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National Energy Palpable Among Wisconsin Progressives PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 13:38

wisdems-groundgameRecord-breaking fundraising and grassroots activism in support of Senator Tammy Baldwin's re-election makes Democrats feel ready to Win in 2018.


MADISON - Joining a chorus of stories across the country, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a Sunday story highlighting activism across Wisconsin that has translated to a record-breaking fundraising and grassroots activism in support of Senator Tammy Baldwin's re-election campaign.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Democrats see new energy, challenges
By Jason Stein and Patrick Marley
April 22, 2017


tammy-baldwinMADISON – In the first three months of this year, Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin got money from twice as many new donors as she did in all of 2016 — more even than she did in her first full quarter as a Senate candidate in late 2011. She’s done it while decrying President Donald Trump and while meeting with new liberal groups that didn’t exist last fall when Democrats were dealt a bitter defeat by Trump and other Republicans.

Read more here.   This story adds to a clear trend in Wisconsin and nationally: Democrats are ready to win in 2018.   Read more about this nationwide movement that has found a stronghold in Wisconsin: Wisconsin State JournalNew faces fuel Wisconsin's 'resistance' movement, hope to achieve what past uprisings could not PoliticoRepublicans sound alarm on Trump's troubles ahead of 2018 Washington Post: Wisconsin Democratic senator echoes Trump’s economic message in her reelection bid PoliticoDems show surprising strength at start of brutal 2018 midterm The HillPicking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups
RealClear PoliticsSlow Pace of 2018 Senate Bids a Growing GOP Concern

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 13:48
 
April 24 Update From DPW Chair Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 24 April 2017 16:17

martha-laningResisting Trump in Kenosha, Tammy Baldwin's "Buy American" Legislation, Wisconsin Supreme Court kills reform on recusal rules, Tammy Duckworth to speak at State Convention, The State Budget, and more...


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

Resisting Donald Trump's Extreme Agenda in Kenosha

Thank you to everyone who organized and participated in the protests ahead of President Trump's visit in Kenosha last week. There was a huge turnout of grassroots activism and the energy at Sunnyside Park was unbelievable.  

Our collective voice was heard loud and clear. Check out some of the great news coverage from the protest:

WTMJ-TV: Demonstrators called the President the "Outsourcer in Chief" skeptical of Trump's Buy American Hire American Executive Order. "It's not going to do anything to protect American jobs and we know from the way Donald Trump does business that he doesn't care about American workers," said Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now.

Fox6 Now: "I don't really understand this buy American, hire American. He spends lots of time investing in foreign companies. His hats are made in China. Most of his clothing line is made in other countries. The same countries he vilifies he uses for his business," Brian Eisold said. "We want good, living wage jobs with wages and benefits where people can come to work and support their family and work and retire and do so with dignity," a protester said.

WISN12 (via AP): The president's refusal to release his taxes was at the center of the protest, with Americans facing the deadline to file their own. "Release Your Tax Returns! What or Who Are You Hiding," read one sign. "Grab him by the 1040," read another, a reference to raunchy comments Trump made about women during a 2005 taping of "Access Hollywood.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin's "Buy American" Legislation Takes Center Stage

While Donald Trump touted a pair of toothless Executive Orders during his visit last week, Senator Tammy Baldwin challenged the President to put legislative muscle behind his "Buy American" promise and publically support her "Buy American" legislation in the Senate. 

Senator Baldwin has long been a champion of Buy America legislation. She passed a Buy America provision last year to the Water Reinvestment Act that would have required American iron and steel to rebuild the country's water infrastructure to be built with American iron and steel.

It was stripped from the final bill by Speaker Ryan and GOP leadership. Now, she's reintroduced the legislation as the Made in America Water Infrastructure Act at the legendary Neenah Foundry and highlighted how buying American would be a boon for Wisconsin companies like the Neenah Foundry and their workers who famously assist in the building of our water infrastructure.

Her pressure worked, and President Trump told WTMJ's Charles Benson that he supported her common-sense "Buy American" legislation. It's a step in the right direction of holding Donald Trump accountable for the promises he made on the campaign trail to American. Those promises must be kept by taking real action and demanding real results. We're lucky to have someone like Sen. Baldwin who has the courage to stand up to the President and demand he keep his promises to American workers. 

I spoke with Joy Cardin on Monday about Trump's visit and Baldwin's stellar "Buy American" legislation. Listen to the entire interview on wpr.org.


Conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court Kill Common-Sense Reform On Recusal Rules

Last week, the conservative majority on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court voted to kill a petition endorsed by 54 retired jurists to require judges and justices to recuse themselves when hearing cases involving groups or individuals who supported their campaign and helped get them on the bench.

The high court's decision lets the current rules stand which doesn't include a distinction for conflicts of interest to make it clear when judges cannot hear cases. The move to reject reform comes after years of large contributions from special interests groups flooding the high court and assisting mightily in crafting the current conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

I am very disappointed by the court's unfair decision that protects the people who fill their campaign coffers and rejects the opportunity to clean up the court's ethical reputation.Their actions show that the five conservatives on the Supreme Court who voted against reforming recusal rules value their ties to wealthy special interests far more than preventing corruption and honoring the public's trust.


Senator Tammy Duckworth to Attend State Convention as a Special Guest Speaker

Last week, I was proud to announce Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) as this year's state convention special guest speaker in Madison on June 2nd. 

Senator Tammy Duckworth’s strong economic record makes her a perfect fit for this year’s convention. The Illinois Senator won her 2016 election for Senate by promising to fight tooth-and-nail for American workers. Sen. Duckworth has kept that promise by urging President Trump to enforce trade laws that protect American steelworkers, pushing for policies to improve workforce development efforts and make higher education more affordable, as well as supporting major investments to rebuild our nation's infrastructure.

You won’t want to miss what she has to say. Register for the convention online at http://www.wisdems.org/2017-state-convention.

We are also looking for volunteers to help us make this year's convention a success. Please consider giving your fellow Democrats a hand to make this year's convention one of the best ever. Sign up to volunteer: www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention


State Budget Hearing Update
The Joint Committee on Finance is finishing up their traveling public hearings. On the road, the committee heard about many issues affecting Wisconsinites. Citizens have many concerns with the Governor Walker's Executive Budget, you can listen to some of their testimony on the Wisconsin Democrats YouTube channel.

Save the date for an additional Democratic budget listening session coming up in Wausau on April 29. More details are below.    Saturday, April 29th Marathon County Public Library, Wausau Community Room 2nd Floor  300 1st Street, Wausau
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM    Weekly Democratic Radio Address: Drain the Special Interest Swamp in Madison, Not Our Lakes, Rivers, and Streams Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) offered the weekly Democratic radio address last week. 

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here: 
http://media2.legis.wisconsin.gov/multimedia/Sen16/bewleyradio041917.mp3 A written transcript of the address is below:    “Hello, this is State Senator Janet Bewley with the weekly Democratic Radio address. “Our memories can be short, but I’m guessing that most people haven’t forgotten our newly elected President’s pledge to drain the swamp of government corruption in Washington DC.  Many of the people who voted for him had high hopes that the tide had finally turned and that ordinary Americans would have a champion in the White House.  Even those of us who didn’t vote for him looked forward to the end of special interest giveaways. “It’s still too early to tell if that optimism was misplaced.  The outlook here in Wisconsin isn’t very good.  Just two weeks ago, the State Senate voted to give corporate farms unchecked access to your groundwater.  And it’s not just your groundwater, it’s your children’s and grandchildren’s as well.  The bill allows high capacity well permit holders to keep pumping out large volumes of water forever. “Instead of protecting your rights to safe drinking water or the public’s rights to enjoy our lakes and rivers, my republican colleagues sided with big business donors and insiders.  The facts are clear, these high capacity wells are causing nearby lakes and rivers to dry up.  How many of our friends and neighbor have to wake up to find nothing coming out of their tap before we do something? Earth Day, I’m asking my colleagues to make a similar pledge – let’s drain the special interest swamp in Madison, not our lakes, this Saturday’s“In honor of rivers and streams.  Let’s start putting people first, the special interests can take care of themselves. Debunking Myths About Raising The Wage
As Democrats, we believe anyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules should have a fair shot at the American Dream. The fact is that no one who works full-time in America should have to raise their family in poverty, but wages and incomes haven’t kept pace with the rising costs for working families. 

Raising the minimum wage would give 28 million workers across the country a raise, and lift nearly a million people out of poverty. These workers aren’t just teenagers at their first job—nearly two-thirds of workers who earn the minimum wage are women, and the average age of workers who would benefit is 35 years old.   Raising the minimum wage helps more than just the wage earner – it helps every taxpayer in the state. Across the country, state and federal governments spend over $150 billion helping workers who earn substandard wages at places like Wal-Mart. By raising the minimum wage, we could stop subsidizing greedy companies and instead invest in schools, roads, and critical safety services. 
In Seattle, they gave workers a raise and despite the fear-mongering from their critics, the unemployment rate in Seattle is at a near-record low of 2.9 percent. Read more from SEIU 775 President, David Rolf, about how raising the minimum wage has helped both workers and the city of Seattle.
Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala Featuring Congressman Keith Ellison

If you haven't purchased your ticket to hear Congressman Keith Ellison at this year's Founders Day Gala in Milwaukee on May 6th, now is the time to do so. By joining us for the evening, you not only have a great night with other Democrats, but you support the work our team is doing to build our grassroots efforts around the state. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they sell out! As always, we have a great event planned so we hope you can make it.


Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Donald Trump in Wisconsin: I support Tammy Baldwin 'Buy America' bill
Baldwin’s bill would require only U.S.-made iron or steel be used in projects funded by a federal program that gives low-interest loans for water infrastructure projects.

Sen. Baldwin: A Rare Day
It’s not too often that President Trump fully agrees with me on something, so it was a rare day this week when he came out in support of my Buy America legislation. In fact, he said he agreed with my bill 100%.

Dairy Experts: Trump's Promised Trade Changes May Not Come Soon Enough
President Donald Trump has promised action on Canadian dairy policies he says are unfair to Wisconsin farmers. But as Trump talks about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, some policy analysts aren’t expecting immediate improvements to dairy exports.

Donald Trump gets his 100-day report card
As Donald Trump nears the 100-day mark in the White House, voters are grading his performance on a partisan curve.

Ryan: GOP putting 'finishing touches' on healthcare bill
"We’re in the midst of negotiating sort of finishing touches, because our members want to make sure that we lower premiums,” Ryan said Wednesday during a question-and-answer session during a trip to London.

Paul Ryan’s image worsens after healthcare flop
Amid the collapse of the Affordable Care Act repeal in the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan's image is taking a hit -- 39% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the House speaker, down nine percentage points from November.

Trump probably won’t defy midterm gravity
The midterms will probably be rough for Donald Trump and Republicans next year.

‘Pivotal Moment’ for Democrats? Gerrymandering Heads to Supreme Court
"Now the Wisconsin case is headed to a Supreme Court that has repeatedly said that extreme partisan gerrymanders are unconstitutional, but has never found a way to decide which ones cross the line."

Wisconsin lawmakers clash over proposal to block state health plans from covering abortions
Supporters say the legislation is one more step to prevent taxpayer money from directly or indirectly funding abortions, while opponents argue it is an overreach that would interfere with women's access to reproductive health care.

Editing the Constitution: Wisconsin conservatives are pushing for a constitutional convention. What are their motives?
A narrow band of special interests could soon succeed in forcing a constitutional convention where more than 200 years of legal precedent that has formed the definition of civil rights in America could be under review by delegates selected by state lawmakers.

Bill could help residents pay for lead pipe removal
With thousands of water service lines containing toxic lead still in Racine’s infrastructure, a bill in the state Legislature could make it easier for residents to remove lead pipes.

County Conservationists Ask Joint Finance Committee To Restore Their Funding
Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal provides $8 million for the state's 72 county conservation offices. That's around 14 percent less than before he took office. Pepin County Conservationist Chase Cummings said they need more support in working with farmers to reduce runoff.

Our Views: Detached from his district
Paul Ryan, your constituents have waited long enough. It's time for a town hall, even if it's only the telephone kind. Something. Anything to show your constituents that you—not only your staff—are hearing their concerns.

Editorial: Rural county that favored Trump and Walker demands end to gerrymandering of voting districts
Another county — this one in rural northern Wisconsin — is taking a stand against the Legislature’s rigged process for drawing legislative and congressional districts.

Rejecting the Republican War on local democracy
The Republican war on local democracy is a top-down effort to prevent Americans from voting where they live to protect the environment, preserve their communities, promote public safety, respect civil liberties, organize fair elections, raise wages, guarantee family and medical leave for workers, and welcome immigrants.

Rep. Considine Column: Show your support for the environment this Earth Day
Did you know Wisconsin is responsible for the founding of Earth Day? In 1969, Governor Gaylord Nelson proposed a day when citizens across the nation would hold simultaneous “teach-ins” to educate each other and raise awareness of environmental issues. His vision spread, and on April 22, 1970, about 20 million Americans participated in the first official Earth Day.

Sen. Miller Column: Waters of Wisconsin and High Capacity Wells
The waters of Wisconsin belong to the people of Wisconsin. This provision is enshrined in our state constitution as a Public Trust. Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled State Senate recently passed a bill, Senate Bill 76, privatizing Wisconsin waters for the benefit of high-capacity well owners. SB76 gives high-capacity well owners permanent rights to withdraw water regardless of the impact on other water users. In spite of court decisions that require the DNR to manage the waters of Wisconsin for the mutual benefit of all users in accordance with the state constitution, DNR Secretary Stepp chooses not to do so.

 
Baldwin Talking Jobs, Opioid Crisis, Veterans Choice Across Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Saturday, 15 April 2017 10:53

tammy_baldwinMADISON - Last week, Tammy Baldwin's campaign announced a huge fundraising total, $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2017 and the Washington Post published a story highlighting Tammy's message of economic populism and intense work ethic as she prepares for reelection. And she's capitalized on that momentum by spending past week driving across Wisconsin talking about the issues that face communities big and small.

Tammy was in Green Bay on Sunday to meet with area retired Teamsters to talk about her support for the Keep our Pensions Promises Act. She also met with a dozen Green Bay grassroots leaders young and old.

She then traveled to Milwaukee on Monday to discuss a new killer in the opioid crisis, fentanyl. The coverage was powerful.

On Wednesday she held a town hall along the Mississippi River in the town of Prescott. There she spoke with Wisconsin residents about the issues that matter to them.​

tammy-baldwin-pierce-co

And on Thursday Tammy traveled to Elk Mound to discuss the impact of Canadian trade barriers with Wisconsin dairy farmers. She also held a roundtable in Wausau with veterans about her plans to fix the VA Choice Program.

Tammy will continue to travel the state, listening to Wisconsinites, and fighting Washington special interests that hurt working families.​

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 11:17
 
Is this a Senate race or a yacht sale? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 14 April 2017 15:04

Mark BellingWith Sean Duffy out, the Republican Party is scrambling heading into 2018.


MADISON - The Republican primary for U.S. Senate is already shaping up to be a complete circus. With presumed front-runner Rep. Sean Duffy declining to enter the race, the Republican Party is scrambling to get its ducks in a row heading into 2018. Currently, the potential Republican field consists of millionaires trying to buy a Senate seat while sniping at each other at every turn.  

Even conservative radio personality, Mark Belling, is unimpressed with the current slate of candidates noting in a Waukesha Freeman article that "Money can buy a lot of things in life and a Senate seat is one of them. But in this case, the race looks like an auction. The losers may be Wisconsin conservatives. Maybe."

In the article, Belling goes through the list of potential Republican candidates, starting with Nicole Schneider's and the millions she inherited from her late father, "That will buy you a lot of things like a G4, ownership of the stallion who won the Triple Crown in 2015 and have enough money left over for to buy a Senate seat." Belling slams the recently Democratic Kevin Nicholson for having a "sugar daddy" in Richard Uihlein, the owner of the Uline Corporation. Uihlein put $2 million into a political action committee formed to back Nicholson.

Belling pegs 2012 U.S. Senate candidate, Eric Hovde, as someone who tried to buy the same seat in 2012 and is poised to spend even more "evidently figuring if the first offer is too low you simply have to spend more." Even with Senator Leah Vukmir's potential candidacy, the radio host signals that Sen. Vukmir may team up with right-wing billionaire Diane Hendricks to survive the primary. 

Read Mark Belling's entire column online.

 
April 9 Update From DPW Chair, Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 10 April 2017 11:05

wisdems-groundgameSpring elections success, Joint Committee on Finance's (JFC) public hearings, Democratic radio on Privatizing Public Waters, 2017 State Convention, and more...


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

Spring Election Success

martha-laningMany thanks to all who knocked doors, made phone calls and, of course, cast ballots in last week's Spring elections. Thanks to you we helped make sure that Tony Evers easily won re-election and sent a message that Wisconsin supports investing in public education and providing each and every child in our state with the opportunity to succeed.  

If you haven't already, you can listen to Evers' election night speech on his Facebook page.

In addition, I'm extremely grateful for and proud of the incredible work done by local progressive candidates all across Wisconsin! This spring, our Candidate Services team worked directly with dozens of candidates for school board, city council, and town and village boards from De Pere to Superior, River Falls to La Crosse, and Beloit to Sheboygan.

They campaigned tirelessly, many in the most conservative parts of the state. They brought the Democratic message of fairness, inclusion, and opportunity to their communities and the reaction was outstanding. 77% of the candidates that our County Party and Candidate Services teams supported won their races!

We're not going to let the momentum from this spring fade. We'll continue to train candidates, develop county parties, and engage voters and activists across our state.


Budget Hearing Update

This week kicked-off the Joint Committee on Finance's (JFC) public hearings on the state budget in Platteville, West Allis, and Berlin. And on Saturday, Democrats held additional public hearings in Green Bay and Eau Claire. 

It's was great to see so many people coming out in droves to advocate for solutions to public school funding, repairing our crumbling transportation infrastructure, and bringing good-paying jobs to our state. Keep up the good work! 

The next official JFC public hearings will begin on April 18 in Spooner at Spooner High School. The committee will then travel to Ellsworth on April 19 for a hearing at Ellsworth High School. The last hearing is in Marinette on April 21 at Marinette High School. 

There will be additional Democratic public hearings as well and I'll be sure to share that information with you all as it becomes available.


Members of Congress Go On Recess This Week

Congressional Recess began April 8th and members of Congress will be in recess until April 23rd. This is a time when many lawmakers return home and meet with their constituents at town halls - a great venue for you to hear directly from your representative and get answers to your concerns and questions.  
Resistance Recess is planning to organize the power of the people and replicate the huge success we saw in February which built the power to stop President Trump and Speaker Ryan from taking health care away for 24 million people. 

As Trump remains under investigation and as Congress continues to push Trump's unconstitutional and dangerous agenda, we must make sure that no one allows the passing of time to normalize this president and his harmful policies.

Find an event near your on resistancerecess.com and make a plan to make your voice heard.  

It isn't just Republicans holding town halls during this recess. Democrats are coming back to speak to their constituents as well. This week, Rep. Mark Pocan will hold a Rock County town hall on Monday, April 10 at Blackhawk Technical College from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., to discuss his work in Congress, issues important to Rock County residents, and field questions from attendees. If you can't make Rep. Pocan's town hall, his sessions are posted after completion on the office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/repmarkpocan under videos.


Upcoming Democratic Training Opportunities

Spring elections may be over, but there's still a lot of work ahead of us! If you're eager to stay in the fight between election cycles, please look into some of the training opportunities that both the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and our partner organizations will be hosting around Wisconsin. 

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin will be hosting a County Party Development Training in Waukesha on April 29th for any interested party members. This training is designed to highlight the ways that activists can get involved in local campaigns on a deeper level, from serving on a kitchen cabinet to recruiting candidates to organizing volunteers and managing canvasses. Click here to view the agenda for this training. More dates around the state will be announced soon. Click here to register!

Wisconsin Progress is beginning their "Getting Ready to Run" training series, with sessions scheduled in Steven's Point, Chippewa Falls, Richland Center, Oshkosh, Waukesha, and Portage. The training is designed for anyone who is thinking about running for local and state office, and cover topics from how to know if you're ready, to what to do once you decide to jump in! Click here to register!

EMILY's List will be hosting a training on April 22nd in Milwaukee for pro-choice, Democratic women interested in running for office. Click here to register!

The Association of State Democratic Chairs will be putting on their T3 (Train the Trainer) series of webinars from mid-April to mid-May that any party members and activists are welcome to participate in. This program is designed to teach a variety of useful skills, from messaging to social media organizing to recruiting candidates and volunteers. Click here to see the dates and topics of each individual webinar. The webinars are every Monday and Wednesday at 7pm, and begin on Monday, April 17th. Click here to register!


Weekly Democratic radio address: Privatizing Public Waters

Senator Mark Miller (D – Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address last week. 

The audio file of  the address can be found here: 
http://media2.legis.wisconsin.gov/multimedia/Sen16/millerradio040517.mp3

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hello. This is Senator Mark Miller with this week’s democratic radio address.

“This week Senate Republicans passed Senate Bill 76, privatizing Wisconsin water for high capacity well owners. This bill allows high capacity well permits to be issued permanently. Forever.

“A high capacity well permit that lasts forever and can never be changed creates a permanent right to take water that belongs to the people of Wisconsin and use it for private profit.

“This bill ignores the property rights of riparian owners and recreational users when excessive withdrawals lower water levels and reduce stream flows. This bill ignores the access rights of rural households with private drinking water wells when excessive withdrawals dry up their wells.

“This bill picks winners and losers. Supposedly high capacity well owners just want “certainty.” But what this bill provides is certainty that their use is guaranteed over others, and that is unconstitutional.

“This should not a partisan issue, this is a fairness issue. Water belongs to everyone, not just the chosen few.”


Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala Featuring Congressman Keith Ellison

Last week, we announced Congressman Keith Ellison as our featured speaker for this year's Founders Day Gala in Milwaukee. Not only has Keith been a great friend to our Party here in Wisconsin, his leadership at the local and national level is incredibly inspiring and just what we need to see as we gear up for 2018. I look forward to a great Founders Day and the opportunity to have Congressman Ellison energize Democrats here at home. 

Please join us and your fellow Democrats on May 6,2017 for our Founder's Day Gala at the Hilton - Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they sell out! As always, we have a great event planned so we hope you can make it.


2017 State Convention

We are also looking for volunteers to help us make this year's convention a success. Without the help of volunteer doing things like stuffing bags, registering delegates, working the elections and a whole host of other duties, we could never pull off the two-day event. Please consider giving your fellow Democrats a hand to make this year's convention one of the best ever. Sign up to volunteer: www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention


Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

It’s time for Trump to strengthen Obamacare, not destroy it
Democrats are proud of the work President Barack Obama did to expand access to affordable health care and Democrats are ready and willing to strengthen Obamacare and give even more Americans the quality care they need and deserve. Democrats have already introduced many bills to try and do so. If President Trump wants to work with us, we’re ready. The question is whether President Trump and Congressional Republicans are ready to do the work of the people instead of play politics.

How Average Citizens Saved Obamacare
There was one major reason that their plan failed that has gotten very little attention: people organized and made their voices heard. Now, you can organize demonstrations to make your voice heard and turn out large numbers of people and see few results, but when it is strategically done, it can have a very major impact; that’s what happened with the health care fight.

Baldwin raises $2.2 million in first quarter of 2017
Baldwin's campaign raised $2.2 million in the first three months of this year, in advance of her re-election bid in 2018. Her campaign said Wednesday that she has $2.4 million cash on hand. 

Editorial: Mark Pocan's right: Donald Trump trade orders are talk, not action
Pocan, the Wisconsin Democrat who has emerged as one of the most serious advocates for trade policies that respect workers, the environment and human rights, saw through Trump’s smoke and mirrors.

Paul Ryan on tax plan: ‘White House hasn’t nailed it down’
A comment from U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan may have helped to trigger one of the biggest reversals in stocks in more than a year, a down move that could continue Thursday.

Paul Ryan: Health care bill will take time, as GOP learns to govern
A new push to pass a GOP health care bill will take weeks, not days, House Speaker Paul Ryan indicated Wednesday, as the latest talks among Republicans produced no apparent breakthrough.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Cosponsors Legislation to Strengthen Existing Buy America Standards and Create More Jobs at Home
Top House Democrats on Monday called on the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, thrusting the entire inquiry into jeopardy amid what they described as mounting evidence he was too close to President Trump to be impartial.

Mason-led Great Lakes group pushes against proposed funding cuts
A group of Great Lakes legislators, led by Racine state Rep. Cory Mason, has added its voice to a bipartisan push against proposed cuts to Great Lakes funding.

Vinehout: Protect the Constitution from a convention
What do the League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union and the John Birch Society have in common? They all think legislation calling for a federal constitutional convention is a bad idea. A very bad idea.

Kind calls on Walker to expand Medicaid
In light of the House GOP's health care bill failure, Rep. Ron Kind is calling on Gov. Scott Walker to expand Medicaid. Wisconsin is one of 19 states whohave chosen not to expand under the Affordable Care Act.

Wisconsin voters continue to approve more school referendums as $700 million OK'd this week
Of the 65 questions before voters Tuesday, 40, or 62% passed, including a near-record $181.3 million sought for the burgeoning Verona Area School District in Dane County.

Dozens of Wisconsin dairy farms could be forced out of business because of international trade dispute
Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that has halted the export of their milk to Canada.

 
Democratic radio 'Privatizing Public Waters' PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Friday, 07 April 2017 11:24

mark-millerMADISON - Senator Mark Miller (D – Monona) offered the weekly Democratic radio address last week.

The audio file of the address can be found here.

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hello. This is Senator Mark Miller with this week’s democratic radio address.

“This week Senate Republicans passed Senate Bill 76, privatizing Wisconsin water for high capacity well owners. This bill allows high capacity well permits to be issued permanently. Forever.

“A high capacity well permit that lasts forever and can never be changed creates a permanent right to take water that belongs to the people of Wisconsin and use it for private profit.

“This bill ignores the property rights of riparian owners and recreational users when excessive withdrawals lower water levels and reduce stream flows. This bill ignores the access rights of rural households with private drinking water wells when excessive withdrawals dry up their wells.

“This bill picks winners and losers. Supposedly high capacity well owners just want “certainty.” But what this bill provides is certainty that their use is guaranteed over others, and that is unconstitutional.

“This should not a partisan issue, this is a fairness issue. Water belongs to everyone, not just the chosen few.”

 
Sen. Ron Johnson Breaks 200 Years of Precedent in Vote for Supreme Court Justice PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Thursday, 06 April 2017 12:43

ron-johnsonJoins Republicans in Washington to blow up Senate rules to place Neil Gorsuch on our nation’s highest court.


MADISON - After two centuries of precedent and Senate tradition, Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Republican Senators voted today to blow up the Senate rules for President Donald Trump's extreme Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch has shown time and time again that his ideas are far outside the judicial mainstream, and have no place on our nation’s highest court.

neil-gorsuchGorsuch's extreme record should keep him from ever being a Supreme Court justice, but Sen. Ron Johnson decided to abandon 200 years of tradition and dissolve the 60-vote threshold for appointments to the Supreme Court. The decision to invoke a "nuclear option" and lower the vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees undermines the Senate and our democracy.

Gorsuch’s decisions have been wildly pro-corporate and both anti-worker’s and women’s rights, such as his decision in the Hobby Lobby case allowing a corporation to strip crucial contraceptives from its employees’ health care plan. His decisions have often been cruel: he once declared that a trucker had committed a fireable offense by seeking shelter after his employer left him stranded for hours in sub-zero weather with no heat and his body beginning to go numb. Gorsuch supported using a legal standard that would deny disabled children a decent education, an interpretation of the law rejected by every sitting Supreme Court Justice. Anyone with views as extreme and ludicrous as these has no place on the highest court in the land.

It's clear that if confirmed, Gorsuch will be too extreme of a justice to be an independent check on the Trump Administration. In a time when our President is under FBI investigation and continues to push potentially unconstitutional actions, it is crucial the court remains objective.

"Today, Republicans in Washington demonstrated just how low they'll go to hold on to power and usher Donald Trump's anti-democratic agenda through Congress," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Thursday. "Supreme Court justices can alter the rights and freedoms of all Americans. The highest court in the land plays one the most important roles in our democracy and Sen. Ron Johnson just voted to confirm justices to the bench with party-line votes."

Last Updated on Friday, 07 April 2017 12:57
 
Sen. Leah Vukmir's Ugly Record On Equal Pay PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 13:19

leah-vukmirBrookfield Republican voted against the Democratic Equal Pay Enforcement Act and then to repeal equal pay enforcement provisions of the act when Republicans were in charge.


MADISON - Democrats believe that women's economic security and prosperity is crucial to our economic strength. While Democrats have worked for years to make equal pay for women a reality, Republicans like Sen. Leah Vukmir (R - Brookfield) have only helped widen the gender pay gap by voting against Democrat's enforcement of equal pay legislation and voting to repeal that very legislation just three years later.

womenIn 2009, then-Rep. Leah Vukmir voted against the Democratic-led legislature making it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court through the Equal Pay Enforcement Act. The legislation gave workers more avenues to press charges for pay discrimination.

Among its other provisions, the Equal Pay Enforcement Act allowed individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court.

Just three years later, in 2012, Vukmir voted to repeal those equal pay enforcement provisions - effectively taking the teeth out of the legislation.

"Women should always receive the same pay when they do the same work as a man. This is a question of basic fairness," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Brandon Weathersby said on Tuesday. "Yet today, women in Wisconsin earn only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes - and that gap is even larger for women of color. That’s why Democrats support strong paycheck protection laws in Wisconsin, and across the nation. Sen. Vukmir and her Republican colleagues should do the same."

Last Updated on Friday, 07 April 2017 14:52
 
Tony Evers Re-Elected with Statewide Support PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Tony Evers for State Superintendent, Amanda Brink   
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 11:42

tony_eversEvers thanks Wisconsin for his election victory Tuesday.


MADISON - The following is a statement from State Superintendent Tony Evers:

I’m grateful for tonight’s results. First, I just want to thank my wife Kathy, my family, my supporters and everyone who came out to vote today. I’ve received enormous support in this campaign, and it has been truly heartwarming. I also want to acknowledge Dr. Holtz -- stepping into the arena isn’t always easy. But I think that when you talk about the issues that really matter to folks, they show up and vote. Our campaign was about our kids, and the future of Wisconsin.

school-bus-kidsI believe the real winners tonight are Wisconsin’s 860,000 public school kids. The little girl in Altoona who loves playing her clarinet, the 4th grader in Greenfield who is excited about his computer class, and the kid from Three Lakes who is driven to invent and comes to school every day to work in the Fab Lab.

I believe in public education and I am proud of where we are today. We have high graduation rates, suspensions are down, attendance is up, and the number of kids earning college credit in high school is at an all-time high.

Despite these successes, we have serious challenges facing our schools. A larger share of our kids live in poverty, one in five students has a mental health need, the achievement gap between black and white students is too high and we have a growing teacher shortage that is furthered by divisive rhetoric.

Funding public schools is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, it is our obligation to care for our children, and our obligation to Wisconsin’s future prosperity. Education is the driving engine of our economy. Education gives kids a ladder of opportunity, and every child, not just some, deserve the resources Wisconsin should invest in them: kids with special needs, kids of color, kids who are immigrants and kids who come to school hungry.

I will continue to advocate for what is best for our kids and our future, but I need your help. With both the federal and state budgets in process, it is clear now, more than ever, we will have to continue to fight for public education and the resources our kids need. It takes more than just one person, one voice. So my ask tonight is this -- volunteer in your local school, mentor a student, speak to your elected representative. These kids are Wisconsin’s future, and they need our help.

Join me in being their champion.

 
Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning Apr 2 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 03 April 2017 16:52

martha-laningVote April 4, Republican Extremism Reaches A New Low, Wisconsin Budget Process, and more...


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

Make A Plan To Vote For Tony Evers For State Superintendent In Tuesday's Spring Election

If you haven't already, it's time to make a plan to vote in one of the most important races on the ballot: Tony Evers' bid for re-election as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Evers is the only candidate in the race for State Superintendent who is a champion for fairly funding our public schools, increasing graduation rates, and creating pathways to family-sustaining jobs for young adults.  

Make sure you get out to the polls this Tuesday, April 4 and vote for Evers. Then spread the word with your network online. Remind all of your friends and family to cast a ballot today for Tony Evers for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Learn more about Tony on his website tonyforwisconsin.com
Learn more about what you need vote on Tuesday at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/.

P.S. be sure to watch and share Tony's latest television ad with your online networks. Click the screenshot below to watch the ad on Tony's YouTube page.

tony-evers-campaign

Republican Extremism Reaches A New Low In Wisconsin

Just when I think things can't get more extreme they do. Last week, a joint Assembly and Senate committee held a hearing on a bill to call for a constitutional convention. The last time our country had a constitutional convention was in 1787 - when our country's Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Ever since then, our government has used the Congressional process for making specific changes to the U.S. Constitution. There are 27 amendments to the Constitution, but now the Republicans, through shady groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC ), are attempting to circumvent Congress by getting 34 state legislatures to pass bills calling for a constitutional convention - all to include a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The proposal introduced in Wisconsin, written by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), would make our state the 30th of 34 states required for a constitutional convention to become a reality.

There is a reason why this hasn't been done since 1787 and why even extreme right-wing groups have shunned this proposal: Once a constitutional convention is called our constitution is in jeopardy as convention delegates can totally rewrite the entire Constitution, as it is not clear whether a convention summoned in this way would be legally bound to limit the discussion at the convention to a single issue. Experts suggest that such a convention would have the ability to propose anything it sees fit, which could spell disaster for civil rights, worker's rights, voting rights, women's rights, LGBT rights and all of the other important progress our country has achieved. 

Very few people spoke in favor of the bill at last week's hearing. In fact, people are flabbergasted that Republican legislators are even considering such a frightening idea. Our democracy is young and to have each state writing the rules on who gets to participate is shocking. Furthermore, the Wisconsin call for a constitutional convention has partisan extremism baked right into the legislation as  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is allowed to select two delegates, the Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is allowed to select two delegates, the Governor selects one delegate, and one delegate is selected by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Peter Barca. That means nine representatives from Wisconsin would participate in the convention if it was successfully called, but only two of the state's delegates would be Democrats. 

People who value freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality in all its forms, and so many other issues should be concerned about what could happen at a constitutional convention. Furthermore, big money special interests are already looming over our political process and seek to control every level of power possible. Who knows what kind of back room deals unelected delegates would strike to remain in power and appease those special interests.

Quite frankly, Republicans should be just as concerned because we have seen in the last several months that the Republicans aren't on the same page. I think the Republican Party is lost and the fact they are introducing such a scary bill proves it. 

We are watching what is happening closely and if the bill makes the schedule we will be sending an immediate call to action for all our members.

Learn more about the bill and last week's hearing on StarTribune.com


Wisconsin Budget Process Update

Members of the Joint Finance Committee completed their briefings for each state agency last week. If you have a little time on your hands, you can watch last week's hearings on wiseye.org.

This week, the hearings go on the road for six public hearings around the state on Gov. Scott Walker's state budget proposal. The first is this Monday, April 3 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The next hearing will be held on Wednesday, April 5 at the State Fair Park outside of Milwaukee and that will be followed by an April 7 hearing at Berlin High School.

Our Communications Department will be sending budget research, talking points, and regional information for all of you planning to attend this week's hearings. And if you can't attend they'll be sending out information to use on social media during this part of the budget process. 

You can follow along with the budget process and learn more about the next steps moving forward at The Budget Process in Wisconsin.

A few weeks ago I told you that I would share information on Democratic budget listening sessions once that information became available. Save the date for the first hearings held on Saturday, April 8 in Green Bay and Eau Claire.  Details of the event are located below.  We'll be sharing more dates as they become available.

Democratic Budget Hearing in Green Bay
Time:                   Saturday, April 8,  10 AM – 2 PM
Location:              UW-Green Bay Christie Theatre (In the Student Union)
2420 Nicolet Dr, Green Bay, WI 54311

Democratic Budget Hearing in Eau Claire
Time:                   Saturday, April 8, 10 AM – 2 PM
Location:              UW-Eau Claire Centennial Hall (Room 1614)
1698 Park Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701


Glenn Grothman Town Hall On April 10

Congressman Glenn Grothman is holding a town hall on April 10 in Valders. If you can attend, please do so and make your voice heard on President Donald Trump's agenda, the Republican attempt to repeal health care, and other issues that matter the most to you.

Rep. Glenn Grothman Town Hall
Time: Monday, April 10, 2pm - 2pm
Location: 420 N. Liberty St. Valders, WI 54245


Democratic Weekly Radio Address: "We Need a Budget That Works for Everyone"

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) gave the Democratic Weekly Radio Address on the Wisconsin budget and the upcoming Joint Finance hearings:

"We need a budget that creates opportunities for everyone to succeed. We need to invest in our shared success: affordable health care, good roads, better broadband, and great schools and universities," said Rep. Shankland. "I encourage you to make your voice heard – Democrats are listening!"

You can find the audio of this week's address here and the video here

A written transcript of the address is below:

"Hi, I’m Rep. Katrina Shankland with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

"Here in Wisconsin, we’re proud to be such hard-working people. We believe in opportunity, fairness, and community. But for many people across Wisconsin, they feel like no matter how hard they work, they can’t get ahead. From student loan debt to the rising cost of childcare, families are struggling – and it’s time to put them first with an opportunity budget that gives them a fighting chance.

"Yet Governor Walker’s re-election budget demonstrates the failures of his leadership: from refusing to fix our roads long-term to weakly trying to solve a public education crisis he created, the governor’s budget pits community against community, his 'go to' move.

"We need a budget that creates opportunities for everyone to succeed. We need to invest in our shared success: affordable health care, good roads, better broadband and great schools and universities. 

"The next few weeks, as a member of the Joint Finance Committee, I will be traveling the state to listen to the people of Wisconsin on what matters to them when it comes to our budget. I encourage you to make your voice heard – Democrats are listening!"


Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala

With our sights set on a victorious 2018 midterm election cycle, Wisconsin Democrats will gather this May to celebrate the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's 2017 Founders Day Gala. 

The evening will focus on rallying Democrats for the important races on the ballot in Wisconsin's 2018 election. Democrats and grassroots activists are excited to work towards another victory for Senator Tammy Baldwin. Sen. Baldwin was elected to the Senate on a promise to fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest Americans. In the Senate, she's fought tirelessly for the economic stability for Wisconsinites by introducing measures to strengthen the "Made in Wisconsin" economy by leading the Senate’s Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to pass legislation to help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

Please join us and your fellow Democrats on May 6, 2017 for our Founder's Day Gala at the Hilton - Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they sell out! As always, we have a great event planned so we hope you can make it.


2017 State Convention

The state and congressional district conventions are quickly approaching and I can't wait to see you all in Madison for our state convention on the 2nd and 3rd of June at the Madison Marriott West. For more information on the State Convention, how to become a delegate, and to pre-register, please visit www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention

We are also looking for volunteers to help us make this year's convention a success. Without the help of volunteer doing things like stuffing bags, registering delegates, working the elections and a whole host of other duties, we could never pull off the two-day event. Please consider giving your fellow Democrats a hand to make this year's convention one of the best ever. Sign up to volunteer at: http://www.wisdems.org/2017-state-convention/volunteer


Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Tony Evers: Funding tied to 'Act 10 compliance' could unfairly affect districts
State Superintendent Tony Evers said Thursday he is concerned a proposal from Gov. Scott Walker to tie more than half a billion dollars in new school funding to how much school districts’ staff are paying toward their health care costs could be misapplied to districts that have cut costs. Evers told the state’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee on Thursday that he is afraid a requirement proposed by the governor in his 2017-19 spending plan, which ties the new funding to whether a district is requiring its staff to pay 12 percent toward health care costs, will be arbitrarily applied and affect more than the one or two school districts that actually do not require their staff to meet that threshold.

GOP mega-donor Richard Uihlein backs Kevin Nicholson with $2 million to challenge Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin campaign manager Scott Spector said: "With out-of-state millionaires and super PACs lining up to buy Wisconsin's Senate seat, Wisconsinites never have to worry about whose side Tammy is on. She has never been afraid to stand up to Washington millionaires and special interests when the best interests of Wisconsin are on the line."

Attorney General Brad Schimel settles without fine in 3M pollution case
After years of declining financial penalties for Wisconsin polluters, Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel has settled a case with no fine at all.

Republicans, Democrats in Congress demand Great Lakes funding
Saying the Trump administration's lack of funding for Great Lakes restoration is unacceptable, 63 Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House on Thursday sent a letter to budget committee heads asking for full funding for the federal program. The letter asks for $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for fiscal year 2018, which starts in October. That's the same amount Congress approved last year. President Donald Trump included nothing in his proposed 2018 budget for Great Lakes restoration.

Democrats in Trump territory in no mood to deal
The 12 Democrats who represent House districts won by Donald Trump were supposed to be easy marks for the deal-making new president. Instead, they’re giving him the stiff-arm. “I do come from a district that did flip to Trump this time, but I don’t think they should be reading that as a slam dunk,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.). “I’m not going to support crazy up here.”

Republican lawmakers seek limits on school referendums
School districts would no longer be able to ask voters to raise their taxes permanently and districts would lose some state funding if they exceed their state-imposed limits on raising property taxes through referendums under a package of bills Republican lawmakers are releasing this week. Legislators proposing the bills say the moves are designed to lower property taxes, keep voters from being worn down by multiple referendum campaigns and prevent special elections when turnout is low. But critics say the measures make it harder for public schools to keep up with the rising costs of educating students and could hurt school boards’ ability to ensure adequate cash flow.

Wisconsin panel sees progress, problems at Lincoln Hills youth prison
Lincoln Hills has often been criticized for being a four-hour drive from offenders' homes in urban areas like Milwaukee, but Schraa said he saw some benefit to the setting. "Being in a rural setting I feel like you get an individual out of the environment where they broke the law," Schraa said. Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) said he disagreed. He noted that the northern Wisconsin facility has just one African-American staff member, even though the majority of its inmates are minorities. He and Goyke have argued for keeping offenders closer to southeastern Wisconsin in smaller facilities, an approach modeled after the one used by Missouri.

Questions about UW System foundations loom over budget deliberations

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said a budget provision that would let students opt out of paying for certain fees could threaten funding for campus bus lines, potentially increasing costs for students who rely on public transportation. That proposal could also reduce support for student government and other organizations Taylor said provide a valuable service to students. “It really gives you an opportunity to learn budgeting, really run organizations and do so much,” Taylor said of student government.

 
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