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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
Wachs Appointed to Building Commission PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 10 February 2017 15:12

dana_wachsWachs honored to be appointed, looking forward to working in a bipartisan fashion.


MADISON - Representative Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) issued the following statement after being appointed to the Wisconsin State Building Commission for the 2017-2018 session:

“I am honored to be appointed to the Building Commission. The work of this Commission to improve and maintain state facilities and oversee new buildings is extremely important. A well planned long-range building program benefits all Wisconsin citizens and provides for a more efficient and effective government.

“It is paramount that those of us in public office are careful stewards of taxpayer money, and the oversight provided by the Building Commission ensures that our state facilities are serving their purpose. I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues on the Commission.”

 
More Tax Dollars To Defend Gerrymandering? Really? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 14:52

follow-moneyGOP to pay two undisclosed law firms an indeterminate amount of tax dollars in an effort to defend the maps ruled unconstitutional.


MADISON, WI - The framers of Wisconsin's legislative districts, which were recently ruled unconstitutional, voted in secret last week to pay two undisclosed law firms an indeterminate amount of tax dollars in an effort to defend the maps. Today we learned that one of the lawyers has charged more than $1,300 per hour for his work. This, after tax payers have already footed more than $2.1 million to pay for lawyers to draw the maps in secret and defend them through two lawsuits!

If, like us, you find this shocking, contact your own representatives and the legislative leadership responsible for this decision. Let them know how you feel about this abuse of power and tax dollars. Also let them know that Wisconsin would save millions of dollars and create more competitive voting districts if it would adopt the Iowa model for redistricting. There, a nonpartisan legislative agency drafts the district maps. There is a current proposal in the Wisconsin legislature that would have our Legislative Reference Bureau, which drafts all legislation, do this.

  • Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), (608) 266-9171, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), (608) 266-5660, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • To find your own legislators, click here and enter your address under Find My Legislators, next to the little green map of Wisconsin.

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League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, 612 W Main Street #200, Madison, WI 53703. Find out more at lwvwi.org

 
Republican Leaders Need to Stop Fleecing Taxpayers and Voters PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by GBP Staff   
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 13:23

voteWasting more money on lawyers to defend legislative districts recently ruled unconstitutional is an affront not just to the taxpayers but to the voters who have been denied fair elections and their true choice of representation in the State Legislature.


MADISON, WI - The Republican framers of Wisconsin's legislative districts, which were recently ruled unconstitutional, voted in secret last week to pay two undisclosed law firms an indeterminate amount of tax dollars in an effort to defend the maps. These are the same Republicans who already paid lawyers $2.1 million to set up and defend the unconstitutional districts through two lawsuits.

dave-hansen“Republican leaders can’t agree on how to fix our roads, find a way to keep and attract good teachers or make good on the Governor’s promise to create 250,000 jobs, but they can agree to give a blank check to high-priced corporate lawyers to defend their rigging of our elections," said Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). “Instead of wasting more tax dollars GOP leaders should follow the federal court order and draw new, fair maps."

To do any less than the court order requires is an affront not just to the taxpayers but to the voters who have been denied fair elections and their true choice of representation in the State Legislature. Even better would be to pass Senate Bill 13 that would provide real, non-partisan redistricting reform.

“Unfortunately, it is clear from their recent actions that legislative Republicans do not care about safe roads, good public schools, Wisconsin’s workers, fair elections or the taxpayers," concludes Hansen, a champion of fair elections. "All they are concerned with is maintaining the unfair advantage they bought themselves with the public’s tax dollars.”

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Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 February 2017 14:37
 
Does Duffy Think Wall Street Should Secretly Bribe Foreign Governments? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 03 February 2017 12:21

wallstreetRep. Sean Duffy votes to gut the Cardin-Lugar transparency amendment that required all companies on the New York Stock Exchange to publish payments to foreign governments for natural resource extraction like oil, gas or minerals.


MADISON - We send women and men to Congress to represent our state and our values in Washington. Time and again, Congressman Sean Duffy has failed to represent our state or our values in the nation's capital.

sean_duffy_speaksYesterday, Representative Sean Duffy again voted for Wall Street and big corporations against Wisconsin's Main Streets. In a bold move that flies in the face of hard-working households, Duffy voted to allow oil, gas and other extraction companies to secretly pay foreign governments in which they operate.

House resolution 71, passed yesterday, effectively guts the Cardin-Lugar transparency amendment that required all companies on the New York Stock Exchange to publish payments to foreign governments for natural resource extraction like oil, gas or minerals. This law provided American officials working at home and abroad with the complete inventory of funds to foreign governments coming from American corporations. Furthermore, it helped hold those foreign governments accountable to their citizens.

martha-laningSean Duffy's affinity for oil and gas corporations is not surprising as those very same wealthy special interests helped fill his campaign coffers. ExxonMobil PAC has already contributed $13,000 to Sean Duffy's campaigns - an investment that is clearly paying dividends.

"When you look at the big corporations Rep. Sean Duffy has courted it's clear to see that he forgot about the people of Wisconsin long ago. So, it's no surprise that he's put Wall Street corporations ahead of Wisconsin's main street businesses," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said on Thursday. "Allowing the secret bribing of foreign leaders is not only eyebrow-raising for our foreign policy interests, it's a direct affront to the values of transparency that Wisconsinites demand." ​

Last Updated on Friday, 03 February 2017 15:27
 
Lawmakers Should Minimize Partisanship In Redrawing Voting Maps PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Thursday, 02 February 2017 16:50

wi-dist-mapsWisconsin voters have been voting in gerrymandered districts that were ruled unconstitutional and must be redone by 2018. The League of Women Voters offers possible ways to accomplish that effort fairly.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2017 17:04
Read more...
 
Wisconsin Progress Needs Help with Redistricting Recruitment Fund PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Progress   
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:08

wis-progress-logoMADISON - Since the news broke on Friday that new district lines will be drawn by November 1, 2017, our phones here at Wisconsin Progress have been off the hook with supporters asking us to expand our recruiting efforts to new parts of the state. Since we only currently have capacity to recruit in our targeted areas, we decided to create a segregated Redistricting Recruitment Fund to expand our recruiting efforts to new parts of the state.

Wisconsin Progress is going to be busier than ever looking to recruit, train, and elect new state representatives and state senators all across the state. But we can't do it without your help! It's going to take a lot of time and resources to recruit solid candidates in all these newly drawn districts!

Can you chip in to the Wisconsin Progress Redistricting Recruitment Fund?

The new redistricting lines will most likely create more swing districts in Wisconsin and increase the amount of necessary candidates needed to be recruited for 2018. Wisconsin Progress is the only organization in the state dedicated to recruiting, training, and electing candidates to local and legislative office across Wisconsin.

Help expand Wisconsin Progress's recruiting efforts by donating to the Redistricting Recruitment Fund!

Thank you for your help!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:56
 
Tammy Baldwin in Strong Position for 2018 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Baldwin Press   
Monday, 23 January 2017 10:25

tammy_baldwinSenator Tammy Baldwin won a sweeping victory in 2012 over former Governor Tommy Thompson and will continue to hold Republicans accountable for their actions in Washington as the 2018 election approaches. During her term, Tammy has traveled the state and stayed connected to Wisconsin.


MADISON - In 2012, Tammy Baldwin was elected to the Senate in a sweeping victory, winning counties in all four corners of the state with substantial majorities.  Just as she said during the campaign, Tammy has taken on the powerful interests in Washington and fought for Wisconsin’s working families. She continues to aggressively travel across Wisconsin meeting with constituents to hear their concerns and bring their ideas back to Washington. Meanwhile, Tammy has built a robust war chest, preparing for an election where Wisconsin Republicans will be facing a strong headwind led by the Republican establishment in Washington.

Tammy Baldwin is a proven, strong statewide candidate. Not only did Tammy win 13 counties in 2012 that President Trump carried in 2016, she earned more votes than either Trump or Senator Johnson, despite running against popular former Governor Tommy Thompson. Tammy won 31 counties in 2012; and outperformed President Obama in 9 counties.

In 2012, Tammy was elected to take on the powerful special interests in Washington and fight for Wisconsin. She has never been afraid to stand up and fight to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. When she first joined Congress she stood up to Wall Street lobbyists and she will not let Congress hand everything over to Wall Street to write their own rules again. Tammy has taken on the rigged system and introduced legislation to close the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington.

During her term, Tammy has traveled the state and stayed connected to Wisconsin. She’s visited towns large and small.  She’s held roundtables on student debt and college affordability. She’s visited technical schools to discuss support for workforce readiness. She’s brought people together to deliver funding for the opiate crisis. She’s made the Buy American fight her fight. She’s talked to communities about taking on special interests and holding them accountable by introducing legislation to stop the revolving door between the Administration and Wall Street, requiring hedge fund managers to pay their fair share and defending Wisconsin’s Main Streets against Wall Street interests.

Tammy has always been a strong fundraiser and this cycle is no different. In 2012, she built a strong fundraising infrastructure that allowed her to raise over $15 million.  In 2016, the campaign raised more than $1.8 million, one of the highest totals for any Senator who wasn’t on the ballot, from either party. The campaign will report over $1 million in the bank to start 2017. In 2016 alone she had 23,122 donors who contributed $46.54 on average. Her campaign is in a stronger financial position heading into 2018 than Senator Johnson was in January 2015.  With the foundation laid over the past three years, Tammy will have the resources she needs to execute a winning plan in 2018.

With the inauguration of President Trump, Republicans control everything in Washington. Likely to pass the most pro-corporate agenda ever to come from Republicans and their Wall Street backers, all Republicans must explain their party’s actions to the voters. They could be forced to defend decisions like cutting Social Security, deregulating Wall Street and more. Mid-term elections are historically bad for the party in control in Washington. Six out of the past seven general elections for Governor and Senator in Wisconsin have seen the electorate vote against the party that controls the White House (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016). The only outlier was the 2012 election, when Tammy was elected. With President Trump’s approval ratings already at historic lows for a newly elected President, it is unlikely that we will see this trend change in 2018.

Over the course of the next year, Tammy will continue to be a voice for every Wisconsinite and hold Republicans accountable for their actions in Washington.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2017 16:36
 
Shilling Hopes Trump Listens to Real Americans PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Friday, 20 January 2017 10:53

donald-trumpOur nation was founded on the principles of equality and fairness. We must work together.


MADISON – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released the following statement regarding the inauguration today of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States:

jen-shilling“The peaceful transition of power and inauguration of our president has been a hallmark of our democracy for over two centuries. My hope for President Trump is that he respects the institution he is stepping into and exercises humility, dignity, empathy and grace as the leader of the free world.

“The strength of our country is the rich diversity of people and ideas from sea to shining sea. As President Trump travels this country, I hope he takes to heart the stories of fellow Americans, understands the struggles we’ve all experienced and works to achieve the hopes and dreams of each and every person he meets. Our nation was founded on the principles of equality and fairness. We must work together to lift up our fellow citizens, respect our neighbors and support our communities so that everyone has a chance to achieve their American Dream.”

****

Tony Palese contributed to this story.

 
Tony Evers Shows Statewide Support Heading Into 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Tony Evers for State Supt   
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 16:43

tony_eversMADISON - State Superintendent Tony Evers will report raising $50,000 for the filing period and cash on hand of over $117,000.

Heading into 2017, Tony Evers will have almost twice the resources he reported this same time in 2013, his last election cycle.

"We are extremely pleased with the level and amount of support we have received in the few short weeks we have stepped up our re-election campaign fundraising," campaign manager, Amanda Brink said, "Tony's donors span from Three Lakes to Janesville and Oconomowoc to Chippewa Falls. This is further proof of Wisconsinites commitment to public education.”

 
January 15 Update From The Democratic Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 16 January 2017 17:14

martha-laningThe "Love-A-Thon" a three-hour facebook live event instead of Trump, tell Congressional Republicans the Affordable Care Act Saves Lives, President Obama's Farewell Address, VAN Grant Program, and Things You May Have Missed But Need To See.


MADISON, WI - It goes without saying that this week will be very tough for all of us as we get close and closer to Inauguration Day. The incoming administration not only threatens to undo the last eight years of progress made by President Barack Obama but also puts the future of our civil liberties in jeopardy as well. 

I've heard many people say they can't bare to watch Donald Trump be sworn in as president-elect this Friday. Instead, they'll be watching and donating to the "Love-A-Thon" a three-hour facebook live event featuring music and entertainment all for a good cause. 

The "Love-A-Thon" aims to raise money for organizations that will stand up to the Trump administration and fight for our most marginalized communities over the next four years. 

Learn more about the "Love-A-Thon" and RSVP on the event's website.

Call to Action: Tell Congressional Republicans the Affordable Care Act Saves Lives

When President Obama came to Wisconsin last year to award the City of Milwaukee for signing up a large percentage of Americans for health care in the Healthy Communities Challenge, he was introduced by a Republican who had never voted for him. Why? Because this young man's life had been saved by the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Mosinee, Wisconsin's Brent Brown thanked the President for the ACA because it saved his life after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and didn't have enough money for treatment.

There are millions of Americans just like Brent who would have lost their lives or seen a drastic reduction in the quality of their life if not for the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Now, it's up to us to make sure we save the program that has kept Americans alive and well for over five years. 

Call Wisconsin's Republican Congressmen today and tell them to not repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Paul Ryan - 202.225.3031
Sen. Ron Johnson - 202.224.5323 
Rep. Sean Duffy - 202.225.3365
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner - 202.225.5101
Rep. Mike Gallagher - 202.225.5665
Save The Date: January 21st Women's March on Madison
One day after Donald Trump's inauguration hundreds of thousands of demonstrators will march in Washington D.C. to protest Trump's presidency. Similar marches are planned in 200 U.S. cities, including a march in Madison, there will also be at least 50 cities in nearly 30 other countries participating.  

The Women's March on Madison is designed to let the next President know that the American people want equality and inclusion. As progressives, we are committed to fighting the good fight to ensure equal opportunity for all. 

Learn more about the march and RSVP for the event on the event's facebook page.
President Barack Obama's Farewell Address

President Obama gave an outstanding farewell speech in Chicago last Tuesday. While the week ahead will be tough, we got one last glimpse of the progressive change agent who won the White House not once, but twice, on an inspiring message of hope and change. 

In the last eight years, President Obama has led the way in reversing the great recession, saving the auto industry, setting a record for the longest stretch of job creation in American history, insuring over 20 million through the Affordable Care Act, and his unyielding leadership inspired a win for marriage equality in the United States Supreme Court. For all those things, and much more, we say "Thanks, Obama." 

Read the full transcript and watch the speech in full on nytimes.com

Vice President Joe Biden Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

I couldn't help but feel an immense sense of pride for Vice President Joe Biden when he was surprised with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Obama this week. This is an honor well-deserved as Vice President Biden has dedicated decades of his life to serving the American people. 

The ceremony also showed just how close the Obama's and Bidens have grown since hitting the campaign trail together in 2008. It goes to show that politics is about more than wins and losses. It's about doing your best to care for and honor others in the best way possible. And if you're lucky like Barack and Joe you might just make a few good friends along the way.

Read more about the Vice President's honor on CNN.com


VAN Grant Program Accepting Applications Until Feb. 1st

Don't forget we're continuing our local candidate VAN Grant Program this year and accepting applications until February 1st.

Through the VAN Grant program, candidates who meet the program’s criteria and are committed to voter contact will have the VAN in-kinded to their campaign. Read more about the VAN Grant Program here.

Take a look at a few of the other items we're doing this year to ensure victories in April:

  • Hosting candidate recruitment conference calls with county parties.
  • Calling around to various county party chairs to talk about recruitment.
  • Creating resources for spring candidates and county parties.
  • Designing training programs for spring candidates and county parties.
  • General consulting with candidates, similar to how we operated this fall.

Our Party is not waving the white flag in 2017. We are committed to working closely with our local parties, activists, and candidates to produce the statewide victory of Tony Evers as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, build a deep bench, and start taking back our state.

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Public School Advocates Push Back Betsy DeVos
“She may be the first casualty in the high-rise they’re building on the swamp here in Washington,” says Representative Mark Pocan of Madison, Wisconsin. On Tuesday, January 10, Pocan and other supporters of public schools held a press conference to announce a new House Public Education Caucus—and to express their opposition to Devos.
Read the entire article on Progressive.org

Senator Tammy Baldwin: Champion For Health Care Reform
I was proud to champion a reform that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. As someone who didn’t have access to quality health insurance until my twenties, I was proud to champion a reform that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.
View Senator Tammy Baldwin's floor speech here.

Emerge Wisconsin Announces Class of 2017
This year’s chosen group of 52 future women political leaders is more than double the size of any of the organization’s previous classes, which is owed to the historic uptick in applications and interest Emerge Wisconsin saw after the 2016 election.
Learn more about the 2017 Emerge class on emergewi.org

Rex Tillerson Sheds Little Light on His Boss
Mr. Tillerson did not explain how he plans to overcome the challenges, ethical and strategic, of dealing with an authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, with whom his company has done many billions of dollars worth of business. And some of his policy assertions put him at odds with positions the president-elect has taken in the past (never a sure guide with Mr. Trump). 
Read the entire editorial on nytimes.com

The questions Jeff Sessions didn't answer
Given his past comments and dubious record, Sessions faces a high bar to earn the public's trust. He didn't hurdle it today, by leaving crucial questions unanswered. Like, why did he indicate that enforcing civil rights is a mission he does not support? Sessions reportedly called the American Civil Liberties Union and the N.A.A.C.P. "un-American" for "trying to force civil rights down the throats of people." It's a remark he never disputed, until after Trump nominated him - perhaps because he recognizes that this alone should disqualify him.
Read the entire editorial on nj.com

Democrats on State of the State: ‘Wisconsin deserves better’
Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) raised doubts about a pledge to increase funding for K through 12 education. “When he talks about education, it’s more money into choice…and that’s at the cost and the expense of our public schools,” Shilling said, referencing previous comments the governor has made about increasing funding for education in the state.
Read more on wrn.com

5 former DNR secretaries slam effort to divide agency
Five former Department of Natural Resources secretaries with tenures stretching back to the 1970s are calling on Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature to reject a proposal that would scatter DNR programs among five agencies. In a four-page letter released Wednesday, the former secretaries, and one deputy secretary said that dividing the DNR would make conservation more costly and less effective while making it harder for citizens to have their problems addressed.
Learn more on madison.com

Sincerely,
Martha Laning
Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin
 
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