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The Fight to Ban Gerrymandering in Wisconsin Goes On! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Thursday, 27 June 2019 11:38

supreme-court-washingtonU.S. Supreme Court decision means Wisconsin gerrymandering case, set for a re-hearing in federal court next month, is now dead. It's time to take direct political action.


MADISON, WI - The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court today on two gerrymandering cases was disappointing but not surprising. And for the vast majority of Wisconsinites who want to ban gerrymandering in our state, this is not the end of the story. Not by a long shot.

The conservative high court, in a sweeping ruling, rejected the arguments in the North Carolina and Maryland cases that partisan gerrymandering should be remedied by the courts.

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions."

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the four liberals on the court, dissented bluntly. Gerrymandering, she said, is “anti-democratic in the most profound sense," and the types of partisan gerrymandering presented to the Court in the North Carolina and Maryland cases “imperil our system of government. Part of the Court's role in that system is to defend its foundations. None is more important than free and fair elections.”

So what does this mean for Wisconsin?

On the down side, it means that the big Wisconsin gerrymandering case, aka the Whitford case, which is set for a re-hearing in federal court next month in Madison, is, for all practical purposes, now dead in the water.

But on the up side, the movement to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin has never been more alive.

Already, 47 county boards in Wisconsin (out of 72) have passed resolutions urging our state legislators to ban gerrymandering.

Eight counties have passed advisory referendums, by overwhelming margins, in favor of banning gerrymandering.

And in a Marquette Law School poll earlier this year, 72 percent of Wisconsinites said they were in favor of such a ban. And that included 63 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents.

The people of Wisconsin are on board!

And now two bills in the state legislature have been introduced to ban gerrymandering and give us independent, nonpartisan legislative and congressional redistricting.

Senator Dave Hansen introduced SB288 on the Senate side. And Representative Robyn Vining introduced AB303 on the Assembly side.

matt-rothschildPlease contact your legislators and urge them to support these bills.

If you don’t know your legislators, click here -- opens new window of map of Wisconsin legislative districts where you enter your address in top right search bar.

You can contact your state legislators by calling the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 (266-9960 in Madison).

 
“Trumped up 2020 election” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 21 June 2019 14:24

trumpPodcast on Trump’s made for Fox TV campaign kick-off event, critical state budget votes scheduled for next week, and more...


MILWAUKEE, WI - We discuss Trump’s made for Fox TV campaign kick-off event in the wake of his trumped up fight with Iran. Will Trump decide that releasing the dogs of war is to his political advantage?

Next, we dig into the critical state budget votes scheduled for next week, the growing right wing opposition to the GOP budget, and the options available to Governor Evers should a terrible budget reach his desk. We preview next Monday’s BadgerCare Expansion statewide Day of Action (see details below).

Finally, the panel dives into the Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders dynamic in the Democratic primary election, looks ahead to the first Democratic  presidential “debate,” and discusses Beto O'Rourke's LBJ like ascent from political unknown to presidential contender.


Listen Now - Episode #397
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Press Clips

 
Democratic Radio: Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom and Achievement PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 20 June 2019 16:53

juneteenth-1900MADISON - Representative David Crowley (D-Milwaukee) presents this week’s Democratic Address on Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Audio File of Radio Address

david-crowleyHello, this is State Representative David Crowley with this week’s Democratic Address.

This week, Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, and legislative Democrats honored Juneteenth at events in Milwaukee and Madison. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

It was on this day, 154 years ago, that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended, signaling the end of slavery.

Juneteenth, today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement. It recognizes and encourages continuous self-development and a respect for all cultures. As we reflect on the history of slavery and the lives lost in the fight for equal rights, we must acknowledge and address the racial disparities in our state.

A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Wisconsin as the lowest of all states in its ability to prepare African American children for educational and financial success. The disparity in graduation rate is the highest in the country for African American students. The current incarceration rate for African American Wisconsinites is 10 times higher than for white Wisconsin residents.

While this year marks the 57th celebration of Juneteenth in Milwaukee, there is progress to be made when it comes to economic equity, criminal justice reform, and fair housing practices.

We are still fighting against measures to restrict voting rights. We are still working to ensure all children, regardless of zip code, receive a quality education.

I am proud to chair the Legislative Black Caucus. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We honor them, and the legacy they built in our state. Democrats will continue to pursue an agenda that builds on our successes and addresses the challenges facing our state as we work toward a more fair and equal society.

Thank you.

 
Democracy Campaign: Bogus Lame Duck Decision! PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Sunday, 16 June 2019 11:59

supremecourt-justicesMADISON - The rightwingers on the Wisconsin Supreme Court revealed again this week that they don’t care about the law or the evidence. All they care about is backing their buddies, with any shoddy rationale they can think of. Here’s my take on their decision this week on the “stay” on the lame-duck legislation:

Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Bogus Stay on Lame Duck

In another bad decision, an administrative judge ruled in favor of Foxconn’s so-called right to grab 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan. We found out something about that judge:

Foxconn Case Judge Was Former Walker Aide, Contributor to GOP Candidates

As you might recall, over the last eight years, the Republican legislature passed more than 160 laws that limited local control. Well, that hasn’t satisfied them yet, as we note here:

GOP Budget Committee Seeks to Restrict Local Control Over Quarries, Sand Mining

matt-rothschildAnd in another case about pollution, we laid out the political contributions on both sides of the aisle that employees of Johnson Controls have been making. Now Johnson Controls is in trouble with the Wisconsin Department of Justice:

DOJ Reviewing Case Against Accused Polluter, Big Campaign Donor

I hope you find these stories informative.

 
Democratic Radio: Medicaid Expansion will lower Health Insurance Premiums in Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 07 June 2019 10:24

medicaid_checkupMADISON, WI - This week Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) talks about Healthcare in Wisconsin.

Audio File of Radio Address

Hello, this is State Representative Evan Goyke with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

evangoykeOne of the leading policy research organizations on health care, Health Affairs, released a new study this week showing that expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin will substantially lower health insurance premiums on the individual market. The study compared premiums in Wisconsin to premiums in our neighboring states that expanded Medicaid.

The research found that expanding Medicaid produced insurance premiums that were 19% lower in other Midwestern states as compared to Wisconsin. There is a direct correlation between how much people pay for private health insurance and whether or not a state accepted the Medicaid expansion.

Despite this, Republicans have steadfastly refused to accept the expansion here in Wisconsin. That is real money in real people’s pockets Republicans are turning away.

This comes down to dollars and cents. Expanding Medicaid saves Wisconsin taxpayers $325 million dollars in this budget alone. It also allows us to bring in $1.6 billion dollars in federal funding. Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance refused that deal.

Instead, they opted to charge state taxpayers an additional $300 million dollars to avoid accepting that billion dollars in federal funds. That is fiscally irresponsible.

Here in Wisconsin, families work hard. We stretch our dollars as far as they’ll go. But not legislative Republicans.

They are wasting your taxpayer dollars and causing your premiums to rise in order to score cheap, political points.

The Health Affairs study shows that Medicaid expansion isn’t just the right thing to do morally, it’s the right financial decision for Wisconsin. Democrats will continue to stand with Governor Evers, and we will continue to fight for Medicaid expansion.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 June 2019 10:37
 
"How Progressives Can Win the Rust Belt in 2020" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 07 June 2019 09:42

battleground_pa_waveHow can progressives win back the industrial states lost to Donald Trump in 2016?


MILWAUKEE, WI - This week Battleground Wisconsin takes to the road to dig into the question of how progressives can win back the industrial states lost to Donald Trump in 2016. We have a series of interviews of state and national leaders recorded live at the People's Action national convention in Washington, DC. First the iconic progressive leader Heather Booth, the focus of a major documentary film, gives us a road map to progressive victory. Next we talk to Michigan State Representative Lauri Pohutsky, a strong progressive candidate who won a purple district in 2018 with the assistance of Citizen Action's fellow People's Action affiliate, Michigan United.

Finally we have an in-depth interview with one of the most respected African American organizers in the country, Ohio Organizing Collaborative Director DaMareo Cooper, who helps us dig into the need to win the industrial Midwest with a unified urban/rural/suburban strategy.

Listen Now - Episode #395
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Press Clips

 
Sen. Smith: “Health, Science and Wisconsin” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 20:27

uwec-campusSen. Jeff Smith writes about the unique partnership between the Mayo Clinic and UW-Eau Claire that could make it “the center for rural healthcare in Wisconsin.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2019 20:44
Read more...
 
Sen. Hansen: On Moving the Coal Piles PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Tuesday, 04 June 2019 21:51

greenbay-lakemichSenator says moving coal piles good for Green Bay, but we need help from State Legislature.


GREEN BAY, WI - Moving the coal piles is essential to creating a healthier environment for our families and a stronger economy for downtown Green Bay. And I applaud Mayor Genrich’s leadership and vision on this important issue.

That said, it is unfortunate that the actions by Senate and Assembly Republicans to toss out Governor Evers’ budget and to ignore the majority of Wisconsin residents who voted for real change last November have seriously jeopardized the chances of getting state funding for this much-needed project.

I would encourage my Republican colleagues to stop playing political games and work with our Governor to craft a state budget that meets the needs of all our people rather than continue the failed politics and policies of the last eight years.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2019 09:15
 
Democratic Radio: Republicans Reject Major Investments to UW System PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Monday, 03 June 2019 16:02

uwgb-students”It’s unfortunate that instead of working with Democrats to invest in one of the state’s strongest economic engines, Republicans are choosing to drive their own political agenda by cutting it.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2019 10:08
Read more...
 
Why We Need Medicaid Expansion and Why Opponents Are Wrong PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Monday, 03 June 2019 10:33

affordablecareHere are five reasons why Wisconsin should accept the federal funding for Medicaid expansion.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2019 08:52
Read more...
 
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