Monday May 25, 2020

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My thoughts on the Wisconsin election results

Posted by Tammy Baldwin, Senator from Wisconsin
Tammy Baldwin, Senator from Wisconsin
In 2012, Tammy was elected to the U.S. Senate defeating former Wisconsin Governo
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on Tuesday, 14 April 2020
in Wisconsin

tammy-baldwinThe Wisconsin GOP tried to steal an election, but last night, we found out they lost. Please sign my petition demanding universal vote-by-mail be included in the next coronavirus relief bill.


WASHINGTON, DC - Last week, the Wisconsin GOP tried to steal a seat on the state’s Supreme Court by refusing to move our election or provide safe voting options during this unprecedented pandemic.

Last night, we found out they lost.

vote-47-mbNo one should have been forced to choose between their safety and their right to vote — and far too many Wisconsinites were unable to participate in this election. It was a disgraceful act of voter suppression on the part of Republicans.

jill_karofskyEven in the face of these unprecedented circumstances, Judge Jill Karofsky won a well-deserved seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. I have no doubt she will work to make sure everyone can participate in our elections moving forward. But we must join her in that fight.

Republicans will continue their dangerous voter suppression tactics unless we act, and the best way for us to stop them is to demand universal vote-by-mail.

That’s why I’m asking you to sign my petition demanding universal vote-by-mail be included in the next coronavirus relief bill to avoid this sort of disaster from happening again. We must do better in November.

Thank you to the Wisconsinites who showed their resiliency in last week’s election. We won’t forget you.

Stay safe and healthy.

— Tammy

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Why My Radicalness Is Getting More Radical

Posted by Tom Crofton, Richland Center WI
Tom Crofton, Richland Center WI
Tom Crofton’s a social activist, long time progressive Democrat, former 3 term R
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on Tuesday, 14 April 2020
in Wisconsin

executive-pockets-moneyWe cannot fix a broken system with broken tools, bad bosses, inferior materials, co-opted workers and corrupt corporate leaders and federal politicians says Richland Center progressive. We need to think bigger.


RICHLAND CENTER, WI - Setting aside the pain and suffering of the infected for a moment, this pandemic is pulling back the curtain on the fragility, corruption and venality of the economic/political system of Trump’s “greatest country on earth.”

Trump says yah, sure, some of those commies and socialists had better resources and quicker responses - So What? We have better bombers!

We have planes that work half the time and Congress wants to buy more of them! Over 120 Dems and Republicans urge the military buy 24% more F35 fighters than it requested. $80 million each in the midst of the virus crisis! F-35 cost $1 Trillion to develop so far, fly only half the time the rest being sidelined with mechanical problems.

trump-lashesYet America’s leaders have known about the coronavirus for 5 months and they cannot figure out how to make enough $25,000 ventilators for our hospitals!

The fact that the biggest, most capitalized corporations go broke shortly after a natural disaster implies they’ll go bankrupt again after the next disaster. The feds prop them up, instead of allowing those corporations to fail as Trump’s dogma requires weak actors to fail. The failure of this “competitive market economy” proves for everyone to see, that we are living a lie.

The very core of our mythology is that when times get tough we hunker down, or pick up stakes and find a new place, grabbing our bootstraps and jumping into the next opportunity to prosper.

Ha Ha - Not the CEOs. They demand bailouts to maintain stock portfolios. They demand government’s stockpiles of ventilators released to RESELL to hospitals at a profit. That's how it's supposed to work say the kleptomaniacs! “How can we trickle down anything to you little people, if the feds don’t pour the gravy on the top for us important people?”

We know all those lies.

The current crisis really exposes the inability of the “liberal party”, and its supporters, to understand their culpability, or their inability, to find an off-ramp from our trajectory into the abyss down the road.

Shame! The solutions are all around us. We learned from the very beginning that competition is good, cheating is bad, winning is no more important than playing a good game, communities do things together for the common good. If people are hungry you divide the loaves and multiply the fish.

That’s all naive to the CEOs - they advocate monopoly, cheat daily, peddle winning is everything and the heck with communities.

We’re told be “Pragmatic,” accept what is, and work to change it by electing people who want to buy more bombers!

Baloney! We need Medicare for All! Costs half as much as insurance, works better, encourages health over letting problems fester, and covers everyone.

We need renewable energy! America has 250,000 solar installer jobs paying family wages of $40,000 to $70,000 per year and many are union jobs with benefits! They’re healthier jobs, improving air quality, offering sustainable solutions to our energy requirements - versus 50,000 coal miners nationwide, having black lung, who’ve lost their unions, have a hard time getting paid, and their product is wrecking the Eco-system.

If there ever has been a moment in our lifetimes, when we must aspire for great change – it is now.

We cannot fix a broken system with broken tools, bad bosses, inferior materials, co-opted workers and corrupt corporate leaders and federal politicians.

To survive, we all need to think bigger and more radically or our grandkids are going to be in that abyss down the road!

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Wis Democracy Campaign - Outraged about April 7

Posted by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a
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on Saturday, 11 April 2020
in Wisconsin

vote-47-mb1Well known progressive commentator Matt Rothschild on this week's election.


MADISON - I’ve never been so mad in my life!

The insistence by Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald, aided by the rigged Wisconsin Supreme Court and the reactionary U.S. Supreme Court, to go forward with the election on April 7 in the midst of this pandemic was the most despicable thing I’ve ever witnessed in politics.

Here’s what I wrote about it:

Shame! Wisconsin GOP Scrapes Bottom of the Barrel

Now that I’ve told you how I really feel, please let me share another article we posted on the outside spending in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race:

Special Interest Group Spending at $4.4M in Supreme Court Race

And here’s the astonishing amount that Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin spent on the constitutional amendment about victim’s rights, which we opposed:

Group Behind Marsy’s Law Referendum Spent $3.3M+ On Media

As you’ve probably already heard, we had to cancel our 25th anniversary celebration that we were going to hold on April 29, which is a drag because we had some good panels and speakers lined up.

Our next Big Money Bulletin is due out soon after election results are announced next week. All members will be receiving a ballot to elect our board of directors. So please watch for that in the mail.

matt-rothschildAnd if you like what we’ve been doing, please send us a tax-deductible gift by clicking here: https://www.wisdc.org/get-involved/donate.

Thanks for your support.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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LWV of Wisconsin Outlines April 7 Spring Election Issues

Posted by League of Women Voters WI, Debra Cronmiller
League of Women Voters WI, Debra Cronmiller
League of Women Voters WI, Debra Cronmiller has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 09 April 2020
in Wisconsin

gb-vote-47-linesVoters experienced difficulty requesting and receiving absentee ballots, poll worker shortages resulted in long wait times, mixed messages left persons quarantining at home confused on how to vote, and many other discrepancies.


WISCONSIN - Following Tuesday’s Spring election, in which hundreds of thousands of voters experienced ballot shortages, long lines, confusion, and the choice between their health and their constitutional right to vote, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Executive Director Debra Cronmiller issued the following statement:

“As we wait for ballots to be processed and tallied from yesterday’s election, we take stock of this spring election season and all that Wisconsin voters have been through these past weeks. It’s no secret that this election has been plagued with serious—and even dangerous—issues.

robin-vos-is-safe-to-vote“Voters experienced difficulty requesting and receiving absentee ballots, poll worker shortages resulted in long wait times to cast in-person votes despite guidance by WEC to minimize one’s time in the polling place, irregular application of curbside voting practices, mixed messages to persons quarantining at home for their safety regarding how to vote, and many other discrepancies. State election officials’ response to the global pandemic effectively disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters, most acutely people of color, people with disabilities, elderly people, students, and people who are transient.

“This is not how democracy is supposed to work. Our system depends on ensured, unabridged access to the ballot, but that is far from the treatment that Wisconsin voters experienced yesterday. In this unprecedented time of pandemic, the advice to voters to use the absentee ballot option was critically important to minimize the demand for in-person polling sites.

“Over two weeks ago, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin called on the Wisconsin Election Commission to provide every registered voter with an absentee ballot, including the pre-paid return envelope. Throughout the weeks leading up to the election, we continually asked for clarity around the rules for things like the witness signature certification process and the ability to count the unprecedented number of absentee ballots. We asked that additional time be granted to hold the in-person election to ensure that the largest number of people possible could vote via mailed ballot during this public health emergency. Still, voters were not provided the tools they needed so they could cast their ballots safely and confidently. Too many were driven to show up in person at the polls, despite public health recommendations against gathering in large groups.

“It was either show up and risk your health or lose your right to vote. That is the burden that our state’s leaders put on us as constituents. This is unconscionable—a violation of voters’ constitutional rights and the simple humanity that binds us all.

“Wisconsin has more elections in the coming months. Our leaders cannot fail voters like this again. We must begin preparing now so that every voter can safely cast their ballot. We implore our leaders to do better.”

###

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 20 local Leagues in Wisconsin. More information at lwvwi.org.

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Pandemic Paycheck Protection

Posted by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31
Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31
Jeff Smith, Senator District 31 (D - Eau Claire)
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on Wednesday, 08 April 2020
in Wisconsin

small-business-owners-mfSen. Smith writes about state and federal government resources available to support small business owners and Wisconsin workers during this public health crisis and includes links to them and additional information on COVID-19 relief for readers.


EAU CLAIRE, WI - During this unprecedented public health emergency, we have a lot to think about. While keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy, we’re also thinking of ways to maintain our livelihoods and pay the bills. On March 27th, the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide immediate and long-term relief for Americans. At the state level, Governor Evers’ administration is working to ensure every household is able to overcome the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The CARES Act includes $2 trillion in funding, which will be allocated to American taxpayers, public health programming, state and local governments, and other areas to provide economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the CARES Act directs approximately $377 billion to support small business owners.

There’s a lot to learn about the CARES Act and the programs available to support American workers and business owners during this challenging time.

One of the most well-known pieces of the CARES Act includes direct payments back to taxpayers. Most individuals with a gross income of up to $75,000 will receive $1,200. The direct payment amount is reduced for individuals making more than $75,000. The Internal Revenue Service announced that these direct payments will begin in the next couple of weeks and will be distributed automatically, for most people.

The CARES Act also expands Unemployment benefits, known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to provide additional relief to individuals. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), PUE will likely help many people, including people who typically don't qualify for unemployment benefits or self-employed people. This program may provide an additional $600 per week to individuals receiving unemployment benefits.

The CARES Act includes several relief measures administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that will have a major impact on small businesses.

electrical-workersFirst, the Paycheck Protection Program is a loan for small businesses with less than 500 employees, to encourage employers to retain their workforce and apply the loan towards payroll, rent, mortgage or utilities. The application period for small businesses and sole proprietors began April 3rd; independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning April 10th. There are funding caps, so don’t hesitate – apply quickly.

Second, the SBA oversees the Small Business Debt Relief Program, another tool available to provide further financial assistance for small businesses.

Third, the SBA manages the Economic Injury Disaster Loans Program (EIDL), which can provide small businesses loans of up to $2 million “to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing, according to the SBA.

These are all great programs administered by the federal government; but, the state also has a role to play to support small businesses and Wisconsin’s workforce. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) established the Small Business 20/20 Program to award grants to businesses up to $20 thousand through community development financial institutions.

For more information on the aforementioned small business resources, please visit the SBA website at SBA.gov and the WEDC website at WEDC.org.

During this crisis, there’s more we must do. Governor Evers is limited in what he can do, alone – the legislature must do its part to help. Governor Evers has asked the legislature to act on a number of measures to support families, including the proposal to remove the one week waiting period for individuals to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits.

jeff-smithThere’s been an unprecedented number of unemployment claims in the past couple of weeks. Just last week, there were 1.5 million calls into the DWD – this represents a 6,000% increase in typical call volume. This shows that Wisconsinites are reaching out for support; therefore, we must pass legislation to repeal the one week waiting period to ensure everyone is covered immediately.

If you need to apply for Unemployment benefits or require assistance, please visit DWD.wisconsin.gov.

I hope, that when you read this the legislature has already repealed the one week waiting period. If not, call your legislator, and ask your friends and family to do the same, and tell Republican leaders to do the right thing for Wisconsinites. This is an all hands on deck situation – we need everyone to step up to support Wisconsin families.

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