Tuesday June 28, 2022

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Elections, Elected Officials and Political Parties
State of the Republican Primary for Governor PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Tuesday, 15 February 2022 20:39

rebecca-kleefisch-rallyWisconsinites are tired of the division and the hate coming from the GOP, say DEMS.

MADISON, Wis. — Tonight is Governor Evers’ 2022 State of the State address. And while Governor Evers has been busy delivering for working families, Republicans have been focused on brutal internal fighting and partisan games. Election conspiracy theorist Tim Ramthun continued to vie for a Trump endorsement, and Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson ramped up their insults at one another.

On WSAU’s Feedback last week, Kleefisch called Nicholson an “opportunist” who will “say or do anything” to “become part of the political establishment that he claims to hate so much” [8:19]. Nicholson, meanwhile, came out against Kleefisch’s plan to make radical changes to our election system, calling it “an attempt to grab headlines” — while proposing his own unnecessary changes, in an attempt to grab headlines.

Kleefisch alluded that all this back and forth could turn the primary into “a dumpster fire,” and placed the blame on Nicholson, who “lights the matches and tosses them in” [12:04]. In all this back and forth, not a single Republican candidate running for governor is focused on solutions for the real problems that face Wisconsin. All they have to offer the state is a divisive primary for governor that is tearing their party apart.

“How can Republicans expect to run the state when their own party is turning into, as Rebecca Kleefisch calls it, ‘a dumpster fire,’” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Iris Riis. “Wisconsinites are tired of the division and the hate coming from the GOP. Governor Evers knows that doing the right thing is more important than ‘winning’ petty political fights — that’s why he was elected by the people in 2018, and that’s why no matter who the GOP nominates, Wisconsin will elect him again in 2022.”

Kleefisch and Walker Saying No to Quality Health Care for 82,000 Wisconsinites PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Monday, 14 February 2022 11:09

rebecca-kleefischMADISON, Wis. — This week marks the ninth anniversary of the day Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker refused to expand BadgerCare and turned down billions of dollars in investments for health care in Wisconsin.

The Walker-Kleefisch administration was notorious for championing policies that hurt Wisconsinites for their own political gain.

Expanding BadgerCare at the time Kleefisch was in office would have:

  • Made 82,000 Wisconsinites eligible for care,
  • Saved the state $643 million,
  • Decreased the uninsured population by sixteen percent.

As if blocking access to affordable health care wasn’t enough, Kleefisch also supported a lawsuit that Walker authorized, which would have ended protections for 2.5 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. And while Kleefisch railed against expanding affordable health care for all Wisconsinites, she benefited greatly from her husband’s government-run health care plan.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler released the following statement:

“Nine years ago, Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker decided to put partisan political spite above health care for Wisconsinites. Today, their failure on BadgerCare expansion still blocks 90,000 people from affordable health care. And for what? All because Kleefisch and Walker couldn’t stand that the check was signed by a Democratic president. Republicans will do anything to make sure Democrats fail, even if it comes at the expense of Wisconsinites.

“We can’t trust Rebecca Kleefisch with our health care. Her radical agenda for our state includes stripping away Wisconsinites’ right to make their own personal reproductive health care decisions, repealing the Affordable Care Act—which would result in more than a million Wisconsinites losing their health insurance—and continuing to reject BadgerCare expansion, which means Wisconsinites’ taxes go to pay for insurance in other states because we refuse to accept $1.6 billion in federal dollars. . We’ve already watched Walker and Kleefisch turn up their noses at high-speed trains built for Wisconsin. Let’s not let Kleefisch give away our taxpayer money and our health care too.”

Alex Lasry Blasts Ron Johnson’s Continued Refusal to Stand Up for Workers PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Alex Lasry Press   
Friday, 11 February 2022 16:03

alex-lasry-senateSays Johnson has failed to bring jobs and investment back to Wisconsin

Milwaukee - Friday, Alex Lasry released the following statement on Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s continued refusal to stand up for Wisconsin workers and his continued attempts to blame others for his words:

“If we want the best trucks, done on time–and on budget–those jobs should be brought here to Wisconsin. We have the best trained and most efficient workers in the world, and the necessary facilities to get the job done. 

ron-johnson“Throughout Ron Johnson’s two terms, he has failed to bring jobs and investment back to Wisconsin, and that is exactly what is happening once again. Ron Johnson is rejecting more than a 1000 good union jobs and he knows that won’t fly with Wisconsinites, so now he is making excuses and trying to blame everyone but himself. We need another Senator who will deliver for Wisconsin, not just make excuses.

“I want to be a partner for Tammy Baldwin to bring investments like these good union jobs to Wisconsin. I have a proven record of raising wages, bringing jobs and investments to our state, and building things right here in Wisconsin. That’s exactly what I’ll do as Wisconsin’s next U.S. Senator.”

The Democratic Primary Election for the United States Senate will be held Tuesday, August 9th, 2022. For more information about Alex Lasry’s campaign, visit www.alexlasry.com.

Wisconsin voters remind Ron Johnson why his approval rating is 35% PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Philip Shulman   
Thursday, 10 February 2022 15:53

ron-johnson-dc-2022"I did vote for you [Johnson] because you were something different. I have been disappointed with your policies and more specifically in your [siding] with one person over the country." - Debra, a former supporter from Kenosha.

MADISON, Wis. – Yesterday, Ron Johnson held a tele-townhall where Wisconsinites, including those who voted for him, peppered him with questions about his record of putting politics over Wisconsin families, his refusal to fight to bring more than 1,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs to his own hometown of Oshkosh, and his opposition to helping working families afford child care.

See more below about the grilling Ron Johnson took from Wisconsinites fed up with his self-serving agenda:

The American Independent: Frustrated Wisconsin voters remind Ron Johnson why his approval rating is 35%

The Republican senator got an earful from angry voters at a town hall on Tuesday night.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) announced last month he will break his term-limits pledge and seek a third term this November. He said days later that his sagging approval ratings — around 35% in recent polls — are entirely the media's fault and claimed, "I'm not a polarizing figure at all."

On Tuesday night, several of his constituents joined his telephone town hall and made it clear that they strongly disagree with those self-assessments.

Johnson was grilled by multiple callers from across Wisconsin about his recent comments and his record.

Susan, a self-described 50-something "disabled veteran," noted the lack of good jobs available in Kenosha and high costs, saying "I want your answer to why you shipped jobs to South Carolina and not Kenosha, Wisconsin? We need help!"

Johnson, who has been under fire for refusing to try to persuade the Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense to locate 1,000 new manufacturing jobs in the state instead of to South Carolina, had argued on Saturday, "It's not like we don't have enough jobs here in Wisconsin. The biggest problem we have in Wisconsin right now is employers not being able to find enough workers."

Johnson told Susan that "economic development is not universally distributed" and that the best approach is "to have a competitive tax system and a reasonable regulatory environment, and then you get out of the way and allow entrepreneurs." Pressed further, Johnson scolded the caller for not listening to his answers and moved on.

Debra, a former supporter also from Kenosha, called out Johnson, who voted with President Donald Trump 86% of the time and ranked 60th out of 100 for bipartisanship in The Lugar Center/McCourt School's index for the last Congress, for not being bipartisan enough and for his fealty to the former president.

"I did vote for you because you were something different. I have been disappointed with your policies and more specifically in your [siding] with one person over the country," Debra said. "At what point are you going to quit complaining about what has or hasn't happened in your eyes and when are you gonna start reaching across the aisle and start working with your Democratic colleagues to get things done?"

"I'd say you're probably relying too much on reports in the news media that aren't accurate," he responded, noting that he had worked with both parties to pass non-controversial right to try legislation in 2018 and that he had been a leader in promoting dangerous conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I bring the attitude 'Let's concentrate on areas of agreement, let's not exploit political divisions,'" Johnson claimed, making no mention of his repeated false claims about the 2020 election and the Jan. 2021 Capitol insurrection by Trump supporters.

Another constituent named Garrick criticized the millionaire Johnson over his recent comments suggesting that providing affordable child care is not "society's responsibility" and pointed out the contradiction between that and Johnson's abortion views.

"You're supposed to be pro-life, or at least you're running on a pro-life platform, but you say it isn't society's responsibility to take care of other people's children. Yet we're giving tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations and I don't know how you're gonna get the pro-choice side to make logical decisions and have the kid if we're not even giving the tools of daycare to be able to make that decision," Garrick said.

Johnson pointed to a disputed estimate that a Democratic proposal in the Build Back Better package to pay child care workers a livable wage would mean a $13,000 per year cost increase for some families and tried to suggest that by "society" he had only meant the federal government. "I was talking about the fact that another federal government program when we're $30 trillion in debt when all this deficit spending is sparking inflation," he said.

Pressed further, Johnson complained, "It's very unusual that people won't let me answer the question, so we're gonna cut off Garrick."

Michael, who also identified as a retired military officer, questioned Johnson's decision to break his promise to only serve 12 years in the Senate, asking: "In the military, respect and trust go a long way. In 2016, you stated you only plan to run for one more term. How can we trust you if you go against what you stated you wanted to do?"

Johnson, who had co-sponsored a 2011 constitutional amendment proposal to limit all senators to two six-year terms, answered that he had hoped to retire after that period but simply couldn't "walk away" from the nation's problems now.

"It was my very strong preference, and trust me, my wife's very strong preference, to serve out this term and go home," he claimed. "But that country is in a different place today than it was in 2016."

"I feel really bad that I've been here now probably 11 years and we've doubled the debt. Obamacare's still in place, and we've doubled the debt," Johnson told a right-wing podcaster last summer. "I don't feel like my time here has been particularly successful."

The callers on Tuesday night's phone town hall seemed to agree with Johnson on that point.

State GOP Campaigns Secretly Met at Capitol In Plot to Overturn 2020 Election PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 04 February 2022 15:10

trump-insurgents-capitolTwo Republicans who have been subpoenaed by Congress for their role in posing as fake electors met with Kleefisch and Nicholson campaigns.

MADISON, Wis. – Top Republicans associated with Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson’s campaigns met in secret at the state Capitol as part of their plot to overturn the 2020 election and hired armed security to protect themselves as they carried out their plan.

The group, who posed as fake electors in an attempt to overthrow the will of the people, is tied very closely to Kleefisch and Nicholson. Bill Feehan, who detailed this plot on a podcast, serves on an advisory board for Kleefisch’s campaign; Darryl Carlson serves as the executive director of Kevin Nicholson’s political group; former GOP state party chair Andrew Hitt has donated thousands to Kleefisch’s campaign for governor and was previously announced as the chair of Adam Jarchow’s campaign for attorney general; and Kelly Ruh, a Republican activist, served as a key advisor of Kleefisch as a member of the leadership board of the 1848 Project. Hitt and Ruh have been subpoenaed by Congress for their role in posing as fake electors.

Wisconsin Republicans will do anything to win an election, even if it means undermining the Constitution and plotting a coup. It goes all the way to the top — even Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asked the state’s Legislative Reference Bureau if it was possible to send in different presidential electors.

A Republican governorship would be extremely dangerous to our democracy. Kleefisch has supported attempts to make it more difficult for eligible voters to participate in elections and suggested that she would be open to allowing the legislature to overturn the results of a statewide election.

Read more about the Republicans’ coup attempt below.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Republicans who posed as electors met in a 'secret location,' brought armed security with them, one member says

Wisconsin Republicans who posed as presidential electors in 2020 met secretly for an hour before filling out official-looking paperwork at the state Capitol and were accompanied by armed security, according to one of the participants.

The account — given a year ago in a podcast by would-be elector Bill Feehan — provides one of the most detailed descriptions yet of a meeting that is now being scrutinized by federal prosecutors and the U.S. House committee investigating last year’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"I left my home a little after 8 o'clock and drove to a secret meeting place in Madison and met all the other electors there. There was security — armed security — to protect us. And other officials from the Republican Party of Wisconsin were there," Feehan said in a podcast that was posted online a month after the meeting.

“It’s all super secret for security reasons, so we met in a secret location. We waited for almost an hour before they took us to the state Capitol."

Republicans viewed secrecy for the meeting in Wisconsin and other states as important, according to legal memos for Donald Trump's campaign that were made public Wednesday by the New York Times.

"It might be preferable for them to meet in private, if possible, to thwart the ability of protesters to disrupt the event," attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in a Dec. 9, 2020 memo.

The memo, like one written three weeks earlier, was directed to James Troupis, the former Dane County judge who oversaw Trump's legal operation in Wisconsin as he pursued recounts and legal challenges to Joe Biden's victory in the state.

The memos made the case for Republicans to meet as electors in states Trump had lost in hopes that courts or Congress would ultimately give Trump a second term.

Republicans in seven states held such meetings.


In response to a lawsuit brought by Troupis, the Wisconsin state Supreme Court ruled against Trump an hour before the Electoral College met. Wisconsin's Republicans met as electors even though the court had found the state's 10 electoral votes belonged to Biden.

The decision was 4-3, with Republican-backed Justice Brian Hagedorn joining the court's three liberals.

"The mood was one of excitement up until we heard the result of the Wisconsin state Supreme Court's ruling," Feehan said on his podcast, "Fact Check with Bill Feehan."


Anna Kelly, a spokeswoman for the state Republican Party, downplayed the secrecy surrounding the event. She noted that three days before the meeting Troupis included a footnote in a filing to the state Supreme Court that said the Republicans planned to gather as electors.

"If one of the electors discusses the process in a podcast, by definition, it’s not all that secretive," Kelly said by email.

She said the "secret location" Feehan mentioned was the state Republican Party's headquarters in Madison. They met there beforehand so they could travel to the Capitol together, Kelly said. Troupis did not participate in their meeting, she said.

Feehan and his colleagues now find themselves under a microscope.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Justice review, the state Elections Commission is expected to meet in March to consider a complaint on the issue. The House committee last week subpoenaed two Wisconsin Republicans over the meeting, along with a dozen Republicans from the six other states that hosted similar events.


The day the Republicans gathered, the Wisconsin Capitol was closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans said at the time they weren’t sure if they could get in the building and planned to hold their meeting on the Capitol grounds if they couldn't get inside.

Feehan did not say how the Republicans got in the Capitol or which room they used. He did not return a phone call on Thursday.

"We had to arrange to be let into the state Capitol, where we had a meeting room reserved, and that’s where we met to cast our ballots in the Electoral College," Feehan said on the podcast.

Rooms were reserved in the Capitol that day on behalf of the state Republican Party by aides to Scott Fitzgerald, who at the time was the majority leader of the state Senate and now is a member of Congress. It’s unclear if the Republicans used one of those rooms or gathered elsewhere in the Capitol.

Feehan did not say in his podcast why the Republicans had armed security. The Capitol Police patrol the Capitol and its grounds.


After the 2020 election, Feehan teamed up with one-time Trump attorney Sidney Powell to file a lawsuit based on a far-fetched theory that voting machines were hacked. A federal judge threw out the suit days before Feehan and the others claimed to be electors.

Feehan is the chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party and serves on an advisory board for the campaign of former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who is running for governor.

Another one of the Republicans who claimed to be an elector, Darryl Carlson, serves as the director of No Better Friend Corp., a political group established by Kleefisch’s primary opponent, Kevin Nicholson.

Last month two others in the group were subpoenaed by the House committee exploring the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. They are Andrew Hitt, an attorney who was chairman of the state party at the time of the meeting, and Kelly Ruh, a De Pere city council member and chairwoman of the 8th Congressional District Republican Party.


Ruh served on an advisory board for the 1848 Project, a political group launched by Kleefisch before she announced her bid for governor. Mary Buestrin, another one of the Republican would-be electors, also served on that board.


Ron Johnson Met With Conspiracy Theorists To Overturn Presidential Election PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 04 February 2022 13:32

trump-insurrectionTwo days before the January 6th Insurrection, Johnson met with Trump officials and other conspiracy theorists to try to make up cases of voter fraud that did not exist.

MADISON, Wis. – A new report shows that Senator Ron Johnson was more involved in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election results than was previously known. On January 4th, 2021, two days before Ron Johnson planned to delay the presidential election certification, Johnson met with Trump officials and other conspiracy theorists to try to make up cases of voter fraud that did not exist.

“Instead of protecting U.S. democracy and Wisconsinites’ constitutional right to vote, Ron Johnson met behind closed doors with political allies to push his self-serving agenda. Wisconsinites have seen time and time again that when it matters the most, Ron Johnson is only concerned with himself and not what is best for the state and country,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman.

Read more below.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ron Johnson participated in a Jan. 4, 2021, session at a Trump hotel on the potential delay of the election certification

ron-johnsonRon Johnson was one of three Republican U.S. senators to attend a Jan. 4, 2021, meeting convened by MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell as loyalists to then-President Donald Trump sought to gather information and rally support to delay certification of President Joe Biden's election victory.


The Post reported: "What the senators heard from a handful of presenters were some of the most fantastical claims among those alleging that the election had been stolen — including, according to Cramer, that the 2020 vote had been influenced by foreign powers and that proper investigation required gaining access to voting machines around the country."

The meeting came two days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Congress reconvened and certified the election results. Johnson was among those who voted in favor of certification, after first indicating that he planned to join with 10 other Republican senators in objecting to the certification.

On Dec. 16, 2020, Johnson, then head of the U.S. Senate's homeland security committee, held a hearing on the election.

"The senator’s hearing was part of what should be ongoing congressional oversight meant to transparently address that problem," a Johnson spokesperson said. "Following the hearing, he and his staff continued to gather information and consider allegations, that is why he joined the meeting.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lindell said: "I called the meeting, a few people came in and did a presentation on what they had for election fraud. And that was it."

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell speaks before President Donald Trump's campaign appearance Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at the La Crosse County Fairgrounds in West Salem.

Lindell, who has pushed false conspiracies about the 2020 election, said he never spoke individually with Johnson but praised him.

"Ron Johnson cares about Wisconsin, cares about the United States and cares about our future," Lindell said.

Asked whether he considered Johnson to be an ally, Lindell said:

"I believe he is an ally of the American people. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, he is for the people and wants to have fair elections going forward."

The Post also reported the existence of a Dec. 18, 2020, memo circulated by Trump allies that advocated using data from the National Security Agency and Defense Department in an effort to show foreign interference in the election.

Johnson's office was among those to receive the memo, the Post reported.

"Staff received the memo on January 13 and took no further action," a Johnson spokesperson said. "The request from the Washington Post was the senator’s first knowledge of this memo, he has not seen it."


Lasry Releases Economic Plan PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Alex Lasry Press   
Thursday, 03 February 2022 09:41

union-workersDemocratic Candidate for Senate wants to Raise Wages and Put More Money Back in Working People’s Pockets

Priorities USA Announces $30 Million Digital Investment in Battleground States PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities USA Press   
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 11:46

vote-47-mbPriorities also announced record-breaking fundraising totals, positioning the organization to invest early in key states.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2022 11:58
Ron Johnson Spends the Week Convincing Wisconsinites Not to Vote for Him PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press, Philip Shulman   
Friday, 28 January 2022 18:30

ron-johnsonMADISON, Wis. — Ron Johnson had another busy week on the campaign trail convincing Wisconsin voters that he’s in Washington to serve himself. Johnson told Wisconsin voters:

“Ron Johnson worked overtime to deliver massive tax breaks that benefited him and his biggest donors but thinks that Wisconsin children and senior citizens should be left to fend for themselves. It’s clear that Ron Johnson is in Washington to enrich himself and prioritize his self-serving agenda,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman.

Rebecca Kleefisch “Disappointed” In Plan to Return Taxpayer Dollars PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by WisDems Press   
Friday, 28 January 2022 17:36

rebecca-kleefischMADISON, Wis. — Following Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to direct taxpayer dollars back to Wisconsin families now, Rebecca Kleefisch came out against the tax credits, saying she was “disappointed” in the plan. Thanks to Gov. Evers’ leadership, Wisconsin has a projected record-breaking $3.8 billion budget surplus — and Wisconsinites have still received a 15% tax break.

While Gov. Evers has proposed giving a portion of the surplus back to Wisconsinites now, Republican leaders have indicated they’re going to wait over a year to return taxpayers’ money — essentially holding it hostage until someone from their political party is in power.

Here’s what’s in the plan Kleefisch calls a “non-starter”:

  • $150 tax rebate for every Wisconsin tax filer and each of their dependents
  • Expand the Child and Dependent Care Credit, giving an average of $274 back to more than 100,000 Wisconsinites
  • Create a new $100 million Caregiver Tax Credit, benefiting approximately 370,000 tax filers
  • Nearly $750 million to improve education quality while keeping property taxes down

Kleefisch couldn’t explain why she’s opposing this common-sense plan to return money to working families. Kleefisch supported a tax rebate in 2018, when Wisconsin’s finances and economy were in a much weaker position. At the end of the 2018 fiscal year, Wisconsin’s budget surplus was only $588 million and the state’s rainy day fund only had enough to keep state government running for nearly seven days. Thanks to Gov. Evers’ leadership, Wisconsin now has a rainy day fund that’s five times larger, the lowest unemployment rate in state history, and a record budget surplus.

Today, Wisconsin families are also facing rising costs, and with this unprecedented budget surplus, we have an opportunity to return this money back where it belongs, in the pockets of Wisconsinites.

”It doesn’t matter what the issue is, if it doesn’t help Rebecca Kleefisch’s political campaign, she won’t support it — even if it means returning taxpayer dollars to working families,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Iris Riis. “While Wisconsin’s economy is miles ahead of the rest of the nation, families are still struggling with rising costs — that’s why it’s so important to direct the unexpected surplus money to taxpayers right now. Governor Tony Evers knows that the right thing to do is to invest this budget surplus back into the economy and directly into Wisconsinites’ pockets.”

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