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Rebecca Kleefisch’s War on Public Education PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Tuesday, 29 March 2022 14:52

rebecca-kleefisch-1848plan2011: $800 Million Cut From K-12 Learning


MADISON, Wis. - With local school board elections a little over a week away, Rebecca Kleefisch is once again trying to bring her radical brand of politics to the classroom by  handpicking local school board candidates. All week, WisDems will be showing how the Walker-Kleefisch administration drastically defunded Wisconsin’s public schools and wreaked havoc on our state’s education system.

It all started with the first Walker-Kleefisch budget, which made the biggest cuts to public education in Wisconsin’s history.

In 2011 alone, the administration cut over $800 million from public education in Wisconsin and limited localities' abilities to collect revenue in order to make up the difference.

Under Kleefisch’s war on schools: teachers couldn’t afford to buy supplies, slowing graduation rates caused Wisconsin’s schools to drop seven spots nationally, the achievement gap between Black and white students graduating high school was the highest in the nation, and Wisconsin had a historic teacher shortage.

Since taking office, Governor Evers has worked hard to make Wisconsin’s schools stronger and better than they were four years ago. Gov. Evers has increased funding for schools by restoring the state’s two-thirds funding commitment and signing the first special education funding increase in over a decade. He’s also investing money to recruit and train high-quality teachers in schools across the state. Today, our K-12 schools are now ranked eighth in the nation.

“Rebecca Kleefisch isn’t interested in lifting up local schools — she wants to use kids as political pawns in her battle for power,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “In 2011, her administration cut hundreds of millions of dollars to public education and passed legislation that resulted in a historic teacher shortage and widened achievement gaps. Today, her message is the same: Rebecca Kleefisch will defund public schools in Wisconsin.”

 
GOP Candidates for Governor Stake Out Extreme Positions on Abortion PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 25 March 2022 10:44

rebecca-kleefischKleefisch, Nicholson, and Ramthun All Support Banning Abortions With No Exceptions, Would Let 1849 Ban Stay If Roe Is Overturned


MADISON, Wis. - Access to health care is on the ballot in 2022, and if any of the candidates in the Republican primary become governor, Wisconsin could see an 1849 ban on abortion go into effect.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today that Rebecca Kleefisch, Kevin Nicholson, and Tim Ramthun all “want to ban most abortions and say they do not want to create exceptions for rape and incest.”

If Roe vs. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, Wisconsin could turn back the clock to 1849 with legislation that made most abortions illegal.

Kleefisch already has a record of radical work against abortion access from her time as lieutenant governor, when she helped take away critical reproductive health care services from Wisconsinites. She also has agreed that survivors of rape should “turn lemons into lemonade.”

During his last failed campaign, Nicholson received a perfect “100 percent” rating from the group Pro-Life Wisconsin, with Nicholson promising to support all of their demands, including banning abortion “in all cases,” with no exceptions for rape, incest, or when a mother’s life is in jeopardy.

And last but not least, Ramthun once voted against a bill banning abortion in Wisconsin because it wasn’t extreme enough.

It’s not just abortion that’s at stake - these candidates’ extreme agenda for our health care could outlaw forms of contraception, jeopardize fertility treatments like IVF, and strip access to basic health care for tens of thousands of Wisconsinites, including cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing and treatment.

Access to abortion is one of the clearest contrasts between the Republican candidates and  Governor Evers, who wants to make it easy to safely access an abortion and has stood as a strong line of defense against bills that attack reproductive rights.

Read more about how Republicans want to roll back reproductive rights in Wisconsin below.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin candidates for governor offer sharp differences on abortion as Supreme Court weighs the future of the procedure

Abortion could wind up as a central issue in the race for governor.

The U.S. Supreme Court this summer will decide whether to keep in place the Roe v. Wade decision. A ruling overturning it could immediately reinstate Wisconsin's 19th-century law banning almost all abortions.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he believes abortion should be easily accessible. His Republican opponents want to ban most abortions and say they do not want to create exceptions for rape and incest.

The issue offers one of the starkest differences between Evers and his opponents.

[...]

The Republicans running for governor — former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, management consultant Kevin Nicholson and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun — don’t want to create additional exceptions if Wisconsin’s abortion ban is reinstated.

"I would see no change and I would be happy that we would be protecting the unborn," Kleefisch said when asked if she would want to create exemptions from an abortion ban for rape, incest or the health of a woman.

Nicholson struck a similar tone.

"Whatever legislation moves the ball forward and protecting more innocent life, I'm for it. And so I'm not looking to add exceptions to anything," he said in an interview.

Ramthun in a campaign video said he opposed any exceptions to an abortion ban.

“I am hardcore, 100% pro-life without exceptions,” he said.

“Every child conceived should not have to pay — should not have to pay — for the sins of their parents. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a right we should all have from conception to the day we stop breathing and go to the lord and everywhere in between.”

[...]

Evers would likely veto any new limits while his opponents would welcome them.

Texas recently adopted a law that limits abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, around six weeks. Prosecutors and other government officials can’t enforce the ban, but private individuals can receive bounties if they sue doctors who perform abortions and those who help women obtain them.

The law was set up that way to make it harder to bring a lawsuit to block the ban. The approach has worked in that the ban has gone into place even though it is at odds with Roe and other court decisions.

Kleefisch and Nicholson said they supported banning abortion at six weeks but not the provision that allows private citizens to bring lawsuits.

[...]

Ramthun in February joined about two dozen other Republican lawmakers in co-sponsoring a Texas-style bill that would allow private citizens to sue doctors who perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The bill never made it to the floor of the Assembly or Senate before the legislative session ended this month.

Evers has broadly supported abortion rights. When he first ran for governor in 2018, Evers said if abortion were banned in Wisconsin, he would pardon doctors who performed the procedure. He said then that he would veto legislation to ban abortion after six weeks.

During his time in office, Evers has vetoed legislation that would ban abortions based on sex, reduce government funding for organizations that offer abortion services and give lifetime prison sentences to doctors if they do not provide medical care to babies who are born after attempted abortions. Evers has said Wisconsin already has laws in place to ensure doctors who don’t provide medical care are prosecuted.

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again today: as long as I'm governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state — and that's a promise,” Evers said in a written statement he issued in December when he vetoed abortion restrictions.

[...]

Last Updated on Friday, 25 March 2022 10:52
 
Ron Johnson Slams Bipartisan Legislation that Would Fight Inflation PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 25 March 2022 10:38

ron-johnsonMADISON, Wis. – In his most recent self-serving diatribe, Ron Johnson lambasted investing in chip manufacturing in the United States, even with the impact it would have bolstering supply chains, fighting inflation, and creating good paying jobs. Despite Johnson previously changing the tax law in a way that benefitted himself and handed his biggest donors a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars, he is trying to kill this legislation because he believes it’s “picking winners and losers.”

“Ron Johnson is fighting against fixing our supply chains, bringing down inflation, and the creation of good paying jobs – all because it doesn’t fit into his self-serving agenda,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman.

Johnson has also:

 
Democrats Blast Johnson and GOP for Raising Healthcare Costs PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 25 March 2022 10:19

aca-rally-mdsn-220323

MADISON, Wis. – Yesterday, on the 12 year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, Democrats across the state blasted Senator Ron Johnson for his repeated self-serving attacks on Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and those who get their health care through the Marketplace. Johnson has a long history of attacking Wisconsinites’ health care – including lobbying to dismantle the landmark law for years and voting against Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, which lowered health insurance premiums for working families across Wisconsin.

In Madison, voters, health care advocates, and legislators rallied outside of Johnson’s office:

WKOW: Democrats, supporters of Obamacare rally on 12th anniversary of passage

“On Wednesday, those who support the ACA, also known as Obamacare, rallied at Republican Senator Ron Johnson's office to mark 12 years since federal lawmakers passed the legislation. Johnson has been a staunch opponent of Obamacare since launching his political career in 2010.

“Over the following decade, Republican efforts to repeal the ACA have failed. At Wednesday's rally, one woman said that without Obamacare, the treatment she and her daughter need for their autoimmune diseases would put them over their cap within a year.”

In La Crosse, Congressman Ron Kind and State Senator Brad Pfaff spoke with a Wisconsinite with pre-existing conditions about what the ACA means to her and her family:

WIZM: Area Democrats join call to protect Affordable Care Act, approved 12 years ago

“Democrats in Wisconsin are celebrating 12 years since the signing of the Affordable Care Act, and saying they still hope to expand access to health care under that law.

“In La Crosse, Congressman Ron Kind and State Senator Brad Pfaff met with reporters, and Kind said that many members of Congress, including Senator Ron Johnson, are still trying to repeal the act known as Obamacare.”

Milwaukee Representative Gwen Moore also spoke about how the GOP’s goal of repealing the ACA would be disastrous for families:

Public News Service: On 12-Year Anniversary of ACA, Wisconsinites Discuss its Impacts

“Eliminating the ACA has been a yearslong fight for Republican lawmakers in Washington; including Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who told Breitbart it should be one of the GOP's priorities should it retake Congress and the White House.

“Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said in a news conference Wednesday, the ACA has been a critical lifeline for many during the pandemic. ‘And repealing the ACA, it would leave Wisconsin residents without the lifeline they need for crucial medicine, checkups and preventive screening,’ Moore outlined.”

 
Wisconsin AFL-CIO Endorses Governor Tony Evers for 2022 Re-Election PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Evers Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 24 March 2022 10:11

tony-evers-win-gettyimagesMADISON - Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, released the following statement endorsing Tony Evers for Wisconsin Governor in the 2022 election:

“Governor Evers understands the critical role strong unions and collective bargaining play in a just and healthy economy. As Governor, Tony Evers has supported workers by taking action to combat worker misclassification and payroll fraud. He has worked to end tax breaks for companies who ship jobs out of state, protect safe licensing standards for workers, and stop the rollback of child labor law protections. Governor Evers has consistently put forth state budgets that invest in Wisconsin, boost job growth, and lay the foundation for a better future for all. Governor Evers has a strong record of investing in infrastructure, funding our schools, and protecting democracy.

Governor Evers has stood with and fought for the working people of Wisconsin since day one of his administration. We look forward to continuing to work with the Evers Administration to support working families in Wisconsin with strong unions, safe jobs, and economic opportunity for all.”

 
In 2022, Health Care is on the Ballot as GOP Strives to Repeal ACA PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Julia Hamelburg   
Friday, 18 March 2022 10:01

kristin-lyerly-md-commitmentGreen Bay's Dr. Kristin Lyerly quoted.


MADISON, Wis. -- One year ago, President Biden signed Democrats’ American Rescue Plan into law, expanding affordability measures and reducing health care costs for over 212,000 Wisconsinites. It’s no surprise that Republican Ron Johnson voted against this critical relief – he’s spent his career fighting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, strip away health care from thousands of Wisconsinites, and raise insurance premiums.

While Democrats work to lower costs, Wisconsin Republicans in Congress are running on a disastrous agenda that would hike taxes for 32 percent of families across the state and raise health care costs.

Take a look at what Wisconsinites who rely on the ACA are saying about the Wisconsin GOP’s 2022 agenda:

Lynn Carey:

“After 11 years of being on oxygen twenty-four seven and going through all of these treatments, I received a double lung transplant. [Becasue of the ACA] I knew I would get the care I needed. I knew I wouldn't go bankrupt. And now I hear one of our United States Senators, Ron Johnson, talking about taking that away from millions of Wisconsinites. He's told us over and over – and I've heard him say – that he believes health care is a privilege. Well, I can tell you that indeed, he may believe that but I don't believe that – and I don't believe most Wisconsinites believe that.

“And that is why he [Ron Johnson] and the GOP want to get power, so they can take away the Affordable Care Act. To me this is wrong. This is so wrong. And while he has built his Senate career opposing the ACA, Wisconsinites are benefiting.”

Sarah Conklin:

“Senator Johnson has made it clear he doesn't care about me or the other hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions. In my opinion, Senator Johnson is hell-bent on fulfilling his misguided self-serving agenda that only hurts people like me. He's more concerned with changing the laws to enrich himself and his donors than lowering health care costs or protecting vulnerable Wisconsinites like myself.”

William Gracia:

“Without the protections of the ACA, my daughter would never be able to have insurance. And without insurance, we could never afford the surgeries, the medicine, the ER visits – that have been a kind of constant presence in my daughter's life. So when I hear Ron Johnson say these things, it is very personal to me. If he's willing to throw my daughter out without insurance, and without a future, he's willing to do that to any child in Wisconsin and any child in America.”

Dr. Kristin Lyerly:

“Yesterday, Ron Johnson actually admitted that the main goal was to paralyze the government – paralyze the government – [to] not work until the GOP can take over. And then, he used the repeal of the ACA as his prime example of what he would do… His actions and his words tell us that Ron Johnson believes that health care isn't a right…No. Ron Johnson believes that health care is a privilege and only those who can afford it, deserve it.

“It's no wonder that Johnson joined the entire Republican Party in voting against the American Rescue Plan, which cut health care costs for millions of Americans and provided critical funding to hospitals and health clinics across the state to help us take care of our patients in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. It's obvious, I can't trust Ron Johnson to stand up for my patients.”

 
Senator Admits Republicans Would Not Lower Prescription Drug Costs PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 18 March 2022 09:55

drug-costAdmission is the Latest Plank in Republicans’ Agenda of Tax Hikes and Raised Premiums


MADISON, Wis. – Yesterday, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley admitted that a Republican-controlled Senate would not take action on lowering drug prices, saying “If we want to reduce drug prices, then we need to do it now [under a Democratic Congress]."

Grassley’s comments come as Senate Republicans have spent the last few weeks outlining how a Republican majority would mean hiking taxes on working families, raising health insurance premiums, and doing nothing to lower costs.

Republicans trying to rip away health care from working families is not news to folks in Wisconsin, as Ron Johnson has spent his entire political career pushing a self-serving agenda that would reduce coverage and increase premiums for hundreds of thousands of families across the state. Just last week, Johnson doubled down by reaffirming his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act – which would mean more than 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions would lose insurance protections, Americans with private insurance could see their premiums skyrocket, 21 million Americans could lose their insurance, and more.

“Let’s be clear: the Republican plan is to raise taxes on 32% of Wisconsinites, increase health insurance premiums, and take away protections for folks with pre-existing conditions. Now they’re admitting a Republican majority means doing nothing to lower prescription drug costs. The GOP is only winning if working Wisconsinites are losing – which is why Wisconsin will remain blue in 2022,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman

 
Attorney General Kaul Stands Up Against Corporate Polluters PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Thursday, 17 March 2022 10:37

josh-kaulMADISON, Wis. -- This week, Attorney General Josh Kaul launched a lawsuit against Johnson Controls and Tyco Fire Prodcuts over PFAS pollution at facilities in Marinette. Also known as “forever chemicals”, PFAS has been linked to numerous adverse health effects, including pregnancy-induced hypertension and cancer. This week’s suit brought by Attorney General Kaul seeks justice for families impacted by an alleged 2013 discharge that went unreported to the state.

NBC 26: Kaul sues Johnson Controls, Tyco over PFAS pollution

Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Monday morning that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Johnson Controls and Tyco Fire Products over PFAS pollution in Marinette.

Kaul filed the action Monday in Marinette County Circuit Court. The foam has contaminated the area's soil, groundwater, surface water, and air. The lawsuit alleges that Johnson Controls and Tyco failed to notify the state about a PFAS discharge back in 2013.

The chemical PFAS can have numerous adverse health effects, such as serum cholesterol, immune dysregulation, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and kidney and testicular cancers, according to a release sent by the Attorney General. The discharge has left many people in the town of Peshtigo without drinking water.

Kayla Furton discovered that her drinking water had been contaminated in 2018. Her home was a part of the initial plume of water that was contaminated with PFAS.

"We were added to the initial plume which is now known as the PWSA, the private wells study area, which is the one area that Tyco and JCI is accepting responsibility for," Furton said.

Her water at one point tested at 63 parts per trillion combined PFAs compounds - an amount that's considered dangerously high.

[...]

“Every home within the contamination area deserves access to clean drinking water, bottled water, POET systems as an interim measure and long-term safe drinking water," Furton said. "So this announcement from Attorney General Kaul today is huge for everyone in our community.”

[...]

"It is so welcoming to see the Attorney General filing this lawsuit saying I'm there with you," Oitzinger said. "We're going to put the full weight of the Attorney General's office behind enforcing our environmental laws for the protection of our environment but also for the protection and well being of the people that live in these communities."

 
Republicans Refuse to Support Gov. Evers’ Plan to Lower Costs, Improve Education, and Fund Child Care PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by DGA Press, Christina Amestoy   
Friday, 11 March 2022 10:43

wisconsin-senateLess than a minute into a special session called by the governor, the GOP-controlled Wisconsin state legislature gaveled out.


MADISON - Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature are blocking Gov. Tony Evers’ efforts to lower costs, fund child care, and improve education for Wisconsinites. 

Less than a minute into a special session called by the governor, the GOP-controlled Wisconsin state legislature gaveled out, refusing to take action on Gov. Evers’ plan to put Wisconsin’s record surplus to work. The plan, which is supported by groups like AARP Wisconsin, would give a $150 tax rebate to every Wisconsin tax filer and each of their dependents, as well as invest in child care and education across the state. 

GOP candidate for governor Rebecca Kleefisch called the surplus plan a “non-starter” — even as a recent Marquette poll highlighted that Wisconsinites expect action on rising costs. 

While Republicans are leaving Wisconsinites high and dry, Gov. Evers continues to take action to address rising prices. During his first term, Gov. Evers signed historic tax relief for small businesses and delivered a 15 percent income tax cut for working families. Just yesterday, Gov. Evers joined five other Democratic governors in urging Congress to suspend the federal gas tax to give people relief at the gas pump. 

“Gov. Tony Evers has outlined a bold plan to invest Wisconsin’s historic surplus into solutions to the biggest challenges facing Wisconsinites,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Instead of taking action and supporting critical and necessary relief, Republicans are sitting on their hands. Wisconsin voters won’t forget how Gov. Evers consistently took action while Republicans turned their backs on Wisconsinites when it mattered most.”

 
Trump Calls Gableman’s Proposal to Decertify the Election “Incredible” PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 11 March 2022 10:26

donald-trump-littleDo Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson Agree?


MADISON, Wis. – Despite the complete lack of evidence and the legal impossibility of decertifying the 2020 election results in Wisconsin, disgraced former President Trump called Gableman’s sham interim report “incredible” and said he anticipates the state legislature will decertify the 2020 election results.

Even though recent polling showed more than two-thirds of Wisconsinites are confident that their vote in the 2020 election was safely counted and are ready to move on, the Republican Party is still harping on an election they lost almost a year and a half ago.

So far, Republican candidates for governor have only amplified these ridiculous conspiracy theories in an attempt to prove they are the most radical candidate in the race. Every single Republican running for governor refuses to call out Trump for his lies and will not admit that the election was free, fair, and secure.

Last month, Rebecca Kleefisch tripled down on her refusal to answer if she would have certified the election results if she were governor in 2020. Kevin Nicholson has continually doubted the validity of the 2020 election and voiced his desire to dismantle Wisconsin’s bipartisan elections commission in order to put politicians from his own party in charge of election administration. And of course, we know where Tim Ramthun stands. He has been leading the crusade to decertify the election results, something that he and Donald Trump may discuss when Ramthun visits Mar-a-Lago next month [1:30].

“You can't beg for an endorsement from Donald Trump and then say you stand for free and fair elections,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “Trump’s push to decertify the election would disenfranchise more than 1.6 million Wisconsin voters, not to mention be completely unconstitutional. Republicans can’t have it both ways. Kleefisch and Nicholson need to tell voters where they stand — with democracy or with Trump.”

 
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