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Wisconsin’s Response to Coronavirus

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, 15 April 2020
in Wisconsin

tony-evers-talks-2uSince declaring a public health emergency for the state, Governor Tony Evers has introduced two COVID-19 relief packages and issued numerous emergency orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.


EAU CLAIRE, WI - As we near the end of a month while under the COVID-19 public health emergency, I thought of the steps Governor Tony Evers has taken to keep Wisconsinites safe. Keeping in mind how much pressure the Governor has been under both personally and politically, it seems we ought to commend him for his steadfast leadership and resolve. Governor Evers understands the serious responsibility in issuing the “Safer at Home” order – he understands these measures will protect Wisconsinites, but they’re not helping win friends or votes. These difficult decisions must be made knowing that.

So let’s walk through some steps Governor Evers has taken so far.

March 12 – Governor Evers declared a public health emergency in Wisconsin. As a result, he issued 23 emergency orders, which are intended to streamline responses from state agencies during the public health emergency to help Wisconsinites.

March 21 – Governor Evers shared a COVID-19 policy package with legislative leaders to provide immediate and long-term relief to Wisconsin residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal includes measures to support local public health agencies; expand telehealth coverage; prohibit surprise medical billing and cover the cost of testing and treatment related to COVID-19; reform election laws; repeal the one week waiting period to receive Unemployment benefits; help essential workers cover childcare costs; and more.

coronavirus-ppeMarch 21 – On behalf of Governor Evers’ request, the Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gowns, gloves and face shields. On March 31, Wisconsin received PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile for healthcare workers.

March 26 – Governor Evers launched the PPE Buy-back Program to encourage businesses and organizations to sell PPE to the state in a continued effort to collect more supplies for healthcare workers.

March 24 – Governor Evers issued the “Safer at Home” order in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

March 30 – Governor Evers announced a new public-private partnership with Wisconsin businesses to increase COVID-19 testing capacity in the state.

March 31 – Governor Evers requested a major disaster declaration for Wisconsin. This would help all 72 counties and the state’s federally recognized tribes receive additional resources in response to COVID-19, including Direct and Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation, Crisis Counseling, Community Disaster Loans and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program. Wisconsin was later granted this federal disaster declaration on April 4.

April 1 – Governor Evers introduced a second legislative package. This proposal included additional measures for Wisconsin residents during this difficult time, such as support for small businesses and workers; aid for emergency food banks; broadband expansion efforts; vaccination coverage to SeniorCare members; utility assistance for families; and more.

April 3 – Governor Evers signed Executive Order #73, calling for a special session to take up changes to the spring election to be held on Saturday, April 4. The next day, Republican leaders gaveled in and out within minutes, rejecting changes be made to protect voters and election workers.

April 6 – One day before the spring election, Governor Evers signed Executive Order #74 to suspend in-person voting for the April 7th Election until June 2020. He called on the Legislature to meet in Special Session to address the election date; however, Republican leaders chose not to meet. Later that day, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the April 7 election to go on, as planned, against the guidance of health experts.

jeff-smithTake note of what is missing throughout this process: any action from the Republican-led Legislature. Republicans still haven’t taken action on Governor Evers’ COVID-19 relief proposals, introduced more than 3 weeks ago. While Republican leaders have marked Governor Evers as the “bad cop” they’ve sat on their hands throughout the first month, doing nothing to help Wisconsin during this crisis. Ironic, since they went to so much trouble to take power out of the Governor’s hands during the 2018 Lame Duck Session so they could be the decision makers.

So far the Republican leaders only know how to stand in the way and criticize Governor Evers’ swift response. That is not leadership. I hope by the time you read this, Republicans will have finally joined Governor Evers in making Wisconsin safer.

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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 Administrator
Administrator
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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.”

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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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