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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
Democrats Mock " website" PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 10:53

ron-johnson-speaksMADISON - What if Sen. Ron Johnson launched a new website, call it ""? Here is some content we'd like to encounter:

Sen. Ron Johnson here,

Just got back from Vegas for my own purposes --  trying to shake more money for the three super PACs solely dedicated to my own Senate bid out of the pockets of my buddy Sheldon Adelson!

But now that I’m back in Washington, I wanted to take a minute to show you all my new website.

Let’s just look at the reality of the situation: I am far too busy to get out and listen to the working families of Wisconsin. And why would I, when billionaires, big corporations and the Tea Party give me my marching orders?!

So since I’m far too busy to actually get out and listen to the people of Wisconsin, I figured I’d make this website to let you know what I’ve been working on in Washington.

On my site, you’ll be able to check out my top priorities such as:

-      Voting for tax loopholes while Wisconsinites lose jobs
-      Privatizing Social Security
- Opposing efforts to lift the burden of student loan debt

You can also read about:

-       My $10 million golden parachute
-       My record against Wisconsin women
-       My reckless foreign policy
-       My record protecting big polluters

So you probably won’t see me around any time soon (I’ll either be here in Washington or hobnobbing with my pals Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers), but you can drop by here any time to keep up with my top priorities.

Hope you enjoy!

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-super PACs)

P.S. To keep up with my top priorities, you can follow me on Twitter at @senatorronjon

April 8th Update from Democratic Party Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Sunday, 10 April 2016 12:06

martha-laningDPW Chair Martha Laning provides an update to all you Democrats on the Elections on Tuesday, GOP true intentions behind Photo ID, a fundraising Victory Fund, super delegates and the two great Democratic Presidential candidates, Judge Kloppenburg, the Koch Brothers Prop Up Ron Johnson, and more...

MADISON - Welcome to the weekly installment of my chair update!

This week I want to talk about the remarkable voter turnout we saw this past Tuesday and the effects of the new Photo ID laws.  I will also thank Judge Joanne Kloppenburg for running an honest and fair campaign, as well as announcing new service we are launching.  Lastly, I want to address a number of pieces of misinformation that have been spreading and talk about the importance of coming together as a party. 

The Elections on Tuesday

I was so proud to see so many Democrats come out to vote on Election Day this past Tuesday. We had over one million Democrats cast a ballot, which is 7% higher turnout then we saw in the 2008 spring elections. The Democratic Party and our candidates are generating a lot of enthusiasm across the state and country because of the ideas we are putting forward. We are the party that is offering solutions to the problems facing Wisconsinites - raising the minimum wage, tackling the student debt crisis and making a college degree more obtainable, making quality healthcare more affordable, and fighting to grow the middle class.

Whether you supported Senator Sanders or Secretary Clinton on Tuesday, it is important that we continue to have a positive, issues-based conversation about these two great candidates, and not resort to the type of divisive politics that have engulfed the GOP race. I’m proud that we have two great candidates, and I would be proud to vote for either one in November.  

GOP Admits True Intentions Behind Photo ID

On Tuesday, we saw Democratic voters come out in droves despite the state’s new Photo ID laws. Unfortunately, these new laws did result in longer lines and confusion about acceptable forms of ID. On Tuesday night, Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman admitted what everyone in Wisconsin believed to be true – that the GOP is counting on Photo ID to suppress the vote so Republicans have a better chance to win in November.  GOP motives were further revealed by Chief of Staff to a former Republican Senator, who said his colleagues were “giddy” about the voter suppression that would occur under the new law.

This is absolutely disgusting, and has no place in Wisconsin – or anywhere else in the nation. 

To address the challenges posed by Photo ID requirements, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin stationed over 200 observers in polling places around Wisconsin on Tuesday.  These observers were able to gather critical information about the implementation of the new laws – information we will use to address the problems directly in the coming months, and ensure that everyone who is legally allowed to vote in Wisconsin is able to do so in November. 

It shouldn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, white or black, we all have the right to have our voice heard – a right that was upheld this week unanimously by the United Supreme Court in the Evenwel v. Abbott case. In this case, the court stood by a founding principal of our country that says we all have the right to equal representation – one person, one vote.

Correcting the Record

This week, a number of incorrect stories and blogs have been posted about our participation in a fundraising Victory Fund – and it is very important to me that we correct the record.

Last year, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, along with 32 other state parties, entered into a joint finance agreement with the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign to raise funds that help to support state parties and Democratic candidates in 2016. We have offered, and would gladly partner with Sen. Sanders as well if he is interested in creating a similar joint fundraising agreement. These funds have helped us to maintain a top-notch state voter file, work with the DNC to combat the effects of Photo ID, and begin to build the infrastructure for our turnout efforts in the fall.  These funds are not being used to support any one particular presidential candidate, and in fact, by helping to update our data and address legal issues around Photo ID, they are helping all candidates in Wisconsin. 

If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Supporting Both of Our Great Candidates

Over the last week, I’ve received numerous questions about who I plan to support as an unpledged DNC delegate, and as Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  As the party chair, I feel one of my main goals is to bring our party together to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.  As our primary race has evolved, and I have had the opportunity to talk to many voters across the state, I’ve concluded it would be better for me to remain neutral and thereby be supportive of both candidates and our members’ individual choices. Once we have a nominee I will work with our great members across the state to bring people together and ensure that we help to elect a Democrat as the 45th President of the United States. 

Thank You, Judge Kloppenburg

I want to give my deepest gratitude and thanks to Judge Joanne Kloppenburg for running a clean and honorable campaign for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. Her campaign was a clear example of who Joanne is – someone with integrity, honesty, and a strong sense of what a fair judiciary should be. 

An Incredible Night

Last Saturday, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin hosted one of it’s most successful Founder’s Day Galas in our party’s history. Nearly 1500 people joined us in Milwaukee to hear from terrific progressive leaders like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and of course Wisconsin’s own, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Russ Feingold, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

It was an incredible night that helped to raise over a quarter million dollars for Democrats and our efforts to take back Wisconsin in 2016. Thank you to all who attended, contributed, and made this event the success it was.  And a special thank you to our outstanding staff and volunteers who made it all happen!

The Koch Brothers Prop Up Ron Johnson

While Sen. Ron Johnson refuses to do his job in the U.S. Senate, here in Wisconsin, he’s outsourcing his campaign to millionaires and special interests. This week, American’s for Prosperity, the dark-money arm of the Koch brothers, launched a $1 million campaign aimed at propping up Johnson.

It’s clear that Ron Johnson is happy to let dark money outside interests speak for him, and that’s exactly why we need Russ Feingold in the U.S. Senate.  Russ is a leader who stands up to the special interests, and for the people of Wisconsin.  Want to help Russ? Just go to to find out how!

Senator Baldwin Addressing College Affordability

This week, Sen. Tammy Baldwin officially introduced her #InTheRed Act to address college affordability and student loan debt. Tammy is the lead author of this bill that has attracted strong support in the Senate.

Last week, Tammy held roundtables at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee to hear from students and recent grads about college affordability. Please check out her new website that highlights Tammy's work on college affordability and share it with your friends and neighbors! 

Democratic Weekly Address

Senator Julia Lassa (D-Stevens Point) gave the Democratic Weekly Radio Address, discussing the Children’s Caucus and their goals moving forward.  They want to meet and work with researchers and economists to better serve the children of Wisconsin. We all know that our kids are the future of this state, so if we want Wisconsin to be successful, we must adequately invest in our children so they can help move our state forward.

You can listen to the address here.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is Launching a Medium Page

I am very excited to announce the party is launching a Medium page, which is an online publishing platform that has evolved into a hybrid of non-professional contributions, professional, and paid contributions. Those contributing to Medium range from President Barack Obama talking about wage growth down to a high school student excited about their election to the student council.

We will be having our first Medium post next Monday that I will be sure to share with you. More importantly, our goal is to give you all an outlet where you can talk about the specific issues facing your community.  If you email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with an explanation of what you want to talk about and how it is affecting you and your community, we will work with you to write something we can share on Medium, and in turn on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Missed Sen. Ron Johnson’s Birthday Party? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by People for the American Way   
Saturday, 09 April 2016 11:46

pfaw-ron-johnson-bdayMILWAUKEE, WI - To celebrate Sen. Ron Johnson’s birthday, Wisconsin activists with People For the American Way, Organizing for Action, and Voces de la Frontera gathered at Sen. Johnson’s Milwaukee office to throw him a birthday party – and send the message that while everyone, even Sen. Johnson, deserves a great birthday party, it’s time for him to end his partisan obstruction and give fair consideration to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

ron-johnsonActivists tried to deliver Sen. Johnson and his staff a birthday cake with the message, “Happy Birthday Ron Johnson! Now, #DoYourJob” (pictures are below and attached). Unfortunately, Sen. Johnson and his staff didn’t choose to join in the celebration.

PFAW Regional Political Coordinator Scott Foval stated:

“We hoped to celebrate our senator’s birthday with him, but it seems like just as he doesn’t have time to do his job and give fair consideration to Supreme Court nominee Judge Garland, he doesn’t have time to enjoy some delicious cake with his constituents!

“Now that the party’s over, it’s high time for Sen. Johnson to follow the Constitution and push for hearings and a vote for Judge Garland.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 April 2016 12:03
Ron Johnson Headed To Vegas To Lure Super PAC Dollars PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 08 April 2016 15:10

sheldon_adelsonBillionaire Sheldon Adelson contributed over $92 million to Republican super PACs in 2012, and Ron Johnson has 3 of them in need of a sugar daddy.

MADISON - The AP just reported that Sen. Ron Johnson will be in Las Vegas this weekend in an attempt to lure super PAC money out of Republican bigwig Sheldon Adelson. He'll hobnob with the Republican Party's biggest benefactor this weekend in Las Vegas with hundreds of other Republican donors at Adelson’s luxury casino.

rjAdelson contributed over $92 million to Republican super PACs in 2012, and Ron Johnson has 3 of them in need of a sugar daddy.

The news comes on the heels of the Koch brothers’ dark money arm, Americans for Prosperity, launching Ron Johnson’s introductory ad this week.  Content to let billionaires and outside corporate interests speak on his behalf, Sen. Johnson hopes that what happens in Vegas will pay dividends back home in Wisconsin.

AP: Johnson, Walker to speak before Jewish leaders in Vegas

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sen. Ron Johnson and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are both scheduled to speak at a weekend meeting in Las Vegas before hundreds of influential Republican donors and Jewish leaders.

Johnson and Walker will join with presidential candidate Ted Cruz and others at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting that runs Friday through Sunday.

Johnson's appearance comes as he's in a tough re-election battle with Democrat Russ Feingold. Feingold announced on Thursday that he had raised nearly $3.4 million in the first three months of the year. Johnson has not announced how much he raised for the period.

The RJC is funded by the top political donor of 2012, Sheldon Adelson, and meets at the billionaire's Venetian casino resort on the Strip.

Walker also spoke at last year's RJC meeting.

Russ Feingold Raises $3.35 Million in Q1, Over 30,000 Wisconsin Contributors PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Friday, 08 April 2016 10:46

feingold96% of Contributions $100 or less, Average Contribution $49.59 Badger Pledge Remains on the Table.

MIDDLETON - Russ for Wisconsin announced today that the campaign has raised $3.35 million in the first quarter of 2016.

The figure demonstrates a strong start for Russ as the campaign season hits full stride.

Strong grassroots support continues to serve as the backbone of Russ’s campaign. Over 30,000 Wisconsinites have contributed to Russ’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Russ’s contributors hail from all 72 of Wisconsin’s counties. 96% of all Q1 contributions are $100 or less. The average contribution for Q1 is $49.59.

“Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites continue to contribute their time and their resources into building this campaign,” Russ said. “While Sen. Johnson is content to let the three super PACs solely devoted to his bid speak on his behalf, the people of Wisconsin are making it clear that they want leaders who will fight for middle class and working families – not just the wealthy and powerful corporations. I’m very grateful to have such broad grassroots support, and I'll continue to listen to and fight for the people of Wisconsin throughout this campaign.”

Since announcing his candidacy, Russ has traveled to all 72 counties, listening to Wisconsinites in every corner of the state. In June of last year, Russ offered the Badger Pledge to Sen. Ron Johnson to limit outside spending in this campaign. As the Koch Brothers' dark-money arm, Americans for Prosperity, currently runs a million-dollar statewide TV ad backing Sen. Ron Johnson, today marks 300 days without a response from Sen. Johnson on the Badger Pledge.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 April 2016 10:54
Ron Johnson Still Refusing to Listen on SCOTUS Vacancy PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Thursday, 07 April 2016 16:06

ron-johnson3As More Senators Take Garland Nomination Seriously, Johnson Remains in Lockstep with Obstructionist Fringe.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday news broke that Republican Sens. Ayotte, Portman, Murkowski, and Flake are all set to meet with Judge Merrick Garland next week. After meeting with Garland, Republican Sen. Susan Collins is now “more convinced than ever” that Garland should get a hearing.

potus-merrick-garland-scotusAnd today at lunch, Sen. Mark Kirk was spotted handing out memos to his Republican colleagues encouraging them to meet with Garland.

But despite the majority of Wisconsinites who want the Senate to do its job and hold hearings, Sen. Ron Johnson remains in lockstep behind the Koch brothers and the Republican lobbyists who have spent millions to obstruct the nomination process and Mitch McConnell who just yesterday said, “I think it’s safe to say that there will not be hearings or votes.”

Johnson himself was the first to admit that his obstruction is entirely due to partisan politics. But the Supreme Court should be a cause beyond politics. Even some Senate Republicans now seem to understand that. Unfortunately, Ron Johnson is not one of them.

Washington Post: GOP senator ‘more convinced than ever’ that Garland should get hearing

Wall Street Journal: Sen. Collins Urges Republican Colleagues to Meet With Supreme Court Nominee Garland

Politico: Kirk rips 'closed-minded' GOP on Garland nomination

The Hill: Portman to meet Supreme Court nominee

NBC: Supreme Court Fight: Quarter of Republican Senators Now Back Meetings for Merrick Garland

Roll Call: Another GOP Senator, Kelly Ayotte, to Meet with Obama Court Nominee

Chicago Tribune: GOP senator meets with Garland, says hearings should be held

New York Times: Merrick Garland to Meet With More Republicans

Former Congressman Dr. Steve Kagen Endorses Hillary Clinton PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.   
Monday, 04 April 2016 19:38

steve-kagen-drAPPLETON - We have a serious election on Tuesday, and we should feel proud to live in America where everyone’s vote is important and by law must be counted.

hillary-clintonI am voting for Hillary Clinton. She is hard working, tough and cannot be bought.

In my lifetime, there’s never been a better prepared candidate for President of these United States.

Hillary is the positive change-maker we need.

She will work together with everyone to fix what’s broken and improve on what we already have.

Please join me in voting for Hillary tomorrow.

Senator Ron Johnson Defends his Support of Donald Trump PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Monday, 04 April 2016 14:10

ron-johnsonMADISON - This past Sunday Senator Ron Johnson tried to explain away his deplorable support for the bombastic and offensive Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump. Trump has taken his party by storm, including the support of Ron Johnson, by pushing misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and making fun of physically disabled individuals.

donald-trumpIn addition, Ron Johnson continues to defend his partisan obstructionism of not allowing President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, from having a hearing and a vote. Other Republicans are decrying these tactics as foolhardy and as serving no common good.

See excerpts from the article below.

After U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson told CNN that he thinks having Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket in November could help down-ticket GOP candidates, a number of outlets picked up on one quote:

"Stump with Trump?" he said last Monday in Waukesha when asked if he would campaign with the current GOP front-runner, according to CNN. "Just because it rhymes: It'd be the Ronald (and) the Donald,"CNN quoted Johnson, a Republican from Oshkosh.

Johnson, who's running for re-election against former Sen. Russ Feingold, was on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday and tried to clear up that he hasn't endorsed any of the Republican candidates for president. Judging from the reaction, he may have made things less clear.

Host Chuck Todd called Johnson one of the few on the Republican side who've said that Trump being the GOP candidate would help in a re-election campaign.
"What I've been talking about is, from my standpoint, I'm a businessperson,"

Johnson said. "I'm a completely outsider. And that certainly is what has resonated about his campaign in many respects. But from my standpoint, I think what this campaign ought to be about is growth. How do you grow our economy? It's the No. 1 component for a solution.


In Sunday's "Meet the Press" interview, he reiterated that he thinks it's "problematic" to consider a new Supreme Court justice in a presidential election year.

"He appears to be pretty hostile to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, which would not be popular in Wisconsin," Johnson said of Garland. "So I'm doing my job in protecting the Second Amendment rights of Wisconsinites by just withholding my consent."

Read the whole article here.

Ron Johnson SCOTUS Talking Points Come Straight From Right-Wing Groups PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by People for the American Way   
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 15:09

merrick-garland-scotusMADISON - Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is one of the Republican senators who is under considerable pressure in his home state to break from his party leadership and consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

So far, Johnson has toed the party line and says that he supports blocking any nominee to the Supreme Court for the remainder of Obama’s presidency. In defending this position, he has turned to a number of stock talking points cooked up by right-wing groups seeking to keep an Obama nominee off the Supreme Court.

As soon as President Obama announced his nomination of Garland, Johnson turned to the talking point that the conservative Judicial Crisis Network has been promoting since soon after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death left a vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

ron-johnsonJohnson’s appeal to let the American people “decide” and give them a “voice” by discounting President Obama’s entire last year in office, comes straight out of the messaging that JCN started hammering in early ads urging obstruction. In JCN’s first ad, a narrator says:

It’s ‘We the People.’ Sometimes the politicians forget that. The Supreme Court has a vacancy and your vote in November is your only voice. Sen. Chuck Grassley agrees: the American people should decide. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about your voice. You choose the next president, the next president chooses the next justice. Call Sen. Chuck Grassley. Thank him for letting the people decide.

Of course, the people already did have a voice in choosing who would pick the next Supreme Court justice when they reelected President Obama for a second four-year term in 2012.

The New York Times reported yesterday on an event in Wisconsin at which Johnson attempted to justify the Senate GOP’s obstructionism by implying that the Constitution’s requirement of “advice and consent” can mean the Senate advising the president not to make any judicial nomination at all:

“Yeah, I am hearing the drumbeat, ‘Do your job! Do your job!’ ” Mr. Johnson said, invoking the Democrats’ battle cry in their quest to get Judge Garland a hearing. “We’re doing our job,” Mr. Johnson declared, to shouts of “yes.”

“Our job as a coequal branch in the nomination process is advise and consent,” he said. “Well, President Obama — surprise — didn’t heed our advice. So now we are doing the second part of that advice and consent: We’re withholding our consent. Completely appropriate.”

This is a talking point that Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, a longtime right-wing player in judicial fights, pioneered very soon after the death of Justice Scalia, when he told televangelist Pat Robertson, “The Senate has a role in this, the Constitution says ‘advice and consent.’ The advice here is, ‘Don’t put up a nominee when you’re only going to be the president, you’re a lame duck and you’re only going to be the president for 11 months.’”

We don’t think that refusing to even consider a Supreme Court nominee is what the founders had in mind when they gave the Senate the power of “advice and consent," which is why the GOP leadership’s decision to have the Senate do absolutely nothing in response to a Supreme Court nomination is unprecedented.

According to the Times article, Johnson has also taken to saying that Garland is “hostile” to the Second Amendment:

“Judge Merrick is hostile to your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Mr. Johnson said in Pewaukee, using the judge’s first name. “So I am doing my job to protect the Second Amendment rights of Wisconsinites.”

Johnson’s use of the word “hostile” is no accident. The phrase “hostile to the Second Amendment” is what right-wing groups have settled on to describe Garland’s utterly benign record on gun rights. That’s the exact phrase that the National Rifle Association has been using in its effort to stir up opposition to Garland’s nomination. The “hostile” term seems to have come from an opposition research package put together by the Judicial Crisis Network, which in turn seems to have borrowed the phrase from a 2007 article in the NRA’s magazine.

We outlined last week why the Second Amendment “hostility” argument is bunk.

Senate Republicans seem to have ceded not only their governing, but the very words that come out of their mouths, to right-wing obstructionist groups.

Gov. Scott Walker Endorses Sen. Ted Cruz PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 13:31

scott-walkerMADISON – Governor Scott Walker endorsed Senator Ted Cruz today to be the next President of the United States, throwing his support behind a candidate who shares many of his extreme right-wing policies.  Throughout his tenure, Cruz has compared the fight to defund Obamacare to that of fighting Nazis in World War II, referred to marriage equality as the “radical gay marriage agenda”, and said those who believe in climate change are equivalent to people who believe the earth is flat.

Ted CruzCruz’s extreme record mirrors not only that of Walker, but also of current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. Most recently, Cruz said we should “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods”, but this only scratches the surface of his divisive rhetoric. Cruz has accused people who support marriage equality as waging “jihad” against people of faith, said the laws in this country that give women a right to choose are extreme, and has said the Obama economy is disastrous even though we have had 68 positive months of job growth.

“It’s shameful that Scott Walker would support a candidate with an extreme record of divisive policies and hateful partisan rhetoric,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Kory Kozloski said on Tuesday. “Ted Cruz has spent his career working to divide people across this nation, rather than working to bring us together. That is not the sort of candidate the Governor of our state should be standing behind.” Kozloski said.

Below is a brief history of Ted Cruz’s divisive rhetoric.   Climate Change


Gay Marriage and Homophobia

A Bit More

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