Spring 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:
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.