Wednesday October 28, 2020

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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
Jonathon Hansen Wins Democratic Primary Election for State Senate District 30 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Hansen for Senate   
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 15:04

jonathan-hansenDe Pere Alderman Jonathon Hansen thanks the people of the 30th State Senate District for their support.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 August 2020 09:05
PUSA: A Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration Will Fight For Every American PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities USA Press   
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 11:49

biden-harris-pusaNew Priorities USA ad features how Kampala Harris will bring her years of experience in California and in the Senate to help build the most progressive administration in history.

WI Teachers Blast Trump, Devos for Lack of Plan to Get Kids Back to School Safely PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 07 August 2020 12:15

trump-devosWISCONSIN -- On Tuesday, Wisconsin teachers called out Donald Trump and Betsy Devos for their lack of a plan to send kids and teachers back into schools safely. Wisconsin Education Association Council President Ron Martin penned an op-ed highlighting the problems the public school system faces, while FOX6 published a story concerning the lack of PPE for schools.

See More Below

WEAC President Ron Martin in the Cap Times:

  • Wisconsin parents and teachers are consumed with how to keep students safe and learning as a new school year approaches. In fact, it seems the only person not talking about reopening schools is U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
  • DeVos has popped up again in our state this time to champion the Trump administration’s reckless attacks on Title IX, designed to make it nearly impossible for victims of sexual assault on campus to get justice.
  • Instead of campaigning for Trump’s pet projects, the U.S. Education Secretary should be talking to Wisconsin about federal support for schools and students in this time of crisis.
  • The health and safety of our students and educators should be top-of-mind for the nation’s leaders, and all decisions should be guided by science.
  • I can’t say I’m surprised at the void in the DeVos/Trump response to the pandemic. They pursued a federal budget that tried to slash over $8 billion in funding for public education, including a proposed elimination of funding for the Special Olympics, assuming nobody would notice.
  • What Wisconsin needs now is serious consideration about how our students and educators can safely learn and teach during a pandemic.
  • We agree with teacher Jill Biden and her husband Joe that schools need a clear, science-based strategy, not mixed messages and ultimatums.

FOX6: 'Anxious and uncertain:' Questions, concerns persist as schools prep for fall return

  • Masks and hand sanitizer are just the beginning of a list of items that schools will need to help students and staff stay safe come fall. Though the state stepped in to help, some are wondering if it will be enough. Greg Engle, director of planning and preparedness with Wisconsin Emergency Management, said the state is dipping into its stockpile to help protect those who are headed back into school buildings.
  • Meanwhile, some feel that the safety measures in place are just a drop in the bucket. Ron Martin, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), said there is a lack of a return plan in a broader sense of education and wants more to be done on a larger level. "Now as we look to another school year, parents and educators are still anxious and uncertain," said Martin. "We deserve more testing, a national tracing plan, proper PPE and the funding to make it all happen so we can go back to our school face-to-face safely."
Last Updated on Saturday, 08 August 2020 09:38
Palzewicz All-In on John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Friday, 07 August 2020 10:50

coronavirus-voting-us-abcnewsPalzewicz is hoping bill will be put up for a vote in Senate. Will back efforts in the new Congress to ensure that the right to vote is not denied any eligible voter.

Brookfield, WI –  Getting out the vote is fundamental to the success of political campaigns, but for some, just getting to vote is a major issue.  Democrat Tom Palzewicz, who is running for the Fifth Congressional District seat, is applauding the efforts to persuade Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

In 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruling in the Shelby County v. Holder gutted critical voter protections within the Voting Rights Act.  The Senate, in a bipartisan effort, has introduced the legislation which is designed to prevent discriminatory changes to state voting laws and procedures. The decision left the door open for states to institute a wave of voter suppression initiatives that has effectively disenfranchised minority voters.

tom-palzewicz“You saw this in the gubernatorial election in Georgia that denied Stacy Abrams supporters from voting,” said Palzewicz.  “This is just Jim Crow repackaged.  The legacy of John Lewis is grounded on the right to vote and express one's opinion. It is essential to democracy.  You can see since 2016 this has been a serious issue and there are efforts to suppress the vote, prevent voter registration and prevent early voting. Voters in Wisconsin had to endure the Covid-19 pandemic to vote in April's election.”

Palzewicz is hoping that the bill will be put up for a vote, but if it isn't, he is prepared to back any efforts moving forward in the new Congress to ensure that the right to vote is not denied any eligible voter.

DPW Calls Out Trump’s Attacks on the Latinx Community PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 07 August 2020 09:56

trumpdonald_092419Trump has failed the Latinx community here in Wisconsin, say DEMS.

WISCONSIN -- Donald Trump’s presidency has been propped up by his attacks on people of color and exploited  the most racist elements of our society. He has continuously pushed policies that harm the Latinx community on everything from health care and the economy to his heartless immigration policy. Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Philip Shulman released the following statement calling out Trump for his abhorrent rhetoric and policies towards the Latinx community:

“Trump has relentlessly failed the Latinx community here in Wisconsin. Trump's run for office started with him calling Mexicans rapists and murderers, and since then his presidency has devolved into cruelty, with him and his cronies ripping children from their mothers’ arms and locking them in cages, attacking health care in the middle of a pandemic devastating communities of color, and building an economy that only works for the rich and well-connected. He has pursued vile policies like taking money away from service members in Wisconsin to fund his border wall, proclaiming that the suburbs in Wisconsin would disappear because of Black and Brown people, and ignoring the coronavirus until pursuing a failed response that has disproportionately infected and killed members of the Latinx community. Latinx Wisconsinites continue to face the brunt of the economic impact of Trump’s ineffective coronavirus response as Trump himself says “it is what it is”, once again passing the buck instead of stepping up to do his job. Donald Trump will continue to scapegoat and harm the Latinx community until he is no longer president, which is why it’s that much more important that we send Joe Biden to the White House in November.”

Gerrymandering Creates Difficult Road For Dems In Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Friday, 07 August 2020 08:57

voter-primaries-s5Fifth Congressional District candidate Tom Palzewicz and other Dems for state and national office face uphill battle.

Brookfield, WI –  Imagine the Green Bay Packers playing the Chicago Bears, in Soldier Field, but the Packers were only allowed to field 8 players, while the Bears had their usual 11.  It would be difficult at best for the Packers to win, if not impossible.  But in Wisconsin politics, Fifth Congressional District candidate Tom Palzewicz and other Dems for state and national office have to deal with Republican gerrymandering to win seats.

Partisan gerrymandering, orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, have made certain that only 10% of legislative districts and no congressional districts offer real choices to Wisconsin voters.  District maps have been redrawn, making it difficult if not impossible for Democrats to win in some districts including the fifth.

Jay Heck, the Executive Director of Common Cause in Wisconsin for the last 22 years, wrote an op-ed in the July 22 edition of the Wisconsin Examiner, laying out the long history of lies and deceit championed by the state's two most powerful Republican politicians.  It is Fitzgerald that will benefit from the heavily gerrymandered Fifth District in his race against Palzewicz this fall.

Heck wrote, “Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have long opposed any and all attempts to bring even an iota of fairness and impartiality to the redistricting process of state legislative and congressional districts in Wisconsin.  Indeed, their fear of a fair system that would provide Wisconsin voters with legitimate competitive elections and genuine choices at election time is such that they have quashed any and all efforts to allow even a public hearing on the issue in the Wisconsin Legislature since 2009.

“The very dirty, not-so secret truth is that both Vos and Fitzgerald have long depended on their absolute control of the redistricting process to enable each to enforce their iron-clad demand for allegiance and absolute obedience to their political and policy objectives and quash any dissent or independent thinking among rank and file legislators in their respective partisan caucuses.”

For Palzewicz the focus is on the needs of the Fifth District and the nation.

tom-palzewicz“We just have to work harder,” said Palzewicz.  “At least the football field is always 100 yards long, so the field is fair.  What you see in Wisconsin is authoritarian rule, which is exactly what we're getting from Donald Trump.  Democracy?  In Wisconsin? I promise to be loyal to the U.S. Constitution and the people of Wisconsin.  Wisconsin and America have to come first, not self-interest and political power.”

Fitzgerald and Vos have asserted that all bi-partisan efforts and plans that have been brought before the Wisconsin legislature are “unconstitutional.”  But Heck writes, “according to the Wisconsin Legislative Council and virtually every constitutional expert — such as University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor David Canon to name just one — the measure is fully compliant with Wisconsin’s Constitution.”

Fitzgerald and Vos oppose efforts by Governor Tony Evers to establish a non-partisan commission to draw state legislative and congressional districts, calling that unconstitutional and illegal.

“Democracy thrives when people are given the freedom of choice,” Palzewicz explained. “When voters are denied that choice we are left with the desires of special interests and chosen few.”

PUSA Releases New TV Ad Highlighting Joe Biden’s Plan to Get the Country Back PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities USA Press   
Friday, 07 August 2020 08:45

trump-pusa-ad-mayAlso highlights Donald Trump’s Failure to Protect Americans.

WASHINGTON, DC - With over 150,000 American coronavirus deaths and a rapidly contracting economy, Donald Trump has proven time and time again that he is unwilling and unable to get our country back on track. Even after millions of Americans have gotten sick with many more left struggling, Donald Trump still has not grasped the severity of this crisis and the scale of the response required. While Trump stays in his comfort zone of lies, misinformation, and distraction, Joe Biden has been putting out plans to get the coronavirus under control and save our economy. 

Grasped” makes the case for Joe Biden’s steady, fact-driven leadership. Unlike Trump, who wasted time and ignored scientific experts, Biden will confront the coronavirus crisis by using science, taking swift action, and always putting the interests of the American people first. “Grasped” will run on cable and broadcast in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. 

Priorities USA continues to spend almost $1.5 million on TV and digital advertising every week in battleground states, while the Trump campaign recently pulled down TV advertising because voters aren’t buying the president’s attempts to distract Americans from his failures. Since March, Priorities has spent over $27 million telling the American people the truth about Trump’s inability to control the coronavirus and keep the American people safe. Priorities is committed to investing more than $200 million through the end of the year to defeat Donald Trump and ensure that Joe Biden is the next President of the United States.

“There is no case for a second term for Donald Trump. That’s why his campaign is scrambling to find new ways to spread misinformation and lie to the American people to cover up his obvious failures. Priorities USA is committed to giving voters the facts about Donald Trump’s incompetent administration, and it’s no surprise that Americans want a change,” said Priorities USA Action Executive Director Patrick McHugh. “Joe Biden will walk into the White House on Day One with a plan to get the coronavirus under control, rehabilitate our economy, and provide access to high-quality health care for every American.”

Sen. Ron Johnson Spreads Disinformation PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Courtney Beyer   
Thursday, 06 August 2020 12:41

ron-johnson-speaksIn a weekend of unhinged TV appearances, Johnson doubles down on conspiracy theories and demonizes unemployed Wisconsinites needing help.

WISCONSIN -- In the middle of a pandemic that has been exacerbated by Republican inaction, Sen. Ron Johnson has weaponized his leadership position in the Senate to spread conspiracy theories rather than pass legislation to help his own constituents. Ron Johnson’s indifference to the plight of Wisconsin families was on full display this weekend as he called increased federal unemployment assistance a “perverse incentive” and chose instead to fixate on obscure conspiracy theories and cover up for his own conflicts of interest, including not denying that he accepted information from foreign sources in his Homeland Security Committee investigation.

coronavirus-small-businessFamilies across the Badger state are suffering financially and medically because the GOP -- from the White House to the Legislature -- has failed to take the virus seriously. Additionally, Sen. Johnson is using his position as Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to run political errands for Donald Trump, and is so out of touch with Wisconsinites, that he does not understand why workers would need unemployment insurance to take care of their families. Our country and our workers cannot recover under this lack of leadership

See coverage below:

Sen. Johnson Called Additional $600 In Federal Unemployment Assistance A “Perverse Incentive To Keep People Out Of The Economy.” SEN. JOHNSON: [...] “And we wanted to help, but in the CARES package, we passed a two $600 plus up, which – depending on which study you look at – either 68 percent or 5 out of 6 individuals, according to CBO, are making more unemployment than they made actually on their job. Now, that’s a perverse incentive to keep people out of the economy and we need workers coming back into the economy as safely as possible so we can start creating the opportunity and start recovering from this COVID recession. So, I think we want to help people financially but we have to do it at an appropriate level so people aren’t incentivized to stay on unemployment and are actually incentivized to get back in the workforce.” [UpFront, WISN, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson Did Not Deny Accepting Information From “Pro-Russia Ukrainians” And Said “We Are Getting Information From A Variety Of Sources.” ADRIENNE PEDERSEN: “So Senator, I just want to be clear -- are you saying that you do not get information from pro-Russia Ukrainians or disinformation?” SEN. JOHNSON: “We, we have not – what we are accused of is getting those audiotapes. We did not get those audiotapes. Okay?” ADRIENNE PEDERSEN: “But what about other things?” SEN. JOHNSON: “Again, we are getting information from a variety of sources. But primarily, U.S. –” ADRIENNE PEDERSEN: “And how do you verify that information?” SEN. JOHNSON: “Well, before we ever use it, we verify and make sure that it's accurate and true before we ever publish anything.” [UpFront, WISN, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson Called Additional $600 In Federal Unemployment Assistance “Pretty Destructive To Our Economic Recovery.” BARTIROMO: “For example, one lawmaker told me that, if revenue is down year over year by 50 percent, then you're eligible for the PPP. Is that right? And what about that $600? Are you going to ultimately just agree that you have to continue this?”  SEN. JOHNSON: “I hope not, because that $600 is pretty destructive to our economic recovery. If we do nothing, you will -- people will still have and be able to take advantage of state unemployment benefits." [Sunday Morning Futures, Fox News, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson Suggested The Trump Administration Did Not Actually Control The State Department: “How Many People In The State Department Do You Think Voted For Hillary Clinton Vs. Voted For President Trump?” SEN. JOHNSON: "One of our problems is obtaining documents from these agencies. And, Maria, understand, I mean, I will posit this question to you. How many people in the State Department do you think voted for Hillary Clinton vs. voted for President Trump?  I can't tell you my frustration how difficult it is getting information out of agencies that are supposedly controlled by this administration, but simply aren't." [Sunday Morning Futures, Fox News, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson Claimed There Was “Corruption At The Highest Levels Of, Certainly, The FBI” In An Effort To “Exonerate Hillary Clinton” That Shifted After The Election To “Sabotaging The Trump Administration.” BARTIROMO: “Senator, this is the first time we have heard from the Obama administration. She said it doesn't work that way.” SEN. JOHNSON: “Well, you will notice she didn't answer your question.  She just talked about, in general, what the process should be. That's not the process they followed. It is very clear that there was corruption at the highest levels of, certainly, the FBI. We have evidence of it.  I'm looking forward to John Durham wrapping up his investigation. I personally believe that the intelligence community was involved in this thing.  Their initial goal was to exonerate Hillary Clinton, when -- so that she could win the election.  When she lost the election, their goals shifted to first -- first and foremost, I think, sabotaging the Trump administration, which they have done a pretty good job of, also, I think initiating this diversionary operation, the smokescreen to cover up their wrongdoing.” [Sunday Morning Futures, Fox News, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson On When The Next COVID Relief Package Would Pass: “Not Anytime Soon.” ADRIENNE PEDERSEN: “Are you saying you don't think there will be another coronavirus relief package?” SENATOR JOHNSON: “Not anytime soon.” [UpFront, WISN, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson On His Decision Not To Hold Cash And Not Invest In The Stock Market: “I Have Lost Huge Sums Of Money By Staying In Cash And Staying Out Of The Market By And Large.” SEN. JOHNSON: [...] “What I did for marketable securities, I did one better than a blind trust. I converted it all to cash. There’s no conflict of interest in cash, so I have just been sitting on cash for most of my assets outside my ownership in my, in the company that I started. And as a result, I lost – I didn’t participate in more than a doubling of the stock market during my first six or seven or eight years in Congress. And more recently, when I did sell my five percent ownership stake in an equity, private equity sale that took over two years to do, rather than reinvest that in the stock market when I knew I could have made a lot of money because I figured the stock market would snap back, I just kept in cash because I didn't want anybody complaining about the fact that I was taking advantage of the economic situation. So, I have lost huge sums of money by staying in cash and staying out of the market by and large.” [UpFront, WISN, 8/2/20]

Sen. Johnson On Reports That Russians Paid The Taliban Bounties To Kill U.S. Troops: “Listen, Serving In Afghanistan Is Dangerous.” ADRIENNE PEDERSEN: “I want to ask you about the Russian bounties -- President Trump dismissed reports that Russia has been paying the Taliban bounties to kill Americans in Afghanistan. And he also said in a recent interview that he hasn’t not talked about that too President Vladimir Putin. Do you think you should be asking about that?” SEN. JOHNSON: “Well again, I'm not sure the last time he spoke with Vadimir Putin.” ADRIENNE PEDERSEN: “He says he's talked with him eight times and has not asked about it.” SEN. JOHNSON: “I’m not shocked by the reports, as I would not be shocked by reports that Iran could be paying. Listen, serving in Afghanistan is dangerous and there is no doubt about the fact that there are reports of that in intelligence briefings, but there are unverified reports. There was actually, you know, possibly disagreements because it was an analyst report as opposed to hard information. I can't talk about a whole lot of it because a lot of it is classified." [UpFront, WISN, 8/2/20]

Coronavirus Pummels Wisconsin Paper Industry PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 31 July 2020 16:41

donald-trump-ukWashington Post reports a warning from Wisconsin on Trump’s failed leadership.

WISCONSIN - The paper industry is vital to Wisconsin’s economy, and the hardworking Wisconsinites who have built this industry were already suffering under Trump’s failed leadership before COVID-19 hit. Now, he’s made things worse by ignoring the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and Wisconsin businesses are getting pummelled as a result. Trump narrowly won the Fox Valley area in 2016, but since taking office his ineffective coronavirus response is repelling voters  from him and other Republican candidates.


The Washington Post: A warning from Wisconsin

  • The massive paper mill has churned relentlessly since it began feeding off the energy of the Wisconsin River more than a century ago, forming the cornerstone of a city's economy and producing glossy paper coveted by publishers during the heyday of U.S. magazines.
  • Rapids Mill will finally fall silent at the end of the month. The shutdown, announced June 9, will knock some 900 people out of work and has sent tremors across the region's economy, reaching from the plant's gates through town and deep into the Wisconsin forests that supply wood pulp to make paper.
  • The coronavirus is proving to be a decisive Darwinian force in industries from retail to energy to transportation, culling some businesses that might have been weakening for years while giving others a new jolt of life. The swiftness has been stunning, with each closure in turn affecting other businesses and their workers, as has been playing out already around Wisconsin Rapids.
  • "It impacts the 900 employees directly in the plant," said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. "But the important thing to keep in mind is that the plant purchases and processes 25% of the timber coming off of Wisconsin's land. That impacts the haulers who are bringing the wood to the plant, it impacts the loggers who are cutting down the wood, and then it affects the landowners.
  • "In Wisconsin, 2.4 million acres of managed forest is owned by counties, and they use the proceeds of the sales to fund their government operations," Hughes said.
  • The closure is yet another destabilizing economic event in a state that Donald Trump carried only narrowly in 2016. The mill shutdown will result in the largest permanent layoff in Wisconsin since COVID-19 barreled into the economy, according to layoff notices submitted to the state, shocking a county that Trump carried overwhelmingly with nearly 57% of the vote.
  • Known as the Dairy State, Wisconsin is also a paper state. The industry in Wisconsin sells more paper, employs more people and has more paper mills than any other state, according to a 2019 study.
  • But the paper market, like everything, has been rocked by the novel coronavirus.
  • When it announced the shutdown, the company cited research that found demand for printing paper fell 38% year-over-year in April. The research forecast an even greater plunge to come, with operating rates falling 70% in the second quarter.
  • "There is so much capital invested in those mills, it is never easy for a company to walk away from that," said Mencke. "When a company decides to shut something down, it is because it is the best case for the dollars, but it hurts the town and all of these families."
  • Many in Wisconsin Rapids can point to where the branches of their family tree are intertwined with the mill. In some cases, multiple family members work there now.
  • "It is going to be bad for this town," he said. "It is not just the 900 who work here. It is going to have a trickle-down effect on the whole town."
  • Businesses in Wisconsin Rapids, battered by the economic reaction to COVID-19, are already feeling the impact.
  • With only a few more paychecks coming, mill workers are forgoing dinners out and aren't hosting catered events. What catering business remained amid the pandemic she saw vanish with the mill closing. "There are smaller graduation parties, not holding 50th-anniversary parties, retirement parties that will not take place," she said.
  • She and her husband now work every shift at their restaurant. She can afford to schedule her wait staff shifts on only one or two days a month. The kitchen staff has had furloughs.
  • "Am I in danger of losing my business? Absolutely," she said.
  • She worries also about the deeper psychological toll the closing will have on the town.
  • "It shakes the core of our community," she said. "And you see a negative attitude — 'The town is dying; there is nothing there anymore' — when that is not true."
  • The plant closing has infused all aspects of local life — including politics, as the presidential election approaches.
  • "Everyone in Wisconsin Rapids is either going to be related to someone who got laid off or will have some kind of close connection to someone who got laid off," said John Blakeman, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. "At a personal level, voters will feel the impact directly or indirectly. That will probably mobilize voters, and it will probably come down to whether they hear the economic message that is meaningful to them and less on identity-based politics."
  • From May to June, statewide voter approval for President Donald Trump's handling of the economy fell 4 percentage points to 50%, as voters' view of the direction of the economy turned down sharply, a Marquette Law School poll found.
  • The poll also found that a majority of Wisconsin voters disapproved of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd protests. Overall, the June poll found 49% of voters said they would vote for former vice president Joe Biden compared with 41% who supported Trump, Biden's largest margin in Marquette's polling this year.
  • Blakeman noted that in the April primary, Wood County had relatively high turnout and that nearly half, or 49%, of voters cast a ballot for a Democratic candidate.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 July 2020 16:50
Tony Lee Announces Write In Campaign For State Senator District 2 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Tony Lee Campaign   
Monday, 27 July 2020 10:13

tony-lee-campaignDemocrat only needs 1700 write in votes in the August 11th primary to earn a place on the November ballot to challenge career Republican politician Rob Cowles. Cowles is unopposed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2020 16:30
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