Iron County Progressive


Weekly News from Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair



Tammy is special interests' #1 target


Marquette Law School released a new poll this week, and friends, the Senate race is neck and neck.


The Koch Brothers spent a whopping $5.1 million against our Senator Tammy Baldwin during the primary, and you bet they’re going to put more resources behind Leah. It reminds me of 2016 when these same billionaires and special interests spent millions of dollars at the last minute to pull off an upset against Russ Feingold.

We can’t let that happen again.

Tammy has put Wisconsin first. She’s fought to defend the millions of Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, she stood up to greedy hedge fund managers, and she’s making sure that Wisconsinites struggling with addiction are able to access the care they need.

"Last weekend I spent some time in Milwaukee catching up with old friends and making new ones and I kept hearing one thing over and over: people are worried about health care. That's why I'm going to keep fighting for affordable care for everybody." -- @tammybaldwin

The choice between Tammy Baldwin and Leah Vukmir couldn’t be clearer.


Hey Scott Walker, fix the roads!


It isn’t news to anyone who’s spent 15 minutes in Wisconsin that our roads are crappy. In fact, 42% of our roads are in poor or mediocre condition, compared to just 19% in Illinois! Our roads are littered with potholes in every corner of the state, and major highway projects have been delayed under Scott Walker’s failed leadership from the I-94 to the I-43 to Highway 15.

Despite the sorry state of our roads (We rank 44/50 states!),
Scott Walker chose to divert $90 million away from state highway projects as part of his $4.5 billion taxpayer giveaway to Foxconn!


Everyday working Wisconsinites have had to pick up the tab; local “wheel taxes” have nearly tripled and folks pay on average $637 per year on car repairs thanks to our crumbling roads. That’s why Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes, and laborers and operating engineers from across the state called on Scott Walker to Fix the Roads!


Wisconsinites deserve safe and dependable roads to drive on. Roads touch every part of our lives -- solid infrastructure is particularly important for economic growth, from starting a small business to attracting folks to live in our state! Tony has said that all options are on the table when it comes to fixing our roads, because unlike Scott Walker, he won’t neglect the needs of hardworking Wisconsinites.

Maybe Scott Walker would see the urgency in fixing our roads if he actually drove on them!

Research group One Wisconsin Now uncovered a trove of documents from Governor Walker’s administrations showing that he has abused taxpayer resources by racking up over $818,000 in air travel costs since September 2015!


He frequently flew short distances that could have been easily driven, like the 24 miles from Appleton to Green Bay, the 39 miles from Janesville to Madison or the 24 miles from Kenosha to Milwaukee. And the cost to taxpayers was extraordinary; in February 2016, he used a state plane to pick him up in Milwaukee after a haircut and fly him to an NRA convention in Wausau, and that cost us $2,586!

It’s clear that after working as a career politician for 25 years,
Walker doesn’t understand the value of a hard-earned dollar. For the average working family in Wisconsin, $2,586, and it’s downright ridiculous that Walker would abuse taxpayer dollars this way.

Tony Evers is one of us. While Walker has spent his whole career chasing higher office,
Tony has spent his career serving Wisconsinites, teaching our children and leading our schools. I can’t imagine a better person to lead Wisconsin, and I can’t wait to vote for Tony in November.








From the WISCONSIN STATE AFL-CIO

A historic night in Missouri! Yesterday, Missouri voters went to the polls and by a 2-1 margin rejected Right to Work. With a citizen veto, Missouri voters made clear their support for strong unions and collective bargaining rights. Right to Work laws do nothing but lower wages and workplace standards for workers. Last night’s win in Missouri is a victory for every worker across the country. We all benefit when union rights and collective bargaining rights are strong. 

Something big is happening with America’s working people—something that will bring change—and last night was just the latest evidence of this groundswell.

As Wisconsin workers, let’s take the energy from Missouri and continue to build momentum for working people. On August 14, vote union brother and firefighter Mahlon Mitchell for Governor. Mark your calendars now for the November 6 elections and volunteer with our Labor 2018 voter contact program to help voters learn more about our endorsed candidates

Working people came together through our unions and defeated Prop A, stopping so-called Right to Work from becoming law in Missouri. This is a worker-powered win that will benefit all workers in Missouri and in America. 

Congratulations to President of the Missouri AFL-CIO Mike Louis, Secretary-Treasurer Jake Hummel and all the workers in Missouri for leading and winning this historic fight. We are proud to stand together in solidarity. 

In Solidarity,
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer



What Are Capitalists Thinking?

If they’re worried about what’s driving the growing appeal of socialism, they need to look in the mirror.

By Michael Tomasky

Contributing Opinion Writer

Aug. 5, 2018

I’ve been fretting lately about the state of mind of America’s capitalists. All these socialists coming out of the woodwork must have them in quite a lather. So I write today with some friendly advice for the capitalist class about said socialists.

You want fewer socialists? Easy. Stop creating them.

Every once in a while in history, cause and effect smack us in the face. The conditions under which the czars forced Russians to live gave rise to Bolshevism. The terms imposed at Versailles fueled Hitler’s ascent. The failures of Keynesianism in the 1970s smoothed the path for supply-side economics.

And so it is here. As I noted recently in The Daily Beast, the kind of capitalism that has been practiced in this country over the last few decades has made socialism look far more appealing, especially to young people. Ask yourself: If you’re 28 like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congressional candidate who describes herself as a democratic socialist, what have you seen during your sentient life?

You’ve seen the United States go from being a country that your parents — or if you’re 28, more likely your grandparents — described as a place where life got better for every succeeding generation to a place where for millions of people, quite possibly including you, that’s no longer true.

As that happened, you’ve seen the rich get richer, and you’ve perhaps noticed that the government’s main response to this has been to keep cutting their taxes (in fairness, President Barack Obama did raise the highest rate in 2013 to 39.6 percent from 35 percent, although for single filers, that rate didn’t kick in until earned income went above $400,000).

You witnessed the financial meltdown of 2008, caused by big banks betting against themselves. Capitalists might want to consider how all that looked to a young person who came from a working-class family and who probably knows someone who lost a job or even his house, while some of the bankers who helped create the mess walked away with golden parachutes, like that of Countrywide Financial’s Angelo Mozilo, which The Times valued at $88 million.

You’ve watched corporations hoard profits, buy back their stock and not reinvest in their workers the way they once did as they move jobs to Central America and Bangladesh. If you read a lot, you know that stock buybacks were permitted under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Rule 10b-18, which dates to the Reagan era, and that since it’s just an S.E.C. rule, it can be changed without having to pass legislation, but no one in either of the Democratic administrations since then bothered.

I could go on like this for 20 paragraphs. Many more, in fact. But you get the idea. Back in the days when our economy just grew and grew, we had a government and a capitalist class that invested in our people and their future — in the Interstate highways, the community colleges, the scientific research, the generous federal grants for transportation and regional development.

And, funny thing, during all this time, socialism didn’t have much appeal. Back in the 1910s and ’20s, during an era of intense labor strife and before the existence of the welfare state, there were a couple of Socialist Party members in the House of Representatives — Victor Berger of Wisconsin and Meyer London of New York — as well as hundreds of Socialist mayors and state legislators and local officials.

But during the “Trente Glorieuses,” to use the French term — the glorious 30 years from 1945 to 1975 when everything largely worked in Western economies — socialism’s appeal in America waned. In the 1910s and ’20s, the Socialist Party’s presidential candidates received hundreds of thousands of votes, or more. In 1956, the party’s presidential hopeful, Darlington Hoopes, won a mere 2,044 votes (other small leftist parties did somewhat better).

During this time and into the Reagan era, the broader American left — defined not by party but by belief — played a constructive role in supporting civil rights, opposing the Vietnam War and doing what it could to fight the new concentration of wealth. But, with the Cold War raging, its numbers were small and its influence negligible.

So, back now to our 28-year-old. She was born in 1990. She will probably remember, in the late ’90s, her parents feeling pretty good about things — median household income did go up under Bill Clinton more than they had under any president in a long time, even more than under Ronald Reagan. But ever since, the median income picture has been much spottier, hardly increasing at all in inflation-adjusted dollars over 18 long years. And those incomes at the top have shot to the heavens.

So if you were a person of modest or even middle-class means, how would you feel about capitalism? The kind of capitalism this country has been practicing for all these years has failed most people.

Yes, it’s given us lots of shiny objects to gush about. A smartphone that can display slow-motion video is a wonder. But an affordable college education, though perhaps not a wonder, is a necessity for a well-ordered society. So is a solution to a national drug crisis in which 115 people die every day, as well as a lot of other problems that the capitalism of our era has simply ignored.

I have mixed feelings about this socialism boomlet. It has yet to prove itself politically viable in general elections outside a handful of areas, and by 2021 we could wake up and see that it’s been a disaster for Democrats.

But I understand completely why it’s happening. Given what’s been going on in this country, it couldn’t not have happened. And if you’re a capitalist, you’d better try to understand it, too — and do something to address the very legitimate grievances that propelled it.

Michael Tomasky is a columnist for The Daily Beast, editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a contributing opinion writer.




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Tuesday - August 7, 2018
  
Everything you need to know to vote on (or before)
the August 14th Primary  

Next Tuesday, August 14th, voters will pare down the field of partisan candidates for Governor, for the U.S. Senate and Congress, and for many other state and local offices. Make sure you have a voice in determining who will be on the ballot in November.

Before you cast your ballot, remember: you can only vote for candidates in a single political party in the primary. No "mixing" candidates of different political parties for your voting selections. If you do, your ballot will be invalidated.

To preview your Primary Election ballot, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission's "What's on My Ballot" page and type in your address.

Early, absentee voting is still available!

If there is even the slightest chance you won’t make it to the polls next Tuesday, don’t wait – see our guide to voting with an early, absentee ballot – in person or by mail, and then VOTE.

The process for casting a ballot early varies across the state, so be sure to contact your local municipal clerk’s office to see what days and hours you can vote early.

The deadline for voters to request a mailed absentee ballot is this Thursday, August 9th. All absentee ballots must be returned to the municipal clerk’s office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14th. The last day for in-person absentee voting is this Saturday, August 11th, but many cities end early voting on Friday, August 10th.

To confirm that you're registered to vote at your current address:

Visit the "My Voter Info" page at MyVoteWI.gov, and enter your name and date of birth to check your voter registration status. You need to have lived at your current address for at least 10 days prior to Election Day in order to register to vote in that election district or ward.

If you're not already registered, you can still register to vote – here's how:

In your Municipal Clerk’s Office. You can register in-person in your municipal clerk’s office up until the 5pm (or close of business) on the Friday before the election in which you are planning to vote. For the August primary, that date is this Friday, August 10th. You'll need to bring a proof of residence document to complete your registration (this document can be shown electronically).

At the Polls on Election Day. If you're unable to register before the election, you can still register at your polling place on Election Day. You will need to present a proof of residence document when registering (again, this document can be shown electronically). If your drivers license or state ID card has your current address, that’s all you need.

Examples of proof of residence documents are here.

When you vote, you will need to present one of the acceptable forms of photo ID for voting pictured left. (Click image to enlarge)

For more information about voter photo ID – and how to get a free ID if you don't have an ID acceptable for voting – see our downloadable voter ID fact sheet. Or visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission's voter photo ID website: Bring It to the Ballot.

If you do not have an acceptable ID for voting and need help getting one, contact one of these Voter ID Hotline #s: 608/285-2141 or 414/882-8622.

Are you (or do you know) a college student voting in Wisconsin?

Here are "Three Things College Students Need to Do To Vote in Wisconsin"

Don't put this off – or think that a primary election isn't worth turning out for. Every election matters, and your participation is crucial to restoring a healthy democracy in our state.

Contact
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Jay Heck
Executive Director
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512/9363 (cell)

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smiller@commoncause.org

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