Friday September 25, 2020

Moving Forward with Facts & Reason

News Feeds:
LWVWI on the Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by League of Women Voters Wisconsin   
Sunday, 20 September 2020 16:56

Ruth Bader GinsburgWe must honor her legacy by demanding the values she stood for are not undermined in an effort to rush through an appointment that would only further polarize America.

“COVID-19 and the Sickness of Democracy” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 18 September 2020 13:13

covid-19-sicknessSTATEWIDE - We discuss Wisconsin’s rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rate supercharged by the ill-conceived reopening of colleges and K-12 schools. We talk about the role of individual responsibility in containing the pandemic in the face of the worst national and state response in the developed world. Claire reviews a large national survey released this week finding the uninsured rate rose just before the country was hit by the coronovirus.

We look at the huge opportunity Democratic State Assembly candidates have at winning seats previously thought safe for Republicans due to rigged district lines. What does winning these races have to do with creating fair maps? We welcome Citizen Action co-op member Emily Berge, who is a candidate for State Assembly in District 68 in the greater Eau Claire area, to discuss her campaign and what she is hearing on the ground.

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Dave Hansen on the Passing of Heidi Hussli PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Friday, 18 September 2020 12:10

heidi-hussli-students-gbpgBeloved local Bay Port German language teacher joins nearly 200,000 other lives lost to COVID-19, will be missed by all.

Wis Democracy Campaign - Koch targets Schachtner PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 18 September 2020 11:02

wisconsin-koch-industriesMADISON - I hope you’re managing to stay healthy in this dangerous and maddening time.

Here at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign this week, we took note of the fact that the leading independent expenditure group in our state legislative races is the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, which is shelling out a lot of money to try to take down State Sen. Patty Schachtner:

Koch Group Leads Outside Spending in Wisconsin Legislative Races

We also worked with Erik Gunn of the Wisconsin Examiner on his terrific story here about dark money in Wisconsin:

Election financiers operating in the shadows

And I wrote up my own assessment of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in the Green Party case, which you can see here:

What the Court's Green Party Decision Revealed

matt-rothschild-2018I’m always interested in your reactions to what we post, and your own comments on our democracy, so feel free to email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Have a nice weekend!


Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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P.S. If you like the work we do here, please make a tax-deductible gift today to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. We’d really appreciate it. Give online here or mail a check in the old-fashioned way to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 South Paterson Street, Suite 100, Madison WI 53703. Thanks!

Jaeger Wants Republican-led Legislature Back to Work PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jaeger For Wisconsin, Karl Jaeger   
Thursday, 17 September 2020 09:52

capitol-night-wiscLegislature has refused to do their job for five months and are apparently refusing to meet for at least another four, says Assembly District 89 Candidate.

MARINETTE, WI - This is a reminder that John Nygren and the Republican-led Legislature have been adjourned since April, but continue to collect their $52,999 salary! It's been over 150 days since they’ve shown up to work, and in that time thousands of people in communities across Wisconsin have gotten sick, lost their jobs, lost their health care, and struggled to support their families.

Our “Representatives” continue to collect their salaries, but they are not showing up to represent us. This makes me angry! We deserve representatives who show up to work!

What have our elected leaders been doing since they were last in full session while 91,304 of us became ill and 1,220 of us have died of COVID-19? We elected them to represent us, and instead they spend their days criticizing the Governor on Facebook from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

karl-jaegerIf I didn’t show up to work, I’d get fired. What about you? Would you still get paid? Would you still have health insurance? Retirement contributions? Would you have corporate special-interests giving you thousands of dollars of donations?

This is why people get frustrated by politics: our elected representatives have done nothing since April to address COVID-19, statewide protests, the unemployment backlog, or the re-opening of schools. In the meantime, they continue to collect their $52,999 annual salary while they ignore the needs of our citizens and refuse to do the work we elected them to do.

The basic function of our state government is to protect our citizens’ health and safety. The GOP-led Legislature has not met since April, despite calls by Democratic members and the Governor to take up legislation related to COVID-19, police procedures, unemployment benefits, and many other issues. Instead, they’ve threatened once to meet simply to overturn a public health order that slowed the spread of COVID-19. Republicans have filed more lawsuits this year than they have passed bills to help Wisconsin workers, families, farmers, and small businesses during this pandemic. Their leadership has indicated they will refuse to vote on any and all legislation until next year.

Let that sink in for a minute: They’ve refused to do their job for five months and are apparently refusing to meet for at least another four. And they don’t care, because their districts are so gerrymandered, they’re all but ensured a victory in November.

When elected, I will show up to work. I will put people first and represent your needs. I will be accountable to the people who elected me.

Karl Jaeger
Candidate, WI Assembly District 89

“Building A Better State Legislature” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Saturday, 12 September 2020 16:23

bgw-0920STATEWIDE - Our panel discusses this week’s revelation that Trump knew the coronavirus was ‘deadly stuff’ in February and lied about it to the American people. Next we dig into the explosion of positive COVID tests on Wisconsin university campuses. What are the ramifications? Finally, we kick off post Labor Day campaign season with two Citizen Action co-op members who are running for State Assembly in western Wisconsin: Sarah Yacoub (District 30) and Kim Butler (District 28).

Listen Now – Episode #458
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Transition To Civilian Life Often Difficult For Veterans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Saturday, 12 September 2020 15:30

veterans_army_medic“Veterans don't want a special handout, but a hand up would be incredibly helpful,” says Congressional candidate Palzewicz.

Brookfield, WI – Regardless of where they serve, whether in combat or in peace, the transition back to civilian life can be a difficult and challenging process for military veterans.  Democrat Tom Palzewicz, running for Wisconsin's Fifth Congressional District seat, is  a U.S. Navy veteran and knows full well what veterans experience.

The military has a completely different pace than civilian life. Highly ordered and disciplined, the men and women in uniform adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and they understand the need to maintain discipline in the ranks. The chain of command is essential to that discipline and military efficiency demands that all personnel pull in the same direction at the same time. Lives depend on that.

When a man and woman go from the disciplined life in the military to the “freedom” of civilian life, it is hard for them to make that change.  In the military they may be highly-trained squad leaders, or division officers, all operating in a tightly controlled system.  As a civilian, they are just another person, sometimes even marginalized or overlooked.  The “thank you for your service” is replaced by having to take orders from someone with a fraction of their experience or expertise.

tom-palzewicz“Veterans don't want a special handout, but a hand up would be incredibly helpful,” said Palzewicz, a former Electrician's Mate on a nuclear submarine. “They leave the military world and go back to the civilian world, where things are different. I think that's what is apparent when so many ex-military people go into law enforcement. Your time in service counts towards your pension, so it's a natural move. But, it's a completely different thing to be a police officer than it is to be in the Army, serving in Afghanistan. We want their courage and their professionalism, but we don't give them the necessary help they need in making the transition.

“I would support programs that help out returning veterans with higher education, starting their own businesses, but most of all, have something in place for our men and women to assist them in getting reacquainted with civilian life. I had to go through that. It's tough.”

Palzewicz appreciates and respects the training and professional abilities of military veterans. The skills learned while serving their country can and should be used in serving their communities.

“Leadership skills learned in the military apply to most every situation in the private sector,” said Palzewicz. “Good military leaders are decisive, measured and consistent.  They learn skills you can't learn in a classroom.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower became president because he was first and foremost a great leader.  That is where our veterans shine. America appreciates their service, but more importantly, it needs their leadership.”

Palzewicz and veterans like him, sacrificed for their country.  He believes the country needs to sacrifice for the veterans and provide the support they need when they come home.

Democratic Radio: People's Maps Commission Membership and First Public Hearing PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 September 2020 15:08

gb-vote1-47MADISON —​ On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the announcement of the judicial panel's selections to the People's Maps Commission and the Commission's first public hearing on Thurs., Oct. 1, 2020.

Audio file of radio address.

tony-eversHi, folks. Governor Tony Evers here.

I believe, and I know Wisconsinites do too, that the people should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around.

That’s why earlier this year I announced and established The People’s Maps Commission.

This commission will work over the next several months to listen to voters and experts to draw our next electoral maps for the state of Wisconsin to be considered by the Legislature during the 2021 redistricting process.

This week we announced the members of that commission who were selected by a nonpartisan panel of retired judges.

These folks are doctors, librarians, and teachers, not politicians, lobbyists, or elected officials. They come from each one of Wisconsin’s legislative districts, from Racine to Menomonie, and they represent the best Wisconsin has to offer.

I am looking forward to this diverse, energetic, and talented group leading the way on nonpartisan redistricting in our state.

Folks, this isn’t a Democratic or Republican redistricting commission, and it’s certainly not the Tony Evers redistricting commission. It’s your commission.

You can meet the commission members and learn more about the Commission at their first public hearing on Thursday, October 1st. For more information, please visit:

Thank you.

Union Leaders Blast Trump PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Monday, 07 September 2020 16:22

electrical-workersAdministration is betraying working Wisconsinites say union leaders on Labor Day.

WISCONSIN - On Labor Day, ahead of Mike Pence’s visit to La Crosse, AFT Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden, and AFSCME Council 32 Representative Valerie Landowski blasted Trump and his administration’s betrayal of working Wisconsinites. Whether it’s teachers, students and their families, farmers, manufacturers, or essential workers, Trump has systematically put these people in harm's way with his chaotic and dangerous policies.

See, in part, what the speakers said below or watch the full event here.

AFT Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas: “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are trying to pretend that all is right in the world when we see everyday how far we are from gaining any sense of normalcy because Trump failed to contain the virus. It is because of this failure that so many students are either learning virtually or only attending school a few days a week...It didn’t have to be this bad, but Trump and DeVos have forced states to fend for themselves, and now teachers, students and parents are paying the price. Trump had over seven months to get things under control, including getting us a back to school plan, a national testing and tracing program to flatten the curve, but was simply too ineffective to do so. We can’t afford another four years with this failed leadership...Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to get us back to school safely. They respect the science, they respect students and families, and they respect the values teachers bring to our communities.”

Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden: “To date we have lost 2255 dairy farms here in the state of Wisconsin. That's in the upper 24% of all dairy farms in states since Trump took office...Trump’s been bragging about how great the USMCA and phase one of the China trade deal has been for agriculture in the U.S., [but] we still have one and a half dairy farms a day in the state of Wisconsin...He calls our war heroes and war veterans losers and suckers. Are the Wisconsin farmers -- the 2255 of us who have gone out of business that he’s called patriots for the last four years -- are we losers and suckers too?...Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are workers. They want to help us get through these tough times. Through their leadership we’re going to be much better off in four years than we are today.”

AFSCME Council 32 Representative Valerie Landowski: "Our members are on the frontlines fighting COVID every single day...Every move the Trump administration has made has been a failure. It’s put working families underwater and it’s risked the lives of hard working Wisconsinites...In Trump’s 2017 tax-scam bill he encouraged companies to outsource jobs, and rewarded executives with even bigger bonuses while our front line workers and companies haven’t gotten wage increases, hazard pay, or the benefits they were promised. We aren’t getting the PPE we need in our facilities, while we’ve seen thousands of layoffs and furloughed employees, which has created an economic downturn that will destroy Wisconsins and the country's economy for years to come. Mike Pence came here to pretend that everything is great...but if you talk to any of our essential frontline employees they’d tell you a very different story; Wisconsinites are suffering greatly under Trump and his administration."

Military Veterans Appreciated, Then Forgotten PDF Print E-mail
Written by Palzewicz for Wisconsin, Chelsea Cross   
Friday, 04 September 2020 12:32

vets-coming-home"We thank them for their service, but we forget them when they need us," says Navy veteran Palzewicz. You can express your appreciation better by ensuring their needs are met, before and after they come home.

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