Friday October 18, 2019

Forward with Education & Reason

Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
More on Sen. Ron Johnson's Supreme Court Obstructionism PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Monday, 22 February 2016 17:58

ron-johnson-speaksMADISON - On Friday, we reviewed Sen. Johnson’s week in Supreme Court obstructionism. After the flood of condemnation and the stinging editorials, Johnson received for refusing to do his job, you’d imagine the Senator would rethink his partisan position.  But, no.

On Saturday, Johnson paid a visit to the state of Wisconsin to tout his obstructionist stance.

As the Daily Union reports, Sen. Johnson remains in lockstep with Republicans like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Mitch McConnell who favor delaying a Supreme Court nominee until after President Obama leaves office:

Johnson has joined in supporting Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in calls to block an Obama nominee without a hearing.

“Rather than have a lame-duck president put forward a nomination, rather than have a lame-duck Senate confirm that nomination, why don’t we let the American people decide?,” Johnson said.

“It’s a unique time in our history. The American people are going to go to the polls in 2016 and decide what path this nation is on. Are we going to continue on this road to serfdom or are we going to change course and re-embrace the founding principles of this nation?”

While we don’t quite understand how nominating a justice to our nation's highest court is tantamount to serfdom, we do know one thing: instead of doing his job, Ron Johnson is content to take his cues from Washington Republicans who favor partisan bickering and obstructionism over a full and functional Supreme Court.

It’s wrong, it’s irresponsible, and it’s what we’ve come to expect from Sen. Johnson.

Ron Johnson’s Week in SCOTUS Obstructionism PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 19 February 2016 16:06

ron-johnsonMADISON - Sen. Ron Johnson had a rough week.  After immediately endorsing the “delay, delay, delay” obstructionism plan put forth by Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Mitch McConnell, Johnson has taken heat for his inability explain his position.

While the senator hasn’t exactly been eloquent in his statements, he has been extremely consistent.  Instead of doing his job, Johnson remains firmly planted in his belief that our nation’s highest court should remain deadlocked until after President Obama leaves office.

Let’s review:

Sunday: initial statement

“I strongly agree that the American people should decide the future direction of the Supreme Court by their votes for president and the majority party in the U.S. Senate”

Monday on The Vicki McKenna Show

”Let's have the election about the direction of this country and the direction of the Supreme Court.”

Tuesday on the Jerry Bader Show

“Doing nothing is also an action, kind of bolstering the advice that, let's let the American people decide through their vote who the next president is that should make that appointment [to the Supreme Court].”

Wednesday on the Hugh Hewitt Show

“The American people will decide what direction the Supreme Court will take in 2017, with hopefully a Republican president.”

Thursday on All Things Considered

“We’re only 8 months before an election where the American people are going to decide the direction of the country. Why not let the American people also decide the direction of the Supreme Court?”

So on Friday, one thing remains absolutely clear: Sen. Johnson remains in lockstep with Washington Republicans who want to obstruct the nomination process for as long as possible. That’s irresponsible and would leave our nation’s highest court deadlocked for over a year.

Here’s a crystal clear message to Sen. Johnson: do your job. Consider a nominee. The people of Wisconsin can’t afford your partisan obstructionism.

Wisconsin Editorial Boards Slam Sen. Johnson for Shirking Responsibility PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 17:34

johnsonMIDDLETON - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Capital Times Editorial boards have called out Sen. Ron Johnson for refusing to do his job regarding the Supreme Court Vacancy.  Johnson has fallen in line behind Mitch McConnell by promising to block any nominee President Obama nominates and continues to suggest that America would be best served by political obstructionism and a vacancy on the high court until 2017.

The Capital Times Editorial: Ron Johnson and GOP candidates assault the Constitution

The authors of the U.S. Constitution did not outline a two-party system. Nor did they imagine that a plan for reasonable checks and balances would become a tool to empower petty obstructionists like Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial: President Obama, Senate should do their duty

McConnell is right on one point: Americans should have a say. And they will — through a president they twice elected and through their senators.

Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who faces a difficult re-election battle this fall against former Sen. Russ Feingold, have quickly closed ranks around McConnell. Johnson's statement Sunday echoed McConnell.

“While it’s no surprise that Sen. Johnson wants to shirk his constitutional responsibility, the people of Wisconsin want a senator who will actually do his job.  Unfortunately, Johnson refuses to listen to Wisconsinites and prefers taking his cues from Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.” – Michael Tyler, Communications Director

Johnson says “doing nothing is also an action” on Supreme Court Vacancy PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 17:18

ron-johnsonMADISON - Senator Ron Johnson continues to refuse to do his job on the Supreme Court vacancy.  Instead of listening to the people of Wisconsin who want a full and functional court, Johnson continues to take his cues from people like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Mitch McConnell.

Instead of doing his job, Johnson justified his opposition to President Obama even nominating a justice by saying in classic Washington speak that “doing nothing is also an action.”

Unfortunately for Sen. Johnson, that’s not going over too well here in Wisconsin or in his beltway environs.

Check out some of the brutal coverage highlighting Johnson’s obstructionism and the fallout below:

  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: No surprise ‒ Feingold, Johnson split on Scalia vacancy
    “Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson wants to wait until after the 2016 presidential election before a successor is nominated to fill the position left by the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”
  • AP: Wisconsin Sen. Johnson wants next president to replace Scalia
    “Johnson’s comments are in line with other Senate Republicans who do not want President Obama to make the pick.”
  • The Hill: Vulnerable Senate Republicans back push to delay nominee
    “A handful of politically vulnerable Senate Republicans are supporting a push to delay moving forward with a new Supreme Court nominee until after the presidential election. “Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Pat Toomey (Pa.)— all from Democratic-leaning states —each suggested separately over the weekend that President Obama's successor should fill the seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia's death.”
  • The Guardian: Swing state Republicans oppose Obama choosing next supreme court justice
    “Republicans in battleground states have backed majority leader Mitch McConnell in his opposition to confirming any supreme court justice nominated by Barack Obama, brushing off concerns that they might be punished for their intransigence at the ballot box.”
  • The Cap Times Editorial: Ron Johnson and GOP candidates assault the Constitution “The authors of the U.S. Constitution did not outline a two-party system. Nor did they imagine that a plan for reasonable checks and balances would become a tool to empower petty obstructionists like Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.”
  • National Journal: National Journal: A Supreme Down-Ballot Reality Check
    “Most of the art­icles we read con­cluded Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell and Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Chair­man Chuck Grass­ley stone­walling Pres­id­ent Obama on even re­ceiv­ing a hear­ing for his nom­in­ee would in­stantly put in­cum­bents like Kelly Ayotte, Ron John­son, Mark Kirk, Pat Toomey, and Rob Port­man on the hot seat. It also gives Sen­ate Demo­crats a new line of at­tack as they seek mo­tiv­a­tion to turn out their base and win over mod­er­ate Demo­crats and in­de­pend­ents.”
  • PBS Newshour: Senate GOP to Obama: Don’t bother nominating to Court
    “Control of the Senate is at stake this election and Democrats looking to unseat Portman and Toomey — along with New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson — have seized on their call to wait until next year.”
  • Germantown Now: (Opinion) Why Won’t Ron Johnson Do His Job?
    “US Senators, including Ron Johnson, need to do the job we pay them to do. With all of the important upcoming cases, the American people deserve a fully-staffed Supreme Court. We elected the President for a full four year term. We expect him to fill Court vacancies. We expect the Senate to consider nominees. It is ironic that Ron Johnson refuses to do his job as Wisconsin Senator, yet is asking us for another six-year term.”
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial: President Barack Obama, Senate should do their duty
    “McConnell is right on one point: Americans should have a say. And they will — through a president they twice elected and through their senators. Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who faces a difficult re-election battle this fall against former Sen. Russ Feingold, have quickly closed ranks around McConnell. Johnson's statement Sunday echoed McConnell.”
  • The Wall Street Journal: Risks for Senators in Backing McConnell’s Call to Delay Supreme Court Appointment “If these vulnerable senators stand firmly with the Senate Republican leadership to prevent a vote on an Obama appointment, it is likely to become the biggest issue in their reelection campaigns. Already, Ron Johnson and Kelly Ayotte have come out in support of Mr. McConnell’s position.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 February 2016 17:26
Ron Johnson to Appear Before Sarasota, Florida Republicans PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 16:39

ron-johnsonMADISON - Today, Senator Ron Johnson spoke with "Chairman's Circle Members" of the Republican Party of Sarasota. Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Sarasota Republicans, also serves as Florida co-chair for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Gruters once called Trump's hateful and bigoted proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States as a "courageous stand."

Read reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sen. Johnson's trip with Florida Trump supporters:

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has a speaking date Wednesday with Republican Party movers and shakers in Sarasota, Fla.

He'll be meeting with "Chairman's Circle Members" at a Republican Party of Sarasota luncheon. Johnson has sought to step up fundraising in the first quarter of the year as he prepares for the fall campaign against Democratic rival Russ Feingold.

The chairman of the Sarasota Republicans is Joe Gruters, who is also Florida co-chair for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Gruters called Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country "a courageous stand." Trump was twice named the Sarasota Republican Party's Statesman of the Year.

Johnson initially backed Gov. Scott Walker, who has dropped out of the presidential race, and said he will support the eventual GOP nominee.

Gruters said the Sarasota GOP has "some of the best grassroots activists and donors in the country" and "almost every presidential candidate" pays a visit. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have spoken to the group, along with commentator Sean Hannity and former Congressman Allen West, Gruters said.

Gruters added that he thought Johnson was "a great Republican leader and anything we can do to get his message out and put him on in front of people willing to give some money, we're happy to do that for him."

Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said, "With Senator Feingold breaking his promise to raise his campaign money in Wisconsin and instead raising 72 percent of his money (in the final three months of 2015) from out of state, we are leaving no stone unturned. And with many Wisconsinites flocking to Florida to escape the cold, it’s a good opportunity to meet with folks from our state, as well others who are concerned about the direction of our country and the Senate majority."

Feingold's campaign said during 2015 it raised 38.23% of its funds from Wisconsin. Overall, the Feingold campaign said it received contributions from more than 25,000 Wisconsinites.

Republicans have also noted that Feingold has accepted campaign donations from Hollywood elite like director Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, received fundraising help from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and hosted a fundraiser in Washington, D.C.

Read the entire article on

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 February 2016 17:26
February 15th Update From The DPW Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 11:35

martha-laningMADISON - Last week was an outstanding time to be a Democrat in Wisconsin. All eyes were on Milwaukee for the Democratic debate, but it was the enthusiasm, energy, and support of people just like you who helped make the event special. Thank you. 

In this update, I'll talk about last week's debate, announce more new hires to the WisDems team, remind you to vote in Tuesday's Spring Primary elections, make you aware of important bills moving through the legislature this week, and comment on the recent resignation of the Secretary of Corrections, Ed Wall. 


Milwaukee Democratic Debate

I can't tell you how thrilled I was to have Wisconsin host the sixth Democratic primary debate last Thursday in Milwaukee. We heard from two outstanding candidates in Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders who outlined their vision to build on President Obama's successes and keep our nation moving forward.

Again, I want to thank you for your help with telling the story of Republican leadership here in Wisconsin. We've seen first-hand how Republican promises come up short and turn into policy that costs jobs and shrinks the middle class. No one is more equipped to tell such a cautionary tale than the people of Wisconsin. 

A Note About Debate Tickets

Having the opportunity to host two outstanding presidential Democratic candidates right here in Wisconsin was an honor – and drew incredible interest from across the state.   

Tickets for the debate were given to the network, their sponsors, the DNC and the presidential campaigns themselves.  

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin was fortunate enough to receive a small number of tickets as well, which we worked to distribute as fairly as possible to our Democratic elected officials, county party leaders, progressive partners who help us get our message out, and party members and grassroots activists from around the state. We also did a small drawing to ensure members of the public had a chance to attend.

We received over 5,000 requests for tickets to the debate, but ultimately, due the small size of the venue (only about 600 seats total due to cameras and press), we could only accommodate a fraction of those who wanted to attend.  It was very exciting to see such enthusiasm across Wisconsin, but also put us in the unfortunate position of disappointing many hard working Democrats.

New Hires at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Not a day goes by where we aren't assembling the best team in the business to help us win in November. This week, we welcomed Matt Phelan and Breianna Hasenzahl-Reeder to our growing team. 

Matt Phelan is our new Deputy Finance Director and will be primarily responsible with assisting the Finance Director in achieving the department's goals. 

Breianna Hasenzahl-Reeder is our new Compliance Director and will be primarily in charge of oversight and management of compliance reporting and ensuring we are in compliance with applicable state and federal reporting requirements. 

Spring Primary Elections

Remember to vote in today's spring elections featuring a very important race to elect a new member to the state Supreme Court. 

This is the first election featuring our state's new photo ID law. Click here to make sure you have what you need to make your voice heard.

Special Registration Deputies

Tomorrow, the Assembly is set to pass a bill eliminating Special Registration Deputies (SB 295). Special Registration Deputies (SRDs) are individuals who apply and are accepted to be register voters by municipal clerks.

SB 295 would eliminate SRDs and prohibit the use of SRDs from conducting voter registration drives. 

While SB 295 gives voters the option to register to vote online, it is not worth taking away the assistance provided by SRDs for both voters without internet access and the municipal clerks who rely on their help.  

Please, help us protect voting rights in Wisconsin. Click here to find your local legislator's contact information and tell them to vote NO on SB 295.

Bills To Watch In The Assembly And Senate This Week

Remember to call and email your legislator about the issues you care about.

Assembly Highlights:

  • AB 707: Bill to create a specific logo for Veteran owned businesses.

Assembly Lowlights:

  • AB 581: Bill to create licenses to teach vocational educational subjects. This bill lowers standards within the teaching profession and will allow people to teach without proper training.
  • AB751: Bill to create special needs scholarship program. This bill's admendments effectively cuts the amount of money public schools can use by 14 million.
  • AB 739, 740, 741, 742, 743, 744: Governor Scott Walker's student loan debt plan. This package of bills isn't nearly enough. Student loan debt in Wisocnsin is an epidemic and these bills don't even begin to take the problem seriously. Any first step in tackling student loan debt should include the ability for borrowers to refinance their loans like their home or their car.
  • AB 533: Bill to create criminal penalties for fraud in obtaining unemployment insurance benefits.
  • AB 640: Bill to regulate aquaculture and fish farms. This bill does not have enough wetland protections and could conflict with federal law on wetland protections.

Senate Highlights:

  • AB 628: Bill to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew cigarette and tobacco products retailer licenses. This bill allwos municipalities to shut down bad operators selling cigarettes and tobacco products.

Senate Lowlights:

  • SB 459 & AB 582: Bill to regulate navigable waters and wetlands and; Bill to change shoreland zoning. These bills would give away public lake beds to developers for free and restrict public access for the people of Wisconsin. Additionally, it gives incentive to destroy wetlands that are not under federal protection
  • SB 707: Bill to prohibit a legislator from concurrently holding office as a county executive. Republicans are trying to change the rules of the game in an election year so they don't have to face the voters on a level playing field.
  • AB 568: Bill to make changes to laws relating to landlords and tenants. This bill makes it easier to evict tenants and future hampers people's ability to find affordable housing.

Resignation of Secretary Ed Wall

Last week, Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall's resignation was made public as new information came to light regairding the reports of child abuse and sexual assault that occured in his Department of Corrections. 

I was shocked to hear the horrific stories that surfaced last December after officials from the Department of Justice conducted a raid on the juvenile corrections facility, the Lincoln Hills School for Boys. 

As both a citizen and a mother I think its incredibly important we protect our most vulnerable Wisconsinites and give them the opportunity to reform their young lives. 

News reports show that Gov. Walker and his top aides ignored critical safety warnings on Lincoln Hills for more than five years. Sec. Wall's resignation doesn't change the fact that more individuals in Walker's administration need to be held accountable and that more action should be taken by Legislature to hold hearings on the safety and treatment of children at Lincoln Hills.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin will continue to work to hold this administration responsible and promote the good work done by Democrats in the legislature to reform our state's corrections system.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 11:51
Will Peters, Running for Brown County Board PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Progress   
Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:01

Will PetersGREEN BAY - This week we're pleased to introduce you to another candidate we're working with this spring on their race for local office. Meet Will Peters, running for Brown County Board of Supervisors in Northeast Wisconsin!

Will was born and raised in Green Bay where he lives with his wife and two children. Will is working hard to get elected because, as he puts it, he "believes his district deserves someone who will wear their community pride on their shoulder and always be conscious of what is in the best interest of their constituents."

Will works as an employment consultant to provide job preparation and development services to individuals with physical, mental, or cognitive limitations. He wants Brown County to offer the services its residents need by ensuring staff, programs, and departments are receiving the funding necessary to operate while promoting economic growth.

Will wants to represent his district to promote cooperation between city and county governments and other organizations to provide the best services possible. Will works at this collaboration through his involvement in the community already. He is the President of the Fort Howard Neighborhood Association, Green Bay's oldest and largest neighborhood.

He also serves on the Green Bay Neighborhood Leadership Council and its steering committee. Will helped develop Green Bay's first Community Leadership Institute, a collaborative effort between Neighborworks Green Bay and the Neighborhood Leadership Council.

Thank you for helping to elect our progressive champions.


A little goes a long way on a race for local office! Help Will by donating $5 or $10 here!


Be There to Nominate our Next President! PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 10:53

martha-laningMADISON - I hope you will consider joining me at this year's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year, Wisconsin's delegation will have the honor of nominating our party's candidate and hopefully the 45th President of the United States.

The Democratic National Convention occurs every four years and is an important event in our nation's history. It's an exhilarating time when Democrats from all across America come together to witness our leaders share their passion, ideas, and vision for the future.

This year, Wisconsin will bring 96 delegates and 7 alternates to the convention, and I'd like to encourage you to run for one of these delegate spots. The first step to becoming a delegate is submitting a Statement of Intent and Pledge of Support Form, which can be found at

These forms are due to DPW Headquarters by 5:00pm on Friday, April 8th, and can be submitted via the address or email below:

Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Attn: Delegate Processing
15 N Pinckney St, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

District-level delegates and alternates are elected through a two-tiered caucus system. The first tier caucuses are held at the county level on April 17th, and the second tier caucuses are held at the congressional district level on May 1st. Locations for all of these caucuses will be made available on our website in March.

For more information about the Democratic National Convention, please visit

Thank you,

Martha Laning
DPW Chair

P.S. Want more information on how to run to be a National Convention delegate? Attend one of our free informational sessions. To find an info session near you, visit

Wisconsin Educators Endorse Russ Feingold PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Russ for Wisconsin   
Monday, 08 February 2016 19:09

teaching-studentsAFT and WEAC Throw Support to Russ’s Bid for U.S. Senate.

MIDDLETON – Today top Wisconsin educators endorsed Russ Feingold for U.S. Senate. Citing Russ’s commitment to high-quality public education, strong support for Wisconsin’s teachers, and commitment to working and middle class families, the American Federation of Teachers - Wisconsin (AFT) and Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) threw their support behind Russ’s senate bid.

russ-feingold"WEAC supports Russ Feingold because of his high respect for public education and working families,” said WEAC President Betsy Kippers. “He stated that he owes everything he is to public school teachers, public education and that educators should be honored, not attacked. He told us ‘I am running to fight for the rights of working people and educators.’ We stand behind Russ Feingold on behalf of our students, families and communities," said Kippers.

"Russ shares our commitment to high-quality public education from pre-kindergarten through college and our serious concern about America's student loan debt crisis,” said AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas. “My fellow AFT-Wisconsin members could not be happier to support Russ Feingold in this crucial election."

Over the last two weeks, Russ has crisscrossed the state of Wisconsin to meet and hear from students and communities about the crippling impact of the student debt crisis. Since announcing his candidacy, Russ has traveled to all 72 of Wisconsin’s counties.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2016 19:17
Mary Thao, Progressive for Wausau School Board PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Progress   
Friday, 05 February 2016 12:08

mary-thao-schoolboardWAUSAU, WI - Meet Mary Thao, running for Wausau School Board!

Mary is a first-generation Wisconsinite, born to Hmong refugee parents. If elected, Mary will be the first Hmong individual to serve on the Wausau school board. She is an active PTO member at Lincoln Elementary and has four young children with her husband Yeng Thao. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and has over seventeen years of experience in the IT industry.

Mary is passionate about the quality of our public schools and the education she wants all children to receive. Through service on the board, she wants to attract and retain top educators and professionals and make sure that the district maintains programs that impact high academic achievement as well as support those who need it most, such as low-income, rural, special education students and English-language learners.

The passion Mary has to help her community is palpable. We started working with Mary last fall and we love her! She has proven to be one of the most hard-working and dedicated candidates we have worked with.


Each week for the next nine weeks until the spring general in April, we’ll be introducing you to a candidate we’re working with on their race for local office. You’ll learn who they are and how you can help support them!

Help Mary join the Wausau School Board by contributing just $5 or $10 today!

<< Start < Prev 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Next > End >>

Page 59 of 61
Copyright © 2019. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by