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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
GOP Senate Candidates “Back Effort” to Raise Wisconsinites’ Health Care Costs PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:36

eric-hovdeHovde, Nicholson, Kooyenga impose an age tax on Americans while the wealthiest few get a tax break.


MADISON - Three potential Senate candidates today admitted they would have voted with Washington Republicans to advance a bill that would drive up the costs of Wisconsinites’ health care and impose an age tax on Americans while the wealthiest few get a tax break. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“[Eric Hovde] said he would "absolutely, 100%" vote to launch debate on repealing Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act… Hovde came in second in the 2012 Republican primary to run against Baldwin and plans to decide this fall on whether he will run again.

“Also considering a run is business consultant Kevin Nicholson, who has the support of a super PAC that has raised $3.5 million. In a statement, he said he hoped the Senate would repeal Obamacare.”

“In an appearance last month on WISN-TV's "Upfront with Mike Gousha," Vukmir called an initial health care proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a “great starting point.”

“State Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), a fourth possible candidate, could not immediately be reached on Tuesday. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last month that his preference would be to entirely repeal Obamacare but that he would be willing to support McConnell’s proposed health care changes because his plan was ‘better than the status quo.’”

Check out more here.​

 
Former Federal Prosecutor Josh Kaul Raises over $170,000 for Attorney General Fight PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Kaul for Attorney General Press   
Friday, 14 July 2017 12:59

josh-kaulAlso announces endorsements from Pocan, Moore, and others from across Wisconsin.


MADISON – Former federal prosecutor Josh Kaul’s campaign for Attorney General is off to a strong start.

The campaign announced today that Kaul has been endorsed by U.S. Representative Gwen Moore, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, and more than 20 other current and former elected officials from across the state. The campaign also announced that, in just over 2½ months, Kaul raised more than $170,000.

mark-pocanIn endorsing Kaul, Rep. Pocan said: "I'm proud to wholeheartedly support Josh Kaul, and I look forward to working alongside him to make sure he's elected as our next Attorney General. As a federal prosecutor, Josh took on violent criminals—and won. He’s gone to court to defend our constitutional rights—and won.”

Pocan added: “Josh is the right person to restore effective leadership to the Attorney General's Office, and he's the right candidate to defeat Brad Schimel in 2018."

The officials who have endorsed Josh Kaul for Attorney General include:

  • Rep. Gwen Moore
  • Rep. Mark Pocan
  • Former Governor Tony Earl
  • Former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton
  • Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
  • Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris
  • Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk
  • Former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum
  • Former Rep. Steve Kagen
  • State Senator Dave Hansen
  • State Senator Mark Miller
  • State Senator Lena Taylor
  • Former State Senator Jessica King
  • State Rep. Jimmy Anderson
  • State Rep. David Crowley
  • State Rep. Steve Doyle
  • State Rep. Eric Genrich
  • State Rep. Gordon Hintz
  • State Rep. Nick Milroy
  • State Rep. Sondy Pope
  • State Rep. Christine Sinicki
  • State Rep. Amanda Stuck
  • Former State Rep. Mandy Wright

As an Assistant United States Attorney, Kaul prosecuted murderers, gang members, and drug traffickers. He believes that Wisconsin needs an Attorney General who is focused on protecting Wisconsin families rather than powerful special interests.

The incumbent Attorney General, Brad Schimel, has failed to adequately address Wisconsin’s massive rape-kit backlog and wasted over $10,000 of taxpayer money on fake coins.

The full campaign finance report is due July 17th and will be available publicly through the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.

***

For more information, please visit: www.joshkaul.org

Last Updated on Friday, 14 July 2017 13:29
 
Tammy Baldwin for Senate Breaks Wisconsin Fundraising Record PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Baldwin Press   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 12:32

tammy_baldwin_for_senateTammy Baldwin for Senate raised more than $2.5 million for the second quarter of 2017. Tammy is in a strong position heading into 2018.


MADISON - Tammy Baldwin for Senate announced the campaign broke multiple records for funds raised by a statewide candidate in an off-year.

Tammy Baldwin for Senate raised more than $2.5 million for the second quarter of the off-year, a record among all statewide campaigns in Wisconsin. The campaign broke a state record by raising $4.7 million in the first six months of an off-year. Tammy Baldwin for Senate also has more than $3.9 million in the bank, which is $1 million more than either Senator Johnson or Russ Feingold had at this point in 2015.

"As top tier contenders continue to pass on running against her, Tammy is in a strong position heading into 2018 to continue to stand up to the special interests in Washington that support the status quo."

###

Contributions or gifts to Tammy Baldwin for Senate are not tax deductible. Tammy Baldwin for Senate, PO Box 696, Madison, WI 53701

Last Updated on Friday, 14 July 2017 12:42
 
Republican Senate Recruiting Struggles Continue PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Saturday, 08 July 2017 09:52

tammy_baldwinRepublicans in state running away from challenging Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin.


MADISON - On the heels of yet another top-tier candidate bowing out the race for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat, Republicans in the state have become a part of a national trend of top-tier Republicans running away from challenging Democratic Senators like Senator Tammy Baldwin.

"One after another, high-profile Republicans are deciding against a run for U.S. Senate," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby. "It's no surprise that Republicans are afraid to face Senator Tammy Baldwin next fall. Her record of fighting for a Wisconsin economy that works for everyone and standing up to special interests in Washington will make her a formidable opponent for any challenger."  

Here's what they're saying nationally about Republicans' recruiting struggles: 

Politico: Senate GOP recruiting slow-going for 2018
"Rep. Sean Duffy bowed out early, and Republicans haven’t had a clear candidate to take on Baldwin since. Nicole Schneider, a former social worker who also happened to be the heiress to a major trucking company, attracted the attention of the NRSC due to her ability to self-fund, but she’s also decided not to run. Businessman and Iraq War veteran Kevin Nicholson has an attractive résumé, though he was a past president of the College Democrats of America. Businessman Eric Hovde, who finished second in the 2012 GOP primary, is still considering a bid, as is state Sen. Leah Vukmir."

Washington Post: Do Senate Republicans have a Trump recruiting problem?
"In Wisconsin, Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R) decided not to run to challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). There are at least six possible GOP candidates who could try to challenge Baldwin."

Wall Street Journal: GOP Scrambles to Recruit Senate Candidates
"Among the challenges facing the GOP recruiters is that the environment in Washington appears toxic, and Congress, which has struggled for years to pass major legislation, is viewed by some as an unproductive and unfulfilling job, said GOP strategist Chuck Warren, who has consulted for Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina."

 
Celebrating the 4th of July PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 09:20

statue-of-libertyMADISON - The following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning celebrating the 4th of July:

"On this day, across our state, we recall the bravery of those patriots who declared independence from a powerful empire, and we honor the enduring spirit of America that continues to burn so brightly today.

martha-laning"Even as this day of celebration serves as a reminder of those who made great sacrifices to let America thrive, it also invokes our duty as a people to ensure that our Nation lives up to its promise of a democracy in which all people are created and treated equally under the law. Furthermore, it is a time to envision how our Nation can live up to the purpose and goals of our Constitution when we insist that our leaders protect the most vulnerable Americans and guarantee economic opportunity for all Americans.

"We must not remain complacent with the work already done by our forefathers: we must stride ahead, join together, and carry that same valiant spirit with us as we confront the challenges of tomorrow.

"On our Nation's birthday, we remember and honor the enduring spirit of American democracy, and look forward to the trails we will continue to blaze in unity, equity, inclusiveness, and opportunity for all."

 
Hovde Paid $0 State Taxes in 2015, Schneider Bows Out of Senate Race PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Saturday, 01 July 2017 09:26

eric-hovdeTea party state Senator Leah Vukmir gives run "prayerful consideration”, while millionaire Nicole Schneider says no. Milwaukee millionaire hedge fund manager Eric Hovde avoids paying taxes himself while poised to strip health care access from others.


MADISON - The GOPYachtSale.com site has been updated to reflect a busy week of bidding.

leah-vukmirFirst, former ALEC chairwoman and tea party state Senator Leah Vukmir said she’s giving a run for U.S. Senate “prayerful consideration,” and we know what that means. She’s taking her time, shoring up big donors, like her buddies Charles and David Koch and Diane Hendricks, before she jumps into the yacht sale primary. Check out more at https://gopyachtsale.com/2017/06/28/leah-vukmir/

Then, millionaire Nicole Schneider dropped out of the bidding war and is no longer considering a run for Senate.

And yesterday the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uncovered millionaire hedge fund manager Eric Hovde's tax history included paying $0 in taxes to the state of Wisconsin in 2015. While Hovde complained about the amount of taxes he paid in previous years, he did not address the goose egg in 2015. And the news that he avoided paying anything to the state in 2015 followed his comment on the Senate plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act saying, "I just got back from a trip from California and I don't know anything about it."

Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby commented, "If Eric Hovde is smart enough to get out of paying any taxes to the state of Wisconsin, it's shocking that he wasn't able to catch up on news of the Senate bill poised to strip health care access from 22 million people while in California."

 
League Speaks On Voter Records And Transportation Budget PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Saturday, 01 July 2017 08:54

voter-usLeague pleased WEC has stood up to Trump administration request for Wisconsin voter data, says transportation infrastructure should not be financed with debt.


MADISON - State election officials Thursday received letters from Vice Chair Kris Kobach of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity requesting a list of their voter rolls, including sensitive information, such as date of birth and partial Social Security number. The letter noted that any information provided to the Commission will be available to the public. While most of the Wisconsin voter file is public information, Wisconsin law prohibits Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) from sharing sensitive information.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin sent a letter this morning to the WEC urging it to withhold sensitive information and also to charge the usual fee of $12,500 for the data sharing request. We were pleased when the WEC issued a statement at noon saying that is exactly what it will do.

As the legislature’s budget committee grappled last week with the Transportation budget, the League sent this statement urging the committee to delay major new road construction and focus on maintaining and repairing current roads and bridges instead. We said the transportation infrastructure should not be financed with debt, nor should it be pitted against other critical services such as public education. The League urged the Committee instead to add a per-mile fee on heavy trucks, which do the most infrastructure damage, and to consider raising the gas tax and indexing it to inflation. 

Here is a great article about how Iowa has avoided problems with gerrymandered voting districts. There are currently proposals before the Wisconsin Legislature which would adopt the Iowa plan for redistricting. Contact your State Senator and Assembly Representative and tell them AB 44 and SB 13 should have a hearing.

To find your own legislators, click here and enter your address under Find My Legislators, next to the little green map of Wisconsin.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Marilyn Boeldt
Fund Development Chair

****

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

####

Andrea Kaminski is executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. The League welcomes women and men across the state as members. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Follow @LWV_WI on Twitter.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:40
 
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