Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melissa Baldauff
Friday, 27 March 2015 10:32
MADISON – After four years of doing nothing in Washington, D.C., Ron Johnson finds himself having to talk to voters in Wisconsin as he seeks reelection but he might find it hard to garner support on the campaign trail when he says that college students are too lazy to finish school on time and that student loan debt is easy and fun.
But that’s the bizarre argument Johnson made at a public appearance in Verona over the weekend when asked by a constituent about the problem of college affordability.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Johnson said that college students are taking longer to graduate because they don’t feel any urgency to get to work and start contributing to the economy. “Loans are pretty easy to get and college is a lot of fun,” Johnson also said, while noting that many students can attribute their student loan debt to the fact that federal loans are easy to obtain and because they chose the wrong degrees of study.
Nearly 40 million Americans now hold over $1.2 trillion in student loan debt nationally. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve System there are 753,000 Wisconsin residents carrying federal student loan debt and that number will only continue to grow, as 67 percent of graduates from four-year colleges in Wisconsin will have student loan debt when they leave school.
But as the cost of college rises -- tuition has doubled in the past 12 years – Wisconsin incomes are not. Under largely Republican leadership, Wisconsin has seen the largest decline in the percentage of families considered "middle class" since 2000. A report released last week by the Pew Charitable Trust shows that Wisconsin's median household income has fallen by 14.7 percent since 2000, the worst drop of any state and more than double the average decline nationally. In 2000, Wisconsin incomes were well above the national average but are now well below, pushing the prospect of helping to send their kids to college out of reach for many working Wisconsin families.
“Only an out of touch millionaire like Ron Johnson, whose career has been bought and paid for by his in-laws, would think college kids are just too lazy to finish school or that middle class families would prefer to be crippled by student loan debt,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Melissa Baldauff said Thursday. “Johnson has no idea what reality is like for middle class families in Wisconsin who, despite working harder than ever, have seen the worst drop in income of any state in the country. You shouldn't have to be a millionaire like Ron Johnson to be able to help your kids go to college. ”
MADISON - Former U.S. Rep. Bob Kastenmeier, an early and staunch opponent of the Vietnam War who served 32 years in Congress, died Friday, March 20th at his home in Arlington, Virginia. The Madison Democrat was 91.
His wife, Dorothy, says his heart had been failing.
Kastenmeier, who represented the Madison area, served in the U.S. House from 1959 to 1991. He was an early critic of the Vietnam War. He brought his House subcommittee to Madison to hold hearings on how the war was affecting his constituents.
In a statement issued last Friday, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said of Kastenmeier:
"Bob Kastenmeier was an unwavering advocate for civil rights, justice, the search for knowledge, and public service -- he was the very embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea. Kastenmeier was a true progressive hero who paved the way for Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan, who continue to represent Wisconsin in a way that honors Kastenmeier's legacy."
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Melissa Baldauff
Monday, 13 October 2014 00:00
EAU CLAIRE - In Friday's debate with Mary Burke, Scott Walker claimed Wisconsin is third in job creation and leads in personal income growth amongst Midwestern states. What are the facts?
THE FACTS ON THE WISCONSIN ECONOMY UNDER SCOTT WALKER:
Walker has created fewer than half of the 250,000 jobs he promised. 
The longer Walker is in office, the worse the numbers get. 2013 was the worst year for private sector job creation in Wisconsin since the great recession, and 2014 is on pace to be considerably worse.
Wisconsin saw a loss of 4,300 jobs in August alone. 
During Walker’s time in office, Wisconsin’s annual private sector job growth averaged 1.35% compared to 2.2% nationally. 
Walker’s claim that Wisconsin is third in Midwest job creation is based on the Current Employment Statistics, a statistical metric Walker dismissed as “unreliable” in 2011. 
According to the Quarterly Census of Earnings and Wages, jobs data described by Walker as the “gold standard”, Wisconsin ranked dead last among states in the Midwest on job growth over his term - 10th out of 10 states. 
Wisconsin also ranked dead last in income growth among midwestern states over Gov. Scott Walker’s full term. 
Had Wisconsin simply grown at the US rate over Walker’s term, we would have 73,914 more jobs.
RESPONSE OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF WISCONSIN CHAIR MIKE TATE: “Four years ago, Scott Walker made a promise to the people of Wisconsin to create 250,000 jobs. Scott Walker failed and broke his central campaign promise. Now, Walker wants to cherry pick facts in order to paint a rosy picture of the economy which doesn’t exist. The reality is Wisconsin is dead last in job creation since he took office in 2011 and the state currently lags behind most of the nation in job growth. Walker can’t escape the cold hard truth about his economic record in Wisconsin.”
BACKGROUND:  “Our tally now stands at 102,195 jobs -- or about 40 percent of what Walker promised.“ (Economists say time has run out on top campaign promise, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/18/14)
 “Wisconsin lost 4,300 private-sector jobs in August, according to preliminary estimates. It's the fourth-largest monthly jobs loss since Gov. Scott Walker took office in January 2011.” (Wisconsin suffers fourth-highest monthly job loss under Scott Walker in August, Capital Times, 9/19/14)
 “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, which Walker has called the "gold standard" for measuring jobs, is based on a survey of nearly every business in the state. The agency found that for the 12-month period, the number of private-sector jobs grew by 28,712 or nearly 1.3 percent, lagging behind the national average of just over 2 percent.” (Wisconsin job growth ranks 33rd in nation, Appleton Post-Crescent, 9/18/14)
 “ Walker's numbers are based on cumulative monthly estimates between July of last year and July of this year. These are the same monthly estimates Walker attacked as unreliable during his recall campaign. Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson described them as numbers that are ‘inaccurate,’ and that ‘cannot be trusted.’ “ (In New Ad, Walker Cites Jobs Numbers From Survey He Once Derided, WPR, 8/29/14)
 “Walker's ad goes a step further and accuses Democrat Mary Burke of trying to mislead voters by saying Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest. Burke's ad, however, accurately quotes detailed quarterly census numbers covering Walker's first three full years in office.“ (In New Ad, Walker Cites Jobs Numbers From Survey He Once Derided, WPR, 8/29/14)
 “After Walker correctly pointed out that personal income growth is the best in the Midwest for the last year, commentators alleged that Wisconsin is "dead last in income growth" during Gov. Scott Walker’s three-plus years in office. The quarterly figures do put Wisconsin at the bottom, based on the starting point endorsed by the agency that compiled the information.” (Bloggers say Wisconsin ranks last in income growth since Scott Walker became governor, Politifact Wisconsin, 8/28/14)