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,

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."

 

 

GOP Reps. Tiffany, Fitzgerald object to certifying Biden win

By SCOTT BAUER January 7, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Wisconsin Republicans objected to certifying Joe Biden’s victories in a pair of states before his win was confirmed in a meeting of Congress that was interrupted by the storming of the Capitol by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump.

Reps. Tom Tiffany and Scott Fitzgerald, the state’s two newest members of Congress, objected to certifying votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Those were the only two states where votes on objection were taken.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson initially signed on to an objection to Arizona’s votes before the riot Wednesday afternoon, but ultimately voted against it and one in Pennsylvania that occurred early Thursday. Leading up to the vote, Johnson was part of a group of senators on the record as pushing for objections, citing unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud and wrongdoing. In December,  Johnson had said he wouldn’t object.

“We needed to have the debate, but we also need to respect the rule of law and our constitutional constraints,” Johnson told The Associated Press when asked to explain his vote.

Texas U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert objected to Wisconsin’s electoral votes, but no senator signed on so there was no debate over that or vote on the objection.

Tiffany, who represents northern Wisconsin’s expansive 7th Congressional District, was first elected in a special election last year and then to a full two-year term in November. Fitzgerald, the former state Senate majority leader, was elected in November to replace the retiring Jim Sensenbrenner in a district that covers western Milwaukee suburbs and counties between Madison and Milwaukee.

Tiffany first announced on Tuesday that he would object. Fitzgerald did not say ahead of the vote what he would do.

Joining Johnson in voting against the objections were Republican Reps. Glenn Grothman, Mike Gallagher and Bryan Steil along with Democrats Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Biden won Wisconsin by 20,695 votes, an outcome that was confirmed after Trump sought a recount in the two most populated counties. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed eight lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on a variety of fronts and lost in both state and federal court.

Biden, who won the Electoral College 306-232, is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.