The RAA: The Worst Bill You’ve Never Heard Of

pollutionIt’s called the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 (RAA), and it’s an extremely dangerous bill that the Senate will soon vote on. The RAA will impact nearly every American under the guise of a “harmless” procedural change. Introduced by Senators Portman (R-OH) and Heitkamp (D-ND), the bill changes long-standing rules on how federal agencies regulate everything from food safety to toxic chemicals to equipment failure at nuclear power plants—things that keep us all safe. Republicans are quietly ramming this bill through Congress and we have to act quickly to stop them.

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Court strikes blow against Walker and for democracy

Republicans lose battle to deny Wisconsinites representation

MADISON — Today Gov. Scott Walker was rebuked by a judge he personally appointed for violating his “plain and positive duty” to hold special elections. Walker has been acting out of fear that Republicans’ unpopular agenda and record of neglecting Wisconsin as he campaigned around the country will lose the GOP two more elections.

In December 2017, two members of the legislature left to join Walker’s administration. Instead of giving the people of Senate District 1 and Assembly District 42 a say in who represents them in their state government, Walker and his lackey, Attorney General Brad Schimel, choose not to hold special elections.

Judge Josann Reynolds lambasted Walker and Schimel’s offices for the absurd logic in their arguments in court that clearly were designed to grab power away from the people of Wisconsin and protect their already rigged elections. She compared his alleged support for strict legal interpretation and his woefully inadequate arguments against holding these elections, saying “the two views are inconsistent, incompatible and irreconcilable.”

“To state the obvious, if the plaintiffs have a right to vote for their representatives, they must have an election to do so,” mandated Judge Reynolds according to media reports of her oral ruling.

Democratic leaders have been making similar arguments that Wisconsinites deserve and are entitled to representation and that Walker has been negligent in fighting to keep more than 200,000 Wisconsinites without representation for more than a year with his refusal to hold special elections..

Statements from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, the State Senate Democratic Committee and the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee are below:

“The Republican agenda of denying Wisconsinites health care, gutting public schools and letting infrastructure deteriorate while manipulating tax policy to reward their wealthy donors has been extremely unpopular in Wisconsin,” noted Democratic Party Communications Director Melanie Conklin.

“Gov. Walker willfully violated his oath of office by refusing to hold elections because Wisconsin is demanding new leadership and he knows it. Democrats stand ready for elections and for creating a state government that is truly responsive to the will of the people in our state.”

“Voters in the 1st Senate District have been without a voice for too long, and we are thrilled that Gov. Walker will no longer be able to prevent their voices from being heard at the ballot box or on the floor of the state senate,” said State Senate Democratic Campaign executive director Jenni Dye.

“People want elected representatives that work for them and they are sick and tired of the dysfunctional and underhanded way Republicans have been playing rigged political games,” said Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee executive director Doug Hyant. “We are eager for the opportunity to talk about Democratic priorities and values, which are also the priorities of the people of Wisconsin.”

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What’s at stake with the Treasurer referendum on April 3rd. Vote No

(Editorial letter of Thomas R. Smith, River Falls:)

Dear Editor,

I¹m writing to alert readers to a state-wide referendum item on the ballot when we go to the polls on April 3.  This referendum has gotten too little coverage in state media.  It¹s urgent that voters understand what¹s at stake.

The ballot measure would amend the Wisconsin state constitution to eliminate the nonpartisan office of State Treasurer who manages over $1 billion in state Trust Fund assets.

 As a commissioner on the Board of Public Lands Commission, the Treasurer oversees these funds for use in our public schools, local governments, and public lands.  This money goes to improve public schools, libraries, local community infrastructure such as roads and sewers, parks, and the UW system.

The proposed ballot measure would place the Treasurer¹s oversight function in the hands of the lieutenant governor, effectively removing barriers to partisan use of public assets that belong to all of us.

The Treasurer¹s office is the public¹s watchdog for these funds, and if  voters eliminate it, Wisconsin will become the only state in the country not to maintain a firewall against appropriation and misuse of public money by partisan politicians.

The current Treasurer and Scott Walker ally, Matt Adamczyk, ran for his office on a platform of getting rid of the Office of Treasurer.  Clearly this move has been in the works for some time, and like so much in recent Wisconsin politics is being carried out in the absence of public discussion, away from the light of voters¹ scrutiny.

Our state¹s public assets, owned by every citizen, are at risk in this election.  You can learn more about this issue at www.saveourfiscalwatchdog.org/whyvoteno

Vote NO on this stealth attempt to grab state-owned resources on April 3.

Reports of Wisconsin voters purged from state voter files

dpwlogo

My fellow Wisconsin Democrats,

It has come to our attention that numerous Wisconsin voters were incorrectly purged from the state voter file last week.

We are looking to document all known incidents of voters who were purged in error. If you have an incident to share, we ask that you fill this survey out at your earliest convenience.

We are working to collect details on who was purged to share with the state election officials on the Election Commission, which meets this Friday. Please forward this email to active voters in your community to help us collect information from any voters that were recently purged from the voter rolls.  

Voters can use this link to share their stories with us:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPUQRQEADhe9oqtQmjyIiTJAKYxLv45-moDeCwBIrnKFLnFA/viewform

Background:

After last weeks primary, we received numerous complaints from voters that did not appear on the voter lists at their polling location. When we looked into this, we found out that these voters were not part of the state’s annual purge that the Party was made aware of. Instead, they were caught up by a second, unexpected purge by the state using a brand new system for purging voters from the rolls. The details of this purge are very concerning to us because the voters that had their registration revoked did not meet the usual criteria for being removed. They were regular voters and they had not moved.

We have already requested details of the purge from the state and have not yet received them. We would like your help gathering information on these purges to share with the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which meets this Friday.

The party will also be looking for further information to address recent reports that Russian operatives that breached our electoral systems in advance of the 2016 presidential election. Electoral integrity is key to our democracy, and we are committed to doing all we can to protect and secure our elections.

If you have any questions, please contact info@wisdems.org.

Thank you for your assistance, we will keep you informed as the situation develops.

 Martha Laning

Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates Scorecard from the ACLU

Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates Scorecard

Candidate Voting rights Reproductive freedom Criminal justice reform
Tim Burns
  • Courts should prevent unfair gerrymandering of election districts
  • Opposes 2011 Voter ID law
  • Pro-choice
  • Opposes mass incarceration
  • Supports a pay increase for court-appointed public defenders
Rebecca Dallet
  • Has declined comment on 2011 Voter ID Law, but opposes partisan gerrymandering and says protect right to vote, not those in power
  • Pro-choice
  • Issued ruling permitting unjustified police stop and frisk
  • Rated by USA Today as one of the harshest sentencers for select felon offenses
Michael Screnock
  • Helped design current gerrymandered election districts
  • Anti-choice
  • States his arrest protesting outside an abortion clinic is “not something [he has] ever regretted doing.”
  • Exercised discretion to give man convicted of 1st degree murder the eventual opportunity for release on parole, suggesting that he merited a second chance

Vote on February 20 in the Spring Primary: Supreme Court and School Board elections

Supreme Court

Two Democrats are running in this nonpartisan primary race to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Rebecca Dallet a Milwaukee District Judge and Tim Burns, an attorney from Madison. Dallet is running on her 10 years of service on the court and Burns is stressing his commitment to progressive values.

Learn  more about them at:

Tim Burns

Rebecca Dallet

School Board

Menomonie has several candidates running to serve on the school board which has been plagued by attacks individuals and groups who are bent on limiting education and programs that encourage diversity and tolerance. This is a very important election for citizens of Menomonie and all the students attending district schools. The race is nonpartisan, but several candidates have step up to address fundamental issues of quality education, respect, and fairness for all students.

These candidates have come forward and demonstrated values that will contribute to building a strong and welcoming educational community in Menomonie:

Chris Freeman

Shanya Lund

Jim Swanson

Patricia (Tricia) Thompson

 

 

 

Vote for Patty Schachtner on January 16

Patty’s Issues

Education

Like many in our community, I graduated from high school and received additional training at WITC. I want to make sure that children in school today have the same opportunities I had. Everyone who works hard should have the opportunity to pursue  higher education, learn a skilled trade or get additional workplace training without taking on a lifetime of student loan debt.

In the senate, I’ll work to restore funding for our local schools, technical colleges and UW campuses and fight to maintain our state’s reputation as a national leader in education. As a member of the Somerset School Board, I’ve seen firsthand how our K-12 schools have struggled to maintain curriculum, services, and extracurricular opportunities for our kids, particularly in rural areas.

Student loan debt is a crisis that is affecting too many families across our state and preventing individuals from starting a family, launching a business or buying a home. I recognize that we can’t continue to pile mountains of debt on working families and I will fully support the effort to allow individuals to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates in Wisconsin – just like they can across the border in Minnesota.

 

Economy

I want to prioritize investment in jobs, businesses and entrepreneurs right here in western Wisconsin. For too long, politicians have failed to put our local schools, roads and communities first while special interests in other areas of the state have received large sums of taxpayer money.  Instead of giving foreign corporations and wealthy donors massive tax breaks and special exemptions from environmental protections, I will work to ensure that our communities receive our fair share of state investments. I will also fight to retain local control so that our communities can decide what is best for our growth, instead of letting out-of-state corporations damage our clean land, air, and water for their own profit.

In the Senate, I will fight for tax fairness and make sure that everyone who does business in Wisconsin plays by the same rules. Rather than picking winners and losers, I want our government to invest in good roads, quality schools and 21st century broadband infrastructure to help all communities compete in our global economy.

Healthcare

From rural communities to big cities, rising health care costs, limited treatment options and opioid overdoses are a growing concern. As the medical examiner for St. Croix County, I’ve seen the health care challenges firsthand. I’m proud of my record working with local officials and frontline responders to combat the abuse of prescription painkillers, expand access to care and make our community a safer place to live, work and raise a family.

In the Senate, I am committed to expanding BadgerCare, improving access to mental health care and reducing costs for state taxpayers. I’m not afraid to take on the special interests and hold drug manufacturers accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. My unique experience in this area and ability to work across the aisle can help break through the partisan gridlock and deliver results for Wisconsin residents.

Environment

I believe one of the biggest conservation issues facing the 10th State
Senate district is the preservation of water quality. Water is one of
Wisconsin’s most precious natural resources, and communities in the
10th district have a proud history of environmental stewardship. If
elected to the Senate, I would work to ensure that our local
governments are empowered to protect access to clean water for future
generations. I would oppose efforts to roll back DNR permitting and
local shoreline zoning regulations.

Local communities should have a voice in protecting their
environmental health and natural resources, and the state should
provide the floor, not the ceiling, when it comes to protecting the
public’s health and environment. It is important to me that my
children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same
opportunities I have, so I will safeguard their access to clean water,
land and air and prevent special interests from taking unfair
advantage of our environment.

VOTE! December 19 in the Democratic primary for the 10th District Senate Candidate

Three Democrats are vying to become the Democratic candidate in the 10th District special election to replace Sheila Harsdorf. You can help decide who will be the best person to defeat the Republican challenger and go on to represent us in Madison.

All three Democrats are actively working to win your vote. You can learn more about each of them by going to their web sites and volunteering for the candidate of your choice. And voting on December 19th!

Herfindahl-Reuben
Reuben Herfindahl

Ruben Herfindahl of River Falls is on Facebook.

Schachtner-Patty
Patty Schachtner

Patty Schachtner is from Somerset and has a web page.

Calabrese
John Calabrese

John Calabrese is from Glenwood City and you can learn about him here.

Three Democrats in December 19 Primary for Senate District 10

Three Democrats are vying to become the next state senator from the 10th District to replace Sheila Harsdorf. They will face off in a primary election on December 19th. Dunn County Democrats do not endorse competing Democrats, but instead encourage all our members to support the candidate of their choosing and vote in the primary and in the special general election on January 19th.

Here is some information on how you can support the candidates:

Calabrese
John Calabrese

John Calabrese, a woodworker from Glenwood City has worked many years to get big money out of politics in Wisconsin.

Wednesday 12/6/17 Raw Deal Restaurant 603 Broadway Menomonie 5-7pm

Thursday 12/7/17 Rush River Brewery 990 Antler Ct, River Falls 5-7pm

Friday 12/8/17 Oliphant Brewing 350 Main Street Somerset 5-7pm

Saturday 12/9/17 Farm Table Restaurant 110 Keller Ave. N Amery

Sunday 12/10/17 River Falls Public Library 140 Union St. River Falls 3-4pm

Website: https://www.calabreseforsenate.com/

Email: jrcalabrese@gmail.com

 

Schachtner-Patty
Patty Schachtner

Patty Schachtner of Somerset is the St, Croix County Medical Examiner and has worked and been active on public health and mental health issues for many years. Her campaign is conducting a number of canvases in the region. Here are the details:

Saturday 12/9/17 Launch Point: Einstein Bagels 101 Oak Ave #4 Menomonie Start times: 9:00am/12:00pm/3:00pm

Sunday 12/10/17 Launch Point: Caribou Coffee 2321 Highway 25 N Suite 308 Menomonie Start times: 9:00am/3:00pm

Facebook:  PattyforSenate

Website:   pattyforsenate.com

Email:   schachtner.patty@gmail.com

Herfindahl-Reuben
Reuben Herfindahl

Reuben Herfindahl, of River Falls is the third Democrat in the race. He work in Information Technology but we have been unable to find any more details about his campaign.