Iron County Progressive


 

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.