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Wis Democracy Campaign "Did Foxconn Skirt Lobby Law?" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Monday, 14 August 2017 02:32

FOXCONNMADISON - We just posted a piece that explores whether Foxconn failed to register as a lobbyist in a timely fashion, which I thought might interest you:

Did Foxconn violate state lobby law?

The Foxconn bill, by the way, also includes some corporate welfare to a Milwaukee company whose executives gave Gov. Walker $7,500 over the last several years:

Foxconn corporate welfare bill includes $10M giveaway for Fiserv

Speaking of Walker, this week he signed a bill that could jeopardize our health and safety. It’s called the REINS law, and you should check out the praise that a major Koch Brothers group lavished on Walker for signing it:

Walker approves WMC, Koch-backed anti-regulation bill

In the interest of transparency, several Democratic lawmakers are asking Attorney General Brad Schimel to let us all know how much his office has been spending on pet lawsuits of the conservative movement nationally:

Dem lawmakers want DOJ to disclose civil case costs

And also in the interest of transparency, we brought to light some of the biggest donors – Republican and Democratic alike – to so-called 527 groups in the last six months. See who is throwing the most money around:

Wisconsin contributors gave $2M+ to electioneering groups

I hope your summer is going well, despite the nuclear cloud!*

Best,

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

 
Democratic radio "The Foxconn Con" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Bridget Esser   
Saturday, 12 August 2017 16:52

MADISON, WI – Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.

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

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hello, I’m Senator Mark Miller with this week’s democratic radio address.

“Governor Walker recently announced a deal to give away billions in taxpayer dollars to the unreliable tech company Foxconn. He is willing to roll-back environmental protections to woo a company known to bail on commitments with other states and countries. Foxconn has a reputation of promising the moon and failing to deliver anything. Statistics show that Foxconn is an extremely unproductive company by American standards and will likely come nowhere near paying the salaries or employment numbers that the GOP is touting, if they follow through at all.

“Fuzzy on the details, Walker has no problem eliminating environmental protections and charging the taxpayers of Wisconsin $1200 per household per job, to bring Foxconn to Wisconsin. This has all the earmarks potentially to be an extremely bad deal for Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin currently has a serious budget problem and we’re looking at the largest budget in state history, yet Walker is offering $3 billion incentive package. Wisconsin doesn’t have $3 billion – so what more gets cut to afford this?

“Additionally, what does a deal like this, full of incentives and exemptions, tell an existing company here in Wisconsin, struggling with payrolls of their own.

“We have been down this road before – promised jobs with the mine in northern Wisconsin. No mine. No jobs. Governor Walker is so desperate after his jobs promise failure, that he is willing to give away the farm without any guarantees. Instead of telling those with legitimate concerns, to go suck lemons – Governor Walker needs to prove that he isn’t getting Wisconsin suckered into being stuck with a lemon..”

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 August 2017 17:16
 
Americans are Far More Sane than Washington Warmongers PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Saturday, 12 August 2017 02:39

war2A veteran who served in Korea believes too many juveniles in the White House, Congress and the military, are like high school wise guys saying “Nobody can tell me what to do".

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 August 2017 03:23
Read more...
 
Blue Jean Nation "Democrats will win again when. . ." PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Monday, 07 August 2017 21:44

wisdemsDemocrats will win again when they show discomfort with the current political culture and all the ladder climbing and nest feathering and back scratching gives way to actual public service and sacrifice for the greater good.


ALTOONA, WI - Over the course of my 57 years, I’ve never seen a time when our public institutions were more disrespected and distrusted. And with good reason. I’ve also never seen a time when government was less responsive to regular people. Over and over, our government is put to work for a privileged few, the wealthy and well-connected. People notice this. They realize their own voices aren’t being heard and their own interests are not being served. That’s a sure recipe for disrespect and distrust of public institutions.

These conditions are especially poisonous to the Democratic Party. The Democrats are widely seen as the party of government. There is reality to that perception. Of the two major parties, it’s the Democrats who most strongly believe that government is essential to a civil society and can have a positive and constructive impact on people’s lives.

But here’s the problem for Democrats. It’s next to impossible to be popular as the party of public institutions at a time when so many people have so little faith in those institutions. People see public officials climbing the ladder, advancing their careers, feathering their own nests. They see those officials exchanging favors, scratching the backs of those who scratch theirs. None of that looks much like public service.

This is why Democrats have been on a decades-long losing streak and are in worse shape as a party than at any point in my lifetime. It’s why Democrats do not control either house of Congress or the White House. And why they are not calling the shots in two-thirds of state capitals, including Wisconsin’s. Being the party of disrespected and distrusted public institutions explains why Democrats have lost more than 1,000 seats in Congress, state legislatures and governor’s offices across the nation just since 2008.

The current political culture celebrates greed. It emphasizes self advancement over the common good. It treats public service as just another opportunity for self dealing. When such a culture flourishes, it’s today’s Republican Party that much more comfortably fits the role of the party of the times we live in. Democrats can say they are concerned for the common good and are acting in the public interest, but when they appear to be operating comfortably within the system as it works today and when they cater to a few constituencies at everyone else’s expense, voters inevitably see them as hypocrites. In a political culture where greed is triumphant and self dealing the norm, Republicans are credited for at least being upfront about their intentions and Democrats are punished for hypocrisy.

Democrats will win again when they show genuine discomfort with the current political culture and the way the system presently functions. Democrats will win again when the political culture is changed, when all the ladder climbing and nest feathering and back scratching gives way to actual public service and actual acts of sacrifice for the greater good. Democrats will win again when today’s me politics becomes tomorrow’s we politics.

And not before.

— Mike McCabe

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 August 2017 09:40
 
“The Foxconn Resistance” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Sunday, 06 August 2017 09:39

foxconn_resistanceWe discuss the $3 billion plus Foxconn plan currently being rushed through the Assembly, the collapse of the GOP Senate health care repeal, and more...


MILWAUKEE - We welcome state representative Jonathan Brostoff to talk about his early opposition to the $3 billion plus Foxconn plan that is currently being rushed through the Assembly. We analyze the political dynamic that will likely result from a number of Democrats supporting the Foxconn deal and what investments progressive champions should support to create real economic opportunity throughout the state.

Robert discusses the collapse of the GOP Senate health care repeal, Trump’s sabotage, and what’s next in the healthcare fight. We close the show with Jorna educating us on the viscous Trump effort to restrict immigration.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 August 2017 10:06
Read more...
 
Legislators Should Fully Vet Foxconn Deal PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Laura Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Saturday, 05 August 2017 10:30

walker-terry-gou-foxconnRhetoric from Foxconn cheerleaders on deal may be too good to be true and $3 Billion is a lot to spend on vague promises.


HOWARD, WI - While President Donald Trump, Gov. Scott Walker, and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan are busy celebrating and advertising the Foxconn deal toboost their re-election campaigns, others are looking more closely at the deal and finding things to be concerned about – like the fact that the Taiwan-based electronics giant is one of the world’s most brutal employers, notorious for driving workers to suicide.

They are now poised to reward Foxconn with a whopping $3 billion “incentive” package — the largest in Wisconsin history – with the bulk of this subsidy being paid out in cash.

Reports from economic development specialists say that incentives like these for Foxconn are a waste of money for state and local governments.

Promises of family-sustaining wages are often forgotten by major corporations once the public funding is in hand, and Foxconn is undergoing a major automation plan that might very well leave those hired at lower wages without jobs at all within 15 years.

Finally, the big question remains whether Foxconn can be counted on to hold up its end of the deal and keep its promise to invest $10 billion in Wisconsin in exchange for $3 billion in state tax incentives.

Legislators would be wise to fully scrutinize the agreement in terms of jobs, wages, and the state’s capacity to provide services as it shells out $3 billion to Foxconn.

Things that appear too good to be true, generally are.

 
Democratic Radio "Celebrate the Wisconsin State Fair" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Democrats   
Saturday, 05 August 2017 08:43

FairWEST ALLIS, WI – Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) offered the following Democratic Weekly Radio address today regarding the opening of the Wisconsin State Fair.

"The State Fair first started in 1851 in Janesville, and has a long tradition of bringing Wisconsinites together for unique entertainment and incredibly good food. Whether your focus is the first-class musical entertainment on the Main Stage, or seeing award-winning farm animals with your kids, the State Fair is a fun way for the family to enjoy all the great things in Wisconsin." - Sen. Tim Carpenter

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

A written transcript of the address is below:

tim-carpenter"Hello, this is State Sen. Tim Carpenter. I hope you are enjoying all the great things about our summer in Wisconsin! From visiting church festivals, watching our kids play, Dairy Breakfasts, or cooking brats on the grill, summer is a great time of year to be outdoors in Wisconsin. And one of my all-time favorite events – the Wisconsin State Fair!

"The State Fair first started in 1851 in Janesville, and has a long tradition of bringing together Wisconsinites for unique entertainment and incredibly good food. Whether your focus is on the first-class musical entertainment on the Main Stage, or the award-winning farm animals with your kids, the State Fair is a fun way for the family to enjoy all the great things in Wisconsin.

"Of course, we can’t talk about Wisconsin’s State Fair without mentioning the food. Famous cream puffs, roasted corn, and every creative type of a fried treat. My father used to refer to spending a happy day at State Fair as “eating my way through the State Fair” and I will try to keep up that tradition. I hope you will join me with friends and family and create new enjoyable memories at the Wisconsin’s State Fair."

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 August 2017 09:35
 
Foxconn Hearing: Big Promises, Little Details, Lacks Transportation Plan PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 04 August 2017 11:11

david-crowleyRep Crowley of Milwaukee says we need to have more details of the deal before we sign off on it.


MADISON, WI – State Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee), issued the following statement in response to the Assembly Jobs Committee hearing on proposed Foxconn legislation.

“First, let me be clear: I support creating jobs in Wisconsin, for Wisconsinites. However, the legislative process surrounding this particular proposal is moving too fast for any of us to make an informed and accurate decision about whether or not to support the Foxconn legislative proposal put before us today.

"Given the lack of details we have on a bill that would cost the state in excess of $3 billion, it would be irresponsible of us to move forward with it at this time. I cannot support this legislation without first seeing more details, including the actual contract with Foxconn which has not even been negotiated and written yet. I encourage my fellow legislators to exercise the same caution that I am.

“I also have a number of concerns about the lack of environmental stipulations and labor standards that the Foxconn deal would bring to Wisconsin. Foxconn has a troubling history of labor abuses and of disregarding environmental regulations in order to meet their bottom line. What guarantees can Governor Walker or the executives at Foxconn give Wisconsin that will alleviate these concerns?

“Finally, for me to support this legislation, we must ensure that the thousands of Milwaukee’s unemployed and underemployed have the opportunity and the ability to take advantage of these family supporting jobs. That means creating a public transit option, connecting the City of Milwaukee with the proposed job site locations. If we are serious about this legislation creating jobs for Wisconsin residents, this is an essential step towards accomplishing that goal.

“Wisconsin should invest in new jobs, this much is clear. However, it is hard to vote for or against a deal that I have little necessary details on. We need to guarantee that we have the details of the deal before we sign off on it and demonstrate that we are also committed to creating the ability for Wisconsin citizens living in the region to get to these potential new job.”

 
“FoxCon Game?” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:22

foxcon_gameTrump and Walker’s $3 billion bribe to Foxconn, the failed repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump's ban on transgendered Americans in the military, Matt Rothschild on school vouchers, and more...


MILWAUKEE - We dive into the slim details surrounding Trump and Walker’s $3 billion bribe to Foxconn to build a display panel plant in Wisconsin that could employ 3,000 - 13,000 workers (if you believe Foxconn).

We review the latest on Senate GOP’s bizarre legislative effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act through a so-called “skinny” repeal. We are joined by Healthcare For All Organizing Cooperative member Joan Hanson to talk about the co-op's long term organizing plan for universal healthcare.

Jorna helps explain why Trump wants to ban transgendered Americans from serving in the military.

We close the show with Matthew Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, who reviews new WDC research showing that between January 2010 and December 2016, mostly out-of-state school voucher interests doled out about $8.5 million in direct campaign contributions and outside election spending in legislative and statewide races – nearly all of it to support Republican candidates.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #304

Download MP3

Citizen Action Press Clips

***

Citizen Action of Wisconsin · 221 S 2nd St, suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204, United States

citizenactionwi.org

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:44
 
Mike McCabe 'Do We Put All Our Eggs in the Foxconn Basket?' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Friday, 28 July 2017 15:36

walker-terry-gou-foxconnPoliticians typically try to build the economy top down, showering tax breaks and subsidies on a few thousand of the richest among us or even just one company like Foxconn. The other way is from the bottom up, giving the whole population the means to do more for themselves. Bottom-up is best.


ALTOONA - To me, the most important question is not whether Foxconn is a good company. Or whether Foxconn can be trusted to deliver on its promises. Or whether the benefits of this deal for Wisconsin will at least equal the costs to the public when all is said and done. These are all very important questions, but not the most important.

The most important question is what basket should we be putting our eggs in? If we're going to spend $3 billion, should it be to subsidize the expansion of one company from Taiwan, or should we spend it to empower the more than 5 million people who call Wisconsin home?

I think we should spend it on people. We should concentrate on developing the human potential of our own population. We should be equipping people to do for themselves rather than hoping that a multinational corporation from the other side of the world will work some magic for us.

Most new jobs get created by small businesses, not global conglomerates. But countless people with great ideas who dream of starting their own businesses too often feel trapped, with no choice but to stay in dead-end jobs because that's the only way they can hold on to health insurance for their families. Using our resources to guarantee health care for all and detach health insurance from employment would be one of the single best investments we could possibly make to unleash the creativity and ingenuity of our state's population. People would be free to be entrepreneurs and take their ideas and turn them into new businesses.

What's the best use for $3 billion? What basket should we be putting our eggs in? The way I see it, the best investment is developing the potential of Wisconsin's population through things like health care for all, affordable and debt-free education and job training, and bringing 21st Century necessities like high-speed Internet to every household in the state.

There are two paths to building a sturdy economy. Politicians typically try doing it from the top down, showering tax breaks and state subsidies on a few thousand of the richest among us or even just one company in hopes that some of what they get will trickle down to the rest of us. The other way is from the bottom up, giving the whole population the means to do more for themselves and each other.

The bottom-up approach is the best bet.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 July 2017 16:23
 
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