Thursday October 22, 2020

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Sen. Ron Johnson Breaks 200 Years of Precedent in Vote for Supreme Court Justice PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Thursday, 06 April 2017 12:43

ron-johnsonJoins Republicans in Washington to blow up Senate rules to place Neil Gorsuch on our nation’s highest court.


MADISON - After two centuries of precedent and Senate tradition, Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Republican Senators voted today to blow up the Senate rules for President Donald Trump's extreme Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch has shown time and time again that his ideas are far outside the judicial mainstream, and have no place on our nation’s highest court.

neil-gorsuchGorsuch's extreme record should keep him from ever being a Supreme Court justice, but Sen. Ron Johnson decided to abandon 200 years of tradition and dissolve the 60-vote threshold for appointments to the Supreme Court. The decision to invoke a "nuclear option" and lower the vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees undermines the Senate and our democracy.

Gorsuch’s decisions have been wildly pro-corporate and both anti-worker’s and women’s rights, such as his decision in the Hobby Lobby case allowing a corporation to strip crucial contraceptives from its employees’ health care plan. His decisions have often been cruel: he once declared that a trucker had committed a fireable offense by seeking shelter after his employer left him stranded for hours in sub-zero weather with no heat and his body beginning to go numb. Gorsuch supported using a legal standard that would deny disabled children a decent education, an interpretation of the law rejected by every sitting Supreme Court Justice. Anyone with views as extreme and ludicrous as these has no place on the highest court in the land.

It's clear that if confirmed, Gorsuch will be too extreme of a justice to be an independent check on the Trump Administration. In a time when our President is under FBI investigation and continues to push potentially unconstitutional actions, it is crucial the court remains objective.

"Today, Republicans in Washington demonstrated just how low they'll go to hold on to power and usher Donald Trump's anti-democratic agenda through Congress," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Thursday. "Supreme Court justices can alter the rights and freedoms of all Americans. The highest court in the land plays one the most important roles in our democracy and Sen. Ron Johnson just voted to confirm justices to the bench with party-line votes."

Last Updated on Friday, 07 April 2017 12:57
 
Sen. Leah Vukmir's Ugly Record On Equal Pay PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 13:19

leah-vukmirBrookfield Republican voted against the Democratic Equal Pay Enforcement Act and then to repeal equal pay enforcement provisions of the act when Republicans were in charge.


MADISON - Democrats believe that women's economic security and prosperity is crucial to our economic strength. While Democrats have worked for years to make equal pay for women a reality, Republicans like Sen. Leah Vukmir (R - Brookfield) have only helped widen the gender pay gap by voting against Democrat's enforcement of equal pay legislation and voting to repeal that very legislation just three years later.

womenIn 2009, then-Rep. Leah Vukmir voted against the Democratic-led legislature making it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court through the Equal Pay Enforcement Act. The legislation gave workers more avenues to press charges for pay discrimination.

Among its other provisions, the Equal Pay Enforcement Act allowed individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court.

Just three years later, in 2012, Vukmir voted to repeal those equal pay enforcement provisions - effectively taking the teeth out of the legislation.

"Women should always receive the same pay when they do the same work as a man. This is a question of basic fairness," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Brandon Weathersby said on Tuesday. "Yet today, women in Wisconsin earn only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes - and that gap is even larger for women of color. That’s why Democrats support strong paycheck protection laws in Wisconsin, and across the nation. Sen. Vukmir and her Republican colleagues should do the same."

Last Updated on Friday, 07 April 2017 14:52
 
Tony Evers Re-Elected with Statewide Support PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Tony Evers for State Superintendent, Amanda Brink   
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 11:42

tony_eversEvers thanks Wisconsin for his election victory Tuesday.


MADISON - The following is a statement from State Superintendent Tony Evers:

I’m grateful for tonight’s results. First, I just want to thank my wife Kathy, my family, my supporters and everyone who came out to vote today. I’ve received enormous support in this campaign, and it has been truly heartwarming. I also want to acknowledge Dr. Holtz -- stepping into the arena isn’t always easy. But I think that when you talk about the issues that really matter to folks, they show up and vote. Our campaign was about our kids, and the future of Wisconsin.

school-bus-kidsI believe the real winners tonight are Wisconsin’s 860,000 public school kids. The little girl in Altoona who loves playing her clarinet, the 4th grader in Greenfield who is excited about his computer class, and the kid from Three Lakes who is driven to invent and comes to school every day to work in the Fab Lab.

I believe in public education and I am proud of where we are today. We have high graduation rates, suspensions are down, attendance is up, and the number of kids earning college credit in high school is at an all-time high.

Despite these successes, we have serious challenges facing our schools. A larger share of our kids live in poverty, one in five students has a mental health need, the achievement gap between black and white students is too high and we have a growing teacher shortage that is furthered by divisive rhetoric.

Funding public schools is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, it is our obligation to care for our children, and our obligation to Wisconsin’s future prosperity. Education is the driving engine of our economy. Education gives kids a ladder of opportunity, and every child, not just some, deserve the resources Wisconsin should invest in them: kids with special needs, kids of color, kids who are immigrants and kids who come to school hungry.

I will continue to advocate for what is best for our kids and our future, but I need your help. With both the federal and state budgets in process, it is clear now, more than ever, we will have to continue to fight for public education and the resources our kids need. It takes more than just one person, one voice. So my ask tonight is this -- volunteer in your local school, mentor a student, speak to your elected representative. These kids are Wisconsin’s future, and they need our help.

Join me in being their champion.

 
Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning Apr 2 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 03 April 2017 16:52

martha-laningVote April 4, Republican Extremism Reaches A New Low, Wisconsin Budget Process, and more...


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

Make A Plan To Vote For Tony Evers For State Superintendent In Tuesday's Spring Election

If you haven't already, it's time to make a plan to vote in one of the most important races on the ballot: Tony Evers' bid for re-election as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Evers is the only candidate in the race for State Superintendent who is a champion for fairly funding our public schools, increasing graduation rates, and creating pathways to family-sustaining jobs for young adults.  

Make sure you get out to the polls this Tuesday, April 4 and vote for Evers. Then spread the word with your network online. Remind all of your friends and family to cast a ballot today for Tony Evers for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Learn more about Tony on his website tonyforwisconsin.com
Learn more about what you need vote on Tuesday at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/.

P.S. be sure to watch and share Tony's latest television ad with your online networks. Click the screenshot below to watch the ad on Tony's YouTube page.

tony-evers-campaign

Republican Extremism Reaches A New Low In Wisconsin

Just when I think things can't get more extreme they do. Last week, a joint Assembly and Senate committee held a hearing on a bill to call for a constitutional convention. The last time our country had a constitutional convention was in 1787 - when our country's Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Ever since then, our government has used the Congressional process for making specific changes to the U.S. Constitution. There are 27 amendments to the Constitution, but now the Republicans, through shady groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC ), are attempting to circumvent Congress by getting 34 state legislatures to pass bills calling for a constitutional convention - all to include a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The proposal introduced in Wisconsin, written by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), would make our state the 30th of 34 states required for a constitutional convention to become a reality.

There is a reason why this hasn't been done since 1787 and why even extreme right-wing groups have shunned this proposal: Once a constitutional convention is called our constitution is in jeopardy as convention delegates can totally rewrite the entire Constitution, as it is not clear whether a convention summoned in this way would be legally bound to limit the discussion at the convention to a single issue. Experts suggest that such a convention would have the ability to propose anything it sees fit, which could spell disaster for civil rights, worker's rights, voting rights, women's rights, LGBT rights and all of the other important progress our country has achieved. 

Very few people spoke in favor of the bill at last week's hearing. In fact, people are flabbergasted that Republican legislators are even considering such a frightening idea. Our democracy is young and to have each state writing the rules on who gets to participate is shocking. Furthermore, the Wisconsin call for a constitutional convention has partisan extremism baked right into the legislation as  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is allowed to select two delegates, the Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is allowed to select two delegates, the Governor selects one delegate, and one delegate is selected by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Peter Barca. That means nine representatives from Wisconsin would participate in the convention if it was successfully called, but only two of the state's delegates would be Democrats. 

People who value freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality in all its forms, and so many other issues should be concerned about what could happen at a constitutional convention. Furthermore, big money special interests are already looming over our political process and seek to control every level of power possible. Who knows what kind of back room deals unelected delegates would strike to remain in power and appease those special interests.

Quite frankly, Republicans should be just as concerned because we have seen in the last several months that the Republicans aren't on the same page. I think the Republican Party is lost and the fact they are introducing such a scary bill proves it. 

We are watching what is happening closely and if the bill makes the schedule we will be sending an immediate call to action for all our members.

Learn more about the bill and last week's hearing on StarTribune.com


Wisconsin Budget Process Update

Members of the Joint Finance Committee completed their briefings for each state agency last week. If you have a little time on your hands, you can watch last week's hearings on wiseye.org.

This week, the hearings go on the road for six public hearings around the state on Gov. Scott Walker's state budget proposal. The first is this Monday, April 3 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The next hearing will be held on Wednesday, April 5 at the State Fair Park outside of Milwaukee and that will be followed by an April 7 hearing at Berlin High School.

Our Communications Department will be sending budget research, talking points, and regional information for all of you planning to attend this week's hearings. And if you can't attend they'll be sending out information to use on social media during this part of the budget process. 

You can follow along with the budget process and learn more about the next steps moving forward at The Budget Process in Wisconsin.

A few weeks ago I told you that I would share information on Democratic budget listening sessions once that information became available. Save the date for the first hearings held on Saturday, April 8 in Green Bay and Eau Claire.  Details of the event are located below.  We'll be sharing more dates as they become available.

Democratic Budget Hearing in Green Bay
Time:                   Saturday, April 8,  10 AM – 2 PM
Location:              UW-Green Bay Christie Theatre (In the Student Union)
2420 Nicolet Dr, Green Bay, WI 54311

Democratic Budget Hearing in Eau Claire
Time:                   Saturday, April 8, 10 AM – 2 PM
Location:              UW-Eau Claire Centennial Hall (Room 1614)
1698 Park Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701


Glenn Grothman Town Hall On April 10

Congressman Glenn Grothman is holding a town hall on April 10 in Valders. If you can attend, please do so and make your voice heard on President Donald Trump's agenda, the Republican attempt to repeal health care, and other issues that matter the most to you.

Rep. Glenn Grothman Town Hall
Time: Monday, April 10, 2pm - 2pm
Location: 420 N. Liberty St. Valders, WI 54245


Democratic Weekly Radio Address: "We Need a Budget That Works for Everyone"

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) gave the Democratic Weekly Radio Address on the Wisconsin budget and the upcoming Joint Finance hearings:

"We need a budget that creates opportunities for everyone to succeed. We need to invest in our shared success: affordable health care, good roads, better broadband, and great schools and universities," said Rep. Shankland. "I encourage you to make your voice heard – Democrats are listening!"

You can find the audio of this week's address here and the video here

A written transcript of the address is below:

"Hi, I’m Rep. Katrina Shankland with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

"Here in Wisconsin, we’re proud to be such hard-working people. We believe in opportunity, fairness, and community. But for many people across Wisconsin, they feel like no matter how hard they work, they can’t get ahead. From student loan debt to the rising cost of childcare, families are struggling – and it’s time to put them first with an opportunity budget that gives them a fighting chance.

"Yet Governor Walker’s re-election budget demonstrates the failures of his leadership: from refusing to fix our roads long-term to weakly trying to solve a public education crisis he created, the governor’s budget pits community against community, his 'go to' move.

"We need a budget that creates opportunities for everyone to succeed. We need to invest in our shared success: affordable health care, good roads, better broadband and great schools and universities. 

"The next few weeks, as a member of the Joint Finance Committee, I will be traveling the state to listen to the people of Wisconsin on what matters to them when it comes to our budget. I encourage you to make your voice heard – Democrats are listening!"


Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala

With our sights set on a victorious 2018 midterm election cycle, Wisconsin Democrats will gather this May to celebrate the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's 2017 Founders Day Gala. 

The evening will focus on rallying Democrats for the important races on the ballot in Wisconsin's 2018 election. Democrats and grassroots activists are excited to work towards another victory for Senator Tammy Baldwin. Sen. Baldwin was elected to the Senate on a promise to fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest Americans. In the Senate, she's fought tirelessly for the economic stability for Wisconsinites by introducing measures to strengthen the "Made in Wisconsin" economy by leading the Senate’s Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to pass legislation to help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

Please join us and your fellow Democrats on May 6, 2017 for our Founder's Day Gala at the Hilton - Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they sell out! As always, we have a great event planned so we hope you can make it.


2017 State Convention

The state and congressional district conventions are quickly approaching and I can't wait to see you all in Madison for our state convention on the 2nd and 3rd of June at the Madison Marriott West. For more information on the State Convention, how to become a delegate, and to pre-register, please visit www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention

We are also looking for volunteers to help us make this year's convention a success. Without the help of volunteer doing things like stuffing bags, registering delegates, working the elections and a whole host of other duties, we could never pull off the two-day event. Please consider giving your fellow Democrats a hand to make this year's convention one of the best ever. Sign up to volunteer at: http://www.wisdems.org/2017-state-convention/volunteer


Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Tony Evers: Funding tied to 'Act 10 compliance' could unfairly affect districts
State Superintendent Tony Evers said Thursday he is concerned a proposal from Gov. Scott Walker to tie more than half a billion dollars in new school funding to how much school districts’ staff are paying toward their health care costs could be misapplied to districts that have cut costs. Evers told the state’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee on Thursday that he is afraid a requirement proposed by the governor in his 2017-19 spending plan, which ties the new funding to whether a district is requiring its staff to pay 12 percent toward health care costs, will be arbitrarily applied and affect more than the one or two school districts that actually do not require their staff to meet that threshold.

GOP mega-donor Richard Uihlein backs Kevin Nicholson with $2 million to challenge Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin campaign manager Scott Spector said: "With out-of-state millionaires and super PACs lining up to buy Wisconsin's Senate seat, Wisconsinites never have to worry about whose side Tammy is on. She has never been afraid to stand up to Washington millionaires and special interests when the best interests of Wisconsin are on the line."

Attorney General Brad Schimel settles without fine in 3M pollution case
After years of declining financial penalties for Wisconsin polluters, Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel has settled a case with no fine at all.

Republicans, Democrats in Congress demand Great Lakes funding
Saying the Trump administration's lack of funding for Great Lakes restoration is unacceptable, 63 Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House on Thursday sent a letter to budget committee heads asking for full funding for the federal program. The letter asks for $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for fiscal year 2018, which starts in October. That's the same amount Congress approved last year. President Donald Trump included nothing in his proposed 2018 budget for Great Lakes restoration.

Democrats in Trump territory in no mood to deal
The 12 Democrats who represent House districts won by Donald Trump were supposed to be easy marks for the deal-making new president. Instead, they’re giving him the stiff-arm. “I do come from a district that did flip to Trump this time, but I don’t think they should be reading that as a slam dunk,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.). “I’m not going to support crazy up here.”

Republican lawmakers seek limits on school referendums
School districts would no longer be able to ask voters to raise their taxes permanently and districts would lose some state funding if they exceed their state-imposed limits on raising property taxes through referendums under a package of bills Republican lawmakers are releasing this week. Legislators proposing the bills say the moves are designed to lower property taxes, keep voters from being worn down by multiple referendum campaigns and prevent special elections when turnout is low. But critics say the measures make it harder for public schools to keep up with the rising costs of educating students and could hurt school boards’ ability to ensure adequate cash flow.

Wisconsin panel sees progress, problems at Lincoln Hills youth prison
Lincoln Hills has often been criticized for being a four-hour drive from offenders' homes in urban areas like Milwaukee, but Schraa said he saw some benefit to the setting. "Being in a rural setting I feel like you get an individual out of the environment where they broke the law," Schraa said. Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) said he disagreed. He noted that the northern Wisconsin facility has just one African-American staff member, even though the majority of its inmates are minorities. He and Goyke have argued for keeping offenders closer to southeastern Wisconsin in smaller facilities, an approach modeled after the one used by Missouri.

Questions about UW System foundations loom over budget deliberations

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said a budget provision that would let students opt out of paying for certain fees could threaten funding for campus bus lines, potentially increasing costs for students who rely on public transportation. That proposal could also reduce support for student government and other organizations Taylor said provide a valuable service to students. “It really gives you an opportunity to learn budgeting, really run organizations and do so much,” Taylor said of student government.

 
Wisconsin Progress Releases Full List of Endorsements for Tuesday, April 4th PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Progress   
Friday, 31 March 2017 16:33

voterHeidi Fagre and Laura McCoy are endorsed locally for Green Bay School Board. Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, April 4th!


MADISON - Wisconsin Progress is proud to announce it's final round of endorsements for the Spring 2017 elections.

laura-mccoyCongratulations to all the endorsed candidates, we look forward to helping you all cross the finish line in the final days of your campaign!

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, April 4th!

Green Bay:

Heidi Fagre - Green Bay School Board

Laura McCoy - Green Bay School Board

Statewide:

Tori Jennings - Stevens Point City Council

Mary McComb - Stevens Point City Council

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 April 2017 11:23
Read more...
 
Texas PAC Props up Former Democrat in Wisconsin GOP Senate Primary PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Friday, 31 March 2017 14:43

Kevin Nicholson$2 million from mega-donor Richard Uihlein to help U.S. Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson enter the Republican race to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in 2018.


MADISON - After months of rumors, Kevin Nicholson is making his candidacy for the U.S. Senate real by accepting help from a Texas PAC funded by an Illinois billionaire.

First breaking in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Thursday, billionaire, GOP "mega-donor" Richard Uihlein announced a $2 million donation to a new PAC solely to support Nicholson's run for U.S. Senate. Richard and his wife Elizabeth completely own Uline Inc., a company valued between $700 million and $2 billion, have a long history of funneling money into Wisconsin elections, including millions to shady far-right groups like Restoration PAC, a group that aired a “pants on fire” TV ad to prop up Senator Johnson. The Uihleins’ millions to these special interest groups have even earned them the title “Koch brothers of Wisconsin politics.” The PAC should be renamed Texas Solutions for Wisconsin.

"Wisconsin doesn't need Texas Solutions, no matter what some billionaire in Illinois thinks," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Brandon Weathersby. "The day after a multi-millionaire from Green Bay shows interest in entering the crowded GOP primary for U.S. Senate, out-of-state interests are forced to buoy Kevin Nicholson's flailing bid with a $2 million hand out. Rather than traveling the state and building support in Wisconsin, Kevin Nicholson is meeting with out-of-state billionaires to line his pockets.

"With Uihlein's millions weighing in the race, that makes at least three millionaires lining up to take on Tammy Baldwin because of her record fighting against DC special interests and for everyday Wisconsinites."

Last Updated on Friday, 31 March 2017 15:47
 
Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 27 March 2017 14:10

martha-laningThe GOP WealthCare Plan is defeated, Trump-Russia investigation, Scott Walker gives blank checks to corporate CEOs, and much more...


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

The GOP WealthCare Plan Defeated

After an eventful week in Washington, Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump were forced to pull their horrendous health care plan from even seeing a vote on the House floor. 

paul_ryanThis is a dramatic defeat for President Trump and Speaker Ryan, but a huge victory for everyday Americans who called and emailed their Representatives to make their voices heard. Stopping the GOP WealthCare plan shows that grassroots organizing can be successful in resisting the Trump agenda. 

Now, we prepare for the next fight. Don't let up. Keep the pressure on and keep holding Speaker Ryan and President Trump accountable.

Russia Investigation Runs Deeper

On Monday, we learned from FBI Director James Comey that there is an ongoing investigation into collusion between Trump's team and Russia while Vladimir Putin was helping Donald Trump get elected. The investigation into potential Trump team collusion with Russia began last July and is still ongoing. 

>From there the news kept coming as we learned that former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort – who has long denied doing any work with the Russians – had a multi-year, multi-million dollar consulting job with a Russian billionaire and close Putin confidant to promote Russian policies and undermine Russian opponents.

At this point, it is crystal clear we need both a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice and a 9/11-style commission, to hold people accountable for what has happened and make sure it never happens again. 

This is not about political partisanship - it never is when our national security is at stake. The Republican party needs to do the right thing for the sake our country.

The Problem With Gov. Scott Walker's Haribo Announcement

It's certainly a good thing when new jobs come to our state and the announcement of Haribo adding well-paying jobs to Wisconsin's southeastern corridor is fantastic news to hear. But hidden in the details of their announcement was that Gov. Scott Walker's flagship job creation agency, WEDC, said the state has no current price tag on incentives for the company.

New factories and jobs are good, of course, but a blank check that rewards wealthy CEOs with our tax dollars is completely short-sighted and a clear sign that Gov. Walker is governing solely with re-election in mind. 

Whenever we spend tax dollars we should be getting the biggest bang for our buck. That's why Democrats believe in putting those funds towards better public schools that strengthen communities around our state and prepare future workers for the opportunities available when a new business, like Haribo, comes to town.

As Democrats, we believe anyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules should have a fair shot at the American Dream. That's how we create an economy that works for all Wisconsinites - not just those at the very top.

Wisconsin Budget Process Update

Members of the Joint Finance Committee are gearing up for briefings by state agency executives beginning next week. You can follow along with the budget process and learn more about the next steps moving forward at The Budget Process in Wisconsin.
Weekly Radio Address: Protect Access to Health Care
Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered the weekely Democratic radio address this week. The audio file of this week's address can be found here:
http://media2.legis.wisconsin.gov/multimedia/Sen32/shillingradio032317.mp3

A written transcript of the address is below: 

Hi, I’m Senator Jennifer Shilling with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

Making health care more affordable and protecting access for Wisconsin families has been a top priority for Democrats. While the Affordable Care Act wasn’t perfect, it helped to expand coverage and hold down costs, especially for seniors and individuals with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, Republicans in Washington D.C. have made it their mission to roll back the progress we’ve made and hand power back to the big insurance companies.

Plans being touted by Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump would take health care coverage away from thousands of Wisconsin families. Under their proposal, seniors and working families will pay more while millionaires and health insurance executives would get massive tax breaks.

"Residents in rural communities would have fewer choices and less freedom. 24 million Americans will lose coverage.

"Millions more will see higher out-of-pocket costs, and Wisconsin residents would be among those hit hardest by these Republican changes. Instead of going back to the days of massive price hikes and worse coverage, we should protect the progress we’ve made and ensure families have the opportunity to access affordable health care coverage.

As the debate over health care continues, be sure to make your voice heard and help us protect quality health care for those who need it most.

Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala

With our sights set on a victorious 2018 midterm election cycle, Wisconsin Democrats will gather this May to celebrate the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's 2017 Founders Day Gala. 

The evening will focus on rallying Democrats for the important races on the ballot in Wisconsin's 2018 election. Democrats and grassroots activists are excited to work towards another victory for Senator Tammy Baldwin. Sen. Baldwin was elected to the Senate on a promise to fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest Americans. In the Senate, she's fought tirelessly for the economic stability for Wisconsinites by introducing measures to strengthen the "Made in Wisconsin" economy by leading the Senate’s Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to pass legislation to help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

Please join us and your fellow Democrats on May 6, 2017 for our Founder's Day Gala at the Hilton - Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they sell out! As always, we have a great event planned so we hope you can make it.

OWN Activism Calendar

In case you missed it, One Wisconsin Now rolled out an online activist calendar this week to help progressive activists speak up and fight back against the extreme Republican agenda at both the state and federal level. 

We've seen an incredible amount of energy from grassroots activists this year and the addition of an online calendar is another helpful tool to bring progressives together. The calendar allows individuals to post information about events around the state and allows them to RSVP online by simply filling out an online form.  

The calendar is available online at http://onewisconsinnow.org/rebellion. I encourage you all to bookmark this page. I already have!

Sign Up For Message Monday

Our communications department is doing everything it can to equip progressive Democrats with the tools they need to amplify our message on issues happening at both the state and federal level. 

I've heard from many of you that one of our best efforts has been the Message Monday program where we send out the most up to date talking points and data sets with regards to the news driving the week. 

If you'd like to be included in the Message Monday group, please contact Communications Director, Brandon Weathersby, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be added immediately.

2017 State Convention

The state and congressional district conventions are quickly approaching and I can't wait to see you all in Madison for our state convention on the 2nd and 3rd of June at the Madison Marriott West. For more information on the State Convention, how to become a delegate, and to pre-register, please visit www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention

We are also looking for volunteers to help us make this year's convention a success. Without the help of volunteer doing things like stuffing bags, registering delegates, working the elections and a whole host of other duties, we could never pull off the two-day event. Please consider giving your fellow Democrats a hand to make this year's convention one of the best ever. Sign up to volunteer at: http://www.wisdems.org/2017-state-convention/volunteer

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Wisconsin Hospital Association critical of health care bill
Democratic state Rep. Jimmy Anderson, who was paralyzed after a car crash that killed his parents and younger brother, said the current law was his only "glimmer of hope" when facing insurmountable medical bills after the 2010 accident.

Fiscal bureau: Scott Walker's budget leaves $1.1 billion hole starting in 2019
Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for the state’s next budget creates a larger structural deficit than previously thought, nearly $1.1 billion, in the ensuing budget cycle beginning in 2019, the state’s nonpartisan fiscal office said Thursday.

Critics say GOP skipping debate on bill deregulating wells linked to shrinking lakes
State Senate Republicans plan to vote next week without a public committee meeting or debate on a controversial bill that would further loosen regulation of high-capacity wells that are linked to low water levels in lakes and streams. After the plan for Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee members to vote by submitting paper ballots was announced Thursday, Democrats accused the GOP majority of trying to duck public discussion of the bill, which is favored by the agriculture industry, but unpopular with recreational users of lakes and streams.

Hebl reintroduces fair courts package
Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) recently announced his reintroduction of a comprehensive reform package that will help protect the impartiality of Wisconsin’s judicial system. Hebl said these proposals will begin to rebuild the public’s trust in the impartiality and fairness of our state’s justice system, which has been greatly undermined in recent years.

Bipartisan lobbying bill ends special treatment for ex-lawmakers
State lawmakers would stop getting special treatment under a bipartisan bill introduced this week that would bar them from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving office. Versions of the measure have been introduced in past sessions, as a string of lawmakers have left public service to take lucrative posts lobbying their former colleagues.

Wisconsin discrimination claims would be harder to pursue under Gov. Scott Walker's budget
Some victims of job discrimination would not be able to recover their legal costs from their bosses under the state budget proposed by Gov. Scott Walker. Under another budget provision, those who failed to prove they faced workplace discrimination could be forced to pay their employer’s attorney fees.

 
Balanced Budget Amendment & Constitutional Convention Are Dangerous Propositions PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 16:00

georgetown-cryerMany are concerned about rising federal debt levels, but amending U.S. Constitution is the wrong way to deal with it say the non-partisan League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.


MADISON – The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin opposes any proposal seeking to convene a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We respect people’s concerns about rising federal debt levels, but amending U.S. Constitution is the wrong way to deal with that problem. Moreover, a Constitutional amendments convention is a particularly dangerous path to take.

senateYet a joint committee of the Wisconsin legislature next week will consider legislation calling for such a convention, and the proposal could be on the fast track.

A Constitutional amendments (Article V) convention could go in many different directions, regardless of the efforts of Wisconsin lawmakers to restrict the role of our own state’s delegates. It would put at risk every citizen right that is currently protected in the Constitution.

Furthermore, inserting a balanced budget requirement into the Constitution could have drastic economic consequences. It would put the federal government in a position where it could not respond to an economic recession or a national disaster or emergency without increasing tax revenue. In an emergency, our nation would have to raise taxes just to meet the needs of its citizens.

“Congress would have to agree on a tax increase, just at a time when fewer people might be working because of a disaster or recession. That’s when a tax increase would hurt the most! This is no way for the United States of America to be prepared for emergencies,” said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

Calling for a Constitutional Convention to pass a balanced federal budget is a reckless proposal, and it should be rejected.

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The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. The League welcomes women and men across the state as members. The League never endorses any political party or candidate, but it does take positions on key policy issues. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Follow @LWV_WI on Twitter.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 March 2017 09:53
 
Underage Voting Shows Need To Invest In Voter Education PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 11:08

univ-student-voteWhile there have been many unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in Wisconsin, about seventy 17-year-olds did vote illegally here in the 2016 Presidential Primary. Social media posts may have mislead the teens, but we should not let this incident discourage young citizens by adding further restrictions on voting.


MADISON – It is unfortunate that about seventy 17-year-olds in almost 30 counties illegally voted in the Wisconsin Presidential Preference Primary last April based on misinformation. In our state 17-year-olds may register if they will be 18 by the next election. Unlike in some other states, you have to be at least 18 to vote in Wisconsin. These young citizens could be charged with a felony, but it appears the district attorneys in most counties have elected not to do so.

Since news of the underage voting was published, people have looked for a scapegoat to blame or used the incident to call for additional restrictions on voting. Let’s instead use what we’ve learned to prevent this from happening again, while still encouraging young people to participate in our democracy and not break the law.

Some have blamed social media posts before the Primary, which blurred laws that differ from state to state, for misleading the teens. We doubt anyone misled them intentionally.

The 17-year-olds who voted believed they were allowed to do so. They truthfully provided their birthdate on the registration form. Yes, they signed a form certifying that they would be “at least 18 years old or will be at least 18 years old at the time of the next election” but they thought “next election” referred to the November election. And in some states citizens who are 18 by the November Election can vote in the Primary.

What about the officials who registered these young voters? Shouldn’t they have noticed the birthdate? We have heard that some did and refused to register underage citizens. We have also heard that some were under the same misapprehension as the 17-year-olds.

There have been many unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and some people allege our system is not equipped to catch illegal voting. Yet our existing election safeguards detected this problem and referred it to law enforcement. It is not easy to vote illegally in Wisconsin. You would risk a felony rap subject to fines or imprisonment– and you could lose your right to vote! Further restrictions on voting are not needed to prevent such problems. Instead we need to maintain a strong Wisconsin Elections Commission to continue to detect and investigate irregularities.

To prevent such incidents in the future, the state needs to invest in more voter education and training of election officials. The best antidote to misinformation is good information. Lawmakers should keep this in mind as they consider the substantial staffing reductions proposed for the Elections Commission.

We do not want to let this unfortunate incident discourage enthusiastic young citizens from participating in our government and contributing to a better future. Teens need to know that, even if they can’t vote, they can work on a campaign, become a poll worker, connect people with good information and encourage people to vote. If they do that, we are sure that after their eighteenth birthday they will become lifelong voters.

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By Erin Grunze and Andrea Kaminski. Erin Grunze is Voter Education Coordinator and Andrea Kaminski is Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Follow @LWV_WI on Twitter.

 
Voter Suppression Is Real, LWV Continues To Fight It PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Friday, 10 March 2017 13:37

voter-idThe non-partisan League of Women Voters Wisconsin discuss strict voter photo ID laws that suppress voting, Women's History Month, their 2017 Annual Meeting, June 9-10 in Green Bay, and more.


MADISON - A new study by researchers at University of California-San Diego found that strict voter photo ID laws suppress voting by Latinos, African Americans and other American minority groups, resulting in “a growing racial gap” and amplifying the voices of those who are not restricted by the ID requirement. The League believes elections should be free, fair and accessible, and that is why we have fought against photo ID and other restrictive voting laws in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  

It’s Women’s History Month! Carrie Chapman Catt, the founder of the League of Women Voters, and Jessie Jack Hooper, the first president of the Wisconsin League, are among this list of “the most important women in Wisconsin history.” Many more League leaders will no doubt be in the new historical timeline tracing women’s political firsts as elected officials in the state, which is being compiled by Wisconsin Women's Council.

Plan to attend the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s 2017 Annual Meeting, June 9-10 in Green Bay. An updated agenda is on our website.

Finally, we are so grateful for your participation in The Big Share. More than 80 people contributed to our online fundraising event to give us a total of $11,168! This exceeded the amounts raised in past years and blew away our expectations. A sincere thank you from our staff and board to everyone who gave, shared and made The Big Share a BIG Success for LWV WI. (And if you didn’t yet but still want to contribute to the League through The Big Share, you can do so here through Friday.)

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 March 2017 12:51
 
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