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Democratic Radio "WI Can Do Better" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats   
Friday, 09 June 2017 07:55

tod-ohnstadMADISON – Today, Rep. Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) offered the Democratic Weekly Radio Address on the continued failures of Gov. Walker's administration: 

"We lost nearly 4,000 manufacturing jobs and created 10,000 fewer jobs than in previous years. That makes 2016 the worst year for job creation since the great recession in 2009," Rep. Ohnstad said. "It’s time to set aside partisan politics. We need to work together to build an economy that works for everyone."

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

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hi, I’m Representative Tod Ohnstad with this week’s Democratic Radio Address. 

"This week, the federal government released information on the number of jobs created in Wisconsin last year, and the news isn’t good.

"We lost nearly 4,000 manufacturing jobs and created 10,000 fewer jobs than in previous years. That makes 2016 the worst year for job creation since the great recession in 2009.

"Since Gov. Walker took office, Wisconsin has continually done worse than our neighboring states for job creation. Last year, we ranked 33rd out of all 50 states. We can do better than this. 

"I’ve heard a lot of excuses from Gov. Walker recently about why Wisconsin isn’t doing better, but most of them simply aren’t true. Instead, workers in Wisconsin are having a hard time finding good-paying jobs. Last year, the average Wisconsin worker took home $624 less in their paychecks than they did in 2015. 

"Wisconsin also fell behind in things that impact our quality of life like roads, student loan debt, and start-up activity.

"It’s time to set aside partisan politics. We need to work together to build an economy that works for everyone.

"Thank you."

Last Updated on Monday, 24 July 2017 11:20
 
"Healthcare Fight Grows” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 09 June 2017 05:12

BgwSTATEWIDE - We open the show with Sen. Ron Johnson’s very disturbing comment that he is pushing his fellow Senators to legalize insurance industry discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

We also discuss the surprising support by the Republican leading on the Opioid epidemic, Rep. John Nygren, for Gov. Walker’s shameless plan to force drug test BadgerCare recipients.

We welcome new Citizen Action organizer Katie Dunn to tell us about the “Healthcare For All” Organizing Cooperative she is launching with healthcare professionals, consumers and advocates. The new cooperative will have a launch party next Thursday, June 15th at 6:30 in Milwaukee (Details below.) Turning to threats in Congress, Liz Ryan Murray, the policy director at People’s Action, joins us to talk about the CHOICE Act which deregulates Wall Street and payday lenders.

Finally, Jorna Taylor joins us to discuss Paul Ryan’s new vulnerability in the 2018 election, including 3 candidates already running against the author of the wildly unpopular TrumpCare.


LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #297

Download MP3

Citizen Action Press Clips

Last Updated on Monday, 24 July 2017 11:21
 
After 16 Year Afghanistan War, Let's Admit Defeat & Switch to United Nations PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 09:39

afghanistan-war-deadWe have bled our soldiers and other peoples of their blood, spent trillions of dollars that should have gone to building a better life for all Americans. A Vietnam War era and Korea veteran says it's time to stop.


TUCSON, AZ - Generals want another surge in Afghanistan. Only 5,000 will do the trick to help the peace process they say. Kill and bomb more people to encourage people to negotiate for peace. Do you believe it? The generals don’t say they need more troops in Iraq or Syria or Libya or Africa ---- YET.

We Americans are persistent. But when it comes to wars, we exhibit perseveration defined as “…the inappropriate persistence or repetition of a thought or action…”

“Repetition of thoughts” – example: war is the answer to all diplomatic problems. “Repetition of actions” – example: we accept lie after lie from our presidents pushing us into wars.

obama-trumpIn Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, tens of thousands of Americans have died along with millions of Asian and Middle Eastern peoples. One lying president after another tells us the sky is falling. It’s the commies, the horrible dictators, the treacherous religious terrorists. By late 1967 when the surge of American troops was really building in Vietnam, Pres. Johnson knew the war was a loser, as did Sec. of Defense McNamara, but both continued to lie and lie. And people continued to die and die. For what? Pride? Corporate empire? Presidents prey on our fears. We citizens accept the lies and off our youth go to war after war.

These politicians aren’t really interested in communists or terrorists. Politicians want the oil, gas, copper, tin, titanium, or markets for their 1%er corporate friends. They know war is good for their political career. And they will be rewarded by a grateful military industrial complex. WalMart, GM and so many others do hundreds of billions of business with the “commies” in China and Vietnam without a blink of the eye.

The oil soaked Middle East dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Qatar fund the schooling, training and operations of religious terrorists yet these dictators are our buddies -- buying billions in American weapon systems. Simultaneously, we send our youth to fight the religious terrorists our CIA and these dictatorships created. And our military/industrial complex makes money providing weapons to both sides.

We have bled our soldiers and other peoples of their blood. We have bled our Nation of trillions of dollars that should have been spent building a better life for all Americans. War profiteers, CEO’s and share owners make hundreds of billions while the under funded Veterans Affairs hospitals try to take care of all our physically, mentally and morally crushed soldiers. And military families pay the highest price of all - dead and damaged loved ones.

The CIA with its mercenaries, billions and bags of tricks is forever starting wars saying it is trying to “save” a democracy or promote democracy or freedom. Then, American soldiers step into the quicksand of war. Wars don’t create peace. They create the silence of death. Bullets, torture or assassinations kill people but cannot kill ideas.

These are illegal wars of aggression - illegal under our Constitution and the United Nations Charter. The reason starting an illegal war is the greatest crime is because all other crimes will then be committed: murder, torture, rape, starvation, theft, religious, political or sexual persecution, genocide, repression… Everything imaginable takes place during war. Military leaders know wars are easy to start. They also know -- no one knows how to stop them.

And now Pres. Trump is supposed to decide if we need another surge of 5,000 American troops in Afghanistan. AFTER 16 YEARS OF DESTROYING AFGHANISTAN, WE NEED TO GET OUT!

We must admit that in the present wars, we are on the side of the gangsters, drug kings, murderous militias, dictators, torturers and power hungry religious fanatics.

What we’ve done in these countries has NOT worked. Our wars and weapons have pushed these countries from bad to worse. Millions are homeless and refugees. Their hatred will last decades or centuries.

We need to admit to the United Nations our failures and ask the UN to conduct peace negotiations in each nation. We must support those negotiations, pay the costs, withdraw all our troops and military equipment, stop the bombings and drone attacks and stop the surveillance and training assistance.

There has been too much killing to feed the unsatiable greed of our military/industrial/politician complex.

Citizens, we must prove we support the rule of law rather than the rule of empire or whim. We must prove we will NOT accept more lying and corruption.

We must impeach those presidents and generals who have led these illegal wars! We must make them examples of what America will do when elected leaders and generals forsake their oaths to preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and when they betray the American people.

Between 45 million and 85 million died in WWII. In a nuclear war with nations using just 1% of their nuclear weapons, it’s estimated tens of millions would die in the first hour. Millions would die afterwards from radiation effects and firestorms. Those firestorms, sweeping large areas creating dark dust clouds, would cause a worldwide, extended winter of possibly 10 years with drastically shortened food growing cycles. Two billion would be threatened with famine. Life on earth, as we know it, would be gone.

We must stop the wars. Stop creating wars. And stop supplying weapons to all sides.

We must request the UN take leadership in trying to peacefully resolve the quagmire we have helped create. Or, our posterity will eventually suffer the same cruel fate millions of families are presently suffering in the Middle East.

****

Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton, WI now of Tucson, was trained as an infantry officer during the Vietnam War & served in S. Korea. He’s a long time progressive activist, a member of Veterans for Peace, a former VISTA Volunteer, elected official, union organizer, impeachment organizer, a former VP of WI Alliance for Retired Americans and a retired state government planner. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 10:11
 
Vinehout 'What Choices Would You Make?' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 08:05

walkerEvery dollar spent in a budget is a reflection of choices. Sen. Kathleen Vinehout shares some of the ideas in an alternative budget she created to the one proposed by the Governor and encourages people to let their choices be known.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 08:52
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Russ Feingold 'A bold thing to demand right now' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Russ Feingold   
Monday, 05 June 2017 11:21

russ-feingoldMADISON - This week I published an op-ed calling for a 21st Century Voting Rights Act to achieve today what the original VRA of 1965 set out to do: protect the equal right to vote for all.

To meet that standard today, we need to go beyond the original VRA and insist on a 50-state pre-clearance requirement to undo and prevent further voter suppression.

This is a bold thing to demand at a time when it seems like the deck is more stacked against us in Washington than ever. But right now, when we’re in the greatest legitimacy crisis our government has ever seen, is precisely the time we absolutely must demand this.

Thousands of your fellow supporters have already signed on to show their support for the 21st Century Voting Rights Act, but I didn’t see your name on the list. Will you join this effort today?

Join thousands of your fellow supporters now. Sign the petition to show your support for a 21st Century Voting Rights Act today.

A modern Voting Rights Act must include certain provisions, supplemented by state voting rights legislation if necessary, in order to truly restore legitimacy to our elections:

  • Establish an independent Office of Voting Rights, solely to review and approve any proposed changes to voting rights regulations in the country.
  • Establish a national standard for ID requirements that states cannot exceed.
  • Mandate same-day voter registration.
  • Mandate a minimum length of time for early voting.
  • Ban any change to voting laws within 90 days of an election.
  • Publicize any changes to voting regulations or procedures for a minimum length of time in multiple languages.
  • End felony disenfranchisement, which keeps one in 14 Black citizens nationwide from voting but only restrict one in 56 non-Black citizens.
  • End partisan gerrymandering so that the voters can choose their officials instead of officials choosing their voters.

Voting is the most important democratic right. Any infringement on the right to vote is a threat to the legitimacy of our democracy. This could be our generation’s civil rights moment, our 1965, and we must rise to meet it. We need a 21st Century Voting Rights Act. The onus is on us to demand one, and on Congress to pass it.

Sign the petition to show your support for a 21st Century Voting Rights Act today.

Just as the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 addressed many of the worst voter suppression tactics of its day, like poll taxes and literacy tests, so must the new 21st Century Voting Rights Act address modern abuses.

Thank you for standing up for our legitimacy,

Russ Feingold

 
Mike McCabe 'Getting Wisconsin Back On Track' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by GBP Staff   
Monday, 05 June 2017 10:54

mike-mccabeMADISON - According to Mike McCabe, Wisconsin appears to have lost its ambition to be first, or best. In this commentary, Blue Jean Nation’s Mike McCabe discusses our state’s shortcomings, and what we should do to get it back on track.

Listen to Mike on WORT 89.9 FM Radio HERE.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 July 2017 11:21
 
Blue Jean Nation 'Show the way on health care, Wisconsin' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 03 June 2017 09:49

badgercareThe U.S. has the least efficient health care system among 11 developed nations, and solutions to this problem are not being developed in Washington. Wisconsin used to blaze new trails as a model for the nation to copy. Time to return to our pioneering roots.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 June 2017 10:56
Read more...
 
Gallagher Misses Out on Green Bay Town Hall PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 11:49

mike-gallagherConstituents show up to talk about health care and other issues with the person elected to represent them. He didn't show up to listen.


GREEN BAY - About a hundred constituents showed up last night at the Brown County Central Library last night to share their concerns with their new Congressman Mike Gallagher. He didn't show up to listen.

Granted, the "Town Hall" listening session had been organized by local liberal and Democratic advocacy groups, but did that make them any less his constituents? Gallagher had been elected last fall to represent the 8th Congressional District and all the people who live in it.

I had the "good fortune" to be on a stage in 2009 with then Congressman Steve Kagen as he fielded questions from Tea Party advocates about the bill that would become ObamaCare. It was not very pleasant. But he hung in there, and answered every question as best he could. He was elected to represent them too.

Many Republican elected officials today seem to prefer hiding out from their constituents, "speaking" only to them on FaceBook, on telephone conference calls, or at pre-arranged campaign stops at friendly venues. They screen all questions, and answer only those they select. They certainly don't dare to meet all the people they represent face to face.

According to news reports, health care coverage and the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, was the topic most wanted to discuss. Gallagher had supported the bill during a House vote earlier this month. A line of area residents presented their personal concerns, told stories about children with pre-existing conditions, told their fears about losing their health care, and fears about rising costs. An empty chair sat on the stage where their "representative" was supposed to listen.

Some critics called it political theatre. But that's the easy political cop out. So was Gallagher's "out of town on business" excuse. If people cannot talk to their representatives, who do they represent?

It appears many in Washington today, and not just Republicans, represent only the industries and businesses who pay their bills. Gallagher is just joining the long line.

That's not what our "representative form of government" was supposed to be about.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 12:48
 
State Budget Committee Action on Medicaid and DHS Falls Short PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Saturday, 27 May 2017 08:44

joint-finance-statebudRepublicans failed to plan for potential Federal changes to Medicaid and for healthy outcomes for families that may be affected.


MADISON - There are families all over Wisconsin losing sleep at night over the uncertainty that President Trump and Governor Walker have caused for individuals whose lives are affected by Medicaid.

Wisconsin Democrats value the health and success of all of our citizens and want to make sure we all have an opportunity for a healthy life. We have long advocated to accept the Federal Medicaid dollars Wisconsin taxpayers deserve. Taking that expansion would have put over $1.07 billion in our state budgets.

We have listened to the advocate communities and worked hard to quell the uncertainties we know families are feeling.

The opportunity for a healthy life should not be impacted by political games. Unfortunately Republicans have failed to plan for potential Federal changes and for healthy outcomes for families that may be affected.

 
Republican Budget Cuts UW Classrooms PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Saturday, 27 May 2017 08:00

uw-mdsn-studentsWalker and the Republicans who control the legislature are pushing the biggest budgets in the history of Wisconsin, yet they have cut $800 million from the UW.


MADISON - A budget is all about priorities and Republicans and Governor Walker have made it very clear that the UW is not their priority.

Since elected, Governor Walker’s state budgets have spent nearly $282 billion dollars – over $127 billion in GPR alone. These are the biggest budgets in the history of Wisconsin, yet Governor Walker and Republicans have cut $800 million from the UW in the last few budgets.

The funds are there, but Republicans have chosen not to restore their $800 million cut.

Democrats will not agree to continue this cut to the UW because we value the UW and the economic engine it is. Wisconsin deserves better than another state budget with cuts to our UW classrooms.

Truly the great state of Wisconsin deserves a strong UW system and the educational opportunities a strong investment in our UW schools brings for our people.

 
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