Saturday December 7, 2019

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Sen. Smith: “Enough of Divide and Conquer Politics” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 24 July 2019 00:43

scott-fitzgeraldWisconsin is a great place to live, work and raise a family because of the unique cities that make up our state. Building relationships between our rural and urban communities makes us stronger.

Read more...
 
Democracy Campaign: Foresight of Justice Stevens PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 19 July 2019 15:02

wdc-logoMADISON - I was sad when I heard the news that Justice John Paul Stevens had died.

I was sad for personal reasons, since Justice Stevens and my father practiced law together in Chicago for many years and were very close.

And I was sad for political reasons, since Justice Stevens, when he was on the Court and afterwards, used his calm and logical and brilliant voice to advocate for a pro-democracy jurisprudence.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in his scorching dissent in the Citizens United case, and I excerpted some of his most powerful passages here:

Justice Stevens’s Dissent in Citizens United Lives On!

He warned that corporate special interests would have a field day, and so they have, here in Wisconsin, as we pointed out the record spending by corporations and PACs last season:

PAC, Corporate Contributions Hit Record $27M

And we also posted something this week on the record amount spent in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race earlier this year:

2019 Supreme Court Race Cost Record $8.2 Million+

This week, we also weighed in on the issue of the veto power of Wisconsin’s governor, which we have consistently viewed as overbroad:

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on Gov’s Veto Power

And on Tuesday, there was a jam-packed press conference in the State Capitol in favor of legislation to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin. Here’s what I said at that press conference:

A Democracy with Fair Play (or watch here)

Those companion bills, by the way, are SB288 and AB303. Please contact your legislators to support those bills, and please contact the chairs of the relevant committees to demand they hold public hearings on them.

matt-rothschildThe chairs of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection are Senator Stroebel (Chair) and Senator Kapenga (Vice-Chair).

The chairs of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections are Representative Tusler (Chair) and Representative Sanfelippo (Vice-Chair).

You can reach state legislators at 1-800-362-9472 or 266-9960 in Madison.

Thanks for your activism on this issue!

Last Updated on Friday, 19 July 2019 15:17
 
Democratic Radio: Fair Maps for a Fair Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 18 July 2019 10:34

voters_lineMADISON - Rep. Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) talks about bill she and Senator Dave Hansen rolled out this month that would create a non-partisan redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Audio File of Radio Address

Hello, I am State Representative Robyn Vining with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

Senator Dave Hansen and I rolled out a bill this month that would create a non-partisan redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Every 10 years, new lines are drawn for legislative districts. The bill we authored would take that power away from politicians, and place the responsibility with a non-partisan service agency called the Legislative Reference Bureau.

robyn-viningOur democracy has been threatened by partisan gerrymandering. Rigged maps allow politicians to ignore the will of the people, because their legislative seats are safe. Gerrymandering also distorts election results.

Last November, all five statewide elections in Wisconsin were won by Democrats. Assembly Democrats received 200,000 more votes than Assembly Republicans statewide. And yet, in the State Assembly, the divide stands at 63 Republicans and 36 Democrats.

Wisconsinites have a constitutional right to be fairly represented by their elected officials, regardless of their political affiliation. They have a right for their voices to be heard. But right now, legislators are ignoring the will of the people – because they don’t have to listen.

The public overwhelmingly supports Medicaid expansion – 70% in fact – but their legislators are not listening.

Legislators are ignoring this directive from their constituents because there is no electoral consequence for failing to act. Gerrymandered maps are protecting the seats of representatives who do not represent the interests of the people.

It is beyond time we take the important step of creating a non-partisan redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Our state motto is “Forward”. Let’s bring back fairness, because the people deserve it. If we do not move forward with fairness, we have not moved forward at all.

Thank you.

 
Democratic Radio: U.S.A, Equal Pay PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Friday, 12 July 2019 08:27

u.s.womens-soccer-teamSenator Jon Erpenbach talks about the U.S. women’s soccer team and the importance of paying women fairly.


MADISON, WI – Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) offered the Democratic weekly radio address.

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

A written transcript of the address is below:

jon-erpenbach“Hi, I’m state Senator Jon Erpenbach with this week’s radio address.

“When the U.S. women’s soccer team won their fourth World Cup, fans erupted into the chant exclaiming “equal pay,” and that chant followed them back home, inspiring men, women, and children alike. Undoubtedly it is way past time that we recognize that it shouldn’t matter what your profession is- everyone deserves to be compensated for their hard work fairly, but more importantly, free from discrimination based on gender.

“Wisconsin once honored this sentiment by passing the Equal Pay Enforcement Act law in 2009, but the legislation was later repealed by Republicans in 2012. On average, including here in Wisconsin, women earn around 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, and that gap is larger for women of color. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, since women make up nearly half of our workforce and are huge contributors to our economy.

“By not paying women fairly, we are only hurting our state’s ability to grow. In order for our communities to thrive, we need to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to succeed. Knowingly discriminating against workers based on their gender is just wrong.

“As we enter the second half of 2019, we know that enacting Equal pay legislation is far overdue. It is time for us to end discrimination in the workplace, and endorse equal pay for equal work. As the chant goes, ‘U.S.A., Equal Pay.’”

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2019 10:24
 
“Lights for Liberty” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 12 July 2019 06:06

llbMILWAUKEE - We welcome Citizen Action co-op member Mireya Sigala-Valadez to discuss the Lights for Liberty national day of action event she is helping organize in Eau Claire where people will gather in solidarity to end refugee camps and to protest the inhumane treatment of refugees.

Co-op member and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski gives her take on the signed state budget and organizes us to fill out her new student loan surveys. We discuss the Texas lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act and what state legislators are preparing to do to in response. Gov. Evers says Foxconn will only create 1,500 jobs. The 2020 Presidential Election heats up in Wisconsin this week with candidate visits and Trump fundraiser.

Listen Now – Episode #400
Download mp3
Press Clips

 
Democracy Campaign: 3 Things You Can Do to Ban Gerrymandering in Wis PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 11 July 2019 18:55

MADISON - wausau-petition-signerNow that the U.S. Supreme Court abdicated its responsibility to ban partisan gerrymandering, it’s now up to all of us, here in Wisconsin, to solve this problem ourselves.

The good news is there’s a growing mass movement, across party lines, to do just that.

Here are three things you can do to help ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin:

1)  Next Tuesday, July 16th, at 10:30 a.m., please attend the press conference in the State Capitol Assembly Parlor where Sen. Dave Hansen and Rep. Robyn Vining will formally introduce Senate Bill 288 and Assembly Bill 303 to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin and give us nonpartisan, independent redistricting.

2)  Contact and urge your legislators to support these bills, which have three Republican co-sponsors. And please thank Republican Representatives Todd Novak, Travis Tranel and Joel Kitchens for their support. Call the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 (266-9960 in Madison).

3)  Please also contact the respective chairs of the Assembly and the Senate committees who preside over this crucial issue and demand that they hold a public hearing on SB288/AB303.

matt-rothschildThe chairs of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection are Senator Stroebel (Chair) and Senator Kapenga (Vice-Chair).

The chairs of the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections are Representative Tusler (Chair) and Representative Sanfelippo (Vice-Chair).

Thanks for doing your part to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

With your help, we’ll get this done!

 
Democratic Radio: Honor our Past, Present, and Future on the Fourth of July PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 04 July 2019 08:46

4th-cedarburgMADISON, WI - This week, State Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) talks about Independence Day, as Wisconsinites come together with friends and family to celebrate at parades, barbeques, and festivals.

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Independence and Freedom for All PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 03 July 2019 09:14

4th-statue-fireworksAs we celebrate our country’s independence on July 4th, it’s important for us to remember the incredible progress we’ve made and to look forward to the work that must be done for all Americans to truly celebrate their freedom.

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Sen. Shilling: Democratic Vision Prioritizes Future Success PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jennifer Shilling, State Senator 32nd District   
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 09:14

door-county-peopleQuality schools, affordable health care and clean drinking water are central to Gov. Ever's budget and vital to restoring Wisconsin's reputation as a place where the next generation wants to live, work and raise a family.

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Continue fight to end gerrymandering ourselves says Hansen PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Friday, 28 June 2019 09:44

supreme-courtGREEN BAY, WI - It is no surprise that the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the Republicans on the issue of gerrymandering. Just as it is no surprise that the State Supreme Court routinely sides with the Republicans on cases related to the preservation of or limitations on the GOP’s political power.

dave_hansenThe era of non-partisan impartiality and ruling on the law has long been over with the appointment and election of activist conservative judges on our highest courts and our state and nation are worse off for it.

Because we can no longer trust either court to do what is best for the people with respect to ending political gerrymandering by either party it is important now more than ever to continue the fight to pass non-partisan redistricting in Wisconsin, a change to the law that is supported by over 70% of Wisconsin voters.

 
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