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Sen. Larson: In Rejecting Pfaff the Message was clear, Dissent Won’t be Allowed in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Thursday, 07 November 2019 13:38

dairy-cow-eating“While everyone in Wisconsin can deal with the smell of dairy manure, the crappy treatment of Pfaff and farmers by the GOP is a bad smell that will linger.” says Milwaukee legislator.

MILWAUKEE, WI –Senator Chris Larson released the following statement regarding Republicans refusing to confirm Secretary Designee Brad Pfaff.

“Brad Pfaff was raised on a farm here in Wisconsin, is eminently qualified for this job, and deserved better than this from legislative Republicans. The message sent by Senate Republicans is chilling: dissent won’t be allowed.

chris_larson“Brad Pfaff’s great sin was speaking the uncomfortable truth to Republicans in power that Wisconsin’s farmers are committing suicide at a greater rate than the general population. And for that, Senate Republicans fired him. Let’s be clear, our dairy farmers are in crisis because of the Republican policies that favor giant farms at the expense of our family operated farms. Brad acknowledged that.

“Rather than address the financial devastation of President Trump’s trade policies and work on stopping the heartbreaking loss of Wisconsin farms, Wisconsin’s Senate Republicans rejected a widely supported and respected Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Designee in Brad Pfaff. Rejecting his appointment is beyond disappointing at a time our small farmers need guidance and after this confirmation vote was held up for nine months after passing unanimously out of the Senate Agriculture Committee. And this simply because he spoke up regarding the GOPs lack of action on helping farmers who face mental health issues. This was petty partisanship at its worst and a bleak day in the Senate.

“While everyone in Wisconsin can deal with the smell of dairy manure, the crappy treatment of Pfaff and farmers by the GOP is a bad smell that will linger.”

Republicans Put Politics before Farmers - Again PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:59

door-county-peopleRepublican inaction on Joint Committee on Finance and rejection of Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff a blow to farmers.

MADISON – While Wisconsin is in the midst of a dairy crisis, Republicans have, once again, put politics ahead of Wisconsin farmers, and rejected the nomination of an overwhelmingly qualified candidate to lead the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). For the first time in modern Wisconsin history, Republicans have rejected a Secretary, purely for political reasons.

jon-erpenbach“Due to Republican inaction, farmers across Wisconsin were left waiting as the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) sat on funds to assist farmer mental health for months,” said Senator Erpenbach. “Our Agriculture Secretary - whose job it is to defend and advocate for farmers- had the courage to stand up and fight for farmers and against suicide. Unfortunately, that courage wasn’t replicated on the Senate floor today with no explanations of switched votes that cost our farmers the best qualified candidate for the job.”

Agriculture communities are near and dear to Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff, and that is what Wisconsin should expect from someone in that role. Until today, Republicans had come out in support of his leadership, experience, and vision for our farming communities. Every Republican on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions, had already voted in favor of Secretary-Designee Pfaff in February, including Senators Marklein, Petrowski, Testin, Jacque, and Bernier.

More importantly, organizations across the state have urged the legislature to support his confirmation, including the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, among others.

“When the United States Secretary of Agriculture comes to our state and tells our farmers to go big or go home, and the Republicans serving in our State Senate continually cause uncertainty for our agriculture communities, from leaving mental health unfunded to rejecting a highly qualified secretary because he stood up for farmers, we have to ask what Republicans stand for. After today, it is hard for anyone to say that Republicans stand for farmers.”

Testin Abandons Wisconsin Farmers Say WisDems PDF Print E-mail
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Katie Iliff   
Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:41

tractor-flagDespite pleas from farm families, Republicans rejects DATCP Secretary

MADISON - Amid the ongoing dairy crisis caused by President Trump’s unfair trade war, local family farms were dealt another blow as Senate Republicans voted to reject Governor Tony Evers’ appointment of Brad Pfaff as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Their opposition comes at a time when Wisconsin farm bankruptcies and farmer suicide rates are on the rise.

“It is unconscionable that Republicans would stoop so low and reject Secretary-designee Pfaff who has been nothing but a credible and knowledgeable advocate for local family farms,” said SSDC Executive Director Katie Iliff. “To add insult to injury, Republicans like Senator Patrick Testin, that have already voted in support of Pfaff, turned their back on our rural communities and jeopardized our dairy farmers. The residents of central Wisconsin deserve better than Patrick Testin who is clearly more interested in playing petty political games.”

As members on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions that represent predominantly rural areas Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Sen. Petrowksi (R-Marathon), Sen. Testin (R-Stevens Point), Sen. Jacque (R-DePere), Sen. Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) all previously voted in support of Secretary-designee Pfaff. Their flip-flop is the latest example of Republican obstruction that further escalates the dairy crisis in Wisconsin.

Republicans Put Politics over Wisconsin’s Farming Communities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 14:50

wisc-dairy-farmRejection of Brad Pfaff for Agriculture post is a cynical, partisan maneuver made with no thought for Wisconsin’s farming communities says Hintz.

MADISON - On Friday, Senate Republican leadership indicated that there were not enough votes in their caucus to confirm Secretary-Designee Brad Pfaff at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement:

gordon_hintz“Brad grew up on a farm and has dedicated his life to advocating for Wisconsin farmers, agriculture, and our rural communities. This is politics at its worst, and most vindictive. To be clear, the only reason this is happening is because Brad Pfaff dared to shine a light on the disgraceful Republican inaction on access to farmer mental health care. To Republicans, standing up for farmers was a fireable offense. This is a cynical, partisan maneuver made with no thought for Wisconsin’s farming communities. This action will create more instability for family farmers who have already been harmed by a reckless trade war and chaos at the federal level.

“I have known Brad personally for 23 years and you would be hard pressed to find someone with his breadth of experience in Wisconsin agriculture and who has served their state in numerous capacities most of their adult life.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2019 15:22
Republican Pettiness Threatens Family Farmers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 14:32

farm-familyEven while Wisconsin lost nearly 700 dairy farms last year as President Trump escalated his reckless trade war, State Republicans reject appointment of tireless advocate and ally for farmers.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2019 16:16
WI Democracy Campaign: Wis. Insurance Lobby PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Saturday, 02 November 2019 14:13

wdc-logoMADISON - We just posted our “Influence Peddler of the Month,” and this month it goes to the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, which has spent $3.4 million since 2011 to push through a raft of anti-consumer laws, as you’ll see here:

Influence Peddler of the Month – Wisconsin Insurance Alliance

Earlier this week, we posted an item on the anti-protest bill aimed at pipeline demonstrators. It’s a bill that’s supported both by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and by the AFL-CIO of Wisconsin:

Felony Trespass Bills Draw Support from Infrequent Bed Fellows

Next week, on Wed night, I’m giving a talk in Hartford on "Why We Need to Ban Gerrymandering in Wisconsin." It’s at 6:00 p.m. at the Jack Russell Memorial Library, 100 Park Avenue. So if you’re in the area, please come.

matt-rothschildAnd then on Saturday, I’ll be speaking at the big statewide Fair Maps for Wisconsin Summit in Marshfield, which I hope you’ll also be able to attend. It’s at the Hotel Marshfield, and for more information on it, please go here:

This movement to ban gerrymandering is one of the most exciting grassroots efforts under way in Wisconsin right now, and we’re thrilled to play our part in it.

I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.


P.S. If you support our work for fair voting maps, and for exposing the influence peddlers, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Thanks!

“Robin Vos doesn’t know if climate change is real… probably” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 01 November 2019 10:25

speaker-vos-says-climateMILWAUKEE - We lead off with Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos' dangerously ignorant statements about climate change this week. Is the right-wing of the Republican Party the greatest threat to the survival of humanity?

Next we are joined by Citizen Action’s Healthcare Director Claire Zautke to discuss a new Georgetown study finding that Trump's sabotage of the ACA is forcing many children off health care coverage in Wisconsin and nationally. We look at new legislation for marijuana decriminalization in Wisconsin, and new research that finds Wisconsin again has the worst gap in academic achievement between black and white students.

Finally ex-Congressman Sean “Duffman” Duffy puts his foot in his mouth again, this time shamelessly questioning a decorated Army veteran's loyalty to country in an effort to circle the wagons around Donald Trump.

Listen now - Episode #415

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Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2019 10:34
Democratic Radio: It’s Time Republicans Prioritize the Safety of Wisconsinites PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Friday, 01 November 2019 09:36

guncontrol-protestMADISON, WI – Senator LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) offered the Democratic weekly radio address this week on the urgent need to address gun violence in Wisconsin.

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here.

A written transcript of the address is below:

latonya-johnson“Hello, I’m State Senator LaTonya Johnson with this week’s radio address.

“Recently, Governor Tony Evers called for a special session to address gun violence by strengthening background checks and enacting Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Wisconsin.

“Mass shootings similar to El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have happened right here in our Wisconsin communities including Middleton, Brookfield, Oak Creek, and Wausau. And in many of our Milwaukee communities, children have become  the unintended victims of senseless gun violence.

“Unfortunately, despite these tragic events and the overwhelming public support for these two proposals – Republicans are refusing to take action.

“While the majority of gun owners are consistently responsible with their firearms, as legislators while we have a duty to keep our communities safe by keeping guns out of the hands that shouldn't have them, it is unacceptable to stand idly by while high-profile mass shootings routinely make headlines and bullets fly through city blocks taking the lives of innocent children. Every day that we don’t take action is one more day closer to another tragedy.

“Our children and their families should have the opportunity to go to school, places of worship, or simply play outside on their sidewalks in their communities knowing that it’s safe, free from the threat of deadly weapons and dangerous people. It’s time for Republicans to prioritize the safety of Wisconsinites.

Larson Supports Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Thursday, 31 October 2019 15:35

marijuanaplantshandsMILWAUKEE – I commend Lt. Gov. Barnes and Rep. Sheila Stubbs for continuing to spotlight the need for marijuana decriminalization. Every legislative session since 2015, I have introduced bills to decriminalize and legalize marijuana.

Support for legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana in Wisconsin has grown to be popular for many reasons. Including so sick people can get their medicine, because it is an additional source of revenue, and also to alleviate the burden on our criminal justice system. Our sick neighbors shouldn’t be subject to criminal penalty or jail time for getting medicine they can readily get in other states. Moderate taxation on marijuana sales would help fill budget holes. Decriminalization will reduce arrests of non-violent drug offenders and decrease the population in our over-crowded prisons. It would also ensure we’re not needlessly giving someone a criminal record, making it harder for them for find a job, rent an apartment, and live productive lives.

Decriminalization is both a fiscal and moral imperative. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated that Wisconsin spent $170.5 million in 2008 on marijuana prohibition.

chris_larsonAcross the nation, states are quickly moving to capture the benefits of both legalization and decriminalization with 33 states allowing medical use, 15 states have decriminalized marijuana, and 11 states have allowed recreational use. It is long past time for Wisconsin to take this next step.

The latest Marquette poll shows 59% of Wisconsin residents support making marijuana legal. Republican leaders in the legislature will continue to ignore their constituents – and our budget - at their political peril.

The Con Continues - Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Saturday, 26 October 2019 13:17

foxconn-con-2019MILWAUKEE, WI - We discuss this week’s impeachment news, including the storming of a closed hearing by right-wing Members of Congressmen. Foxconn announced this week that their highly touted “innovation centers” in Wisconsin cities will not happen any time soon.

Gov. Evers’ special session on guns is immediately rejected by Sen. Fitzgerald and other Republicans, who plan not to hold any debate or hearings.

Also Chicago educators are on strike joining autoworkers in taking direct action against economic injustice, and yet another MU Law School poll is released, with interesting results. We also welcome Citizen Action co-op member and Eau Claire County Board Supervisor Zoe Roberts to discuss the Eau Claire City Council passage of a resolution officially recognizing November 14-20 as Transgender Awareness Week and November 20th as Transgender Day of Remembrance.

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