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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
 
Proceed with Caution During Foxconn Frenzy PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:23

trump-walker-foxconn-anncWisconsinites should not blindly put their faith, and money, in this jobs promise. We’ve been deceived by Walker’s rose-tinted glasses before.


MADISON - It is with good reason that Wisconsinites are not yet willing to blindly put their faith, and money, in a feeble jobs promise. We’ve been deceived by Walker’s rose-tinted glasses before.

Since taking office, Walker has left a trail of broken promises. His pattern of deception has resulted in our hard-earned tax dollars being handed over to campaign donors and companies that outsource, as well as some of the biggest tax breaks going to the richest people in the state, some of whom have used tax loopholes to avoid paying any state income tax for years.

chris-larsonOur neighbors care about making sure this is a good deal for everyone in Wisconsin. Any move for Foxconn to locate in Wisconsin must also fit with the spirit of our great state. We look to partner with companies that will respect our state’s shared lands and waters. We should reward companies that pay our neighbors a living wage and treat them fairly. If they expect special treatment, they need to have a long-term commitment to our state so we know they won’t abandon Wisconsin as soon as a new enticement goes on the table from somewhere else.

Wisconsin leaders should not commit to corporate welfare or anything that carves out special exceptions in our laws if it will unfairly hurt local businesses already in our state. Every small-business owner knows: with a billion dollar pinky swear, the devil is always in the details.

Too many people in our state are struggling in low-wage jobs and living in fear that any day the security of health care could be pulled out from under them. They deserve leaders who will be looking out for their future.

We demand fairness, and that’s what we’ll be looking for in this deal.

***

Senator Larson released this statement Wednesday on the anticipated announcement that Foxconn would open a plant in southeastern Wisconsin.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 13:55
 
Wis Democracy Campaign "School Voucher $$$" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:46

wis-democracy-campaign$8.5 million reasons why State GOP wants to expand school vouchers, financial filings at Walker run Republican Governors Association, and more...


MADISON - While almost all the press coverage on the state budget lately has been about the petty bickering among GOP leaders over transportation, there’s been little attention paid to a relatively united GOP effort to greatly expand school vouchers. We show the money behind this push here.

$8.5M reasons Wisconsin GOP wants to expand school vouchers

In other news, our research staff has been pouring over recent financial filings of special interest electioneering groups. One such group is the Republican Governors Association, now headed by none other than Scott Walker. That may be why some wealthy Wisconsinites decided to fork it over, as we note here:

10 Wisconsin donors give outside electioneering group $1M+

You know why I don’t get depressed by all this big money being tossed around, even when we see it up close and personal every day here?

Because I also see an amazing grassroots movement to do something about this. I bet you didn’t know that Wisconsin is second only to Massachusetts in the number of communities that have voted, by overwhelming margins, that they want to amend the U.S. Constitution to proclaim, once and for all, that corporations aren’t persons and money isn’t speech. It’s been voted on in in 112 communities, and it's passed every single time!

In Door County alone, seven communities have climbed on board just in the last six months, as you’ll see here:

Door County pushes amendment to overturn Citizens United

This is one of the most under-reported stories in the state. You heard it here first!

I hope you’re having a nice summer.

Best,

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

P.S. Please support our urgent work with a tax-deductible gift by clicking here or making and mailing a check to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

 
GOP Health Care Repeal Still Cruel PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jennifer Shilling, State Senator 32nd District   
Saturday, 22 July 2017 12:09

elderly-crowdThe health care repeal, also known as TrumpCare, will affect every single resident in Wisconsin. So why are some politicians still supporting it?


MADISON - After weeks of overwhelming opposition, Republican politicians are still pushing a cruel health care repeal that increases costs, limits coverage and jeopardizes access to care. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the latest repeal plan would double health care premiums and result in 32 million more uninsured Americans by 2026.

The health care repeal, also known as TrumpCare, will affect every single resident in Wisconsin. So why are some politicians still supporting it?

Gov. Walker and a handful of legislative Republicans have been vocal supporters of the health care repeal effort. Rather than lowering health care costs, they have sided with out-of-state HMOs and pharmaceutical companies whose CEOs profit by gaming the health care system.

jennifer-shilling-portrait-2017The latest version of TrumpCare continues to favor these special interests by cutting taxes for the wealthy, raising out-of-pocket costs on working families and making huge cuts to Medicaid. Even more troubling for Wisconsin families, Republicans have refused to stand up and protect individuals with pre-existing conditions from the uncertainty created by TrumpCare.

Roughly half of all Wisconsin residents have some form of pre-existing health condition. From asthma and diabetes to cancer and heart disease, we all know someone who has been affected by a serious health condition at some point in their life. Through no fault of their own, these individuals could see massive price spikes or lose their coverage if the repeal plan approved by Speaker Paul Ryan moves forward.

These consequences haven’t deterred Republicans and their special interest allies. In fact, Gov. Walker admitted early on that he was open to eliminating protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. His statement shocked and disappointed many families who are already struggling with difficult illnesses and costly treatments.

Rather than siding with big-money special interests, Wisconsin Democrats introduced a series of solutions to protect health care access and lower costs. We believe residents shouldn’t be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. We believe access to preventive care shouldn’t come with a premium penalty. And we believe that insurance companies shouldn’t be the ones writing their own rules.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 14:30
Read more...
 
"GOP repeal in critical condition" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 21 July 2017 11:49

gop_repeal_in_critical_conditionWe discuss health care repeal and the Russian scandal, the movement for fair elections in Wisconsin, 620 AM WTMJ efforts in Milwaukee to prevent Resistance Radio 1510 AM, and more...


STATEWIDE - We discuss whether the health care repeal crisis or the Russian scandal are diverting too much attention from other Trumpian threats and dig deeper into the next steps in the health care fight.

Anna Dvorak, organizer for the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative, joins the panel to update listeners on the movement for fair elections that is sweeping the state.

Mike Crute, of the Devil's Advocates and the owner of a new progressive radio station in Milwaukee, joins us to discuss the shady and undemocratic effort by mega station 620 AM WTMJ in Milwaukee to prevent Resistance Radio 1510 AM from getting an FM station signal to allow 24 hour programming.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #303

Download MP3

Citizen Action Press Clips

****

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

http://www.citizenactionwi.org/

 
Democratic Radio "Democrats Want Solutions, Not Inaction" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 20 July 2017 11:24

closed session20 days past the budget deadline, and we’re nowhere closer to having a budget passed. Republican leaders are too busy arguing behind closed doors.


katrina-shanklandMADISON – Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) offers the Democratic Weekly Radio Address on the ongoing budget fight between Republican leaders:

"While Democrats call for solutions, Republican lawmakers haven’t even called a budget committee meeting for a month leaving our kids shortchanged once again," Rep. Shankland said. "A budget is about priorities, and right now, it sure seems like Wisconsin Republicans have the same priorities as D.C. Republicans—chaos and inaction. It’s past time to roll up our sleeves and pass a budget together."

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here, and the video can be found here or below.

Democratic Weekly Radio Address - "Democrats Want Solutions, Not Inaction"

A written transcript of the address is below:

"Hi, I’m Representative Katrina Shankland with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

"It’s 20 days past the budget deadline, and we’re nowhere closer to having a budget passed. Why? Republican leaders are too busy arguing behind closed doors. Now, if most people missed a critical deadline by weeks at their job, they’d be fired. Yet Governor Walker and Republican legislators continue to enjoy government paychecks and benefits while failing to deliver a budget that will actually help Wisconsin families.

"It’s time to bring Democrats to the table so we can invest in our families, schools and roads. Democrats have a plan to restore the harmful cuts Republicans have made to public education. Our education plan would lower property taxes, fully restore funding to our public schools and make new investments in special education programs and our rural districts. Our kids deserve this investment in their future and nothing less.

"While Democrats call for solutions, Republican lawmakers haven’t even called a budget committee meeting for a month leaving our kids shortchanged once again. In fact, some Republican legislators are actually at an ALEC conference right now taking orders from out-of-state special interests. That’s no way to govern.

"After all, a budget is about priorities, and right now, it sure seems like Wisconsin Republicans have the same priorities as D.C. Republicans—chaos and inaction. It’s past time to roll up our sleeves and pass a budget together."

 
Walker Republican Budget No Fix to Education, Transportation Needs says Erpenbach PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 08:17

school-parentsMost costly budget in history still short changes our public schools and transportation funding crisis.


MADISON - This state budget will spend over $76 billion dollars, more than any other state budget. The money is there to support our schools and our roads; Republicans just have to make that their priority. Our schools have faced over $1.1 billion in cuts in the Governor Walker Republican era in Madison and anything short of fully restoring those funds is shortchanging our communities and our children. Without strong educational experiences our children will not be ready to work at Foxconn or anywhere else when they graduate.

For years Democrats have been willing to work with any Republican who is interested in a long term solution to solve our transportation funding crisis. Still there seems to be not one Senate Republican willing to fix what we know is broken and have the courage to fund the infrastructure needed to improve our state’s economy. Kicking the can down the road again this budget is a nightmare for our economy. The Republican Senate “solutions” are failures for our people and it is inexcusable.

 
Democracy Campaign 'Join the Fair Maps Movement!' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 07:51

wdc/fair-mapsMatt Rothschild supports a bill that would bring nonpartisan redistricting to Wisconsin.


MADISON - Just last week, the Green County Board voted overwhelmingly to support a nonpartisan model for drawing our political maps in Wisconsin. It’s time to end gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and momentum is on our side!

Green County became the 14th county this year alone to pass such a resolution, and 21 counties in total are now on board—see the full list here.

If your county is not on the list and you want to put it there, please use this handy guide from our friends at Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative:

Guide to Passing a County Resolution on Fair Maps

A good contact person is Anna Dvorak at Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Here’s her email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Another good contact person is Hans Breitenmoser, a Lincoln County supervisor who helped get the ball rolling this year: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

One other thing you could do is call your legislators and urge them to support a bill that would bring nonpartisan redistricting to Wisconsin. It’s been introduced by Sen. Dave Hansen and Rep. Don Vruwink (SB13/ AB44). You can contact your legislators by calling 1-800-362-9472. 

Thanks for joining the Fair Maps Movement (#FairMaps)!

Best,

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

 
“Zaxs in DC & Madison” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 14 July 2017 18:47

zaxs_in_dc_and_madisonRepublicans in DC & Madison are failing to repeal health care or approve a state budget.


STATEWIDE - Much like Dr. Seuss’ Zaxs, GOP leaders who control all levers of power in DC & Madison are puffing their chests up with pride but failing to repeal health care or approve a state budget.

We discuss the Senate healthcare bill 2.0 that GOP leaders are hoping to pass next week without the CBO score they promised. The panel reviews the GOP stalemate in Madison over the state budget and explores the opportunity it presents progressive leaders to articulate a compelling vision ahead of 2018 elections.

We also take a sneak peek at the electoral opportunity Paul Ryan’s failed Speaker-ship is presenting Democrats, and the Congressional town hall we held without Ryan in his own district with another Congressman.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #302
Download MP3
Citizen Action Press Clips

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

 
Democracy Campaign 'Back in touch...Fair Maps Town Halls near you' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 14 July 2017 10:42

highway-wiSpecial interests and the road funding plan, the Wisconsin Supreme Court copout on conflict-of-interest rules, the influence peddler of the month, and more...


MADISON - Sorry I haven’t been in touch for a bit. Between the long July 4th weekend and my son coming home for my birthday (which was yesterday), I didn’t get around to updating you on what we’ve been posting and on some exciting redistricting reform efforts under way.

So please let me catch you up.

On the budget transportation impasse, we noted the power of the trucking industry and the big business lobby:

GOP leader tells special interests to cough up road funding plan

Then, in a story that we broke here at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, we reported on Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s scorching response to the Court’s written justification for not tightening its conflict-of-interest rules:

Wisconsin Supreme Court buries recusal in “feeble” move

And, as we do every month, we anointed another special interest group with our not-so-highly-coveted Influence Peddler of the Month Award. Here’s who won it this month:

Influence peddler of the month - Wisconsin Hospital Association

On the gerrymandering issue, I have to say it’s really getting hot. About a dozen counties, just this year, have passed resolutions urging the State Legislature to draw district maps in a nonpartisan manner. Contact us if you do not see your county on the list.

And we got a record number of signatures on our petition for fair voting maps when we were tabling at the Farmers’ Market in Madison for a couple hours on July 1. And attendance at #FairMaps events all over the state are high. We encourage you to share and attend an upcoming Fair Maps Town Hall convenient to you. A complete list can be found here.

  • Wednesday, July 12, at 7:00 PM, at the Germantown Library, N112W16957 Mequon Road, Germantown. Paul Geenen, OFA_WI State Lead, is the speaker. Facebook event page here.
  • Sunday, July 16, at at 4:30pm - 6pm, North Shore Presbyterian Church, 4048 N Bartlett Ave, Shorewood. The Democracy Campaign is a co-sponsor. Share Facebook event page here.
  • Wednesday, July 26, at 6:00 PM, at the Brewer Public Library, 325 N. Central Avenue, Richland Center. Former Senators Dale Schultz and Tim Cullen are the speakers.
  • Thursday, July 27, at 6:30 PM, at the Orbiletti Center Lincoln Park, 6900 18th Avenue, Kenosha. Sachin Chheda, Fair Elections Project, is the speaker. Facebook event page here.

And there is legislation introduced by Sen. Dave Hansen and Rep. Don Vruwink (SB13/AB44) to enact nonpartisan legislative and congressional map-drawing here in Wisconsin. So please call your legislators at 1-800-362-9472 and urge them to pass this bill.

Thanks for your interest and your activism, as always.

Best,

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

P.S. If you like what we’re doing, please support our urgent work with a tax-deductible gift to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. It’s simple: Just click here. Thanks!

 
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