Saturday August 19, 2017

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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
LWV Wisconsin Selected to Pilot Election Resources from The Carter Center PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Monday, 26 June 2017 08:37

VoterWisconsin group to make sure federal justices know about the negative impacts partisan gerrymandering has had on voters and the legislative process in Wisconsin and how their decision could defend democracy nationally.

MADISON - The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has been selected by LWV-US to pilot new online resources and electronic reporting technology developed by The Carter Center, which is known for its election observations internationally. This is a wonderful recognition of the Wisconsin League’s leadership in just one important aspect of safeguarding democracy.

Every week we reach out to inform you about important policy issues in our state Capitol, because we know you are the kind of person who wants to know when your call or email to your representatives will make a difference. Today we are reaching out to ask you to support the League, so it can continue to excel as a visible, viable advocate for active and informed participation in government in our state.   

As the League’s fiscal year comes to an end, we are grateful for the generous support of hundreds of members and friends for the League’s special projects in the past year. Examples are the 2016 Gear Up to Vote minivan tour, which visited 31 community events around the state to register and educate voters, and the legal briefs the League filed in three federal court cases challenging voter suppression and gerrymandering.

We have been fortunate to have the trust of philanthropic foundations for these special projects, but the League would not even be considered for grants or opportunities, like working with The Carter Center, if we did not have the generous support of individual League members and followers like you.

In addition to grants, the League needs operating support to keep our organization strong, maintain a competent staff, and be ready to step up to the plate with bold action and impact. That’s what we plan to do in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford, the “Wisconsin gerrymandering case.” We want to be sure the federal justices know about the negative impacts that partisan gerrymandering has had on voters and the legislative process in Wisconsin and how their decision could defend democracy nationally. 

The need is now. Please support the League as generously as you can with a tax-deductible contribution. You can designate your gift to “where it’s needed most” or contribute to the Voter Protection Fund, if you prefer to support the League’s legal work. Your support will help the League make democracy work in Wisconsin.

Marilyn Boeldt
Fund Development Chair


P.S.  Use our secure online contribution form with your credit card or download a printable form to mail in with your check. Either way, we appreciate your support and will put it to work to promote good government in Wisconsin.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 June 2017 09:26
Wisconsin "doing fine" with Over 500,000 Uninsured? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 07:29

leah-vukmirDid State Senator Leah Vukmir like the days when insurance companies could ride roughshod over Wisconsinites without protections for pre-existing conditions or out-of-pocket caps for coverage?

MADISON - While responding to inquiries from WisPolitics on the President's visit to Wisconsin and his remarks on health care, Sen. Vukmir said, "We were doing fine before Obamacare came, and I would argue we were ahead of the curve." We couldn't make this up even if we tried. 

Before the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin had 518,000 uninsured individuals2.4 million who could be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and had an uninsured rate of 9.4 percent
That's not "doing fine" by any stretch of the imagination and it certainly isn't being "ahead of the curve." 

But since it's passage, 211,000 people gained coverage and our state's uninsured rate dropped by over a third - falling to 3.7 percent. Thanks to the declining rate of uninsured Wisconsinites, statewide hospital charity care - free or discounted care for patients with low incomes - decreased my nearly half from 2013 to 2015. Bad debt, which occurs when patients can't afford to don't pay their medical bills, took a 34 percent dip. And last year in Wisconsin, over 190,000 people in the individual marketplace received tax credits to help cover their premium costs.

"In what world does D.C. Leah think returning to the days when insurance companies could ride roughshod over Wisconsinites without protections for pre-existing conditions or out-of-pocket caps for coverage, and hundreds of thousands were uninsured is a good thing for our state? It's just the latest example that Vukmir has the wrong priorities and will do anything to curry favor with Washington's elite political class," reacted Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby. "Wisconsin deserves better than someone who will sell out Wisconsin families for a photo op with the President."​

Proponents of Constitutional Convention Should Try Governing Instead PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 11:45

lady-liberty-holding-noseWisconsin Assembly scheduled to call next week for a federal constitutional convention to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It's a bad idea, says League of Women Voters.

MADISON – The Wisconsin Assembly is tentatively scheduled to vote next week on proposals calling for a federal constitutional convention for the purpose of adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We respect people’s concerns about the federal debt, but this is the wrong way to tackle that problem. It is also a particularly dangerous path to take.

First, a balanced budget requirement would weaken our ability as a nation to respond to unforeseen emergencies, such as a natural disaster, attack from the outside or economic recession. The federal government would not be able to respond without increasing taxes – just at a time when fewer people might be working.

Second, a constitutional amendments convention could go in many different directions. It would put at risk every citizen right currently protected in the Constitution, including such things as voting rights and freedom of speech.

Proponents note that one of the proposals before the Assembly would restrict the role of our own state’s delegates to voting only on a budget amendment at the convention, but that ignores the fact that our state would be only one of fifty at the convention. Besides, some constitutional experts say that such rules could easily be considered irrelevant once the gathering convenes.

Proponents of these disastrous proposals say that a constitutional convention is needed because we can’t count on Congress to pass a balanced budget. They point out that the elected representatives of the people, including many who are all for a balanced budget when they are running for office, shy away from enacting it once elected. Come to think of it, that seems to happen at both the federal and state level.

It is ironic that these proposals are being promoted in Wisconsin by the party that is in the majority in both Congress and the state legislature. Why should the U.S. Constitution be at risk for complete revision just so these politicians can accomplish what they already have the power to do legislatively?

voter-usI would like to believe there are enough members among their ranks who know that a balanced budget requirement is not a responsible measure for protecting the safety and economic security of our nation or state. But if they are that wise, why would they risk what could be a catastrophic assault on our Constitution?

Maybe they think it would never really happen. However, if the Wisconsin legislature passes these proposals, our state would be number 30 out of the 34 states needed to force a constitutional convention.

Our nation is changing, and that change is taking place in every state and every district. With a provision to add amendments individually as needed, the U.S. Constitution has afforded us the flexibility for more than 200 years to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the American people.

Assembly lawmakers who take their responsibility of governing seriously should reject these foolhardy proposals, which would endanger our citizen rights and our nation’s ability to respond to emergencies.


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. The League welcomes women and men across the state as members. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Follow @LWV_WI on Twitter.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:40
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