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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
Gubernatorial Candidate Mike McCabe to Hold Milwaukee Town Hall PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Commoners for Mike McCabe, Christine Welcher   
Thursday, 05 October 2017 10:04

mccabe-govPolitical Activist and Gubernatorial Candidate Mike McCabe is holding a Q&A Town Hall on Milwaukee's North Side at the African-American Women's Center Thursday night, October 5th.

MILWAUKEE - Mike McCabe's Principle over Party campaign continues to make its way around the state. Thursday night's Town Hall at Milwaukee's African-American Women's Center (3020 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI) is the latest stop. The Town Hall style event on October 5th, will begin at 6pm with a short speech from the candidate. The majority of the evening will be questions from the floor. The event is free to attend and all are welcome.

mike-mccabeMike's goal is to inspire and engage people from all over the state to get back into the driver's seat. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Mike's message continues to explain and educate why this campaign must be People Powered and Crowd Funded if it is to succeed.

“If money decides the election, the people will continue to be stuck with elected representatives who scratch the backs of those who scratched theirs, and our government will continue to be controlled by the wealthy and well-connected. Breaking free of this trap involves risk. It requires faith and the courage of conviction,” he said. “Political insiders will call this unilateral disarmament. No, it’s acting on principle. The insiders say you have to spend four or five hours a day begging rich people for money if you want to be taken seriously. That’s exactly what has gotten us into the mess we’re in.”

McCabe continues, "If money is allowed to rule our elections and our political system, some candidate will win, but the People of Wisconsin will lose."

In 1995 McCabe was a founding member of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that specializes in tracking the money in state elections and works to make people matter more than money in politics. He led the group for 15 years as its director and during that time exposed money’s influence and called out wrongdoing by state officials, earning a reputation as a leading government whistle blower and one of the nation’s best political money trackers.

Before the Democracy Campaign came along, the only way to see who was donating to elected officials and candidates for office was to travel to the old state Elections Board office in Madison and personally examine mountains of paper reports. The Democracy Campaign entered all of the information on those reports into an electronic database and published it online, making it vastly easier to follow the money in Wisconsin politics. For its efforts under Mike’s leadership, the Democracy Campaign was named the Citizen Openness Advocate of the Year in 2012 by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and the state chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

For more information on the campaign visit:

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 October 2017 10:15
Statement on the passing of Rep. Bob Gannon PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Leah Vukmir for Senate, Jessica Ward   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 10:48

bob-gannonMADISON, Wis. — Senate Assistant Majority Leader Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, issued the following statement Wednesday upon hearing the news of the death of state Rep. Bob Gannon, R–West Bend:

leah-vukmir“My heart aches upon hearing the news of the death of my friend and colleague, Bob Gannon. Our state suffers a great loss with his passing.

“Bob was a fierce and passionate voice in the state Legislature, fighting boldly to make Wisconsin a better and safer state. It was a privilege and joy to serve with him in the Capitol. He was always ready to brighten up a room with his sharp wit and humor. He will be missed.

“My prayers go out for Bob’s wife, kids, family, friends and constituents during this very sad time.”

On Partisan Gerrymandering, Leah Vukmir Is Part Of The Problem PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 17:30

leah-vukmir"So glad we are in control!" --Vukmir in 2011

MADISON -- With the U.S. Supreme Court today hearing oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a challenge to Wisconsin Republicans' efforts to undemocratically lock down control of the state using partisan gerrymandering, it's as good a time as ever to remember state Senator-turned-Senate candidate Leah Vukmir's leading role in Wisconsin's gerrymandering -- a role that included Vukmir sending a series of gleeful emails in which she actually celebrated taking power away from voters.

From 2012:

Wisconsin's Republican legislative leaders have said the voting district maps they drew last year were not aimed at political advantage, but new documents made public Tuesday show they discussed ways to increase the number of "safe" and "leaning" GOP districts and to protect conservative incumbents.

In one email, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, offered these thoughts about redrawing her district: "Western Wauwatosa — yes (more GOP)," "West Milwaukee — No (forgot to mention this part of current district — VERY Dem" and "Milwaukee — cop wards if needed."

She also wrote in the May 4, 2011, message to Tad Ottman, an aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, "This is such a big task. So glad we are in control!"

Vukmir was "glad" to influence the redrawing of her district however she wanted -- all so she could keep her power without having to make a compelling case for reelection to her constituents.

"Leah Vukmir embodies everything that is wrong with self-interested politicians who are so afraid of facing their constituents in fair districts that they eagerly carve out 'safe' seats with no real accountability to the people," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Brad Bainum. "Undemocratic and cynical? Sure. But that's how you stay in power if you're ALEC board member Leah Vukmir, who's made a career of championing far-right policies and serving corporate special interests and CEOs, all while selling out Wisconsin's working families."

Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Updates from League of Women Voters Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Sunday, 01 October 2017 21:32

VoterMADISON - The state office staff had a busy week. Here is a summary of the highlights.

National Voter Registration Day was Tuesday, September 26. More than a dozen local Leagues and many League members participated. We had wonderful local print and broadcast new coverage. Here is one example from Appleton. Thanks to all of our Leagues and members who participated Tuesday, as well as those who are scheduling additional registration events this fall.

On Wednesday, Andrea Kaminski and Carolyn Castore were honored by Community Shares of Wisconsin for their long-term dedication and work with the League. Andrea received the Linda Sundberg Civil Rights Defender Award for her years of championing voting rights as our executive director, as well as for enhancing the capacity and strength of our organization. Carolyn Castore, a long-time member of LWV Milwaukee County before moving out-of-state, received a Backyard Hero Award for creating and organizing our now statewide Election Observation program. We are so grateful for both Andrea and Carolyn’s work. If you're on Facebook, click here to see Andrea accept her award and hear her inspiring speech which resonates with all of us to bond together to make positive changes in our communities.

Next week Tuesday, October 3, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Gill v. Whitford partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin. Locally, you can support the plaintiffs in the case with a send-off rally on Sunday, October 1 in Milwaukee.  More information on that event here.  LWV US also will be holding a rally in Washington DC the morning of October 3. Both LWVUS and LWVWI filed amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs.  

Andrea Kaminski’s Op-Ed this week outlines reasons why the U.S. Supreme Court should put an end to partisan gerrymandering, a position LWV has long held. Elections should be won, not rigged.

Debra Cronmiller, LWV WI President, is returning from Washington, D.C. after a 2-day meeting of the LWV US Steering Committee for the “League Transformation” which will guide the League at every level into its second century. She will update Leagues in Wisconsin about the meeting and progress of the organizational transformation at this year’s Issues Briefing in Madison on October 28.

Speaking of Issues Briefing, have you registered yet? You can register online now through October 19. More information can be found online or in the upcoming edition of the Forward newsletter which you should receive in the next week. Check out the knowledgeable speakers and great topics in this year’s agenda. 

Finally, our online contribution form is repaired. Thanks to the members who let us know that it was down following a recent web hosting transition. You can once again make a secure contribution to LWV WI via our website. Your contributions support all the work that we have been able to accomplish this week and our ability to continually assist local Leagues in their direct action within their communities. Please consider giving today.

Walker Pence Wisconsin Visit to Promote Tax Giveaways to the Top 1% PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Friday, 29 September 2017 09:35

mike-penceWisconsin deserves to hear the facts about the latest GOP tax plan that has more tax cuts for the rich while increasing rates on low-income Americans.

MADISON - Republican Gov. Scott Walker joined Vice President Mike Pence Thursday for a photo op designed to distract from who their new national tax plan really helps. However, their staged optics are not fooling the people of Wisconsin or Indiana. We have experienced the GOP record pushing 'reform' plans that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and giant corporations.

martha-laningIn response, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Martha Laning released this statement:

"As governors, Mike Pence and Scott Walker share a record of touting so-called reforms that actually lavish tax breaks overwhelmingly on the wealthy. Today Gov. Walker will help Vice President Pence peddle a national tax cut for the rich and big corporations that was crafted by former Wall Street insiders. In contrast, Democrats across our state will continue to fight for jobs, health care and an economy focused on the needs of Wisconsin's middle-class families."

Last Updated on Friday, 29 September 2017 10:26
McCabe Won’t Accept Full Salary of Governor Once Elected PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Commoners for Mike McCabe, Christine Welcher   
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 18:17

mike-mccabeGovernors Should be Servants, Not Masters, according to Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe.

LA CROSSE, WI - Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe announced Monday at a rally in La Crosse that if elected he will insist on an annual salary that is one dollar less than the average Wisconsin worker makes in a year.

The current salary of the governor is $147,328 a year. According to the most recent figures available from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage in Wisconsin is in the neighborhood of $45,000 annually, or less than a third of the governor’s salary.

McCabe previously announced he will not live in the Governor’s Mansion if elected.

“Governors should be servants, not masters. That’s why I won’t live in the mansion once elected and won’t accept the full salary of the governor. I’ll be paid one dollar less than the average Wisconsin worker makes,” he said.

If state law or administrative procedures prevent the salary of the governor from being adjusted to reflect his commitment, McCabe will either return the excess amount of salary to the state treasury or donate it to charity.

The campaign website is

Those That Know Kevin Nicholson Say Don't Trust Him PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 13:57

kevin-nicholsonMADISON - A new Politico Magazine profile is helping Wisconsinites find out who Kevin Nicholson really is -- a political opportunist who can't be trusted.

In the article, interviews with people who have known Kevin Nicholson for years confirm that he is running for himself, not Wisconsin:

Nicholson’s Friends And Foes Testified To His “Deep-Seated Political Aspirations.” “After conversations with more than two dozen people who know Nicholson, I’ve concluded that there’s something to both of these narratives. Friend and foe alike testify in detail to his methodical preparation and deep-seated political aspirations, leaving no illusion that he finds himself running for federal office by happenstance.” [Politico, 9/22/17]

People Said That Nicholson “Decided The Clearest Path To Public Office As A Straight, White Man In Wisconsin Would Be As A Republican.” “The generous view holds, more or less, that Nicholson quit politics because he felt abandoned by the Democratic Party, discovered his inner conservatism and re-emerged serendipitously back home just as Wisconsin’s GOP bench was growing a bit stale. The cynical view is essentially that Nicholson has wanted to be president since he was a teenager and has few core convictions; that he saw the demographic winds shift during his time in D.C. and decided the clearest path to public office as a straight, white man in Wisconsin would be as a Republican.” [Politico, 9/22/17]

Nicholson's High School Teacher When Told He's Running For U.S. Senate As A Republican: "You're shitting me." "When I talked with two of the Social Studies department’s longest-tenured teachers—Ernie Millard and Steve O’Brien, both of whom taught when Nicholson was there—neither could muster a memory. Only after I showed Millard his photo did he remember coaching Nicholson on the freshman wrestling team. When I told them he’s running for U.S. Senate, O’Brien leaned forward. “You’re shitting me.”" [Politico, 9/22/17]

Nicholson's College Democrats Vice President Said Nicholson Isn't Running for the "Right Reasons" “I did not like Kevin, and he would be the first person to tell you that,” says Alexandra Acker-Lyons, who was Nicholson’s vice president and is today a Democratic consultant. “Kevin is that guy—D.C. is crawling with them, summer interns and Hill staffers—who you know wants to run for office, and you know isn’t doing it for the right reasons.” [Politico, 9/22/17]

Nicholson's College Roommate And "Political Disciple" Said Nicholson Was "Verbally and Emotionally Abusive" In College. "Tillotson says he became Nicholson’s friend and political disciple. 'There were so many people who saw great things in him,' Tillotson tells me. The two rented an apartment together near campus, but soon had a falling out. Tillotson packed his bags. They never reconciled, and Tillotson—who today leads a teachers union and makes no bones about being a partisan—is now Nicholson’s fiercest critic, bombarding Wisconsin reporters with tales of the Senate hopeful’s zealous pursuit of the Oval Office. Among many other accusations, Tillotson says Nicholson was verbally and emotionally abusive toward people during college." [Politico, 9/22/17]     And from previous news stories: Former Nicholson Colleague: “I Really Just Think He’s An Opportunist.” “Alexandra Acker-Lyons, a self-proclaimed Baldwin supporter, says she wants Wisconsin Republicans to know the Kevin Nicholson she knew. She said, ‘I really just think he’s an opportunist.’ Acker-Lyons worked with Nicholson while he was the National President of the College Democrats of America. Acker-Lyons said, ‘When I heard he was running for Senate and running as a Republican, I was just frankly floored.”’ [CBS 58, 4/7/17]   Nicholson “Is Everything That Is Wrong With Politics- Self Serving, Pugnacious, & Narcissistic.” “Now, one of Nicholson’s former college roommates at the University of Minnesota has begun attacking him on social media. ‘I was @KevinMNicholson roommate in college,’ wrote Adam Tillotson. ‘He is everything that is wrong with politics – self serving, pugnacious, & narcissistic #fraud’” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/11/17]   Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning remarked, "Kevin Nicholson embodies what is wrong with politics. Those that know him believe that he's running for office for the wrong reasons. Nicholson's goal isn't to help the people of Wisconsin -- he is in this to help himself."

Governor Candidate McCabe to Hold Rally in LaCrosse PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Commoners for Mike McCabe, Christine Welcher   
Monday, 25 September 2017 10:34

lacrosseharborLA CROSSE, WI - Since his official kick-off in Curtiss, WI on Sept 12, 2017, McCabe’s Principle Over Party campaign has been barnstorming the state with a message about getting government working for all of us and not just a few. Stops have included Curtiss, Wausau, Green Bay and Milwaukee.

The next rally stop will be in La Crosse on Sept 25th.  Several stops will be made that day including meetings with small business owners and tour of a local brewery. The day will conclude with a larger event  from 5:30pm - 8pm at the Concordia Ballroom.  (1129 La Crosse St, La Crosse) The event is free and all are welcome.

mike-mccabeMike understands that both major political parties bend to the interests of the rich donors and too often leave regular people feeling left out and forgotten. But, like Bernie Sanders, he is running in the Democratic primary because he recognizes that the U.S. has a very strong two-party system and the best chance to make change in our political system and return government to the people is to run in a major party primary.

“Wisconsin has lost its way and is becoming a shadow of its former self. Our state once was an industrial powerhouse, but now is leading the nation in shrinkage of the middle class and is dead last in new business start-ups. Roads and bridges are deteriorating badly, with some towns tearing up pavement and going back to gravel because they can’t afford to fill the potholes. Too many can’t drink what comes out of the water faucets in their own homes. Schools are slipping toward mediocrity. Education beyond high school is unaffordable, burying so many young people under a mountain of debt. The root cause of all of this is a poisoned political culture that celebrates greed, a political system that caters to a privileged few and ignores the rest of us.”

For 15 years, McCabe led the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks the money in elections, exposes corruption and works to make people matter more than money in politics. ( ) He went on to start up the grassroots group Blue Jean Nation, which works to empower regular people to challenge the political establishment.

McCabe does not belong to any political party, but is entering the Democratic primary. The campaign’s website is

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 10:43
McCabe Won’t Live in Governor’s Mansion Once Elected PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Commoners for Mike McCabe, Christine Welcher   
Friday, 22 September 2017 14:40

governor-mansionwiAnnounces Plan at Milwaukee Rally Thursday. "The house belongs to the people of Wisconsin," he says.

MILWAUKEE, WI - Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe announced Thursday that he will decline to live in the Governor’s Mansion if elected but will leave it up to the people of the state to decide what to do with the residence.

mike-mccabe“Governors should be servants, not masters. To me, that means a governor is under the people, not above them,” McCabe said. “It doesn’t seem right to move into a 20,000-square-foot mansion in the name of public service. I’ve never lived in a mansion in my life and getting elected to represent the people is no reason to start.”

He went on to say: “We have a poisoned political culture that glorifies greed and dooms us to a government and economy that work great for the rich and powerful at everyone else’s expense. Concern for the common good has fallen out of fashion. Genuine public service has given way to a lot of back scratching, nest feathering and ladder climbing. Bringing back true public service for the common good requires leadership by example.”

If elected, McCabe will continue to live in the 1,400-square-foot home he shares with his wife and teenage son. He won’t decide the future of the Governor’s Mansion, however.

“The house belongs to the people of Wisconsin. Let the people decide what to do with it,” he said. “If they want it sold, it should be sold. If they want to keep it for some future governor to live in, it should be kept. If they want to turn it into a museum, then that’s what should happen. Hell, if they want to make it into an Airbnb, it’s up to the them.”

The campaign's website is

Johnson Shows He Can't Answer Basic Questions On Health Care Bill PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:03

ron-johnsonA nationally televised interview this morning showed irresponsible ignorance at best, or lack of compassion for Wisconsinites at worst, as the Republican health-care disaster hurdles forward

MADISON - This morning on MSNBC, Senator Ron Johnson turned an interview into an alarming spectacle by revealing under direct questioning how little he knows about the devastating impact his Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill could have on the people in the state of Wisconsin and nationwide.

After failing miserably to silence the anchors by talking over them with a rant against the Affordable Care Act, Johnson showed that he has no answers on the most basic and vital questions on this bill that he wants to ram through at top speed with little information on its impact.

When broadcast  journalist Willie Geist asked him, "People will lose coverage under your plan, Senator?" Johnson remarked, "I can't guarantee that."

Johnson went on to attack the Affordable Care Act with an incomprehensible claim that pre-existing conditions are not covered for those who have a job and those people would have to quit their job to get such coverage.

Again he was asked by Geist, "Senator, I want to be very clear in an answer you gave a minute ago because I think this is at the core of what we're talking about here, will people who currently have coverage, medical coverage, lose it under your plan in the United States?"

Johnson, again, gave an incorrect answer: "Listen, millions of people lost coverage under Obamacare. There are no guarantees other than the fact that premiums have already doubled and continued to skyrocket."

That is false, but the journalists were not surrendering to his failed attempts to distract.

MSNBC Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle stepped in with a heart-wrenching question in a last ditch attempt to get a straight answer out of Johnson:  "Somewhere in Wisconsin there is a child with cystic fibrosis currently covered under what you call the disaster of Obamacare. Can you tell that family that their premiums under your proposed bill -- that you're about to vote on -- their premiums will not go up?"

And what did Johnson say? "They certainly shouldn't go, they should be going down."

martha-laningDemocratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning reacted to Sen. Johnson’s terrifying interview, responding:

"Senator Johnson either has absolutely no idea of how his legislation will harm families across Wisconsin or – perhaps most alarmingly -- he cares more about Republican elections than the people this stands to truly and deeply harm.

“Either way, the fourth iteration of Trumpcare does exactly what the previous versions did: It institutes an age tax for older Americans, jeopardizes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, eliminates the ban on lifetime caps and yanks health care away from millions. Senator Johnson may not know what's in his own legislation, but one thing from today’s terrible media exchange is clear – it would be malpractice to let this dangerous bill pass.”

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