Daily Archives: January 10, 2018

Alliance for Justice: Brennan nomination flawed from the start


Contact: Laurie Kinney, [email protected]
(202) 464-7367/cell (571) 882-3615

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 9 – Alliance for Justice today released a comprehensive report on the record of Michael Brennan, President Trump’s nominee for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. AFJ President Nan Aron released the following statement:

“The White House’s nomination of Michael Brennan has been flawed from the very start, when it became clear that President Trump had picked him before Wisconsin’s judicial nominating commission had even started interviewing candidates for the post. When the commission did evaluate Brennan, it found him lacking, but he was nominated anyway. What matters most to this White House is that judicial nominees be party loyalists, and Brennan is a close crony of Governor Scott Walker. His record is that of a hard-right ideologue who has opposed civil rights and takes the dangerous view that conservative judges should not follow legal precedents they disagree with.”

Among other things, the AFJ report notes:

· In nominating Brennan, the White House ignored the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission, used by every Wisconsin senator since 1979. By his own admission, Brennan was apparently selected before the commission even began to interview candidates.

· After the commission considered his potential nomination, Brennan failed to meet commission standards, that a candidate receive the support of five out of six commissioners. Senator Ron Johnson himself insisted on this standard under President Obama and reaffirmed it under President Trump.

· Brennan’s nomination occurred without any meaningful consultation with one of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators, Tammy Baldwin: a blatant breach of courtesy and custom.

· In 2011, Brennan wrote an op-ed saying that it was appropriate for Ron Johnson to block the nomination of Victoria Nourse to the Seventh Circuit. If Tammy Baldwin does not return her blue slip on Michael Brennan’s nomination, by Michael Brennan’s own standard his nomination should not proceed.

· Brennan has been dismissive of the existence of sex discrimination, writing critically of the idea “that a certain group was denied an opportunity to advance by a ‘glass ceiling,'” adding, “[i]mplicit in that phrase is the notion that rules were rigged against some individual or group.”

· Brennan has been outspoken in praising a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the Violence Against Women Act, as well as another Supreme Court decision that people with disabilities can’t sue state governments for damages under the ADA. He criticized Wisconsin’s supreme court for ruling that certain caps on malpractice claims were unconstitutional.

· Brennan has written that conservative judges should only follow precedents they believe are “correct.” During his tenure as a judge in Milwaukee, Brennan in fact ignored precedents, facts, and basic legal principles in making several rulings.

· As the head of Governor Scott Walker’s advisory committee for selecting state judges, Brennan supported virulently anti-LGBTQ candidates for the state bench.

· Brennan has argued for an extremely expansive definition of executive power, and believes national security threats justify sweeping use of authority. He wrote: “The greater threat a war poses to domestic order … the greater deference exists to the executive’s suspension of civil liberties.”

· Brennan has questioned the Exclusionary Rule, which prevents evidence from being admitted in court if it was obtained in violation of a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Read the full report here: https://www.afj.org/our-work/nominees/michael-brennan

Attorney General Schimel: Appoints Anna J. Wildeman new Environmental Protection Unit Director


MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel named Assistant Attorney General Anna J. Wildeman the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) Director and Assistant Attorney General Bradley J. Motl the unit’s deputy director.

“I’m incredibly proud of EPU, which, last year, had the highest total case value in any year in the agency’s history,” said Attorney General Schimel. “AAGs Wildeman and Motl have been an integral part of the unit’s success in recent years and I am excited to have them lead this important unit.”

Prior to joining DOJ in 2016, Ms. Wildeman was a Committee Executive and Policy Counsel for Environment and Agriculture at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Before joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she was a partner at a large Midwest law firm and counseled clients on permitting and compliance issues, regulatory enforcement actions, managed environmental due diligence, and developed regulatory and legislative solutions.

Ms. Wildeman attended Northeastern University for undergraduate studies, and earned her Juris Doctor cum laude from Vermont Law School.

Mr. Motl has been an Assistant Attorney General in the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Environmental Protection Unit since May 2012. Prior to graduating cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mr. Motl earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in nuclear engineering and engineering physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wildeman replaces David P. Ross who was appointed by President Donald J. Trump as Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

DOJ is moving expeditiously to begin the recruitment to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Ross’ departure, and ensure the unit is fully staffed.

EPU enforces state environmental laws by prosecuting violations referred to the attorney general by environmental regulatory agencies or at the request of district attorneys. Most environmental violations are referred to DOJ by the Department of Natural Resources.

Barnes campaign: Announces run for Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor


CONTACT | Mandela Barnes

January 10, 2018 414-939-4736

[email protected]

MILWAUKEE – Today, former Wisconsin State Representative Mandela Barnes (D – Milwaukee) announced that he is running for Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor. He released the following statement regarding his announcement:

“I’m running for Lieutenant Governor because every Wisconsin family deserves the essentials of opportunity: education access, economic possibilities, and environmental protection.

In a time of peak disappointment marked by income inequality reaching its highest point since the great depression, nation-leading middle class decline, and bottom-of-the-list new business start-up growth, it’s time for new leadership.

“In order to right the wrongs of the Walker Administration, we must expand opportunity across the entire state. In my time as a state legislator, I was recognized as one of the nation’s top pro-growth progressive leaders. I have worked to make our communities safe, secure, and more vibrant places to live, so that our children and families have the best chance to sustain and succeed. Unfortunately, Governor Walker and his establishment legislature have stood in the way of true progress for Wisconsin families.

“I remain optimistic that transformational leadership with a vision will not only address our serious challenges, but also unlock our untapped potential. As Lieutenant Governor, I will work to ensure that access to quality and affordable healthcare is as common as the local pub. I will also work to ensure that every zip code has the ‘essentials of opportunity’ so that Wisconsin can regain its lost status as one of the best states in the country for people to live, work, and thrive.

“Over the next several months, I look forward to talking with families about their values and priorities as I work to earn their trust and support to become their Lieutenant Governor.”

As a community organizer, Mandela worked to address some of our most pressing issues, which compelled him to seek a seat in the Wisconsin State Legislature where championed issues of economic opportunity, safe communities, and public education. Mandela most recently worked as the Deputy Director of Strategic Engagement for The State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a national resource and strategy center that supports state legislators in advancing and defending progressive policies across the country.

Evers Campaign: Former Madison mayors endorse Tony Evers for governor


Former Madison Mayors Endorse Tony Evers for Governor

MADISON – Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Public Schools and Democratic candidate for Governor, is proud to announce the endorsement of Sue Bauman and Joel Skornicka, two former City of Madison mayors.  Evers has also already received the endorsement of former US Senator Herb Kohl, former Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, former Rep. Steve Kagen MD, and nearly a dozen current and former legislators.

“Now more than ever, we need effective leadership.  Wisconsinites are looking for a Governor that will actually get things done – not stage self-serving campaign stunts or pick unnecessary political battles.  Tony Evers has the heart, intelligence and commonsense approach to finally unify Wisconsin and there is no doubt in my mind he will lead us into more prosperous times,” Bauman said.

“For the last seven years, we’ve seen what executive mismanagement looks like.  Not only has Scott Walker failed to serve the majority of the people he was elected to represent, but in too many cases, put his own political ambition ahead of the job he was elected to do.  Tony Evers will always do what’s right – regardless of the political pressures and special interests,” Skornicka commented.

Sue Bauman served as Madison mayor from 1997-2003.  She is a former educator, MTI President and Madison alderwoman.  Skornicka, a lifelong Democrat, served as Madison mayor from 1979-1983.  He also worked as Assistant Chancellor at UW-Madison prior to becoming mayor.

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.  Originally from Plymouth, Evers is proud to be the father of three children and six grandchildren, raising his family in Baraboo, Tomah, Oakfield, Omro, Oshkosh and Verona.

Flynn Campaign: Scott Walker wastes Wisconsin tax dollars in giveaways to corporations


For Immediate Release
January 10, 2018
Contact: Bryan Kennedy – (414) 517-3864

Scott Walker Wastes Wisconsin Tax Dollars in Giveaways to Corporations

Matt Flynn outlines a better approach to private-sector investments

(Milwaukee) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn today attacked Governor Scott Walker for his giveaways to corporations at taxpayer expense.

“When he first ran in 2010, Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs in his first term. It’s nearly two terms later and we are still waiting,” said Flynn. “What he did instead was spend our tax dollars on corporate giveaways under the pretense of creating jobs. He cut taxes for the very rich, made non-transparent investments with our tax dollars, provided billions in subsidies to foreign and out-of-state corporations with no job requirements, and created the corrupt Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which is essentially a slush fund for his donors.”

“When we look at the results, we find a terrible return on investment for the taxpayers,” Flynn continued. “Taxpayers are spending at least $231,000 for each new job at Foxconn, and perhaps as much as $1.3 million per job. The rosiest forecast is it will take more than 25 years for the state to break even on the deal. I don’t believe we will ever break even on this deal.”

Flynn also noted how Walker sides with the demands of big business over workers, the environment, and public health concerns. He has driven down wages for the many while enriching the few.

“Walker only represents his donors and out-of-state corporations,” said Flynn. “His job for them is to vacuum cash out of our public assets and into their pockets.”

Flynn outlined his own standards for working with the private sector:

  • Our goal should be increasing personal income for every Wisconsinite.
  • State investment opportunities should be ranked by their potential impact on increasing income and good jobs.
  • State investments should be transparent, measurable, and in line with our economic strategies, as should the cost-benefit analyses of our investments.
  • Wisconsin’s government should not arbitrarily pick winners and losers but rather invest according to strategic priorities. The state should not selectively exempt some corporations from our laws.

“Leading growth states have demonstrated that it is better to support public assets such as education, infrastructure, and clean water than to give money to wealthy individuals and corporations with the hope it will trickle down,” said Flynn. “Most Wisconsinites understand this. It’s time to elect a governor who understands it, too.”

Gov. Walker: Announces over $118 million in payments to local governments

January 10, 2018
Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
Governor Walker Announces Over $118 Million in
Payments to Local Governments
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today that local governments received quarterly payments this week totaling $118,205,118 for General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Expressway Policing Aids from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). In 2018, local governments will receive $40 million more than last year in General Transportation Aids.January payments to Wisconsin’s 1,925 local units of government include: $114,933,268 in General Transportation Aids; $3,015,875 to 117 municipalities entitled to receive Connecting Highway Aids; and $255,975 to Milwaukee County for Expressway Policing Aids.

General Transportation Aids help defray the costs of constructing, maintaining, and operating roads and streets under local jurisdiction. Connecting Highway Aids reimburse municipalities for maintenance and traffic control of certain state highways within municipalities.

For calendar year 2018, local governments will use an estimated $473 million from the state transportation fund to build and maintain local roads and bridges, which includes Expressway Policing Aids to the Milwaukee County Sheriff Department for patrol of Milwaukee expressways. Quarterly payments for cities, towns and villages are sent the first Monday in January, April, July and October. County payments are made in three installments, with 25 percent of the total annual payment on the first Monday in January; 50 percent on the first Monday in July; and 25 percent on the first Monday in October.

Communities also receive state transportation fund revenues for public transit, elderly and disabled transportation, and airport and harbor development. Local communities may also receive state and federal funds for specific highway and bridge construction projects.

List of local payments: http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/doing-bus/local-gov/astnce-pgms/highway/gta.aspx.

Gov. Walker: Announces over $8 million in harbor grants

January 10, 2018
Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
Governor Walker Announces Over $8 Million in Harbor Grants
Funds cover construction and dredging projects for
safety and economic development

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today grants totaling $8,092,555 for five harbor maintenance and improvement projects in Wisconsin. Improvements will promote waterborne freight and assist economic development in the communities where they’re located.Grantees include:

  • City of Superior (Douglas County) – $1.7 million to install new sheet piling at the Cenex Harvest States, Inc. facility in Superior to maintain a safe berth and extend the life of the grain elevator.
  • City of Washburn (Bayfield County) – $1,299,480 to reconstruct the northerly wall of the City Dock to preserve the only commercial deep draft harbor in the region. The City Dock is three blocks from the City’s central business district and serves as one of the last working bulk cargo docks in the Chequamegon Bay. Businesses in the Town of La Pointe on Madeline Island and others in the surrounding community rely on the City Dock.
  • SS Badger (Manitowoc County) – $1,016,500 to make permanent repairs to the damaged, failed steel pile bulkhead and fender system damaged during the 2015-2016 winter. The S.S. Badger was awarded emergency HAP funds in 2016 to make repairs to the bulkhead and keep the car ferry operational.
  • Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (Door County) – $3,623,600 to improve the dock wall construction and dredge the sediment to increase the production capacity of the shipyard and enhance operational efficiency. This grant, combined with other additional funding, will enable the shipyard to undertake more ship building and repair/outfitting projects.
  • KK Integrated Logistics (Brown County) – $452,975 to complete repairs to the dock wall enabling vessels to moor along the dock wall to load and unload shipments. Currently vessels are directed to other docks and ports, without the warehousing capacity nearby.

The Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance Program was created in 1979 to help harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. All applications for this program are reviewed by the Harbor Advisory Council, which includes members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UW Sea Grant, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.

Through 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has administered more than $138 million in matching funds for 107 port preservation and improvement projects along the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

Applications are accepted from public or private harbor facilities for projects that benefit facilities used for cargo transfer, ship building, commercial fishing, vessel cruises or ferry service. All projects must have a transportation efficiency benefit-cost ratio greater than one over a 25-year project life and be identified in a current three-year harbor development plan. Selection criteria include economic impact, urgency and project type. Those interested in the next round of Harbor Assistance Project grants should note that the deadline for the next cycle is August 1, 2018.

For more information about Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance program or to review past grant awards, visit:http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/doing-bus/local-gov/astnce-pgms/aid/harbor.aspx.

Gronik Campaign: Andy Gronik launches microsite: WisconsinIsInJeopardy.com 


January 10, 2018
Contact: Brandon Weathersby, 414.553.6257[email protected]

Andy Gronik Launches Microsite: WisconsinIsInJeopardy.com 

MILWAUKEE –Today, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik released a brand new micrositewww.wisconsinisinjeopardy.com exposing Gov. Scott Walker’s seven years of failure, incompetence, and corruption as Wisconsin’s top executive.

“Gov. Scott Walker knows I’m the Democrat who will beat him in November, that’s why he and the Wisconsin Republican Party attacked me before I became a candidate; attacked me statewide immediately upon declaring myself a candidate; and continues to attack me today with ridiculous accusations.  If Gov. Walker thinks spreading falsehoods about my friends and me will distract from his long list of failures he should think again.” said gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik. “I’ll put my 35 years of business success helping struggling companies worldwide grow and create good-paying, family-sustaining jobs up against Gov. Walker’s two and a half decade long political career of saying one thing and doing another.”
You can view the website here.
“Gov. Walker’s policies have failed, and the people of Wisconsin have had to live with the consequences. Seven years after Walker took office our economy is stagnant – so stagnant Walker’s willing to give billions to a foreign corporation to create the appearance of competency.  Seven years after taking office our public schools have been starved of resources and our teachers humiliated – so starved and so humiliated that Walker’s now willing to try to buy his way back into public favor.  His us or them politics and willingness to sell off pieces of our state to his highest political contributors have put Wisconsin in jeopardy.  We simply cannot afford another four years of Walker as Governor. My plans create good jobs in science, technology, manufacturing, and agriculture and spur more new business starts and more small, medium and large business growth by rewarding success. My plans leverage the best ideas no matter where they come from and make life in our state better for everyone. Change is necessary and good.  I’m the change candidate who will make good things happen for all of the people of Wisconsin,” concluded Gronik.

Mayor Soglin: Announces run for Governor of Wisconsin



Melissa Mulliken


Statement by Mayor Paul R. Soglin:

Today, I am announcing I am a candidate for Governor of Wisconsin.

Our great country and the State of Wisconsin were founded on the principle that our governments would provide for the general welfare – our health and safety through a fair system of taxation. On the façade of the US Supreme Court are carved the words, “equal justice under law.” Today we have a President and a Governor who do not believe in those principles. They do not cherish our heritage and, in fact, they violate and undermine it every day.

Donald Trump just orchestrated the biggest tax fraud in our country’s history: mammoth tax cuts for the richest and most powerful people that are designed to go on forever. For everyday ordinary Wisconsinites there were modest tax cuts – or none at all – and the crumbs will disappear in less than a decade when our taxes will go back up. We deserve better.

In the meantime our Governor – Scott Walker — did not stand up and fight for us but cheered on the new tax burden: the top one percent will pay less for national defense, education, roads, health, and environmental protections, while the rest of us will pay more. That’s not fair.

Scott Walker’s complicity was to be expected. Scott Walker has done the same here in Wisconsin. Our public schools are undermined, our roads deteriorate. The rich get richer in a fixed system that rewards cronyism rather than hard work. And, while the rest of the world understands that communication – high speed internet – is the key to economic development – our state lags behind.

The Trump administration has demonized immigrants, enacted horrible immigration policies, undermined women’s and LGBT rights. Scott Walker has proposed massive cuts to health care for Wisconsin’s most vulnerable children, pushed Voter ID laws that disproportionately disenfranchise people of color, and ended equal pay protections.

We must do better. We need to create, enact, and support policies that are designed to improve the lives of every single Wisconsinite. We need to recognize that poverty, in and of itself, weakens all our communities and must be eradicated. Regardless of race, gender, career, I hear you and I will be your voice calling us to work together to get it done.

We can do better. Almost $4 billion for Foxconn with no expected payback to hard working Wisconsinites for at least 25 years – and perhaps never.

We need results.

Imagine what we could do with the $4 billion:

Great public schools to anchor thriving communities around the State.
A transportation system assuring a safe trip to the grocery store, to work, to the football game for families, for workers, for students, for retirees.
A university system that once again provides leadership for Wisconsin agriculture and manufacturing.
Investment in small businesses that create a real economy all over the state – not for just for commuters coming in from Illinois.

Much is to be gained by providing better health care at a lower cost to Wisconsinites struggling to fight cancer, heart disease, and behavioral health issues. Whether it is healthcare, transportation or education, we need to invest in our people to build a stronger, healthier economy.

This is a great state – a little chilly at times — but hard working and industrious.

We need a leader who can grow the tax base faster than the budget – something I know how to do. We need effective leadership, we need efficiency. And, above all, we need fairness. That is why I am running for Governor and why I ask for the support of Wisconsinites all around this great State.

Milwaukee Alderman Zielinski: Council committee passes city field worker safety measure


Ald. Tony Zielinski

(414) 405-1483

The Common Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee today voted to recommend approval of an ordinance establishing a new policy requiring all city employees who work at sites other than municipal buildings to carry city-issued cell phones while engaged in city work.

Alderman Tony Zielinski, primary sponsor of the legislation, said the safety measure would for the first time require city-issued cell phones for city workers who are working in the field. “It is vital for the city to be proactive in protecting city workers while they’re out working in the field, whether they feel endangered or need to report an emergency,” he said.

“We need to do everything possible to help prevent the type of tragedy we experienced last year,” Alderman Zielinski said, referring to the death of city inspector Greg “Ziggy” Zyszkiewicz who was shot and killed in March 2017 while working on the city’s north side.

The city worker cell phone requirement file – co-sponsored by Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II – will be taken up by the full Common Council when it meets at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17 in the third floor Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.

Murphy campaign: Friends of Judge Murphy sets record for level of community support


Contact: Michael McHorney – [email protected]

Friends of Judge Murphy will report raising over $40,000 in contributions on its January 2018 Campaign Finance Report. The figure, which only includes activity from October through December, is the most amount of money ever raised in support of an Eau Claire County Circuit Court candidate.

Michael McHorney, Treasurer of Friends of Judge Murphy, said, “The significant support of time, talent, and treasure Judge Murphy has amassed in less than 10 weeks is nothing short of incredible. While we have not yet reached our final goal, with nearly 150 individual financial contributors and over $40,000 in total contributions, we are well on the way to having the resources necessary to communicate Judge Murphy’s positive vision for a more efficient and responsive judiciary to the voters of Eau Claire County.”

In compliance with judicial ethics, the Friends of Judge Murphy campaign is committed to running a campaign free of political party influences. Judge Murphy believes the judiciary must be a venue where the rule of law governs, regardless of political affiliation. Accordingly, the Friends of Judge Murphy campaign will not use Democratic or Republican party office space or resources to further its campaign.

In response to the fundraising report, Judge Murphy stated, “Eau Claire is going through a generational revitalization and I work each day to keep Eau Claire safe and prosperous. I am honored to have the support of so many friends and community members who believe in my ability to have a positive impact on our community. ”

Prior to serving our community as Branch 5 judge, Judge Murphy was in private practice and is a graduate of Eau Claire Regis High School, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and he received his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. Judge Murphy resides in Eau Claire with his wife and two children.

Reach Out Wisconsin Forum 🗓


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 10, 2018
Media Contact: Michael Cummins, 360-991-6919[email protected]

Reach Out Wisconsin Forum will feature Chairs of Republican and Democratic Parties of Dane County

As the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration approaches, Reach Out Wisconsin will hold a forum on his first year in office. A pair of esteemed speakers will present opposing views and take audience questions on this controversial administration:

Michael Basford, Chair, Democratic Party of Dane County
Scott Grabins, Chair, Republican Party of Dane County

When: Thursday, January 18, 7 – 8:30PM

VFW Day Post 7591
301 Cottage Grove Road
Madison, WI 53716

We encourage audience members to stick around after the main program concludes at 8:30, to participate in an interactive discussion.

Reach Out Wisconsin forums are free and open to the public.

Here is the Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/160143151426356/


Reach Out Wisconsin’s mission is to foster respect and understanding in Wisconsin politics. To that end, we have held periodic forums since August 2011. We invite speakers and attendees from all points of the political spectrum, in hopes that they will get to know each other better.

“The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject, is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion.” – John Stuart Mill

Attachments area

RENEW Wisconsin: Jim Boullion named RENEW Wisconsin’s Director of Government Affairs



Jim Boullion
[email protected]
(608) 255-4044 x4
(608-695-7004 (mobile)

Tyler Huebner
[email protected]
(608) 255-4044 x1


MADISON – Renew Wisconsin’s Executive Director Tyler Huebner has named Jim Boullion as Director of Government Affairs to lead the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts in Madison.

“Jim brings us years of experience in Wisconsin politics and a broad network of relationships with utilities, business, labor and other politically active organizations that are critically important in our efforts to advance renewable energy in Wisconsin.” Huebner said.

In his new role, Boullion will be working on state and federal issues to increase the utilization of Wisconsin generated renewable energy that will power a strong, healthy and vibrant Wisconsin through lower energy costs, increased energy security and stable, good paying jobs.

“I joined RENEW because of its leadership role in the exciting changes that are happening in the renewable sectors of the energy industry. Renewable energy technology and pricing has reached a tipping point where it is becoming a mainstream and critical component of our energy mix, now and in the future.” commented Boullion.

Jim is a life-long resident of Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He has served as Director of Government Affairs for various trade associations in Wisconsin over the past 25 years, including 16 years with the Associated General Contractors. He is a Past President of the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists, worked in the Wisconsin State Assembly for 9 years and served in Governor Walker’s administration as Administrator of the Division of Policy Development in the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing renewable energy in Wisconsin. We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is available on RENEW’s website: www.renewwisconsin.org.

Rep Nygren: Statement of support for Vukmir campaign


John Nygren: I Choose Leah

Next year, Wisconsin voters have an important choice to make. Are they going to stick with a senator whose sole motive is to retain her seat in the U.S. Senate? Or are they going to stand up and demand a genuine voice in Washington for our children and grandchildren? I know the choice I’m making.

I have the pleasure of serving with Leah Vukmir in the state Legislature. She is a problem solver, and when she makes a policy decision she wants to know that it is truly in the best interest of Wisconsinites across the entire state.

Leah’s steady conservative voice has helped Governor Walker and me every step of the way as we’ve turned our state around. From expanding opportunities for education to eliminating the state property tax to making Wisconsin open for business, she’s been there, proving we can trust her.

But the ultimate reason I’m choosing Leah to be our voice in Washington is because of her compassion and dedication in dealing with the addiction crisis our state faces.

As a nurse who knows the massive responsibility that comes with prescribing painkillers, Leah serves on the Governor’s Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse with me. With her chairmanship on the Senate Health Committee, she has helped me make our state an example others look to as we expand access to life-saving drugs like Narcan and focus on best practices for treating addiction. She has a proven record of helping our most vulnerable citizens who struggle day in and day out with the challenges that come with drug abuse.

Leah would not sweep the tragic over-prescribing of opioids at Wisconsin’s Tomah VA hospital under the rug like Tammy Baldwin did. Tammy’s current efforts to help our families who are dealing with addiction are sadly motivated as an attempt to make up for her lack of action. It’s too late. But that’s not the case with Leah. As a mother of a U.S. Army officer, Leah knows how important it is that our veterans have the best care. She will not tolerate this kind of misconduct from our government.

We are far from eradicating the heroin and opioid epidemic in Wisconsin, but Leah has demonstrated that she has the drive and compassion to do all she can to remove this scourge from our communities.

As we look to 2018, I would encourage you to stand with me and support Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate. She has proven time and time again that we can trust her to listen to us, lead on issues that matter to us, and vote for us.

John Nygren

State Representative – Marinette

Rep. Barca: Statement on Assembly Bill 811


MADISON – The Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy will hold a public hearing today on Assembly Bill 811, legislation largely intended to fund out-of-state marketing campaigns to attract additional workers to Wisconsin.

In response, Representative Peter Barca (Kenosha/Racine) issued the following statement:

“Today the Jobs and the Economy Committee will consider a proposal to provide nearly $7 million in state funds primarily directed at marketing and other activities to attract additional workers to our state. While I do not necessarily oppose this type of initiative, I am concerned the legislature is putting its priority in the wrong place and will pass this bill, but fail to address the state’s more pressing obligations. Our first priority should be to ensure Wisconsin citizens, who have been underemployed and unemployed, are provided targeted training and transportation to obtain a family supporting job.

This $7 million investment should first go towards providing training to Wisconsinites so they themselves can fill open positions. It should first go towards investment in transportation systems so that the people of our state can get to the jobs available. It should first go towards programs for Wisconsin veterans to so they can successfully transition from service to employment.

If the state had made the needed investments in these areas most critical to the success of our economy, then a marketing campaign to recruit additional workers from outside of Wisconsin could have merit. However, that is not the case. We must always prioritize outcomes for the people of Wisconsin and make investments in the issues that matter most.”

Rep. Felzkowski and Sen. Marklein: Rep. Felzkowski and Sen. Marklein: Seek TV White Space Technology for Wisconsin



Rep. Mary Felzkowski (Czaja) 608-266-7694

Sen. Howard Marklein 608-266-0703

Madison, WI – State Representative Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) and State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), along with several other Republicans, unveiled a Joint Resolution Wednesday morning that focuses on TV White Space technology and how it may help connect Wisconsinites, especially those in rural areas, to affordable and reliable broadband.

Experts at Microsoft has stated that through its development, TV White Space technology has reached the capability to deliver high speed internet that operates four times faster and reaches sixteen time farther than current Wi-Fi. This technology uses frequency that allows for it to move through objects like hills and foliage. It is currently estimated that TV White Space may be able to reach 80% of the rural population not currently receiving any broadband access.

“We hear from constituents every week asking us when broadband will finally reach their doors,” Felzkowski said. “It is often a frustrating process for them and for us because we cannot always do something to help. With this joint resolution, we continue to prioritize broadband connectivity by pursuing yet another option that may have the ability to deliver internet faster and further than current technology allows.”

“Broadband expansion in rural southwest Wisconsin is one of my top priorities,” Sen. Marklein said. “I am encouraged by the potential of this technology and I want to do everything I can to remove obstacles for possible solutions. When we passed the state budget, we fine-tuned the grant program so that new technology would be eligible for state support. The white space opportunity demonstrates exactly why we must be nimble and willing to try new technology to meet the needs of rural families.”

Last fall, several elected officials, including Rep. Felzkowski, wrote letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling on them to do everything in their power to make TV White Space a reality so that those in the most need can have the tools they need to succeed. The FCC would need to create regulatory certainty to stabilize the market for equipment development and manufacturing.

The joint resolution co-sponsorship is being circulated today. It is expected to be discussed within both houses this spring.

Rep. Taylor: Gov. Walker’s love/hate relationship with Madison


For Immediate Release                                                                             For More Information, Contact:

January 10, 2018                                                       Rep. Chris Taylor, 608-266-5342

Governor Walker’s Love/Hate Relationship with Madison

MADISON – Today, Governor Scott Walker attacked Madison on Twitter labeling it as a place “where businesses have left and murders have gone up.” At the same time, the Walker Administration is touting Madison for being ranked as the best place to live and highlighting the city’s “opportunities to enrich the world and our own lives” in WEDC’s $1 million ad campaign encouraging Chicago millennials to move to Wisconsin.

“We’re spending $1 million on ads telling Chicago residents what a great place Madison is to live, while at the same time, Governor Walker is taking to Twitter to attack it,” said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “The Governor can’t have it both ways. The fact of the matter is, Madison and Dane County are economic drivers for our state. You would think that a Governor who has failed to jumpstart Wisconsin’s economy or raise stagnate wages would be bragging about the thriving Dane County region. Why such hostility towards a proven economic driver of our state’s economy?”

Between pre-recession 2007 and after-recession 2015, nearly 75 percent of the almost 45,000 jobs added to the Wisconsin economy came from Dane County. In addition, from 2010 to 2014, the number of jobs in Dane County increased by 9.7 percent — more than double the rate for the rest of Wisconsin.

“It is important to recognize that jobs follow people. People increasingly want to live where there are good schools, strong transportation infrastructure and public amenities such as attractive parks. After learning last week Wisconsin is a top 10 state for people moving away, it’s time for the Governor to stop playing election year politics, and start acting in the best interest of our state.”

Office of Representative Chris Taylor

PO Box 8953

Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-5342



Sen. Darling: Darling bill to restore historic tax credit has public hearing

January 10, 2018
For Immediate Release
Senator Alberta Darling
Darling Bill To Restore Historic Tax Credit Has Public Hearing
(Madison) – The Historic Tax Credit is revitalizing many of Wisconsin’s communities.  However, funding for the credit was capped by a budget veto.
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues held a public hearing on a bipartisan bill authored by State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) to restore the state’s successful Historic Tax Credit. Senator Darling says the credit is crucial in reviving Main Streets in the state.
“Many downtowns throughout Wisconsin owe their revitalization to the Historic Tax Credit,” Darling said, “It’s a low risk – high return program because the state doesn’t pay until the project is complete.  Instead of being an eyesore, these rehabilitated historic buildings are getting new life and are popular destinations.”
In 2014, 60% of all projects using the tax credit were vacant for more than 20 years.  A recent study by Baker Tilly shows over a 10-year period the Historic Tax Credit returned $8 to the state for every $1 invested.  The study also showed that between 2014 and 2016 the tax credit generated more than $600 million in economic output.  Darling says restoring the credit will continue the great downtown revitalizations throughout our state.
“Without the credit, many abandoned historic buildings will stay that way and not add to their communities,” Darling said, “Across the country, many Main Streets are dying.  But in here in Wisconsin, they are tourist destinations.  The Historic Tax Credit cap is a key reason why development in some communities are on hold.”
Currently, projects in Thiensville, Oshkosh, Cedarburg, Fond du Lac, La Crosse, and Madison are in limbo because of the cap.  This legislation will provide the certainty needed for these projects to continue and for more buildings to be saved from the wrecking ball.
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.

Sen. Larsen, Rep. Brostoff: Preserving Net Neutrality



Date: January 10, 2018

Contact: Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, (608) 266-0650

              Sen. Chris Larson, (608) 266-7505

Preserving Net Neutrality

MADISON – State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and State Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) circulated legislation today that would keep the protections from net neutrality here in Wisconsin.

In December, the Federal Communications Commission repealed the federal net neutrality rules that required all Internet service be provided equally without prejudice. Senator Larson and Representative Brostoff circulated legislation that would preserve the protections afforded by net neutrality in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin must take steps to protect our citizens against price gouging, severely narrowed access to information, and market manipulation,” said Brostoff. “Net Neutrality is one of the key issues of our generation, and it’s up to us to do everything we can to protect it.”

Net neutrality prohibited Internet service providers from charging their customers different rates based on who they were, what websites they visited, the browsing platform they used, and more. It also prevented Internet providers from blocking legal websites or charging targeted websites if they wanted expedient content delivery to their consumers.

“The internet is the modern town square. With so much of our lives conducted online, Wisconsinites deserve the freedom to see the content of their choice without internet service providers purposefully holding content back by slowing it down or blocking it,” said Larson. “Our state must take a strong stance against providers picking winners and losers.”

The bill circulated by Larson and Brostoff would prohibit Internet service providers from unnecessarily blocking content, slowing service, or otherwise unreasonably disadvantaging Wisconsin consumers.

Sen. Shilling: Ads don’t reflect Governor’s priorities


Contact: Kate Constalie, [email protected], 608-266-5490

MADISON, WI – A proposal pushed by Governor Walker to spend an additional $6.8 million on an advertising campaign received a public hearing in the Assembly today. The advertising campaign aims to lure millennials to move back to the state despite Wisconsin having the 4th worst roads in the nation and dropping as a leader in conservation.

“It is ridiculous Gov. Walker and Republicans aren’t looking at their own policies that have driven away young adults and contributed to our state’s brain drain crisis,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Millennials are increasingly choosing to live in states that invest in public transit, promote workplace flexibility and support student loan debt relief.”

The American Public Transportation Association found that 61% of millennials want more reliable public transit options and a recent report revealed that Wisconsin has dropped as a leader in conservation under Republican control.

“As a mom, I want my boys to have the same opportunities and desire that I had to stay in Wisconsin,” Shilling said. “The money used for this advertising campaign doesn’t fix the underlying problems that are driving people away. We need to make Wisconsin a place where the next generation wants to live, work, and raise a family. Without that, we won’t retain and attract the workers we need.”

With 55% of moves being out of state, Wisconsin was recently ranked tenth in the nation as most moved out of state.

Sen. Tiffany, Reps. Edming, Anderson: Bi-partisan Employment First Bill receives public hearing


or Immediate Release
January 10, 2018

Contact:  Rep. James Edming         (608) 266-7506
Rep. Jimmy Anderson     (608) 266-8570
Sen. Tom Tiffany             (608) 266-2509

Bi-Partisan Employment First Bill Receives Public Hearing
Bill will promote state agency collaboration to enhance competitive integrated employment and workplace choice for people all across Wisconsin. 

MADISON, Wis. – The bi-partisan Employment First legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 625/Senate Bill (SB) 514, authored by Representatives James Edming (R-Glen Flora) and Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg) and Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) received a public hearing in both houses of the legislature today.  This legislation promotes competitive integrated employment for persons with disabilities, while braiding financial resources and maximizing administrative capacity of state agencies to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities across Wisconsin.

“Inclusive workplaces require facilities that accommodate the needs and skills of everyone.” said Rep. Anderson. “Supporting community integrated employment and workplace choice is vital for our workforce and will lead to a more productive and inclusive business environment.”

Several state agencies have responsibilities to fund services to help youth and adults with disabilities find employment.  However, there are times where these services are fragmented or duplicated. This legislation requires state agencies with responsibilities in this area to collaborate and develop a joint plan to assist people with disabilities in finding employment in the community.

“I am proud to be a co-author of this important legislation,” said Rep. Edming.  “With the passage of this proposal, Wisconsin will lead the nation in promoting policies that assist people with disabilities in finding employment in the community.”

Wisconsin has outpaced the nation annually in its efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities into our workforce. Despite our best efforts, only 41% of all working-age Wisconsinites with disabilities are employed.

“I believe that we can do better,” said Sen. Tiffany. “By braiding resources and collaborating on the goal to improve rates of integrated employment, our agencies will be best equipped to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities wishing to enter the workforce.”

AB 625 and SB 514 now await further action of the legislative committees.

Sen. Vinehout: Statement regarding Public Hearing on SB 634


January 10, 2018

Senator Vinehout’s Statement Regarding Public Hearing on SB 634

MADISON, WI – Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) offered the following statement regarding the public hearing on SB 634 that takes away local powers related to employment.

“Wisconsin is begging for workers to come here and stay. We should not let political ideology dictate the discussion for solving Wisconsin’s worker shortage. Eliminating workers’ rights is exactly what got us into this mess, why would we do it again?

“If you want workers to stay, you need to treat them well. Local elected leaders know this. Now some lawmakers want to penalize local elected leaders for treating their workers well. This makes no sense on so many levels.”

Sens. Ringhand, Wirch: Legislation would eliminate local discrimination and sexual harassment laws


For Immediate Release           

January 10, 2018                                                                                                          Contact:

Sen. Janis Ringhand       608-266-2253

                                                                                                                               Sen. Robert Wirch   608-267-8979


Legislation Would Eliminate Local Discrimination and

Sexual Harassment Laws

 Today, the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform heard public testimony on Senate Bill 634, a controversial bill that would preempt local governments from exercising their constitutional rights under Wisconsin’s Constitution, which allows them to set their own ordinances regarding employment discrimination and other workforce conditions within their municipality.

“This bill is another example of Republican legislator’s telling local governments what they can and can’t do. Most communities do not have any of the regulations this bill seeks to ban on their books with the exception of a few who have ordinances regarding workforce discrimination, like sexual harassment,” said Senator Wirch.

Senate Bill 634 would explicitly deny victims of workplace discrimination from suing under local ordinances, such as those in Milwaukee and Madison.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see this bill coming forward at a time when women from every walk of life are coming forward to share their sexual harassment and assault stories with the world and joining the #MeToo movement.  We need to be expanding avenues for victims of sexual harassment and assault to get justice, and not making it harder,” concluded Senator Ringhand.

Soglin formally launches Dem guv bid


Madison Mayor Paul Soglin formally kicked off his campaign for guv today, charging President Trump and Gov. Scott Walker do not believe in the principles of government providing citizen health and safety “through a fair system of taxation” and equal justice under the law.

Instead, the longtime mayor accused Trump of orchestrating the biggest tax fraud in U.S. history with the GOP plan that cleared Congress late last month. He said it creates mammoth tax cuts for the rich and powerful that go on forever, while ordinary Wisconsinites get “crumbs” that will disappear in a decade.

Meanwhile, he said Walker has created a system in Wisconsin that “rewards cronyism rather than hard work” as public schools are undermined and roads deteriorate. Soglin also accused the guv of proposing cuts to health care for Wisconsin children, pushing voter ID laws that overwhelmingly disenfranchise people of color and ending equal pay protections.

“We must do better,” Soglin said. “We need to create, enact, and support policies that are designed to improve the lives of every single Wisconsinite.”

Soglin is the latest entrant to a crowded Dem guv primary field. It includes 19 people who have registered to run under the party’s banner, but perhaps half of those will mount serious bids.

Soglin, 72, has been considering a bid since at least June, when he told WisPolitics.com at the Democratic Party’s state convention that he was looking at getting into the race. He was first elected mayor in 1973 and has held the office off and on since for a total of two decades.

He is kicking off his bid by traveling the state over the next week for stops with voters and media outlets.

With talk of Soglin getting into the race heating up last week, Walker knocked the mayor on Twitter for giving Cuban dictator Fidel Castro a key to the city.

“Look how far Democrats have drifted to the left when one of their leading candidates for Governor in Wisconsin is a mayor who gave brutal Communist dictator Fidel Castro the keys to the city!” Walker wrote.

Speaker Ryan: Steering Committee recommends Rep. Steve Womack for Budget Chairman


AshLee Strong, Doug Andres

WASHINGTON—The House Republican Steering Committee has recommended that Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) be named chairman of the House Budget Committee, to succeed Rep. Diane Black (R-TN). House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement:

“I believe Steve Womack is the right man for the job of chairman of the Budget Committee. Steve’s experience in the House, commitment to fiscal conservatism, and relentless pursuit to safeguard taxpayer dollars make him extremely qualified to lead this important committee. I am looking forward to Steve’s service, and I know he will do an excellent job.

“I also want to thank Diane Black for her incredible years of service. Without her leadership in getting the budget passed last year, tax reform would not have been possible.”

NOTE: This recommendation will be presented to the full House Republican Conference and will be considered on the floor for official ratification.

Speaker Ryan: To address 45th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.


AshLee Strong, Doug Andres

WASHINGTON—Today, the March for Life announced that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will address the 45th annual March for Life, the world’s largest annual pro-life demonstration, in Washington, D.C. on January 19, 2018.

“It is an honor to have Speaker of the House Paul Ryan address the 45th annual March for Life. Speaker Ryan has been an unwavering champion for the pro-life cause since taking office, and continues to utilize his post to promote the inherent dignity of the human person at all stages of life,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life. “We are grateful for the significant strides Congress made in the last year to protect and defend the most innocent among us, and are confident that 2018 will see even more pro-life progress with Speaker Ryan leading the charge.”

Speaker Ryan Addresses 45th Annual March for Life
Friday, January 19, during the March for Life Rally (timing TBA)
12th St. on the National Mall, between Madison and Jefferson Drives NW

WATCH LIVE: Watch Speaker Ryan’s remarks live on speaker.gov/live.

MEDIA: All media should RSVP and/or direct any questions to Kate Bryan at [email protected] For more information, visit http://marchforlife.org/.

BACKGROUND: Over one-hundred thousand Americans are set to travel from across the country to our nation’s capital for this year’s March for Life, a demonstration that seeks to stand against the greatest human rights violation of our time: abortion-on-demand. The theme of this year’s March for Life is “Love Saves Lives”, embodying the true spirit and mission of the pro-life movement by enlisting the power of love to empower others to choose life.

State of the State address 🗓


Assembly Chamber,
State Capitol.

The Wisconsin Forum: Welcomes Bruno Behrend to Milwaukee

For Immediate Release:  January 10, 2018
For more information, contact Vicky Ostry (262) 439-9223
Email: [email protected]

The Wisconsin Forum Welcomes Bruno Behrend
to Milwaukee Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Tradition of Excellence Continues

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Forum invites the public to hear Bruno Behrend on Thursday, January 18, 2018The title of Behrend’s presentation: “Is America A “Public School Country?” Will School Choice Save Public Education Or Destroy It?”

Bruno Behrend. J.D., is the Founder of American Transparency, a non-profit organization dedicated to putting all local, state, and federal spending in one database, ready for or instant retrieval. Bruno Behrend is also a senior fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank.

One year into a new administration, the stalemate on education reform has continued and education choice legislation still moves very slowly. What is the best, next step forward for transforming education in America? Do we want to tweak what we already have, or do we want to aggressively change the paradigm of what an “education system” really is?

In this provocative presentation, Behrend will discuss the impact of the presidential election and other recent changes, including bills, court cases, and other developments in education policy. These changes will be analyzed inside a framework of a potentially radical new way of looking at education.

Behrend is a coauthor, with Heartland Institute’s CEO Joseph Bast and Policy Advisor Ben Boychuk, of “The Parent Trigger: A Model for Transforming Education,” a Heartland Policy Brief released in August 2010.

In 2009, Behrend served as the policy director/strategist to a gubernatorial candidate in the Illinois primary election. In 2008, he co-authored Illinois Deserves Better – The Ironclad Case for an Illinois Constitutional Convention, which coincided with a campaign to pass a referendum calling for a constitutional convention in the state. Behrend also served as an advisor to various groups seeking to rewrite the legislative article of the Illinois Constitution.

From 2006 through 2008, Behrend hosted a radio show in the Northern Chicago metropolitan area. The show showcased various authors and policy specialists, ranging from publisher Steve Forbes, Phoenix University Founder John Sperling, columnist Mark Steyn, author Shelby Steele, and Heartland Senior Fellow Jay Lehr.

Behrend is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he earned his degree in finance. He earned his J.D. from IIT-Kent College of Law in 1990 and is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.

If you want to get a jump on Bruno’s presentation I encourage you to check out the following websites where you will learn more and potentially develop questions of your own:

The 2017-2018 Season of dinner meetings are in the Grand Ballroom of The Astor Hotel, located conveniently at 924 E Juneau Avenue, just a few blocks north of downtown Milwaukee.

Members of the public are invited to attend The Wisconsin Forum dinner meetings as guests for one or more dinners, or they may save a few dollars per event and join as season-long members of the Forum.

For more information about The Wisconsin Forum and our 2017-2018 Season, visit our website:  www.wisconsinforum.org. You can also email [email protected], or call Vicky at (262) 439-9223.  Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

Wachs campaign: Announces Day Three of Week One Campaign: Wisconsin’s American Dream Initiative


EAU CLAIRE — Dana Wachs announced the third part of a week-long issues campaign called Week One. On Day Three, Wachs would launch Wisconsin’s American Dream Initiative aimed at making sure every person who works hard and plays by the rules has an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

“The evidence is clear, folks are often still paid or given different opportunities in the workplace as a result of their gender or race. Those differences can have a lasting impact not just on a worker, but on their family and generations to come. If we truly believe that it should not matter what your race or gender or nationality or sexual orientation is, we have to act on it.

“The good news is that we can make the American Dream achievable for every Wisconsinite. I will take swift action to create an Office of Equality within the governor’s office to problem solve across state agencies.

“I will make sure that Wisconsin has a real equal pay law, and that we do more to grow minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

“We have to care for those who need us most like our veterans, seniors, and people who are homeless.

“And I will do what Gov. Walker has repeatedly failed to do in nearly eight years — I will renew the State’s commitment to working cooperatively with Wisconsin’s Tribes,” said Wachs.

Wisconsin’s American Dream Initiative will:

Create a Governor’s Office of Equality focused on coordinated resources across Wisconsin to tackle the racial and gender disparities.

Increase funding and support for housing, Wisconsin’s veterans, folks who are homeless, Wisconsin’s seniors.

Increase efforts to strengthen and grow minority-owned and woman-owned businesses.

Enact a Wisconsin equal pay law and prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

Increase early childhood and public school funding particularly in underserved communities so that every child is ready to succeed.

Renew Wisconsin’s commitment to working cooperatively with Wisconsin’s Tribes.

Wachs for Wisconsin will release a new initiative each day from January 8 through January 12, one year out from a new administration.

WED AM Update: Soglin kicks off guv campaign; U.S. Senate race fundraising

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WED PM Update: Soglin responds to Walker jabs over Madison’s economy, homicide rate; Barnes announces lt. guv bid

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WEDC: Agency leaders outline details for proposed  $6.8 million talent attraction campaign



Media Contact:
WEDC: Mark Maley, 608.210.6706
[email protected]

DVA: Carla Vigue, 608.266.0517
[email protected]

Agency leaders outline details for proposed
$6.8 million talent attraction campaign
Part of Governor Walker’s Workforce Agenda, initiative would create a mobile jobs center and attract veterans transitioning to civilian life 

Jan. 10, 2018 — Leaders of four state agencies today outlined the details of a proposed $6.8 million national talent campaign that would focus on attracting transitioning veterans to Wisconsin and providing a new mobile job center to provide workforce support services within and outside of the state.

The initiative, part of Governor Scott Walker’s Workforce Agenda, also would expand upon a campaign launched this week aimed at attracting Midwestern millennials and Wisconsin alumni.

Testifying before the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy, key officials with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism described the role each agency would play in the collaborative effort to attract talent to the state to help address Wisconsin’s current and future workforce needs.

A key component of the plan would be promoting Wisconsin as the best state for veterans to work and live through a national campaign directed specifically at military personnel as they prepare to leave active duty. The effort would raise awareness of the state’s generous veteran programs, benefits and services.

It calls for growing the network promoting professional opportunities for veterans in Wisconsin by collaborating with veteran stakeholder organizations, such as veteran service organizations, veteran business groups, student veteran groups and others.

The proposal also includes attracting veterans to Wisconsin as a destination for personal, social and recreational opportunities through partnerships with tourism, community and military organizations.

Ken Grant, administrator of Division of Veterans Services for DVA, said the agency would expand efforts to recruit military personnel to the state before they leave active duty and would focus on targeting them at the nation’s largest military transition centers.

Grant explained that the centers were chosen because of the specific training and technical expertise military personnel from that area are known to have. For instance, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, home of the Army medical command, DVA would specifically target nurses. In San Diego, recruitment efforts would focus on Chinese linguists, and at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida, the agency would target service members with high electronic skillsets.

“The goal is to reach them directly, to touch them before they leave the service. Having veterans talking directly to veterans is a key component to this effort,” he testified. “At these events, we will have the capability to allow veterans to immediately register with Job Center of Wisconsin, ask questions, and receive information about specific Wisconsin jobs.”

DWD Deputy Secretary Christopher Hagerup provided lawmakers with details on the agency’s plans to purchase and staff a mobile job center to help residents and non-residents take advantage of career opportunities in Wisconsin. The center would deliver support and provide rapid attachment to services in rural and urban areas in Wisconsin where access to services can be challenging.

It would also enable DWD to bring rapid attachment services to events outside the state, including military bases, veteran-specific talent recruitment events and college campuses, to connect out-of-state talent to resources, employment and internship opportunities in Wisconsin.

“The mobile job center would serve not just out-of-state talent, but Wisconsin residents in rural and urban areas who may face transportation or other barriers to accessing a brick-and-mortar job center,’ he said. This mobile job center would also help to provide rapid attachment to those services and individuals by allowing DWD to gather information instantaneously.”

The $6.8 million in funding also would be used to expand an aggressive marketing campaign to make millennials in other Midwestern metro areas aware of personal and professional fulfillment opportunities in Wisconsin. In addition, WEDC will work with alumni organizations from Wisconsin colleges and universities to encourage out-of-state alumni to consider returning to the state.

“With more people working in Wisconsin than ever before, our state needs a proactive strategy to attract and retain top talent,” WEDC Deputy Secretary Tricia Braun told committee members. “This legislation allows us to further expand the campaign launched this week in the Chicago market to shift the perception people outside of Wisconsin have about our state.”

The hearing came the same week that WEDC announced its $1 million marketing campaign that primarily uses social and digital media to reach young professionals in Chicago. Part of the funding in AB811 would be used to expand that upon that campaign, which began this week.

Tourism Deputy Secretary Sarah Klavas said the agency will use its existing marketing platforms to proactively promote Wisconsin as a great place to live and work. Those efforts would include utilizing the Travelwisconsin.com website, reaching out media nationwide and working with local chambers of commerce and visitors bureaus to help develop attraction campaigns.

“Outdoor recreation, natural resources, attractions, arts and culture and so much more provide the quality of life backdrop that is so important to people who live and work in Wisconsin,” she told the committee. “This is a selling point when people choose where to live or retire, or when companies make decisions about where to locate and expand.”

Also testifying before the committee on Tuesday were representatives from Wisconsin Manufactures & Commerce, the Wisconsin Economic Development Association and the Fox Cities Chamber.

The talent initiative also has widespread support from business, education and economic development leaders throughout Wisconsin (See testimonials from more than a dozen leaders).

Wisconsin AFL-CIO: Senate Bill 634 Preempts Progress for Working Families


For Immediate Release

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

Senate Bill 634 Preempts Progress for Working Families

Wisconsin AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale testifies in opposition of SB 634/ AB 748 at public hearing 

(MADISON, WI, January 10, 2018) — Senator Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Representative Hutton (R- Brookfield) have introduced a harmful bill that, if passed, will preempt many ways in which local governments in Wisconsin could enhance employment standards in their own communities.

Senate Bill 634 & Assembly Bill 748 would make sweeping changes to how working people can increase fairness and justice within work places.

“Senate Bill 634 would preempt local policies that help working families make ends meet, plan child care, and seek justice when discrimination occurs,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.  “A host of local ordinances that help working families raise wages, combat wage theft, access predictable scheduling and paid sick leave would all be stopped from being implemented at the local level under this bill. Foolishly, this Republican-backed bill would prevent future creative ordinances developed by local leaders and communities working together to address the unique and individual needs in their own communities from being considered.”

“This bill is a slap in the face to Wisconsin working men and women, many of whom are juggling multiple jobs or working in the on-demand economy riddled with precarious scheduling and low paychecks,” continued Bloomingdale. “Instead of working together to create good jobs and uplifting economic opportunities for Wisconsin workers, Senator Kapenga and Representative Hutton are working overtime to stack the deck against working families and further rig the rules of our economy against everyday working people in order to payback their rich campaign donors.”

Summary of the restrictions under SB 634 & AB 748 is as follows:     

  1. This bill not only prohibits local governments from utilizing labor peace agreements, but sets a criminal penalty if a municipality passes an ordinance requiring a labor peace agreement.
  2.  This bill would end an opportunity that allows local governments to set a minimum wage for employees who are contracted to perform work for the local government.
  3.  This bill would prohibit local governments from enforcing license regulations that are more strict than the state standards for that license.
  4.  This bill would prohibit local governments from enacting or enforcing employment discrimination standards.
  5.  This bill would prohibit local governments from forcing contractors to agree to a mandatory labor peace agreement in order to receive a license or permit.
  6.  The bill would create a statewide standard for employee scheduling of hours and overtime regulations, and would prohibit local governments from passing fair scheduling ordinances.
  7. This bill would prohibit local governments from setting a level of employment benefits for employers, for example mandating certain time off or retirement benefits.
  8.  This bill would prohibit local governments from passing an ordinance to prohibit employers from asking about salary history.
  9. This bill would prohibit local governments from creating agencies to handle wage claims, or complaints about wage theft.

Wisconsin Council on Economic Education Stock Market Game workshop 🗓

Are you interested in incorporating the
 Wisconsin Stock Market Game into your curriculum but are unsure how? Join Mr. Tim O’Driscoll for this one day, crash course on economics and financial education.  Bring your laptop and get some hands on training!
February 2, 2018
8:30 A.M – 3:00 P.M.
Lakeland University 
Besides offering the game,
EconomicsWisconsin  offer a workshop.
Our workshop on the
Stock Market Game focus on learning the basics of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds as well as running through the basic functions of the interface.
Our workshop goes well beyond learning about the Stock Market Game. You will learn the simple strategies to pass onto your student.
Your registration fee of $30.00 will be 100% refunded back to you when you attend the workshop (within 10 business days).  You may cancel your registration by January 29th for a full refund.  After January 29th, the registration fee will not be refunded if you cannot attend the workshop.
The Stock Market Game is an easy and simple method of learning how the economy works. Students manage hypothetical $100,000 investment portfolios as they compete against other schools in their age division throughout the state of Wisconsin.
For More Information, visit –

https://www.stockmarketgame.org/ orhttp://economicswisconsin.org/SMSDates.html

Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: ‘Supporting farmers during challenging times’ strategies meeting scheduled for ag professionals


Release Date: January 10, 2018

Media Contacts: Rick Hummell, 608-224-5041 [email protected]
or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020 [email protected]

MADISON – Farming is a complicated and demanding business even in the best of times. As such, it’s always helpful to have someone providing support, suggestions and encouragement during challenging times like those currently experienced by a large segment of the farming community.

“Supporting Farmers During Challenging Times,” a meeting for agribusiness professionals who work with farmers facing increasingly tighter financial margins, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 24, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Millhome Supper Club in Kiel, Wis.

The meeting, hosted by University of Wisconsin-Extension of Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Washington, Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties, in conjunction with several partnering agencies including the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), will include three presentations.

The first presentation, “Green Flags, Red Flags: How to Analyze a Farm’s Finances,” will be led by Frank Friar and Becky Paris, financial consultants with DATCP’s Farm Center.

The second, “The Fog of Stress: Decision-Making During Tough Times,” will be led by John Shutske, UW-Extension Specialist, Safety Engineering and Agricultural Health. The third presentation, “Nutrition Strategies with the 2017 Crop and Financial Challenges,” will be led by John Goeser, UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science Adjunct Professor and director of Nutritional Research and Innovation at Rock River lab, Inc.

“(The Farm Center’s) presentation will focus on how to analyze a farm’s finances in terms of both ‘Green Flags,’ such as keeping accurate and detailed records, understanding debt, and using legal debt and tax reduction strategies, and ‘Red Flags,’ such as avoiding high use of credit card debt, multiple lenders and frequent requests for extensions of payment dates,” said Friar. “We’ll also discuss some basic ‘Rules of the Road’ for improving farm finances.”

The Wisconsin Farm Center, part of DATCP’s Division of Agricultural Development, works one-on-one with Wisconsin farmers and their families during all phases of the challenging farm life cycle including start-up, growth, change, generational succession and retirement.

Friar said Farm Center staff can help with farm transitions, farm finances, herd health, legal matters and more. Services are available for new farmers, for families that have been farming for many years and for minority farm families.

He said the Farm Center’s financial services are available for farms in financial trouble as well as for those that simply want to make financial improvements. Services include reviews of cash flow projections, reviews of feasibility and debt analysis, and business planning.

There is no cost to attend the January 24 meeting. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP by Jan 22. Register online: goo.gl/adqSrt


Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation: Soliciting bids for WIS 20 road work in Racine County


For more information, contact:
Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581[email protected]

January 10, 2018

WisDOT soliciting bids for WIS 20 road work in Racine County

Resurface work will be first step to prepare for Foxconn Development

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has placed ads requesting bids to complete resurfacing work on WIS 20. The Department would look to let the work in February with work expected to get underway in March. The work will improve the condition of WIS 20 in anticipation of increase use due to the work in and around the Foxconn development site and the upcoming major reconstruction of the I-94 North/South corridor.

The work will include resurfacing just over 2.5 miles of WIS 20 between I-94 and County H. Included in the scope of work is grading, milling, base patching, pavement repair, diamond grinding, beam guards, signs, pavement markings, traffic signals and street lighting. The work is expected to be completed in May. This project will be coordinated with the ongoing work on the frontage roads along I-94 between WIS 20 and County KR.

For additional information on the I-94 North/South project go to: https://projects.511wi.gov/i94northsouth/

And for the latest traffic information use: https://511wi.gov/

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty: Impact of licensing red tape on worker safety


Cameron Sholty | WILL Communications Director
[email protected] | 414-727-7416 | 262-409-9816

January 10, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI – The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty issued a new study examining the effect of licensing regulations on worker safety in two widely-licensed professions. The analysis, using publicly available data from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), found no significant relationship between burdensome licensing regulations and worker safety for Emergency Medical Technicians and Security Guards.

Occupational licensing, the system where certain regulated professions require a government permission slip to work, has been the subject of scrutiny and topic of reform across the country. New research has found that licensing has negative impacts on employment, prices, women, immigrants, and interstate migration. But licensing advocates consistently argue that licensing plays an important role in ensuring professionals receive adequate training, for their own health and safety, as well as the public.

WILL’s new study examined BLS data on non-fatal injuries for Emergency Medical Technicians and Security Guards. These two professions are widely licensed and had sufficient BLS data on worker injuries. The findings for both professions was conclusive: burdensome state licensing regulations in the form of increased training hours, fees, exams, and age requirements have no effect on worker safety.

“While nearly a dozen studies have failed to find conclusive evidence that licensing results in increases in quality, few have measured the impact of licensing on worker safety,” said WILL Research Director Will Flanders. “This study scrutinizes one more argument from licensing advocates, that licensing results in fewer workplace injuries, and finds that the evidence just isn’t there.”

This is the fourth study on occupational licensing published by WILL since 2016. Previous studies have found:

More than 440,000 Wisconsin workers are licensed.
The number of Wisconsin licenses has grown by 84% since 1996.
Wisconsin has the 5th most burdensome licensing red tape for 10 professions.
Wisconsin could see 7% job growth across 10 professions with licensing reform.
States with burdensome licensing laws have fewer jobs in 10 licensed professions.

Wisconsin Technology Council: Jan. 18 Panel examines future of nuclear energy in Wis.



Contact: moderator Tom Still, president, Wisconsin Technology Council, [email protected]cil.com

Wisconsin is down to one nuclear power facility, and cheap natural gas augmented by renewables dominates the future energy discussion for many utilities.

But should Wisconsin and the rest of the Midwest abandon the nuclear energy option?

Some experts say it should be preserved and perhaps enhanced.

An expert panel convened by the Wisconsin Technology Council, WisBusiness.com and WisPolitics.com will examine the future of nuclear energy at a Thursday Jan. 18 luncheon at the Madison Club from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The panel will be moderated by Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still.

Panelists include:

–Wisconsin Public Service Commission member Mike Huebsch, who as a member of the Legislature successfully pushed legislation to repeal the moratorium on building new nuclear power plants.

— Paul Wilson, Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering in UW–Madison‘s Department of Engineering Physics. His research interests focus on developing improved tools for computational modeling of complex nuclear energy systems, with applications in radiation shielding, nuclear waste management, nuclear non-proliferation and energy policy.

–And Greg Levesque, director of environmental and local relations at American Transmission Co.

Madison Club members and their guests receive discounted pricing for WisPolitics luncheons of $19 per person. Price for general public is
$25 per person. Price includes a buffet lunch.

Register through the Madison Club: https://winuclearenergy.eventbrite.com

WisGOP: Launches digital ad campaign and website targeting extreme Madison liberal Paul Soglin

January 10, 2018
Contact: Alec Zimmerman
(608) 257-4765
Republican Party of Wisconsin Launches Digital Ad Campaign and Website Targeting Extreme Madison Liberal Paul Soglin
Businesses have left Madison, murders at an all-time high
[Madison, WI] — The Republican Party of Wisconsin is launching a digital ad campaign and website today against extreme Madison liberal Paul Soglin. Despite giving a key to the City of Madison to brutal Communist dictator Fidel Castro, businesses leaving Madison, and murders on the rise, Paul Soglin still thinks he can lead Wisconsin. The Republican Party of Wisconsin released this statement following Soglin’s announcement that he’s running for governor:
“Extreme Madison liberal Paul Soglin has a 50-year record of catering to extreme special interests – from offering a brutal Communist dictator the key to the city to presiding over a community where businesses have left and murders have gone up,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “While Gov. Walker is delivering results for Wisconsin’s hard-working families, Soglin’s far-left Madison ideology would take our state in the wrong direction.”
The Republican Party of Wisconsin is launching a digital ad campaign and website, PaulSoglin.com, today against extreme Madison liberal Paul Soglin. These follow up on previous ad campaigns and websites against Matt FlynnKathleen VinehoutTony EversDana WachsAndy GronikMike McCabe, and Mahlon Mitchell.
Extreme Madison Liberal Paul Soglin Pushes His Radical Agenda
  • From leading anti-war protests against “pig America” in the late sixties to giving brutal Communist dictator Fidel Castro a key to the City of Madison, Paul Soglin has spent five decades advocating for socialist ideologies.
  • While Soglin promotes his extreme, Socialist agenda, businesses have left the city.
  • Additionally, murders in the City of Madison hit an all-time high last year under Soglin’s leadership.
January 11, 2018 | January 9, 2018
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