Iron County Progressive

 

IRON COUNTY’S TRUMP CULT: A THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY

Warning signs have gone up across the whole political spectrum that members of anti-democracy Trump cult are trying to take over the county boards, town and city councils and school boards. And it is happening right here at home in our own Iron County. (Read following article.)

We already have two members of the Trump cult, John Sendra and Tanner Hiller, on the Iron County board of supervisors and they are running for re-election unopposed in this April’s election. Now a third Trump cult member, Henry Joustra, wants to join them. The inept Joustra is seeking to unseat Opal Roberts who has a stellar record as a county board supervisor and as a member of the Mercer town board.

Three positions are up for election to the Mercer school board with five people running. Incumbents Jim Hannemann and Steve Botes are well qualified and have done an exemplary job in helping return the school to normalcy after the disastrous Eric Torkelson reign of mismanagement.  A newcomer deserving to be elected to the school board is Zach Wilson. Wilson has volunteered his services to the school and has done considered community service.   

Tanner Hiller, who owns no property in Iron County, is unemployed and lives in his parent’s basement, is also seeking election to the Mercer school board.  Hiller was an avid supporter of the former corrupt and since removed school board which allowed the administrator to misuse thousands of school tax dollars. The former administrator is also now out of a job.

Regrettably, nothing can be done to keep Sendra, who has an abrasive disposition and lacks empathy, off the Iron County board of supervisors since he is unopposed.  He and Joustra, who is president of the Mercer Chamber of Commerce, combined forces last year to expose hundreds of people to the Covid virus by forging ahead with Mercer Loon Day despite strong advice not to by health authorities.  Sendra would benefit financially (he manages a bar/restaurant actually owned by his investment banker son-in-law), so the dollar won OUT over common sense and Loon Day went ahead.

You will also recall that Sendra acted as the “hired gun” for coal mining billionaire Chris Klein in promoting the Gogebic taconite mining scam. The scam eventually collapsed under the weight of the falsehoods used to promote it.

So, the threat in Iron County is real – three Trump cult members attempting to hold or take over position on the county, town, and school boards. We cannot prevent Trump cult members Sendra and Hiller from being re-elected to the county board, but we should keep Joustra off the county board and Hiller from being elected to the Mercer school board.

  


Weekly News From Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair 


 Red alert.  

We are in the final sprint towards the April 5 local elections—and it’s already more than clear that the fight will be intense. Local, statewide, and national Republican and far-right groups are flooding resources into “nonpartisan” races, supporting hard-right candidates who are poised to menace our democracy and undermine public education.  

Standing in their way? You.  

You, me, and all of us.  

The last time Wisconsin held spring local elections without a statewide candidate on the ballot was 2014. Our party’s engagement now versus then is a day-and-night difference.  

As you know, many non-far-right candidates, particularly those running in Republican-leaning areas where association with the Democratic Party might hurt more than it helps, decline to receive support from WisDems or their local county party. But for the hundreds of candidates who welcome such support, we’ve already been mounting a massive get-out-the-vote organizing operation, and for dozens of candidates, we’ve provided a huge array of direct and in-kind support: digital ads, mailings, literature design and printing, radio ads, yard signs, voter lists, and organizing support. We also doubled county party support for March and April to ensure that county parties could in turn redouble their efforts to support local candidates and get out the vote.  

The GOP’s efforts, particularly in deep-red areas, are often more visible. Republican County Parties are buying full-page ads on the covers of local newspapers listing all the candidates they want local Republicans to support. In a heavily Republican county, a similar ad from the Democratic Party might be actively counterproductive. Democrats’ focus has been on tactics that reach the individual voters that we want to ensure turn out.  

To the thousands of Wisconsin Democrats who have volunteered already this spring—and, I hope, thousands more who volunteer in these final four days—I want to express my profound gratitude. You are on the front lines of democracy.  

And if you haven’t yet made your plan to volunteer, or haven’t recruited friends—this is the moment. Get off the sidelines. Your state needs you. You can find your local opportunity at https://mobilize.us/wisdems.

When polls close on Tuesday, there will be races we win unexpectedly and races we are surprised and dismayed to lose. That’s inevitable when there are thousands of local races on the ballot all at the same moment. At that point, it will be too late to change the outcome.  

But in the critical hours between now and 8pm on Tuesday, you absolutely can make a difference. That’s a gift.  

Let’s use every moment to stand up for the values that make us Democrats. 

Forward,  

Ben 

FIGHT 

Governor Evers Announces $8 Million Grant To Support Wisconsinites Recovering From Pandemic

This week, Governor Tony Evers announced a new $8 million grant designed to support Wisconsinites who need legal assistance to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will fund civil legal aid organizations and build a user-friendly legal assistance portal to help Wisconsinite to easily access accurate legal information. 

While Wisconsinites across the state face foreclosure, eviction, assistance with unemployment benefits, workforce opportunities and health care coverage, the grant will allow WisTaf, a nonprofit established by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, to provide support and resources.  

This grant is the latest among Gov. Evers’ COVID-19 recovery efforts, funded from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. Gov. Evers’ grants support a range of different areas of interest including building back small Wisconsin businesses, supporting communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, supporting farmers hit by the pandemic and funding Wisconsin nonprofits.  

“As we recover from the pandemic, it is critical that we create a strong and resilient Wisconsin that works for everyone,” said Gov. Evers. 

Rebecca Kleefisch’s Failure to Support Education

Though Rebecca Kleefisch has been trying to paint herself as a champion of education, students and parents, her work as lieutenant governor tells a different story. 

In 2011, the Walker-Kleefisch administration cut almost $800 million in funding from K-12 education and passed Act 10 — reducing collective bargaining rights, health insurance and sick time from all public sector employees, including public teachers. 

By stripping teachers’ benefits, median salaries dropped and teachers left in droves by the end of the school year following the 2011 legislation. By the 2015-2016 school year, “56% of school districts in northern Wisconsin faced “extreme shortages” in hiring in instances analyzed, while 46% of districts in southern Wisconsin faced such a challenge.” 

Worker shortages from Kleefisch and Walker’s war on teachers are still felt today. Kleefisch’s disregard for teachers and students would roll back the progress Governor Evers’ has worked hard for. By increasing funding for Wisconsin schools, the state’s two-thirds funding commitment has been restored and he has proposed legislation that would return some negotiation ability back to teachers.  

Despite her own claims otherwise, Rebecca Kleefisch is a danger to Wisconsin’s education system and if elected, her actions would only hurt our schools, our students and our teachers. 

Ron Johnson Focused on Protecting Billionaires’ Wallets, Not Wisconsin Families’ 

In an interview this week, Senator Ron Johnson pushed back against the Biden Administration’s new plan to ensure billionaires pay their fair share of taxes — the same billionaires that benefitted when he worked overtime to secure special tax breaks in the 2017 tax law.  

Johnson adamantly opposes President Biden’s Billionaire Minimum Income Tax, designed to make sure the top .01% of Americans don’t pay less in taxes than teachers and firefighters. The plan would reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next decade, advance safety and security at home and around the world and make the investments needed to build a better America.  

Democrats have been laser-focused on lowering costs for working families, Johnson and the Republican party side with their ultra-wealthy donors. Johnson and the rest of the GOP don’t care about the families they’re supposed to represent — they’d rather support their biggest donors with a tax rate lower than teachers and firefighters. 

Kevin Nicholson Crawling Back For GOP Endorsement

Despite Kevin Nicholson repeatedly claiming on the campaign trail to not want the state GOP’s endorsement for governor, he crawled back to the party this week, telling RPW officials he wouldn’t mind if they put his name on the endorsement ballot alongside Rebecca Kleefisch and Tim Ramthun.  

Like his failed run for Senate in 2018, Nicholson didn’t make a good impression on the GOP committee. A Republican Party insider told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “‘No vote was needed [to consider Kevin Nicholson for the ballot] [...] He refused to provide the committee with evidence that he had met the metrics.’” 

His latest actions go completely against the anti-establishment campaign Nicholson’s been selling to GOP voters. Nicholson is desperate for any chance to be in power — even if it means back-tracking on his own stances.