Judge Lisa Neubauer and Judge Brian Hagedorn are running for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. The April 2nd election will be crucial. How so? We’ve witnessed an erosion of voting rights in Wisconsin. What’s more, we’re the most heavily gerrymandered state in the country.
If we want to ensure voters choose their elected officials and not the other way around, we absolutely must win this election. If we do that —and we flip a Supreme Court seat in 2020—we’ll have shifted the court from conservative to liberal just in time for the new district maps to be drawn. How the candidates stack-up Judge Lisa Neubauer State appeals court judge for 10 years. Served as Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the highest ranking jurist not on the Supreme Court, since 2015. Supported by 98% of endorsing judges—judges who’ve been appointed by both Republicans and Democrats. Served as a Big Sister for Greater Racine. “We need to keep our courts and justice system fair, impartial, and independent to protect the rights of all Wisconsinites.” – Judge Neubauer
Judge Brian Hagedorn State appeals court judge for 3 years. Served as legal advisor to Governor Scott Walker Played a role in drafting Act 10 legislation that stripped public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights. Adopted a strong stance against marriage equality, even likening same-sex marriage to bestiality. Favored taking away the Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing conditions. “We should be ‘dismantling the public education system as we know it’ in favor of more corporate involvement in education.” – Judge Hagedorn
What can you do to help? Be sure to vote for Judge Neubauer on Tuesday, April 2nd. Forward this link to your Wisconsin family and friends and get their commitment to vote for Judge Neubauer on April 2nd. If you have questions about where you vote, visit myvote.wi.gov.
Editor’s Note: For this issue, WFU Executive Director enlisted the help of Dunn County Farmers Union member Dale Wiehoff to tackle a big topic — the recently announced Green New Deal.
If the recent spate of winter storms isn’t enough, the mess in Washington would make anybody want to pack up and run away to someplace sunny. One possible bright spot on our horizon, though, is the introduction of a congressional resolution calling for a Green New Deal. This is not a new idea, but one whose time is long overdue. It’s a combination of Roosevelt-style programs with a focus on renewable energy and economic justice. Unfortunately, an examination of the current resolution reveals that, once again, rural America, small towns and agriculture have been left out in the cold. Let’s change that.
Whatever one thinks of the particulars of the Green New Deal — the absence of rural concerns or its chances of legislative success — it is a bold, aspirational infrastructure plan, and the progressive farm movement should be part of that conversation. National Farmers Union recently applauded this congressional effort to curb climate change. As a leading agricultural organization in the country, it recognizes what is at stake for farm families and rural communities in terms of climate change and unsustainable agriculture practices and policies. One only has to think of climate-related disasters, such as extreme weather, to understand how close farmers are to the problem.
We in Wisconsin have a long tradition of progressive farm and labor policy initiatives. Our absence from the Green New Deal coalitions merely confirms the terrible toll globalization and corporate concentration have taken on rural communities and agriculture. Through financial disinvestment, the elimination of family farms and the corresponding concentration of industrial agriculture, rural concerns have simply fallen off the agenda. We have an opportunity here. With serious discussion of a green infrastructure plan, Farmers Union can help provide the leadership that will point towards public policy that serves the real needs of rural America. The Green New Deal must align with rural communities to be successful. Its supporters aim to secure clean air and water; climate and community resiliency; healthy food; access to nature; and a sustainable environment. In our minds, none of those things can be achieved without powerful rural alliances. Let’s examine areas of common ground as the first step.
Infrastructure is widely recognized as a place where America can come together. Anybody in a rural Wisconsin township who has had their blacktop roads replaced with gravel can tell you our infrastructure is in trouble. Our family farms are disappearing. Our schools are being consolidated and our children move away as soon as possible. According to a report by the Economic Innovation Group, only 9 percent of new jobs being created in the country are happening in rural counties. Our local economies have been hollowed out. The time to invest in our rural economy and infrastructure is now.
This is not to say that bringing about a comprehensive Green New Deal is going to be easy or even likely in the short term, given the current makeup of Congress. It is to say that if we don’t step up with a bold, aspirational vision for rural infrastructure, no one else is going to do it for us. And, worse, it will be done for us and the country will be stuck with “infrastructure” that does nothing but grease the skids for corporate conglomerates. As supporters of the Green New Deal point out, not all jobs and infrastructure plans are created equal. Giving a giant foreign company like Foxconn $4 billion will not help rural America. President Trump and former Governor Walker’s failed infrastructure proposal would only have put billions of public funds into the pockets of giant corporations while paying for it by selling off our infrastructure and raising tolls, with a total disregard for the effect on working Americans. We need to turn this model on its head and put principles of democratic decision making, community investment and control, respect for people and safeguarding of natural resources as the drivers of a real new deal for rural America.
If you are interested in the Green New Deal and you want to rally rural voices, host an event in your local chapter and get a conversation started, write to your congressional leaders, make a video or pen an op-ed. Farmers Union wants to hear from you to help direct action on this very important resolution.
Dale Wiehoff, Dunn County Farmers Union & Julie Bomar, WFU Executive Director
Once dubbed as “The Machine Shop of the World,” the city is the birthplace of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and is known for its enduring love affair with beer — a trait displayed Monday as Perez and surrounding dignitaries closed their celebratory news conference with a toast.
Republicans are set to gather in Charlotte, the largest city in battleground North Carolina, on Aug. 24-27, 2020.
Perez noted that the convention site doesn’t determine the November outcome, but Democrats see plenty of symbolism in Milwaukee after a bitter 2016 election defined by Clinton being nearly swept in what her campaign aides had confidently called a Midwestern “Blue Wall.” That band of states twice sided with President Barack Obama, but Clinton held only Minnesota, ceding Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — a combined 64 of the necessary 270 electoral votes — as white working-class voters flocked to Trump.
It was the first time since 1984 that Republicans claimed Wisconsin in a presidential election. Afterward, Clinton took withering criticism for not once visiting Wisconsin as a general election candidate.
Since then, Wisconsinites re-elected Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker in favor of Democrat Tony Evers and the state’s first black lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes.
Evers and Barnes beamed Monday as they welcomed Perez.
Wisconsin Democrats pointed to those midterm election results as they lobbied Perez and DNC officials. “We plan to carry that momentum into 2020 and beyond,” Barnes said Monday.
“The path to the presidency goes right through Wisconsin as we learned in 2016,” Baldwin, who won re-election in 2018, told The Associated Press. “In 2016, the industrial heartland was really the key and having this convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I think is a powerful statement that nobody should be taken for granted.”
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In a political twist, Milwaukee officials have credited Walker for supporting the convention bid. Democratic Party proceedings will play out in the new 17,500-seat arena that Walker helped build for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks by securing public financing from state lawmakers. Walker later lobbied GOP-leaning business leaders and donors to support Milwaukee’s effort to land the event.
Perez was not among those praising Walker, repeatedly referring to the “former governor” without naming him and blasting his policies, particularly his fights with public unions and his spending priorities on education, for setting up Democrats’ midterm success.
For his part, Walker avoided the rancor.
“When it comes to a big convention like this, it’s not red, it’s not blue, it’s green,” Walker told the AP after the announcement, referring to the economic impact.
Walker did warn Democrats that for all their enthusiasm, the convention could energize complacent Wisconsin Republicans to Trump’s benefit. “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who leans Democrat who wasn’t already motivated in the city or the state against the president,” Walker said.
Democratic officials in Washington said picking a host city is as much about logistics as anything else, even as they acknowledge political optics.
On logistics, Milwaukee may have pulled somewhat of an upset, given its small footprint compared to Houston and Miami, cities long accustomed to hosting major events. Houston hosted the Super Bowl as recently as February 2017.
Milwaukee organizers pitched their city — the Democratic stronghold of Wisconsin — as resurgent. Known for some of the country’s biggest brewers, including Pabst, Schlitz, Miller and Blatz, the metro area has a redeveloped downtown, a hotel capacity exceeding 17,000 rooms and a new downtown streetcar line that opened in November.
Still, the city had to prove it has the overall capacity for tens of thousands of delegates, party activists, donors and media.
DNC officials have said that the question wasn’t about hotel rooms but about whether Milwaukee has requisite venues for other convention staples, from daily sit-down breakfast meetings for 57 state and territorial delegations to evening events put on by state parties, corporations, lobbyists and donors. Even as Milwaukee officials insisted they have the venues, some deep-pocketed Democrats in nearby Chicago — a 90-minute drive — stepped in to note their proximity.
Houston and Miami, meanwhile, faced their own challenges.
Miami has an impressive concentration of luxury hotels, but many are in Miami Beach across bridges from downtown. That raised the prospect of delegates spending hours in traffic. The city’s arena also is not as new as Milwaukee’s.
Houston had few if any logistical barriers. But according to party officials with knowledge of the process, the city’s organizing committee struggled to come up with the necessary financing without resorting to oil and gas money. That industry is the city’s bread and butter, but it’s become anathema in Democratic politics because of its part in climate change. The city’s Democratic mayor also is embroiled in a labor dispute with Houston firefighters.
Also, though Houston and Miami are Democratic anchors in their states, Texas and Florida have no Democratic governor or senator between them.
Barrow reported from Atlanta. Bauer reported from Madison, Wis.
This week, Gov. Evers released his 2019-2021 budget proposal. This is a budget that was made by the people and for the people. It’s not a Democratic budget or a Republican budget — it’s the People’s budget.
Republicans have been talking about writing their own budget to undermine the Governor. It’s high time Republicans stopped putting politics over people and worked with Gov. Evers to pass the budget Wisconsinites voted for.
Here’s just a sample of the many ways Gov. Evers is investing in Wisconsinites’ futures: Medicaid Expansion: Gov. Evers promised during his campaign to accept federal money to cover more Wisconsinites, and that’s just what he’s proposing in this budget. Expanding BadgerCare to cover 82,000 additional Wisconsinites will increase health care coverage and lower costs across the state.
Higher Education: Investing in our higher education systems is crucial for fostering a strong Wisconsin economy. Gov. Evers, with his background in education, is putting funding Republicans have previously taken out back into our UW and technical college systems. Gov. Evers has proposed an additional $150 million into the UW systems and $18 million into our technical college system.
Middle-Class Tax Cut: Governor Evers and Democrats in the Legislature are committed to putting people first by cutting taxes for Wisconsin’s hardworking families. Governor Evers’ plan gives a break to hardworking families by rolling back a Republican tax giveaway to millionaires. Wisconsin’s working families, small business owners, and family farmers deserve Gov. Evers’ sustainable solution for tax relief.
The Year of Clean Drinking Water and Beyond: No family should have to worry whether or not their drinking water is safe. Gov. Evers wants to invest $70 million to combat the water pollution and lead pipes contaminating Wisconsin’s drinking water. By replacing lead pipes, funding research into water contamination, and increasing dental care access for low-income Wisconsinites, Gov. Evers is investing in our health now and in the future.
Legalizing Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization: Gov. Evers is a cancer survivor, so he knows first-hand the hardships patients with chronic pain and other medical conditions go through to attain affordable, accessible, and needed care. By legalizing medical marijuana, we will be able to actually help patients with AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other debilitating medical conditions by granting access to a form of medication used across the country.
Additionally, Gov. Evers plans to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, an important step in remedying the racial and economic disparities our state faces. Non-partisan Redistricting: Within his new proposal, Gov. Evers will take redistricting out of politician’s hands, and into the hands of a nonpartisan commission. And this is what Wisconsinites want! A large majority, 72% of voters say they prefer redistricting to be done this way. Our state has been gerrymandered to favor Republicans for far too long, it is time for transparency and redrawing of our maps.