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“Labor Day 2017” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 01 September 2017 10:44

labor_day_2017The important role of unions, Hurricane Harvey, and the mining industry’s latest push to roll back Wisconsin’s mining moratorium.


MILWAUKEE - Happy Labor Day Weekend Wisconsin! Our panel discusses the vital role labor unions play in creating democratic workplaces, real economic opportunity, and access to the middle class.

We reflect on the devastation in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the role climate change and bad public policy played in its creation.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) organizer Matt Dannenberg educates us on the mining industry’s latest push to roll back Wisconsin’s mining moratorium which protects our water and environment. Robert previews the next health care fight this fall in the federal budget and Jorna tells us about Congressman Grothman’s demand for other federal budget cuts to pay for Hurricane Harvey relief.

 

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #309
Download MP3
Citizen Action Press Clips

 
Democratic Radio "We Can Do Better for Our Kids" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 01 September 2017 09:17

school-bus-kidsMADISON – Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mount Horeb) offered the Democratic Weekly Radio Address Thursday on the new school year and the same old Republican tricks:

"On Tuesday, students across Wisconsin will pack their backpacks and head back to the classroom. Yet, we still don’t have a finalized state budget," Rep. Pope said. "Wisconsin has a proud tradition of quality public education. We need to make sure our kids have the tools they need to succeed as the future workforce of our state."

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here, and the video can be found here or below.

A written transcript of the address is below:

sondy-pope"Hi, I’m Representative Sondy Pope, ranking Democrat on the Assembly Committee on Education, with this week’s Democratic radio address.

"On Tuesday, students across Wisconsin will pack their backpacks and head back to the classroom. Yet, we still don’t have a finalized state budget. That means school districts across our state are left in the lurch, unsure about how much money they have to provide quality education for our children.

"That is why I was surprised this week when the Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee advanced a funding option for Wisconsin schools that still doesn’t make up for the mistakes of the past. Today, we’re still $1 billion dollars short of where we should be. Not a single proposal from Republicans would fill that hole.

"Wisconsin has a proud tradition of quality public education. We need to make sure our kids have the tools they need to succeed as the future workforce of our state.

"Democrats have a plan to put more money into schools and to lower property taxes. You can learn more about our plan at WICanDoBetter.com. That’s WICanDoBetter.com.

"As Democrats, we support our public schools, our teachers, and most of all, our students. As our main priority, we will continue the fight for them and the future of our great state.

"Thank you."

 
Public Hearings: Where Are the People? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 08:41

capitol-night-wiscAt a recent public hearing, ideological groups push a de-licensing plan for state professionals in an all-to-common process of speed and secrecy. Notice was posted late Friday for a meeting the following Thursday to discuss public safety as well as erosion of wages and workers’ rights.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 August 2017 09:21
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Sen. Hansen on U.S. AG Sessions Green Bay Visit PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate, Jay Wadd   
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 07:56

opioid-young-startState Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) is calling on the Wisconsin and U.S. Attorneys General to stand up for taxpayers by holding big drug companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 August 2017 09:00
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Blue Jean Nation 'Blowing off the Founders' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Friday, 25 August 2017 15:36

founding-fathersOur founders saw public education as basic to cultivating the moral and civic virtues needed for people to exercise their rights and duties as citizens. But over the years, this mission has been lost, putting democracy itself at risk.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 August 2017 18:12
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"Eye on 2018 Election" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 25 August 2017 07:59

eyeon_2How the Foxconn giveaway will shape the political environment and test candidates in the Governor's race, Paul Ryan’s fake town hall with CNN, and more...


MILWAUKEE - We take a sneak peak at the developing 2018 governor's race. We discuss how issues like the Foxconn giveaway will shape the political environment and test candidates. Robert updates us on on the growing public opposition to the Foxconn deal, including 3 news events held by Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative in Eau Claire, Wausau, and Appleton.

Jorna reviews Paul Ryan’s fake town hall with CNN that was not open to the public. Also, GOP Sen. Tom Tiffany is threatening Wisconsin’s mining moratorium and Citizen Action is hosting a forum featuring 2018 Supreme Court candidates Rebecca Dallet and Tim Burns in Milwaukee on Thursday, September 14th @ 6pm.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #308
Download MP3
Citizen Action Press Clips

 
Wis Democracy Campaign "Trump, Walker, and Us!" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Matt Rothschild   
Friday, 25 August 2017 07:33

wdc-countiesFair district maps campaign, Foxconn, state party fundraising, and more...


MADISON - After Charlottesville, and Donald Trump’s reprehensible responses to it, more and more people are becoming aware of how fragile our democracy is.

Last Sunday, I went up to Stoddard, Wisconsin, to give a talk to the Vernon County Democrats on this subject, and I noted that democracy is not doing too well under Scott Walker, either. But I also laid out reasons for hope, as you’ll see here:

Our democracy is hanging by a thread

Tonight, I’m going up to Shell Lake, near Spooner, to give a similar talk to the new group, Indivisible of Northwestern Wisconsin. And I’d be happy to give a talk in your community, too, so just send me an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I know there’s a hunger for this discussion.

While watching the news on Monday, I saw that Walker got some UW doctors to front for him and Foxconn. We found out who the doctors were, and some were donors to Walker:

Walker flanked by donors at UW Hospital to promote Foxconn

And in one of our periodic postings, we noted that Republicans in Wisconsin are far outraising their Democratic counterparts so far this year:

Wisconsin GOP outraises Dems 3 to 1 in the first six months of 2017

I mentioned that I’m not losing hope. Here’s one reason: The tremendous momentum in Wisconsin for adopting fair voting maps – for ending gerrymandering in Wisconsin once and for all. The momentum picked up speed in just the last two weeks:

Three more counties on board for Fair Maps!

It’s this activism for democracy at the grassroots, which the media tends to ignore, that will bring us through the Age of Trump and the Age of Walker.

Of that, I am sure.

Best,

Matt Rothschild

****

If you’d like to support the urgent work we do here at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, please send us a tax-deductible donation by clicking here.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 August 2017 07:50
 
Blue Jean Nation 'The taproot of our many problems' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 06:56

trump-walkerWe have a poisoned political culture that glorifies greed, dooming us to a government that works for a wealthy and well-connected few at everyone else’s expense.


ALTOONA, WI - Wisconsin is up to its eyeballs in problems. Our state has lost its way. It is becoming a shadow of its former self. Same goes for the country as a whole.

The problems vary from place to place. Go to Trempealeau County and you see hills and bluffs disappearing and hear fears expressed over the effects of breathing the fine dust that hangs in the air or drinking water that has turned an amber color. In the Central Sands region you see lakes and streams drying up because a few are being allowed to drill high-capacity wells and hog all the water. In Kewaunee County you are told about massive industrial feedlots and how a third of private wells have been poisoned and you see someone turn on a water tap and what comes out of the faucet is brown and smells like cow manure. A few counties away parents are frightened about what old lead pipes in their community’s water system might be doing to their children.

Real peopleSomewhere else you run into young Millennials buried under a mountain of student debt. One owes $30,000. Another $80,000. A third carries over $100,000 in debt. All of them wonder how they are going to dig out of the hole they are in. All of them wonder when — or if — they will ever be able to buy a car or make a down payment on a house. Another place you meet a farmer who now is expected to file payroll taxes online but has no Internet access out on the farm.

At the next stop everyone is talking about the criminal justice system and racial profiling and mass incarceration. And how impossible it is to make ends meet earning the minimum wage. Then you meet some former factory workers who used to make $25 an hour working on an assembly line but could only find work paying $11 or $12 an hour after the plant closed. Their standard of living has been cut in half. They find little comfort in the news that the state’s unemployment rate is coming down some. They can find a job. What’s next to impossible to find is work that keeps them in the middle class.

Down the road a piece are town officials agonizing over a decision to tear up paved roads and go back to gravel because they can’t afford to maintain the pavement and keep filling all the potholes. Next you arrive in a community where the townspeople are resigned to their local school closing. They know how that school is a hub of local activity, and they know losing it will be a death sentence for their town.

The problems vary widely from place to place. But they all grow from the same taproot, a poisoned political culture that glorifies greed, dooming us to a government that works for a wealthy and well-connected few at everyone else’s expense and an economy that benefits a privileged few and leaves so many behind. The issue is inequality, both political and economic. The problem is privilege, both political and economic.

Solving the many problems plaguing Wisconsin and America depends on remedying the one behind them all.

— Mike McCabe

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 07:46
 
Looking at the FOXCONN Deal with a Wisconsin Perspective PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 16:29

Walker-gouThere is real desperation here, because our job growth has trailed the National average 22 straight quarters, but that doesn’t mean we need to give away the farm. We can do better.


MADISON - Every single elected official is interested and willing to help businesses build and create family supporting jobs here in Wisconsin. That’s because our job growth has trailed the National average 22 straight quarters, every single quarter since Governor Walker created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). There is real desperation, because there is real need. But that doesn’t mean we need to give away the farm (literally) for the big fish that falls into our lap. We can work hard and build the businesses we have with investments in education and training, infrastructure, and our assets as a state like the environment.

erpenbachWe all love Wisconsin because it is such a beautiful area to live, raise a family, and retire. Every corner of our state has pristine natural areas we all use for recreation, hunting and other leisure activities. Sacrificing those natural areas as a part of the FOXCONN deal is foolish. Directly putting our water, air and environment at risk is bad public policy. The “give away our environment” attitude with this deal also opens the door to exempt future economic development deals from environmental approval rules and is simply unacceptable. We have dozens of examples of Wisconsin businesses that have grown and flourished without dumping waste and diverting streams and sacrificing Great Lakes waters.

Next we need to examine the deal. Is it really the best we could get for our taxpayer investment or does it reflect the political desperation some leaders feel because of their own failures? Any taxpayer funded investment should demonstrate the best return on investment we can get, build family supporting jobs to replace the union living wage manufacturing jobs we have lost, and have real recovery claw backs if the business packs up and moves or if they automate and eliminate jobs in the process. Governor Walker and WEDC do not have an awesome track record with recovery when companies outsource jobs and the potential replacement of supported jobs with automation is a brave new world for all of us.

The deal does have benchmarks before funds are released which is good, but lacks claw backs if jobs are outsourced or automated – the new Assembly version is just the same. Claw backs require businesses to pay back taxpayer costs if the business fails to keep the contract. Wisconsin needs to be able to at least try to take on FOXCONN if they damage our environment and our economy. FOXCONN is not a Wisconsin company building their future here. They are a Taiwanese company looking to avoid President Trump’s tariff threats and we are just the state with the best deal for them.

We cannot let the relentless pursuit of jobs take away what makes Wisconsin our home. We can do better.

****

If you would like more information on FOXCONN and special session Senate Bill 1 contact my office at 608-266-6670 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 16:50
 
Charlottesville PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 08:05

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Martha Laning speaks out on hate, Nazis, and Charlottesville.


MADISON - There is only one side.

The deadly violence that shattered the peace of Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend marks a dark time in our country.

These acts of hate—carried out by white supremacists and neo-Nazis—show a blatant and heartbreaking prejudice, on display for the world to see.

President Trump refused to denounce these groups for days, while Democrats and Republicans united to send a crystal-clear message: there is no place in America for white supremacists, neo-Nazis, bigotry or the KKK.

But there is more for us to do. In these trying times, we must also reject policies that enable systemic repression. We must fight to protect voting rights. We must fight to protect unions. We must fight to protect quality housing and education.

We will not allow hate to prevail, or toxic acts of fanatical violence—or systemic injustice—to hold back America’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all.

Thank you for standing with us at this decisive moment.

Martha Laning
Chair, The Democratic Party of Wisconsin

 
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