Iron County Progressive

Weekly News from Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair


This year is framed by five fights: 
Win the spring. Inspire, recruit, and train volunteers and at the national convention. Stop the GOP supermajority. Cancel Trump's second inaugural. And Organize for the future. That's the WISCO plan.

This Tuesday, our spring primaries took place—and fight #1, the 
W, officially began. 2020 is here.

We're ready. In every corner of the state, we've never had a stronger grassroots organizing operation this early. We've never been stronger financially. And we've never been more deeply aligned, in every community and in every part of our coalition, on the vision that unites us—the commitment to fight on our issues, include and respect everyone, and empower the grassroots. 

FIGHT on the Issues & FIGHT to Win:

On to Victory in April!

The results are in from Tuesday night and we now have our nominee for Wisconsin’s 2020 Supreme Court race -- Judge Jill Karofsky!

This race is going to shape the future of our state for a generation, not to mention the presidential election in the fall -- with a conservative majority on the court, Republicans could very well make voting in the November election more difficult by tilting the playing field towards Trump and the GOP.

In January, Donald Trump endorsed Dan Kelly,
a GOP operative who just so happens to also be a Supreme Court judge. So from now until the polls close at 8:00 PM on April 7, we’re going to be all hands on deck for Jill Karofsky.

We’ve only got seven weeks until the general election and Dan Kelly has out-raised Jill Karofsky as of this writing, which means over the next two months, we’ve got to do everything we can to protect Wisconsin’s future from gerrymandering and threats to voting rights and elect Judge Jill Karofsky to the Supreme Court.

Congratulations, Tricia!

And for the 7th District -- the seat vacated by Sean Duffy -- we now have an official nominee as well: Tricia Zunker! She’s been working for northern Wisconsin her entire life. She’s served as an Associate Justice of the Ho-Chunk Supreme Court since 2013 and on the Wausau School Board since 2018, and now she’ll go on to compete in the May 13 special election for this seat. Watch her launch video here.

Meanwhile, Tricia's opponent is none other than Toxic Tom Tiffany, a Koch-backed politician who sides with corporate polluters over communities and people every chance he gets. He has a well-established record of siding with those who cut the biggest checks, regardless of how many people are hurt by their products and practices. Read more about Tom Tiffany's toxic record here and share the site so people can learn more:

Wisconsin Paying for Trump's Border Wall

This week, we also learned that the Trump administration is shifting millions of dollars away from Oshkosh Corps, a Wisconsin company that builds military equipment vital for our national defense, and towards his border wall.

This is funding that would have been spent supporting Wisconsin jobs and Wisconsin communities. Let's be clear about one thing -- 
Trump is stealing money away from Wisconsin manufacturers to build his vanity project. 

The president’s broken promises hurt us all. If he continues down this path, our economic and national security will be in jeopardy.

 Pieces and a Smidgen More  -- Jack Altschuler  

I was struck by the juxtaposition of a couple of pieces I reviewed this past week. Nick Kristoff wrote a disturbing piece in the Sunday Times about a customer with a problem which U.S. Bank had created for him and its shoddy treatment of an employee who helped that customer. Near the end of the piece Kristoff wrote,

“I’ve often noted that companies have enormous capacity to help their communities. But too often they act like American tobacco companies, which killed more people than Stalin did [over 20 million], or pharma companies peddling opioids, or McKinsey & Company advising a business to ‘get more patients on higher doses of opioids,’ or Boeing mocking regulators.”

If you want to know why Millennials aren’t exactly in love with capitalism, those are some good data points. Be clear, though, that this post isn’t about advocating socialism. It is about advocating caring.

Before anyone starts vilifying Kristoff or me as tree hugging, lily-liver, crocodile tears, whining liberals, consider that we all care. Some care about their families.

Some care about people who have suffered, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Never Again and more. Some care about our country. Some, of course, care only about themselves, which brings us to the other (juxtaposed) piece I reviewed this morning.

The local hospice organization publishes a monthly bulletin and this month it included a couple of quotes.

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”  Albert Schweitzer

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”  George Bernard Shaw

Each of us can be clear regarding what we care about by doing a simple inventory of how we use our time. Where and how we invest our time tells us what we care about.

Applying that reasoning to the political world I cover, it’s clear that many thousands of staffers and volunteers and caucusers in Iowa care deeply about the direction of our country and the nation they will be handing off to their children and grandchildren. That’s true even in the face of the counting mess that was made.

In contrast, with their votes to acquit our cheating, criminal, Constitution flaunting President, our Republican senators made their own statement. They made it plain for all to see that they care about themselves and their short term political future far more than they do about our country and the kind of place their grandchildren will inherit.

If our goal is to produce the most cynical citizens we can, then the likes of U.S. Bank, the American tobacco companies, McKinsey and Boeing are leading the way in exemplary fashion. Yet it’s far more ominous that our own government is America’s best cynicism generator and the most flagrant offender of what we care about.

Here’s the Smidgen More

Do you like horror films? Many do, so to get your freak-out fix, you have to read McKay Coppins’ piece in the March edition of The Atlantic. Actually, it’s a must-read even if you’re not a terror lover, because you care – about democracy. The piece is entitled,

The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President How new technologies and techniques pioneered by dictators will shape the 2020 election It is frightening in the extreme how easy it is for political operatives and creeps with a laptop to manipulate people and elections. You need to know about this, so settle in with your favorite mug o’ joe and dig into Coppin’s reporting.

Note that I’m reading Rick Wilson’s new book  Running Against the Devil.  It’s tough love in the extreme for Democrats and for all who want to evict the present occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Report to follow.