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Laning, Bowen Launch Democratic Party Re-Election Campaign PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:05

wisdems-flagCurrent leaders want to continue work to unite the party behind progressive values, strengthen county parties, do solid fundraising, and build a strong team for future elections.

MADISON – Today, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Martha Laning and First Vice Chair Representative David Bowen announced their re-election campaign ahead of the 2017 Democratic Party of Wisconsin officer elections.

martha-laning"It has been our honor to serve the members of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin since our election in 2015,” Democratic Party Chair Woman Martha Laning stated. “We have worked hard to unite the party behind our progressive values, strengthen our county parties, continue our solid fundraising, and build a strong team.

We have an incredible team of Democrats who gave this past election all they’ve got. Though the results were not what we wanted on Election Day, we’re inspired by the passion and commitment of the thousands of volunteers, community leaders, candidates, campaign staff and more who worked so hard to elect Democrats this November,” Laning continued.

Laning and Bowen have been traveling the state meeting with local Democrats at listening sessions in communities like Hayward, Wausau, Eau Claire, Neenah, La Crosse, Dodgeville, Madison, Milwaukee and Sheboygan to debrief the 2016 election results and work with local party activists and leaders to identify the next steps to rebuilding the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

“It is clear that our team is more committed than ever to building a strong party that will unite Wisconsinites across our differences,” Laning commented. “That’s why we are proud to announce our intention to run for re-election as Chair and First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.”

"I am proud of the work Martha and her team have done in the past 16 months toward making our Democratic Party one that embraces the values and goals of people in every corner of Wisconsin," said First Vice Chair Representative David Bowen. "As the party of inclusion, we need leadership that can continue delivering our positive message that no matter where you are located or your economic situation, ours is the big tent party that fights against the status quo and for the progressive values that will make our state and nation work for everyone. Martha is the right person for the job and I'm proud to support her and help our party embrace new ideas and winning strategies."

Laning continued, “We have been and will continue to be a leadership team who is committed to working with our party membership to identify ways to build a stronger party to turn our state around. As a party, we’ve come a long way in the first 18 months of our tenure and look forward to building on the work we’ve done to strengthen our team and improve our party’s efficacy as we gear up for critical elections in 2018 when we re-elect Tammy Baldwin to the United State Senate and remove Scott Walker from the Governor’s Office.”

Laning, a business woman and nonprofit fundraiser from Sheboygan, and Bowen who represents Wisconsin’s 10th Assembly District in Milwaukee, were first elected to their posts in June of 2015 by the membership of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. They will seek re-election during the upcoming DPW Convention in Middleton, WI from June 2-3, 2017.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:18
High Time For Sheriff David Clarke To Get Back To Work PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Thursday, 08 December 2016 14:54

david-clarkeAfter kissing up to Trump for a job in Washington, it is time for Clarke to return to Milwaukee County, answer to the public, and do his job. That includes the three deaths currently being reviewed in the Jail.

MADISON - Sheriff David Clarke went to great lengths to defend Donald Trump on the campaign trail in hopes of a cabinet position in the Trump Administration. Yesterday, the Milwaukee County Sheriff saw his dreams dashed as Donald Trump announced Retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly as his pick to head the department. Now that the Sheriff knows his fate, perhaps he can finally get back to work serving the people of his county.

"Public safety should not be a partisan issue. One value we all share is caring deeply for the safety and well-being of our fellow community members," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said on Thursday. "Now that the dust has settled on this election season, I sincerely hope that Sheriff David Clarke can refocus his attention to serving the people of Milwaukee County."

Clarke's county could use his attention as four prisoners have died at the Milwaukee County Jail in recent months, as The Milwaukee County Jail is under his supervision. Clarke, however, has spent a considerable amount of time in the last four months campaigning for President-elect Trump. Terrill Thomas, 38, died from profound dehydration after being denied water. An infant also died in custody after the mother gave birth unbeknownst to the staff. Another woman, Kristina Piebrink, 38, died for unexplained reasons in August as well as 29-year-old Michael Madden who died in late October.

Both Thomas and the infant's mother had histories of mental illness and were denied the care that could have prevented these fatalities. Robert Shansky, a court-appointed monitor, recently provided a report of these deaths. During his visit, Shanksy noted a severe short supply of medical staff at the jail.

Clarke has neglected his duty to the citizens of Milwaukee County to keep inmates safe while in jail. Instead of worrying about Wisconsinites, Clarke has been gallivanting around the nation raising his profile conservative circles - all while the recent deaths were being investigated. Just yesterday, County Executive Chris Abele called for Clarke to bring in an outside investigator for the three deaths currently being reviewed by the Milwaukee County Jail.

"The County Executive is right on the money with his call for an outside investigation into the deaths at the Milwaukee County Jail," Laning said. "The families of the deceased deserve an impartial investigation and the people of the county deserve to know facilities like these are safe and properly supervised by the sheriff and his team."

Now that it is clear that Sheriff Clarke likely will not have a substantial role in the Trump administration, it is time for him to return to Milwaukee County, answer to the public, and do his job to keep the county safe.

WisDems Speak on the Passing of Sen. John Glenn PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Thursday, 08 December 2016 13:45

john-glennThe world lost a selfless and inspiring leader when former astronaut and Senator from Ohio John Glenn passed away on Thursday.

martha-laningMADISON - In light of the passing of war veteran, astronaut, and US Senator John Glenn, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning released the following statement:

"Today is a sad day for all Americans with the passing of hero Sen. John Glenn. Sen. Glenn admirably served America in World War II and the Korean War, was the first astronaut to ever orbit the earth, and served honorably in the United States Senate. His service to our country will never be forgotten, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Last Updated on Friday, 09 December 2016 13:59
Update from DPW Chair, Martha Laning PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Martha Laning   
Saturday, 03 December 2016 12:05

martha-laningDPW Chair Martha Laning gives an update on new staff, Wisconsin's Presidential Recount, Jennifer Shilling's Victory, a court ruling on Redistricting, Emerge Wisconsin Applications, and a new Young Democrats chapter in the Badger State.

MADISON - As the election year comes to a close, our sights are focused on the year ahead. Whether you win or lose there are always lessons to be learned from a hard-fought campaign. That's why I have been holding listening sessions all over the state to get feedback from party leaders, volunteers, activists, and other stakeholders. 

We’ve already received great feedback about the changes we need to make in the future.  In the coming weeks we’ll be compiling all this information and beginning our strategic planning process for 2017 and beyond.  

Announcing New Executive Director Jason Sidener

As many of you know, DPW Executive Director Kory Kozloski has decided to pursue new opportunities. While we are saddened to see Kory leave the DPW team, we are excited for his future ventures and are looking toward the future of DPW.

With Kory's departure, it was a priority of mine to ensure that the transition between Executive Directors is a smooth one. In order to implement a strong strategic plan right away in 2017, that meant having an new Executive Director who could hit the ground running on January 1st and allow some overlap time with Kory before he leaves.

Today, our Party's administrative committee voted to approve Jason Sidener as our next Executive Director. Jason Sidener is an incredible addition to our team. He brings nearly two decades of political organizing, grassroots engagement, and progressive movement leadership to our organization.

Read our official announcement here.

Wisconsin's Presidential Recount

Last week, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein moved forward with her request for a statewide recount of the Presidential election results in Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton's campaign has announced that they will participate in the Wisconsin recount in order to "ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides." 

Under federal law, any disputes over the 2.98 million votes cast in the presidential election must be resolved within 35 days of election day to ensure electoral votes are counted - that is December 13th this year.

The remaining timeline for the recount is as follows: 

Thursday, December 1st: Recount began in every Wisconsin county.
Monday, December 12th: All county canvass boards must be completed by 8 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13th: Elections Commission staff will prepare the official recount canvass certification by 3 p.m.

If you are interested in being a recount observer, sign up at:

For more information on the recount, you can visit

Recount Confirms Senate Leader Jennifer Shilling's Victory

In addition to the presidential recount, the recount in the 32nd District Senate race between Leader Jennifer Shilling and her challenger Dan Kapanke took place this week as well.

As of today, all of the ballots in the 32nd Senate District have been recounted and confirm Sen. Shilling's victory.

Click here to read Sen. Shilling's press release on the recount results.

Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans

Last week, a panel of three judges found the State Assembly districts drawn up by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011 were an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. This is incredible news for Wisconsin voters who deserve to be heard and equally represented in Madison. 

Read more about the ruling here.
Read my official statement on the decision here.

Surge in Emerge Wisconsin Applications

Our friends at Emerge Wisconsin are seeing a flood of applications from women who want to join their training program and run for office. This just goes to show that when the going gets tough, progressives get to work. I'm incredibly inspired and motivated by the fortitude of Wisconsin women who aspire to be leaders in the progressive movement. 

Let's help Emerge keep the momentum going. Share this link with your networks and encourage more women to join the fight:

Young Democrats of Wisconsin
In order to ensure a lasting and vibrant Democratic Party of Wisconsin, we need to engage young people at all levels. To that end, over the last year-and-a-half, a group of committed young professionals from across Wisconsin have been working to establish a Young Democrats chapter in the Badger State. Young Dems are the next generation of leaders, committed to recruiting and electing young people to lead on issues and represent at every level of government.

On Sunday, August 14 the Young Democrats of America - the largest youth-led political organization in the country - unanimously voted to grant a charter to the Wisconsin chapter. Since then, the group has been incredibly active!

They've launched their own podcast on iTunes, held a statewide conference call with the Russ Feingold campaign and presented at over a dozen county party meetings.

On Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, the Young Dems will be holding a "Weekend of Action" where members will be volunteering for Assembly candidates in each region of the state.

Additionally, on Tuesday, September 27 they'll be holding a political trivia social gathering in Madison.

Membership in the Young Democrats of Wisconsin is free and open to anyone between 18-40 who's current on their dues with DPW. For anyone attending college or otherwise affiliated with an institution of higher learning, the College Democrats remain the primary affiliation the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Anyone interested in joining can do so by clicking here: You can follow their activity at Facebook at and on Twitter: @youngdemswi.

Democratic Party Announces New Executive Director PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Saturday, 03 December 2016 11:22

Jason SidenerJason is currently the Director of Political Action and Member Mobilization for AFSCME, and has served as President of the Board for Wisconsin Progress, Board Member for Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and Chair of the Labor Division for the United Way of Dane County.

MADISON - The Democratic Party of Wisconsin's administrative committee voted on Friday to approve Jason Sidener as the Party's next Executive Director to start on January 1, 2017.

martha-laning“Jason Sidener is an incredible addition to our team. He brings nearly two decades of political organizing, grassroots engagement, and progressive movement leadership to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said on Friday. “As we prepare for a Trump Administration and gear up for the 2018 gubernatorial and US Senate elections, our party needs strong leaders like Jason today more than ever. Jason is dedicated to electing progressive candidates at all levels of government and shares my belief that we need a strong DPW that works closely with local leaders and activists to return to Wisconsin’s proud progressive traditions."

Throughout his political career, spanning back to grassroots organizing with the Public Interest Research Group in the late 1990’s, and including field organizing for multiple congressional candidates around the country, including for then-Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in 2002, Sidener has developed deep roots in progressive politics. For the past 13 years, Sidener has worked for AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, in multiple capacities. He is currently the Director of Political Action and Member Mobilization for AFSCME Council 32.

In addition to his professional political activism, Jason has served in many volunteer leadership positions for different organizations including the President of the Board for Wisconsin Progress and the Electoral Committee Chair and Board Member for Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Jason is also the long-time Chair of the Labor Division for the United Way of Dane County's annual fundraising campaign.

Shilling appoints Taylor, Erpenbach to serve on Joint Finance Committee PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Friday, 02 December 2016 10:39

lena-taylorBoth have been outspoken advocates for working families in Wisconsin and understand the importance of investing in our future.

MADISON – Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) announced today that Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) will be re-appointed to serve on the Joint Committee on Finance for the 2017-18 legislative session.

jennifer-shilling“Sen. Taylor and Sen. Erpenbach have been outspoken advocates for working families in Wisconsin and understand the importance of investing in our future,” said Sen. Shilling. “Their years of experience and commitment to strengthening Wisconsin’s economy will help to focus our upcoming budget discussions on the important issues at hand. I look forward to working with Senators Taylor and Erpenbach as Wisconsin Democrats continue to advocate for investments in education, worker training and infrastructure to boost our economy and create new jobs.”

Sen. Taylor and Sen. Erpenbach welcomed their responsibilities and are eager to bring new ideas and thoughtful solutions to the upcoming budget discussions.

jon-erpenbach-radio“I’m honored to serve another term on the Joint Finance Committee. It’s an important time for both my constituents and all of Wisconsin and I look forward to being a fierce advocate for commonsense bipartisan solutions,” said Taylor. “I will continue to advocate for children, reforming our justice system and fighting for social and economic justice for all.”

“Wisconsin Republicans cannot continue to delay big budget decisions,” said Sen. Erpenbach. “Our economy needs a jumpstart, our roads and bridges need immediate repairs and our communities need more support for local schools. I am grateful for this opportunity to stand up for Wisconsin’s working families and advocate for a more sustainable and forward-looking state budget.”

With the appointment of Sen. Taylor and Sen. Erpenbach to the Joint Finance Committee, Senate Democrats have a strong and diverse leadership team representing a broad spectrum of communities across Wisconsin.

Duffy Chooses Trump’s Swamp Over Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Thursday, 01 December 2016 11:49

sean_duffyWhile Duffy promised Wisconsin voters Trump would ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington he is now cozying up to the corporate lobbyists, big banks, and Wall Street insiders.

MADISON - Yesterday, Rep. Sean Duffy was named the newest character in the hottest reality show on television: the Donald Trump transition team.

After months of acting as Trump Tower talking head, Rep. Duffy is finally getting his reward by joining Trump's transition as an executive committee member.

Duffy joins Wall Street insiders, including Trump’s choice for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a hedge fund manager who preyed on homeowners struggling during the recession and who has been accused of running a “foreclosure machine.”

"Sean Duffy is leaving Wausau behind and embracing Donald Trump’s revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. While Duffy promised Wisconsin voters Trump would ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington he is now cozying up to the corporate lobbyists, big banks, and Wall Street insiders who will be calling the shots and writing the rules in Washington to make a rigged system work for them." Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Thursday.

Shilling Honored by Senate Democratic Leadership Role PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 09:28

jennifer-shillingWe need to hold Republicans accountable says Shilling. Other leaders for the 2017-18 legislative session include Janet Bewley, Mark Miller, and Janis Ringhand.

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Senate Democrats gathered on Tuesday and elected a new slate of leaders for the 2017-18 legislative session. To lead the slate, Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) was unanimously re-elected Senate Democratic Leader.

janet-bewleyIn addition to electing Sen. Shilling, the following senators were unanimously elected to Democratic leadership posts: Assistant Leader Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Delta), Caucus Chair Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) and Caucus Vice-Chair Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville).

“I am honored that my colleagues have once again entrusted me with the responsibility of serving as Senate Democratic Leader," said Shilling. "While Republican gerrymandering and national factors have limited our progress, we also have to re-evaluate our efforts and do a better job connecting with voters across Wisconsin who are anxious about our stagnant economy, upset with the growing income inequality and concerned about the future of our state. Today begins a new chapter."

“I am excited to work with all of my colleagues in the Senate and continue serving as a strong voice for the values and ideals of Wisconsin’s hardworking families," Shilling continued. "Now more than ever, we need to hold Republican leaders accountable and fight for quality schools, safe roads and strong communities. From childcare assistance and student loan debt relief to affordable health care and retirement security, Democrats will continue to push for solutions to grow our middle class, encourage innovation and expand economic opportunities.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 09:56
Democrats React to Court Ruling on Assembly District Boundaries PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by GBP Staff   
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 16:14

justiceDemocratic legislative leaders from around the state issue statements on Court striking down GOP gerrymandered districts.

MADISON - A panel of three federal judges Monday struck down state house district maps drawn in 2011 by Wisconsin's Republican controlled legislature, finding the resulting districts so blatantly partisan that they denied Democrats a fair shot at electing candidates of their choosing.

Since taking control of the Legislature in 2011 the Republicans have done everything in their power to tilt elections in their favor including passing extreme voter suppression measures such as Voter ID, the elimination of early voting and gerrymandering legislative districts to give them an unfair advantage at the polls.

dave-hansen"In today’s ruling, the Court’s affirmed what many of us have been saying all along, that the Republicans gerrymandered legislative districts to protect their legislative majorities and to solidify their power in the state capitol for generations," said Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) "all in violation of the Constitution".

The people of Wisconsin, regardless of which political party they support, deserve fair and honest elections and for their votes to count. To that end it is now incumbent upon the Court to throw out the current maps and issue a remedy that not only results in new, fair districts but also prevents any partisan efforts to commit similar gerrymandering in the future.

"The Legislature should make passage of non-partisan redistricting reform its first act of the 2017 Legislative Session,” said Hansen.

peter_barcaAssembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said on the ruling “Voters should be able to choose their representatives, not the other way around. Today’s ruling is a victory for democracy and the people of Wisconsin."

"The districts that were drawn by Republicans have greatly disenfranchised voters in Wisconsin, and it is time that we fix the maps and ensure that every vote truly counts in Wisconsin," said Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire), ranking Democrat on the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. "I commend the judges for the meticulous work that went into this decision and I look forward to a remedy that benefits not one particular party or special interest but the voters of the State of Wisconsin."

jennifer-shilling"We've known for years that Republican politicians have abused their power to rig Wisconsin elections in their favor," adds Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). "From disenfranchising voters, limiting polling places, restricting voting hours and drawing unconstitutional legislative districts, Republican politicians have waged an unprecedented attack on our democratic values. Every voter deserves to have their voice heard and I am relieved that our judicial system is helping to hold Republicans accountable for their unconstitutional partisan power grabs."

“Today’s court ruling recognizes the Republican abuse of power as going too far in shutting out our neighbors' voices in elections," concludes Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee). “Attempts to suppress the public’s voice by politically gerrymandering districts in order to weaken the voting power of targeted groups is a betrayal of our fundamental freedoms and values."

Walker and state Republicans have shown themselves ready to do anything to hold onto power. It is time to move forward with an unbiased system of redistricting to ensure the voices of all our neighbors can be heard.


Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 16:51
Ron Kind Will Try to Check Trump's Darker Impulses PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 16:12

ron_kindNorthwestern Wisconsin Congressman plans to operate under the assumption that Trump meant what he said. While we should show neighbors the kindness and support that are the trademarks of our way of life, change starts in our local communities.

LA CROSSE, WI - The results of last Tuesday’s election left many Wisconsinites feeling scared and uneasy about what the future holds for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. I want everyone to know that they are not alone.

donald-trumpI plan to operate under the assumption that, until proven otherwise, the statements Donald Trump made during the campaign are exactly what he plans to do as President, and I am more dedicated than ever to standing up and fighting to protect Wisconsin and America’s most vulnerable. I will lead my Democratic colleagues in acting as a check against Mr. Trump enacting any of his darker impulses.

While things seem scary and uncertain on a national level I encourage all Wisconsinites, now more than ever, to show their neighbors the kindness and support that are the trademarks of our way of life. Change starts in our local communities.

Anyone looking for ways to help can volunteer their time for causes that help create positive change. I for one plan to continue to look for opportunities to expand my “Kind Communities” volunteer efforts to reach more projects that need help in Wisconsin. Together we can also provide safe spaces for women, communities of color, Muslims, and LGBT individuals to feel accepted.

At a time when so much feels uncertain, you are not alone. Together we will keep up the good fight and ensure that our Wisconsin way of life endures.

Rep. Ron Kind
Wisconsin 3rd District


Ronald James "Ron" Kind (born March 16, 1963) is an American lawyer from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Since 1997 he has served as the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. His district is located in the western portion of the state and is anchored by La Crosse, Eau ClairePlatteville, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids and River Falls.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 November 2016 17:01
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