Iron County Progressive

 

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,

 

The headline says it all: “Tony Evers’ first victory saved the state; his next could save the nation.”

 

That’s from a column by Capital Times editor Paul Fanlund, in which he lays out the stakes in Wisconsin’s 2022 governor’s race.

 

Why are the stakes so high? Because the GOP’s plan to steal the 2024 presidential race hinges on the governorship of the state of Wisconsin. 


After 2020, as has now become clear, Trump tried to overturn the election results. He pressured state legislators, election administrators, and judges to undo the decision of the American people. And, frighteningly, it almost worked. A few key people making different decisions could have precipitated a Constitutional crisis—at the very least.

 

Since then, the Republican Party has begun passing laws to ensure that what Trump tried to do last time would actually work in a similar situation in 2024. Bills to suppress likely-Democratic votes—and bills to make it easier to undo fair elections. 

 

They’ve passed their ugly legislation in Georgia. They’ve passed their ugly legislation in Arizona. Those were the two states in 2020 that went for Biden with the closest margin. 

 

But then the Republicans run into a math problem: even adding those two states to the GOP column wouldn’t be enough to flip the Electoral College. They have to add one more state. The next-closest Biden state? None other than Wisconsin. But in Wisconsin, unlike Georgia or Arizona, we have a Democratic governor. Tony Evers. And Governor Evers is vetoing bills that would weaken our democracy—not signing them.

 

In fact, he vetoed a slew of anti-democracy bills just last week. 

 

That’s why the fate of the Republican plot to subvert American democracy depends on what you, your neighbors and friends, and all of us in the Democratic Party of Wisconsin do for the next 445 days matters not just for all of us in Wisconsin, but for everyone in America and, indeed, for everyone in the world. Because having a governor who believes in democracy in the state that was the tipping point in the last two straight presidential elections could make all the difference in whether that election actually counts. 

 

We’re used to high-stakes elections in Wisconsin. We’re used to choices between principled Democrats and Republicans who are willing to sacrifice the most fundamental values in exchange for power. Well, we’ve got another one on our hands. And because of that, we’re going to fight every day to ensure that Tony Evers, and Wisconsin’s best small-d democratic traditions, win the day in 2022.

 

In solidarity,

 


Ben

 

FIGHT

Ron Johnson Faces Ongoing Backlash Over Favors for Biggest Campaign Donors -- Not Wisconsinites

Ron Johnson continues to face backlash across Wisconsin after a report released last week showed that he worked hard to pass an amendment to the 2017 GOP Tax Scam bill that benefitted himself and his two biggest campaign donors. Dick and Liz Uihlein and Diane Hendricks, who donated a combined $20 million to Johnson’s 2016 re-election, have received $215 million in tax handouts so far, and are projected to receive a total of roughly half a billion dollars over eight years thanks to Johnson’s efforts.

 

Read more on how Wisconsin is reacting to Johnson’s latest scandal: 

 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Nobody's senator but theirs: Ron Johnson's backroom dealing shows who he's working for. It's not you: A blockbuster scoop by ProPublica on Wednesday makes crystal clear who Ron Johnson represents: He is the senator for the ultra-wealthy...Though he tried to defend himself on Wednesday, Johnson’s secret, closed-door maneuvering on the tax bill is one more reason he’s unfit to represent Wisconsin citizens. The sooner he's removed from office, the better for our democratic republic...The tax deal helped deliver $215 million in deductions for the two families...They got quite a return on their investment — Johnson proved to be the best senator money could buy.

 

The Cap Times: Ron Johnson is a crook: Ron Johnson is not the only con artist in the U.S. Senate. But he stands out as the senator whose grifting costs taxpayers — in Wisconsin and nationwide — the most...Johnson, who was worth around $40 million before the pandemic, has a long record of voting for legislation that benefits the owners of so-called “limited-liability” corporations, like the one he owns with his wife.

 

The Shepherd Express: Ron Johnson and the Billionaire Gang: Rather than standing up for mom-and-pop small businesses like dry cleaners, repair shops and corner grocery stores, millionaire Johnson was simply grabbing a bigger tax cut for four not-very-small businesses he and his wife owned in Oshkosh...They’re still among the most unpopular tax cuts ever passed by Congress among voters in both political parties as well as independents...In the latest Marquette University Law School poll, Johnson’s popularity had declined with only 35% of registered voters statewide viewing him favorably, not very promising for his re-election prospects in the midterms. That was even before taxpayers found out Johnson pulled the Great Treasury Robbery for the billionaire gang.   

 

The Nation: Ron Johnson Does the Bidding of the Ultra-Rich: [Johnson’s] his most ambitious legislative endeavors have often involved the augmenting of the bank accounts of his political benefactors...As the political outsider has become a political careerist, he has expanded his grifting to serve the interests of those who have kept him in office up to this point.



Ron Johnson outright admitted that, despite leading the charge to kill the bipartisan infrastructure bill (which passed the Senate despite his efforts!), he did not even bother to read the legislation that improves Wisconsin's infrastructure, creates good paying jobs, and boosts the economy. 

 

Since Johnson couldn’t bother to do his job, here is a helpful breakdown of what the historic legislation will do for Wisconsin:

 

Infrastructure Projects

 

Expanding Broadband

Clean Water

 

Public Transportation

Ron Johnson Voted Against WHAT?

AG Josh Kaul Delivers for Wisconsin Workers

This week, Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that a settlement had been reached for payment of over $650,000 to former SEMCO, Inc. employees who lost their jobs after the company suddenly shut down. AG Kaul’s announcement is a stark contrast with reporting last week about Senator Ron Johnson’s fight to get a tax break benefiting himself and Republican mega-donors included in the 2017 GOP tax scam.

 

While Republicans like Ron Johnson are looking out for themselves and their billionaire buddies, Democrats like Josh Kaul are delivering real results for Wisconsin workers. We need leaders like Josh Kaul who fight for all of us, not politicians like Ron Johnson who is only out for himself and works to tilt the system even further in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

Governor Evers announces $50 million investment in WI farmers and agriculture

This week, Gov. Evers announced $50 million in direct payments to support Wisconsin’s farmers. These additional funds are part of Gov. Evers’s Wisconsin Farm Support Program, which was announced in 2020. The direct payments will have a huge impact on the agriculture industry in our state.

 

In a press release, Wisconsin Farmers Union President Darin Von Rudin said, “we appreciate the investment in helping Wisconsin recover from the rollercoaster that our family farms and small businesses have endured over the past year. We’ve had some challenges with Mother Nature on top of an already difficult market year for many commodities, so this funding will provide a pivotal forward in strengthening our agricultural economy as we move forward.”

 

Governor Evers continues to use the funds from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan -- passed by Congressional Democrats, with no help from Republicans -- to improve Wisconsin’s economy. Unlike Scott Walker, who made the craven political choice to refuse key investments from the Obama administration that would have helped Wisconsinites, like expanding Medicaid or building a high speed rail, Governor Evers and President Biden have created a partnership that is a win-win for Wisconsin.

Round Two of Biden’s Expanded Child Tax Credits Hit Bank Accounts

This week, as a second round of Child Tax Credit payments began hitting bank accounts, Chair Wikler wrote for The Capital Times on how the extension of these child tax cuts, passed through the American Rescue Plan, has helped over one million children in Wisconsin.

 

Championed by President Biden and passed by Democratic lawmakers in Congress - no thanks to a single Wisconsin Republican - this tax cut is already lifting thousands of children out of poverty, helping families make ends meet, and stimulating the Wisconsin economy. In fact, the first round of payments last month in Wisconsin pumped $328 million into the local economy and $262 million into families’ pockets.

 

Here’s some of what Chair Wikler had to say:

“This week, something extraordinary will happen in Wisconsin and across the country: families with children under 18 will see the second round of monthly payments from the expanded child tax credit — a credit made possible by President Joe Biden and Democrats’ American Rescue Plan. [...]

 

“Parents have told me about how, for the first time, they don’t have to say “no” to their kids about joining a sports team, because now they can afford the uniforms and equipment — or how they can now pay for tutoring for a child with a learning disability. These dollars will change lives.

 

“From bringing low-income families out of poverty to sustaining the middle class, this policy will benefit 1.2 million children in Wisconsin — including 351,000 children of color. That’s more than nine out of ten Wisconsin kids. It helps everyone because when kids succeed, we all succeed. [...]

 

“This tax cut for families is slated to last for one year under current law. Thankfully, we have leaders like President Biden, Sen. Baldwin, Rep. Moore, Rep. Kind, and Rep. Pocan, who continue to put Wisconsin’s working families first — and are calling to make the expanded child tax credit permanent by passing Biden’s American Families Plan. Just like with Social Security, these Democratic leaders know helping families should be a long-term promise.  [...]

 

“The families of more than a million children in Wisconsin are feeling a little less exhausted and a little more joy, thanks to these middle-class tax cuts. I encourage every parent in Wisconsin to hug their children and celebrate the opportunity to provide them with a better future — and then pick up the phone and call your representatives and ask them to pass President Biden’s American Families Plan.”