Iron County Progressive




Weekly News From Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair 

 Sometimes people in politics get into arguments about tactics.
“Press conferences and rallies are fine, but what really moves people is 30-second TV ads.”   “Forget TV ads—knock on doors!” “Forget knocking on doors, put up some signs!” “Signs don’t vote—make phone calls!” “Phone calls?! Put some ads on the radio!” “Radio? This is 2022! Get some ads on YouTube!” “YouTube schmewtube… we need ads on broadcast TV!” “People ignore ads! What you need is to make news!” 
Ever notice how these arguments go around in circles? 
The truth is, everyone is half right: in an uncertain world, the best strategy is to outwork the other side… in every single arena possible. 
In 50-50 Wisconsin, it takes everything—everything—to win. And even then, there are factors outside your control. Which is an argument to do even more.  
That’s been our aim at the WisDems. A comms team that organized local events generating thousands of stories throughout Wisconsin over the last two years? Check. Organizing, in rural and suburban and urban Wisconsin alike, year-round, doors, and phones and relational? Check. Statewide sign distribution? Check. Ads on more than 85 radio stations, covering every region of rural Wisconsin, Black- and Latino-oriented outlets, starting months before even the primary? Check. A full-spectrum communications operation spanning digital, broadcast, cable, mail, print, and everything else we can think of? Check, check, check. 
And it’s not just the party. Centrally, critically, it’s the candidates’ campaigns themselves. And it’s the grassroots groups, unions, independent organizations, and allies in every corner of the state. We’ve won race after race over the last three years because, when it mattered most, we’ve all pulled together. And that’s exactly the plan this time. 
The laws vary from race to race. In state races—from Governor to state legislature—state parties have tremendous legal flexibility to support campaigns. Meanwhile, in federal races, like the Senate and House campaigns, Federal Elections Commission rules mean that the state party isn’t allowed to meaningfully fund TV ads. That has to come from the campaigns and independent groups. Mandela Barnes, Brad Pfaff, Ann Roe, and our other federal candidates are working their hearts out—and it’s time for all of us to stand with them. As anyone who has turned on a screen in the last month has seen, the far-right special interests who benefit financially from keeping Ron Johnson in power have flooded our state with divisive, dishonest, and hateful attack ads—now to the tune of a $9 million spending gap. But Mandela, his team, and his allies have been working around the clock to assemble the resources needed for a powerhouse counterpunch. And we know the punch can pack a wallop: from his attacks on Social Security to co-sponsoring eight different national abortion bans, Ron Johnson has profound vulnerabilities, and every Wisconsinites should know about them. To everyone who has clicked on an email to chip in, answered a phone call, or opened up their home for a fundraiser—thank you. Let’s keep both feet on the gas.
Meanwhile, we have to keep leading with our values. Governor Evers has called a special session of the state legislature for this Tuesday to take up his proposal for a referendum process—so that Wisconsinites could actually vote on whether to ban abortion. To get a sense of what this could mean, take a look at Kansas. 
Precisely because Republicans don’t want their own voters to have a say over their own bodies, we can guess what the GOP will do. 
This is go time. This is all-hands-on-deck time. In race after race, the polling is neck and neck. It’s only going to get more intense. But given the stakes—freedom, democracy, bodily autonomy, safety, prosperity, the core idea of America, and progress or regression on every issue we care about—that’s only appropriate.
In these final 39 days, let’s focus on doing everything we can possibly do. And let’s win. 
In solidarity,


LG Nominee Sara Rodriguez, Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Sen. Kelda Roys Highlight Gov. Evers’ Abortion Referendum Special Session
Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Nominee Sara Rodriguez, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and State Senator Kelda Roys came together to support Gov. Evers’ Special Session to restore abortion access in Wisconsin and highlighted the importance of following the will of the people – who overwhelmingly oppose the radical 1849 criminal ban.
Tim Michels has been silent on Gov. Evers’ special session, but that’s no surprise. Michels has previously called the 1849 criminal abortion ban an “exact mirror” of his position and has proudly bragged about how deeply “unpopular” his agenda is with Wisconsinites.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the State Legislature have already reasserted their extreme anti-choice agenda and promised to reject Gov. Evers’ Special Session next Tuesday. 
Rep. Rodriguez, Treasurer Godlewski, and Sen. Roys decried Republicans’ out-of-touch agenda and encouraged Wisconsinites to call their legislators to tell them to support Gov. Evers’ proposal.
Ron Against Roe: Mandela Barnes Launches Statewide Tour, Holds Ron Johnson Accountable On Dangerous Abortion Record
Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes announced the “Ron Against Roe” tour to hold Ron Johnson accountable for his record of working to rip away Wisconsinites’ ability to access abortion by co-sponsoring eight national abortion bans during his time in the Senate and confirming judges that are staunchly opposed to reproductive freedom, including abortion and contraception access.
Lt. Gov. Barnes is committed to enshrining Roe v. Wade as federal law and believes that lawmakers should not interfere with personal medical decisions that should be made between an individual and their doctor. The Ron Against Roe tour provide a stark contrast between Ron Johnson’s dangerous record on abortion and Lt. Gov. Barnes’ commitment to protecting reproductive health care.

Retirees Call Out Ron Johnson For Threatening To Cut Social Security

Today, ahead of Ron Johnson’s weekend visit to their city, La Crosse retirees held a press conference calling Johnson out for threatening to cut Social Security and putting tens of thousands of Wisconsin seniors at risk of losing their livelihood.
Ron Johnson has called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme,” even going as far as to suggest raising the retirement age, and calling for Social Security to be put on the chopping block every single year. Wisconsin retirees made clear that they’re done with Johnson’s threats to Social Security and are ready to retire him this November.

AG Kaul Prioritizes Public Safety In Next State Budget

On Tuesday, Attorney General Kaul announced his budget request for the 2023-2025 biennium, seeking a 10.5 percent increased investment in the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s work to fight crime. This budget reflects AG Kaul’s commitment to public safety as his number one priority, with increased funding for local law enforcement, school safety, and resources to help communities across the state fight the opioid epidemic.
It’s telling that Eric Toney can’t seem to find anything to complain about in AG Kaul’s budget, and has refused to say whether he would stand up to his own party and push for a shared revenue increase in the next budget to fund local law enforcement. Instead of offering actual solutions, Eric Toney has fallen back on tired political attacks.

Democrats Are Working For Wisconsin

This week, Democrats up and down the ballot were hard at work for Wisconsin. Take a look below at some of the highlights of their busy week!
Attorney General Josh Kaul and the DOJ's Office of School Safety released the second annual report on the success of the Speak Up, Speak Out school safety tip line. This report showed that DOJ’s trained analysts had received 136 potentially life-saving tips in just the last year. Speak Up Speak Out encourages students to take ownership in their school’s safety. 
Sen. Jeff Smith has dedicated his life to public service in western Wisconsin, having spent nearly 40 years fighting for clean water, fair wages, and public school funding in the Chippewa Valley. See how you can help Jeff win this November and lend his campaign a hand!
Mayor Lori Palmeri is running to represent Oshkosh and the 54th Assembly District in Madison. Lori will fight for fair wages and taxes, affordable housing, and strong public schools in the State Legislature. Get involved with her campaign!