Iron County Progressive

 

From Our State Senator Janet Bewley

An even better Superior on the horizon 

MADISON – Senator Janet Bewley released the following statement after learning that Governor Evers’ budget includes the Better City Superior Initiative: 

“I am thrilled Governor Evers has included the Better City Superior proposal that I have been working on with Representative Nick Milroy in his 2021-2023 State Budget. This is a significant step toward making this innovative vision a reality.  Over the last few years dedicated volunteers, from every segment of the Greater Superior Community, have come together to pursue a plan that enables the city and county to use an economic development tool currently available only to the City of Milwaukee,” said Sen. Bewley. 

“Overwhelmingly supported by Douglas County voters, this plan would allow Superior to establish an exposition district that will spur economic growth, attract new businesses and tourism, and add new job opportunities for local residents.  The exposition district would support development projects that increase visitors and spending in the city, with mainstays like stadiums, convention centers and movie theaters.  Most importantly, the district can only be created if approved by another referendum - ultimately decided by voters.” 

“Formed out of a commitment to a bright and prosperous future for Superior, this grass roots coalition has shown unparalleled commitment to the Northwestern gateway to our great state.  I can’t list all of the individuals who have worked and advocated for Better City Superior, but I do want to say a special thanks to a few of them: Bruce Thompson, Jim Caesar, Taylor Pedersen, Chancellor Renee Wachter, Mark Liebaert, Keith Kern, Bill McCoshen, and Mayor Jim Paine.  I have faith that this coalition will continue to fight to make this vision a reality for Superior.” 

 

 

 

 

From this morning's online New York Times:

 

The second part of the answer [to the question "Why didn't more Republican senators vote to convict him since the Public wanted a conviction?"] is more subtle but no less important. Today’s Republican Party is less concerned with national public opinion than it used to be — or than today’s Democratic Party is.

The Republican Party of the past won elections by persuading most Americans that it would do a better job than Democrats of running the country. Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower each won at least 57 percent of the vote in their re-election campaigns. George W. Bush won 51 percent, largely by appealing to swing voters on national security, education, immigration and other issues. A party focused on rebuilding a national majority probably could not stay tethered to Trump.

 

But the modern Republican Party has found ways other than majority support to achieve its goals.

It benefits from a large built-in advantage in the Senate, which gives more power to rural and heavily white states. The filibuster also helps Republicans more than it does Democrats. In the House and state legislatures, both parties have gerrymandered, but Republicans have done more of it. In the courts, Republicans have been more aggressive about putting judges on the bench and blocking Democratic presidents from doing so. In the Electoral College, Democrats currently waste more votes than Republicans by running up large state-level victories.

 

All of this helps explain Trump’s second acquittal. The Republican Party is in the midst of the worst run that any party has endured — across American history — in the popular vote of presidential elections, having lost seven of the past eight. Yet the party has had a pretty good few decades, policy-wise. It has figured out how to succeed with minority support.

Republican-appointed justices dominate the Supreme Court. Republicans are optimistic they can retake control of both the House and the Senate next year (even if they win fewer votes nationwide). Taxes on the wealthy are near their lowest level in a century. Democrats have failed to enact many of their biggest priorities — on climate change, Medicare, the minimum wage, preschool, gun control, immigration and more.

 

Yes, Trump’s acquittal bucks public opinion. But it still might not cost the Republicans political power.

 

 

 

Weekly News from Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair

Did you know we have an Election Day…18 days from now?

It’s true! In 18 days, on February 16, Wisconsinites have a chance to cast ballots in the spring election primaries. Offices on the ballot range from town and city council positions to the statewide Superintendent of Public Instruction—Gov. Tony Evers’s previous job. Some county parties will be making endorsements in local races—check with yours to find out!

So, now is the time to request your absentee ballot. Go to http://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/voteabsentee, tick the box to request it for the whole year, and then post on Facebook and text some friends to make sure they do the same thing.

Here’s why this is so critical: it’s at the heart of how we can win in 2022.

Under Wisconsin law, voters can request absentee ballots for an entire calendar year—but those requests expire when the new year rolls around. In 2020, 1.3 million voters requested absentee ballots—and 98% of them wound up casting a ballot.

By every indication, a huge majority of those voters were Democrats. And here’s something else great: The first time you register for an absentee ballot, you have to upload (or mail in) a photo of your voter ID. But once you’ve done that, it stays on file. So this year, you don’t have to upload a thing—just click a few boxes and your ballot will go into the mail.

If we can ensure that Democrats get into the habit of renewing their absentee ballot requests every single year, we could, as Trump once put it, have “levels of voting, that… you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

After all—we won the Governor’s race in 2018 with 1.3 million votes.

Our spring primary and general elections this year are our first chance to sharpen our skills at helping people become repeat absentee voters. Let’s make it happen. This is how we rebuild: By organizing our way into a democracy.  

In solidarity,

Ben

 

FIGHT on the Issues & FIGHT to Win

Republicans in the State Legislature are putting the lives of Wisconsinites at risk once again by attempting to repeal a crucial health mandate that would in turn cost the state $49 million in food benefits for people struggling due to the pandemic. This latest risk to food benefits is due to the Republicans’ efforts to repeal the mask mandate, which is finding very little public support. If overturned, Wisconsin would be one of only ten states to not have a statewide mask mandate.

This attempt comes at the same time that Assembly Republicans are refusing to pass a strong, bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that already has the support of the Senate and Gov. Evers by introducing their own relief bill. After rejecting the bipartisan bill, Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke claimed that this latest Assembly bill made concessions and was a “give and take”, but when pressed, it was clarified that this was purely between other Republicans in the Assembly.

Steineke’s false claims and latest attempts to mislead the public are dishonest and unfair to the people of Wisconsin who desperately need relief. Wisconsin already has the reputation for having one of the least active legislatures in the country. At a time when COVID-19 variants are being found in this state, we need science to lead the policies and leaders to come together immediately to help Wisconsinites

 

Former Congressional Candidate Makes Nazi Reference In Since Deleted Tweet

This week, former GOP Congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden published a tweet making a Nazi reference to Jewish political figure Robert Reich. He has since attempted to apologize for the tweet while still comparing Democrats efforts to get rid of the filibuster to a criminal regime.

Here’s how DPW chair Ben Wikler responded, in a story in the La Crosse Tribune:

            "Derrick Van Orden attended the January 6th rally before the insurrection at the Capitol and didn't say anything about the Camp Auschwitz shirt and other Nazi imagery. Now, he accuses Robert Reich of being a Nazi for speaking out about the filibuster. And then, after deleting his tweet and apologizing, Van Orden again analogizes Democrats and Nazis. Derrick Van Orden needs to stop trying to weaponize the horrors of the Holocaust to advance an anti-democracy agenda."

 

NBC News Story Highlights Impact of Partisan Gerrymandering On Wisconsinites’ Ability to Get COVID Relief

The damage done by Wisconsin’s extreme GOP gerrymandering on the state’s ability to battle COVID is generating national headlines. An NBC News story Wednesday highlighted that Wisconsinites are the ones dealing with the consequences without any much needed COVID-19 relief after Republicans redrew the legislative maps to benefit them back in 2011. Since the legislative redistricting, Democrats haven’t had any chance at gaining the majority, despite multiple elections in which Democrats won a majority of votes for state Assembly statewide. Now, with the Republicans in the majority, they are taking every opportunity to work against Gov. Evers’ efforts to keep Wisconsinites healthy and safe during this pandemic.

Despite a recent poll finding that 53% of Wisconsin residents trust the governor more than the state legislature to decide on COVID policies, Republicans continue to put politics over the health and safety of their constituents. This year, we have an opportunity to redraw the lines more fairly, as the Governor’s People’s Maps Commission is working to do—and if Republicans refuse to do work with Democrats to come up with a fair plan for new district lines, their proposal could face the Governor’s veto pen.

Sedition Caucus Extends to Republicans in Wisconsin State Legislature, Calls for Johnson to Resign Continue

Just days after a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol killing five people, several Wisconsin Editorial Boards called on Wisconsin’s Congressional sedition caucus - Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, and Rep. Tom Tiffany - to resign following their contributions to Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Now, another editorial board is pointing out that our state legislature has its own sedition caucus: 15 Republicans in the state legislature who also helped fuel the  failed insurrection by signing on to a Jan. 5th letter urging Mike Pence to refuse to certify the Electoral College votes.

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz called out his colleagues as well for their actions: “This letter calls for sedition, plain and simple. Making the same refuted claims 63 days after the election, and the day before the well-orchestrated coup led by the president, can only be viewed as part of the same dangerous threat. It should disgust all Wisconsinites that Republican state legislators attached their names to something so false and so dangerous. The words and actions of elected officials matter. The validation of baseless claims that echo President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election to stay in power contributed to the attack on our democracy.”

The Capital Times editorial board also expanded their original call for Senator Ron Johnson’s resignation to a call for his expulsion: “In the case of Johnson, the facts warrant expulsion. His lies, his abuses of his position and his threats to obstruct governing in order to thwart accountability for incitement of insurrection represent a rejection of his oath of office. He has no place in the United States Senate.”

 

New Climate Report Uses Native American Traditional Knowledge to Offer Climate Change Solutions

A newly released report by the Wisconsin Climate Change Task Force draws from the traditional knowledge of Native American tribes in the area. The information included in the report is critical because it describes thousands of years of traditional knowledge of local ecology and how it has changed over time. “I think it’s common knowledge that American Indians are culturally linked to the land. We are part of the environment. We’re not separate from it. We try to practice good environmental stewardship,” said Jeff Crawford, attorney general for the Forest County Potawatomi Community and one of two tribal representatives to serve on the Climate Change Task Force.

We recognize that Indigenous people are the original stewards of this land and we are glad to see input is being sought for this report from the 12 sovereign Native tribes in Wisconsin.

New Legislative Session Sets a Record for Female Members in Wisconsin Statehouse 

A recent report from the Legislature’s nonpartisan research office found that more female lawmakers are serving in the Wisconsin State Legislature than ever before. There are currently 41 women serving in the State Legislature, up from the 34 serving last session. This makes the makeup of the State Legislature over 30% women, with about two-thirds of female lawmakers are Democrats.

"We see, time and time again, in the literature and research on representation that it does make a substantive difference to have women, and a diverse group of women, at policymaking tables. We value things like being a veteran, serving in the military, because that is a lived experience that can be applied to public policy; so too is being a woman, because you bring experiences that are often left out of the conversation,” said director of research at the Center for American Women and Politics Kelly Dittmar.

Let’s celebrate the leadership of Democratic women in Wisconsin and  their work to create a more equitable state.

 

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes “Takes the National Stage” to Discuss Climate Change

With the new presidential administration tackling climate change just weeks in office, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is hitting the national stage, the Wisconsin Examiner reports, to mark the beginning of the new era of climate policy. Recently, Barnes attended a virtual meeting alongside climate experts from Rhode Island and New Jersey. From Lt. Gov Barnes’s comments:

            “Given that the federal government has been largely inactive, states have had to take on leadership roles. With what has already come out, I feel comfortable that we’re going to have a partner with the federal government. And that is going to make our work so much easier.

“As I’ve traveled across our state. I’ve had a chance to witness firsthand how the climate crisis has taken a devastating toll on people’s lives. We’ve seen illness that’s caused by air pollution. Loss of life and livelihood from extreme weather events. And also the economic toll that it takes on our farming communities, our tourism industry and our infrastructure.”

We are lucky to have strong leaders, both in Wisconsin with Governor Evers and Lt. Gov Barnes and nationally with President Biden, that look to science and are constantly working with partners to find new policy ideas to tackle the ongoing climate crisis.

 

 

 

Russia has been cultivating Trump as an asset for 40 years, former KGB spy says

Thomas Colson  

The KGB cultivated Trump as an asset for 40 years, a former operative told The Guardian.

Yuri Shvets told The Guardian that the KGB had identified Trump as a potential asset in the 1980s.

Shvets said it was stunning when Trump took out an ad repeating anti-Western talking points after a trip to Moscow.

The KGB cultivated Donald Trump as an asset for 40 years, and he proved a highly valuable asset in repeating anti-Western Russian propaganda in the United States, a former KGB operative told The Guardian.

Yuri Shvets is a key source in "American Kompromat," a new book detailing the decades-long relationship between Trump and Russia by the journalist Craig Unger.

The book, which is based on interviews with former Russian and US operatives, details the KGB's attempts in the 1980s to cultivate dozens of unwitting businesspeople in the United States as useful Russian assets.

Shvets told The Guardian that the KGB had identified Trump, then an up-and-coming property developer, as a potential asset in the 1980s.

"This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump," Shvets told the paper.

The book's author said Trump became a target for the Russians in 1977 when he married his first wife, the Czech model Ivana Zelnickova.

"He was an asset. It was not this grand, ingenious plan that we're going to develop this guy and 40 years later he'll be president," Unger told The Guardian.

Unger added: "Trump was the perfect target in a lot of ways: his vanity, narcissism made him a natural target to recruit. He was cultivated over a 40-year period, right up through his election."

Trump's 1987 book, "The Art of the Deal," described a visit to Moscow to discuss building "a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin in partnership with the Soviet government."

In fact, Shvets said, Russian operatives used the trip to flatter Trump and told him he should go into politics. Shvets told The Guardian that KGB operatives were then stunned to discover that Trump had returned to the United States, mulled a run for office, and taken out a full-page ad in several newspapers that echoed anti-Western Russian talking points.

The ad, which ran in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, was titled "There's nothing wrong with America's Foreign Defense Policy that a little backbone can't cure."

The ad accused Japan and other countries of "taking advantage" of the United States and said the US should stop paying to defend other rich countries — arguments that would become the backbone of his foreign policy when he became president decades later.

Shvets said the ad was considered an "unprecedented" success in Russia's attempts to promote anti-Western talking points in American media.

Trump has long denied that he has any financial connections to Russia. "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me," he tweeted in 2017. "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"

The special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election ultimately found that Trump's campaign did not coordinate with Russia to influence the election.

Several senior members of Trump's campaign, including his national security advisor Michael Flynn and his campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors about their contacts with people linked to the Russian government.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, also pleaded guilty in 2018 to lying to a Senate committee about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

 

 

Biden’s Day One Executive Orders, as described by the transition team:

  • Launch a “100 Days Masking Challenge” and Leading by Example in the Federal Government
  • Re-Engage with the World Health Organization to Make Americans and the World Safer
  • Structure Our Federal Government to Coordinate a Unified National Response [to Covid-19]
  • Extend Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums
  • Extend Student Loan Pause
  • Rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • Roll Back President Trump’s Environmental Actions in Order to Protect Public Health and the Environment and Restore Science
  • Launch a Whole-of-Government Initiative to Advance Racial Equity
  • Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from the Reapportionment Count
  • Preserve and Fortify Protections for Dreamers
  • Reverse the Muslim Ban
  • Repeal of Trump Interior Enforcement Executive Order
  • Stop Border Wall Construction
  • Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians Presidential Memorandum
  • Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
  • Executive Branch Personnel Ethics Executive Order
  • Regulatory Process Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum

 Jack Miller

 THERE'S SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE



We asked you to chip in to help pay for our patriotic signs and you collectively donated $20K in the last two days to the Minocqua Brewing Company SuperPAC, putting us over $50K raised in the last 10 days.

Obviously we hit a nerve.

We are starting to believe the vast majority of Wisconsinites who really wish they didn't have to worry about politics and would rather drink beer while watching the Packers beat the Rams has woken up and is pissed that some of our elected officials would rather help incite an attack on our country to gain political points than stand up to a bully. 

Ron Johnson and Tom Tiffany would rather see America burn than admit that Joe Biden won the presidential election fair and square, and because of that, they need to go...forever.

We can never forget they both were front and center in trying to overturn Wisconsinites votes for president, when lawsuit after lawsuit proved that the election was won fair and square. Because they perpetuated these lies, they helped incite the attempted coup against our country that killed 5 people.

Guys, we promise with every ounce of our soul that we're gonna spend this money you've raised to help make our government officials less corrupt in the Northwoods.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. We're starting to feel like America might just start being on the right track again, and we're praying the next few days are violence free.

God bless America, and God bless us Cheeseheads. 

And a reminder, 5% of all Minocqua Brewing Company’s profits go to the SuperPAC. 

Kirk Bangstad 




 

Arnold Schwarzenegger says Trump is a 'failed leader' and urges unity after Capitol siege

By Dakin Andone, CNN

(CNN)In a call for unity following Wednesday's siege of the US Capitol, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said President Donald Trump will be remembered as the worst President in US history and urged Americans to offer their support to President-elect Joe Biden.

"We need to heal, together, from the drama of what has just happened," Schwarzenegger said in a seven-and-a-half minute video posted on Twitter. "We need to heal, not as Republicans or as Democrats, but as Americans."

Schwarzenegger drew on his childhood in Austria in the wake of World War II, warning of the threat posed by repeated lies and intolerance.

He compared Wednesday's riot at the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob to Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, the rampage of violence by the Nazi regime against Jewish communities, synagogues and businesses in Germany and Austria in 1938.

"Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States," he said, referring to broken windows in the Capitol building. But the mob also "shattered the ideas we took for granted" and "trampled the very principles on which our country was founded," he said.

Schwarzenegger said he grew up in Austria around "broken men drinking away the guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history." They weren't all "rabid anti-Semites or Nazis," he said. "Many just went along, step-by-step, down the road."

He shared a story of his own father, who was a member of the Nazi Party during World War II.

"I've never shared this publicly because it is a painful memory, but my father would come home drunk once or twice a week, and he would scream and hit us and scare my mother," Schwarzenegger said.

Men like his father were in both "physical pain from the shrapnel in their bodies and in emotional pain from what they saw or did."

"Being from Europe, I've seen firsthand how things can spin out of control," he said.

The former Republican governor and actor then turned his attention to the President.

"President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, of a fair election. He sought a coup by misleading people with lies," he said. "My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead."

"President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst President ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet."

Schwarzenegger also called out elected officials who enabled the President. Without naming anyone, he said a number of members of his party had exhibited "spinelessness" and were "complicit" with those who carried out the insurrection.

"But it did not work. Our democracy held firm," he said, pointing to the certification of Biden's electoral victory just hours after the storming of the Capitol. "What a great display of democracy."

In the video, Schwarzenegger picked up a sword, one he said belonged to Conan the Barbarian, the character he played in the 1982 film by the same name.

"Our democracy is like the steel of this sword," he said. "The more it is tempered, the stronger it becomes."

For the nation to begin healing, Schwarzenegger called on everyone to join him in a message to Biden: "President-elect Biden, we wish you great success as our President. If you succeed, our nation succeeds. We support you with all our hearts as you seek to bring us together."

"And to those who think they can overturn the United States Constitution, know this," he added. "You will never win."

 

 

Weekly News from Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair

Follow this newsletter to keep current on the events shaping our state and the work our party is doing to win in 2022 and beyond. 

 

 

Dear friends across Wisconsin,

This is a moment of gut-wrenching darkness and trauma in our republic. And, impossibly, a moment of hope.

Yesterday, we saw the President of the United States incite a violent insurrection.

We saw a seditious mob, egged on directly by the president and acting on lies and conspiracy theorists advanced by Republicans including
Ron Johnson, Tom Tiffany, and Scott Fitzgerald, use force to overrun and desecrate the United States Capitol.

We watched US Capitol Police officers utterly fail to protect the inner sanctums of our democratic system. Some officers were injured fighting back against the rioters. Others actively posed for selfies with the insurrectionists and, it appears from video footage, opened gates to welcome their coup. The President called his violent supporters to DC, and his security forces—
who turned out with militarized force and brutalized peaceful protestors during the uprising for racial justice this summer—allowed the mob to take the Capitol with only token resistance.

The vast majority of the insurrectionists—nearly all of them white, many bearing Confederate and white supremacist flags, t-shirts, and tattoos—walked away free, some carrying trophies ripped from Speaker Pelosi’s office and Congressional chambers. All this, the day after Kenosha’s District Attorney announced, in a decision that stains our justice system and conscience as a state, that
no charges would be brought to any of the officers involved with shooting Jacob Blake seven times in front of his children.

We can’t say “this isn’t America.” It’s the very worst of America, rampaging as the world weeps. 

We must become better than this. 

And—amidst this heartbreaking and frightening nightmare, there are reminders that we can be better than this. That the best of America still lives.

The insurrection failed. The terrorists lost. The coup collapsed. Congress confirmed the elector count. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on January 20. 

The calls for accountability, and measures to protect American democracy in the final two weeks of this administration, have begun. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer—and many others, including Reps. Moore and Pocan—have called for the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, and threatened rapid impeachment if this does not occur.

And most singularly,
we just experienced a near political miracle: Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have won the two Senate runoffs in Georgia. Mitch McConnell will lose his gavel. Kamala Harris, serving a President of the Senate in her capacity as Vice President of the United States, will hold the tie-breaking vote in the nation’s highest legislative chamber.

The victories in Georgia on Tuesday, like the victories in Georgia and Wisconsin on November 3, are triumphs of democracy—and of patient, intensive, visionary organizing by thousands of heroes who refused, against all odds, to give up. That work, that, faith, that hope, opens the gates towards a future of inclusive democracy. And it turns us away from this moment of chaos, brutality, and attempted tyranny. The fury of democracy’s foes has erupted specifically because of the triumph of those who believe America is for all of us. We chanted it: “I believe that we will win.” Their violence cannot change the truth. In this moment, we have won.

That victory doesn’t erase the pain. That victory will not cure Jacob Blake’s paralysis, or the searing demonstration to ourselves and the world that American democracy is not now the shining beacon that so many have claimed it to be.

But that victory is why the work is worth it. It’s why it’s worth it to seek accountability. It’s why it’s worth it to give it our all as we build back better. As we heal stronger.

We have two weeks until the inaugural. We don’t know what these weeks will bring. But we know what kind of country and democracy we are trying to build, we know that our labors have meaning and value, and we know that this broken world can be changed for the better. That knowledge will ground us. And we will carry each other forward. 

With hope and gratitude, 

Ben 

 

 


 

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

That’s the oath of office Senator Ron Johnson took. And that’s the oath he has repeatedly violated. His efforts to spread universally debunked conspiracy theories about the election being stolen and his willingness to join with other Republican members of Congress in obstructing yesterday’s formal, constitutionally mandated tally of the Electoral College vote represent a shocking breach of trust.

The fact that at the 11th hour Senator Johnson suddenly switched his objection vote after months of sowing division with false and misleading claims about our election does not make up for his complicity in fomenting yesterday’s insurrection.

Whether Senator Johnson and the others who participated in this political malpractice are motivated by a delusional belief in Donald Trump’s claims of electoral fraud or simply cynical political calculation, they share responsibility for the shocking events in the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Their complicity in this direct assault on our democratic system is as clear as if they joined the rioters smashing windows, ransacking the Capitol, and violating our nation’s most sacred civic space.  

These actions are part of a troubling and toxic loyalty to a political party rather than to the people they were elected to serve. Sadly, at both the state and federal level, too many of Wisconsin’s elected Republicans have consistently placed their personal interests and preservation of partisan power ahead of the needs of the people of our state.

The threat to our democracy that this brand of hyper-partisanship represents was foreseen by our first president. In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned attachment to party over the common good, “agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, and foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

It’s time for Senator Johnson and other Wisconsin Republicans to free themselves from the grip of the legitimately defeated 45th president and reflect on the wisdom of our first.

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President

Dennis Delie, Secretary-Treasurer

 

 

Schumer calls for 25th Amendment to be invoked after Capitol riots

BY JORDAIN CARNEY - 01/07/21 11:47 AM EST 1,196

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Thursday called for President Trump to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol the day before.

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer," Schumer said in a statement.

“The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president," he added.

Talk of invoking the 25th Amendment has spiked since Wednesday, when rioters overran the Capitol, breaching both the House and Senate chambers and suspending the counting of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College win for hours. Congress reconvened on Wednesday night and formally finished tallying the win early Thursday morning.

Schumer is the highest-ranking Democrat to throw his support behind removing Trump from office with roughly two weeks left in his administration. Democratic lawmakers, outside groups and even GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) have thrown their support behind the idea.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon, has not weighed in on removing Trump through the 25th Amendment in the wake of Wednesday's violence.

Pelosi previously backed legislation last year that would create a panel to gauge a president's capacity to perform the job — and potentially remove the commander in chief from office.

 Several House Democrats have backed either invoking the 25th Amendment or impeaching Trump in the wake of Wednesday's riots.

Top members of Schumer's leadership team have also backed removing Trump, while acknowledging that Senate Republicans might not support impeachment with less than two weeks to go.

"The most immediate way to ensure the President is prevented from causing further harm in coming days is to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office. As history watches, I urge Vice President Pence and the President’s cabinet to put country before party and act," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the No. 3 Senate Democrat, said in a statement early Thursday morning.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Schumer's No. 2, told reporters on Thursday that he thought Trump's actions warranted impeachment.

"He certainly deserves it…after what happened yesterday he should be removed from office but I don’t believe there’s a stomach for it on the Republican side and there’s very little time left," Durbin said.

A source confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday night that administration officials have started discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, an extraordinary step that would require a majority of Cabinet officials plus Vice President Pence to declare to Congress that Trump is unable to fulfill his duties as president.

 

Donald Trump should be removed from office to preserve democracy, business leaders say

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

Updated 9:18 PM EST, Wed January 06, 2021

New York(CNN Business)The National Association of Manufacturers, one of the most influential business groups in the US, called on Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday to consider removing President Donald Trump from office.

The statement from Republican-leaning NAM, the nation's largest manufacturing association, marks perhaps the strongest political statement by a major business group in modern history. And it puts an exclamation point on the breakup between the business community and the self-styled CEO president.

Pence "should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy," NAM CEO Jay Timmons, a former Republican political operative, said in the statement.

Democracy is under attack. And Wall Street is sounding the alarm

The comments show just how appalled Corporate America is over the ongoing attack on democracy. NAM, founded in 1895, is one of the oldest and most powerful business groups in the nation, representing small and large manufacturers in all 50 states.

The call comes after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol, interrupting the joint session of Congress counting Electoral College votes. Pence was evacuated during the chaos.

"The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy," Timmons said. He added, "This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and it should be treated as such."

Business community is 'horrified'

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, one of America's top business leaders, also condemned the violence in Washington.

"This is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this," Dimon said in a statement. "Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results, and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power. Now is the time to come together to strengthen our exceptional union."

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, founder of Yale University's Chief Executive Leadership Institute, said the condemnation from NAM is unprecedented.

"Everyone in the business community is horrified," Sonnenfeld told CNN Business.

Sonnenfeld agreed with NAM's call for Pence and the Cabinet to consider the 25th Amendment. "The business community will give them back-up," he said.

Manufacturing group championed the Trump agenda

The call by NAM is even more startling because the advocacy group is staunchly pro-business and was a vocal supporter of Trump, cheering the president's tax cuts, deregulation and efforts to revive manufacturing.

In September 2017, Trump even delivered remarks at NAM's annual meeting in Washington where he championed his economic vision.

In 2018, Republican Congressman Kevin Brady, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Trump tax cuts wouldn't have been possible without the support of NAM and Timmons, who has been CEO since 2011.

Before joining NAM, Timmons served as the chief of staff to Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia, and executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to his bio.

During the 2020 election cycle, NAM contributed $165,000 to Republican Congressional candidates, according to OpenSecrets. That marked 72% of the group's contributions.

Chamber of Commerce: Congress must meet tonight

In a similar vein, the Business Roundtable, whose CEO members lead companies that employ nearly 19 million people, called on Trump and other officials to "put an end to the chaos and to facilitate the peaceful transition of power."

"The chaos unfolding in the nation's capital is the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election," the Business Roundtable said in a statement.

The US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue called on Congress to gather "this evening to conclude their Constitutional responsibility to accept the report of the Electoral College."

Other leaders across Wall Street and Corporate America similarly condemned the violence in Washington and offered hope for calm ahead.

GM CEO Mary Barra called for unity and said the violence at the US Capitol "does not reflect who we are as a nation."

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink decried the storming of the Capitol as an "assault on our nation, our democracy and the will of the American people." Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf called for an "immediate end to this violence" and for a peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a tweet that the company "condemns today's unprecedented lawlessness and we call for it to end immediately." The condemnation comes a day after IBM announced the hiring of Gary Cohn, Trump's former senior economic adviser.

Michael Corbat, the CEO of Citigroup, said in a statement that he is "disgusted" by those who stormed the US Capitol.

"While these scenes are very difficult to watch," Corbat said, "I have faith in our democratic process and know that the important work of Congress will continue and that people will be held accountable for their actions."

 

- American Bankers Association: "This is a dark day for our democracy. The violence playing out on Capitol Hill and in the streets of Washington is reprehensible and should shock and sadden all of us. Our nation is better than this."

- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: "Today marks a sad and shameful chapter in our nation's history. Those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account, and we must complete the transition to President-elect Biden's administration. It's especially when they are challenged that our ideals matter most."

- Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America: "Today's appalling events in our nation's capital underscore the urgent need for all American's to unite behind one of our most cherished principles: the peaceful transfer of power that has happened without interruption since our country's founding. We must move forward together peacefully, respectfully and with a singular, shared focus on our American ideals."

- Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco: "What is happening in our nation's capital is appalling and saddening. The United States has long served as a beacon of democracy, and today we are reminded of both its importance and fragility. @Cisco condemns the violence we have witnessed today & call for it to end immediately.

"It's time to recognize the legitimate democratic process, ensure a peaceful transition of power and come back together as one nation."

- Guy Rosen, Facebook VP, Integrity, and Monika Bickert, Facebook VP, Global Policy Management: "Let us speak for the leadership team in saying what so many of us are feeling. We are appalled by the violence at the Capitol today. We are treating these events as an emergency. Our Elections Operations Center has already been active in anticipation of the Georgia elections and the vote by Congress to certify the election, and we are monitoring activity on our platform in real time."

- Jim Farley, CEO of Ford: "The Ford Motor Company condemns the violent and antidemocratic actions today. These were destructive acts against our shared principles and beliefs of a peaceful transition of power. We commit to working together, with respect and empathy, to uphold core American values..."

- David M. Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs: "For years, our democracy has built a reservoir of goodwill around the world that brings important benefits for our citizens. Recently, we have squandered that goodwill at an alarming pace, and today's attack on the U.S. Capitol does further damage. It's time for all Americans to come together and move forward with a peaceful transition of power. We have to begin reinvesting in our democracy and rebuilding the institutions that have made America an exceptional nation."

- Alfred Kelly, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Visa: "I am shocked and saddened by what I've seen today. We at Visa stand 100% behind the results of the election and the collective voices of the citizens of this country. We are fully supportive of a smooth transition of power which has been the case for almost two and a half centuries. In this time of intense anxiety for our country and the world, I continue to have tremendous faith in the resilience of our United States institutions."