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April 9 Update From DPW Chair

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 10 April 2017
in Wisconsin

wisdems-groundgameSpring elections success, Joint Committee on Finance's (JFC) public hearings, Democratic radio on Privatizing Public Waters, 2017 State Convention, and more...


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

Spring Election Success

Many thanks to all who knocked doors, made phone calls and, of course, cast ballots in last week's Spring elections. Thanks to you we helped make sure that Tony Evers easily won re-election and sent a message that Wisconsin supports investing in public education and providing each and every child in our state with the opportunity to succeed.  

If you haven't already, you can listen to Evers' election night speech on his Facebook page.

In addition, I'm extremely grateful for and proud of the incredible work done by local progressive candidates all across Wisconsin! This spring, our Candidate Services team worked directly with dozens of candidates for school board, city council, and town and village boards from De Pere to Superior, River Falls to La Crosse, and Beloit to Sheboygan.

They campaigned tirelessly, many in the most conservative parts of the state. They brought the Democratic message of fairness, inclusion, and opportunity to their communities and the reaction was outstanding. 77% of the candidates that our County Party and Candidate Services teams supported won their races!

We're not going to let the momentum from this spring fade. We'll continue to train candidates, develop county parties, and engage voters and activists across our state.


Budget Hearing Update

This week kicked-off the Joint Committee on Finance's (JFC) public hearings on the state budget in Platteville, West Allis, and Berlin. And on Saturday, Democrats held additional public hearings in Green Bay and Eau Claire. 

It's was great to see so many people coming out in droves to advocate for solutions to public school funding, repairing our crumbling transportation infrastructure, and bringing good-paying jobs to our state. Keep up the good work! 

The next official JFC public hearings will begin on April 18 in Spooner at Spooner High School. The committee will then travel to Ellsworth on April 19 for a hearing at Ellsworth High School. The last hearing is in Marinette on April 21 at Marinette High School. 

There will be additional Democratic public hearings as well and I'll be sure to share that information with you all as it becomes available.


Members of Congress Go On Recess This Week

Congressional Recess began April 8th and members of Congress will be in recess until April 23rd. This is a time when many lawmakers return home and meet with their constituents at town halls - a great venue for you to hear directly from your representative and get answers to your concerns and questions.  
Resistance Recess is planning to organize the power of the people and replicate the huge success we saw in February which built the power to stop President Trump and Speaker Ryan from taking health care away for 24 million people. 

As Trump remains under investigation and as Congress continues to push Trump's unconstitutional and dangerous agenda, we must make sure that no one allows the passing of time to normalize this president and his harmful policies.

Find an event near your on resistancerecess.com and make a plan to make your voice heard.  

It isn't just Republicans holding town halls during this recess. Democrats are coming back to speak to their constituents as well. This week, Rep. Mark Pocan will hold a Rock County town hall on Monday, April 10 at Blackhawk Technical College from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., to discuss his work in Congress, issues important to Rock County residents, and field questions from attendees. If you can't make Rep. Pocan's town hall, his sessions are posted after completion on the office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/repmarkpocan under videos.


Upcoming Democratic Training Opportunities

Spring elections may be over, but there's still a lot of work ahead of us! If you're eager to stay in the fight between election cycles, please look into some of the training opportunities that both the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and our partner organizations will be hosting around Wisconsin. 

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin will be hosting a County Party Development Training in Waukesha on April 29th for any interested party members. This training is designed to highlight the ways that activists can get involved in local campaigns on a deeper level, from serving on a kitchen cabinet to recruiting candidates to organizing volunteers and managing canvasses. Click here to view the agenda for this training. More dates around the state will be announced soon. Click here to register!

Wisconsin Progress is beginning their "Getting Ready to Run" training series, with sessions scheduled in Steven's Point, Chippewa Falls, Richland Center, Oshkosh, Waukesha, and Portage. The training is designed for anyone who is thinking about running for local and state office, and cover topics from how to know if you're ready, to what to do once you decide to jump in! Click here to register!

EMILY's List will be hosting a training on April 22nd in Milwaukee for pro-choice, Democratic women interested in running for office. Click here to register!

The Association of State Democratic Chairs will be putting on their T3 (Train the Trainer) series of webinars from mid-April to mid-May that any party members and activists are welcome to participate in. This program is designed to teach a variety of useful skills, from messaging to social media organizing to recruiting candidates and volunteers. Click here to see the dates and topics of each individual webinar. The webinars are every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm, and begin on Monday, April 17th. Click here to register!


Weekly Democratic radio address: Privatizing Public Waters

Senator Mark Miller (D – Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address last week. 

The audio file of  the address can be found here: 
http://media2.legis.wisconsin.gov/multimedia/Sen16/millerradio040517.mp3

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hello. This is Senator Mark Miller with this week’s democratic radio address.

“This week Senate Republicans passed Senate Bill 76, privatizing Wisconsin water for high capacity well owners. This bill allows high capacity well permits to be issued permanently. Forever.

“A high capacity well permit that lasts forever and can never be changed creates a permanent right to take water that belongs to the people of Wisconsin and use it for private profit.

“This bill ignores the property rights of riparian owners and recreational users when excessive withdrawals lower water levels and reduce stream flows. This bill ignores the access rights of rural households with private drinking water wells when excessive withdrawals dry up their wells.

“This bill picks winners and losers. Supposedly high capacity well owners just want “certainty.” But what this bill provides is certainty that their use is guaranteed over others, and that is unconstitutional.

“This should not a partisan issue, this is a fairness issue. Water belongs to everyone, not just the chosen few.”


Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala Featuring Congressman Keith Ellison

Last week, we announced Congressman Keith Ellison as our featured speaker for this year's Founders Day Gala in Milwaukee. Not only has Keith been a great friend to our Party here in Wisconsin, his leadership at the local and national level is incredibly inspiring and just what we need to see as we gear up for 2018. I look forward to a great Founders Day and the opportunity to have Congressman Ellison energize Democrats here at home. 

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

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: www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention


Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

It’s time for Trump to strengthen Obamacare, not destroy it
Democrats are proud of the work President Barack Obama did to expand access to affordable health care and Democrats are ready and willing to strengthen Obamacare and give even more Americans the quality care they need and deserve. Democrats have already introduced many bills to try and do so. If President Trump wants to work with us, we’re ready. The question is whether President Trump and Congressional Republicans are ready to do the work of the people instead of play politics.

How Average Citizens Saved Obamacare
There was one major reason that their plan failed that has gotten very little attention: people organized and made their voices heard. Now, you can organize demonstrations to make your voice heard and turn out large numbers of people and see few results, but when it is strategically done, it can have a very major impact; that’s what happened with the health care fight.

Baldwin raises $2.2 million in first quarter of 2017
Baldwin's campaign raised $2.2 million in the first three months of this year, in advance of her re-election bid in 2018. Her campaign said Wednesday that she has $2.4 million cash on hand. 

Editorial: Mark Pocan's right: Donald Trump trade orders are talk, not action
Pocan, the Wisconsin Democrat who has emerged as one of the most serious advocates for trade policies that respect workers, the environment and human rights, saw through Trump’s smoke and mirrors.

Paul Ryan on tax plan: ‘White House hasn’t nailed it down’
A comment from U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan may have helped to trigger one of the biggest reversals in stocks in more than a year, a down move that could continue Thursday.

Paul Ryan: Health care bill will take time, as GOP learns to govern
A new push to pass a GOP health care bill will take weeks, not days, House Speaker Paul Ryan indicated Wednesday, as the latest talks among Republicans produced no apparent breakthrough.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Cosponsors Legislation to Strengthen Existing Buy America Standards and Create More Jobs at Home
Top House Democrats on Monday called on the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, thrusting the entire inquiry into jeopardy amid what they described as mounting evidence he was too close to President Trump to be impartial.

Mason-led Great Lakes group pushes against proposed funding cuts
A group of Great Lakes legislators, led by Racine state Rep. Cory Mason, has added its voice to a bipartisan push against proposed cuts to Great Lakes funding.

Vinehout: Protect the Constitution from a convention
What do the League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union and the John Birch Society have in common? They all think legislation calling for a federal constitutional convention is a bad idea. A very bad idea.

Kind calls on Walker to expand Medicaid
In light of the House GOP's health care bill failure, Rep. Ron Kind is calling on Gov. Scott Walker to expand Medicaid. Wisconsin is one of 19 states whohave chosen not to expand under the Affordable Care Act.

Wisconsin voters continue to approve more school referendums as $700 million OK'd this week
Of the 65 questions before voters Tuesday, 40, or 62% passed, including a near-record $181.3 million sought for the burgeoning Verona Area School District in Dane County.

Dozens of Wisconsin dairy farms could be forced out of business because of international trade dispute
Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that has halted the export of their milk to Canada.

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Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning April 2

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 03 April 2017
in Wisconsin

vote-buttonVote 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.

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February 19 Update From The DPW Chair

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 20 February 2017
in Wisconsin

martha-laningVote Tony Evers for Superintendent on Tuesday, Feb. 21st, how Trump puts National Security at risk, Democratic National Committee Chair Elections, Day Without Immigrants, Ron Kind’s Education Plan, and Things You May Have Missed.


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

Remember to Vote Tony Evers for Superintendent on Tuesday, Feb. 21st

If you haven't already, make a plan to vote for Tony Evers for Superintendent during Tuesday's spring primary elections. There are a host of important races on the ballot, including Evers' re-election bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Tony Evers is the only candidate in the race to oversee our state's schools who is a champion for fairly funding our public schools, increasing graduation rates, and creating pathways to family-sustaining jobs for young adults. People from all over Wisconsin are showing the enthusiasm Tony needs to win re-election.

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/ .

President Trump and General Flynn Put National Security at Risk

American leadership is essential to keeping us safe and keeping our economy growing in the years ahead. But this week, our security was threatened, when it was revealed that President Trump's National Security Advisory, Michael Flynn, discussed previously administered sanctions against the Russian government with a Russian ambassador. Despite awareness of these potentially illegal conversations, Trump continued to give Flynn access to highly sensitive and classified information for weeks. 

Here is a great graphic showing the timeline which is really disturbing. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/14/us/politics/flynn-call-russia-timeline.html

Just because Flynn has resigned doesn’t mean this scandal is going away. Trump aides had repeated contact with Russia throughout his campaign, and Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin has the potential to undermine our democracy. This issue deserves to be fully investigated, and thankfully Wisconsin Democrats like Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan are calling for such an investigation.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin Republicans are more concerned with protecting themselves than examining Trump’s dangerous contact with Russia. Paul Ryan has defended Flynn, and Senator Ron Johnson is more focused on where the leaked information is coming from than the incriminating evidence itself. The people deserve to know just how beholden Trump is to Russia, but Wisconsin Republicans have turned this national security crisis into a partisan issue.

This week, I went on Wisconsin Public Radio to talk about this issue and urge Wisconsin Republicans to do the right thing. Take a listen and share it with your networks: http://www.wpr.org/listen/1062636

Democratic National Committee Chair Elections

Next weekend, the Democratic National Committee will select its next Party Chair during the DNC Winter Meetings in Atlanta, February 23–26. I’m proud to be casting my vote for Congressman Keith Ellison, a truly progressive Democratic leader. Keith will unleash the resources we need to build a stronger party message and a grow our grassroots field program that outpaces our counterparts not only in Wisconsin but across the nation.  

Congressman Ellison believes grassroots efforts are key to winning elections.  That's why he raised over $1 million dollars to support the Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party's initiatives and is credited with increasing turnout in his own safe district by a margin that helped the state wide races, like Governor, prevail in a very difficult year.  I know he has the vision and track record to implement a grassroots plan that will invigorate our diverse Democratic coalition and get people out to vote. Grassroots leadership is more important than ever, and Congressman Ellison’s grassroots experience will move our party forward.

In the lead up to the Winter Meeting, the DNC has held the most transparent officer election in party history. The DNC held four regional forums for DNC members and the public to hear from candidates for officer positions. All of these forums were open to the public and live-streamed on social media, and have since been posted in full on the DNC’s website.


Keep Up The Resistance

I am inspired each day by your activism in response to the out-of-touch lawmakers in Washington who want to pass truly un-American legislation at the expense of everyday American people and their families. Many thanks to all of you who are writing letters and postcards, calling offices, and attending town hall meetings. 

The resistance movement is growing, exploding to more than 4,500 local groups resisting the extreme right-wing Republican agenda in nearly every congressional district in the country. If you haven't already, take a look at the resources available for resistance on Indivisibleguide.com

Day Without Immigrants March a Symbol of the People’s Voice

This past Monday, thousands of demonstrators participated in a massive Day Without Immigrants march in Milwaukee - a symbol of the crucial impact immigrants have on our nation. With hundreds of local businesses closing, Monday's march helped paint a picture of what life would be like without one of our most important communities.

While voices on the right, like Milwaukee County’s Sheriff David Clarke, have tried to downplay the impressive display by the grassroots, there is no denying the power of the people’s voice. As Trump continues to attack immigrant communities with mean-spirited and unconstitutional executive orders, we must show that we will not back down. The only way to stand up to Trump and his Republican allies is to make our voices heard through peaceful and meaningful marches and protests. Republicans need to know that an attack on any community is an attack on all Americans, and we will continue to express our free speech until we are heard.  

Read more about Monday's march on JSOnline.com

Honoring the Life of Marcel Dandeneau

Marcel Dandeneau, a former state representative, died of cancer earlier this month. A committed activist for Democratic values, Dandeneau also served in the Korean War and was a teacher for nearly 30 years in Racine County. Dandeneau lived a life devoted to service and helping others, and his generosity and devotion are truly admirable. My condolences go out to his family during this tough time.

The Racine Journal Times did an excellent job of telling Marcel's story this week.

Rep. Ron Kind’s Introduces Education Plan Will Allow Wisconsin Students to Excel

Representative Ron Kind introduced his Higher Education Action Plan to an attentive audience of students and leaders from Wisconsin Technical Colleges this week. Representative Kind, who has always been an outspoken supporter for college affordability, cited higher education as a key to success for both Wisconsin and the nation as a whole.

In order to achieve his goal of enhancing the availability and impact of higher education, Rep. Kind has broken his plan into three distinctive parts. First, all high schools and especially those in rural areas need to be given the materials to educate students on their options for earning a degree. Secondly, Rep. Kind wants to ensure all Wisconsinites have access to affordable financial aid to whatever degree they pursue, be it a technical college or 4-year university. Finally, his plan focuses on making sure college graduates are able to compete for well-paying jobs and able to support themselves upon graduation. Ron Kind’s plan is exactly what Wisconsin needs to guarantee students can graduate high school or college with optimism for the future.

Read more about the Congressman's new education plan through his column in the Pierce County Herald.

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

With Sean Duffy out, Republican field for U.S. Senate in 2018 wide open
"'The Republican establishment in Washington is scrambling to avoid a divisive, messy Republican primary in Wisconsin,' said Gillian Drummond, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. 'No matter what circus emerges, Tammy Baldwin will continue to stand up to the powerful interests in Washington and fight for a Wisconsin economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.'" 

Sen. Johnson won’t commit to town hall meeting during Congressional recess
"Truax is part of group planning a town hall meeting of its own at the Brown County Library next week. They sent a letter inviting Senator Johnson to attend the event but so far they haven’t heard back."

Wisconsin taxpayers could pay another $175,000 for redistricting maps
"Taxpayers will spend up to $175,000 so state lawmakers can try to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to keep in place maps of legislative districts that help Republicans. The bill will add to more than $2.1 million in legal fees taxpayers have already paid to establish the maps and defend them in court. States must draw new legislative boundaries every 10 years to account for population shifts. With control of all of state government in 2011, Republicans crafted maps that greatly helped them in elections."

John Humphries suggested consulting contract to rival in superintendent's race
"Evers campaign spokeswoman Amanda Brink said the takeover plan Humphries and Holtz discussed would affect 'almost 20 percent of the public school kids in Wisconsin, and would strip away parents and community members’ rights to weigh in on their local districts.' Brink called it 'a massive power grab.' 'This is a proposal for a heavy-handed, top-down approach struck through a backroom deal between a few unnamed business leaders and two politicians looking out for their own financial interests,' Brink said.

State superintendent candidate: Challenger offered 6-figure job to drop out of race
A candidate for state superintendent offered an opponent a taxpayer-funded $150,000 job if he dropped out of the race and sought the same for himself if he were the one to drop out, his challenger alleged Wednesday.

Beloit May Not Be Eligible For Higher Aid
"If the School District of Beloit has 7,000 students, for example, it stands to forfeit roughly $4 million over the two-year period covered in the biennial budget, and more millions every year thereafter. "

Vruwink proposes anti-gerrymandering bill
"State Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, has co-authored a bill that would remove partisan redistricting from state legislative districts, according to a release. Vruwink's proposal would give redistricting power to the Legislative Reference Bureau every 10 years. Republicans outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the state Assembly and 20-13 in the state Senate, which is not reflective of Wisconsin's population, Vruwink said in the release."

Board: Unclear how 'enhanced oversight' results from Scott Walker plan to ax for-profit college watchdog
Board members of Wisconsin’s for-profit college watchdog said Wednesday they’re concerned by Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate the board in the next state budget. Walker, in his 2017-19 budget proposal released last week, moved to eliminate the state Educational Approval Board and transfer its duties to another agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services. The board licenses and regulates for-profit schools, which have weathered criticism for questionable marketing practices and degree programs.

Doyle, Walker differ on state budget locally
"Doyle cautioned that Walker’s proposed numbers could change as the Legislature picked the budget apart and different groups and interests battled it out in Madison. Numbers could also change as better information is gathered on the financial impacts of proposals such as the call to switch to a self-insurance system for public employees, which Walker’s office has estimated would save the state $60 million and is tied to the increased K-12 funding. 'Don’t spend the money until you have it in your bank account,' he told the board."

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DPW Chair Martha Laning "This Election"

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 09 November 2016
in Wisconsin

votersDemocratic Party Chair Laning disappointed by last night's results, but now it is time to come together to move our state and our nation forward.


MADISON - After last night's elections, I have some thoughts I want to share with you.

Like so many of you, I am disappointed by last night's results. However, while these were not the results we hoped for, the people have spoken, and now it is up to us to come together to move our state and our nation forward.

Despite our disappointment, we must not get discouraged and walk away from the process. We must unite and work for the American dream we all believe in.

As Democrats, we will forge onward and continue to fight for hard-working men and women who want a fair shot to get ahead. We will continue to advocate for future generations of Americans who deserve the opportunity to live the American dream. And, in an election year marked by divisiveness and hate, we will continue to stand up for inclusiveness and respect for all Americans no matter their race, color, or creed.

We will also work to hold President-Elect Trump accountable to the people who elected him. Like many, we are deeply concerned that his policies will be harmful to the millions of hardworking Americans who most need help in these challenging times.

I want to thank all of the fantastic Democratic candidates who had the courage and vision to run for office in this election: From HillaryClinton, to Russ Feingold, to our amazing candidates up and down the ballot. Their passion and dedication was an inspiration to so many around this state. Win or lose, we were proud to stand with each and every one of you. As Secretary Clinton said only moments ago, this loss hurts, but we must all continue to fight for what we believe in. As Democrats, that’s exactly what we intend to do.

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Update from DPW Chair Martha Laning

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 13 October 2016
in Wisconsin

elizabeth-warrenMADISON - This week I'll highlight Hillary Clinton's clear win at the debate, a number of great speakers who came to the state, the last 27 days of this election season, Donald Trump's horrid comments, a new Russ Feingold ad, a number of our great candidates, Tammy Baldwin's fight against the opioid crisis, and the first place winner from our video contest.

Now is a Great Time to Join the Party

I hope you are enjoying these updates on all the great things happening with Democratic campaigns around Wisconsin.  As we work to win races across Wisconsin this November, it's also a great time to help build our party. Please take a moment today to send this update to a friend or two, and invite them to join the party! All they have to do is go to www.wisdems.org/membership to sign up!  As a member, they will get exclusive updates on Democratic campaigns and events, become part of a local community of progressive grassroots activists, and help to support our candidates up and down the ballot!

Hillary Clinton Again Shows Why She is The Most Qualified Candidate in the Race

trump-clinton-debate2During Sunday’s second presidential debate, it was clear yet again that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with the temperament, ideas, and experience to be the President of the United States.  Throughout the debate, on issues ranging from health care to growing the economy, Hillary Clinton put forward real, common-sense solutions to the problems facing our country.  She talked about the importance of bringing people together to tackle the challenges facing Americans – rather than dividing and insulting them.  Donald Trump, on the other hand, took the opposite approach. He refused to take responsibility for the repugnant comments he made in 2005 where he bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women.  He also doubled down on his divisive rhetoric about immigrants, Muslim Americans, and anyone who disagrees with him.  Throughout the entire debate, Donald Trump took the low road and true to form Hillary Clinton went high.
The reviews are in…and Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of the debate.

Special Guests in Wisconsin

bernie-for-hillary-wiWe had so many amazing people come to our state this past week. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Gabby Giffords and President Bill Clinton were in Wisconsin. They all delivered a clear message: there is too much at stake this election to stay at home. We all have a responsibility to do everything we can, whether it is voting early, knocking on doors, or making phone calls, to ensure we elect Democrats up and down the ticket.   Bernie Sanders visited Green Bay and Madison on Wednesday, Oct. 5th to promote Hillary Clinton’s plan to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.  Elizabeth Warren traveled to Milwaukee and Madison where she encouraged every person in Wisconsin to go out and vote early for Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, and great progressive Democrats up and down the ballot.   Gabby Gifford highlighted Democrat’s call this election season for common-sense gun control, including more stringent background checks and restricting those on the no-fly list from purchasing guns. An advocate for gun control her whole tenure in Congress, Gifford stands with Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine as they pledge to stand up to the gun lobby and advocate for responsible change.   And on Saturday, I was thrilled to join President Bill Clinton as spoke to a packed crowd of supporters about Hillary’s experience, judgment, and dedication to moving our country forward together.

Help Us Turn Wisconsin Blue!

martha-laning-canvasI took some time this week to go canvassing with my daughter, and I can’t tell you how excited people are to get out and vote. The enthusiasm I hear for Hillary Clinton, Russ, and other great Democrats down the ticket makes me believe we are going to win big in November. But we know this won’t come easy - we have to do everything we can between now and November 8th to ensure we elect Democrats to office at every level.   The stakes are too high in this election to stay on the sidelines. With less than four weeks until Election Day, we have to do everything we can to elect Democrats up and down the ticket in November.   Go to your county headquarters or contact a campaign directly to see how you can help bring Wisconsin Democrats victory this fall. Whether it is making phone calls, knocking doors, or everything in between, every effort will help ensure we win big in November.   You can find your early vote location OR your election day polling location at www.hillaryclinton.com/locate

Click here to commit to vote this election.
Click here to volunteer.
Click here to find an event near you.

Donald Trump’s Disgusting Comments

Donald Trump’s comments about women are truly horrific. I cannot begin to describe my disgust and disbelief that this man continues to be a major party’s nominee for President of the United States. Yet, despite these revelations - and despite widespread condemnation by members of both parties - here in Wisconsin Republicans like Ron Johnson, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and so many others have continued to back Mr. Trump. While they may condemn his words, their continued support of a man so truly unfit and unworthy to hold our nation’s highest office is a disgrace.   Donald Trump has built his campaign, and his career on an endless string of bigoted, bullying, misogynistic, and outright hateful words and actions. These recent revelations are nothing new when it comes to Trump’s treatment of women - and yet even these shocking disclosures do not seem to be enough to convince Wisconsin’s GOP leaders to renounce him and his campaign. It’s time for Wisconsin’s Republican leaders to step up, show leadership, and drop their support for Donald Trump. If they won’t, they need to explain to the people of Wisconsin why they continue to stand side by side with this disgusting individual.

Russ Feingold Offers Wisconsin a Hand

russ-feingoldRuss released a new ad, highlighting the need to give Wisconsin’s business owners a hand. Russ understands that the most important resource in Wisconsin is the people and the future of our state rests in the hands of its citizens not Washington. That’s why Senator Feingold has come out against trade deals concocted in Washington that ship well paying manufacturing jobs from the Midwest to Mexico and China.  His opponent Ron Johnson on the other hand, has supported trade deals that were disastrous for Wisconsin workers and business owners during his tenure as senator. Russ is looking to reinvigorate Wisconsin businesses by rejecting bad trade deals and closing loopholes on big corporations that Ron Johnson cozies up to. The only way to build Wisconsin is to support small businesses and bring jobs back to the middle class. That’s the Russ Feingold plan for Wisconsin and that’s the plan we need come November. 

Meet More of Our Great Democratic Candidates

Democrats have a chance for big gains in 2016, thanks in large part to the amazing candidates we have running all over the state.  Here are a few more we are watching closely!   In the 51st Assembly District, Jeff Wright is taking on incumbent Republican Todd Novak.  Jeff is an educator who currently serves as the assistant Superintendent of Sauk Prairie Schools.  He and his family live on a farm in Southwest Wisconsin. Jeff is running because he knows that we need new priorities in Madison, and leaders who will invest in job creation, infrastructure, and education. Learn more about Jeff here and here.   In the 12th State Senate District, Attorney Bryan Van Stippen is running because he believes we need to restore local control for Wisconsin communities, create opportunities for a great education, protect our natural resources, improve our infrastructure, especially high-speed internet, create development opportunities for small business owners, and will advocate for fair taxes and responsible budgeting.  Visit his website and Facebook page to find out more!   

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Step Up Fight Against Opioid Crisis

In the fight to combat rising opioid and heroin overdose deaths in Wisconsin, health officials have announced that pharmacies across Wisconsin will begin selling an anti-overdose drug. The drug naloxone, called by its trade name Narcan will be sold by Roundy owned pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens, a total of over 150 locations statewide.  Since 2009, opioid and heroin overdoses have surpassed car crashes as Wisconsin’s leading cause of death. Leaders like U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin are working tirelessly to solve this problem in Wisconsin and across our country. Senator Baldwin has introduced her own national legislation to combat opioid addiction and help those recovering from it. A key component to her bill was for more pharmacies everywhere in the United States to sell life-saving naloxone drugs. Working alongside her fellow Wisconsinites and her compatriots in Congress, Tammy Baldwin has been able to provide hope and support for those struggling with opioid addiction. 

First Place Video Winner

We are pleased to announce the first place winner from our video contest is Sarah Semrad, a student at UW-La Crosse.

Sarah, with the help of her friends, showed how Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure as Governor has been a disaster for Wisconsinites. The ramifications of massive funding cuts to education, particularly in the UW-system, are made clear by the stories and concerns of these students. Students are concerned about the quality of education they are receiving since the record breaking cuts to the UW system by Gov. Walker and the Republicans. One student, studying to be an elementary school teacher is particularly worried about large class sizes.  Students are also concerned about Gov. Scott Walker’s cuts to clerical healthcare for women and his refusal to addresses student loan refinancing.

The quality of higher education is the bedrock of Wisconsin’s economy, but Gov., Walker’s near-sighted budget cuts and his inaction on student loan refinancing hamper the ability for these students to contribute to Wisconsin’s economy. This video by the students of UW-La Crosse is a perfect example of why we need to vote blue in November, for leaders who care about students and prioritize education and health care.

You can see Sarah’s great video here.

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UW-Madison Efforts to Improve Racial Climate Commendable

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Monday, 05 September 2016
in Wisconsin

buckyMADISON - I applaud the efforts by the University of Wisconsin-Madison to make their campus more inclusive. They are taking the appropriate steps to ensure every student, regardless of the color of their skin, is treated fairly at UW-Madison.

As our flagship university, it speaks volumes that UW-Madison's leadership is listening to the student body's call to create an environment that reflects and respects the backgrounds of everyone. I applaud the university leadership, the student leadership, and activists for working together to improve and strengthen UW-Madison.

We live in a world made of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It is important that students' educational climate reflects the multicultural and diverse world they will join after leaving collegiate life. The investment UW-Madison is making better prepares our young students for this transition.

As a mother who has a child attending UW-Madison, I am grateful the school is taking the appropriate steps to ensure she receives an education in the most inclusive environment possible.

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On the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 22 January 2016
in Wisconsin

martha-laningMADISON - 43 years ago today, the Supreme Court made it clear that a woman has the right to make her own health care decisions.

On this day, we celebrate a historic ruling that respects a woman's right to make private decisions with her doctor. We are also reminded today that we must stand firm against efforts to undermine or chip away at those rights.

Wisconsin families look to their leaders to focus first on economic policy. Instead, we've seen a Republican-controlled legislature focused on curtailing access to a legal and safe abortions, and passing draconian legislation that puts women's health at risk.

It's a shame that 43 years later after the Supreme Court has settled the issue of reproductive rights that some still want to roll back the clock. Today, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin recommits itself to fighting to protect reproductive freedom.

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State of the State - 'speech focused on spinning a failed agenda'

Posted by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning
Martha Laning is the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 19 January 2016
in Wisconsin

scottwalker-dreamMADISON - Democrats were hoping to hear Governor Scott Walker outline a plan to work across the aisle to solve the challenges Wisconsinites face each day. Unfortunately, Gov. Walker gave an election year speech focused on spinning a failed agenda rubber-stamped by his Republican-controlled legislature instead of a plan to increase opportunity for citizens in every corner of our state.

Wisconsin Republicans have spent the last five years on an agenda that decreased family incomes and shrunk the middle class. Local schools are struggling to do more with less in the face of budget cuts, our roads and bridges continue to deteriorate, and mass layoffs just hit a five-year high.

If Republicans are ready to listen to concerns of Wisconsin families instead of focusing on their self-interests, Democrats are ready and willing to help lead on an agenda focused on growth, innovation, and opportunity.

After a year of missed opportunities, it's time to return to basic Wisconsin values and make sure that those who pay their fair share and play by the rules will have an opportunity to succeed and get ahead. Our state deserves an economy that works for everyone, not just millionaires and billionaires.

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