the state twice as much as initially projected. The credit essentially eliminates state income tax for manufacturing and Ag business.

In response to why this credit was put in, both Governor Walker and Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce point out that manufacturing jobs have increased.  That really irritated me.  Wisconsin manufacturing jobs didn’t increase because of this tax credit.  Wisconsin has added a lot of jobs because of President Obama's policies, which prevented our country from going into a depression and have pulled our whole country out of the Great Recession. I live in one of the highest manufacturing areas of the state, and we have great business leaders and workers who made compromises to get through the hard times of the Recession so that they could build their lives back up after the crash. The jobs that have been added are not due to the manufacturing tax credit but due to recovery from the Recession.

Giving huge tax breaks to millionaires while under-funding schools, our university system, local communities, and our infrastructure is wrong.  This is just the latest in a long list of Governor Walker and Wisconsin GOP moves that have left middle-class Wisconsinites in the dust while the richest few race further ahead. Wisconsin deserves better.


This week, several of our most distinguished Wisconsin legislators and Democratic Party leaders held a press conference in front of the Capital to address the unjust end of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board. State Senators Jon Erpenbach and Mark Miller, as well as Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, stood alongside former State Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson to discuss how Scott Walker and the Republicans are doing everything to strip openness and transparency from government in exchange for deception and secrecy. Our leaders explained that the Government Accountability Board was a model for our nation, and eliminating it in favor of the old toothless partisan oversight is bad for Wisconsin.  Wisconsin voters lost a huge ally on Thursday when the GAB was closed in exchange for this new partisan organization – our state is taking a big step backward to a time when lack of oversight left both parties with individuals that broke the law.  Unfortunately, this is just another chapter in the long book of Governor Walker and Republican’s attempts to push forward their damaging agenda by any means necessary. Democrats believe our elected officials should be held accountable for their actions and should be in full view of the public.


I wanted to highlight that the DNC has released draft resolutions for how our party will be moving forward. This covered everything from education to raising the minimum wage to tackling climate change. If you want to read in more details about the platform, click here.

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