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Wisc Democracy Campaign 'Momentum for Fair Voting Maps' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 11:38

wi-dist-maps-currentJefferson County became the third Wisconsin county this year to go on record in favor of outlawing gerrymandering.


MADISON - It used to be a sleepy issue, but lots of people in Wisconsin have woken up to it: It’s the issue of gerrymandering—the rigging of our political maps for partisan purposes.

Last week, Jefferson County became the third county this year alone to go on record in favor of outlawing gerrymandering and adopting fair voting maps.

Fair map movement gains momentum

matt-rothschildAnd if you’re in Milwaukee or Marshfield, I’ll be speaking tomorrow night and the next night on this very subject. On May 16, in Milwaukee, I’ll be at the Jewish Museum, 1360 N. Prospect St, starting at 7:00 p.m. And this Wed, May 17, in Marshfield, I’ll be speaking at an “Open Forum on Fair Elections and Gerrymandering,” starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Roehl Public Library, 105 S. Maple Ave. I hope to see you and your friends at one of these events. You can view our calendar of events here.

In the meantime, we’ve updated our redistricting resource page, which I hope is helpful to you:

In other news, we submitted written testimony last week against the bill in the Assembly that would police free speech on campus:

WDC opposes bill restricting free-speech in the University of Wisconsin System

We also opposed another bill, sponsored by the GOP, to roll back our protections against -- of all things! – child labor:

Bill to loosen child labor laws sent to Walker

Please give your legislators an earful on these bills.

Best,

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

P.S. And please don’t forget our annual meeting next Monday, May 22, at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd, in rural Madison. The program starts at 6:00 p.m. Former head of the Government Accountability Board, Kevin Kennedy, will be speaking, as will Kimberlee Wright of Midwest Environmental Advocates, and DeShawn McKinney, President of the UW-Madison Wisconsin Union Directorate. And I’ll say a few words myself. It should be fun. If you haven’t already, please RSVP today to Beverly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
LWV Wisconsin; 'Victories for voters and other news' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 11:23

voter-usMADISON - Thanks to all who contacted the Joint Finance committee co-chairs about Elections Commission staffing, based on our Call to Action yesterday. They heard you! The budget committee voted to keep 5 of the 6 elections positions that were slated to be cut in Governor Walker’s budget recommendation. Good work!

Congratulations to the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging that state’s voter suppression law. The law was enacted hastily in 2013 after the Supreme Court gutted parts of the Voting Rights Act. It imposed a strict photo ID requirement and made other changes. The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to reinstate the law, leaving in place a lower court ruling that said the law targeted African American voters “with almost surgical precision.”

LWV US President Chris Carson said last week: “President Trump’s ‘Election Integrity Commission’ is an unnecessary distraction from the real work to protect against foreign hacking and interference in our electoral process.” Read the full statement here.  

4 Wisconsin Counties Now on Record Opposing Gerrymandering
Jefferson County has joined Wood, Lincoln and Dunn counties in calling on the legislature to pass nonpartisan redistricting reform.

When Does Political Gerrymandering Cross a Constitutional Line?
This New York Times article explains why the Wisconsin redistricting case now in the U.S. Supreme Court may be the “holy grail” that sets a standard for when partisan gerrymandering goes too far.

Education Advocate Judy Crain Receives Chancellor’s Award
Congratulations to LWV WI Legislative Committee member Judy Crain on winning UW-Green Bay’s highest community honor recognizing her outstanding education advocacy.

***

Help defend voting rights and fair voting districts with a secure online contribution to the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. Or click here to print a contribution form to mail in with your check. LWV WI is a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code, and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

 
Russ Feingold 'Obstruction of justice now on the record' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Russ Feingold   
Sunday, 14 May 2017 16:47

donald-trumpMADISON - The articles of impeachment that were being prepared against Richard Nixon before he resigned included obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice was also the key charge in the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

james-comeyOn Thursday, the Trump Administration -- and even the president himself -- bragged that the firing of James Comey was intended to end the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian intelligence operations in the 2016 U.S. election.

Does Trump’s admission amount to impeachable obstruction of justice? We must have a special prosecutor leading an independent investigation to find out.

If you haven’t signed the LegitAction petition calling for a special prosecutor yet, please do it now. This situation is developing rapidly.

On Thursday, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired James Comey in part because “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.”

Also on Thursday, Trump’s spokesperson said, “We think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to [make the Russia story come to its conclusion].”

Then, on Friday, Trump publicly threatened now-former FBI Director Comey with the prospect of releasing tapes of their conversations.

This is one of the most serious crises in presidential legitimacy our nation has ever faced. We cannot trust the investigation into this matter to anyone else that Trump can fire.

Join the call for a special prosecutor today. Sign the LegitAction petition now.

There are so many questions about Trump’s behavior and the legitimacy of the 2016 election that, in a sense, it’s not surprising to see an illegitimately elected president behaving without legitimacy. But we can’t lose sight of the bigger fight here.

Thanks for standing up today,

Russ Feingold

Last Updated on Monday, 15 May 2017 17:05
 
Veterans, Who Know War, Say "Try Peace" PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Buzz Davis, Stoughton   
Saturday, 13 May 2017 08:16

Memorial DayVeterans, especially combat veterans, need to talk about the real costs of war. The veterans’ silence results in enabling power hungry politicians and greedy business persons to push war as the solution instead of creating a more peaceful world.


TUCSON, AZ - We approach Memorial Day honoring the ultimate sacrifices made by 1.4 million American military men and women who died in America’s wars since 1775. We must discuss the horrific impact of war on surviving soldiers and civilians. For only they can teach us working for peace is a better option than fighting wars.

Each death in war brings everlasting tragedy to a family. Each death damages the hope of loved ones.

Humans are brutal. We have many wonderful traits. But we must admit to a brutal streak. And we must hope that we do not exhibit that trait ourselves and are not forced into situations where we too become brutal.

Historians view history as a long string of wars. The most destructive war thus far was World War II. Between 45 million and 85 million men, women and children perished in combat, destruction and resulting disease and famine.

Historians estimate 400 million to 670 million soldiers and civilians died in the largest 35 wars. Wars always kill far more civilians than soldiers.

ChildrenThis drawing and caption of children at the graveside of a Civil War relative killed at Gettysburg depicts our basic problem.

Because a relative served in a long ago war, many children especially boys are socialized into thinking being a soldier is the good thing to do.

Society (families, media, schools, movies, religions) encourage this, many times glorifying war. Recruiters prey on these emotions.

As a future infantry officer, I spent a year of my life being taught how to kill people (fortunately I was sent to S. Korea rather than S. Vietnam in 1969).

"You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too,
like my Uncle David, when I grow up.”
"On Decoration Day" Political cartoon c 1900 by John T. McCutcheon.

The military does an excellent job of training men and women to kill. But our generals have no idea of how to train/educate people to “unkill.” Many of our 22 million veterans who were in combat and had to participate in, or were near, the killing, deaths and maimings have memories and emotions they try to control all their lives. Most don’t discuss these memories at all or very much with family and friends. Such discussions are extremely difficult to have.

The veterans’ silence results in enabling power hungry politicians and greedy business persons to use the military industrial complex to push war as the “solution” to problems/challenges nations face.

The result of silence is that millions of veterans are not teaching their children, friends and community that war is not the answer. Killing does not solve problems. It just makes problems more difficult to resolve. You can’t kill a religious idea or political idea with a bullet.

The military teaches team work and being in the military and combat encourages camaraderie. But each vet is on his/her own when it comes to controlling or squashing the bad memories and thoughts.

StatueAmerica spends over $600 billion per year on wars, weapons and designing more weapons.  We spend only $50 billion on the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.

Nine nations have 15,000 nuclear weapons.  Scientists say if just 1% of those weapons are exploded in a nuclear war, tens of millions would die in the first hour.  Millions would die later from the radiation effects and fire storms.  Firestorms, sweeping large areas creating dark dust clouds, would cause an extended winter of possibly 10 years with drastically shortened food growing cycles.  Two billion would be threatened with famine.  Life on earth, as we know it, would be gone.

Khatyn Memorial commemorating the loss of life in Belarus during World War II.

For decades we have had politicians creating more wars instead of creating a more peaceful world via diplomacy, cooperation, helping other nations improve safe water supplies, educational systems, infrastructure, health, food production and strengthening the United Nations to help improve the lives of peoples across this world.

Small steps for America are:  Veterans, especially combat veterans, need to discuss with their families some of what they did in “their” war.  Or skip their personal experiences, if they cannot talk about it, and talk about the horrendous cost in lost lives.  Vets can write letters to the editor of their local papers saying War Is Not the Answer and tell the readers what needs to be done.

Today our nation is controlled by Republican war mongers and meek Democratic followers.  We must all think ahead to November 2018.  We will have an opportunity to vote out of office those who foolishly advocate war.  But right now we must talk about why we must fight harder for Peace than we do for War!

******

Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, is a long time progressive activist, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer, impeachment organizer, VP of WI Alliance for Retired Americans and a retired state government planner.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 May 2017 13:42
 
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