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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign "Tasty items!" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 26 August 2016 11:33

brad-schimelMADISON - Hey, we got lots of good stuff for you this week!

The most appalling was Attorney General Brad Schimel mimicking George Wallace and Lester Maddox:

Schimel echoes “states' rights” in filing on Wisconsin voting case

The most ludicrous was former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser suddenly finding religion on campaign finance:

Prosser the hypocrite on $$ in court campaigns

Here’s a snapshot of some of the key problems arising from the disastrous campaign finance law that passed last December:

New campaign finance law enshrines electoral secrecy

For the most current installment in the WEDC pay-to-play saga, check this one out:

Latest $22 million in WEDC funds goes to big Walker donor

While we’re on the subject of business as usual in Wisconsin, here’s how the vegetable growers tried to get their way on high-capacity wells:

Big ag poured $$ on controversial water bill

And here’s a cute little fact we unearthed: Those women for Trump here in Wisconsin? They haven’t given him a dime yet.

Wisconsin Women for Trump haven't contributed to Trump's campaign

We had fun researching and writing these tasty items for you this week, so if you appreciate them, please send us a tax-deductible gift today by clicking here.

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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 South Paterson Street, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53703-3689
608-255-4260  www.wisdc.org
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Wisconsin Should Lead On Student Loan Debt Relief PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jennifer Shilling, State Senator Dist 32 (B)   
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 18:28

jennifer-shillingLA CROSSE, WI - Wisconsin’s universities and technical colleges are the economic engines of our state. From workforce development and biotech research to improving farm production and assisting entrepreneurs, we’ve always benefited from strong schools.

But now, after years of Republican budget cuts, businesses are losing out on valuable opportunities, our middle class is shrinking and students are graduating with record amounts of debt. In fact, Wisconsin is home to nearly 1 million student loan borrowers who owe a combined $19 billion in debt.

The student loan debt crisis is causing an economic ripple affect across our state. As a result of high student loan payments, many in our state can’t afford to buy a new car, purchase their first home, open a business or simply start a family.

dave-hansenDemocrats, led by Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine), have made it a priority to ease this burden. Working with students and families, we’ve introduced the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill. The proposal would allow individuals to refinance student loans at lower interest rates and provide targeted relief to working families who are struggling to make ends meet. It’s a commonsense and effective solution to lower student loan debt and make college more affordable.

Unsurprisingly, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans have sided with big Wall Street banks to block this bill from passing. As a result, graduates continue to pay high interest rates on increasingly burdensome monthly payments and our economy continues to suffer.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 18:51
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Blue Jean Nation "They All Suck 2016" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 13:02

all-suckThe Republicans started as a party of liberation under Lincoln, but has morphed into a party of the privileged. The Democratic Party has become synonymous with handouts. Big change is coming. What form will it take?


ALTOONA, WI - There is never a shortage of grumbling when it comes to politics, but there’s no denying that typical American discontent has turned into a level of ire rarely seen. Most people in this country currently think both major political parties suck, and not without good reason.

The Republican Party started as a party of liberation under Lincoln and was a party of opportunity that worked for a broad expansion of the middle class under Eisenhower. Even a corrupted soul like Nixon once proposedguaranteed basic income for every American family. The GOP has since morphed into a party of privilege. Both its rhetoric and actions regularly show a devotion to hierarchy — rich over poor, man over woman, white over brown or black, old over young, straight over gay, management over labor.

dems-v-repubThe Democratic Party, on the other hand, has become synonymous with handouts. It is widely seen as the party of entitlement. This irks loyal Democratic partisans to no end, but the truth is the party’s actions over the years have repeatedly reinforced this image.

Most Americans deeply value equality. Our nation was born out of rebellion against a king’s power. The rejection of royalty is in our DNA, giving us a natural sense of fairness and distaste for privilege. Getting to start out at third base is repugnant to most Americans. But at the same time, there is a widespread belief that you should earn your keep. Taking without paying, getting without giving, rubs your average American the wrong way too.

All this leaves most people in this country at odds with what the two major parties presently stand for. In fairness, what the major parties have become is a reflection of two generations worth of emphasis on individual advancement and self fulfillment in American society. Both privilege and entitlement are products of me-focused politics. But conditions require — and predict — a politics that is more we-centered, and visible signs indicate movement in that direction. That leaves the parties in step with where we’ve been but out of step with where we’re headed.

Entitlement needs to give way to a focus on service, to each other and to society as a whole. Privilege must be replaced by a commitment to equality and democracy. The longer the parties fail to change their ways and remake themselves, the more likely it becomes that a new major party will eventually emerge. Having so many voters looking at the parties and increasingly despising what they see is not a sustainable condition. It creates a vacuum, and nature hates vacuums.

Big change is coming. What form it will take and when it arrives is up to the parties . . . and the people.

— Mike McCabe

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Read more from the author at http://www.BlueJeanNation.com/

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 15:49
 
Why Are Some Trying To Destroy Our Education System? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Paul Linzmeyer   
Sunday, 21 August 2016 18:40

uwgb-studentsWhat happens if we turn our educational system into a supply chain of workers to fit our jobs, a place to manufacture workforce competent doers, but not critical thinkers? Company President and former Chair of the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce examines the shortsightedness of business leaders and politicians who attack our K-12 and university systems.


GREEN BAY - Having been in business my whole career, I found most business people to have relatively good intentions. Obviously, there are the bad actors, but the same can be said for any sector in our community.

However, I find that most business people abdicate their voices to organizations like the Chambers of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce when it comes to issues of substance, like education. That is not only unfortunate, but it is done at their peril. When it comes to education, the sustainability of their business future and the future of the communities they serve is at stake if they do not get it right.

I know a bit about what I speak as I was Chair of the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce in 2003. I chaired the Bay Area Workforce Development Board for 8 years, the Employers Workforce Development Network for over 4 years, the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association for about 2 years, and the Wisconsin Council on Workforce Investment for about 4 years.

One of the things that was very clear to me not only as a company president, but also as one deeply immersed in the challenges of our economy was that we have an education system that is only somewhat designed to give the workforce competent “doers”, but was somewhat challenged in creating quality “thinkers”.

It is not that the graduates of our technical colleges and universities didn’t go in with a desire to learn and explore, it is that the system is no longer designed to generate quality thinkers, but rather doers with various levels of quality.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 09:15
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