Daily Archives: October 26, 2017

Airbnb says it’s collected nearly $550,000 in occupancy taxes

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Airbnb: Delivers nearly $550,000 in revenue to Wisconsin during first 3 months of tax agreement


Ben Breit, Airbnb Midwest
Phone: (847) 274-5456
Email: [email protected]

MADISON – Airbnb announced today that the company has remitted nearly $550,000 in tax revenue on behalf of its local Wisconsin hosts in the first three months of its new tax agreement with the State of Wisconsin, far exceeding expectations.

In June, Airbnb announced a tax agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue that allowed Airbnb to collect and remit state-assessed taxes on behalf of its Wisconsin hosts for all Airbnb bookings to the state. These taxes include the state sales tax, county sales and use taxes, and a handful of local resort/exposition taxes.

The tax agreement took effect on July 1. In the ensuing three months (July, August, September), Airbnb proceeded to remit $546,000 in revenue to the State.

This tax revenue remittance — which dwarfs even the most aggressive initial projections — comes on the heels of 91,000 Airbnb guest arrivals to Wisconsin over that three-month stretch, which overlapped with Wisconsin’s summer tourism high season. During that time, those guests infused $12.3 million in combined supplemental income to Wisconsin residents who share their homes on Airbnb — reflecting over 98% growth over the same three-month stretch in 2016 (city by city numbers available upon request).

Additionally, earlier this year Airbnb announced an agreement with Madison authorizing Airbnb to collect and remit the 10% Madison room tax on behalf of local hosts. That agreement took effect on May 1. In the ensuing five months, Airbnb has remitted $157,000 in revenue to Madison.

Airbnb also recently announced an agreement with Green Bay to collect and remit the 10% Green Bay room tax on behalf of local hosts. That agreement took effect on August 1. In the ensuing two months, Airbnb has remitted $19,000 in revenue to Green Bay.

This stretch included the largest surge of Airbnb guests to Wisconsin in the history of the Airbnb platform, on September 28-29. This happened to coincide with a number of festivals in Milwaukee, including Brewfest and Germanfest.

These types of tax agreements — which Airbnb proactively pursues throughout the world — are critical, because the overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts in Wisconsin are middle-class people who host on the side for supplemental income. Therefore, figuring out the complex taxes associated with hotels and short-term lodging can be extremely challenging and often impossible for hosts. These tax agreements allow Airbnb hosts to easily pay their fair share and deliver new revenue for state governments like Wisconsin as well as municipalities like Madison and Green Bay.

Airbnb is also seeking to collaborate on similar tax agreements with any cities that administer their own municipal bed taxes. Wisconsin municipalities interested in Airbnb tax agreements can contact the company at [email protected]

Additionally, Airbnb’s rapid growth in Wisconsin comes as Wisconsin hotels continue to experience record occupancy and revenue (see articles below). The data indicates that the sharing economy is expanding the pie of prospective tourists to Wisconsin.

Alderwoman Lewis: Stepped-up traffic enforcement showing results


Statement of Alderwoman Chantia Lewis:

The 9th Aldermanic District is one of the city’s safest districts, but I have been pushing for a coordinated effort with MPD to address the increase in reckless driving since I took office.

The issue is not unique to my district or to any area of the city as it is well known that the entire City of Milwaukee has seen an increase in reckless driving, particularly at some of our major intersections. Chief Flynn has implemented a department-wide strategy of “Surge” traffic enforcement in hot spot crime areas and hot spot crash areas through the end of 2017 with the goal of reducing violent crime and traffic crashes. As a result of the surge, there have been more than 400 traffic stops for speeding, showing the overdue need for this type of enforcement in the 9th District.

I appreciate the efforts of Chief Flynn and all of the wonderful officers and employees of the Milwaukee Police Department. As Alderwoman, I will continue to work with MPD to reduce excessive speeding in the 9th District and throughout Milwaukee.

Anderson campaign: Rural Wisconsin’s broadband solution is just an FCC decision away


Contact: Phil Anderson

Phone: 608-361-8608

Email: [email protected]

On Friday October 20th, the president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, spoke at Fox Valley Technical College in his hometown of Appleton. His talk focused on “digital inclusion.” Wisconsin is ground zero when it comes to the challenges of digital inclusion. The internet revolution has failed to reach much of rural Wisconsin, leaving hundreds of thousands of state residents without important economic, educational and networking opportunities.

In an era when it’s all but impossible to thrive in global commerce without the internet, 768,000—or more than 13 percent—of Wisconsinites do not have access to wired broadband 25mbps or faster. Over 200,000 reside in areas without any wired internet providers at all. Thankfully, Smith is among the innovative leaders committed to addressing this issue.

Earlier this year, Smith announced that Microsoft would pursue a new, non-profit Rural Airband Initiative to expand broadband to rural America. The concept would essentially leverage blank TV channels—“white spaces”—to transmit internet signals to rural communities. These signals would function like a powerful wi-fi signal that could blanket even the most remote areas. To facilitate the plan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would simply need to reserve three unused channels in every market language for private companies to provide broadband access.

Even though the federal government has invested over $4.5 million in grants to expand broadband in Wisconsin and a broad, bipartisan coalition in Congress has endorsed the white spaces proposal, the effort remains stalled by regulatory bureaucracy.

FCC regulations designate certain frequencies for non-commercial use, which make it impossible for Microsoft and others to get the empty TV channels they need for the revolutionary wireless internet project. The rule—originally enacted to prevent signal interference with licensed users—has become outdated amid technological advancements. But the regulation still serves the interests of a powerful broadcast special interest that has acquired a monopoly over the white spaces and is now waging an all-out campaign to preserve their privilege.

While corporations and D.C. politicians certainly aren’t blameless in the woes of rural Wisconsin, the Rural Airband Initiative is a case study in how innovative policy, championed by a broad cross-section of political interests, can be stymied by misguided regulations and entrenched, crony lobbies.

The onus is on President Trump’s FCC to deregulate the broadband industry and open the door to competition from Microsoft and other innovators committed to expanding opportunity to rural America. If he does, free market, limited government, libertarian ideas like using white spaces to bridge America’s digital divide will ultimately benefit everyone.

Despite a number of costly federal and state projects to bring internet access to remote areas, government has failed to meet the internet needs of rural Wisconsin residents. Fortunately, corporations like Microsoft, have a way to bring the internet to every person in Wisconsin. Now it’s up to bureaucrats at the FCC to get out of the way and allow it to happen.

City of Milwaukee: Manufacturing of donated Milwaukee streetcar flooring viewed by Mayor Barrett


Contact: Jodie Tabak, Communications Director
414.286.8504 | 414.286.3191 (fax)
[email protected]

Cudahy, Wisconsin – Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Jeff Kober, president and CEO of Milwaukee Composites Inc., toured the company’s facility Thursday to watch firsthand as workers put on the finishing touches to flooring the firm is making and donating for the Milwaukee streetcar’s five initial vehicles.

“I’m extremely grateful to Jeff and his employees at Milwaukee Composites for making this top-quality flooring and donating it for Milwaukee’s new streetcar vehicles,” Mayor Barrett said. “The Milwaukee area is fortunate to be home to a growing company such as Milwaukee Composites which employs more than 70 workers and supplies floors and doors for mass transit vehicles around the world.”

Kober, who founded the company 20 years ago, said he and his employees were proud to be able to build and donate the subflooring for all five of the Milwaukee streetcar’s new vehicles.

“We made the decision to donate these floors because it’s important they be built by our people for our city,” Kober said. “We make our composite products here in Milwaukee for vehicles that operate in cities all over the world. It’s exciting for our team to be supplying a project we will all use and enjoy on a regular basis in our home city.  Our floors will be part of Milwaukee history.”

The tour included a look at company workers constructing the flooring and at completed flooring.

Kober said the donated flooring is valued at $100,000. The flooring will be shipped to Brookville Equipment Corp., the Pennsylvania-based vehicle manufacturer, to be incorporated into the vehicles. Milwaukee Composite’s subflooring will ultimately be covered with decorative floor covering.

Milwaukee Composites Inc. designs and manufactures patented phenolic composite floors and doors for mass transit vehicles. Founded in 1997, the company has supplied over 8.5 million square feet of floors, ceilings and doors throughout the world.

Clients include Brookville Equipment, Bombardier, Kawasaki, Siemens, London Underground, New York Transit, Chicago Metra and Gillig. It has supplied products to customers in more than 20 U.S. states and across three continents.

The company manufactured and installed the first phenolic composite passenger door in rail service in the world. Products are moisture resistant, fire safe, lightweight, won’t delaminate and do not corrode

Brookville is expected to deliver the first completed streetcar vehicle to Milwaukee in early 2018. The first phase of the streetcar is scheduled to begin fare service in late 2018. Operation of a connecting lakefront line will follow, with revenue service to coincide with the opening of the 44-story Couture apartment and retail tower.



Conservative group starts $1.6 million ad campaign hitting Baldwin on taxes


The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce today launched a $1.6 million TV and digital ad campaign hitting Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin for supporting tax hikes “rigging the system against us.”

The group said campaign includes two ads that will run statewide, but declined to offer specifics.

In one spot, the narrator says “it seems like the harder we work, the more Washington takes from us. Senators like Tammy Baldwin are the problem.”

She goes on to say Baldwin supported $5 trillion in additional taxes, including hikes on income, sales and energy.

“Rigging the system against us. Standing in the way of more jobs and higher wages. Wisconsin deserves better,” the narrator says to close the spot.

The second ad features Chris Mlejnek, the president of Northwest Builders Inc. in Rice Lake.

He says Baldwin has supported more than $5 trillion in new taxes and “It’s absolutely wrong.”

“If Tammy Baldwin opposes tax reform, it’s proof that she opposes jobs. She opposes higher wages,” he says to close the spot. “I know of nothing that she’s done to help working people like us.”

It’s the third ad campaign in the last week to go up in the U.S. Senate race. Besides the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce ads, two PACs supporting Republican Kevin Nicholson this month have started bio ads praising him.

County Executive Abele: Winter is coming: Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program helps homeowners access resources they need to stay warm


CONTACT: Melissa Moore Baldauff, Director of Communications
414.278.4216 Office
772.579.6936 Cell
[email protected]

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced that the County’s Energy Assistance Program will celebrate National Weatherization Day this Halloween weekend with a special “treat” for homeowners and renters – free weatherization kits to prepare their homes for winter and save costs on energy bills. Families can also enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, and a resource fair with other free giveaways while they schedule an appointment to apply for Energy Assistance.

“Each year, this vital program provides an average of $500 to nearly 60,000 households,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “This day serves as a reminder for homeowners to be proactive in getting their homes ready for winter – and to save on costs where they can.”

At the event, Energy Assistance partner Jammin’ 98.3 will collect new or gently used winter coats from community members as part of their Share the Warmth campaign. Energy Assistance Weatherization partners: Community Advocates, UMOS, SDC, Partners, La Casa and WeEnergies will also be onsite, along with the Milwaukee Fire Department Engine 14 and City of Milwaukee Health Department, to share information with community members on how to be responsible homeowners this winter.

“People should know they don’t have to wait until they’re behind on their bills to apply for Energy Assistance,” said Diane Zettelmeier, program coordinator for the Milwaukee County Energy Assistance Program. “Applying for Energy Assistance should be on every homeowner’s fall checklist. Qualifying for Energy Assistance even gives some households access to other benefits, too, including furnace/heating system repair or replacement or oil refills in a crisis situation.”

Milwaukee residents can pick up their free weatherization kit and extra goodies and apply for Energy Assistance on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 9 – 11 a.m. at 5663 S. 27th Street, next to Big Lots.

For more information, or to schedule a tour or interview with an Energy Assistance specialist, please contact Katy Glodosky at 920-627-2619 or [email protected]

The Wisconsin Home Energy Program (WHEAP) is a state program that is administered in Milwaukee County by the Department of Health and Human Services. WHEAP provides qualified residents with a one-time annual payment to make energy (heating and electric) bills more affordable. Last year, the County served nearly 60,000 households. This year, the County has already received 17,000 applications and plans to serve 75,000 households this season.

Residents can find more information about the program, eligibility and locations online at www.energyassistancemke.org. To schedule an appointment to apply for WHEAP, residents can call 414-270-4-MKE or visit the website. There are also flexible walk-in options at each location. People can apply anytime between October 1, 2017 and May 15, 2018 and receive the same benefit.

Dallet campaign: Weighs in on poll results regarding judicial recusal


Contact: Jessica Lovejoy

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Today Judge Rebecca Dallet, candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court, released the following statement regarding the Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey results on judicial recusal.

“By an 82-12 margin, the people of Wisconsin want a strong judicial recusal rule. I have been criss-crossing the state talking about exactly this. While my opponents offer their tired, partisan, ideological agendas, I’m the only candidate in the race talking about true judicial independence and impartiality. It’s time to give the people of Wisconsin what we want – a truly independent judicial system.”

Rebecca Dallet is a mom, an experienced attorney, and a judge. She has served on the Circuit Court bench for almost ten years and worked as a prosecutor for more than a decade prior to that. During her career, Dallet worked to put sexual predators behind bars, and prosecuted drug, gun, and violent crime cases. She has served as the presiding judge in domestic violence and misdemeanor court, and presided over serious felony, homicide and drug courts, as well as civil court.

With the support of more than 200 local leaders, elected officials, and judges from across the state, Judge Dallet plans to help restore the independence of the Supreme Court. She believes in fair and impartial courts that interpret and uphold the law in an independent, fair, and balanced manner.

Full results from the PPP poll can be found online at: https://www.publicpolicypolling.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/PPP_Release_Wisconsin102617.pdf

Judge Dallet’s campaign can be found online at www.dalletforjustice.com, and on Facebook and Twitter at @judgedallet. For more information or to attend an upcoming event, contact Jessica Lovejoy at [email protected] or (608) 318-3065.

A full list of endorsements is available at www.dalletforjustice.com/endorsements.


DC Wrap: Baldwin denounces potential nixing of popular tax deduction


Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about what Wisconsin’s congressional delegation is up to in Washington. Sign up for our mailing list here to receive our newsletter directly.

Quotes of the week, Oct. 20-26

A short-term bailout to the insurance companies won’t fix the problem in any respect. In fact, it would probably make it worse in the long-term. I’d be willing to consider it if it was paired with real, long-term reforms that I believe would actually help people out, improve options, improve coverage, improve quality and keep costs down.
– U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher to reporters, including the Green Bay Press-Gazette, before touring the Cat Island Restoration Project last week. Gallagher, R-Green Bay, said he wouldn’t support restoring the federal Affordable Care Act federal insurance subsidies that President Trump stopped this month unless part of the deal would also address lowering health care costs.

I am trying to show we can actually pass this in the House. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to pass this in the Senate.
– U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, to the Washington Examiner editorial board on Tuesday. He said he is working with the White House, senators and representatives to make changes to the bipartisan bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., which aims to stabilize the marketplaces by funding cost-sharing reduction subsidies for two years. But he noted a hurdle would be “getting conservatives in the House to fund CSRs in exchange for reasonable reforms.” Johnson added: “The problem is they have that bipartisan agreement now. They will cling to that until we can show them an alternative.”

What happened is the president saying he’s going to stop subsidies and create some of these non-insurance health insurance policies. It could really disrupt the market to a point where we’re going to have tens of millions of people perhaps lose access or certainly lose real healthcare.
– U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, at a town hall in Reedsburg this week, as quoted in the Reedsburg Times-Press. Pocan had previously charged the Trump administration aims to sabotage the ACA, and has called on Congress to make the insurance payment subsidies permanent.

This week’s news

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Wednesday blasted an expected component of the GOP tax overhaul plan to eliminate the popular state and local tax deduction as “simply a bad deal.”

If included in the Republican tax plan, people would be prohibited from deducting levies like state income taxes and property taxes from their federal taxable income. The plan is expected to be released in full next week, although the House Ways and Means Committee chair said Wednesday he wants to reach a compromise before releasing the tax bill, according to national media reports.

Baldwin, D-Madison, said on a press call this week that eliminating the deduction to was a way for Republicans to “give massive tax cuts to the wealthy in America.”  

“Hard working middle class and working class Wisconsinites shouldn’t be funding these provisions,” she said.

She also said the deduction loss would total about $10 billion in federal income deductions and lead to a “tax increase for more than 30 percent” of Wisconsin taxpayers.

Baldwin, meanwhile, said she would take a “very different approach” to overhauling the tax code.

That, she said, means creating a tax code “that would reward work as much as it rewards wealth.”

Baldwin earlier this month was joined by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, to announce a rival Dem tax reform plan called “The Stronger Way Act.” The plan, which the two unveiled at a stop in Milwaukee, was first introduced last year and would expand earned income tax credits as well as child tax credits.

She said the approach in her plan “would absolutely value work and I think that’s what we want to do to help hardworking people get ahead.”

But state GOP spokesman Alec Zimmerman knocked Baldwin in a statement.

“After voting more than 400 times in favor of higher taxes and fees, Senator Baldwin has lost all credibility on any sort of tax plan,” he said. “While Republicans are fighting for tax reforms that put hard-working Wisconsin families first, Senator Baldwin continues to show she’ll pick Washington over Wisconsin.”  

— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman this week said he would keep fighting to rein in “out-of-control spending” after billions of dollars in spending cuts were removed from the budget the U.S. Senate passed last week.

The version of the budget the House originally passed would have required the tax reform bill to be deficit neutral and require Congress to find more than $200 billion in savings from entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

But the Senate version, passed on Oct. 19, instead would allow for adding $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit.

Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, lamented the change in a statement, noting that Republicans had promised to limit spending “and scale back expanding deficits.”

“Now that we’re in control, we have the chance to deliver on these promises,” he said.

Grothman said while he had submitted an amendment to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday to include the $200 billion in cuts to the Senate budget, it wasn’t agreed to.

Still, Grothman pledged the issue is something “that I will continue fighting for in future budget discussions.”

The House is expected to take up the Senate’s version of the budget on Thursday.

See the release 

— Baldwin’s re-election campaign spent $995,305 in the latest quarter, according to the Madison Dem’s filing with the FEC.

The campaign previously announced it had raised nearly $2.4 million in the previous quarter, which ran from July 1 to Sept. 30.

Of that, nearly $2 million came from individual donors, including $752,275 in donations less than $200 that did not need to be itemized. The campaign received $281,150 from PACs and $131,261 from authorized committees, according to the report, which came in at more than 4,700 pages.

The campaign refunded $46,955 in donations, including $34,455 to individuals and $12,500 to committees.

The campaign ended the period with $5.3 million cash on hand.

See the report  

— Baldwin this week also joined 14 other Dem senators in introducing a bill seeking $45 billion to combat the opioid epidemic.

She said the investment was needed because the feds need to invest in local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

“Our legislation is a commonsense, bipartisan-based solution to address the national opioid crisis with stable, long-term support that will strengthen state and local resources,” she said.

See the release

— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan this week introduced a bill that looks to bolster workplace safety.

The Town of Vermont Dem’s bill looks to ensure companies that contract with the federal government better adhere to labor and civil rights laws, following president Trump’s revocation of Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order last spring.

Pocan in a statement slammed Trump for siding with “crooked contractors and corporate interests” and thus exposing “American workers to potentially dangerous conditions that could have deadly results.”

“When the federal government grants a contract, workers should have the assurance that their work place is safe and their employer does not have a history overrun with labor law violations,” he said.  

See the release

— Freshman U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher’s third bill passed the House on Wednesday.

The bipartisan bill, called the SHIELDS Act, strengthens sanctions against the Iran-backed Hezbollah, punishing those who backed the group’s “barbaric practices and protects our allies in the region,” said Gallagher, R-Green Bay.

See the release

— Retired Army Col. Steve Toft, a Republican, announced this week he plans to run next year against U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse.

Toft graduated from Osseo-Fairchild High School and attended UW-Eau Claire then enlisted in the Army, where he served 32 years. He returned to Osseo after retiring from the service, which included a stint working with the Veterans Administration.

Kind, who was first elected to the western Wisconsin seat in 1996, did not have a GOP opponent last fall.

— U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore spoke out against sexual violence as she called for women to be given “a seat at the table” and acknowledged as “equal and have a right to contribute.”

Moore, D-Milwaukee, referenced her experiences with sexual assault in a NowThis Politics video last week as part of the #MeToo campaign that took off after a wave of sexual assault allegations emerged against movie producer Harvey Weinstein this month.

But in the video, Moore also said she was speaking up because “I forced myself to survive so that the next little girl or woman wouldn’t have to feel alone.”

“Me too is about speaking up so that this country can be big enough to let girls and women breathe,” she said. “We are sick and tired of being pushed down, abused, assaulted, having our bodies treated as property and something to be legislated.”  

See the video

— House Speaker Paul Ryan has a new policy staffer.

Stephanie Parks, who previously worked as professional staff for the Ways and Means Committee, is now joining the Janesville Republican’s office as assistant to the speaker for policy, where she’ll be handling health care and vets affairs issues.

Parks also previously worked for the Budget Committee.

See the release

Posts of the week

View this post on Instagram

100 #townhall meetings and counting!

A post shared by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (@repjimsensenbrenner) on


Sen. Tammy Baldwin, in Milwaukee, pitches higher tax deduction for business startups

Sen. Tammy Baldwin advocates for dairy and Buy America priorities in NAFTA renegotiation

Ron Johnson working with White House on Obamacare fix

Ron Johnson Won’t Say If McConnell Helps or Hurts GOP

Sen. Ron Johnson: To pass bills, GOP must ‘come up with legislation that helps sell itself’

Republican Steve Toft Challenging US Rep. Ron Kind

Rep. Ron Kind: Need to move past hyper-partisan, toxic politics to reform tax and health care systems

U.S. Rep. Pocan hosts town hall in Reedsburg

Gallagher: No support for ACA subsidies without longer-term reform

Rep. Gallagher tours Cat Island

Northeast Wisconsin lawmaker, Gold Star mom weigh in on Trump call

Sean Duffy talks immigration at town hall meeting

Grothman Supports Welfare Reform

Dems knock Cross’ UW merger plan in letter

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Dept. of Workforce Development: Secretary Ray Allen named to NASWA Board of Directors


Contact: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Madison, Wisconsin – Today, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA), which represents state and U.S. territory workforce agencies nationwide, announced the selection of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen as the Region 5 representative to their Board of Directors.   The board consists of 10 members representing various geographic locations across the country. The board directs the business of the association.

“I am extremely honored by the selection to the NASWA Board of Directors and look forward to working with my colleagues to help direct and advocate for the development of workforce policies that benefits both workers and businesses in Wisconsin and across our great country,” Secretary Allen said.  “In Wisconsin, we have a history of leading in the area of workforce policy by implementing programs such as Wisconsin Fast Forward, Youth and Registered Apprenticeship and our new, cutting edge Internship Program.  I look forward to bringing this innovative approach to our nation’s leading workforce association.”  
NASWA represents 50 state and three territory workforce agencies, which oversee the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, employment services, unemployment insurance, employment statistics and labor market and workforce information programming. NASWA delivers policy expertise on these issues.

DOC taps Paquin to be interim superintendent of state’s youth prisons

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Evers campaign: Evers slams nearly three years of Walker mismanagement at Lincoln Hills


Maggie Gau (715) 581-0406
[email protected]

MADISON – Yesterday, while visiting Rhinelander, Governor Scott Walker was asked about Lincoln Hills, the state’s juvenile prison that has been under federal investigation for nearly three years, and claimed that Administration was doing “everything in our power” to ensure staff and juveniles are safe. Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Schools and Democratic candidate for Governor, released the following statement in response to the Governor’s comments.

“The chaos at Lincoln Hills is a direct result of the Walker Administration’s mismanagement and refusal to take responsibility for conditions there. For nearly three years, Lincoln Hills has been under federal investigation because kids were being beaten and abused. Instead of fixing the problem and creating a safe environment for both kids and staff, Walker appointed administrators that a federal judge said, ‘don’t have the experience to turn around a facility that is failing like Lincoln Hills.’ The worsening conditions are a direct result of Walker’s failure to lead,” Evers said.

Walker has not yet visited Lincoln Hills since the scandal erupted nearly three years ago – even though he was just 30 minutes away yesterday. “You can’t manage an agency, let alone address the catastrophe that now is Lincoln Hills, without even talking with the kids and staff that so desperately need help,” Evers said. “When a building is burning, does the fire chief watch from afar as it burns down? No — a good chief takes charge, gets in there and puts the fire out. As Governor, that’s what I would do.”

“We must remember that Lincoln Hills is a Department of Correction (DOC) rehabilitative facility to help our most troubled kids. Even DOC acknowledges that the majority of these kids have endured significant physical and sexual trauma prior to committing their crimes. Kids and staff both need an adult in the room, a leader who will step up and do the necessary work. Instead, we have a governor who points fingers, casts blame, and has let this problem fester for years. Enough is enough. I can promise I would do things differently and that starts with taking some responsibility,” Evers said.

Evers campaign: Former Lieutenant Gov. Lawton endorses Evers for Governor


Contact: Maggie Gau
(715) 581-0406
[email protected]

Madison, Wisconsin – Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public Schools and Democratic candidate for Governor, is proud to announce the endorsement of former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton. “I see in Tony Evers the leader who will restore our confidence in state government to fulfill its role to support citizens’ success and fulfillment in their lives. I am proud and excited to endorse Tony for Governor,” said Lawton.

“I know the demands of our state’s top executive firsthand, and what is necessary to do it well. We need a leader with proven wisdom, patience for the importantly deliberative quality of the democratic process, and respect for the assets we have built together —like our public education systems including pre-K through the UW and Wisconsin Technical College System. We need an executive that prioritizes laws and precedents protecting our land, air, and water while respecting citizens who are facing increasingly complex challenges in the most rural and urban settings alike,” Lawton said.

Barbara Lawton served as Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011. The Capital Times once called her “the boldest and most active Lieutenant Governor in state history.” As Lieutenant Governor, Lawton took on issues ranging from economic development to climate change to campaign reform. After leaving government, Lawton served as President and CEO of Americans for Campaign Reform, and then co-founded Issue One, a national non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to political reform and government ethics to strengthen our democracy.

“There is no one else on the horizon running for governor in Tony’s league. He knows that path from school to work, from dreams to building Wisconsin-owned businesses and creating higher-paying jobs for all of us across Wisconsin. He knows what it will take to set our state back on course to lead in this nation,” Lawton concluded.

Tony Evers won three statewide elections as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, winning 70 of 72 counties in his last election with 70 percent of the vote. Evers has been educating our kids his entire career as a science teacher, high school principal and school district superintendent. As State Superintendent, Evers is responsible for over 70,000 educators and 860,000 students. Evers is proud to be the father of three children and six grandchildren, raising his family in Plymouth, Baraboo, Tomah, Oakfield, Omro, Oshkosh and Verona.


Evers campaign: Slams nearly three years of Walker mismanagement at Lincoln Hills


Contact: Maggie Gau
(715) 581-0406
[email protected]

Madison, Wisconsin – Yesterday, while visiting Rhinelander, Governor Scott Walker was asked about Lincoln Hills, the state’s juvenile prison that has been under federal investigation for two years, and claimed that Administration was doing “everything in our power” to ensure staff and juveniles are safe.  Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Schools and Democratic candidate for Governor, released the following statement in response to the Governor’s comments.

“The chaos at Lincoln Hills is a direct result of the Walker Administration’s mismanagement and refusal to take responsibility for conditions there.  For nearly three years, Lincoln Hills has been under federal investigation because kids were being beaten and abused.  Instead of fixing the problem and creating a safe environment for both kids and staff, Walker appointed administrators that a federal judge said, ‘don’t have the experience to turn around a facility that is failing like Lincoln Hills.’  The worsening conditions are a direct result of Walker’s failure to lead,” Evers said.

Walker has not yet visited Lincoln Hills since the scandal erupted nearly three years ago – even though he was just 30 minutes away yesterday.  “You can’t manage an agency, let alone address the catastrophe that now is Lincoln Hills, without even talking with the kids and staff that so desperately need help,” Evers said.  “When a building is burning, does the fire chief watch from afar as it burns down?  No — a good chief takes charge, gets in there and puts the fire out.  As Governor, that’s what I would do.”

“We must remember that Lincoln Hills is a Department of Correction (DOC) rehabilitative facility to help our most troubled kids.  Even DOC acknowledges that the majority of these kids have endured significant physical and sexual trauma prior to committing their crimes.  Kids and staff both need an adult in the room, a leader who will step up and do the necessary work.  Instead, we have a governor who points fingers, casts blame, and has let this problem fester for years.  Enough is enough. I can promise I would do things differently and that starts with taking some responsibility,” Evers said.


Fair Elections Project: Poll: Wisconsin wants fair maps and independent map-drawing process


Contact: Mary McCarthy

MILWAUKEE—A public poll released today indicates Wisconsin citizens believe by almost a two to one margin that state legislative district maps were drawn unfairly, and four times as many Wisconsinites want an independent commission to draw district lines as want the legislature to do it. The poll, released by Public Policy Polling, surveyed more than 1,000 registered voters in mid-October, and follows oral argument in Gill v Whitford at the U.S. Supreme Court. The trial court in Whitford previously held that the state’s district lines are unconstitutional and should be redrawn.

The full poll can be found here: http://bit.ly/2zRmt9P.

A bill to take map-drawing out of the hands of the legislature has already been introduced by Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay and Rep. Don Vruwink of Milton (AB44/SB13), but has languished in committee and hasn’t even received the courtesy of a hearing, let alone a vote.

“We know that the district lines are unfair and unconstitutional, and we have been saying for years that our fellow Wisconsin citizens want an independent commission to draw the lines,” said Sachin Chheda, director of the Fair Elections Project, which organized and launched the Whitford suit. “This poll confirms that the people of Wisconsin clearly understand that the legislature doesn’t reflect the people’s will and can’t be trusted to ensure our democracy works. It’s time for a hearing on the Hansen/Vruwink bill to take map-drawing out of the hands of the legislature.”

“We have been traveling around the state talking to growing audiences, and it’s clear that the people know our democracy is broken and corrupt,” said former Sen. Dale Schultz (R- Richland Center), co-chair of the nonpartisan Fair Elections Project.

“It’s time to have a hearing on the bill to make redistricting an independent, neutral process,” said former Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville), co-chair of the Fair Elections Project. Both Cullen and Schultz are former Majority Leaders of the State Senate when their parties were in power.

The Fair Elections Project supports the creation of fair maps that ensure the will of the people is reflected in the legislature. Both parties should have a symmetrical chance to gain majorities in the legislature if they gain the support of the majority of the people, and the maps should be drawn by an independent panel to ensure no map-rigging takes place.

“The map-drawers in Wisconsin have already been exposed as corrupt, and the maps they drew have been declared unconstitutional in part or in whole on two separate occasions,” said Chheda. “The time has come for this map-rigging to end and democracy to be restored in our state.”
More information about the lawsuit and campaign can be found at the Fair Elections Project website at fairelectionsproject.org, at Facebook.com/wifairelections, and on Twitter at @WIFairElections and @FairElections.

Flynn campaign: New poll shows Scott Walker losing in 2018, Matt Flynn responds


Contact: Bryan Kennedy – (414) 517-3864

(Madison) — Public Policy Polling released the results of a recent statewide poll showing a Democrat defeating Governor Scott Walker in 2018 with 48% of the vote to Walker’s projected 43%.

Said leading candidate Matt Flynn, “I would be the best candidate to unseat Walker.”

The poll, conducted October 17-18, also showed Wisconsin voters in lock step with a number of issues on which Flynn has taken a firm stand.

Flynn has repeatedly called the disastrous Foxconn deal a scam, and 49% of those polled said it was nothing more than a political stunt to help Walker win next November. Only 38% thought Walker had Wisconsin’s best interests at heart.

Remarked Flynn, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Foxconn deal is corrupt capitalism. It’s corporate welfare at its worst. It will degrade our local water quality, up to half the jobs created will be from Illinois, and the $3 billion price tag mostly benefits the corporation’s foreign owners. We should call it what it is, the Foxconn Con.”

“As Wisconsin’s next Governor I will work to bring good jobs with high wages to all 72 counties of this state, without taxpayer-funded boondoggles for foreign executives,” stated Flynn, when asked what he would do as governor. “It’s time we had a leader in Madison who put the people of Wisconsin first — not his own political ambitions.”

In a poll conducted in Milwaukee and reported in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in August, two months before Flynn had announced his candidacy, Flynn led the field with 17% of the projected vote in a Democratic primary. Paul Soglin, who has not announced he is running, received 16% support and Tony Evers received 14%. The rest were too low to mention. Since his announcement, Flynn has received increasingly strong support around the state.

The primary election for governor is on August 14, 2018.

Gov. Walker: Announces Rural Agenda at Governor’s Northern Economic & Community Development Summit

Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced his new Rural Agenda today at the Governor’s Northern Economic & Community Development Summit in Trego. The agenda focuses on comprehensively addressing the concerns of rural communities.“Wisconsin’s rural communities face a unique set of challenges: that’s why we’re undertaking a wide range of forward-thinking reforms to meet their needs,” said Governor Walker. “We’ve listened to rural communities across the state and we’re tackling their top priorities, like increasing investments in education, expanding broadband access, improving rural healthcare, and making state resources more easily available.”

The annual Governor’s Northern Economic & Community Development Summit connects state leadership with local business owners and community leaders to work together on fueling economic growth and successful communities in Northern Wisconsin. Attendees listen to expert speakers, meet in small discussion groups with Cabinet Secretaries, and conduct workshops aimed at encouraging businesses and communities to reach their potential and gaining insight at potential opportunities, challenges, and policy solutions.

Rural Agenda Overview

Step One: Improving Education

Increasing Sparsity Aid

  • We support legislation that reintroduces language from our proposed budget, calling for an increase in Sparsity Aid which would provide $9.7 million more for rural schools next school year. This will be in addition to our historic $11.5 billion state investment in education in the 2017-19 budget.

Recruiting & Retaining Teachers

  • Our budget creates a new teacher development training program, providing a tool for rural districts to address teacher shortages.

Step Two: Expanding Broadband Access

Increasing Broadband Expansion

  • We allocate a historic $35.5 million in additional spending for broadband access across Wisconsin. Specifically, our budget allocates an additional $13 million for Broadband Expansion Grants over the 2017-19 biennium. This is the largest amount of funding ever for the Broadband Expansion Grant Program.

Providing Broadband Access to Students

  • We also increase funding for Wisconsin’s Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) grants by $22.5 million to provide students with high-speed internet, access to mobile hot spots, and access to laptop computers.

Step Three: Encouraging Economic Development

Lowering Property Taxes

  • We continue to reduce property taxes for Wisconsin’s hardworking families. One way we do this is by eliminating the state portion of Wisconsin’s property tax bill. Property taxes on a median-valued home will be lower in 2018 than they were in 2010.

Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax

  • We fully implement the manufacturing and agriculture production tax credit.

Expanding Trade

  • In 2016, Wisconsin ranked 12th overall for agricultural exports, climbing five spots from 2010.
  • In 2016, Wisconsin exported more than $3.4 billion worth of agricultural products. This is an increase of 41% from 2010 exports of $2.4 billion.

Advertising Out State Attractions

  • We invest $1.13 million annually in the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) Grant Program which provides funding to local groups for advertising initiatives to promote the special attractions a community has to offer. These visitors help bolster the local economy and create jobs for local residents.

Streamlining Regulations

  • We will work with the legislature and EPA to transfer regulatory authority over large farms from the DNR to DATCP to encourage the best use of technical expertise and create program efficiencies.

Step Four: Developing Wisconsin’s Rural Workforce

Investing in Rural Development

  • Wisconsin’s READI program which provide funds funds to assist rural communities in economic development, workforce housing, and workforce training.
    • Economic Development loans of up to $500,000 are available for proposals to create or expand a business resulting in the creation of low- and moderate-income jobs.
    • Workforce Housing loans of up to $300,000 are available for proposals to attract new workers to rural areas by rehabilitating or creating workforce housing near the economic development project.
    • Workforce Training grants of up to $200,000 are available to train new workers at the economic development project.

Step Five: Improving Rural Health Care

Training Rural Doctors

  • Our budget provides $200,000 over the 2017-19 biennium to expand the UW System’s Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance program, which will advance the development of rural rotations and rural training tracks in the state.

Increasing Opportunities for Nurses

  • We support legislation to include Wisconsin in the Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which provides nurses with a license that allows them to work in multiple states and provide telehealth nursing services.

Step Six: Investing in Public Safety

Encouraging High School Volunteer Firefighters & EMTs

  • We will support legislation that will reward high schools and students that participate in EMT or Firefighter basic training.

Prolonging The License Renewal Period

  • We will support legislation to change the certification renewal period from every two years to four years for a first responder, licensed EMT, or paramedic.

Step Seven: Caring for Wisconsin Veterans

Providing Resources to Wisconsin Veterans

  • We support legislation to provide state GPR to continue the Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program. The program provides outreach, treatment, and recovery support programs to veterans who are homeless.

Continuing to Support Wisconsin’s GI Bill

  • We continue to support the state’s GI Bill, which is one of the most generous in the country, remitting full tuition and segregated fees for veterans and their dependents for up to eight full-time semesters or 128 credits, whichever is greater, at and UW or WTCS school.

Step Eight: Moving State Resources Out of Madison

Transitioning Forestry HQ North

  • We will move the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry headquarters to Rhinelander, Wisconsin by the first of next year to better include and work with the forestry industry and northern forestry officials.

Dispersing State Resources Throughout Wisconsin

  • We will disperse state resources throughout Wisconsin to improve communications and accountability between government organizations and the people they serve.

Gov. Walker: Celebrates manufacturing month at manufacturing first expo and conference


Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

GREEN BAY – Governor Scott Walker delivered remarks today celebrating Manufacturing Month and highlighting the remarkable history and impact manufacturing has in Wisconsin at the Annual Manufacturing First Expo and Conference, which was held at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Governor Walker recently proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin, and this annual expo marks one of the largest manufacturing-focused events in the state. As of September 2017, Wisconsin has created an estimated 39,700 manufacturing jobs and ranked in the top ten in the nation for manufacturing job creation since Governor Walker took office.
“The importance of manufacturing in Wisconsin cannot be understated”, said Governor Walker. “It supports our families and hardworking taxpayers by employing over 460,000 Wisconsinites, and accounts for over 18 percent of our total economic output. The manufacturing industry and its highly-skilled workforce are a major driving force in moving Wisconsin forward.”

Presented by First Business in partnership with Insight and NEW Manufacturing Alliance, the annual Manufacturing First Expo & Conference gives manufacturers in Wisconsin the opportunity to network with others and grow their businesses through partnership and collaboration. It offers specific programming lectures in various areas, including social media marketing, safety, technology, leadership training, talent and growth strategy development, which allow attendees to choose the best fit for them and their business. This year’s keynote speaker Bill Taylor, Founding Editor of Fast Company and Best-Selling author, is known for challenging conventional ways of thought in business and leadership.

Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry produces more than $56 billion worth of output annually and accounted for over 94 percent of Wisconsin’s exports in 2016. Further, workers in the manufacturing sector earn an average of $55,348 annually, which is 20 percent higher than the average private sector compensation, according to Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages. They also have a 13 percent better chance of having health insurance benefits through an employer when compared to the average of all Wisconsin workers.

Governor Walker proclaimed the month of October as Manufacturing Month to highlight career opportunities in the industry and the vital role manufacturing plays in Wisconsin’s economy and culture. To learn more about Manufacturing Month, visit www.wimanufacturingmonth.org.

Gov. Walker: Issues weekly radio address


Contact: Tom Evenson
(608) 266-2839

Madison, Wisconsin– Governor Scott Walker released his Weekly Radio Address today titled “Wisconsin’s Rural Agenda.”

Hi, Scott Walker here.

Wisconsin’s rural communities face a unique set of challenges. That’s why we’re tackling these issues head on with a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of rural communities across the state.

At the annual Governor’s Northern Economic Development Summit this week, I unveiled our Rural Agenda: a multipoint plan to bolster Wisconsin’s rural communities.

One of the top steps is to improve education for schools and students by creating incentives for teachers to teach in rural school districts and significantly increasing sparsity aid. These initiatives are in addition to our already historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 education.

Another area invests in public safety by removing barriers and creating incentives to protect the community by serving as an EMT or volunteer firefighter.

Another step improves rural access to medicine through programs focused on recruiting more medical personnel to work in and serve rural communities.

In addition, we expand broadband access to underserved areas of the state by providing over $35 million in funding for Broadband Expansion Grants and TEACH Grants aimed at supplying fast, reliable internet connections, particularly in rural communities.

We also look to support Wisconsin’s veterans by funding the continuation of the Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program after federal funding expires this year. We’re making sure our veterans receive the outreach and resources they need to be successful in reaching their goals.

We’ll also look to reallocate state resources to other parts of the state to improve the communications and accountability between government organizations and the constituents they serve. The Department of Natural Resources’ Forestry Division will move its headquarters from Madison to Rhinelander before the end of the year to better include and work with the forestry industry and northern forestry officials.

Plus, we’ll find ways to help continue to improve farming in the state of Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, which is great not just for dairy products, but for all sorts of products grown here. We’re making it easier for our farming families to prosper.

Check out Walker.WI.Gov for more details on our Rural Agenda.

Indeed, we are working and winning for Wisconsin.

Gov. Walker: WEDC Secretary Hogan depart Friday for trade mission to Israel


Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan will leave Wisconsin on Friday for a weeklong trade mission to Israel aimed at increasing exports, encouraging continued foreign investment in Wisconsin and developing partnerships in the water technology sector.
“Israel has a growing and highly developed economy with a focus on innovation and technology, which presents great opportunities for potential partnerships with Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “This trip in particular will focus on how Wisconsin’s strength as a global leader in water technology can help Israeli businesses and government address their water challenges. We also will pursue ways to expand and strengthen our state’s water cluster by attracting Israeli companies to Wisconsin.”

Governor Walker will lead a 15-member delegation to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that includes First Lady Tonette Walker; Secretary Hogan; Katy Sinnott, vice president of International Business Development for WEDC; Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council; Brett Peters, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; and executives from five Wisconsin companies.

“Over decades of technology advancement and international business development, Wisconsin and Israel are acknowledged as two of the leading water technology hubs in the world,” said Mr. Amhaus. “This trade mission presents a unique opportunity to shorten the distance between these two global hubs and promote Wisconsin as the ideal business location for the Israeli water technology businesses entering the U.S. market.”

“With the only graduate school in the U.S. dedicated solely to the study of freshwater, coupled with strong programs in engineering, computing, and the natural sciences, UW-Milwaukee is uniquely positioned to contribute significantly to potential partnerships developed on the Israeli trade mission,” said Dr. Peters, of UWM. “We look forward to working with The Water Council to pursue collaborations related to water and technology with industry, higher education and government.”

Governor Walker also will engage with executives of companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the U.S. and will meet with key Israeli government leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his cabinet, and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman.

“The opportunities for valuable partnerships between Wisconsin and Israel are endless,” said Aviv Ezra, Israel’s Consul General to the Midwest, who will join the governor at several meetings with government officials. “We look forward to sharing our expertise as a global leader in water research and as a pioneer in agricultural technology with the great state of Wisconsin. This trip will enhance the relationship between the state of Wisconsin and Israel to cultivate an innovative win-win environment.”

At the same time, the five executives of Wisconsin companies that are part of the delegation will take part in personalized, one-on-one meetings with potential business partners coordinated by WEDC’s authorized trade representative network.

Highlights of the trade mission, which runs through Nov. 2, include:

Governor Walker will have a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday in Jerusalem. The governor also is scheduled to meet with other top Israeli officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Michael Oren; Yuval Steinitz, minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, Water; and Avi Dichter, chair of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

While in Jerusalem, Governor and Mrs. Walker will lead the delegation in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, followed by a tree-planting ceremony at the Kennedy Peace Forest.

Governor Walker will lead an “Opportunity in Wisconsin” networking event with a dozen executives of Israeli companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the U.S. The companies will learn about opportunities to expand their businesses in Wisconsin and the benefits of investing in the state.

Governor Walker will take part in a “Reverse Pitch for Innovation” networking event led by The Water Council, UWM and the MMSD that will showcase how Wisconsin’s water technology resources could be of benefit to Israeli companies.

The governor and Amhaus of The Water Council will meet with leaders of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, one of Israel’s leading research universities, to discuss ways the two institutions can work together.

Governor Walker will meet with leaders of Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem, to discuss potential collaboration and partnerships with Wisconsin entities.
The governor will visit the Israeli operations of Astronautics Corporation of America, which is headquartered in Milwaukee.

Governor Walker will meet with the Israel Innovation Authority, a public organization responsible for the country’s innovation policy, to discuss possible collaborations and partnerships.
The trade mission to Israel comes just six weeks after Governor Walker completed a successful mission to South Korea and Japan in which he met with more than 200 business leaders and oversaw the signing of two agreements that will help Wisconsin companies reach new markets in South Korea.

WEDC, which organizes the governor’s trade missions, is also hosting four upcoming trade ventures through mid-2018 to Mexico, Canada, China and Germany. Wisconsin companies interested in learning more about those trips can visit inwisconsin.com/export/goglobal.

Gronik campaign: Gov. Scott Walker’s Foxconn deal widely unpopular among Wisconsinites


MILWAUKEE – According to a new Wisconsin poll conducted by the independent, non-partisan Public Policy Polling, only 34% of Wisconsinites approve of Gov. Scott Walker’s $3 billion hail mary pass to Foxconn. Most see this unsubstantiated corporate giveaway as a flagrant attempt on the part of the Governor to cover up his dismal track record creating good-paying jobs throughout the state and make bold and unsubstantiated claims about economic development in Wisconsin to help him get re-elected.

“Wisconsinites are too smart for this shell game Governor Walker is playing. We’re all enduring his failures on economic development and won’t be fooled by someone trying to buy his way to fulfilling his job creation promises to get himself back into office,” said gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik. “Scott Walker is trying to get Wisconsin taxpayers to buy into a deal that he couldn’t get financed at a bank if he tried. And, his brainchild for economic development, WEDC, can’t even keep track of the loans they have. It’s crystal clear that Walker’s life as a career politician has left him ill-prepared to successfully negotiate a business deal on behalf of the taxpayers of our state. He needs to be fired.”

Caution by taxpayers is warranted as this is not the first time Gov. Scott Walker has touted a doomed economic development deal just before an election. According to reporting by the Wisconsin State Journal last week, Gov. Scott Walker announced a $20 million award for Kestrel Aircraft, an aviation start-up, which promised to create over 650 jobs and invest more than $50 million in the state. To date, Kestrel Aircraft has defaulted on loan repayments and only created 25 jobs. As the state now plans to take legal action against the company, it serves as a cautionary tale of how putting politics ahead of sound economic development can leave taxpayers on the hook for significant sums down the road.

“Economic development is an urgent and important issue that affects real people in every corner of our state. It’s time to take improving our economy seriously and stop using it just as a political tool,” concluded Gronik. “I know what it takes to create good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and how to create a comprehensive plan for economic growth that supports small, medium, and large businesses statewide. As Governor, the political games will be over, I’ll restore transparency to the governor’s office, and Wisconsin will become a world leader creating jobs in science, technology, manufacturing, and agriculture. It’s who we are.”

Janesville League of Women Voters: Diversity committee book discussions in November


Heide Keith
Secretary, Janesville League of Women Voters
Cell: 608.576.0676

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville League of Women Voters’ Diversity Committee will host three dates in November for discussion of the book In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero.

Guerrero, the television actress from Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Since she was born in the U.S. she was able to remain in the country and continue her education, but she had to depend on the kindness of family friends to take her in and help her build a life for herself.

In the Country We Love shares the fears and resilience that shape the daily existence of families of the undocumented. Join us for a discussion of the memoir and the issues it raises about the experiences of the undocumented and their impact on this country we all love.

Please join us at one of three discussion times:

Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Hedberg Public Library
Public Meeting Room
316 S. Main St., Janesville

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Hilltop International Pub
121 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville

Thursday Nov. 9, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Hedberg Public Library
Public Meeting Room
316 S. Main St., Janesville

The all-volunteer local League of Women Voters of Janesville is a non-partisan organization which works to register voters, host candidate forums, study local, state, and national issues and to bring informative programs to the citizens of Janesville and northern Rock County. Visit our website, www.lwvjvl.org/ or follow us on Facebook to stay informed.

Kohl campaign: Grothman punches middle class


Grafton- Desperate for a political win and reflecting the demands of their special interest backers, Glenn Grothman and his DC pals just voted to add $1.5 trillion dollars to the debt so that the wealthiest Americans can get large tax handouts while middle-class families face tax hikes. To achieve these tax giveaways, Glenn Grothman and House Republicans broke Donald Trump’s promise, voting for deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid while also slashing funding for programs such as Pell Grants and cancer research.

This budget resolution represents the worst impulses of Glenn Grothman and his Republican colleagues as they further destroy critical, middle-class supporting programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Under Republican control, the House has consistently failed to solve the problems faced by American families. In the pursuit of his partisan zeal, Glenn Grothman represents a significant part of this problem.

Dan Kohl will fight everyday to make sure that middle-class families won’t pay more in taxes, and that they have the economic opportunities that lead to higher wages and greater security. This budget fails on all counts.

“Glenn Grothman just delivered a gut-punch to middle class families. Voting to gut Medicare and Medicaid and slash Pell Grants and cancer research so the wealthiest Americans can get a tax handout is cruel and irresponsible.” said business executive and non-profit leader Dan Kohl. “Instead of party line budget votes that weaken popular programs and shovel money at the wealthy, Glenn Grothman should be focused on solving the problems faced by Wisconsin families and seeking common ground.”

Latinx Voice WI: New public survey demonstrates strong majority support for congressional action on dreamers


Contact: Mary McCarthy

Milwaukee, WI – A new poll released today shows that nearly 60% of Wisconsinites support the rights of children to remain legally in the United States under provisions Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order. These children, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” face an uncertain future after Trump rescinded the order last month.

The survey of Wisconsinites conducted last week by Public Policy Polling also found strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s policies when it comes to Latinx residents of the state, including opposition to building a wall between the United States and Mexico.

“Polls across the country have routinely shown that Americans increasingly favor protections for the hard-working immigrants and their children living in and growing our communities and Wisconsin is no different,” said Milwaukee Alderman José Pérez. “It is past time for Congress to act and ensure the bright futures and safety of our friends and neighbors.”

Wisconsinites broadly support the rights of our state’s Latinx communities to live without fear of deportation and splitting up families. On key issues facing the state’s Latinx residents, the poll found:

· 59% support providing a way for immigrants who were brought here by their parents through non-legal channels as children to remain in the United States
· 56% support the rights of mayors and local law enforcement to protect their communities as they see fit without devoting resources to deportation.
· 53% oppose building a wall between the United States and Mexico

Economic impact studies in Wisconsin estimate a loss of more than $427 million annually if there is no Congressional intervention to reinstate provisions of DACA that allow young people to remain legally in the United States. Nearly 8,000 young men and women in our communities throughout the state have been affected by the discriminatory actions of the President. The majority of these Dreamers are high school and college students, and young adults contributing to Wisconsin’s economy in the workplace. They have only known the United States as their home and embody the notion of “living the American dream.”

“We will continue to stand by and fight for Dreamers and their families,” said Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee). “This is more than an economic issue—this is a human rights crisis and this poll shows we in Wisconsin will not sit idly by as Trump attempts to destroy the very fabric of our communities.”

The full poll can be found here: http://bit.ly/2zRmt9P.

Latinx Voice WI is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization working to empower Latinx communities through increased civic participation and public education on issues including good-paying jobs, access to affordable health care, an excellent education for our children, and fair immigration policies which value every resident. Please visit our website at www.latinxvoicewi.org.

Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors: Supervisor Dimitrijevic thanks finance committee for approval of eviction reduction plan


Contact: Brian Rothgery, Public Information Manager
[email protected]milwaukeecountywi.gov

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Today the Milwaukee County Board’s Finance Committee unanimously approved an innovative plan to reduce the traumatic epidemic of evictions in Milwaukee County called Housing Opportunities and Minimizing Evictions for Stabilization or HOMES.

“Today we took a major step in the direction of keeping families in their homes and preventing homelessness in our community. We all know about the statistics regarding inequality – now is the time for action. Thank you to the Finance Committee for your leadership in funding a solution to end evictions and stabilize housing, which is a human right,” said Supervisor Dimitrijevic, the author of the HOMES plan. 

“Women of color are disproportionately affected by evictions and we must do all we can to end this traumatic cycle tearing apart families. Using these best practices to reduce evictions and provide defense to people in need will produce positive outcomes in all parts of our neighborhoods especially students in our public schools,” said Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson, cosponsor of the initiative.

HOMES is a collaborative effort of the Milwaukee County Department of Housing, Sheriff’s Office, Treasurer’s Office and community partners. The plan creates a housing stabilization assistant to coordinate a new housing stabilization fund, which will help families facing evictions stay in their homes by providing emergency assistance funding. The housing stabilization assistant would also mediate housing relationships between tenants and landlords.

Over 4,000 cases of eviction are processed in Milwaukee County each year with an approximate cost to the Sheriff’s Department alone of nearly $300,000.

The HOMES program also adds funding to the successful Eviction Defense Program led by Legal Action Wisconsin. Approximately less than 1% of tenants facing evictions in court have legal representation causing an imbalanced situation and unjust outcomes.

Supervisors Dimitrijevic and Nicholson introduced HOMES in response to the devastating cycle of evictions hurting families in our community.


New Dem poll finds Walker trailing generic Dem guv opponent

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One Wisconsin Now: New poll finds overwhelming, bipartisan support among Wisconsin voters for allowing student loan refinancing


Mike Browne, Deputy Director
[email protected]
(608) 444-3483

MADISON, Wis. — Yet another poll of Wisconsin voters finds broad support for allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans. According to a survey of 1,116 registered Wisconsin voters conducted by Public Policy Polling on October 16 and 17 an overwhelming 79 percent supported “a plan to allow student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage.” A mere 9 percent were opposed.

“Allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage is a common sense policy solution that’s also good politics,” commented One Wisconsin Now Program Director Analiese Eicher. “In a state as politically divided as Wisconsin there are precious few issues on which nearly four out of five voters agree and student loan debt refinancing is one.”

The poll found support for allowing the refinancing of student loans is strong across partisan lines with 85 percent of those identifying as Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of independents favoring the proposal. Among those who reported voting for Donald Trump, support was at 73 percent while 85 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton were in favor.

There were similar findings of strong support among gender and age demographics with 79 percent of men and women supporting student loan refinancing, 74 percent of voters age 18-29, 71 percent of voters age 30-45, 87 percent of voters age 45-65 and 77 percent of voters age 65 plus.

Eicher noted that student loan debt is also widely felt in Wisconsin, the state consistently ranks in the top ten states in the nation for the percentage of graduates with debt and according to figures from the federal government there are nearly one million borrowers holding over $19 billion in federal student loan debt alone. The economic impacts of the debt are also broadly felt. For example, One Wisconsin Institute original research found student loan debt significantly reduced rates of homeownership and new car purchases among borrowers.

In 2013, 2015 and again in 2017, state legislation to help borrowers refinance their student loans was introduced in both the Wisconsin state Senate and Assembly. Republicans in control of both chambers, along with Gov. Scott Walker, blocked consideration of the measures in past sessions and to date.

At the federal level, Democrats in the Wisconsin Congressional delegation have been leaders on student loan debt reform, introducing and supporting legislation to allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans with the federal government. Unfortunately, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan has blocked consideration of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and Republican Ron Johnson has voted against the proposal in the U.S. Senate.

Eicher concluded, “It appears the people are way ahead of the Republican politicians currently in Madison and Washington D.C. on student loan debt reform. Those standing in the way of common sense reform are on the wrong side on the policy and the politics.”

Rep. Allen: Announces kickoff for 2nd beer with Scott


Contact: Dan Posca (608) 266-8580

Last month, Rep. Allen held his first “Beer with Scott,” a new format for listening to constituents. These are pre-scheduled, one-on-one, ten-minute meetings with Rep. Allen to encourage interaction, and help constituents feel more at ease discussing their concerns about state government.

After the success of “Coffee with Scott” this spring and the first “Beer with Scott,” Rep. Allen is excited to announce the 2nd “Beer with Scott,” to take place before Packers/Lions game on November 6th from 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. at In Cahoots & Co, S43W31325 WI-83, in Genesee Depot. BYOB (Buy Your Own Beer).

Constituents interested in talking with Rep. Allen about their state government questions and concerns are asked to schedule a 10-minute time slot by contacting the office. Appointments will be made on a first-scheduled, first-served basis. To schedule a meeting, call 608-266-8580 or email [email protected]! #BeerwithScott #Prost

Rep. Anderson: Is Wisconsin working? Scott Walker’s mismanagement is infecting the entire executive branch


Contact: Logan Vidal [email protected] (608) 266-8570

Madison – With the news that Lincoln Hills Correctional facility is completely out of control with juvenile inmates waving pipes on the prison roof, Rep. Anderson released the following statement about the incident and Governor Walker’s mismanagement of the Executive Branch:

“Can anyone name a state agency under Governor Walker that’s properly functioning? The DNR has been completely decimated and can no longer enforce our laws leaving many families without drinkable water in places like Kewaunee County. The WEDC cannot produce jobs numbers for many of its past deals, recipients of taxpayer funds illegally spent that money on sports cars, and now we hear that there are significant problems with the Foxconn contract jeopardizing billions of taxpayer dollars.  The King Veterans home has been terribly mismanaged, endangering the safety of our elderly veterans. The Department of Transportation miscalculated the cost of a handful of road projects by an astonishing three billion dollars, which has resulted in delays that will eat up taxpayer dollars for years. And now we are seeing staff members at Lincoln Hills being abused and juvenile inmates being placed in dangerous conditions, all because they aren’t receiving the resources they need to keep everyone safe. Is Wisconsin working? Scott Walker’s executive branch certainly isn’t.”

Rep. Gallagher: Issues statement on passage of budget resolution


Contact: Madison Wiberg
[email protected]

Washington, D.C – Rep. Mike Gallagher released the following statement after the House passed the FY2018 budget resolution:

“Today’s passage of the budget resolution is an important step toward reforming our nation’s outdated, unfair and overly complicated tax code that has stifled growth for manufacturers and working families in Northeast Wisconsin. As details of tax reform emerge over the coming weeks, I will continue to fight for policies that empower individuals and families in Northeast Wisconsin, help our manufacturers compete globally, and help our economy grow.”


Rep. Sargent: Assembly democratic radio address: WEDC audit is déjà vu for Wisconsin taxpayers


CONTACT: Rep. Melissa Sargent 608-266-0960

Madison – Today, State Representative Melissa Sargent (D – Madison) offered the following Democratic Weekly Radio Address regarding this week’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s review of the WEDC audit. The audit results once again raised concern about WEDC’s continued trouble executing contracts, verifying job numbers, and complying with state statutes.

The audio file can be found here:

The video file can be found here:

A written transcript of the address is below:

Hi, I’m State Representative Melissa Sargent with this week’s Democratic radio address.

Wisconsin Democratic Legislators know we must prioritize the values, needs and dreams of all Wisconsinites and stand against any system that is rigged to favor the rich and the powerful.

This week, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee held a public hearing on the results of the nonpartisan audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, more commonly known as WEDC.

Not surprisingly the audit is eerily similar to one released two years ago. WEDC has proven time and time again to be derelict in its duties to taxpayers and our state.

I am gravely concerned by the audit results as it highlights a disturbing trend: WEDC’s inability to substantiate job creation claims or effectively execute contracts pursuant to Wisconsin’s laws, as well as a failure to comply with statutory requirements.

WEDC should be able to account for what they’ve done with the dollars that they’ve been given, but they aren’t able to, even though they have been asked many times.

Wisconsin state laws are not a buffet – state agents don’t get to pick and choose which laws they want to follow. Governor Walker wants to run this state like a business, but WEDC behaves in a way that no responsible business would.

Ironically, the WEDC hearing comes less than a week after the Foxconn package vote was postponed by the WEDC board citing contractual concerns.

Simply put, how can the Legislature, as stewards of Wisconsin’s taxpayer dollars, honestly entrust WEDC to a $3 billion contract like Foxconn when WEDC has demonstrated not once, not twice, but three times that they are not capable of adequately executing contracts, verifying job creation, and even complying with the state statutes?

Democrats believe in building an economy that works for everyone, WEDC isn’t building an economy that works for anyone.

Rep. Shankland: To hold office hours on Monday


Contact: Rep. Katrina Shankland
October 26, 2017 Office: (608) 267-9649

STEVENS POINT – Representative Katrina Shankland (D–Stevens Point) is pleased to announce her upcoming office hours on Monday, October 30 in Stevens Point.

Rep. Shankland hosts office hours every month around the 71st Assembly District to hear from her constituents. Members of the public are invited to join Rep. Shankland to share their questions and concerns about any matters facing state government. Rep. Shankland will also have the new edition of the 2017-2018 Blue Book available to anyone at no cost.

Monday, October 30
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Portage County Public Library – Pinery Room
1001 Main Street
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Researchers find potential route to limiting aggressive cancers


UW-Madison researchers have found a potential route to limiting aggressive cancers.

“Cancer cells often change their nutrient utilization and energy production, so many efforts are being made to develop drug inhibitors of cancer cell metabolism to starve them,” said Wei Xu, a professor and cancer expert at the UW Carbone Cancer Center and McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. “We have found that inhibiting a chemical modification of a cancer-associated metabolism protein is enough to inhibit the aggressive nature of cancer cells.”

Xu’s lab studies a protein called CARM1 which is associated with worse outcomes in breast cancer patients and has been found in other types of cancer.

“CARM1 chemically modifies its target proteins to alter their function, and in doing so directly leads to the activation of several hallmarks of cancer,” she said.

In a study published earlier this week in the journal Nature Cell Biology, Xu and her fellow investigators found that CARM1 interacts with another protein involved in cell energy metabolization called PKM2, changing its function.

About 10 years ago, researchers determined that elevated levels of PKM2 were found in in cancer cells, but the connection to cancer cell aggression wasn’t clear. Now, Xu and her team have realized that PKM2 influences the shift from normal cell metabolism to out-of-control cancer cell growth.

They found that CARM1-modified PKM2 moved cells toward the cancer cell metabolism path, while cells with PKM2 that couldn’t be modified stayed on the noncancerous metabolism route.

See more at WisBusiness.com.

Sen. Baldwin: Representative Rosa DeLauro introduce legislation to hold workplace harassers accountable


Will Serio (DeLauro): 202-225-3661
Bill Neidhardt (Baldwin): 202-224-6225

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) today introduced legislation to strengthen workplace harassment laws. The Fair Employment Protection Act restores protections for workers harassed on the job by supervisors and those with authority to direct people’s day-to-day work. These protections were weakened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in Vance v. Ball State University. DeLauro and Baldwin introduced similar legislation in the 113th and 114th Congresses.

“Workplace harassment remains an unacceptable reality that threatens the safety and economic security of far too many people working to build a better future for themselves and their families,” said Senator Baldwin. “I believe that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should have the opportunity to get ahead. The Fair Employment Protection Act would restore important workplace protections, so women and men can move this issue forward together and provide American workers the level playing field they deserve.”

“Harassment of any kind has no place in our nation’s workplaces. That is why it is so critical that we pass the Fair Employment Protection Act,” said Representative DeLauro. “The Supreme Court’s decision to restrict victims’ ability to obtain justice—overturning a long-standing precedent—was completely misguided. Just as they did with Lilly Ledbetter’s case, a narrow majority struck at the heart of longstanding civil rights laws. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in introducing this bill to restore critical workplace protections.”

In 2016, sex discrimination comprised over 30 percent of the charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under all the statutes the agency enforces, with women filing more than 83 percent of all sexual harassment charges. Studies have shown that sexual harassment of women, including unwanted touching, grabbing, and stalking, is common in industries with low-wage jobs, like restaurants and hospitality, as well as in male-dominated industries such as construction, public safety, manufacturing, farming, and the high-tech industry. Harassment in male-dominated industries operates as a barrier to women’s entry into higher-paying jobs.

The Fair Employment Protection Act clarifies when employers should be held vicariously liable for unlawful harassment. The bill would expand employer liability to include harassment by individuals who are in charge of an employee’s daily work activities, as well as supervisors who can recommend employment actions such as hiring and firing decisions.

An online version of this release is available here.

Sen. Johnson: Ernst Whistleblower Protection bill signed by President


Ben Voelkel (Johnson)
Brook Hougesen (Ernst)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a combat veteran, issued the following statements after President Trump signed into law the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act:

Sen. Johnson: “Chris Kirkpatrick did the right and honorable thing when he raised concerns about the over-prescription of opioids to veterans. Today we are sending a strong message that federal whistleblowers like Chris deserve protection, and attempts to intimidate or silence whistleblowers are unlawful. I thank Sen. Ernst and Rep. Duffy for their work with me on this important issue, and I thank the president for signing this important legislation to protect veterans and whistleblowers across the federal government.”

Sen. Ernst: “I’m thrilled to see our whistleblower protection legislation signed into law today. Whistleblowers who bravely come forward about mistreatment or corruption at the VA must be protected. This legislation will work to safeguard those who report these wrongdoings, while holding the offenders and retaliators accountable for their actions. I’m grateful for Senator Johnson’s leadership on this bill and look forward to continuing efforts to protect whistleblowers and improve care for our veterans.”

The bill is named for Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick, a whistleblower at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis., who took his own life after being fired for questioning excessive prescription practices at the facility. Dr. Kirkpatrick’s brother, Sean, testified at a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing in September 2015 about the retaliation his brother faced. Last year, Chairman Johnson released a report detailing the systemic failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs and VA Office of Inspector General that led to the tragedies at the Tomah VA.

This bill is a direct result of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigation. It also implements a number of suggestions that Sean Kirkpatrick and others have made to improve whistleblower protections at the VA and across the federal government. The legislation will strengthen penalties on those who retaliate against whistleblowers, add protections for probationary employees, and ensure that federal employees have a greater knowledge of whistleblower protections.

Sen. Johnson: Talks tax reform, 401 (k)s on CNN ‘New Day’


Ben Voelkel 202-228-0071

WASHINGTON — In an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) spoke about protecting 401(k)s and about the reforms he is proposing to make America’s tax system more competitive. Excerpts of the interview are below and video can be found here.

On tax reform
“Here’s what we’re unified under: The fact that right now America’s taxation system on business is probably the most uncompetitive in the world. So it is a table stakes issue. We have to make America’s corporate tax system competitive with the world, which is what the framework is all about.”

On his corporate tax reform proposal (background here)
“Leave the treatment of pass throughs the exact same but take C corps, the big corporations, and make those pass-through entities. In other words, I want to make sure the owners pay the tax on corporate income. Right now we are having a debate. Who really pays the corporate tax? Is it employees, is it consumers, is it the owners? Let’s take that argument off the table. Let’s make the owners pay. It would be a true ‘Warren Buffett tax.’ And by the way, it would shrink income inequality. It would make it more beneficial for low-income Americans to hold stock. There are so many benefits to what I’m proposing, I really hope the tax writing committees take up my proposal.”

On changes to 401(k)s
“We need to encourage Americans to save more for retirement because over the next 30 years Social Security will have an $18 trillion deficit in terms of the benefits it pays out versus what it gets in the payroll tax. So, this would be the worst time to disincentivize people from saving for their retirement.”

THU AM Update: PAC targets Baldwin with $1.6M ad buy; Senate committee to vote on UW abortion training bill

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THU News Summary: State forestry HQ moving to Rhinelander; GOP tax overhaul effort

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THU PM Update: Walker seeks to shift CAFO oversight from DNR to DATCP

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U.S. Rep. Moore: Malicious GOP budget neglects single, working-class mothers


Contact: U.S. Rep. Moore

“Much like their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Republican budget resolution was drafted in secrecy, denounced by both sides of the aisle, and rife with massive tax cuts for powerful corporations. Despite condemnation by those in their own party, Republicans narrowly passed what can only be described as a reckless and dangerous bill that will reshape our economy and deal an immense blow to critical services like Medicaid and Medicare.

“In passing this spiteful resolution, the GOP once again turned its back on a group of Americans too often overlooked in the halls of Congress: the single, working-class mother. With her in mind, I forcefully voted against this bill as the trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy will come at the expense of the very programs that help her escape poverty. Threatening essential health programs for the most vulnerable as a means to satisfy President Trump’s wild campaign promises reflects nothing but contempt for women who are simply trying to provide for their families.

“Our shared failure to invest in these women with robust contributions to health services, child care, and vocational training cannot be understated. Such indifference and neglect while simultaneously burdening them with soaring taxes demands nothing less than our collective indignation. If single, working-class mothers are truly the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to the well-being of our country, all of us have cause for concern.”


U.S. Sen. Pocan: Introduces end Outsourcing Act to support American Workers


Contact: Ron Boehmer

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today introduced the End Outsourcing Act, legislation that would update the United States tax code to reward companies that invest in American workers and penalize corporations that outsource domestic jobs and factories.

“For too long, our tax code has incentivized companies to outsource American jobs instead of investing in workers and communities here at home,” said Pocan. “We give corporations that ship American jobs overseas a free pass while workers suffer the consequences. Rather than reward companies that relocate to other countries, we should use our tax code to incentivize firms to invest in our communities and put American workers back on the job. The End Outsourcing Act is a strong step forward in protecting American jobs, growing wages, and strengthening the middle class.”

Specifically, the End Outsourcing Act:

  • Prohibits companies from receiving tax breaks for outsourcing jobs and factories, and claws back tax credits and grants related to the operation and maintenance of a facility closing to relocate abroad;
  • Establishes tax incentives for companies that relocate foreign jobs to rural and impoverished communities in the United States; and
  • Ensures that federal contracting policy takes into consideration whether companies have outsourced domestic jobs.

The legislation has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the United Steelworkers (USW), and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).


UW-Madison Business School drops plan to suspend full-time MBA program

The UW-Madison Business School is no longer considering a plan to suspend its full-time MBA program for a year to give officials time to discuss possibly discontinuing the program.

The news comes after days of uncertainty following a report in the Wall Street Journal last week the school was mulling shuttering its MBA program in favor of adding more specialized degrees.

But Business School Dean Anne P. Massey said in a statement Wednesday that after hearing from students, alumni and others “we are going to stop further discussion of the one-year suspension of the full-time MBA.”

“It is clear we need broader consultation before taking action — you, our stakeholders, should and can expect that from us,” she said.

Under the plan, the program would have paused admissions for one year while officials undertook a long-term review of MBA offerings, including a review of “how the WSB graduate portfolio should evolve,” according to a description that was previously posted on the School of Business website.

Wednesday’s statement, though, did not mention whether more changes to the MBA program would be considered moving forward.

A Business School spokesman did not return multiple requests for comment on whether there’s still a plan in place to review the MBA program in future years or how the news could impact admissions numbers for the program this year.

The first-round application deadline for the MBA program is Nov. 15, with three application deadlines — in January, March and April — following it. The early decision deadline was Sept. 27, about three weeks before news got out the school was considering suspending the program.

See Massey’s statement:

Voces de la Frontera: Undocumedia’s Ivan Ceja to speak at Voces de la Frontera Gala


Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman, 414-469-9206, [email protected]

Who: Voces de la Frontera members and community supporters

What: Voces de la Frontera’s Dia de los Muertos inspired Masquerade Gala

When: Friday October 27

5:30 Doors Open

6:30 Program Starts

Where: Harley Davidson Museum 400 West Canal Street Milwaukee, WI 53203

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Each year Voces members and supporters come together to celebrate and raise funds for the fight for immigrant workers rights and against harsh enforcement and the separation of families. This year Iván Ceja, Co-founder of Undocumedia will join Voces as the keynote speaker. Ivan is CEO and founder of UndocuMedia. For five years now, Ivan has overseen the operations of UndocuMedia serving over 500 thousand people on multiple platforms. The platform reaches 5 million to 10 milllion a week. UndocuMedia leverages online and on-the-ground grassroots organizers who help the community stay informed and fight for social justice. Undocumedia has become one of the nation’s largest online platforms of immigrant rights supporters and advocates. UndocuMedia is recognized across the nation as a trusted source for the latest news on immigration and other issues affecting immigrant communities.More recently, Ivan was awarded the Agent of Change award by Univision’s Young Latinos Awards.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces says, “As a DACA recipient himself, Ivan is an example of the tremendous talent and contributions that DACA recipients have to offer our society. He is an important voice in the movement, at a critical time, as we fight for passage of a Dream Act bill that does not bargain away the rights of others and as we push back against Trump’s white nationalist agenda.”

Vukmir campaign: Joel Kleefisch: I choose Leah


Contact: Jessica Ward, (414) 422-5712

Oconomowoc, Wis. — State Rep. Joel Kleefisch issued the following statement Thursday regarding his endorsement of Leah Vukmir for the U.S. Senate race against Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018:

“I’ve gotten to know Leah Vukmir while working with her in the state Capitol, and one thing’s for sure: You always know what you’re getting with Leah. Leah is a straight-shooter who doesn’t tell her constituents one thing and then fight for the opposite. She is a solid conservative who won’t cave and flip-flop under political pressure.

“She’s proven during Act 10 in the face of death threats that she has a spine of steel. She has fought to unshackle workers from paying union dues. She has fought for special-needs kids to get access to better schools. She has fought to protect the unborn and ensure that taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are being well spent. She has fought for your right to arm yourselves and protect your homes. Her record of wins is proof that we can count on her in the future.

“Now, Leah is running for the Senate to make a difference — not just to fill a seat or fulfill a childhood dream. She is still the same principled woman who jumped into politics because she was fed up with what she was seeing in her daughter’s classroom. (Let me tell you, some of the most driven people I know in politics are moms on a mission.) And because she’s running for the U.S. Senate for our children and grandchildren, she’ll stop at nothing to achieve success.

“The same can’t be said of our current senator, Tammy Baldwin. Sen. Baldwin has little-to-no accomplishments and isn’t fighting for us. Her inaction has caused Obamacare to implode, veterans to be mistreated in Tomah and our debt to reach more than $20 trillion. She spends most of her time looking out for liberal Washington elites, not those of us she is supposed to represent.

“We need a senator who is looking out for us, for Wisconsin. Leah won’t give up, and she won’t back down. That’s exactly the kind of person we need fighting for us in Washington, and that’s why I am proud to endorse Leah Vukmir in the race for U.S. Senate.”

Leah Vukmir is a nurse, military mom and conservative with a proven record of reform who is running to bring the Wisconsin Way to Washington. She currently serves as a state senator from Brookfield.

Wisconsin AFL-CIO: Supports efforts to stop wage theft in Wisconsin


Contact: Karen Hickey, 414-573-7579, [email protected]

(OCTOBER 26, 2017) — The hard-working men and women of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO seek to protect and raise the wages of all of those who work. Wage theft, which is the failure to pay workers the full wages that are legally owed to them, is of grave concern. The victims of wage theft are working people who are being cheated out of their earned wages.

Wisconsin AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale testified Thursday at the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform in support of Senate Bill 371, urging the Committee to vote in favor of the legislation and bring the bill to the full Senate floor for debate and a vote. Senate Bill 371, The Wage Theft Protection Act, is authored by Senator Bob Wirch (D-Kenosha).

“Every worker should be paid what they are owed,” testified Bloomingdale. “Wage theft is a crime and must be stopped. This bill will make it harder for employers to cheat workers out of hard-earned wages. Whether it’s shaving hours off the time card or misclassifying salaried employees; whether it is deliberate or negligent, wage theft must be eliminated. Workers should be paid for all wages earned, period. Requiring employers to educate workers about their wages and overtime rights is a commonsense

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: 30th Annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award applications now being accepted

For Further Information Contact:
Nick Novak608.258.3400
MADISON – Applications are now being accepted for the 30th Annual Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) Awards program. This prestigious program showcases one of Wisconsin’s top industries and recognizes the crucial contributions manufacturers make to our state.
Manufacturers of all sizes and from every corner of Wisconsin are encouraged to apply. In addition, anyone can nominate a manufacturer for the awards application process before Nov. 10, 2017.
Nominees will be divided into four categories determined by size. The deadline to submit all applications is Dec. 8, 2017.
The annual MOTY Awards program pays tribute to a dynamic manufacturing sector and the individual nominees who are devoted to demonstrating ethical business practices, innovative processes and productivity enhancements. These employers drive Wisconsin’s economy and they should be celebrated.
The MOTY Awards program is sponsored by the state’s manufacturers association and chamber of commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce; the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; and the accounting and advisory firm of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.
Winners will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony on Feb. 22, 2018, at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.
Applications and additional information can be found online at www.wimoty.com or by calling (800) 362-7301. In addition, follow the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards on Twitter and LinkedIn.

WisDems: Gov. Walker shows callous indifference to mounting dangers at Lincoln Hills


Contact: Melanie Conklin

Madison, Wisconsin – On Sundayfive workers at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys were sent to the hospital after “chaos” erupted, yet Gov. Walker continues to neglect his duty as governor of Wisconsin and his responsibility to the juvenile residents and his employees at the state facility.

Walker has refused to visit his troubled facility. He has declined to meet with the families of youth and workers injured there. And he has failed to personally address, evaluate or find real solutions to the mismanagement and violence he continues to allow on his watch — leaving it to media to call attention to the growing crisis.

Early this week, instead of immediately addressing the hospitalization of five state employees, Walker sought to grab the national spotlight by circulating a petition demanding NFL players stand for the national anthem. It took Walker two days to even comment on the Lincoln Hills injuries, and his callous response toward both the juveniles and the employees made it clear he sees the growing crisis at his facility as one of public relations, not serious danger to all involved.

When asked if he intends to visit the facility, Walker said he has no plans to do so. When asked what actions he is taking to address this current crisis, Walker passed the buck, saying he’s waiting to hear from his staff if anything needs to be done. (He sent a letter asking for a supervisory position that has been vacant for two months to be filled.)

“It’s disgraceful that Walker took two days to respond to this crisis, yet he found the time to launch a racially divisive ad campaign targeting NFL players,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Walker is showing no interest in visiting Lincoln Hills to see the dangerous situation he is permitting on his watch because he’s too busy campaigning.

“In fact, our governor is planning on leaving the country tomorrow, despite the volatile situation at Lincoln Hills and the presence of a ‘nuclear bomb’ in the Foxconn contract. Scott Walker needs to start caring about performing the demanding and vital duties of the governor of Wisconsin, rather than seeking out ways to promote himself as a candidate in the national spotlight. He must start putting Wisconsin first.”

The problems at Lincoln Hills have been accumulating for years on Walker’s watch, and the facility has been under FBI investigation since early 2016. Yet the Walker administration has been reluctant to respond to the myriad of horrifying incidents that he has allowed to fester at the juvenile corrections facility, including the amputation of a resident’s toes, the illegal holding a 16 year-old-child in solitary confinement, and multiple allegations of sexual assault.

“Walker should have gotten to work nearly two years ago when the FBI launched its investigation. His inaction is appalling in light of these escalating tensions. He may not have any sympathy for juvenile offenders, but at the end of the day, these kids are in state care and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They need an environment where they can heal, not continue to be traumatized.

“Wisconsin needs a governor that shows real leadership in times of crisis and who cares about keeping people in state care safe. Scott Walker has failed these tests, ducking his responsibility to protect the residents and workers at Lincoln Hills time and time again.”


WisDems: Senate Republicans attack the health of women across Wisconsin

Contact: Melanie Conklin, DPW communications director

Madison, Wisconsin — The Wisconsin Senate Health and Human Services Committee is voting today on SB 154/AB 206, a bill that would do even further damage to women’s health care in Wisconsin by worsening the already troubling shortage of OB-GYNs. In Wisconsin, a shocking 20 counties do not have an OB-GYN, according to the American Medical Society.

With this bill, Republicans have shown their dangerous willingness to damage not only women’s health, but also Wisconsin’s strong and proud tradition of higher education and a UW System that is a key economic engine and contributor to our state’s economy, job creation and world-class reputation.

“Republicans, in an effort to promote themselves, are willing to ignore that their actions will cause real-life harm to Wisconsin women who need health care, including prenatal care, annual preventative physicals, cancer screenings and other vital health care provided by OB-GYNs,” said Martha Laning, Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair. “Damaging women’s health, particularly in areas already underserved across our state, goes against our Wisconsin values.”

Republican opportunism surrounding this bill is embodied by the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, far-right state Sen. Leah Vukmir, who is using this extremist, anti-choice legislation to advance her political career and boost her national profile, even as it limits and weakens Wisconsin women’s access to reproductive health care.

Current law already prohibits the use of state and federal funds for abortions, but Republicans’ latest far-right proposal takes things an extreme step further, preventing University of Wisconsin System physicians from providing or assisting in abortion services — even at privately funded facilities and on their own time. Vukmir is a well-established anti-choice extremist who has previously backed a zero-exception abortion ban and even right-wing “personhood” measures that stand to ban common forms of birth control.

In practice, the dangerous legislation would “destroy” the UW School of Medicine’s ob-gyn program, according to UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, who predicts the bill could harm the medical school’s ability to provide “well-trained ob-gyns just when our state needs them the most to save the lives of women.”

Testifying earlier this summer on behalf of the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians, retired Dr. Calvin Bruce, summed up harm that will be done to Wisconsin women by AB 206 this way: “Our academy is neither pro-choice nor pro-life. We have members who have strongly held beliefs on both sides of that issue. We are strongly pro-patient. And we strongly oppose AB206 on workforce, medical and academic grounds.”


WisDems: Statement on Koch Brothers’ latest Tammy Baldwin smear


Contact: Brad Bainum, [email protected]

MADISON — Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson for the 2018 Senate race Brad Bainum issued the following statement on the latest out-of-state big money special interest ads funded by the Koch brothers attacking Senator Tammy Baldwin:

“The dishonest smear attacks continue as out-of-state special interests pour in millions of dollars to take down Tammy Baldwin and replace her with someone willing to sell out Wisconsin families. The truth is, Tammy supports tax cuts for Wisconsin working families, while far-right ideologue Leah Vukmir and Illinois megadonor puppet Kevin Nicholson want to raise taxes on hardworking Wisconsinites so they can gift huge tax cuts to the out-of-state billionaires funding these smear ads.”


In early October, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the “Stronger Way Act,” tax reform legislation that would “raise incomes for low- and middle-income families by expanding earned income tax credits and strengthening child tax credits. It would also boost transitional jobs programs.”

And just last week, Senator Baldwin introduced another tax reform proposal that would help small businesses in Wisconsin and across the country by “increas[ing] a tax deduction for business startups by fourfold.”

By contrast, right-wing State Senator Leah Vukmir and out-of-state billionaire puppet Kevin Nicholson have endorsed the GOP tax plan that sends 80% of tax cuts to the wealthiest 1% of Americans, while hiking taxes on working families.

WisDOT: One lane closed Friday on I-39/90 northbound, at mile marker 144, near Madison


Contact: Steven Theisen, WisDOT

One lane will be closed tomorrow (Oct. 27) on I-39/90 northbound over Siggelkow Road, at mile marker 144, near Madison in Dane County. The lane will be closed from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 27) as maintenance crews complete emergency pavement repairs in this area.

Backups and delays are expected in this area. Motorists are urged to plan ahead, use alternate routes and allow extra time to safely reach their destination. Travel information on Wisconsin highways can be found at www.511wi.gov.

WisGOP: Governor Walker’s bold reforms are saving Wisconsinites money


Contact: Alec Zimmerman
(608) 257-4765

[Madison, WI]—Governor Scott Walker is delivering big wins for Wisconsin taxpayers. By the end of 2018, Wisconsin will have cut taxes by more than $8 billion thanks to Walker’s bold reforms. Meanwhile, Democrats running for governor are all staking out extremely liberal positions that would undo these reforms, as they battle each other for their party’s nomination.

“Governor Walker has delivered big wins that put hard-working Wisconsin families first — cutting taxes by over $8 billion dollars by the end of 2018 and making a historic investment into our classrooms,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Democrats running for governor would undo the bold reforms of Governor Walker, empowering liberal special interests and offering nothing more than the same failed policy ideas of yesterday.”

Governor Walker is Delivering Big Wins for Wisconsin

–ALL of the Democrats running for governor would undo Act 10 — which has saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than $5 billion dollars.
–Governor Walker has made historic investments into our schools while cutting taxes by over $8 billion dollars by 2018, and leading the way for Wisconsin to become a top ten state for business for the first time in history.
–Property and income taxes will be lower in 2018 than they were in 2010.

October 27, 2017 | October 25, 2017
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