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January 15 Update From The Democratic Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 16 January 2017 17:14

martha-laningThe "Love-A-Thon" a three-hour facebook live event instead of Trump, tell Congressional Republicans the Affordable Care Act Saves Lives, President Obama's Farewell Address, VAN Grant Program, and Things You May Have Missed But Need To See.

MADISON, WI - It goes without saying that this week will be very tough for all of us as we get close and closer to Inauguration Day. The incoming administration not only threatens to undo the last eight years of progress made by President Barack Obama but also puts the future of our civil liberties in jeopardy as well. 

I've heard many people say they can't bare to watch Donald Trump be sworn in as president-elect this Friday. Instead, they'll be watching and donating to the "Love-A-Thon" a three-hour facebook live event featuring music and entertainment all for a good cause. 

The "Love-A-Thon" aims to raise money for organizations that will stand up to the Trump administration and fight for our most marginalized communities over the next four years. 

Learn more about the "Love-A-Thon" and RSVP on the event's website.

Call to Action: Tell Congressional Republicans the Affordable Care Act Saves Lives

When President Obama came to Wisconsin last year to award the City of Milwaukee for signing up a large percentage of Americans for health care in the Healthy Communities Challenge, he was introduced by a Republican who had never voted for him. Why? Because this young man's life had been saved by the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Mosinee, Wisconsin's Brent Brown thanked the President for the ACA because it saved his life after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and didn't have enough money for treatment.

There are millions of Americans just like Brent who would have lost their lives or seen a drastic reduction in the quality of their life if not for the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Now, it's up to us to make sure we save the program that has kept Americans alive and well for over five years. 

Call Wisconsin's Republican Congressmen today and tell them to not repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Paul Ryan - 202.225.3031
Sen. Ron Johnson - 202.224.5323 
Rep. Sean Duffy - 202.225.3365
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner - 202.225.5101
Rep. Mike Gallagher - 202.225.5665
Save The Date: January 21st Women's March on Madison
One day after Donald Trump's inauguration hundreds of thousands of demonstrators will march in Washington D.C. to protest Trump's presidency. Similar marches are planned in 200 U.S. cities, including a march in Madison, there will also be at least 50 cities in nearly 30 other countries participating.  

The Women's March on Madison is designed to let the next President know that the American people want equality and inclusion. As progressives, we are committed to fighting the good fight to ensure equal opportunity for all. 

Learn more about the march and RSVP for the event on the event's facebook page.
President Barack Obama's Farewell Address

President Obama gave an outstanding farewell speech in Chicago last Tuesday. While the week ahead will be tough, we got one last glimpse of the progressive change agent who won the White House not once, but twice, on an inspiring message of hope and change. 

In the last eight years, President Obama has led the way in reversing the great recession, saving the auto industry, setting a record for the longest stretch of job creation in American history, insuring over 20 million through the Affordable Care Act, and his unyielding leadership inspired a win for marriage equality in the United States Supreme Court. For all those things, and much more, we say "Thanks, Obama." 

Read the full transcript and watch the speech in full on

Vice President Joe Biden Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

I couldn't help but feel an immense sense of pride for Vice President Joe Biden when he was surprised with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Obama this week. This is an honor well-deserved as Vice President Biden has dedicated decades of his life to serving the American people. 

The ceremony also showed just how close the Obama's and Bidens have grown since hitting the campaign trail together in 2008. It goes to show that politics is about more than wins and losses. It's about doing your best to care for and honor others in the best way possible. And if you're lucky like Barack and Joe you might just make a few good friends along the way.

Read more about the Vice President's honor on

VAN Grant Program Accepting Applications Until Feb. 1st

Don't forget we're continuing our local candidate VAN Grant Program this year and accepting applications until February 1st.

Through the VAN Grant program, candidates who meet the program’s criteria and are committed to voter contact will have the VAN in-kinded to their campaign. Read more about the VAN Grant Program here.

Take a look at a few of the other items we're doing this year to ensure victories in April:

  • Hosting candidate recruitment conference calls with county parties.
  • Calling around to various county party chairs to talk about recruitment.
  • Creating resources for spring candidates and county parties.
  • Designing training programs for spring candidates and county parties.
  • General consulting with candidates, similar to how we operated this fall.

Our Party is not waving the white flag in 2017. We are committed to working closely with our local parties, activists, and candidates to produce the statewide victory of Tony Evers as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, build a deep bench, and start taking back our state.

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Public School Advocates Push Back Betsy DeVos
“She may be the first casualty in the high-rise they’re building on the swamp here in Washington,” says Representative Mark Pocan of Madison, Wisconsin. On Tuesday, January 10, Pocan and other supporters of public schools held a press conference to announce a new House Public Education Caucus—and to express their opposition to Devos.
Read the entire article on

Senator Tammy Baldwin: Champion For Health Care Reform
I was proud to champion a reform that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. As someone who didn’t have access to quality health insurance until my twenties, I was proud to champion a reform that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.
View Senator Tammy Baldwin's floor speech here.

Emerge Wisconsin Announces Class of 2017
This year’s chosen group of 52 future women political leaders is more than double the size of any of the organization’s previous classes, which is owed to the historic uptick in applications and interest Emerge Wisconsin saw after the 2016 election.
Learn more about the 2017 Emerge class on

Rex Tillerson Sheds Little Light on His Boss
Mr. Tillerson did not explain how he plans to overcome the challenges, ethical and strategic, of dealing with an authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, with whom his company has done many billions of dollars worth of business. And some of his policy assertions put him at odds with positions the president-elect has taken in the past (never a sure guide with Mr. Trump). 
Read the entire editorial on

The questions Jeff Sessions didn't answer
Given his past comments and dubious record, Sessions faces a high bar to earn the public's trust. He didn't hurdle it today, by leaving crucial questions unanswered. Like, why did he indicate that enforcing civil rights is a mission he does not support? Sessions reportedly called the American Civil Liberties Union and the N.A.A.C.P. "un-American" for "trying to force civil rights down the throats of people." It's a remark he never disputed, until after Trump nominated him - perhaps because he recognizes that this alone should disqualify him.
Read the entire editorial on

Democrats on State of the State: ‘Wisconsin deserves better’
Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) raised doubts about a pledge to increase funding for K through 12 education. “When he talks about education, it’s more money into choice…and that’s at the cost and the expense of our public schools,” Shilling said, referencing previous comments the governor has made about increasing funding for education in the state.

5 former DNR secretaries slam effort to divide agency
Five former Department of Natural Resources secretaries with tenures stretching back to the 1970s are calling on Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature to reject a proposal that would scatter DNR programs among five agencies. In a four-page letter released Wednesday, the former secretaries, and one deputy secretary said that dividing the DNR would make conservation more costly and less effective while making it harder for citizens to have their problems addressed.
Learn more on

Martha Laning
Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin
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