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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
Donald Trump Rooted for Housing Market Crash PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by GBP Staff   
Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:33

single-family-homeIn 2006, he hoped everyday Americans with a mortgage would lose to line his own pockets, buy low, sell high.

MADISON - Donald Trump's own comments in 2006 indicate that he hoped the housing market would collapse, saying that while average citizens lost their homes, jobs, and savings, he would be able to profit by buying their property at a low.

martha-laning"The Democratic Party has long been committed to ensuring that all Americans, especially the most most vulnerable, have access to housing that is safe, decent, and affordable," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairwoman Martha Laning.

"Our party is continuing that work to this day because we want every American, regardless of income, to have a roof over their head for a fair chance to get ahead," she continued. "You shouldn't have to be a millionaire to buy a home, save for the future, and give your children better than you had."

donald-trumpDonald Trump rooted against the success of everyday Americans and bet on their suffering. Trump hoped that while average citizens lost their homes, jobs, and savings, he would be able to profit from their misery.

"We can't risk having someone in the White House who would dare bet against the American people for their own personal gain," concludes Laning. "Donald Trump clearly does not have the best interest of the American people at heart and he does not have the temperament or stability to be President of the United States."

"Donald Trump is a risk we cannot take," she said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 May 2016 12:13
Brian Smith to Run for State Senate PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Brian Smith for Senate   
Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:17

brian-smithWaupaca Mayor and businessman to run for Wisconsin’s 14th Senate District.

WAUPACA, WI - Recognizing the need to create jobs and get Wisconsin back on the right track, Waupaca Mayor Brian Smith formally announced his candidacy for the 14th State Senate District today.

“I’m running for State Senate because we deserve better than what we’ve been getting from Madison,” said Smith, “As Mayor, I’ve fought to make sure Waupaca remains a great place to live, work and raise a family. As a small business owner and accountant, I know what it takes to balance a budget the right way so we create good jobs and grow our economy.”

A former high-school teacher and football coach, Brian is the Mayor of Waupaca where he was born and raised. He is a small business owner, partner in the accounting firm he founded and co-owns Smith’s Paca Pub. As Mayor, Brian worked with Fox Valley Technical College, the Waupaca Foundry, and the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home at King to bring training for good-paying nursing and skilled factory jobs here. He also partnered with local businesses to ensure good jobs stay here, rather than get sent overseas or out of state.

Brian and his wife Terri live in Waupaca. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Residents can learn more about Brian at:

The 14th Senate District includes portions of Adams, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Outagamie, Sauk, Waupaca, and Waushara Counties.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:27
Ron Johnson Ditches His Own Judicial Nominee After 2,323 Days PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:03

ron-johnsonMADISON - "What did Johnson have to say? Who knows. He didn’t even show up."

Ron Johnson Ditches His Own Judicial Nominee After Ignoring Court Vacancy For 2,323 Days By Jennifer Bendery
May 18, 2016

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) just can’t bring himself to play well with others.

He’s spent more than six years — 2,323 days, to be precise — singlehandedly preventing a vacancy on a court that covers his state from being filled. It’s the longest circuit court vacancy in the country.

That’s why it was a big deal Wednesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for Wisconsin lawyer Donald Schott, who would fill that seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Schott’s other home-state senator, introduced him with rave reviews. A few committee members peppered him with questions, but signaled no problems with his qualifications.

What did Johnson have to say? Who knows. He didn’t even show up.

Typically, both of a nominee’s senators come to these hearings to make the best case possible for confirming the nominee. Schott was one of eight finalists for the seat suggested by the Wisconsin senators’ own commission. And Johnson previously joined Baldwin in turning in their “blue slips” for Schott — a procedural step that signals a senator is ready to advance a nominee in the committee.

A Johnson spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment on why he skipped the hearing or whether he actually plans to push to confirm Schott, versus just turning in his blue slip for appearance’s sake.

At least one Wisconsin senator was eager to introduce a home-state nominee to the Judiciary Committee.

Johnson’s efforts to stall on filling the 7th Circuit seat fit into a broader GOP strategy of blocking nearly all of President Barack Obama’s judicial picks this year. That’s because Republican leaders would prefer to hold out until 2017, when Donald Trump might be in the White House (is this really happening?) and put forward lifetime judicial nominees more to their liking.

The problem is that courts with vacancies can get so swamped that people’s cases are delayed for years even as judges grapple with burnout. There are currently 87 federal court vacancies. Twenty-eight are considered emergencies.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said last week that he expects the Senate to stop any confirmation of judges by the time August hits. That doesn’t bode well for the 7th Circuit, which is positioned to roll into year seven with this vacant seat.

Tom Perez to Keynote 2016 Democratic State Convention in Green Bay PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 17:35

Tom PerezJoined by State Chair Martha Laning, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, Congressman Ron Kind, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congressman Mark Pocan, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Russ Feingold

GREEN BAY - Friday and Saturday, June 3 & 4 respectively, labor and civil rights leader Tom Perez will give the keynote addresses at the 2016 Democratic State Convention. State Chair Martha Laning, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, Congressman Ron Kind, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congressman Mark Pocan, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Russ Feingold, and a number of other Democratic leaders will also give remarks.

Members of the Media Attending

A credential is required for members of the media wishing to attend this event. Please click here to apply for a press credential.

All members of your party wishing to attend are required to submit a credential request.

Members of the media who have not submitted a request for credentials and have not been approved for a press credential will not be allowed into the event. Please note that press riser space will be limited.

Ron Johnson Confused About the Definitions of Support and Endorse PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 17:24

rjMADISON - While talking about his new pal, Donald Trump, the past few days, Senator Johnson has been confused over the definition of the words "support" vs "endorse." He seems to think that the two words have different meanings, but he’s sadly mistaken. Of course, Wisconsinites know that Sen. Johnson’s word soup is classic Washington Insider doublespeak (cc Sen. Kelly Ayotte). But just to make sure there's no room for error the next time he talks about endorsing...or...supporting The Donald, we took the liberty of sending him a dictionary to clear up any confusion he may have.

The dictionary should arrive at Johnson’s Washington office in the next few days, but here’s a preview:

We highlighted the definition of "endorse" for the senator...

And did the same thing for the word "support..."

We wrote Sen. Johnson a letter along with the dictionary. In case you can’t read it, here’s the text

Dear Senator Johnson,

We heard you on Mike Daly’s Show on Sunday talking about your for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. You sounded confused about the definitions of the words "support" and "endorse." Here’s a dictionary that should help clear up any confusion you may still have over the difference (hint: there is none). We’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the definitions and synonyms of support and endorse in the dictionary and put them below.

From American Heritage Dictionary

Endorse (p. 252): To express approval of or give support to

Support (p. 728): To aid the cause of by approving or favoring, synonym:               endorse

For future reference when you talk about “supporting” vs. “endorsing” Donald Trump, you should keep in mind that the words are synonyms. There is no difference.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Why Did Sen. Johnson Vote Against a Bipartisan Bill on Zika? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 09:04

ron-johnsonMADISON – Senator Johnson reminded voters again today that he is more interested in protecting the interests of his fellow Republicans in Washington than in protecting the people of Wisconsin. He joined 28 other extreme Republicans in voting against a bipartisan bill to combat a public health crisis. Wisconsinites deserve to know why.

Politico: Senate OKs $1.1 billion to fight Zika; House wants half that
By Jennifer Haberkorn
May 17, 2016

The Senate on Tuesday approved a bipartisan deal to partially fund the Obama administration’s request for emergency funding to fight Zika, but the bill is still too large for conservatives in the House and far from getting to the president’s desk.

The Senate advanced the $1.1 billion bill on a procedural vote and nixed two related measures — one to fully fund the administration’s $1.9 billion request and another smaller package that would have been paid for by cutting Obamacare.

Republicans in the House support about half of the Senate funding, which House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers called a “bridge too far at this point.”

Rogers has introduced a $622 million plan — which is expected to get a vote later this week — that was “very well received” in Tuesday’s House GOP conference meeting, he said.

The White House said the House measure could face a veto from President Barack Obama, a sure sign that House Democrats would oppose it. So do some Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose state is most threatened by Zika, called the House plan "playing with fire."

The divide between House and Senate Republicans is coming to a head after months of congressional squabbling over the administration’s funding request as the summer mosquito season approaches. The Zika virus, which has been directly linked to the severe birth defect microcephaly, is already spreading through mosquitoes in Puerto Rico. Local transmission of the virus is expected to take place in the continental United States — particularly the southern states — this summer.

The Obama administration has already moved about $600 million in unspent Ebola funds to the Zika fight. But HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who has been lobbying individual lawmakers to approve the funding, argues that much more is needed to help control the mosquito population, to develop vaccines and to improve testing of the virus.

House Republicans are feeling pressure to back the White House request.

“[I]f we fail to deal with the issue and there are hardships that would be posed on society in this country, you wouldn’t be able to compute those costs,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.). “It’s a dice role to get into an argument about Zika funding and running the risk in having something catastrophic happen and we own it.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who led negotiations on the Senate plan with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, anticipated that a final package won’t come together for a “few weeks” and that the House could be open to additional funding. The House plan provides funding through September 2016 and the Senate plan goes through September 2017.

“The fact that they’re voting on $622 million to go between now and Sept. 30 indicates the House, like the Senate, is interested in finding a solution,” Blunt told reporters. The length of time and whether the plan is paid for or not “will be basis for whatever negotiations happens.”

Before the Senate bill passed on a 68-29 vote, Rubio blasted the House effort.

“Frankly, that’s just not going to cut it,” he said. “If we don’t spend more than that on the front end, I think we’re going to spend a lot more later … because the problem is not going to go away.”

House Republicans argue the Obama administration has not provided enough detail on what the money would be spent on, and when. They say that the administration wants a blank check and the ability to move unspent funds into other programs.

“You can’t just throw out a number and say, ‘Oh, I need $2 billion,’” said Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.). “They said, ‘We need $5 billion for Ebola,’ which they got and there’s $2 billion left over. It’s better to tell us what you’re going to do with the money.”

The Senate package eliminated what Blunt said was at least one $85 million request to build two new buildings he said were unrelated to the Zika fight.

Obama administration officials say they have sent detailed proposals to Congress and that combatting the virus — which is new to the continental United States and has many unanswered questions — will require flexibility.

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, whose state of Hawaii could be particularly susceptible to the virus, is concerned that if the full funding request isn’t approved now, the White House will have to ask Congress to come back into session in the fall to approve more funding.

“This is the most basic test of governing. This isn’t a matter of political philosophy; this is a matter of competence,” he said. Republicans “have got to show that they can be trusted with the keys to the car and right now it’s not clear.”

Even if the House were to approve the Senate’s Zika funding amount, it is unclear whether the president would actually sign the legislation. The Senate attached the funding to a transportation and military funding bill; on Monday, the White House said staff would recommend a veto to the spending package for reasons unrelated to Zika.

Blunt indicated Tuesday that the Zika funding would likely be pulled into a separate bill or separate legislation.

Donald Trump Didn’t ‘Cross the Line’ for Sen. Johnson PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 09:08

ron-johnson-speaksMADISON - Yesterday on Mike Daly’s Show, Senator Johnson said that if any candidate running for office said “something that crosses a line” he would, “have to withdraw [his] support”.

Given that Ron Johnson enthusiastically supports Donald Trump, let’s take a look at all of Trump’s comments and campaign promises that clearly didn’t ‘cross a line for Ron Johnson:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 09:14
Ribble Continues to Refuse to Back Trump, Others Support Him PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 08:54

reid_ribbleMADISON - Over the weekend, Congressman Reid Ribble doubled down on his refusal to support Donald Trump as the nominee of the Republican Party. According to WisPolitics, Ribble said “I’ve been clear that I can’t vote for him,” and he even went as far as saying he would support the Libertarian or Constitution party candidate in November.

While Congressman Ribble stands firm in his opposition to Trump, 8th District Republicans Mike Gallagher and Frank Lasee have stated that they will back Trump if he wins the nomination.  In separate appearances on WFRV TV, Gallager andLasee pledged their support of Trump as the Republican nominee.

donald-trump"Mike Gallagher and Frank Lasee need to explain to voters in Northeast Wisconsin why they are supporting Trump while their own Congressman has refused. By supporting Trump it is clear that Gallagher andLasee support someone with a history of racist and misogynistic rhetoric, someone with no foreign policy experience, someone who even suggested that women who get abortions should be put in jail,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. “Trump’s policies would be a disaster for Wisconsin women and families, and Gallagher and Lasee should know better.”


Ribble still won't vote Trump, will look for another option this fall

“Many elected Republicans in Wisconsin are either starting to get behind Donald Trump for president or trying to get there by this fall's election.
Not Reid Ribble.

The outgoing congressman declared in December he wouldn't vote for Trump if the businessman became the GOP nominee and he's sticking to that pledge with the businessman on the verge of clinching the nomination.

Ribble, R-Sherwood, said he will look at the Libertarian and Constitution party nominees instead, adding he won't back Hillary Clinton if she secures the Dem nomination.

"I've been clear that I can't vote for him, and I can't vote for her," Ribble said in a brief interview.” [WisPolitics, 5/14/2016]

May 13 Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Friday, 13 May 2016 18:59

martha-laningMADISON - Welcome to the weekly installment of my chair update!

I am so proud of all the students graduating from college this weekend. However, this sadly reminds me of the negative impact Scott Walker and Republicans have had on the system. The last budget removed $250 million in state aid from the UW-System forcing campuses to pass or consider passing votes of “no confidence” in the Governor’s hand-picked Board of Regents.

Russ Feingold released a new ad highlighting the false attacks from Ron Johnson’s buddies the Koch Brothers. In addition, Paul Ryan jumped on board the Trump Train and Scott Walker failed yet again to pay off Wisconsin’s bills.

And don’t forget, State Convention is only a few weeks away!


This weekend thousands of young adults will receive their degrees and head out to the real world. For too many students though, what is supposed to be a joyous day, will be overshadowed by looming student debt.

We have to thank the wonderful professors, who have stepped up to make sure our students graduate and are prepared for the real world. They have gone above and beyond, prioritizing the well-being of their students despite Gov. Walker passing a $250 million budget cut to public higher education and forcing schools to do more with less.

Every single branch of the UW-System is experiencing cuts between half a million dollars to as high as $53 million dollars. It will be harder for students to graduate on time as essential classes are being cut and professors are being fired or leaving the UW-System. The situation has gotten so bad that faculties have held votes of “No Confidence” at multiple locations, including UW-Eau Claire, UW-River Falls, UW-La Crosse, UW-Green Bay, and UW-Milwaukee. A vote of no confidence by the faculty shows they have no faith in the direction Scott Walker and his hand-picked Board of Regents. Faculty members know what campuses and students need to prosper, and it’s time Walker and Republican leaders allocated the proper resources to Wisconsin’s public higher education system.

Parents will proudly watch their kids achieve a huge milestone in their lives this weekend, but I am sure many will also be wondering how their kids will fare trying to pay off their school debt while also covering living expenses. Unfortunately, Gov. Walker and Republican leaders couldn’t be bothered to take up Democratic legislation that would allow students to refinance their debt the same way you can a mortgage. Senator Harsdorf refused to even take the bill up in her committee.

And what has the result been? Over one million Wisconsinites are still shoulder the burden of student loan debt.

With over $1 billion in student debt, Wisconsin ranks 3rd nationally for the highest debt per capita; and students with high loan payments often push aside major life milestones like buying a home, a car, or even starting a family due to crushing debt. Wisconsinites deserve much better.

Democratic legislators have requested public higher education committee hearings on the budget cuts, but Republicans refuse to hold them. They refuse to acknowledge the consequences their cuts are having on the UW-System, even though they are jeopardizing the economic benefit that Wisconsin residents receive from the UW-System. Regardless of party affiliation, we deserve legislators who won’t run away from our problems!


Yesterday, Russ’s campaign released a new ad, highlighting the false attacks Ron Johnson’s buddies, the Koch brothers, are running to smear Russ. The ads are so false that three TV stations decided to pull them off the air – the first time any political ad has been pulled for a false claim anywhere in the country this election cycle. Between supporting Donald Trump, refusing to do his job on SCOTUS, and allowing his special interest pals to run false attack ads, it is clear Ron Johnson needs to be replaced.  Lucky for us we have Russ! Wisconsinites expect elected officials to work for their best interests, which is exactly why we are going to elect Russ to the senate in November.


When Paul Ryan was asked at the beginning of this week if he would Support Donald Trump’s nomination, he said “I hope to and I want to”. Yesterday, after having a private meeting with Trump, he praised the Republican’s racist, sexist, and xenophobic presumed presidential nominee. Instead of denouncing Trump’s hateful and divisive language, Paul Ryan is all aboard the Trump Train.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Ryan won’t denounce Trump and is even embracing his policies, as Ryan has his own extreme record that compliments the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee. This includes dismantling Social Security, believing Roe vs. Wade should be overturned entirely, voting for some of the 'most outrageous anti-immigrant and anti-Latino legislation”, and he does not believe in raising the minimum wage. With this sort of record, it becomes abundantly clear why Paul Ryan won't denounce Donald Trump dangerous ideas – he supports them.

To make things even more interesting, Paul Ryan says Trump is a “genuine” guy.  Remember Trump has said women should be punished for receiving an abortion, all Muslims should be banned from entering the country, and he would allow the United States to default on our debt, which would be an economic catastrophe.  Sounds like Donald Trump would be a “genuine” disaster as President!


Scott Walker preaches fiscal responsibility, but for a second time in as many years he has been unable to pay Wisconsin’s bills - passing along millions in extra interest cost to taxpayers. In this particular instance, the Walker administration kicked a $101 million debt bill down the road, resulting in an extra $2.3 million in interest costs. That’s $2 million dollars wasted that we could spend on education to help our kids or $2 million for broadband expansion in rural areas of the state. But remember, this isn’t the first time Scott Walker and the Republicans have skipped a payment, as they kicked a $100 million debt payment down the road in 2015.

After six years of empty platitudes and broken promises it is clear the choices Republican leadership in our state have made have left Wisconsin far worse off than when Walker took office. Instead of investing in priorities that would grow Wisconsin’s economy – education, workforce development, and supporting local businesses, Walker and Republican politicians gave away millions in tax breaks to special interests and the wealthy. And what have the results been?  Wisconsin ranked 50th in entrepreneurship, 35th in Job Growth, and gave out 10,000 layoff notices last year.  Now, once again, Wisconsin has been unable to pay its debt bill.

With Trump at the top of the ticket and Wisconsin Republicans refusing to join Democrats in common sense solutions, it is clear Wisconsin needs strong new Democratic leadership in Madison to get our house in order, and build an economy that works for everyone, not just the billionaires.


We are so excited for our upcoming state convention on June 3rd and 4th in Green Bay. For this event to run as smoothly as possible we need your help, so please sign up for a volunteer shift here. This is going to be a great event that you are not going to want to miss. Sign up so you can see all the action click here!

Martha Laning

Johnson Still Wants Trump's SCOTUS Nominee PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 08:12

merrick-garland-scotusMADISON - Senator Ron Johnson is finally meeting with Merrick Garland today (months after he first said he would), but he still stands firm in his opposition to Garlands nomination, believing that Donald Trump is the best person to nominate SCOTUS justices. Johnson has said time and time again that a vote on Merrick Garland is “not going to happen.” Instead, he wants voters to “move on” so that his pal Donald Trump can pick the next Supreme Court Justice.

ron_johnsonPublic pressure continues to mount on Johnson to consider the nomination. Poll after poll shows voters disagree with his obstructionism, and a recent WPR poll found that a clear majority of Wisconsinites want the Senate to consider the nomination. Yesterday, a Public Policy Polling survey found that, unlike Ron Johnson, most voters don’t trust Donald Trump to pick Supreme Court Justices.

“Ron Johnson’s meeting with Merrick Garland is just a ploy designed to distract from the fact that he refuses to do his job and actually consider Garland’s nomination. Poll after poll shows voters want the Senate to act, but Johnson is far more interested in the wishes of Donald Trump, than those of voters,” said Harry Hartfield, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

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