Iron County Progressive

 

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Weekly News From Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair

 

FIGHT on the Issues & FIGHT to Win

WisDems Join 9 Partner Organizations In Calling For Expansion Of Medicaid

In early 2013, Scott Walker -- likely with his eye already on a run for the White House -- made one of his more disastrous decisions: turning down federal funding to expand Badgercare under the Affordable Care Act and extend health care coverage to tens of thousands of Wisconsinites. In the years since, Walker’s decision has cost Wisconsin more than a billion dollars, all while forcing families across Wisconsin struggling to find private coverage they can afford.

Thanks to President Biden and Democratic leadership in Congress, Wisconsin has the chance at a do-over, with new funding included in the American Rescue Plan to incentivize states like Wisconsin to expand Medicaid. In Wisconsin, thanks to the new legislation, expanding Badgercare would now bring in $1.6 billion in federal funds  over two years, all while extending coverage to more than 90,000 Wisconsinites.  

This chance to undo one of Scott Walker’s biggest mistakes is too big to pass up, and that’s why WisDems joined 9 organizations across Wisconsin last week to send a letter to Majority Leader LeMahieu and Speaker Vos calling on them to support the Badgercare expansion in the Governor’s Badger Bounceback budget proposal.  

As Senator Tammy Baldwin said in a statement announcing the letter:

“It’s great to see this strong coalition calling on Wisconsin Republicans in the State Legislature to expand Medicaid and seize the full potential of the American Rescue Plan. This is why I worked in the Senate to pass this legislation — because we’ve seen just how important it is to invest in the health of our people and our economy. And now it’s up to Wisconsin Republicans in the State Legislature to step up, listen to the people, and take this opportunity to expand health care coverage for 90,000 more Wisconsinites and save taxpayers money.”

Gov. Evers and DSPS Secretary-designee Dawn Crim tour a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Sun Prairie on Thursday.

Critical Infrastructure Investments Under The American Jobs Plan And Badger Bounceback Agenda

The ongoing rollout of President Biden’s infrastructure plan continued this week with new materials from the White House detailing investments included in the President’s American Jobs Plan and what they’ll mean for Wisconsin. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan includes billions of dollars to repair roads and bridges, modernize public transportation, ensure every community has access to clean drinking water, and expand access to broadband, among other key investments.

On top of President Biden’s proposed plan, infrastructure has been a key priority of Gov. Evers since day one, with $465 million already secured for state transportation and $54 million in broadband expansion, the largest investment in state history. Gov. Evers has also proposed historic investments in infrastructure in his Badger Bounceback agenda. The governor’s 2021-23 budget once again proposes the largest state investment in broadband access in state history, putting nearly $150 million toward expanding broadband infrastructure in underserved areas and $40 million toward helping low-income Wisconsinites afford internet services. Gov. Evers’ budget also includes investments to fix our roads, improve public transit, and ensure infrastructure equity and accessibility.

 

Help Set The Record Straight On Ron Johnson’s Hypocrisy

Ron Johnson’s hypocrisy may not be surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less maddening. This week, Johnson quadrupled-down on his bad faith arguments against critical aid for families and our economy with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that used racist dogwhistles to argue against investing in American infrastructure.  

It can be head-spinning to consider that this is the same Ron Johnson who voted for Donald Trump’s $1.9 trillion tax giveaway for multi-millionaires like himself -- only after extorting a special tax break that would benefit himself, to the tune of as much as $205,000.

Also this week, Johnson went on TV and followed in Tucker Carlson’s footsteps by invoking the themes of the “white replacement” or “great replacement” theory that has been cited by white supremacist mass murderers from El Paso to Christchurch, New Zealand.

We won’t let voters forget Johnson racism and hypocrisy. Join us in setting the record straight about America’s Worst Senator by sharing our Twitter thread breaking down Johnson’s op-ed and our reaction to his TV appearance.

INCLUDE & RESPECT

State Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, and Attorney General Kaul Announce New Civil Rights Legislation

Last week saw the announcement of new legislation from State Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Rep. Jimmy Anderson and Attorney General Kaul that would give the Wisconsin DOJ authority to bring civil causes of action in cases of civil rights violations. From cases of discrimination in housing, employment, or education, this new proposal would empower Wisconsin to fight for the rights of its citizens.

As Sen. LaTonya Johnson said in a statement announcing the bill:

“All too often people of color are denied equal opportunity and protection under the law,” said Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee).  While some would prefer to deny this reality, it still holds true - racism and discrimination is alive and well in the United States, making it harder for underrepresented communities to secure adequate housing, employment, or education. All Wisconsinites deserve the opportunity to thrive, and this bill ensures that the constitutional rights of our state’s citizens are duly and justly enforced.”

 Respecting Ojibwe Treaty Rights

The land we now know as northern Wisconsin has another name: the Ceded Territory. Beginning in the mid-1800s, the Ojibwe ceded more than 22,000 square miles in a series of treaties with the U.S. government, reserving the right to hunt, fish and gather wild rice on lands they ceded to the federal government. For decades, these hunting rights guaranteed by treaty went virtually ignored, but a 1983 Federal Appeals court ruling known as the Voight decision, reaffirmed these treaty rights and led to today’s regulation of treaty resources by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

As Wisconsinites, we all have an obligation to honor Ojibwe treaty rights to hunt and fish, and reject the racism and violence faced by tribal members for practicing these rights. With spearfishing season upon us, Governor Evers, Attorney General Kaul and Lieutenant Governor Barnes have all issued reminders of the importance of respecting treaty rights in the Ceded Territory and the consequences for not doing so.


 

We are excited to announce that union-endorsed candidate Dr. Jill Underly has been elected as our next statewide Superintendent of Public Instruction!

Union members got to work around the state in support of our endorsed candidates including Dr. Underly, joining virtual phone banks to have vital one-on-one conversations to educate on the issues and turn out the vote for those who will support working people.

Wisconsin AFL-CIO endorsed candidates won a variety of races and union members were elected to office around the state.

At every level of government, our leaders must prioritize the rights and well-being of working people so we can bounce back better and create an economy that works for all of us.

Dr. Jill Underly will lead our public schools out of the pandemic with a focus on equality and a strong, fully-funded public education system that supports every child, every day.

Congratulations to Dr. Underly and all Wisconsin AFL-CIO endorsed candidates who won election tonight.

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President

Dennis Delie, Secretary-Treasurer 

 

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO

This week the Senate confirmed Marty Walsh as our next Secretary of Labor! As the first Labor Secretary to come from our union movement in over 40 years, Marty Walsh will restore the Department of Labor's pro-worker mission to uphold the rights of working people to rebuild and strengthen our middle class.

Senator Ron Johnson once again voted against the rights and well-being of America’s workers by voting against the confirmation of Secretary Walsh. For four years, working families have lived with a Labor Department controlled by big business and devoted to serving a handful of elite interests. Fortunately, unlike Senator Johnson, 18 Republican lawmakers joined every Democratic Senator in confirming Secretary Walsh.

It’s time to build a just recovery that hands power back to the workers who have borne the brunt of the pandemic. That means keeping workers safe from COVID with a strong and fully funded OSHA. It means raising wages and delivering funding to create a 21st-century infrastructure alongside a new generation of good-paying union jobs. And most of all, it means strengthening working people’s right to organize together by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

We will be stronger and safer with Secretary Walsh in the fight ahead. Congratulations to our union brother Secretary Walsh and the millions of American workers he will fight for.  

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President

Dennis Delie, Secretary-Treasurer

 WISCONSIN AFL-CIO

There are less than three weeks to go before Wisconsin voters head to the polls on Tuesday, April 6, in our Spring Election.

Help us remind voters of this important election and turn out the vote for pro-worker, union-approved candidates on the ballot. Volunteer with our union member to union member virtual phone banks at wisaflcio.org/mobilize.

Voters can request an absentee mail ballot until 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 1. Request your absentee mail-in ballot at myvote.wi.gov.

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO believes that every child no matter their zip code deserves a high-quality, public education. We have endorsed Dr. Jill Underly for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Underly is pro-kid, pro-public school, and pro-union. She believes that our schools work best when teachers have a strong voice through unions and collective bargaining.

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President

Dennis Delie, Secretary-Treasurer 

 


There’s a lot of work to be done in the legislature to improve the everyday lives of Wisconsinites. But instead of focusing on that work, yesterday Republicans in the Assembly passed a resolution honoring Rush Limbaugh. 

While their focus is on honoring Rush Limbaugh and all the hate he stood for, I’m choosing to focus on the recent success we had in electing more women to the Wisconsin legislature in 2020. The Wisconsin Assembly Democrats now have our first ever majority women caucus and an increasingly diversifying caucus.

In order to get our legislature to focus on the issues that matter and make an impact for Wisconsinites, we need to continue electing new legislators that better represent Wisconsinites. 

Rush Limbaugh did not represent our Wisconsin values. He was racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted, and cruel, and his work helped normalize and fuel hatred and extremism. 

The Wisconsin Assembly honoring his life sends the exact wrong message to Wisconsinites and those around the country who have felt vilified and harassed by Limbaugh over the years. 

My colleagues and I will keep working to move forward to be a more inclusive and welcoming state and we’re going to focus on the issues that will make a positive difference in people’s lives.

But if we want to change how the Assembly operates we have to continue to elect new members who will stand up for inclusive Wisconsin values

Rep. Lisa Subeck
Vice Chair, Assembly Democratic Caucus

 

Ron Johnson just voted against Wisconsinites getting the COVID relief they need.

We need to hold him accountable and defeat him in 2022.


 

As Wisconsinites wait for COVID relief, Ron Johnson has spent the last week playing partisan games and delaying the stimulus bill.

This week, he forced the Senate clerks to read the entire COVID bill and promised a flurry of meaningless amendments to delay the bill even longer.

Ron Johnson led the Republican effort against the relief bill -- a bill that 76% Americans approve of, including 60% of Republicans. Now, he just voted against the final relief bill for no reason other than to create a political show.

Senator Johnson has proven time and time again that he will ignore the needs of the people in order to push his right-wing agenda -- even when it hurts Wisconsinites in the process.

We know that we have to defeat Ron Johnson in 2022, but it’s going to take all of us to win. He is sitting on a warchest of special interest dollars that he thinks will win his reelection -- and we need to prove him wrong.

 

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.