Daily Archives: February 19, 2018

‘UpFront’: Nicholson says he’s not taking political split with his parents personally

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson said his world view is different than his parents, who have contributed to Nicholson’s potential opponent, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

“We’ve come to the world view we have through our experiences. Not everybody shares that, and that’s OK,” Nicholson said Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

“Do your parents object to your politics? Is that what we’re talking about? Or the change in you? What is it?” Gousha asked.

“I’m not going to answer for them. I’m a conservative for all the reasons I just talked about,” Nicholson said. “They are not.”

“I don’t take any of this personally,” he said.

Gousha also asked Nicholson, a Marine veteran, what the response should be to the mass shooting in a Florida high school last week that left 17 people dead.

“Something needs to be done,” he said.

“What I can see happening and actually making a difference here is some type of combined federal and state task force set up on mass shootings, in which information is funneled into it. And this is standard that we do in the military when it comes to dealing with the people that we have to fight in combat. You have to actually collate information together to flag these things,” he said.

“If these multiple pieces of information came into a uniform center and had been actually put together, this individual probably would have been stopped earlier,” he said.

Gousha also asked Nicholson what difference it would make if wealthy Madison businessman Eric Hovde — a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 — got into this year’s race.

“My campaign is going to keep doing what it is doing,” Nicholson said. “We’re bringing a message that you need an outsider with credible experience, and a clear understanding of what the people of Wisconsin are worried about.” 

In another segment, former conservative radio talk show host Jerry Bader says it is not “a guarantee” that judicial conservative Michael Screnock will advance from the primary on Tuesday for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Screnock, a Sauk County Circuit Court judge, is competing against Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet and Madison-area attorney Tim Burns for the right to move on to the April general election.

All are seeking to replace Justice Michael Gableman, who is not running for another 10-year term.

“I don’t think it’s a guarantee that Judge Screnock advances, and I am going to express some personal pessimism here,” Bader said.

“I think this is going to be very tough. (Screnock) has not run a perfect campaign, not a horrible campaign as some have said, but I think that you are looking at a situation where if he clears it, he is going to just clear it,” Bader said.

Democratic communications consultant Melissa Baldauff said Burns, who has embraced the mantle of a progressive in the race, is running an “untested” strategy. Races for Wisconsin Supreme Court are officially non-partisan.

“There is some untested strategies here at play, and I think it’s going to be a matter of whether voters are looking for that kind of transparency about where people stand,” she said.

Gousha asked Baldauff how Democrats are viewing the race Burns is running.

“There’s definitely mixed reactions from the folks that I have talked to. But I don’t think anyone is saying, certainly no one I have heard from, is saying that it is a bad idea to be vocal about who you are, and be authentic, and be honest and transparent about supporting Wisconsin values,” she said.

See more from the program, and a web extra with Jerry Bader on the reasons he says were behind his firing from his radio talk show job:

Bryce Campaign fundraiser with Sen. Sanders 🗓


Senator Sanders, Local Residents to Rally in Support of Randy Bryce for Congress
RACINE, WI – On Saturday, February 24, Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce will host a rally in Racine with local elected officials, residents and Senator Bernie Sanders. The rally will be in support of Bryce’s run for the First Congressional District in Wisconsin, against Speaker Paul Ryan.

Memorial Hall, 72 7th St, Racine, WI 53403

Doors open at 9:45AM on Saturday, February 24. Program will begin at 10:15AM.

In addition to Randy Bryce and Senator Sanders, local residents and elected officials will speak, including Racine Alderman John Tate II, State Rep. Greta Neubauer and State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa.

Bryce Campaign: Speaker Ryan chooses campaign donors over South Florida teacher


For Immediate Release: February 17, 2018
Contact: Lauren Hitt, 443-370-3205lau[email protected]com
Speaker Ryan Chooses Campaign Donors Over South Florida Teacher 
RACINE, WI – Last night, Speaker Ryan refused to speak with a teacher who wanted to discuss gun reform at a Florida fundraiser Ryan was attending in support of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce released the following statement on the event. Bryce is running to replace Ryan as the Congressman for Wisconsin’s First District.

“Last night, Speaker Ryan went to Florida, not to mourn with the families of Parkland, but to raise money to help re-elect himself and other Republican congressmen who won’t vote for reasonable gun reform. And when he got there, he refused to speak with a Florida teacher who came to the fundraiser wanting to speak with him about gun reform, and to share with him how scared her students were, and how upset she was. Instead, the teacher was asked to leave the premises.

“We need a Speaker who will listen to everyone, not just the NRA and other special interests who cut him checks.”

About Randy Bryce

Randy Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and union ironworker. He was raised in southeastern Wisconsin, and went to public schools. Randy’s father was a police officer, and his mother worked in a doctor’s office. After graduation, Randy enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was posted to Honduras, where he earned the Army Achievement Medal. After returning stateside, Randy was diagnosed with cancer, which he survived, but only after struggling through the bankruptcy that came with the medical bills. Once in remission, Randy found his way to an apprenticeship as an iron worker, a trade he’s now been practicing and fighting to protect from anti-labor laws for nearly 20 years. Randy currently resides in Caledonia, WI with his son, Ben, who attends public schools like his dad. Randy joined the race for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District in Summer 2017.

Gov. Walker: Visits hospitals in La Crosse and Green Bay to promote Health Care Stability Plan

Office of Governor Scott Walker
Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
“Where Washington has failed, Wisconsin will step up and lead.”- Gov. Walker
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker toured the Mayo Center for Advanced Medicine in La Crosse and the Bellin Emergency Department in Green Bay today and discussed the Health Care Stability Plan outlined in his Ambitious Agenda for Wisconsin. As proposed, Governor Walker’s plan would request a State Innovation Waiver to lower premiums for those in Obamacare’s individual market, enact legislation that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and request a permanent waiver for the state’s SeniorCare program.

“Where Washington has failed, Wisconsin will step up and lead,” said Governor Walker. “Our Health Care Stability Plan will provide financial relief for those facing skyrocketing premiums on Obamacare’s individual market and peace of mind for those with preexisting conditions and seniors who rely on SeniorCare. These are Wisconsin issues, and we are solving them the Wisconsin way. Our plan to lower premiums for those on the individual market received bipartisan support in committee last week, and I hope to see it passed by both the Assembly and Senate soon.”

Governor Walker is calling on the State Senate to pass pre-existing condition protection legislation, which passed the Wisconsin State Assembly as Assembly Bill 365 in June 2017. The bill, as amended, prohibits a group health benefit plan from imposing a preexisting condition exclusion or any coverage limitations related to a preexisting condition. It also prohibits a group or individual health insurance policy from taking into account a person’s health status while setting coverage rates.

The State Innovation Waiver, a 1332 Waiver, would allow Wisconsin to stabilize rising health care premiums in the individual marketplace. Governor Walker’s plan would help to cover expensive medical claims for health insurers that are participating in the marketplace.

SeniorCare provides prescription drug coverage for senior citizens. The state has successfully received four past waiver extensions, and under Governor Walker’s Health Care Stability Plan, the state would seek a change in federal law to make the SeniorCare waiver permanent for approximately 60,000 Wisconsin’s seniors who utilize the program each month.

Gov. Walker: Visits Martha Merrell’s Bookstore to promote child sales tax rebate and sales tax holiday package

Office of Governor Scott Walker
February 16, 2018
Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
Governor Walker Visits Martha Merrell’s Bookstore to Promote Child Sales Tax Rebate and Sales Tax Holiday Package
WAUKESHA – Governor Scott Walker visited Martha Merrell’s Bookstore today to highlight his plan for a child sales tax rebate and sales tax holiday package. Under the proposed legislation, Wisconsin families would receive $100 for every child living at home under 18 through a check in the mail this year, and all Wisconsinites would benefit from a sales tax holiday planned for the first weekend in August.“One of the best ways to provide tax relief for middle-class Wisconsin families is through a child sales tax rebate and sales tax holiday package,” said Governor Walker. “We have already provided over $8 billion in across the board tax relief since 2011, and now is the time to deliver targeted relief to hardworking families. A check in the mail for a couple hundred dollars, as well as an August sales tax holiday, would go a long way towards helping parents and grandparents with the cost of sending their kids back-to-school in the fall.”

The proposed legislation sets a new sales tax holiday for August 4-5, 2018. Consumers would be exempt from paying state sales tax on all retail “off the shelf” items up to $100. The exemption would not apply to the sale of taxable services, prepared food, motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, tangible or intangible property used to access telecommunications services, tangible or intangible property provided by a utility, or alcohol and tobacco products.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR), the child tax credit rebate is estimated at $122.1 million in fiscal year 2018. DOR also estimates that the one-time sales tax holiday will provide approximately $50 million in tax relief in fiscal year 2019.

Milwaukee Ald. Murphy: Bill usurps authority of Milwaukee citizens and could bring financial hardship to taxpayers


CONTACT: Bill Arnold
Public Information Manager/City of Milwaukee
[email protected]

Two Racine area state legislators (Rep. Robin Vos and Sen. Van Wanggaard) have joined a Washington County legislator (Rep. Janel Brandtjen) in proposing Assembly Bill 606/Senate Bill 512 that increases state control of the City of Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission, injects politics into a non-partisan body, and adds significant costs to local taxpayers.

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission is the oldest civilian-run, independent law enforcement oversight board in the nation. Assembly Bill 606 would eliminate this local control over community issues, instead preferring major political parties, union officials, and individuals from suburban communities to make decisions on the City of Milwaukee’s policies and budget.

The legislation was introduced in late October and now heads to the Assembly floor for a vote tomorrow in Madison.

This legislation reverses the 2007 law change that cut off pay of Milwaukee officers discharged and facing criminal charges for the same misconduct. Requiring the city to pay officers who are dismissed and face criminal charges will impose substantial costs on Milwaukee taxpayers, roughly $1 million annually. The practice of paying dismissed MPD officers and alleged perpetrators of horrific crimes ceased in 2007 after the officers involved in the Frank Jude beating were paid $3 million in today’s money. Taxpayers demanded an end to this practice, and a bipartisan solution was passed. This change in law by representatives from communities outside of Milwaukee is an astounding waste of tax payer dollars.

If the legislation passes, Milwaukee will be the only city in the state required to fund the pay and fringe benefits of discharged officers while they undergo disciplinary processes.

Further, this bill unacceptably politicizes our public safety, providing political parties and unions substantial control in choosing the members of this citizen commission. The City of Milwaukee would be required to pick from a limited list of candidates provided by the police and firefighter unions for two positions. The current law protects a century’s old, core tenet of the Fire and Police Commission to be a non-political entity. Instead, the Mayor will be required to make appointments from candidates submitted by the Republican and Democratic parties rather than choosing the most qualified candidates.

While I support having FPC appointees with police and fire fighting experience, it is interesting the City of Racine and City of Menomonee Falls’ version of the FPC requires NO fire or police appointees. This shows the sheer hypocrisy of the legislation. The political winds will someday change, and it will be interesting to see if residents of Racine and Menomonee Falls prefer City of Milwaukee residents sitting on their commissions, making decisions that impact their taxes.

I hope the citizens of Menomonee Falls or Racine are aware their representatives prefer state control over local issues, and are okay with abandoning the long held Wisconsin principle of government by informed local control when they see fit. If suburban legislators are given the ability to dictate massive tax increases to city taxpayers via this change in law, I think there’s a phrase for that: Taxation without representation.

I will continue to speak out against this poorly crafted piece of legislation, and I strongly encourage Milwaukeeans to do the same.

MON AM Update: Walker to tout Obamacare reinsurance plan in La Crosse, Green Bay; ‘UpFront’ recap

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MON News Summary: Youth prison plan draws criticism; Baldwin meets with Kimberly-Clark workers

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MON PM Update: Lawmakers to revise juvenile corrections plan

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One Wisconsin Now: Republican bill would put guns in Wisconsin schools


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

Latest Scheme Would Put Guns in Private Schools, Companion to Public School Version Co-authored by 50 Wisconsin Republicans

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans are introducing a second bill aimed at putting guns into K-12 schools in the state, the latest version aimed at private schools. A measure which would do the functional equivalent for public schools was introduced last year and has co-sponsorship of 50 legislative Republicans.

“The solution to guns in schools is not putting guns in schools,” said Joanna Beilman-Dulin, One Wisconsin Now Research Director. “While the nation still grieves over another mass school shooting, Wisconsin Republicans are showing the country they are squarely in the pocket of the National Rifle Association.”

The latest pro-gun measure was introduced by GOP Rep. Jesse Kremer, who has spent his short legislative career serving the National Rifle Association’s agenda, attempting to legislate safe spaces for racists speaking on University of Wisconsin campuses, and policing the bathrooms of elementary and high school students.

“Anyone who is serious about stopping gun violence in our schools should condemn this legislation immediately,” said Beilman-Dulin. “Guns have no place in schools, public or private.”

A copy of the draft legislation is available here.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

One Wisconsin Now: What did Michael Screnock promise the NRA?


Mike Browne, Deputy Director
One Wisconsin Now Demands State High Court Candidate Reveal Letter He Sent to Gun Lobby to Earn Endorsement

MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin today demanded state Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock make public the letter he sent to the National Rifle Association (NRA) to earn their endorsement in tomorrow’s primary election. In a mailing obtained by One Wisconsin Now, the NRA declared that Screnock is, “the candidate who has committed …” to their agenda and that “his opponents simply cannot be trusted …”

“We deserve to know today what promises Michael Screnock made to the NRA to get the gun lobby’s endorsement,” said Beilman-Dulin. “Wisconsin needs to know now, before deciding whether he gets to sit on our state’s highest court, potentially making decisions about whether to not we can protect our communities from gun violence.”

According to a letter sent by the NRA to candidates, in order to receive their endorsement they are required to send a letter to the gun lobby detailing their, “positions on Second Amendment issues.” The letter continues by issuing the threat that failing to pander to the organization could be interpreted as “hostility.”

Beilman-Dulin noted that the NRA’s correspondence and subsequent endorsement suggest Screnock has indicated how he would rule on cases that may come before the court. Ironically, throughout his campaign, he has dodged questions saying he cannot comment on issues that may come before the court.

The NRA has joined the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the state big business lobby going all in on Screnock. The RPW is Screnock’s single largest contributor, donating over $140,000 directly to Screnock for campaign staff, digital advertising and mailings. Meanwhile the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and the right wing dark money outfit, the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, have combined to spend over $663,000 on television and radio ads.

She concluded, “Michael Screnock has sent the NRA a letter telling them what what he’ll do for them, he needs to be honest with voters and also tell us what he promised.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Rep. Kremer: Correlating fire prevention and school security



Correlating Fire Prevention and School Security 

We live in a world of uncertainty, but Wisconsin legislators could provide a lot less uncertainty regarding the safety of our young children by giving parents complete control over their security.

As a firefighter, I enjoy teaching kids and educating adults about fire prevention. Schools, and residences are filled with tools that prevent injury or death – smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems. The combined result of these safety measures? No children have died in a school fire for at least the last half century.

Fire safety should be awarded a passing grade. Which begs the question, what grade should we assign to the security of our nation’s schools? What safety measures have we added to our schools over the past 50 years to effectively dissuade or stop a cowardly, crazed maniacal shooter at your child’s school? 

Locked doors with cameras, emergency drills, a school resource officer (if you’re lucky), windowless doors for the classroom? Sure, some of these efforts may prove effective, but there is an

additional tool that state lawmakers have been denying parents and their school administrators – the ability to secure a campus with additional armed security through the use of concealed carry if they so choose – something that Ohio schools realized and have been expanding since Sandy Hook.  Secret service historical studies have proven that the majority of attackers do not want the threat of confrontation.

Wisconsin state law is currently much more restrictive than the federal “Gun-Free School Zone Act.” Except for an off-duty law enforcement officer, Wisconsin law does not allow a law abiding concealed carry holder parent, or a competent, lawfully licensed teacher or superintendent, the ability to protect themselves or their children while on school grounds. If this additional, untapped tool can be utilized to discourage a school attack or to disarm an attacker, then why are your elected officials preventing its use? After all, parents, school board members, school administrators and local law enforcement know what is best for their kids, right? Personally, I feel that Wisconsin lawmakers, Democrat and Republican alike, will be personally responsible, and will have blood on their hands, if they continue to prevent a school from utilizing every security resource available to them.

It is high time that Madison politics get out of the way of your child’s safety at school.


Rep. Jesse Kremer

Wisconsin State Assembly District 59

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Meets with dairy farmers in La Crosse and Altoona


CONTACT:  [email protected]
(202) 224 – 6225

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin met with Wisconsin dairy farmers in La Crosse and Altoona today to discuss the major investments and significant improvements to dairy programs that she fought to be included in the bipartisan Senate budget agreement.

At each event, dairy farmers in attendance acknowledged that Senator Baldwin’s efforts, including securing $1 billion for the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) and improvements to dairy programs, will help provide much-needed, immediate relief as they face difficult dairy market conditions.

“Wisconsin’s dairy industry is a key driver of our state’s agricultural economy and a core part of our rural communities,” said Senator Baldwin. “The dairy farmers I met with today agree: Washington has been far too slow to recognize the challenges facing our agriculture economy. That’s why I worked to make sure the Senate’s bipartisan budget agreement includes the tools we need to act quickly in the face of this crisis. I am proud we secured this much-needed relief for our dairy farmers. We are doing right by them and Wisconsin’s rural economy.”

Since 2014, prices have dropped by over a third and dairy farmers have faced these difficult market conditions without a reliable safety net. In January, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to protect the economic security of the nation’s dairy farmers and update and expand the Dairy MPP in advance of the Farm Bill to provide better risk management tools for family farmers.  Unfortunately, the program has not worked as intended due to last minute cuts from House Republicans and implementation problems at USDA.

The bipartisan plan that passed Congress would fix problems with the old MPP and provide a pathway to new, customizable insurance tools in the future.​

Specifically, the bipartisan proposal would:

  • Make a Significant Investment for Dairy—Invest over $1 billion into the dairy safety net for family dairy farmers.
  • Increase Affordability—Eliminates or slashes premiums by up to 80 percent for small and medium dairy farms.
  • Target Those Most in Need—Waives administrative fees for beginning, veteran, and underserved farmers.
  • Make Farmer-Friendly Improvements—Makes the program more responsive to drops in prices and increases in feed costs, and triggers payments more quickly.
  • Allow Flexibility—Provides farmers with an immediate chance to sign-up or change coverage levels for 2018 coverage.
  • Create New Opportunities for Insurance—Removes arbitrary limits on developing new dairy insurance tools in the future, allowing for the creation of customizable dairy risk management tools.

An online version of this release is available here.

Walker Campaign: Raging anti-Scott Walker fever has Wisconsin Democrats twisted in knots


February 19, 2018
Contact: Nathan Craft
[email protected]

ICYMI: Raging anti-Scott Walker fever has Wisconsin Democrats twisted in knots

[Madison, Wis.] – In case you missed it, far-Left Democrats are working in overdrive to oppose reasonable reforms on key issues – just because Scott Walker is pushing them.

Governor Walker’s reforms – to create stable, patient-centered health care, fund education at record levels, encourage good-paying, family-supporting jobs and more – are moving Wisconsin forward. Wisconsinites are seeing how Walker and Republicans are fighting for them as Democrats desperately create excuses for standing on the wrong side of Wisconsin families.

Read more from Christian Schneider of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here or find excerpts below:

Schneider: Raging anti-Scott Walker fever has Wisconsin Democrats twisted in knots
By Christian Schneider
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

If you listen carefully, you’ll hear a whirring sound in Wisconsin. That faint hum is the OppositionTron 3000 machine working overtime to manufacture opposition for the state’s Democrats to some of Gov. Scott Walker’s election-year initiatives. These are proposals that, if introduced by a Democratic governor, liberals would swamp social media to support. But the mere idea that they might agree with Scott Walker has Democrats working late into the night in the talking point factory. …

This week, the Legislature’s finance committee took testimony on a Walker proposal to stabilize health insurance markets by subsidizing high-cost health plans created by the poorly named Affordable Care Act. Under Obamacare, high-cost individuals have flooded the program, forcing insurance companies to raise premiums or drop out altogether. In the past year, premiums (not counting federal subsidies) have increased 38%, and several states are down to a single insurer in the plan. In Wisconsin, UnitedHealth and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield have bolted.

Walker’s plan would spend $50 million to hold down Obamacare premiums, in the hopes of securing another $150 million match from the federal government. Minnesota, Oregon and Alaska have already created such “reinsurance” funds, with other states looking to do the same. …

No one denies that many of Walker’s proposals are meant to reassure voters in 2018. But Democrats are inventing new contortions to pretend they oppose the plans. Three of the four Democrats on the Finance Committee voted against the reinsurance bill — their distaste for Walker evidently so strong they would rather keep insurance rates high than concede he has a point.

Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation: It’s not too late to obtain an ID to vote in the Spring Primary


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

Wisconsin DMVs open President’s Day

Wisconsin’s Spring Primary is Tuesday (tomorrow) and voters who don’t already have a Wisconsin driver license, ID or other form of ID needed to vote can still get a Wisconsin ID from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Wisconsin Elections Commission website explains the options for IDs. There is no separate “voter ID.”

There are documentation requirements, such as a birth certificate, proof of identity and Wisconsin residency, to obtain an official Wisconsin ID card. If all documentation is not readily available, the ID Petition Process (IDPP) can be used to obtain a receipt valid for voting while the remaining documents or verifications are obtained. DMV’s webpage explains the IDPP process.

The voter should bring any documentation available to the DMV and fill out two forms. DMV’s website has a locator to find the nearest DMV and check wait times. A photo ID document will be sent in the mail that can be taken to the polls and used for voting.

DMV offers this IDPP service and ID card for voting purposes free of charge. DMV’s voter ID hotline at (844) 588-1069 is available for questions on obtaining an ID to vote. DMV does not have information regarding voter eligibility, poll locations, voter registration information or other election information. This type of information can also be found on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website http://elections.wi.gov/

February 20, 2018 | February 18, 2018
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