Wednesday February 19, 2020

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Hintz on Republican Tax Plan PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Friday, 14 February 2020 14:50

wi-senate-swearing-inDemocratic legislator disagrees with Republican priorities.


MADISON – Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement on the Republican tax proposal:

“This appears to be another last minute, hastily thrown together proposal by Republican leadership aimed at playing politics rather than prioritizing what is best for our state.

gordon_hintz“The speaker’s own blue ribbon commission on K-12 education spent a year meeting around the state resulting in recommendations reflected in Governor Evers’ special session proposal. That appears to have been another attempt to say they are doing something, while ignoring the needs of schools districts and kids across Wisconsin. We see the same thing on mental health funding for schools. Republicans say it is a priority and that we need to act, but then they cut $38 million from the governor’s proposed budget and refuse to act when given the opportunity to support it. If it is priority then Republicans should support the governor’s education package, not make empty statements pretending they care.

“Proposing a last minute package with plenty of questions and unintended consequences with less than a week to act is more of the same tired politics we have become accustomed to under Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Vos.”

 
Matt Rothschild: 'I was Muzzled in Madison!' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 13 February 2020 19:15

wi-dist-mapsMADISON, WI - On Tuesday, I went to testify at the State Capitol before the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections.

There was a public hearing on a minor, straightforward bill about publicizing when an incumbent decides not to run for reelection. I gave the bill a nod and then tried to ask why they weren’t holding hearings on more urgent issues like gerrymandering or overturning Citizens United, but I was cut off by Chair Ron Tusler before I could get past my third sentence!

Here’s my full testimony: When's the Hearing?

There’s a big Wisconsin Supreme Court primary election on Tuesday, and if you want to know where the candidates are getting their money from, just click on this one:

High Court Candidates Raise $275K in First Five Weeks of ‘20

All candidate campaign finance and outside spending activity for spring 2020 Supreme Court election is up-to-date on our website. You can check it out here:

Campaign 2020 - Supreme Court

And if you’re concerned about the “forever chemicals” in our environment and you’re wondering what’s stalling the bills on them in the Legislature, you’ll find some clues here:

See the Big $$$ Against Regulating PFAS


matt-rothschildI hope you find these articles interesting.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Americans Cannot Allow a King or an Emperor to be in the White House PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Randy Schumann, Madison   
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 11:04

donald-trumpWhen America consisted of 13 colonies 244 years ago, the colonists enacted a Declaration of Independence and forcibly in a war, got rid of America's first "King" -- England's King George III.


MADISON, WI - In the 3 years since Donald Trump has been President, he has continually violated his Oath of Office to "uphold the Constitution" which establishes 3 co-equal parts of government. The executive branch (President), the legislative branch (Congress), and the judicial branch. But rather than uphold the constitutionally established separation of powers, Trump has unconstitutionally refused to comply with mandated requirements to provide Congress with lawfully subpoenaed documents, and has vilified Federal court decisions that have determined numerous actions and executive orders of Trump to be unconstitutional.

And most recently during Trump's impeachment (non) trial in the Senate, a Trump defense attorney, Alan Dershowitz, argued that whatever Trump does as President, "if it is something he believed would get him elected in the public interest, he could not be impeached for it."

constitutional-conventionThat arrogant argument essentially says that there are no constitutional limits on a President's power, that the powers of Congress under the Constitution are null and void, and as a consequence, Donald Trump is, in effect, a 'King" who is above the law and cannot be called to account by Congress under the Constitution.

Interestingly, a recent article noted that the same inability to separate the personal interests of a leader (such as Trump) from the country he leads (America) has echoes to ancient Rome. Roughly 2,000 years ago, the Roman Senate over a relatively short period of time, abdicated to their "princeps"/ "first among equals" leader, the Senate's oversight powers over the military, their veto authority over legislation, and also granted any Princep immunity from prosecution. Not surprisingly, the result was that what had been a "first among equals" leader became a series of "Emperors" with sole, unquestioned authority over the Senate and the Roman people. Another result was the notion that the identity of the Emperor was inseparable from the identity of the State, such that any disagreement with the Emperor was an attack against the state itself - and thus arguably "treasonous" subject to the death penalty. The final result of Rome and its Senate/government allowing the creation of Emperors was the fall of the Roman empire.

If that description of what happened with the creation of Emperors in Rome 2000 years ago sounds familiar, that is because it also describes Trump's defense attorney Dershowitz's argument referenced above in Trump's Impeachment (non) trial in the Senate.

The bottom line: America forcibly got rid of its first "King" 244 years ago. Americans now need to learn from both Roman history 2000+ years ago, and from our own Revolutionary War, and act in little more than 244 Days to vote out of office and get rid of, a President who sees himself as, and acts as, a King /Emperor in violation of his oath to uphold our Constitution.

 

Randy Schumann
Madison, WI

 
Voucher Programs are a Costly Detriment to Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 07 February 2020 17:22

educationThe non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says vouchers caused $145 million in aid reduction to public schools. Forcing taxpayers to fund competing education systems only hinders our future.

Read more...
 
Democratic Radio: Black History Month in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Lt Gov Press, Earl Arms   
Friday, 07 February 2020 12:17

juneteenth-1900MADISON - Lt. Gov. Barnes delivers the Democratic Weekly Radio Address on Black History Month in Wisconsin on Thursday.

Audio File of Radio Address

The following is Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes' radio address on Black History Month in Wisconsin:

mandela-barnesGreetings – I’m Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

This month in Wisconsin, we celebrate Black history—our history. And when I say our history, I mean everyone in our state because Black history is Wisconsin history.

So we give honor to those who helped lay the foundation for us to have this privilege to serve the great state of Wisconsin. From people like Ezekiel Gillespie, who was born a slave in Tennessee, moved to Wisconsin. He fought for, and won, the right for Black Wisconsinites to vote; to people like Vel Phillips who was the first Black person to ever hold statewide office here. And this trailblazing woman—her activism paved the way for me to become our state’s first Black lieutenant governor.

It is with their energy, determination, and spirit that I work for a Wisconsin that provides opportunity for all children, families, and communities throughout our state.

From fighting the effects of climate change to making sure each of us are counted in our upcoming Census, to ensuring none of us lose our voting rights, I’m working to make our communities places of equitable opportunity.

So for this month and throughout the year, let’s honor those who came before us by stepping up to be the leaders our families, our communities and our future generations need.

Let’s speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves.

Let’s fight until everyone in Wisconsin, regardless of ZIP code, has the opportunity to thrive.

 
Economic Growth Not Felt By Everyone PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jan Koch, Shawano   
Tuesday, 04 February 2020 16:33

donald-trump-deficitBe careful when Trump uses the term “the economy”, it all depends who you are talking about and where they live, says northeastern Wisconsin resident.

Read more...
 
Republicans Politicize Sexual Assault Kits Again PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Monday, 03 February 2020 11:04

sexual-assaultGOP wants significant, divisive changes to previous bipartisan legislation (SB 200) which would have prevented any future backlog of sexual assault kits.


MADISON – Last week, Republicans introduced LRB-5536/1 which relates to sexual assault kits but made significant, divisive changes to previous legislation. There is already strong, bipartisan support for SB 200, which would prevent any future backlog of sexual assault kits by standardizing the processing and storage of kits and create a tracking system for survivors to monitor the progress of their kits.

gordon_hintzThis legislation was the product of months of stakeholder engagement and input from law enforcement and experts at the Department of Justice. This legislation passed the Senate unanimously and has 66 co-sponsors in the Assembly. Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement about this partisan, Republican tactic:

“Republicans are choosing to politicize what should be a straightforward, bipartisan bill. This issue impacts real people in a serious way. Playing these political games does a disservice to victims and the law enforcement professionals who work on their cases. We already have a bill that does what needs to be done to address the backlog of sexual assault kits and ensure efficient testing moving forward. This is more of the same cynical politics from Robin Vos and Wisconsin Republicans, and the people of our state deserve better.”

 
Democratic Radio: Special Session on Rural Prosperity and Support for Farmers PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Saturday, 01 February 2020 13:17

farmer-wiscMADISON - Gov. Tony Evers' gave this radio address on Thursday to highlight his call for the Legislature to meet in a special session to pass legislation to support farmers and bolster economic activity in rural communities.

Hear the audio file of radio address here.

Read the text below.

tony-evers-capHey there, Wisconsinites. This is Governor Tony Evers.

Wisconsin is known as America's Dairyland, and for good reason.

But as too many Wisconsin families know firsthand, our farmers and rural communities across our state continue to face challenges.

During my second State of the State Address last week, I announced our three-pronged plan to invest in our farmers, agricultural industries, and rural communities.

The first prong in that plan included calling the Legislature to meet in special session to take up 8 comprehensive bills.

We also announced we're working with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to create the Office of Rural Prosperity and ensure investing in agriculture and rural areas is part of our economic development plan statewide.

Finally, we're going to bring together folks from different areas and industries across our state. They'll work together to develop long-term strategies on this issue—not based on what folks in Madison think is best—but based on the feedback and input from folks like you.

Now, I know what I've been proposing isn't a silver bullet, but by golly, we have to start somewhere, and we have to start today.

America's Dairyland is about more than bushels, bales, and hundredweights—it's about people.

Our state has survived on the hard work and dedication of our farmers for generations.

It's time for us to be better partners for our farmers and rural communities, and I hope the Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature will put politics aside so we can get to work on the challenges facing our state.

Thanks for listening. It's time to get to work.

 
Jon Erpenbach: It’s Time to Stand Up for our Agricultural and Rural Communities PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Friday, 31 January 2020 10:43

door-county-peopleState Senator says family farms are Wisconsin’s legacy and makes proposals to better address the real issues that our rural communities are facing.


West Point - The story is starting to become cliché. Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support a proposal that benefits our state, Republican leadership cries “partisanship”, and blocks action until an undetermined future date. We saw this happen with funding to combat homelessness, which still has seven pending proposals awaiting Republican action, and now we are watching this happen with Governor Evers’ call for a special session to help our agricultural and rural communities.

During the State of the State Address, Governor Evers announced that he will be prioritizing Wisconsin’s farmers, and called for a special session to take up proposals to help alleviate the strain on our rural communities. The special session was scheduled for Tuesday, and unfortunately, the day came and passed with no discussion, no debate, and no progress. In fact, Republicans chose instead to ignore our farm crisis and hold a partisan political rally of their own.

Democrats stand ready to take up a plethora of proposals, from passing the Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports (WIDE) to providing grants to small dairy processing plants and increasing support for farmer mental health. Unfortunately, Republicans were nowhere to be found. For generations, farmers have served as the backbone for our state, and it is time that we step up and support our agricultural industries and rural communities.

Wisconsin unfortunately leads the nation in farm bankruptcies, with an average of 2 dairy farms closing per day. Whether it is effects of global warming wiping out crops, bad federal policies disrupting trade or slapping on unnecessary tariffs, or massive corporate farms shutting down their competition, each day these challenges stack up and get harder to address. These challenges are outside of the control of Wisconsin farmers, and it will take legislative action to keep our state alive.

jon-erpenbachThe truth is, agricultural diversity is one of Wisconsin’s greatest strengths. That’s one reason why it’s vital we do everything we can to maintain our smaller family farms. Agriculture contributes nearly $105 billion to our state’s economy and thousands of jobs. From vegetables, to cranberries to leading the nation in cheese production, our agricultural industry should not be taken for granted.

Thankfully, Governor Evers did more than call a special session, he also signed an Executive Order to create the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity. The commission is tasked with going out into our communities to listen to the issues that are affecting farmers, the agricultural industry and rural businesses. The commission will create recommendations based on the information they gather and report back to the Governor, so that we can better address the real issues that our rural communities are facing.

Additionally, the Governor announced his plan to work with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to establish the Office of Rural Prosperity. This action will help to ensure that our farmers, agriculture, and rural communities are a part of Wisconsin’s economic development strategy.

Wisconsin depends on our farmers, so this crisis is not their burden to carry alone. It is the food that comes to our tables, the farmer’s markets that bring people together, the businesses that depend on access to locally grown food, and the communities that keep our state afloat. Our farms are Wisconsin’s legacy. The least we can do is show up to the discussion.

 
Special Session on Agriculture Necessary Says Hintz PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Tuesday, 28 January 2020 17:36

trump-tariffsSession could help family farms increase access to new markets and maximize their ability to compete in the current economic environment crippled by President Trump’s disastrous trade war.

Read more...
 
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