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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign "Walker’s Hypocrisy on $" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Matt Rothschild   
Friday, 17 November 2017 10:22

scottwalker-dreamMore Walker hypocrisy on outside money, Schimel at Trump resort, and GOP sweetheart deals.

MADISON - Sometimes, the brazenness of Scott Walker amazes me.

matthew_rothschildSuch was the case this week when he bemoaned the outside money he might be facing in his reelection campaign, even though he owes his hold on power to outside money, as we explain here:

Walker hypocrite on outside money

One of those big outside donors is none other than Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino owner, and Walker did him a favor recently by endorsing one of Adelson’s favorite causes:

Walker order and GOP bills on BDS serve big donor

Walker wasn’t the only one kissing up to big donors this week. Attorney General Brad Schimel has been doing it, too:

Schimel hobnobs with big donors at Trump resort

And in the legislature, two Republicans have introduced another bill that preys on the poor – this one from the rent-to-own industry, which they get money from:

GOP sweetheart bill for the rent-to-own industry

This is the reality of politics in Wisconsin these days. Big money rules the roost, and if you want some change in the law, you better have money to drop in the GOP cup.

And it doesn’t matter whether Republicans or Democrats hold the power. This kind of pay to play, which both parties have been known to do, is totally unacceptable. This is not how a democracy is supposed to function. It amounts to legalized bribery and rule by the few.

That’s why we fight so hard for clean and open government and fundamental campaign finance reform. Everyone should have an equal voice in our democracy!


Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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P.S. For your year-end giving, please include the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on your list. Your gift is tax-deductible, and you can make it right now by clicking here. Or you can make a check out to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and mail it to the address below. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Sen. Erpenbach "A Mom’s Reminder: Still More to do in Opioid Crisis" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jon Erpenbach Press. State Senator 27th District   
Monday, 13 November 2017 17:21

drugaddicts-youngTwo mothers who lost their children to addiction have taken their experience and turned it into advocacy and education.

MADISON, 11/10/2017 - This week two amazing advocates and grieving mothers, Bonnie and Bev, brought Faces of Addiction and Hope a story quilt to the State Capitol during our last session day of the year. It was a stark reminder we still have more work to do in the opioid crisis. Squares on the quilt showed people who have died, those incarcerated because of their addiction and those that are in recovery. It is a beautiful and tragic symbol. Both mom’s lost their children to addiction and have taken their experience and turned it into advocacy and education.

As I spoke with them about the message they hope to share with the quilt, they shared how they wished our criminal justice system could be a better partner with those addicted to drugs and alcohol and how they hope more than anything that people can see the true reality of the disease of addiction. Treatment and care should be available to everyone because we simply cannot afford to lose so many. In 2015, nearly 900 people in Wisconsin died from overdose. That is a 70% increase since 2009.

jon-erpenbachUnfortunately, where you live in Wisconsin makes a big difference whether or not you have access to treatment programs and whether you have opportunities for care in the community. Medicaid is the single largest payer of substance use disorder services in the nation and pays for one third of the medication assisted treatment programs. Right here in Sauk County we have a program that has been used as a national model for medication assisted wrap-around treatment. Ensuring that people have access to Medicaid or insurance through the Affordable Care Act plays a huge part in their success story.

Recruiting and keeping professionals that can provide treatment to those with addiction and other mental health disorders is also a barrier in many parts of Wisconsin. Increasing the reimbursement rate paid to substance abuse professionals will help make sure we have access to treatment outside of the major metropolitan areas in Wisconsin.

Accepting the BadgerCare expansion allowed in the ACA and covering more people with low cost health insurance in Wisconsin would make a huge difference to those in need of treatment and recovery. Unfortunately, we have been advocating to accept that federal money to no avail in the Wisconsin Legislature for a few years now. Truly only partisan politics stands in the way for Wisconsin to expand BadgerCare and I am hopeful some day we can move past that prideful political barrier.

As this Legislative session is coming to a close, I am also hopeful that the quilt will grow with white squares to show those in recovery and remain committed to legislation that supports our families and communities struggling with addiction and recovery.


For more information on the Faces of Addiction and Hope quilt contact my office at 608-266-6670 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can see the quilt on my Facebook page.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - WisConConsin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 10 November 2017 17:03

wisconconsinEast coast election results, GOP Constitutional Convention vote, and the State Senate approval of the "ConCon" and why it is a threat to democracy.

STATEWIDE - On the week Gov. Walker launched his quest for a 3rd term, former panelist Jorna Taylor joins us to review election results on the east coast and predict their implications for Wisconsin in 2018. This week Wisconsin officially joined the Koch Brother-fueled right-wing conspiracy to radically reconstruct the U.S. Constitution.

Ken Taylor, executive director of Kids Forward, joins us to talk about the State Senate approval of the "ConCon" and why it is a threat to democracy. We also discuss the rubber-stamping of the Foxconn contract by the WEDC board and the repeal of Wisconsin's sulfide mining moratorium heads to Walker's desk.

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Sen. Carpenter: Top Ten Reasons Wisconsin Got Conned PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Thursday, 09 November 2017 16:14

tim-carpenterMADISON – Today, State Senator Tim Carpenter introduced his list of the Top Ten Reasons Wisconsin got conned by Foxconn.

david-lettermanIn an ode to the famous David Letterman, the reasons are presented 10 to 1:

10. Foxconn should have been required to testify at legislative public hearings and answer questions. They never did.

9. The Foxconn deal should have been made available to the public before the WEDC Board vote. It was not.

8. The vote by the WEDC Board on the Foxconn deal should have been done publicly. It was not.

7. The vote by the WEDC Board should have been on the Foxconn contract, not just a Staff Review of the contract.

6. The whole process leading to the Foxconn contract was too secretive and negotiated behind closed doors.

5. Governor Scott Walker gave away the store just to close the deal with Foxconn.

4. Future businesses will demand to have the same environmental exemptions that were given to Foxconn.

3. Wisconsin workers take a seat on the back of the bus with this Foxconn deal.

2. A foreign corporation is given better treatment than a United States citizen.

And, the number one reason why the Foxconn deal stinks………..

Wisconsin will not break even on the $3 billion give away to Foxconn until 2043 at the earliest

Last Updated on Friday, 10 November 2017 16:30
Sen. Mark Miller: Danger PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Miller, State Senator 16th District   
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 12:33

mining_wisconsin_senateMADISON, November 7, 2017 - Today’s Senate session had one theme. Danger.

Senate Republicans passed several egregious bills today that do nothing to better the lives of Wisconsinites, but rather put them at risk.

There is no logical reason to make recounts for elections harder, except it consolidates power for those who hold it. There is no fathomable reason to put a gun in the hands of a toddler, except it benefits the gun lobby. There is no sensible reason to call a constitutional convention, except it benefits the billionaires who promote it to skew the playing field. There is no rational reason to allow acid mining in Wisconsin, except a foreign company really wants it. There are no comprehensible reasons for any of these things and yet, here we are.

These are dangerous policies at best. Wisconsin deserves better. In the words of Justice Antonin Scalia: “I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it? A Constitutional Convention is a horrible idea.” Those poignant words cover a multitude of sins.”

Last Updated on Friday, 10 November 2017 12:36
Sen. Carpenter: Insufficient WEDC Information Released About Foxconn PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Senate, Ritch Williams   
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 16:38

walker-terry-gou-foxconnState Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement on continuing negotiations between WEDC and Foxconn. Please feel free to contact Sen. Carpenter's office for additional information.

MADISON – Today, State Senator Tim Carpenter, a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, released the following statement:

tim-carpenter“I am still not satisfied that Wisconsin taxpayers will be protected by recent changes to the Foxconn deal.

Given yesterday afternoon’s WEDC private release of the Foxconn contact and Staff Review to the Board, I have not been given sufficient time to adequately read, review and understand the Foxconn deal.

WEDC scheduled an Awards Committee review of the Foxconn deal today at 1 p.m., but I could not attend because the State Senate was in Session all day.

I have not had the opportunity to read and make an informed decision on Foxconn to see if it definitely protects taxpayers. WEDC has continued to make several changes to Foxconn materials.

Tonight, whenever the State Senate adjourns, I will finally get the opportunity to read, review and better understand the Foxconn deal. Until then I cannot honestly say taxpayers are being protected.”

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Constitutional Convention Action Alert! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Matt Rothschild   
Monday, 06 November 2017 10:51

constitutional-conventionMADISON - I need you – right now! -- to contact your Wis. State Senator about a horrible bill that’s up for a vote TOMORROW, Tuesday! It’s called AJR 21, and it seeks a Constitutional Convention on a balanced budget amendment. And if you are in one of the below listed districts, it is of particular urgency you contact your senator and encourage their "no" vote.

matt-rothschildThe balanced budget amendment is a horrible idea because it would tie the hands of our government in times of recession.

But there’s an even bigger problem with calling a Constitutional Convention, and that is, once it gets under way, it may go beyond its original mandate and throw everything on the table, including our basic rights.

This Constitutional Convention idea is closer than you think. If Wisconsin and just a few more states sign on, you’re going to wake up one morning to the news that there’s going to be a Constitutional Convention. And then who knows what’s going to happen and what damage can be done?

The bill again is AJR 21, and here are the Republican Senators that are crucial to contact and to urge to vote no:

  • Sen. Rob Cowles (SD2) -- (800) 334-1465
  • Sen. Dan Feyen (SD18) -- (608) 266-5300
  • Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (SD13) -- (608) 266-5660
  • Sen. Devin LeMahieu (SD9) -- (608) 266-2056 (pronounced Lemma-hue)
  • Sen. Terry Moulton (SD23) -- (608) 266-7511
  • Sen. Luther Olsen (SD14) -- (608) 266-0751
  • Sen. Jerry Petrowski (SD29) -- (608) 266-2502
  • Sen. Roger Roth (SD19) -- (608) 266-0718
  • Sen. Van Wangaard (SD21) -- (608) 266-1832

The Wisconsin Assembly has already passed their bills and now the State Senate needs to block them. Read more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.

Thanks for picking up your phone! Please report back with feedback from your calls.


Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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Battleground Wisconsin - GOP Seeks Sanctuary from Democracy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 03 November 2017 15:39

gopseeksWe discuss Foxconn, WEDC, the ACA open enrollment process, CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), immigrant rights, and more...

STATEWIDE - We discuss the latest Foxconn news including a new Democratic appointment to WEDC and the GOP desire to keep the details of the deal from public scrutiny.

Kevin Kane joins us to educate listeners on the ACA open enrollment process and our role in preventing health care sabotage.

We review Gov. Walker’s dirty effort to deregulation of CAFO’s (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). We also discuss immigrant rights efforts to stop a new state anti-sanctuary bill that threatens fundamental human rights.

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Sen. Chris Larson: One Step Closer to Tackling Wisconsin’s Lead Crisis PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Thursday, 02 November 2017 10:22

baby-lead-paintSenator says we need to continue the momentum after the passage of SB 48 relating to lead service line replacements and take immediate action to keep our kids safe from being further poisoned by lead.

MADISON – Each of our neighbors deserve to live in a healthy, safe community. Lead pipes are an avoidable public illness that is quietly devastating Wisconsin neighborhoods. Over the past few decades there has been significant research revealing how devastatingly harmful lead exposure is for both children and adults. We must prioritize addressing and preventing lead poisoning in our children.

Tackling the threat of lead poisoning is a moral and economic imperative. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), our state would save $7 billion if the threat of lead poisoning was eliminated. This includes savings in medical care, special education, and even crime reduction among adults and youth.

chris-larsonToday, the Senate took up a bipartisan bill (Senate Bill 48) that moves our state one small step towards addressing Wisconsin’s lead crisis. During the state budget debate last month, Senate Democrats fought for Wisconsin to take swift action by introducing a Lead Abatement Amendment, which would have committed the necessary funds to provide adequate relief to communities access the state, after Senate Bill 48 was stalled in committee for months.

I urge my Republican colleagues to continue the momentum and take immediate action to keep our kids safe from being further poisoned by lead. Among the available bills are Senate Bill 41, which would protect renters from lead poisoning, Senate Bill 141, which would give schools more flexibility to invest in lead abatement costs, Senate Joint Resolution 67, a bill to declare a Lead Poison Prevention Week in Wisconsin.

So far, despite the lead pipe crisis, none of these bills have even received a public hearing.


This statement from Senator Chris Larson (D - Milwaukee) regarding the Senate passage of Senate Bill 48 on October 31, 2017.

Senate Bill 48 was introduced by Senators Cowles, L. Taylor, Bewley, Carpenter, Darling, Feyen, Harsdorf, Johnson, C. Larson, Lasee, Miller, Olsen, Petrowski, Risser, Vinehout, Vukmir, Wanggaard and Hansen; cosponsored by Representatives Thiesfeldt, Krug, Genrich, Crowley, Barca, Bowen, E. Brooks, Brostoff, Fields, Goyke, Horlacher, Jagler, Kitchens, Kolste, Mason, Novak, Ohnstad, Ripp, Schraa, Spreitzer, Spiros, Steffen, Stuck, Subeck, C. Taylor, Tauchen, Tusler, Zamarripa, Zepnick, Anderson and Allen

Sen. Jennifer Shilling: Expand Family Medical Leave PDF Print E-mail
Written by GBP Staff   
Monday, 30 October 2017 16:34

healthcare-familyEnsuring working moms and dads have access to family medical leave is one way we can strengthen families and expand economic opportunities for all.

LA CROSSE, WI - Whether it’s caring for a newborn or tending to a sick parent, at some point in our lives most adults will have to take time off from work to care for a loved one.

As a working mother with two young boys, my husband and I can relate to the daily challenges that families face when raising children and helping care for a relative. Like many others, we value flexibility and believe that reforming outdated workplace policies will strengthen our state and enable businesses to be more competitive.

Unfortunately, only 11% of U.S. employees have access to paid family leave through their jobs, which means millions of workers are forced to choose between family health obligations and the income they need to cover basic expenses.

Wisconsin was one of the first states in the country to adopt a Family and Medical Leave Act to protect the jobs of workers who must miss work to care for a sick loved one or newborn. Sadly, a recent Republican proposal would reduce access to family and medical leave protections and create more obstacles and barriers for working parents. This will take our state in the wrong direction and severely hinder further progress for the residents of Wisconsin.

Democrats are pushing for solutions to elevate Wisconsin families and address the changing work-life balance of modern families. With more dual-income households than ever before, our economy needs to move past the 1950’s-era family structures and implement workplace policies that ensure flexibility and create a healthier workforce.

Democratic leaders Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) and Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) recently introduced legislation to create a Family Medical Leave Insurance Program that allows employees to contribute a portion of their paycheck into a trust fund. Employees would be eligible to receive a percentage of their pay during the time they take family or medical leave from work, at no cost to the employer. This innovative new proposal has earned the support of organizations that advocate for Wisconsin workers, including 9to5 Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alliance for Womens Health.

Expanding family leave not only improves health outcomes and reduces health costs, but is an affordable way for businesses to support and retain workers when unexpected family and medical needs arise. All businesses, from Fortune 500 companies down to local mom and pop stores, benefit from a safe and healthy workplace. And so do working families.

If we want to boost our middle class, we need to focus on policies that will help families succeed. Ensuring working moms and dads have access to family medical leave is one way we can strengthen families and expand economic opportunities. Combined with additional Democratic solutions to expand health care coverage, student loan debt relief and affordable child care, we can modernize our workplace policies to be more efficient, cost-effective and family friendly.

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