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Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 27 March 2017 14:10

martha-laningThe GOP WealthCare Plan is defeated, Trump-Russia investigation, Scott Walker gives blank checks to corporate CEOs, and much more...


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

The GOP WealthCare Plan Defeated

After an eventful week in Washington, Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump were forced to pull their horrendous health care plan from even seeing a vote on the House floor. 

paul_ryanThis is a dramatic defeat for President Trump and Speaker Ryan, but a huge victory for everyday Americans who called and emailed their Representatives to make their voices heard. Stopping the GOP WealthCare plan shows that grassroots organizing can be successful in resisting the Trump agenda. 

Now, we prepare for the next fight. Don't let up. Keep the pressure on and keep holding Speaker Ryan and President Trump accountable.

Russia Investigation Runs Deeper

On Monday, we learned from FBI Director James Comey that there is an ongoing investigation into collusion between Trump's team and Russia while Vladimir Putin was helping Donald Trump get elected. The investigation into potential Trump team collusion with Russia began last July and is still ongoing. 

>From there the news kept coming as we learned that former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort – who has long denied doing any work with the Russians – had a multi-year, multi-million dollar consulting job with a Russian billionaire and close Putin confidant to promote Russian policies and undermine Russian opponents.

At this point, it is crystal clear we need both a special prosecutor at the Department of Justice and a 9/11-style commission, to hold people accountable for what has happened and make sure it never happens again. 

This is not about political partisanship - it never is when our national security is at stake. The Republican party needs to do the right thing for the sake our country.

The Problem With Gov. Scott Walker's Haribo Announcement

It's certainly a good thing when new jobs come to our state and the announcement of Haribo adding well-paying jobs to Wisconsin's southeastern corridor is fantastic news to hear. But hidden in the details of their announcement was that Gov. Scott Walker's flagship job creation agency, WEDC, said the state has no current price tag on incentives for the company.

New factories and jobs are good, of course, but a blank check that rewards wealthy CEOs with our tax dollars is completely short-sighted and a clear sign that Gov. Walker is governing solely with re-election in mind. 

Whenever we spend tax dollars we should be getting the biggest bang for our buck. That's why Democrats believe in putting those funds towards better public schools that strengthen communities around our state and prepare future workers for the opportunities available when a new business, like Haribo, comes to town.

As Democrats, we believe anyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules should have a fair shot at the American Dream. That's how we create an economy that works for all Wisconsinites - not just those at the very top.

Wisconsin Budget Process Update

Members of the Joint Finance Committee are gearing up for briefings by state agency executives beginning next week. You can follow along with the budget process and learn more about the next steps moving forward at The Budget Process in Wisconsin.
Weekly Radio Address: Protect Access to Health Care
Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) offered the weekely Democratic radio address this week. The audio file of this week's address can be found here:
http://media2.legis.wisconsin.gov/multimedia/Sen32/shillingradio032317.mp3

A written transcript of the address is below: 

Hi, I’m Senator Jennifer Shilling with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

Making health care more affordable and protecting access for Wisconsin families has been a top priority for Democrats. While the Affordable Care Act wasn’t perfect, it helped to expand coverage and hold down costs, especially for seniors and individuals with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, Republicans in Washington D.C. have made it their mission to roll back the progress we’ve made and hand power back to the big insurance companies.

Plans being touted by Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump would take health care coverage away from thousands of Wisconsin families. Under their proposal, seniors and working families will pay more while millionaires and health insurance executives would get massive tax breaks.

"Residents in rural communities would have fewer choices and less freedom. 24 million Americans will lose coverage.

"Millions more will see higher out-of-pocket costs, and Wisconsin residents would be among those hit hardest by these Republican changes. Instead of going back to the days of massive price hikes and worse coverage, we should protect the progress we’ve made and ensure families have the opportunity to access affordable health care coverage.

As the debate over health care continues, be sure to make your voice heard and help us protect quality health care for those who need it most.

Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Founder's Day Gala

With our sights set on a victorious 2018 midterm election cycle, Wisconsin Democrats will gather this May to celebrate the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's 2017 Founders Day Gala. 

The evening will focus on rallying Democrats for the important races on the ballot in Wisconsin's 2018 election. Democrats and grassroots activists are excited to work towards another victory for Senator Tammy Baldwin. Sen. Baldwin was elected to the Senate on a promise to fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest Americans. In the Senate, she's fought tirelessly for the economic stability for Wisconsinites by introducing measures to strengthen the "Made in Wisconsin" economy by leading the Senate’s Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to pass legislation to help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

Please join us and your fellow Democrats on May 6, 2017 for our Founder's Day Gala at the Hilton - Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee. Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they sell out! As always, we have a great event planned so we hope you can make it.

OWN Activism Calendar

In case you missed it, One Wisconsin Now rolled out an online activist calendar this week to help progressive activists speak up and fight back against the extreme Republican agenda at both the state and federal level. 

We've seen an incredible amount of energy from grassroots activists this year and the addition of an online calendar is another helpful tool to bring progressives together. The calendar allows individuals to post information about events around the state and allows them to RSVP online by simply filling out an online form.  

The calendar is available online at http://onewisconsinnow.org/rebellion. I encourage you all to bookmark this page. I already have!

Sign Up For Message Monday

Our communications department is doing everything it can to equip progressive Democrats with the tools they need to amplify our message on issues happening at both the state and federal level. 

I've heard from many of you that one of our best efforts has been the Message Monday program where we send out the most up to date talking points and data sets with regards to the news driving the week. 

If you'd like to be included in the Message Monday group, please contact Communications Director, Brandon Weathersby, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to be added immediately.

2017 State Convention

The state and congressional district conventions are quickly approaching and I can't wait to see you all in Madison for our state convention on the 2nd and 3rd of June at the Madison Marriott West. For more information on the State Convention, how to become a delegate, and to pre-register, please visit www.wisdems.org/2017stateconvention

We are also looking for volunteers to help us make this year's convention a success. Without the help of volunteer doing things like stuffing bags, registering delegates, working the elections and a whole host of other duties, we could never pull off the two-day event. Please consider giving your fellow Democrats a hand to make this year's convention one of the best ever. Sign up to volunteer at: http://www.wisdems.org/2017-state-convention/volunteer

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

Wisconsin Hospital Association critical of health care bill
Democratic state Rep. Jimmy Anderson, who was paralyzed after a car crash that killed his parents and younger brother, said the current law was his only "glimmer of hope" when facing insurmountable medical bills after the 2010 accident.

Fiscal bureau: Scott Walker's budget leaves $1.1 billion hole starting in 2019
Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for the state’s next budget creates a larger structural deficit than previously thought, nearly $1.1 billion, in the ensuing budget cycle beginning in 2019, the state’s nonpartisan fiscal office said Thursday.

Critics say GOP skipping debate on bill deregulating wells linked to shrinking lakes
State Senate Republicans plan to vote next week without a public committee meeting or debate on a controversial bill that would further loosen regulation of high-capacity wells that are linked to low water levels in lakes and streams. After the plan for Labor and Regulatory Reform Committee members to vote by submitting paper ballots was announced Thursday, Democrats accused the GOP majority of trying to duck public discussion of the bill, which is favored by the agriculture industry, but unpopular with recreational users of lakes and streams.

Hebl reintroduces fair courts package
Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) recently announced his reintroduction of a comprehensive reform package that will help protect the impartiality of Wisconsin’s judicial system. Hebl said these proposals will begin to rebuild the public’s trust in the impartiality and fairness of our state’s justice system, which has been greatly undermined in recent years.

Bipartisan lobbying bill ends special treatment for ex-lawmakers
State lawmakers would stop getting special treatment under a bipartisan bill introduced this week that would bar them from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving office. Versions of the measure have been introduced in past sessions, as a string of lawmakers have left public service to take lucrative posts lobbying their former colleagues.

Wisconsin discrimination claims would be harder to pursue under Gov. Scott Walker's budget
Some victims of job discrimination would not be able to recover their legal costs from their bosses under the state budget proposed by Gov. Scott Walker. Under another budget provision, those who failed to prove they faced workplace discrimination could be forced to pay their employer’s attorney fees.

 
Balanced Budget Amendment & Constitutional Convention Are Dangerous Propositions PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 16:00

georgetown-cryerMany are concerned about rising federal debt levels, but amending U.S. Constitution is the wrong way to deal with it say the non-partisan League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.


MADISON – The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin opposes any proposal seeking to convene a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We respect people’s concerns about rising federal debt levels, but amending U.S. Constitution is the wrong way to deal with that problem. Moreover, a Constitutional amendments convention is a particularly dangerous path to take.

senateYet a joint committee of the Wisconsin legislature next week will consider legislation calling for such a convention, and the proposal could be on the fast track.

A Constitutional amendments (Article V) convention could go in many different directions, regardless of the efforts of Wisconsin lawmakers to restrict the role of our own state’s delegates. It would put at risk every citizen right that is currently protected in the Constitution.

Furthermore, inserting a balanced budget requirement into the Constitution could have drastic economic consequences. It would put the federal government in a position where it could not respond to an economic recession or a national disaster or emergency without increasing tax revenue. In an emergency, our nation would have to raise taxes just to meet the needs of its citizens.

“Congress would have to agree on a tax increase, just at a time when fewer people might be working because of a disaster or recession. That’s when a tax increase would hurt the most! This is no way for the United States of America to be prepared for emergencies,” said Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

Calling for a Constitutional Convention to pass a balanced federal budget is a reckless proposal, and it should be rejected.

####

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. The League welcomes women and men across the state as members. The League never endorses any political party or candidate, but it does take positions on key policy issues. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Follow @LWV_WI on Twitter.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 March 2017 09:53
 
Underage Voting Shows Need To Invest In Voter Education PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 11:08

univ-student-voteWhile there have been many unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in Wisconsin, about seventy 17-year-olds did vote illegally here in the 2016 Presidential Primary. Social media posts may have mislead the teens, but we should not let this incident discourage young citizens by adding further restrictions on voting.


MADISON – It is unfortunate that about seventy 17-year-olds in almost 30 counties illegally voted in the Wisconsin Presidential Preference Primary last April based on misinformation. In our state 17-year-olds may register if they will be 18 by the next election. Unlike in some other states, you have to be at least 18 to vote in Wisconsin. These young citizens could be charged with a felony, but it appears the district attorneys in most counties have elected not to do so.

Since news of the underage voting was published, people have looked for a scapegoat to blame or used the incident to call for additional restrictions on voting. Let’s instead use what we’ve learned to prevent this from happening again, while still encouraging young people to participate in our democracy and not break the law.

Some have blamed social media posts before the Primary, which blurred laws that differ from state to state, for misleading the teens. We doubt anyone misled them intentionally.

The 17-year-olds who voted believed they were allowed to do so. They truthfully provided their birthdate on the registration form. Yes, they signed a form certifying that they would be “at least 18 years old or will be at least 18 years old at the time of the next election” but they thought “next election” referred to the November election. And in some states citizens who are 18 by the November Election can vote in the Primary.

What about the officials who registered these young voters? Shouldn’t they have noticed the birthdate? We have heard that some did and refused to register underage citizens. We have also heard that some were under the same misapprehension as the 17-year-olds.

There have been many unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and some people allege our system is not equipped to catch illegal voting. Yet our existing election safeguards detected this problem and referred it to law enforcement. It is not easy to vote illegally in Wisconsin. You would risk a felony rap subject to fines or imprisonment– and you could lose your right to vote! Further restrictions on voting are not needed to prevent such problems. Instead we need to maintain a strong Wisconsin Elections Commission to continue to detect and investigate irregularities.

To prevent such incidents in the future, the state needs to invest in more voter education and training of election officials. The best antidote to misinformation is good information. Lawmakers should keep this in mind as they consider the substantial staffing reductions proposed for the Elections Commission.

We do not want to let this unfortunate incident discourage enthusiastic young citizens from participating in our government and contributing to a better future. Teens need to know that, even if they can’t vote, they can work on a campaign, become a poll worker, connect people with good information and encourage people to vote. If they do that, we are sure that after their eighteenth birthday they will become lifelong voters.

*****

By Erin Grunze and Andrea Kaminski. Erin Grunze is Voter Education Coordinator and Andrea Kaminski is Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 18 local Leagues in Wisconsin. Follow @LWV_WI on Twitter.

 
Voter Suppression Is Real, LWV Continues To Fight It PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Friday, 10 March 2017 13:37

voter-idThe non-partisan League of Women Voters Wisconsin discuss strict voter photo ID laws that suppress voting, Women's History Month, their 2017 Annual Meeting, June 9-10 in Green Bay, and more.


MADISON - A new study by researchers at University of California-San Diego found that strict voter photo ID laws suppress voting by Latinos, African Americans and other American minority groups, resulting in “a growing racial gap” and amplifying the voices of those who are not restricted by the ID requirement. The League believes elections should be free, fair and accessible, and that is why we have fought against photo ID and other restrictive voting laws in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  

It’s Women’s History Month! Carrie Chapman Catt, the founder of the League of Women Voters, and Jessie Jack Hooper, the first president of the Wisconsin League, are among this list of “the most important women in Wisconsin history.” Many more League leaders will no doubt be in the new historical timeline tracing women’s political firsts as elected officials in the state, which is being compiled by Wisconsin Women's Council.

Plan to attend the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s 2017 Annual Meeting, June 9-10 in Green Bay. An updated agenda is on our website.

Finally, we are so grateful for your participation in The Big Share. More than 80 people contributed to our online fundraising event to give us a total of $11,168! This exceeded the amounts raised in past years and blew away our expectations. A sincere thank you from our staff and board to everyone who gave, shared and made The Big Share a BIG Success for LWV WI. (And if you didn’t yet but still want to contribute to the League through The Big Share, you can do so here through Friday.)

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 March 2017 12:51
 
LWV 'No more tax dollars for gerrymandering' PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by League Women Voters WI, Andrea Kaminski   
Thursday, 02 March 2017 17:59

vote-equalWisconsin's legislative districts have been ruled unconstitutional by a panel of federal judges, and last week Attorney General Brad Schimel appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The League of Woman Voters says fight back.


MADISON - The framers of Wisconsin's legislative districts, which have been ruled unconstitutional by a panel of federal judges, voted in secret last month to spend taxpayer dollars to have high-priced lawyers write an amicus brief in defense of the gerrymandered districts.

Attorney General Brad Schimel last week appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. All of this will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, and that’s on top of more than $2.1 million already spent to draw the maps in secret and defend them through two lawsuits to-date!

If you find this shocking, contact your own legislators and the legislative leadership:

  • Let them know how you feel about this abuse of power and tax dollars.
  • Tell them Wisconsin can save millions of dollars and create more competitive voting districts in the future by adopting nonpartisan redistricting.
  • Urge them to support two bills – AB 44 and SB 13 – which would have the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau draw the maps.
  • Tell Senator Fitzgerald and Rep. Vos that these bills deserve a hearing. They did not allow hearings for these proposals last session. What are they afraid of?

--To find your own legislators, click here and enter your address under Find My Legislators, next to the little green map of Wisconsin.
--Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester)
(608) 266-9171,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
--Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau)
(608) 266-5660,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

*****

Mark your calendar for the League’s state annual meeting, June 9-10 in Green Bay. Click here for information and registration.

 
Americans Want Baldwin's Made In America Economy PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Thursday, 02 March 2017 17:32

manufacturingPresident Trump maintained his campaign message before Congress and now it's time to turn those words into action.


MADISON - The backbone of our economy is a highly-trained workforce making products right here within our borders. So, it's no surprise that focus groups reacted favorably to President Trump's promise to "Buy American, and Hire American" in order to rebuild our countries infrastructure.

tammy-baldwinBefore the President's joint address on Tuesday, Senator Tammy Baldwin made it clear that she was hoping to hear a detailed plan to strengthen our economy by making products right here in Wisconsin, and across America. While the speech lacked in details, President Trump did double down on a campaign promise to put American workers and products first.

Immediately after the speech, pundits turned to focus groups to gauge how it was received.

made-america-1

made-america-2

made-america-3

President Trump maintained his campaign message and now it's time for President Trump to turn those words into action. Trump has already failed to act when Buy America was eliminated from water infrastructure legislation by House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican ally. If Trump really cares about making things in America again, he should lead by example.

"It's great to see that President Trump heeded Tammy Baldwin's call to buy products made in America again," said Brandon Weathersby, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director, on Thursday. "Now it's time to take action: Trump to needs stand up to the Washington establishment, big Wall Street banks, and outsourcing Republicans like Speaker Paul Ryan by supporting Senator Baldwin's Buy America provision. America makes great products already, President Trump should buy them."

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 March 2017 17:58
 
Wisconsin Asking 'Where Is Speaker Paul Ryan?' PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:44

paul-ryanSpeaker, active on the national circuit, refuses to hold in-person town hall meetings back home.


MADISON - Wisconsinites have had enough of being ignored by Republican leaders and now they're stepping up to hold them accountable on everything from national security to health care. This weekend, frustration over Speaker Paul Ryan's refusal to hold in-person town hall meetings boiled over as his constituents held a meeting Ryan refused to attend. 

According to news reports, nearly 300 people showed up to UAW Local 72 in Kenosha on Sunday. Organizers of the town hall invited Speaker Paul Ryan to spend the afternoon speaking with his constituents, however, the Speaker declined to respond entirely. Here's what the Speaker's own constituents thought about his decision:  

WTMJ-TV: Lee Hansen lives in Racine and says he has voted for Ryan once in the past. He hoped to express his concerns Sunday over his grandchildren possibly getting drafted into a war. "I worry about my children," he said. "I'm a veteran myself. I would hate to see my grandchildren go somewhere unnecessarily and risk their lives." But Hansen and dozens of other people who live in Ryan's district didn't receive any answers to their questions. "I think we're a forgotten bunch," said Hansen. "He's the Speaker of the House, he's a vice president candidate, he doesn't seem to be our congressman anymore."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “It says a lot to me that he’s not here,” said Lee Hansen of Racine, who served in the 82nd Airborne in the 1970s. “Maybe we should repeal and replace Paul Ryan.”

WITI-TV: Shirley Musial, 57, of Pleasant Prairie, said she came to the town hall because she's concerned about the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. She said after an injury suffered in 2010, she is unable to work, and relying on the health care law, known as Obamacare, for insurance. "I am one of President Trump's dismissed millions who have hopes and dreams," Musial said. "I am not a paid protester. I volunteered to speak tonight."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lori Hawkins of Bristol said she worries about efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and said she believes women’s health will suffer if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Hawkins said it was a health screening through Planned Parenthood that helped detect her ovarian cancer, and “without them I wouldn’t have become a mother.” Ryan “makes it sound like (Planned Parenthood) funding only goes to abortions. But it doesn’t. It goes toward preventative and diagnostic care like cancer screenings,” said Hawkins.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bill O’Connor, a retired business owner from Lake Geneva, said he does not want Ryan to push for privatizing Social Security or move to a voucher system for Medicare. “I am afraid for our country. I’m amazed at how quickly we’ve gone from a president with such great integrity to a man who doesn’t understand how government works and has no moral compass,” O’Connor said.

 
WisDems Congratulate Jason Rae on Becoming DNC Secretary PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 12:50

jason-raeMADISON - During this weekend's Democratic National Committee (DNC) Winter Meeting, DNC members from across the country elected Jason Rae of Wisconsin to serve as DNC Secretary.

The Secretary is the Party’s official record-keeper and keeper of the Party's relationships with members. As such, the Secretary maintains all official records, coordinates correspondence, and communicates with the National Committee members regarding business to be considered at the meetings. The Secretary's office also works with the National Archives to preserve the Party’s records and official documents.

The Secretary also has an official role with the National Convention, publishing the Official Convention Proceedings often also serving as the Secretary of the National Convention.

martha-laningThe following is the statement of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning with regards to Jason Rae becoming the newest Secretary of the Democratic National Committee:

"Congratulations to Jason Rae for being elected as the DNC's newest Secretary. His many years as a member of the DNC and his commitment to the Party make him a great fit for the role. I look forward to hearing regular updates from him on how the party is working to win elections and represent working families all over the country."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:43
 
February 19 Update From The DPW Chair PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Monday, 20 February 2017 14:21

martha-laningVote Tony Evers for Superintendent on Tuesday, Feb. 21st, how Trump puts National Security at risk, Democratic National Committee Chair Elections, Day Without Immigrants, Ron Kind’s Education Plan, and Things You May Have Missed.


MADISON - Welcome to the latest installment of my chair update.

Remember to Vote Tony Evers for Superintendent on Tuesday, Feb. 21st

If you haven't already, make a plan to vote for Tony Evers for Superintendent during Tuesday's spring primary elections. There are a host of important races on the ballot, including Evers' re-election bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Tony Evers is the only candidate in the race to oversee our state's schools who is a champion for fairly funding our public schools, increasing graduation rates, and creating pathways to family-sustaining jobs for young adults. People from all over Wisconsin are showing the enthusiasm Tony needs to win re-election.

Learn more about Tony on his website tonyforwisconsin.com
Learn more about what you need vote on Tuesday at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ .

President Trump and General Flynn Put National Security at Risk

American leadership is essential to keeping us safe and keeping our economy growing in the years ahead. But this week, our security was threatened, when it was revealed that President Trump's National Security Advisory, Michael Flynn, discussed previously administered sanctions against the Russian government with a Russian ambassador. Despite awareness of these potentially illegal conversations, Trump continued to give Flynn access to highly sensitive and classified information for weeks. 

Here is a great graphic showing the timeline which is really disturbing. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/14/us/politics/flynn-call-russia-timeline.html

Just because Flynn has resigned doesn’t mean this scandal is going away. Trump aides had repeated contact with Russia throughout his campaign, and Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin has the potential to undermine our democracy. This issue deserves to be fully investigated, and thankfully Wisconsin Democrats like Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan are calling for such an investigation.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin Republicans are more concerned with protecting themselves than examining Trump’s dangerous contact with Russia. Paul Ryan has defended Flynn, and Senator Ron Johnson is more focused on where the leaked information is coming from than the incriminating evidence itself. The people deserve to know just how beholden Trump is to Russia, but Wisconsin Republicans have turned this national security crisis into a partisan issue.

This week, I went on Wisconsin Public Radio to talk about this issue and urge Wisconsin Republicans to do the right thing. Take a listen and share it with your networks: http://www.wpr.org/listen/1062636

Democratic National Committee Chair Elections

Next weekend, the Democratic National Committee will select its next Party Chair during the DNC Winter Meetings in Atlanta, February 23–26. I’m proud to be casting my vote for Congressman Keith Ellison, a truly progressive Democratic leader. Keith will unleash the resources we need to build a stronger party message and a grow our grassroots field program that outpaces our counterparts not only in Wisconsin but across the nation.  

Congressman Ellison believes grassroots efforts are key to winning elections.  That's why he raised over $1 million dollars to support the Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party's initiatives and is credited with increasing turnout in his own safe district by a margin that helped the state wide races, like Governor, prevail in a very difficult year.  I know he has the vision and track record to implement a grassroots plan that will invigorate our diverse Democratic coalition and get people out to vote. Grassroots leadership is more important than ever, and Congressman Ellison’s grassroots experience will move our party forward.

In the lead up to the Winter Meeting, the DNC has held the most transparent officer election in party history. The DNC held four regional forums for DNC members and the public to hear from candidates for officer positions. All of these forums were open to the public and live-streamed on social media, and have since been posted in full on the DNC’s website.


Keep Up The Resistance

I am inspired each day by your activism in response to the out-of-touch lawmakers in Washington who want to pass truly un-American legislation at the expense of everyday American people and their families. Many thanks to all of you who are writing letters and postcards, calling offices, and attending town hall meetings. 

The resistance movement is growing, exploding to more than 4,500 local groups resisting the extreme right-wing Republican agenda in nearly every congressional district in the country. If you haven't already, take a look at the resources available for resistance on Indivisibleguide.com

Day Without Immigrants March a Symbol of the People’s Voice

This past Monday, thousands of demonstrators participated in a massive Day Without Immigrants march in Milwaukee - a symbol of the crucial impact immigrants have on our nation. With hundreds of local businesses closing, Monday's march helped paint a picture of what life would be like without one of our most important communities.

While voices on the right, like Milwaukee County’s Sheriff David Clarke, have tried to downplay the impressive display by the grassroots, there is no denying the power of the people’s voice. As Trump continues to attack immigrant communities with mean-spirited and unconstitutional executive orders, we must show that we will not back down. The only way to stand up to Trump and his Republican allies is to make our voices heard through peaceful and meaningful marches and protests. Republicans need to know that an attack on any community is an attack on all Americans, and we will continue to express our free speech until we are heard.  

Read more about Monday's march on JSOnline.com

Honoring the Life of Marcel Dandeneau

Marcel Dandeneau, a former state representative, died of cancer earlier this month. A committed activist for Democratic values, Dandeneau also served in the Korean War and was a teacher for nearly 30 years in Racine County. Dandeneau lived a life devoted to service and helping others, and his generosity and devotion are truly admirable. My condolences go out to his family during this tough time.

The Racine Journal Times did an excellent job of telling Marcel's story this week.

Rep. Ron Kind’s Introduces Education Plan Will Allow Wisconsin Students to Excel

Representative Ron Kind introduced his Higher Education Action Plan to an attentive audience of students and leaders from Wisconsin Technical Colleges this week. Representative Kind, who has always been an outspoken supporter for college affordability, cited higher education as a key to success for both Wisconsin and the nation as a whole.

In order to achieve his goal of enhancing the availability and impact of higher education, Rep. Kind has broken his plan into three distinctive parts. First, all high schools and especially those in rural areas need to be given the materials to educate students on their options for earning a degree. Secondly, Rep. Kind wants to ensure all Wisconsinites have access to affordable financial aid to whatever degree they pursue, be it a technical college or 4-year university. Finally, his plan focuses on making sure college graduates are able to compete for well-paying jobs and able to support themselves upon graduation. Ron Kind’s plan is exactly what Wisconsin needs to guarantee students can graduate high school or college with optimism for the future.

Read more about the Congressman's new education plan through his column in the Pierce County Herald.

Things You May Have Missed But Need To See Now

With Sean Duffy out, Republican field for U.S. Senate in 2018 wide open
"'The Republican establishment in Washington is scrambling to avoid a divisive, messy Republican primary in Wisconsin,' said Gillian Drummond, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. 'No matter what circus emerges, Tammy Baldwin will continue to stand up to the powerful interests in Washington and fight for a Wisconsin economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.'" 

Sen. Johnson won’t commit to town hall meeting during Congressional recess
"Truax is part of group planning a town hall meeting of its own at the Brown County Library next week. They sent a letter inviting Senator Johnson to attend the event but so far they haven’t heard back."

Wisconsin taxpayers could pay another $175,000 for redistricting maps
"Taxpayers will spend up to $175,000 so state lawmakers can try to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to keep in place maps of legislative districts that help Republicans. The bill will add to more than $2.1 million in legal fees taxpayers have already paid to establish the maps and defend them in court. States must draw new legislative boundaries every 10 years to account for population shifts. With control of all of state government in 2011, Republicans crafted maps that greatly helped them in elections."

John Humphries suggested consulting contract to rival in superintendent's race
"Evers campaign spokeswoman Amanda Brink said the takeover plan Humphries and Holtz discussed would affect 'almost 20 percent of the public school kids in Wisconsin, and would strip away parents and community members’ rights to weigh in on their local districts.' Brink called it 'a massive power grab.' 'This is a proposal for a heavy-handed, top-down approach struck through a backroom deal between a few unnamed business leaders and two politicians looking out for their own financial interests,' Brink said.

State superintendent candidate: Challenger offered 6-figure job to drop out of race
A candidate for state superintendent offered an opponent a taxpayer-funded $150,000 job if he dropped out of the race and sought the same for himself if he were the one to drop out, his challenger alleged Wednesday.

Beloit May Not Be Eligible For Higher Aid
"If the School District of Beloit has 7,000 students, for example, it stands to forfeit roughly $4 million over the two-year period covered in the biennial budget, and more millions every year thereafter. "

Vruwink proposes anti-gerrymandering bill
"State Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, has co-authored a bill that would remove partisan redistricting from state legislative districts, according to a release. Vruwink's proposal would give redistricting power to the Legislative Reference Bureau every 10 years. Republicans outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the state Assembly and 20-13 in the state Senate, which is not reflective of Wisconsin's population, Vruwink said in the release."

Board: Unclear how 'enhanced oversight' results from Scott Walker plan to ax for-profit college watchdog
Board members of Wisconsin’s for-profit college watchdog said Wednesday they’re concerned by Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate the board in the next state budget. Walker, in his 2017-19 budget proposal released last week, moved to eliminate the state Educational Approval Board and transfer its duties to another agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services. The board licenses and regulates for-profit schools, which have weathered criticism for questionable marketing practices and degree programs.

Doyle, Walker differ on state budget locally
"Doyle cautioned that Walker’s proposed numbers could change as the Legislature picked the budget apart and different groups and interests battled it out in Madison. Numbers could also change as better information is gathered on the financial impacts of proposals such as the call to switch to a self-insurance system for public employees, which Walker’s office has estimated would save the state $60 million and is tied to the increased K-12 funding. 'Don’t spend the money until you have it in your bank account,' he told the board."

Last Updated on Monday, 20 February 2017 16:32
 
Scott Walker Has No Place At The Department of Labor PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 20:54

scottwalkerScott Walker has rammed destructive, anti-worker policies through the Republican-controlled legislature. The result has been an economy that trails the nation in growth and is dead last in entrepreneurial activity, declining wages, and massive job loss as businesses close and companies move jobs out of the state.


MADISON - President Donald Trump's nominee to head up Department of Labor, Anthony Puzder, has withdrawn his nomination before tomorrow's confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate. While working families across the nation will rejoice at the news of Puzder's withdrawal, they should fear what may lie ahead: Labor Secretary nominee Scott Walker.

"President Trump nominated a multi-millionaire CEO who opposes raising the minimum wage and built his wealth on the backs of the workers at his restaurant chain," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Wednesday. "Gov. Scott Walker's record is even worse as he's built a national profile out of public policy that rewards the wealthy donors who help bankroll his campaigns and punishes the working families across the state."

During his tenure as Governor, Scott Walker has rammed destructive, anti-worker policies through the Republican-controlled legislature. The result has been an economy that trails the nation in growth and is dead last in entrepreneurial activity, declining wages, and massive job loss as businesses close and companies move jobs out of the state.

The facts on Scott Walker's anti-worker policies:

  • Scott Walker admitted to Congress that his Act 10 reforms won’t save the state any money. [1]
  • Walker’s failed attempts at reform, have had a real, harmful effect on Wisconsin families. [2]
  • Thanks to Walker's cap on district revenues, over $1 billion in school district referendums were on the ballot last year. 45 out of 85 referendum questions were simple operational referendums to keep the lights on. [3]
  • A Pew Charitable Trust report showed Wisconsin with the largest decline since 2000 in the percentage of families considered “middle class.” [4]
  • Wisconsin’s 5.7% decrease in the number of Wisconsin families in the middle class outstripped all other states. [5]
  • The median household income in Wisconsin fell 14.7% since 2000, compared to 7.2% nationwide. [6]

BACKGROUND:

[1] “At one point, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) confronted Walker about his crackdown on public employee unions. The congressman referenced a provision Walker signed into law that would require union members to vote every year to continue their membership. Kucinich asked the governor how much money the state would save from the provision. Walker repeatedly dodged the question and eventually admitted that it actually wouldn’t save anything at all.” (Scott Walker Admits Union-Busting Provision ‘Doesn’t Save Any’ Money For The State Of Wisconsin, ThinkProgress, 4/14/11)

[2] Act 10 reduced take-home pay for hundreds of thousands of people employed by schools, communities and the state by an average of nearly $3,000 each. Those cuts take over $700 million-a-year out of the state's economy. (Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, “The Price of Extremism, Wisconsin’s economy under the Walker administration”, December 2011)

[3] "In the first three and a half months of 2016, there were 85 referendum questions on Wisconsin ballots. Those proposed measures totaled nearly $1-billion. 45 of those were for districts to exceed their revenue limit." (Digging Deeper: Funding Our Future, WKOW-TV, 9/8/16)
[4] “If you feel like you’re working harder for less money, it’s not your imagination. Wisconsin ranks worst among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class, with real median household incomes here falling 14.7 percent since 2000, according to a new report. The Pew Charitable Trust report showed Wisconsin with the largest decline in the percentage of families considered ‘middle class,’ or those earning between 67 and 200 percent of their state’s median income.” [Capital Times, 3/24/15]

[5] “In 2000, 54.6 percent of Wisconsin families fell into the middle class category but that has fallen to 48.9 percent in 2013, according to U.S. Census figures compiled by Pew. All other states showed some decline but none as great as Wisconsin’s 5.7 percent figure.” [Capital Times, 3/24/15]

[6] “Also, the median household income in Wisconsin was $60,344 in 2000 but now stands at just $51,467 after adjusting for inflation. That’s a dip of 14.7 percent. Nationally, median household incomes fell from $55,987 to $51,939 over the period, a decline of 7.2 percent.” [Capital Times, 3/24/15]

Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2017 11:03
 
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