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Feingold Endorses Ryan Solen for Congress in 1st District PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Solen for Congress, Lauren Young   
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:54

ryan-solenDemocratic Nominee Ryan Solen, an Army veteran of Iraq and married father of four, is seeking to replace Speaker Paul Ryan in the U.S. House of Representatives.


MOUNT PLEASANT, WI - Senator Russ Feingold endorsed Ryan Solen of Mount Pleasant, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 1st Congressional District on Monday.

russ-feingold"Ryan Solen understands the struggles that so many families in the 1st CD are facing. He is committed to fiscal responsibility while investing in infrastructure improvements, healthcare, and education. He will make an excellent representative for the people of the 1st Congressional district and I am proud to support him for United States Congress." - Russ Feingold

Ryan Solen’s life has been marked with distinction and achievement. Educated in business, technology, and world affairs, he has established a solid knowledge of the world and the way in which people from other cultures and governments interact. Military service in the United States Army honed his skill set in successfully working with people of all backgrounds, including leading soldiers in overseas deployment in a war zone during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A hard working family man, Mr. Solen understands what people in the lower and middle classes have gone through, and continue to face in times good and bad. His own life experiences have given him an empathetic ear for those facing all manner of difficulties and issues, and he has a vision for the future of the country.

On learning of this endorsement, Ryan Solen said that, "Russ Feingold's work in the Senate has done much to improve the lives of the people of Wisconsin, as well as the United States. His history of standing up for what he believes in, despite great opposition on occasion, is a testament to his character. I am honored to accept his endorsement of me as I run to be the representative for the 1st Congressional district of Wisconsin."

***

Ryan Solen is an Army veteran of the war in Iraq and is seeking to represent Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. He is a Digital Forensic Specialist and Computer Security Analyst. He is a married father of four and enjoys reading, writing, doing karate with his family, and relieves stress with his vintage Lego collection.

He is the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Nominee to run for the U.S. House of Representatives to replace Paul Ryan. For more information, please visit www.solenforcongress.com.

 
Wisconsin Election Observers Welcome, But Must Follow Rules PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 13:24

voteMADISON – There has been a lot of talk lately about the role of election observers. While some think poll monitors will root out corruption at the polls, others are concerned that the presence of aggressive observers could intimidate voters. In Wisconsin, election observers are an important part of the election landscape.

People who go to the polls expecting to stop illegal voting might not find the excitement they seek. A recent, extensive study found only 31 credible allegations of fraud out of more than a billion votes cast nationally between 2000 and 2014.

As for intimidation, Wisconsin fortunately has excellent procedures that welcome observers but do not allow them to disrupt voting. Polling places are covered under our open meetings laws. Anyone may observe, but there are rules in place to protect the voting process.

Election observers are nothing new. Candidate campaigns and political parties have long sent observers to the polls to note whether their supporters have voted so they can make targeted reminder calls by late afternoon. Advocacy groups send observers to ensure that polling places are accessible for people with disabilities.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 14:44
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Ron Johnson’s Beltway Blunder: The “Ken Burns” Edition PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Harry Hartfield   
Saturday, 27 August 2016 11:57

ron-johnsonJohnson says teachers should be replaced by classroom movies.


MADISON - Senator Johnson had a rough week this week. He got schooled by students, teachers and even Ken Burns over his suggestion to replace qualified teachers with TV. The proposal came when Johnson was asked at a WisPolitics luncheon about his plan to make college more affordable. Without a serious plan, Johnson resorted to the same extreme and out of touch ideology to which he's always resorts. So what was his bold idea? Forget the teachers: sit kids in front of the TV for hours on end.

It only got worse from there. Educators panned his visions. One said, "it is somewhat akin to saying - 'we've already got WebMD, why do we need medical researchers?" Even Ken Burns weighed in saying he’s here “to support teachers, not replace them.” You can't make this stuff up.

Don’t believe us? You don't need to take our word for it. Here's just a few headlines (we don't have room for all of them):

“We already knew he disparaged federal student loans as 'free money,' but it turns out Senator Johnson's vision for education also includes supporting a presidential candidate who ran a phony university, legalizing discrimination against students with disabilities, and replacing teachers with videos. What will will he think of next? The sad truth behind the bad headlines is the fact that Senator Johnson's plan is to actually keep higher education financially out of reach for middle and working class kids.” said Harry Hartfield, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

 
Teacher from Wittenberg Challenges Big Money, Politician in 2nd Senate District PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 15:48

john-powersVietnam Veteran, History Teacher John N. Powers from rural small town Wittenberg takes on career Wisconsin Senate fixture Rob Cowles in David v. Goliath race, and he wants to do it without accepting any donations.


GREEN BAY - In a scene that reminds one of David v. Goliath, John N. Powers of Wittenberg officially announced his candidacy for the Senate seat in Wisconsin’s 2nd District last week. John is seeking to unseat a political institution in the Senate, Republican Robert Cowles, and he wants to do it without accepting any donations from any source in his campaign.

Rob CowlesCowles has been in the Senate for 29 years, more than any other Republican. He has consistently won re-election by large margins or been unopposed. In the Senate, he is the chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee. You would hope that someone with that kind of seniority and position would be a voice for reason representing his district's residents first.

Powers says he will put his record of public service up against his opponent’s any day of the week. That record started at age 17 when he enlisted and served four years in the military, including a year of USAF Intelligence Operations in Vietnam (1967-68).

John earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UW-Stevens Point. He has lived in rural Wittenberg since 1974, teaching US history among other things for 31 years in Shawano County, Bowler and Wittenberg-Birnamwood schools. While teaching, he also found time to spend 15 years as a Boy Scout leader. For the past 10 years, he has worked at St. Clare's Hospital in Wausau as a unit coordinator in the emergency room.

“This will not be an ordinary campaign,” Powers says. “In this time of drastic cuts to our public schools, a state agency that gives hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to businesses that fail to create jobs, and a complete gutting of the authority of the DNR, Wisconsin cannot continue to allow our elected officials to be exempt from prosecution for political corruption while enforcing gag orders on state employees.”

Powers points to Cowles’ recent proposal on high capacity wells, Senate Bill 291. That proposal would remove all decision making from the DNR and turn it over to the legislature. So, if the local DNR is inspecting a problem well, it may not consider the impact caused by any other wells and instead must request approval from the Joint Committee on Finance in Madison .

This loss of local control doesn't make much sense to John. He also feels Wisconsin cannot continue to give away our tax dollars with no jobs being created in return. As a former teacher, he knows Wisconsin cannot give more of our tax dollars per student to private schools than to our public schools.

Feeling very strongly that our system of elections is broken, Powers will not accept any donations from any source in his campaign. “More than 70% of the people in this state feel that Citizens United should be repealed. Yet we continue to allow money to be the deciding factor in our elections, even at this level. I will not participate in an auction,” says Powers. “You will have to decide to vote for me, or not, based on my merit, not my money. If I succeed you will have made history. If not, we go back to the status quo.”

***

You can find out more about John Powers for State Senate on FaceBook or at www.voterpowers.com

 
Gallagher Continues to Stand By Donald Trump PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Monday, 22 August 2016 10:27

donald-trumpRepublican Candidate for 8th District seat has lived in a high-end neighborhood in Washington, D.C. for years, not Wisconsin. 50 national security officials say Trump would be “most reckless President in American history”.


GREEN BAY - It's been two weeks since 50 GOP national security officials signed a letter saying Trump “would be the most reckless President in American history,” and yet Mike Gallagher continues to stand by his stated support for Donald Trump, even suggesting he should start naming his foreign policy team.

mike-gallagher-speaks“For years, Mike Gallagher lived in a high-end neighborhood in Washington, working for the politicians who run the place,” Brandon Weathersby, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said on Monday. “With top national GOP leaders calling Trump reckless and dangerous, it’s astounding that “DC Mike” is willing to put his party over his country by not outright rejecting a presidential candidate so unfit to serve.”

Despite the outcry from our country's top military officials, Mike Gallagher seems to be comfortable with Donald Trump being in control of our military and the nuclear codes. Gallagher has tried to cover his bad judgement by saying Trump will “put the best people around him and listen to their advice and council." However, GOP leaders disagree, stating he will be unable to listen to his advisers or encourage conflicting views.

"Mike Gallagher's support of Donald Trump is dangerous for Wisconsin and our country. We deserve better than another Trump apologist representing us," Weathersby concluded.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 10:46
 
Ron Johnson Quibbles about Visiting with Wisconsinites PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Monday, 22 August 2016 09:59

ron-johnson-quibblesMADISON - Trailing in the polls and increasingly desperate, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has grown increasingly negative in his attacks on his Democratic challenger, popular former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.

The Republican has a long history of taking the low road, so this does not come as much of a surprise. So what is Johnson really complaining about?

Perhaps he is bothered by the fact that, after he spent millions of dollars to promote his political ambitions, and after he has occupied a U.S. Senate seat for almost six years, huge numbers of Wisconsinites have little idea who he is.

Read this morning's Cap Times editorial on line or below.

Ron Johnson really should not quibble about visiting with Wisconsinites
Capitol Times
Aug 22, 2016

Trailing in the polls and increasingly desperate, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson has grown increasingly negative in his attacks on his Democratic challenger, popular former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.

The Republican has a long history of taking the low road, so this does not come as much of a surprise.

But the focus of the griping is weird, even for Johnson. He’s complaining about the fact that Feingold makes a big deal of visiting every one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Throughout his Senate tenure, Feingold visited all the state’s counties annually — spending substantial amounts of time in urban, suburban and rural areas; holding listening sessions; letting Wisconsinites know how they could communicate with his about issues and legislation. That deep connection with the state influenced Feingold's approach as a senator who was hailed for his ability to see across lines of partisan and ideological difference.

Now, as he seeks to replace Johnson, Feingold is back on the road, spending time in every county from Douglas in the northwest to Door in the northeast to Grant in the southwest to Kenosha in the southeast. It’s a demanding schedule, but the Janesville native relishes it.

Johnson, however, is unimpressed.

"I'm not quite sure why Senator Feingold constantly brags about doing it," Johnson complained last week. Noting Feingold’s record of hometown visits, Johnson grumbled: “What else did he accomplish?"

In fact, Feingold was regarded as an able and highly responsible legislator who, even in times of intense division in Washington, found ways to build coalitions and enact groundbreaking ethics and campaign finance legislation.

So what is Johnson really complaining about?

Perhaps he is bothered by the fact that, after he spent millions of dollars to promote his political ambitions, and after he has occupied a U.S. Senate seat for almost six years, huge numbers of Wisconsinites have little idea who he is. In the most recent Marquette University Law School poll, when potential voters from across Wisconsin were asked what they thought of Johnson, 31 percent said they did not know enough about the senator to form an opinion.

 
Ryan Solen attends AmVets Riders Fundraiser PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Solen for Congress, Lauren Young   
Monday, 22 August 2016 09:20

iraq-warA veteran of the Iraq war, 1st District Democratic Candidate for Congress shares experiences with other veterans who served in Vietnam and during peacetime.


UNION GROVE, WI - Ryan Solen visited the AmVets Riders of Wisconsin on Saturday in Union Grove at their 8th annual fundraiser. A veteran of the Iraq war himself, supporting other veterans is an issue that is important to him. Solen shared experiences with a number of veterans who served in Vietnam and during peacetime.

ryan-solen-in-army-wifeThe event was held at the Ironwood Chophouse in a large banquet hall with items to be raffled lined up along the walls of the entire room. Items were donated and included baskets of Packers gear, different kinds of wine, beauty products, and enormous amounts of beautifully presented candy. Solen entered to win several different packages, including two separate baskets of candy for his kids, enough to ensure that they and he would never sleep again. He was, however, thrilled to win the Sprecher root beer package as he has long been a fan of the Wisconsin beverage. There were additional raffles of pies, meat, a 50/50, and several silent auctions.

“Our veterans have given so much of themselves to keep this country safe. Every effort we put towards taking care of them is a noble one. I’m pleased to see the AMVETs have such a great turnout for their fundraiser and I thank them and the visitors for taking the time to work towards making the lives of veterans better,” Solen said.

Proceeds from the event supported other veteran groups including Homeless Veterans of Union Grove, Zablocki VA Medical Center’s spinal cord unit, Fisher House, Dry Hootch, Muskego Food Pantry, and Union Grove Recreation Department. Ryan Solen was happy to be part of this event and looks forward to joining the AmVets Riders at their next meeting in September.

***

Ryan Solen is an Army veteran of the war in Iraq and is seeking to represent Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. He is a Digital Forensic Specialist and Computer Security Analyst. He is a married father of four and enjoys reading, writing, doing karate with his family, and relieves stress with his vintage Lego collection.

He is the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Nominee to run for the U.S. House of Representatives to replace Paul Ryan. For more information, please visit www.solenforcongress.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 09:54
 
1st District's Ryan Solen Reflects on Army, Veteran Experiences PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Solen for Congress, Lauren Young   
Saturday, 20 August 2016 09:19

ryan-solen-in-army-wifeDemocratic candidate for Congress looks back on his Army experiences, how that service helped prepare him, and gave him perspective.


MOUNT PLEASANT, WI - Less than 1% of citizens serve in the armed forces, and that makes veterans a kind of novelty wherever they are. My status as a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) tends to generate a lot of questions. Once I became a candidate for Congress, the questions increased. There was a lot of interest to know my story. I was asked if I would share my experiences with all of you. I have put it off for a while because when I think about it all, a flood of emotions of all sorts hits very hard. I look back on my days with my fellow soldiers with a sense of nostalgia while at the same time, contemplating all that comes with war also sticks out in my mind.

I had wanted to serve since my childhood. I enjoyed history, and I looked up to those who had proudly served to defend the country. My father served during Vietnam. He has not said much about it. I’ve never really tried to get more information. I grew up with a strong sense of responsibility that one takes care of those less fortunate, protects the innocent, and respects others.

I enlisted in the Army as a medic, and I left for basic training at Fort Benning, GA on 2 June 2004. I completed my medic training at Fort Sam Houston, TX, graduating in the top 10 of my class. I was then stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC for a short time. While there, I was given the opportunity to apply for a commission as an officer. Shortly after being transferred to Wiesbaden, Germany, I was notified that I had been selected for commissioning. On 22 June 2006, I was a Specialist (E-4), and the next day, I was a 2nd Lieutenant (O-1). I was promptly transferred back to the United States for officer training. My first officer assignment was as an Executive Officer. The unit I would deploy with, was the 98th Medical Detachment (Combat Stress Control), with the 62nd Medical Brigade in Fort Lewis, WA (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord).

I remember my thoughts before deploying. At the time, my wife and I had two children. I ran the outcome scenarios of their lives should the worst happen. I was nervous and worried. But, I was also very determined to do my best for my soldiers. We had worked and trained together for many months to prepare for our mission. We were a great team. We served with distinction, and received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for it.

The Army experience gave me a great deal of pride knowing that I was serving my country. But it also provided some additional perspective. While serving at Walter Reed, I was witness to the human cost of war. Every morning, as I walked across campus, I saw injured service members arriving for their appointments. The injuries were as varied as the people who had them. I remember one morning, as I was walking to my building, I saw a soldier in a wheelchair being pushed by a person that I assume was his wife. He was missing both legs above the knee. I remember that single moment in time not because of his wounds, but because of the look on their faces. I could tell they had been through a lot. Neither one smiled. They simply kept moving, as if all emotion had been forcibly removed from their lives. They were clearly exhausted. I walked by to continue my day. But, that moment will stick with me forever. When I was in Iraq, our clinic had constant activity. I was there almost daily. Many soldiers came for counseling, or just because they needed a mental rest. Some had looks similar to that couple. I never was in combat while I was there. I had a different job. I was taking care of those who took care of the other soldiers. I’m proud of our unit and what we accomplished. We helped a lot of people.

I look back now on those experiences, and I understand that there is a price of military conflict that exceeds just money. It exceeds physical injury. It doesn’t end after the conflict is over. Those who were there understand. Many don’t talk about their experiences because of the pain, or because they don’t believe that anyone could really understand their experiences. Many of them are still seeking to fill the void left behind by the piece of their soul that they sacrificed in the countries where they fought. It is absolutely imperative that we take care of our veterans. They have given so much for this country.

All service members depart a war zone knowing that their lives are changed forever regardless of their job. For me, it was a life lesson that freedom comes at a cost – a cost that is willingly paid by the small percentage who proudly serve. We should never take for granted the sacrifices made by our military members. Violent conflict is not a decision to be made lightly. We must ensure that if we are going to use the incredible power of our military, we must use that power for the right reasons. I honor our military, often in my own quiet ways. Despite some of the tough times, there were also a lot of great times. Serving made me a better person. I wish I still maintained contact with all of the friends I served with. To all of my fellow service members past and present, thank you. For those friends that I have managed to keep up with, thank you for impacting my life in so many ways, and helping to shape me into the person I am today.

***

Ryan Solen is an Army veteran of the war in Iraq and is seeking to represent Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. He is a Digital Forensic Specialist and Computer Security Analyst. He is a married father of four and enjoys reading, writing, doing karate with his family, and relieves stress with his vintage Lego collection.

He is the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s Nominee to run for the U.S. House of Representatives to replace Paul Ryan. For more information, please visit www.solenforcongress.com.

 
Feingold Highlights College Affordability During UW Move-In PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 17:15

russ-college-moveSenate candidate Russ Feingold supports Sen. Elizabeth Warren's bill which would allow students to refinance their student loans.


MADISON - Democratic Senate candidate Russ Feingold helped some students move into their new apartment in the campus area Monday and talked about college affordability.

Feingold, from Middleton, said that to help solve college affordability problems, there needs to be legislation like the bill U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sponsored, which would allow students to refinance their student loans.

“I consider the issue of student loans and student debt to be one of the most important issues in the presidential race and in our race," Feingold said. "Johnson voted against the bill and does not support federal student loans.”

A report of the visit from the Badger Herald is presented below.

August 16, 2016
By Maija Inveiss

https://badgerherald.com/news/2016/08/16/senate-candidate-feingold-highlights-college-affordability-during-uw-move-in/

Democratic Senate candidate Russ Feingold helped some students move into their new apartment and talked about college affordability early Monday morning.

Feingold told reporters during the move-in affordable for students and families, which would reduce post-graduation loan debt. He told reporters d the average debt for those graduating from the University of Wisconsin is $28,000.

“I consider the issue of student loans and student debt to be one of the most important issues in the presidential race and in our race,” Feingold said.

Feingold, a former Wisconsin senator and UW alumnus himself, said the state of Wisconsin has greatly diminished the support given to tuition in comparison to when he was a student.

He said to help solve college affordability problems, there needs to be legislation like the bill U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., sponsored, which would allow students to refinance their student loans.

Feingold criticized his opponent, incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., stating that Johnson voted against the bill and does not support federal student loans.

“It’s very sad that Wisconsin’s senator, Senator Johnson, doesn’t believe that our students here on this campus and across the state should get the benefit of student loans,” Feingold said.

Refinancing bills has drawn criticism in the past from Republicans who argue refinancing doesn’t actually help students and is too costly for taxpayers.

According to the most recent Marquette Law School Poll, Feingold is currently six points ahead of Johnson in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race.

In addition to reducing interest rates, Feingold said he would like to see a new program created that could prevent students from paying huge amounts of tuition. He said funding would need to be from the state, universities, federal government and families who can afford to pay.

Feingold also pointed to this past weekend’s protests and violence in Milwaukee. He said lawmakers and citizens need to work together to reduce the violence and tension in those communities.

“We do have to be clear that there is a level of tension and suspicion in our communities that makes people feel uncomfortable and nervous about encounters with police officers that are justified,” Feingold said.

The tension will not be reduced, Feingold said, until there is a change in the economic reality for families living in those areas. He also said there needs to be constant community dialogue between all parties, not just during incidents.

Feingold will face off with Johnson in the upcoming general election Nov. 8, 2016.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 August 2016 17:39
 
GOP Senator Finally Comes Clean on TPP PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 16:58

ron-johnsonSadly, it wasn't Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.


MIDDLETON - With Senator Toomey coming out against the TPP today, Senator Johnson is now one of the last senators who refuses to tell voters where he stands on the issue. Johnson has remained silent on the TPP for more than 286 days, claiming he needs more time to review it, despite the fact that almost every other senator has had enough time to make up their mind. Last month, Johnson admitted that he wouldn’t tell Wisconsinites his position until after the election.

Senators from both sides of the aisle have come out against this raw deal written in secret. But Senator Johnson is more concerned with the big corporate interests that have bankrolled his campaign than with middle and working class Wisconsinites. Like a true Washington politician, Sen. Johnson has preferred to play politics rather than level with voters about his position. Wisconsinites know where he stands though. After all, Johnson has a long track record of supporting bad trade deals. He voted to fast track the TPP and praised the “creative destruction” of deals like NAFTA.

"Senator Johnson's 286 days of silence on the TPP speaks volumes about what matters to him: the big corporate interest who have bankrolled his campaign. He makes one sorry excuse after the next about why he won't take a position, but Wisconsinites see through Senator Johnson’s political games. Senator Johnson has spent his career in Washington greasing bad trade deals. Whether it’s voting to fast track TPP, praising the 'creative destruction' of deals like NAFTA, or voting for every single trade deal to cross his desk, Sen. Johnson is obsessed with protecting corporations that send Wisconsin jobs overseas. It’s time for Senator Johnson to come clean and tell Wisconsinites where he really stands on TPP." -- RFW Communications Director Michael Tyler.

 
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