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January 9 Update From DPW Chair Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:03

wisdemsMADISON - Welcome to the New Year and the latest installment of my chair update! I hope you all were able to get some much-needed rest over the holidays and ready to get work in 2017.

Announcing New Executive Director Jason Sidener

As many of you know, DPW Executive Director Kory Kozloski has decided to pursue new opportunities. While we are saddened to see Kory leave the DPW team, we are excited about his future ventures and are looking toward the future of DPW.

With Kory's departure, it was a priority of mine to ensure that the transition between Executive Directors is a smooth one. In order to implement a strong strategic plan right away in 2017, that meant having a new Executive Director who could hit the ground running on January 1st and allow some overlap time with Kory before he leaves.

Last months, our Party's administrative committee voted to approve Jason Sidener as our next Executive Director. Jason Sidener is an incredible addition to our team. He brings nearly two decades of political organizing, grassroots engagement, and progressive movement leadership to our organization.

Read our official announcement here.

The Big Idea

We're coming right out of the gate this year with a number of items to bolster our Spring Program and work towards electing progressive candidates up and down the ballot in April. 

One of those items is 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.

Take a look at a few of the other items we're doing this year to ensure victories in April:

  • 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.

Our Party is not waving the white flag in 2017. We are committed to working closely with our local parties, activists, and candidates to produce the statewide victory of Tony Evers as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, build a deep bench, and start taking back our state.

Post-Election Listening Session Update

I'm looking forward to continuing my travels around the state to hear from our volunteers, party members, candidates, and staff members. This month we'll visit Wausau, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. 

If you are able, please join us at our listening sessions this month. 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.

Save The Date: January 15th Day of Action to Protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Reform

Senator Baldwin is teaming up with Rep. Gwen Moore and Citizen Action of Wisconsin to sponsor a rally in Milwaukee as part of a national day of action to tell Republicans not to take away people's health care. 

Over the past six years, Congressional Republicans have voted over 60 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act - without presenting any viable alternative. Now with a Republican president poised to enter the White House, one of the first goals for Congressional Republicans is repealing health care insurance for over 20 million Americans, making massive cuts to Medicaid, and restricting access to preventative care for women nationwide. 

Progressives believe in the right to affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. We will fight as hard as we can to protect our values and let Republicans know they will not get away with repealing health care for tens of millions of Americans. Join us in Milwaukee on Sunday. Event details are located below.

Event Details
What: January 15th Day of Action to Protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Reform
When: Sunday, January 15th 
Doors Open: 11:00 AM 
Program Begins: 11:30 AM 
Where: Candela's Banquet, 2537 W National Ave, Milwaukee
Click here to RSVP for the event online.

Save The Date: President Barack Obama's Farwell Address

Today, President Barack Obama will give his final address to the American people in Chicago. The President is expected to look back on his time in office and share his outlook on the future of our country. 

For Democrats, there is a lot to be proud of when it comes to President Obama's legacy. Eight years ago, America hovered on the brink of a second Great Depression. We were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month — nearly 800,000 in the month President Obama took office alone.Millions of Americans had lost their homes. Millions more saw hard-earned savings vanish. The auto industry was on the verge of collapse.

But today, the American economy has recovered from the recession, American leadership in the world is stronger than ever, and we’ve made lasting strides toward a more perfect union. 

If you don't have tickets to the event in Chicago, you can still stream tomorrow's address online here. Details of the event are below. 

Event Details
What: January 15th Day of Action to Protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Reform
When: Tuesday, January 10 @ 8 PM 
Where: McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois
Livestream the event online here.

Not going to Chicago? Get ready for his speech tonight with a few articles reflecting on President Obama's legacy. 

Obama's Economic Record: An Assesment
Obama’s policies helped lift the economy out of a frightening slump and set it on a path to steady, if unspectacular, growth. In fact, I’d call this his biggest achievement. The scale of the financial panic of 2008 and the extent of the job losses that occurred in the first months of 2009 should never be forgotten. By “a number of macroeconomic measures—including household wealth, employment and trade flows—the first year of the Great Recession in the United States saw declines that were as large or larger than at the outset of the Great Depression in 1929-30,” Jason Furman, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, recounted in an exit memo that he posted online this week.
Read the full article on newyorker.com

My President Was Black
A history of the first African-American White House—and of what came next
Read the entire article on theatlantic.com

The Day After: Obama on His Legacy, Trump's Win and the Path Forward
Obama greeted me outside his office and walked me in. He was tired. He skipped the usual small talk, took off his jacket, sat in his customary chair and said, "Let's do this." He spoke slowly and with precision, staying true to his essential nature: controlled, analytical and cool. There are many things a sitting president cannot say, but this was his carefully reasoned message on a difficult and historic day.
Read the entire interview on rollingstone.com

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

First lady Michelle Obama's final White House speech
"Her voice breaking and eyes filling with tears, an unusually emotional Michelle Obama said Friday that being first lady 'has been the greatest honor of my life' as she bid an early farewell to the White House."
Read about and watch the first lady's final White House speech here.

Sen. Tamy Baldwin again asks federal veterans agency to investigate King home
"Sen. Tammy Baldwin is again asking the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King following a hazardous liquid oxygen incident there and additional federal health violations."
Read the full story on Madison.com

Baldwin poised to hold Trump accountable
"From calling on Trump to release his tax returns to unsuccessfully pushing for legislation to require American-made iron and steel to be used in drinking water projects, Baldwin has already sought to set markers. Last month, Baldwin was disappointed when congressional Republicans stripped a permanent 'Buy America' provision she introduced and which the Senate passed in a water infrastructure bill in September. Afterward, Baldwin said she didn't see a 'tweet or a peep' from Trump."
Read the full story on JSOnline.com

Why Rural America Voted for Trump
"Who are these rural, red-county people who brought Mr. Trump into power? I'm a native Iowan and reporter in rural Marion County, Iowa. I consider myself fairly liberal. My family has mostly voted Democratic since long before I was born. To be honest, for years, even I have struggled to understand how these conservative friends and neighbors I respect - and at times admire - can think so differently from me, not to mention how over 60 percent of voters in my county could have chosen Mr. Trump."
Read this column on nytimes.com

Resistance to Donald Trump begins to grow with local roots
"Rachel Maddow looks at examples of a burgeoning anti-Trump movement taking shape with local, grassroots organizing, in some ways mirroring the tea party's anti-Obama movement."
Watch Maddow's segment here.
Read and download the resistance guide mentioned in Maddow's segment here.

Sincerely,
Martha Laning
Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin
 
Wachs Looks Ahead to 2017-2018 Assembly Session PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 11:38

dana_wachsWachs discusses key priorities including education and transportation.


MADISON - On Tuesday, January 3rd, The Wisconsin State Assembly officially began the 2017-2018 legislative session. Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) took the oath of office for the third time, and offered his outlook on the upcoming session:

“Inauguration Day is always an exciting time here in the Capitol. I look forward to meeting the new members of the Assembly and Senate and reconnecting with my colleagues who continue to serve the state of Wisconsin.

“In Wisconsin, we have an awful lot of work to do. I know that despite some of the strong differences between our parties and between members, we can find common ground.

“One issue that we can all agree upon is that safe and strong transportation systems are vital for our economy. With our roads continuing to deteriorate and important projects being delayed, we simply cannot wait to make difficult but necessary decisions regarding transportation. As the ranking Democratic member on the Assembly Committee on Transportation, I am ready to work on solutions that benefit all Wisconsin citizens and repair the damage to our roads and grow our economy.

“In addition to growing our economy through a strong infrastructure, we must refocus our efforts on investing in education at all levels in Wisconsin. Too many school districts are being forced to go to referendum just to survive, and our UW System has had to make serious decisions due to an unprecedented cut in funding. Wisconsin’s once proud tradition of education has been decimated. We must recognize the relationship between strong education and economic development. I remain committed to investing in education and ensuring that Wisconsin is once again a leader in research, workforce development, and economic prosperity.

“This session will bring many unique challenges and difficult decisions. I hope that the optimism, enthusiasm, and collegiality from today’s ceremony will continue as we move through the session.”

 
WI Senate Democratic Leader Lays Out Priorities for 2017-18 Session PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by State Senate Democrats   
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 10:59

capital-madisonwiShilling wants to strengthen the middle class, boost family wages and invest in the future of Wisconsin.


MADISON, WI – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) welcomed new and returning members to the legislature today at the inauguration ceremony for the 103rd Session of the State Legislature. In her inauguration day remarks, Sen. Shilling laid out her vision for the future and policy goals to strengthen the middle class, boost family wages and invest in the future of Wisconsin.

jennifer-shilling-speaks“As we seek to balance Wisconsin’s budget deficit and build a brighter future, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I are committed to focusing on the important issues at hand,” said Sen. Shilling. “We will put forward thoughtful proposals to improve workplace flexibility, increase economic freedom and invest in pro-growth policies to strengthen the middle class. We recognize that these aren’t Democratic or Republican issues. They’re Wisconsin issues and we must find ways to work together on these key priorities.”

Sen. Shilling’s full remarks to the Senate are below:

Mr. President, friends and colleagues. I am honored to join you here today as we begin a new legislative session and address the challenges facing our state.

I would like to welcome our new and returning members as well as their families. I especially want to recognize my husband Chris and two boys, Nate and Zach, who are here with me today. Thank you for your unconditional love, support and encouragement. I also want to welcome everyone watching from home on WisconsinEye as well as our guests here in the Senate chamber.

While today marks the start of a new session, it also provides our legislature with a clean slate and the opportunity to chart a new course for our state. We all know that Wisconsin is a unique, vibrant and hardworking state full of amazing people and unparalleled potential, but we need a clearer plan to invest in our future and ensure long-term economic success.

While the rest of the nation has seen strong job gains, our state has consistently ranked below the national average for job creation, we’ve struggled with declining wages and our aging infrastructure is preventing many businesses from expanding. Wisconsin communities, businesses and residents are already bracing for another round of difficult budget cuts and sacrifices because of fiscal policies that favor the wealthy over working families.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. Just across the border in Minnesota, their progressive policies are attracting businesses, growing their middle class, and resulting in major budget surpluses. Just last month, their budget office forecasted a $1.4 billion surplus and they have a $1.9 billion reserve fund. Rather than looking to cut and borrow, they are investing and growing.

As we seek to balance Wisconsin’s budget deficit and build a brighter future, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I are committed to focusing on the important issues at hand. We will put forward thoughtful proposals to improve workplace flexibility, increase economic freedom and invest in pro-growth policies to strengthen the middle class. We recognize that these aren’t Democratic or Republican issues. They’re Wisconsin issues and we must find ways to work together on these key priorities.

In this new session, it is important to recognize the shortcomings of past policies and look for new ways to deliver on legislative promises. Without adequately investing in our future, Wisconsin will continue to lag our neighboring states in job growth and prosperity. We know that a quality education is the foundation for lifelong success, yet state cuts, local funding challenges and the massive increase of student loan debt have become significant burdens for families. By making targeted investments in our schools, we can improve education outcomes at all levels from pre-K programs to our technical colleges and universities.

Senate Democrats will also look for ways to help businesses improve workplace productivity, reduce employee turnover and provide greater workplace flexibility. We want to focus on increasing access to affordable childcare, reducing health care costs and improving retirement security to eliminate the barriers that prevent employers and employees from succeeding in a competitive global marketplace.

We also recognize that our government has a responsibility to strengthen communities and private enterprise by maintaining a strong public infrastructure. From repairing aging roads and bridges to encouraging broadband access in urban and rural areas, we need to ensure that our infrastructure is an asset, not a liability, to businesses growth and expansion.

Each of the members in this chamber represents a unique district and geographic area of our state, but we are united in our desire to do what’s best for everyone. Rather than focusing on policies that will divide communities, I hope that we will seize this opportunity to set a new tone and find commonsense solutions to the challenges we face. As the Senate Democratic Leader, I look forward to working with Gov. Walker, my legislative colleagues, community leaders and local advocates to strengthen relationships and move Wisconsin forward. By working together, I know that we can provide greater economic opportunity, prosperity and freedom for all to enjoy. Thank you.

***

Tony Palese contributed to this story.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 11:27
 
Larson Announces Committee Assignments for 2017-2018 Legislative Session PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 09:57

madison_capitolMilwaukee State Senator on Education, Administrative Rules, and Insurance, Housing, and Trade, Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism committees. Looking forward to working with neighbors and colleagues.


MADISON - Senator Chris Larson was named the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Administrative Rules, and the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules. Senator Larson has also been appointed as a member of Senate Committee on Insurance, Housing, and Trade and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business, and Tourism.

Sen. Larson released the following statement on the 2017-2018 committee assignments:

chris_larson_sen07“As the lead Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Education last session, I had the opportunity to collaborate with teachers, experts, legislators, advocates, and students to come up with legislation that puts our kids on the road to opportunity. I look forward to continuing our work to strengthen our schools and provide needed support to all students.

“Last session, I introduced common sense solutions that our state can and should be spearheading to ensure all of our kids are able to thrive and live a prosperous life. Looking ahead, I will introduce legislation to support the successful community schools model as a proven way to remove learning barriers, such as access to mental health care. Supporting this model will ensure schools are again the center of communities across Wisconsin the way they were meant to be.

“Our Milwaukee community has already shown a keen interest in adopting the community schools approach. Milwaukee Public Schools, in partnership with United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, recently announced that two additional schools transitioned into being community schools. I'm proud of our Milwaukee neighbors who have worked hard to ensure all of our students have a bright future, and look forward to working with my legislative colleagues to invest in these initiatives.

“Additionally, more and more communities across Wisconsin are passing referendums as they struggle to make up for the state’s failure to invest in our neighborhood schools. In fact, when voters are asked to pick up the state’s tab to provide basic support for their local schools, 80% of the time they say ‘yes.’ Unfortunately, some of our distressed neighborhoods have been economically squeezed dry and simply cannot fill the funding gap left by Governor Walker’s cuts. They need state legislators to end the historic cuts and instead provide every school with their fair share of funding.

“As a state senator and as a member of these important committees, I look forward to working with my neighbors and colleagues to support policies that will provide each of our neighbors the freedom to pursue the American Dream.”

 
Rep. Wachs Announces His 2017-2018 Committee Assignments PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 30 December 2016 15:32

eau-claireEau Claire area Representative named Ranking Democrat on Assembly Judiciary and Transportation Committees.


MADISON- On Friday, December 30th, Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) announced his committee assignments for the 2017-2018 legislative session. Wachs was once again named the ranking Democratic member on the Assembly Committee on Judiciary, as well as a member of two Assembly committees on which he currently serves: Colleges and Universities, and Constitution and Ethics. In addition to continuing his previous committee assignments, Wachs was also named to the Assembly Committee on Transportation, where he will serve as the ranking Democratic member.

dana_wachs“It is an honor to be selected to serve on these committees,” said Wachs. “I respect and appreciate the committee process and the role that each committee plays in the development of policy in Wisconsin.”

As a civil litigation attorney for over 30 years, Rep. Wachs plans to continue to put his legal experience to work on the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. “The issues that we face on the Assembly Committee on Judiciary affect everyone,” said Wachs. “The law has been a longtime passion and career of mine, and I appreciate the opportunity to once again use my legal background to create sound public policy.”

Wachs also stressed the importance of the Assembly Committee on Transportation, and emphasized the need for common sense solutions to Wisconsin’s significant transportation challenges.

“Wisconsin is facing an unprecedented transportation crisis, and the work that we will do on the Transportation committee is more important than ever,” added Wachs. “Under the Walker Administration, we have seen our state’s infrastructure become an embarrassment with crumbling roads and significant project delays. I am ready to work across party lines to ensure that we have safe, strong roads for drivers while still exploring new modes of transportation that reduce stress on our existing infrastructure.”

Rep. Wachs represents the 91st Assembly District, which consists entirely of the City of Eau Claire. He will begin his 3rd term in the Assembly on January 3rd.

 
Assembly Democrats Announce New Committee Assignments PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 30 December 2016 15:15

assemblyThe names of Assembly Democratic members of the standing and joint committees for the 2017-2018 legislative session are listed.


MADISON – Today Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) announced the Assembly Democratic members of the standing and joint committees for the 2017-2018 legislative session.

peter_barca“I am excited about the wealth of experience, dedication and talent our Democratic members will bring to their respective committees,” Rep. Barca said. “I am confident that with this new caucus, my colleagues in the Assembly will represent our state well as we continue to strongly advocate for the values we all share as Wisconsinites."

The Assembly Democratic members of the committees are: (** = ranking) 

Aging and Long-Term Care
Meyers**
Kolste
Brostoff

Agriculture
Considine**
Kessler
Spreitzer
Fields
Vruwink

Campaigns and Elections
Kessler**
Zamarripa
Taylor

Children and Families
Taylor**
Billings
Subeck
Bowen 

Colleges and Universities
Berceau**
Wachs
Billings
Hebl
Vruwink
Anderson

Constitution and Ethics
Kessler**
Berceau
Wachs

Consumer Protection
Berceau**
Sinicki
Pope

Corrections
Bowen**
Pope
Goyke
Considine

Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Goyke**
Kessler
Zamarripa
Crowley

Education
Pope**
Genrich
Considine
Hebl
Bowen
Vruwink

Energy and Utilities
Zepnick**
Sargent
Genrich
Stuck
Meyers

Environment and Forestry
Mason**
Hebl
Milroy
Anderson

Family Law
Goyke**
Subeck
Zepnick

Federalism/Interstate Relations
Zepnick**
Doyle

Financial Institutions
Doyle**
Young
Zepnick
Kessler
Meyers
Fields

Government Accountability/Oversight
Pope**
Hintz
Brostoff

Health
Kolste**
Zamarripa
Subeck
Taylor

Housing and Real Estate
Stuck**
Young
Goyke

Insurance
Genrich**
Young
Berceau
Doyle
Bowen

Jobs and Economy
Ohnstad**
Stuck
Fields
Crowley

Judiciary
Wachs**
Hebl
Taylor

Labor
Sinicki**
Mason
Ohnstad

Local Government
Subeck**
Berceau
Spreitzer

Mental Health Reform
Considine**
Sargent
Brostoff
Zepnick

Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
Milroy**
Hesselbein
Spreitzer
Stuck
Brostoff

Public Benefit Reform
Subeck**
Kolste
Riemer

Regulatory Licensing Reform
Brostoff**
Genrich
Anderson

Rural Development/Mining
Spreitzer**
Milroy
Shankland
Vruwink

Science/Technology
Genrich**
Kolste
Anderson

Small Business Development
Sargent**
Zamarripa
Billings
Kolste
Crowley

State Affairs and Government Operations
Zamarripa**
Sinicki
Ohnstad
Hesselbein
Doyle

Tourism
Billings**
Ohnstad
Mason
Considine
Vruwink

Transportation
Wachs**
Kolste
Meyers
Billings
Crowley

Urban Revitalization
Fields (Vice Chair)
Sinicki**
Bowen

Veterans and Military Affairs
Hesselbein**
Milroy
Sinicki
Goyke
Reimer

Ways and Means
Taylor**
Reimer
Ohnstad
Doyle

Workforce Development
Billings**
Spreitzer
Riemer
Ohnstad
Crowley

Rules Committee
Pope
Kolste

Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules
Hebl**
Anderson

Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology
Barca**
Sargent

Joint Committee on Finance
Hintz**
Shankland

Joint Legislative Audit Committee
Sargent**
Berceau

Joint Legislative Council
Mason**
Hesselbein

Assembly Organization
Barca
Hesselbein
Sprietzer

Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems
Mason**

Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
Young**

Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties
Riemer**

 
LWV Will Hold Politicians Accountable in 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Thursday, 22 December 2016 13:49

capitol-nightOur nonpartisan advocacy will be needed more than ever to stand up for quality public education, healthcare, voting rights and protection of our natural resources.


MADISON - We’ve begun to hear about what to expect in the State Capitol in 2017, and it's not pretty. There's talk of rolling back environmental protections, requiring drug tests for benefit recipients, limiting the number of refugees who may come to Wisconsin and reducing child support payments for the wealthiest parents.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s nonpartisan advocacy will be needed more than ever to stand up for quality public education, healthcare, voting rights and protection of our natural resources. In particular, the League needs your support to advocate for an accountable state budget that will support essential government services through a fair tax system.

Your year-end contribution will help the League stand up to politicians who believe simply in less government, rather than in more responsive, efficient and effective government.

As a grassroots organization, our strength is in our many active League members and followers. In 2017 we plan to be more proactive in alerting you with timely and concise information so you can contact your legislators and hold them accountable.

We have a big year ahead, and with your support and activism the League will speak truth to power to keep Wisconsin a healthy, happy place to live, work, play and raise a family.

*****

Please help keep the League strong with as generous a contribution as you can. Click here to make a secure, tax-deductible contribution to help the League continue to be a robust and authoritative force for good government in Wisconsin.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 December 2016 16:44
 
December 20 Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 16:58

lacrosse-xmas-lightsDemocratic 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!

martha-laningThe 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."

Read all of Senator Tammy Baldwin's Article Here.

 

Sincerely,
Martha Laning
Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin
 
December 14 Update From The DPW Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 14:27

martha-laningDemocratic 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.

After years of attacking our University system and slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, for the first time in 40 years UW-Madison has fallen out of the top five for research.
Read more about the need to re-invest in our UW-System.

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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 14:50
 
Laning, Bowen Launch Democratic Party Re-Election Campaign PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:05

wisdems-flagCurrent 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.

martha-laning"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.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:18
 
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