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Tom Palzewicz: 'What is a gun?' PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Tom for Wisconsin Press, Bill Petterson   
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:04

tp-ad-front-roomBROOKFIELD, WI - “What is a gun?”  When I heard Tom say that, I knew that here was a guy with a new approach.  The setting was a “Meet & Greet”, and someone had asked the usual question about Gun Control vs. 2nd Amendment Rights.  It seems that so many people have made up their mind about this issue that productive conversation seems almost impossible.  We’re stuck.

So I was impressed with Tom’s response to the question.  Rather than barge head-on into the usual debate, Tom wondered if we might at least be able to have discussion – and maybe find some agreement – about what should qualify as a gun that is appropriate for the average person to own.  Rather than pound, unproductively, on the locked front door of the issue, Tom suggested we look for a side door to a room where people might sit down and talk.

That’s part of why I’m supporting Tom. I respect his search for creative approaches to the problems facing our nation.  Rather than just saying the same thing, louder and louder, as so may politicians seem to be doing, Tom strikes me as someone who understands that true communication requires both things – listening as well as talking.  Of course he has different ideas than some others in the political arena, but I’ve never heard him talk disrespectfully about any of them. I see Tom as willing, and working, to search for new solutions to old problems, wherever they can be found.

Thanks,
Bill Petterson

***

Tom Palzewicz is running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 5th District

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:23
 
Stuck Supports Passage of PRO Act PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Amanda Stuck Press   
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:57

working-womenCandidate Believes in Empowering the Working Families of Wisconsin.


APPLETON - State Representative and Congressional candidate Amanda Stuck expressed disappointment in incumbent Congressman Mike Gallagher’s recent no vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act, HR 2474).

Stuck, who is challenging Gallagher in the Eighth Congressional District, has been an advocate for unions throughout her career.

amanda-stuck“We need to give our workers the tools and the agency they need to make a better life for themselves and their families,” Stuck said. “One of my greatest honors as a legislator is being able to support these working families in their fight.”

Stuck has been endorsed by numerous unions including:

  • NorthEast Wisconsin Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Appleton FireFighters Local 257
  • International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)
  • International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Region 4 (UAW)
  • Painter & Allied Trades District Council No. 7 (IUPAT)
  • American Postal Workers Union

“The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act, HR 2474) would be one of the first significant upgrades to union rights in decades,” Stuck continued. “While I am thrilled that we are finally seeing some progress in the fight to empower our workers I am disappointed that my opponent was one of the few legislators to vote against the PRO Act.

“Our job as legislators is to focus on what we can do to help our constituents. The working families of Northeast Wisconsin deserve better, they deserve a voice in Washington that will fight for them.”

 
Democrats Must Focus on Kitchen Table Issues to Win in 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities USA Press   
Friday, 07 February 2020 10:19

donald-trump“I've also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. And we will always protect your Medicare and we will always protect your Social Security. Always.” - President Donald Trump, 2/4/2020 State of the Union remarks


WASHINGTON, DC - With the Senate impeachment vote behind us, Democrats must refocus our efforts on the most important issue at hand -- defeating Trump in November.  While Trump is now the first president in history to have a bipartisan Senate vote in favor of their removal from office, he remains in a relatively strong position to be re-elected, with every sign pointing to a close election decided by slim margins in just a handful of battleground states. Trump argued that voters should determine whether he stays in the White House past 2020. It’s time for Democrats to ensure that doesn’t happen.

If Democrats want to win, we -- and most importantly our candidates for President -- must increase our focus on the issues that affect voters’ lives on a daily basis. Priorities USA polling has consistently found that messages focused on health care, drug prices, wages and Medicare and Social Security are effective both at moving voters away from Trump and at galvanizing the Democratic base. Democrats in Congress should continue to do their constitutional duty to conduct oversight and hold the President accountable, but the focus on the campaign trail must be on communicating these messages to voters. 

President Trump’s State of the Union speech showed that he and his team are very aware of these vulnerabilities. During his speech, Trump spent significant amounts of time attempting to whitewash his record on these issues by staking out positions on issues like pre-existing conditions, Medicare, and Social Security that belie his actions as president. Voters will not be fooled by Trump’s lies if Democrats deliver a clear accounting of the facts.

Our last battleground poll found that 53 percent of voters viewed health care as more of a reason to elect someone other than Trump while just 29 percent viewed it as a reason to re-elect him. The numbers were not much better with white women without a college degree (a critical group for Trump). 50 percent of these voters view health care as a reason to elect someone else versus just 32 percent for re-election. There is a reason Trump is lying about his record on the issue.

Voters know the cost of prescription drugs continues to rise. We need to tell them about the $7 billion in tax cuts Trump gave big drug companies.

Voters know the cost of health care premiums continues to rise. We need to make sure they know Trump’s policies are a reason why.

Voters know they are struggling to save for retirement. We need to make sure they know Trump has repeatedly proposed cutting Medicare and Social Security.

Voters know insurance companies used to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. We need to make sure they know Trump is actively working to allow that again.

Trump knows these issues matter and is using the bully pulpit to hide the truth. If Democrats don’t do a better job of putting them front and center, we will lose a very winnable election to Donald Trump.

 
Bloomberg Ad Features Milwaukee Gun Violence Survivor, Khary Penebaker PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Mike Bloomberg Press, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 04 February 2020 17:39

mike-bloomberg-01-21-2020Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s campaign released on Friday a new digital ad featuring Khary Penebaker, a survivor of gun violence in Wisconsin.

The digital ad is part of a series of videos featuring gun violence survivors from twelve states to show the impact gun violence has had on communities across the country. On Thursday, the Bloomberg campaign released “George,” the ad that will air during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, February 2. The ad features Calandrian Simpson Kemp, a mother from Texas who lost her son, George Kemp Jr., to gun violence and is an active member of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.

khary-penebakerPenebaker lost his mother Joyce to suicide in 1979 — she was only 27 years old. The experience moved Penebaker to volunteer as a spokesperson for various gun violence prevention organizations including Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, where he is currently a Wisconsin Survivor Fellow. He also serves on the board of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE).

“Mike Bloomberg had the vision to form a movement around the issue of gun violence prevention,” Khary Penebaker says in the ad. “And then he had the foresight to say we can turn this issue into one that people vote for -- you’re voting to prevent stories like mine. I’m glad we have a person like Mike Bloomberg who is choosing to put an end to this.”

Watch the video here.

More than 36,000 people are killed with guns in an average year, including over 22,000 suicides. Further, America’s gun suicide rate is 10 times higher than other high-income countries. Despite these facts, Donald Trump has remained a steadfast friend to the National Rifle Association. Trump expanded access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to groups, like those who may be suicidal, previously prohibited from ownership.

Mike has proposed a gun safety policy that treats the gun violence crisis like a true national emergency: creating an effective background checks system, keeping guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, protecting young people in schools and Americans in their homes, tackling daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities, and confronting the gun industry head-on.

Khary Pennebaker is a Wisconsin-based gun violence prevention and DNC Representative who endorsed Mike Bloomberg earlier this month, praising his progressive track record and agenda on common-sense gun safety laws.

See below for additional background on Bloomberg’s record:

Mike Bloomberg’s record of fighting to prevent gun violence

  • In 2006, Mike founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. It grew to a coalition of over 1,000 mayors across the country.
  • In 2013, Mike merged Mayors Against Illegal Guns with the grassroots group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown has helped to defeat dozens of gun lobby-backed bills each year in states. In 2018 alone, this included “permitless carry” bills in 17 states that would allow concealed carry with no permit whatsoever, bills that would allow guns in K-12 schools in 18 states, and bills that would require colleges and universities to allow guns on campus in 16 states. For more detail on Everytown and Moms’ victories, see a full timeline here.
    • 12 states have passed or expanded background checks since 2013, with MAIG/Everytown playing a critical role in victories in CO, WA, OR, NV, NM, NJ, CA, and VT.
    • 29 states and DC have passed a total of 51 domestic violence laws since 2013, including states like AL, IN, LA, KS, ND, SC, and UT.
    • 15 states and DC have enacted red flag laws since Newtown, and Everytown was instrumental in passing each one.
    • In 2018, Everytown spent $30 million on targeted contributions, independent expenditures, and voter mobilization. In 110 Everytown-supported races that year, the vast majority of candidates won. Everytown was the largest outside spender in the 2019 Virginia legislative elections, spending $2.5 million to help flip both houses of the General Assembly and deliver a gun sense majority to the NRA’s home state.
  • Mike spent $110 million to elect candidates strong on gun safety in the 2018 midterm elections, including helping to elect 21 of 24 candidates backed in Congressional swing districts, which was crucial to Democrats retaking the House.
  • As Mayor of New York City, Mike took on gun dealers and gun show vendors across the country that were feeding the criminal market. During Mike’s time as mayor, firearm deaths decreased by 46% and the firearm death rate was less than a third the rate in the rest of the country.
    • As mayor, Mike tackled gun violence by taking on the gun industry and cracking down on illegal gun sales. He filed federal lawsuits against 27 gun dealers in five states when guns they sold showed up on New York City streets—and the city’s undercover operations revealed they were not complying with federal law. The dealers settled with the city or had settlement terms imposed on them and agreed to clean up their operations.
    • The number of crime guns recovered in NYC from the five states where the City sued gun dealers dropped by 18% in the years after the suits were settled. The share of targeted dealers’ crime guns recovered in New York City declined by 75%.
    • The city’s undercover stings recovered 6,043 guns between 2004 and 2013 and also exposed that sellers at gun shows in multiple states were breaking federal laws.
    • Under Mike’s administration, NYC was an early adopter of creative interventions, such as Cure Violence, which engaged the members of the community directly impacted by a violent event. These interventions reduced retaliatory gun violence in communities traumatized by violent episodes by as much as 63%.
 
Trump’s super PAC lags behind Dem rival heading into 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities USA Press   
Tuesday, 04 February 2020 17:16

trump-rncPriorities USA outraised America First by $8 million last year.


WASHINGTON, DC - The Republican super PAC formed to help President Donald Trump win reelection raised less money in 2019 than its Democratic counterpart, a sign big Democratic donors are readying a cash onslaught to fight Trump.

Priorities USA, which will be the main outside spender backing the Democratic nominee for president, raised $58.5 million in 2019, the group announced on Friday — $8 million more than the $50.4 million more than America First, the group backing Trump.

The millions raised by both groups, more than a year before Election Day, foreshadow a costly election ahead. And Trump and his allies are starting 2019 at an unusual cash disadvantage: Usually, a super PAC tied to the president would raise millions more than its rival, because donors and corporate interests itching to gain power in Washington want to contribute. A super PAC representing the party out of power, especially one without a clear nominee, usually has no such luck.

But in a Friday memo, Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil boasted that his group has increased its fundraising goal for the 2020 cycle by $50 million, to $150 million total, and has already placed a total of $70 million in ad reservations to run from now to July. The group has also been outspending Trump’s campaign on digital advertising in four battleground swing states that it is targeting with ads.

“Priorities is well-positioned to continue taking a leading role in the general election campaign against Donald Trump until a Democratic nominee for president has been selected,” Cecil said.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

*****

Printed Politico: Trump’s super PAC lags behind Dem rival heading into 2020

January 31, 2020

By Maggie Severns and Alex Isenstadt

 
Will Testin Flip Flop on Farmers Again? PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Katie Iliff   
Saturday, 01 February 2020 14:07

rural peopleStevens Point Republican Refuses to Commit to Gov. Evers' Rural Prosperity Special Session


MADISON - During his State of the State Address, Gov. Evers called for a Rural Prosperity Special Session to address the dairy crisis in Wisconsin and help rural communities succeed.

The Governor’s call to action comes at a time when Republicans refuse to address Wisconsin’s alarming spike in farm bankruptcies and suicide rates. Insecurity for family farms was further escalated after Republicans rejected the appointment of Brad Pfaff as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

patrick-testin“Months after rejecting Brad Pfaff as DATCP Secretary, farmers fear that Republicans like Senator Testin will once again turn their backs on the dairy crisis in Wisconsin,” said SSDC Executive Director Katie Iliff. “Senator Testin has a pattern of siding with party bosses in Madison rather than voting for what’s best for local families. His constant flip flopping has proven he can’t be trusted to do what’s right for our family farms and rural communities.”

Governor Tony Evers’ initial budget proposal included initiatives to support farmers such as Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin, Farm to School, Dairy Processor Grants, and additional county conservation positions. Senator Testin and his Republican colleagues rejected these proposals and opted instead to prioritize more tax breaks for wealthy donors and out-of-state corporations.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 February 2020 14:20
 
Citizen Action endorses Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin Press   
Friday, 31 January 2020 16:44

Jill KarofskyMilwaukee, WI - In the critical Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s board voted to endorse both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky.

ed_falloneAfter interviews which included members from across the state, Citizen Action member and board leaders concluded that both would be independent judges who will fairly interpret and apply the law for everyone, regardless of their race, their income, or where they live. Their judicial integrity is in sharp contrast to the current Supreme Court that regularly twists the law to rubber stamp the priorities of a single political party, and caters its decisions to the interests of the rich, the powerful, and the well connected.

robert_kraig“Both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky would make excellent and impartial Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who give every case a fair hearing and render decisions based on rigorous legal interpretation not ideology,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Fallone or Karofsky would be a breath of fresh air on a Supreme Court where the majority regularly puts politics and ideology ahead of the fair interpretation of the law. Does any fair minded person doubt that the Supreme Court majority would have struck down the lame duck session laws, if the shoe was on the other foot and a newly elected Republican governor’s power were curtailed by a Democratic Legislature?”

Citizen Action is a statewide membership group with chapters (organizing co-operatives) in Metro Milwaukee, Green Bay/Fox Valley, Wausau, Eau Claire, and the Driftless Area. Citizen Action’s top issues are health care reform, a just climate transition that creates living wage jobs for communities of color and rural regions that need them most, and protecting and expanding our democracy. Citizen Action was a lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit that struck down Governor Walker’s restrictions on early voting, and the lame duck session attempt to restore this attack on democracy.

 
Trump Said What?! PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities Wisconsin, Cassidy Geoghegan   
Saturday, 25 January 2020 12:46

trumpcareCassidy Geoghegan of the Priorities USA group here in Wisconsin offers her take on the events of the week.


MADISON - A few things of note this week:

1. The biggest bombshell this week was certainly the news that Trump admitted he is open to cuts to Medicare and other programs that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites rely on.

Some important context if you plan to cover this:

2. New research published by Baldwin Wallace University’s Community Research Institute shows that Trump is falling behind in key states, including Wisconsin. In fact, 18.4% of voters in Wisconsin remain undecided about who they’ll vote for in 2020. Additionally, health care issues are the #1 concern in Wisconsin (30.6%), "the lone Midwest or Northeast state that did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare."

3. As you probably know, Pence is coming to Madison next week to speak at the Wisconsin School Choice Student Showcase. While Pence’s focus will be on school choice, it’s important to note that the Trump administration’s actions have been making it harder for schools in Wisconsin to succeed. A few things we likely won’t hear from the vice president are that:

  • Trump has proposed billions in federal education cuts that would weaken public schools while simultaneously supporting increased funding and benefits for private schools and charter schools.

  • Trump's education budget cuts would have harmful impacts on Wisconsin schools, including major cuts for after-school programs and teacher training programs.

  • Wisconsin ranks as one of the worst states in the country for students with college debt. In the class of 2018, 64% of Wisconsin graduates had student debt — the seventh-highest percentage in the nation. But Trump has failed to address the issue and has proposed massive cuts to federal student aid programs.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to be connected to any of our storytellers or if you’d like additional information on how Trump’s actions have made it difficult for Wisconsin schools to succeed.

Best,

Cassidy

 
Trump's Commitment to Slash Social Security and Medicare PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Philip Shulman   
Saturday, 25 January 2020 10:25

donald-trumpMADISON, WI - Wednesday, Trump explicitly said he is looking to cut Social Security and Medicare if he wins a second term. This comes after barnstorming Wisconsin in 2016 promising he’d protect these benefits that millions in the state rely on.

TRUMP: “We're going to save your Social Security. You know, all the guys I'm running against, they want to cut your social security. They want to take your Medicare, take your social security, cut the hell out of it. I'm not going to do that...You're going to keep your social security...I'm the only one that says it, believe me, the only one. You're going to keep your so ... as sure as you're sitting there, you're keeping your social security. You've been paying in all your lives. You're going to keep your social security and your Medicare.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Appleton WI, 3/30/16]

In response, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler released the following statement:

“Trump’s announcement that he’s aiming to cut Social Security and Medicare is a profoundly broken promise for Wisconsinites. He promised in 2016 to protect Social Security and Medicare, essential benefits that millions in our state paid into their entire lives so they could retire and live with dignity. But over and over he has proposed cuts in his budgets, and now he’s doubling down. These cuts threaten the health and well-being of our state and voters aren’t going to stand by for another four years of Trump’s threats and broken promises.”

 
Gun Violence Prevention Advocate Endorses Mike Bloomberg for President PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Mike Bloomberg Press, Brandon Weathersby   
Friday, 24 January 2020 18:00

sherman-park-copsWisconsin gun violence survivor Khary Penebaker says Bloomberg is “committed to saving lives”.


MILWAUKEE, WI - Wisconsin-based gun violence prevention advocate and DNC Representative Khary Penebaker endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg today, praising his progressive track record and agenda on common-sense gun safety laws.

“Mike Bloomberg stood on the front lines of gun violence prevention long before it became a leading Democratic issue. He knew the impact that gun violence inflicts on families and dedicated himself to ending the crisis,” said Penebaker. “Thanks to Mike’s leadership in establishing Everytown for Gun Safety, I was able to transform the heartache of my mother’s gun suicide into meaningful advocacy.”

Penebaker lost his mother Joyce to suicide in 1979 — she was only 27 years old. The experience moved Penebaker to volunteer as a spokesperson for various gun violence prevention organizations including Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, where he is currently a Wisconsin Survivor Fellow. He also serves on the board of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE).

khary-penebakerPenebaker continued, “My mother’s voice was silenced by a bullet, fired from a gun that she should have never possessed. She won’t have the opportunity to meet her grandchildren or see the man that I grew up to be, but I continue to carry her legacy with me. Moved by my mother's spirit, I am proud to endorse my friend Mike Bloomberg for president. None of the current candidates understand the pain gun violence survivors and their families endure like Mike does — he is committed to saving lives.”

More than 36,000 people are killed with guns in an average year, including over 22,000 suicides. Further, America’s gun suicide rate is 10 times higher than other high-income countries. Despite these facts, Donald Trump has remained a steadfast friend to the National Rifle Association. Trump expanded access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to groups, like those who may be suicidal, previously prohibited from ownership.

“Khary Penebaker is a household name in Wisconsin progressive politics and we are fortunate to have him on our team. We will certainly harness his passion to convey the urgency for common-sense gun safety laws,” said Jorna Taylor, Wisconsin State Director for Mike Bloomberg 2020. “Khary’s support will play a major role in rebuilding the Blue Wall and defeating Trump.”

Mike has proposed a gun safety policy that treats the gun violence crisis like a true national emergency: creating an effective background checks system, keeping guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, protecting young people in schools and Americans in their homes, tackling daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities, and confronting the gun industry head-on.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 18:18
 
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