2019 March 19

Daily Archives: March 19, 2019

AG Kaul: Opposes CFPB effort to delay protections from payday lenders

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to take immediate action to protect consumers from abuses in payday lending, vehicle title lending, and other types of high-cost exploitative consumer lending. Attorney General Kaul is part of a coalition of 25 states, led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, taking today’s action.

“We should have strong protections in place for borrowers,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Delaying the date by which lenders must comply with rules that protect consumers is unwarranted and would mean that more consumers will be harmed by abusive lending practices.”

In 2017, CFPB announced a new rule that would help protect borrowers and ensure they would have the ability to repay loans while also prohibiting lenders from using abusive tactics when seeking repayment. The rule went into effect in early 2018, but compliance was delayed to August 19, 2019, to give lenders time to develop systems and policies. CFPB has now proposed to further delay compliance to November 19, 2020, more than three years after the regulation was finalized. At the same time, CFPB is reviewing another rule that would altogether rescind this one.


Together, these actions would put at risk borrower protections. In their comments, the attorneys general cite CFPB’s own findings that demonstrate the many ways the short-term payday and title lending model is broken – specifically as a significant percentage of these loans are expected to fail. 90 percent of all loan fees come from consumers who borrow seven or more times in 12 months. Twenty percent of payday loan transaction series end in default and 33 percent of single-payment auto title loan sequences end in default.

Attorney General Kaul is joined in filing these comments by the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.


A copy of the letter is attached.



April 4: Coping with diversions, invasives, and politics in the Great Lakes region 🗓


Join Canada, UW-Milwaukee and WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com on Thursday April 4 for a luncheon at the University Club in Milwaukee to discuss new developments in the complicated issues affecting Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. Out-of-basin diversions, including those affecting Foxconn, invasive species and politics all combine to challenge those seeking to manage and preserve a critical resource.

Included in the discussion are top experts on Great Lakes issues:

— Peter Annin, author of “The Great Lakes Water Wars,” a former Newsweek journalist who currently serves as director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Ashland. Book signing to follow event. See more on the book: http://greatlakeswaterwars.com/

— Molly M. Flanagan, vice president for policy at the Alliance for the Great Lakes in Chicago.

— J. Val Klump, dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences, Great Lakes WATER Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

— And Stephen G. Galarneau, director, Office of Great Waters – Great Lakes & Mississippi River, Environmental Management Division, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Québec Government Representative in the Midwest Jean-François Hould will provide the program introduction. See his bio.

This event is sponsored by Canada and UW-Milwaukee.


When: Thursday April 4. Check in begins at 11 a.m. Lunch begins 11:15 a.m. Program goes from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Where: University Club, Milwaukee Parking: Free https://www.uclubmke.com/contact

Cost for program and lunch: $25 per person; table of eight $150

Click here to register: https://www.wispolitics.com/make-payments/

Please enter “APRIL4WATER” in the “purpose of payment” box

Board of Commissioners of Public Lands: Approves $7 million for community projects

CONTACT:  Jonathan Barry, Executive Secretary (608) 266-8369

MADISON – Today, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) unanimously approved slightly more than $7 million in State Trust Fund Loans to support three community projects in Wisconsin.

The BCPL approved the following loans:

  • Town of Greenville, Outagamie County / Construct public safety building / $6,750,000
  • Lake Denoon Lake District, Waukesha County / Finance weed abatement program / $30,000
  • Village of Twin Lakes, Kenosha County / Purchase fire truck / $574,731

The BCPL operates entirely on program revenue, without taxpayer money, and distributes more than 96 cents of every dollar of interest earned on BCPL State Trust Fund investments to Wisconsin’s public schools.  The 2018 earnings of $35.7 million provide the sole source of state funding for K‑12 public school library materials.

A list of 2018 library aid received by each public school district is available at:


Established in 1848 by the State Constitution, the BCPL consists of the Secretary of State Doug La Follette, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Attorney General Josh Kaul.  The BCPL manages the Common School Fund, which was created in Article X of Wisconsin’s Constitution, as a permanent endowment to benefit public education.

To learn more about the agency, visit bcpl.wisconsin.gov.

Dane Co. judge hears arguments in suit challenging lame-duck laws

A Dane County Circuit Court judge is mulling his next step in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the recent lame-duck session, after hearing arguments on blocking laws passed during the session.

The suit, filed in January by the League of Women Voters and other groups, alleges the December extraordinary session wasn’t properly convened under the Wisconsin Constitution, rendering the laws invalid.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers made their cases Monday before Judge Richard Niess, who opted not to deliver a ruling from the bench. The suit is one of four challenging the laws.

In this case, Jeff Mandell, an attorney for the plaintiffs said it’s illegal to hold extraordinary sessions, while the Legislature, represented by former Solicitor General Misha Tseytlin, countered the body is free to meet at any point over the biennium.

Specifically, Tseytlin argued legislative sessions essentially are ongoing over the course of a two-year period, and conclude at the end of the second year of the biennium. That would mean the last session, which was first convened in January 2017, lasted through the end of 2018.

And Tseytlin framed extraordinary sessions as a “routine part of government that’s been going on for decades.”

He also said if the Legislature isn’t able to meet in extraordinary session, as the League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs are arguing, the ruling would invalidate any legislation passed during previous sessions.

If that happens, he said, term lengths for district attorneys and sheriffs would no longer be valid, meaning convictions over the last two decades would be overturned.

Niess interrupted: “You’re saying if I rule against you, I’m opening the prison doors?”

“I really don’t see how you don’t,” Tseytlin responded.

But Mandell countered it “simply isn’t the case disaster will reign” if his side perseveres.

He noted the court could opt not to apply the ruling retroactively, a move he said wouldn’t be “unusual.” And he said, for the most part, the laws passed in extraordinary sessions “are not controversial” and could easily be readopted. That includes, he said, a 2003 law designating the cranberry as state fruit.

Mandell noted while the Legislature has convened in extraordinary session previously, that fact alone doesn’t imply legality.

“Unconstitutional practices, your honor, are not cured by repetition,” he said.

Mandell also pushed back on Tseytlin’s argument on the length of a session, noting state law prohibits lobbyists from making donations to lawmakers’ campaigns until the end of the legislative session. Legislators, he said, accepted those donations last year, during the time frame Tseytlin has said the session was still ongoing.

Gov. Evers: Advocates for expanding Medicaid in visits to Janesville, Beloit

Contact: [email protected]gov or 608-219-7443
Gov. Evers: Advocates for expanding Medicaid in visits to Janesville, Beloit
MADISON – Today, Governor Tony Evers and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm visited the HealthNet Rock County Dental Clinic and the Rock and Walworth Counties Head Start highlighting the governor’s dental and “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” initiatives in his 2019-21 biennial budget.

“By expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin, our budget improves access to quality, affordable health care for people across our state,” said Gov. Evers. “Today we saw firsthand the kind of impact our budget can have folks right here in Rock and Walworth Counties through expanding basic dental care, investing in preventative health screenings, and supporting families through increased pregnancy and birth services funding.”

Wisconsin ranks 45th in the nation for dental care for children enrolled in Medicaid. Gov. Evers’ budget includes significant investments in programs to increase access to basic dental services, expanding the Seal-A-Smile and the Donated Dental Service Programs, respectively, in the Division of Public Health’s Oral Health Program, and increasing provider payments for Medicaid providers and health care providers for persons with disabilities. The governor’s “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” initiatives includes funding targeting birth outcomes and preventative care services like cancer screenings, STI prevention, testing, and treatment, and health screenings.

“These are critically important services and we have to put in the resources to make sure health care is affordable and accessible. That’s why we’re going to be fighting for Medicaid expansion in our budget and why we need support for these initiatives going forward.”

Gov. Evers: Signs Executive Order #17 relating to the creation of the Governor’s Health Equity Council


MILWAUKEE — Following a tour of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Midtown Clinic in Milwaukee, Governor Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #17 establishing the Governor’s Health Equity Council.

According to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute’s 2016 Wisconsin Report Card, the state of Wisconsin has an overall health disparities grade of “D.” The Report Card also notes that while Wisconsin’s grade for overall health has remained the same since 2007, the health disparities grade has gotten worse since 2010, moving from a C- to a D in 2013 and 2016.

The Governor’s Health Equity Council will work to develop a plan, supported by a body of research, with key benchmarks to reduce and eliminate health disparities throughout the state of Wisconsin by 2030. The plan shall address health disparities in populations based on race, economic status, education level, history of incarceration, and geographic location.

“Accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid is central to our efforts to improve the health and well-being of all Wisconsinites, but so too is addressing the racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities that contribute to poor health outcomes,” said Gov. Evers. “Through programs like our Healthy Women, Healthy Babies initiatives, as well as through the work of our newly created Health Equity Council, we will continue to seek innovative and commonsense solutions to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities.”

Individuals interested in serving on the Health Equity Council should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] by April 30th, 2019.

View Executive Order #17 here.

Greater Wisconsin hits Hagedorn in two new TV ads


The Greater Wisconsin Committee is hitting conservative Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn with two TV ads that accuse him of trying to “turn back the clock” on discrimination and favoring corporate special interests over children.

They are the fourth and fifth TV ads of the campaign from the Greater Wisconsin Committee or its affiliate the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. The group said both are running on broadcast, cable and online in the Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau and La Crosse/Eau Claire markets.

One shows color images of children and then black-and-white pictures of women’s suffragists and Rosa Parks before the narrator says someone wants to “turn back the clock.” The narrator goes on to say Hagedorn took money from an anti-gay group, tried to strip hospital visitation rights from gay partners, and “runs a school” that bans teachers, students and parents for being gay.

It concludes, “Tell Judge Hagedorn: Discrimination against anyone is wrong.”

The other focuses on changes to liability laws affecting lead paint companies that were made while Hagedorn was chief legal counsel to former Gov. Scott Walker. The narrator says Hagedorn lobbied to “let those responsible for poisoning kids off the hook” while corporate special interests “funneled secret cash to Hagedorn’s allies.”

The narrator adds Hagedorn says the Supreme Court “was wrong when it ruled to protect lead paint victims” before urging viewers to tell him “protect our children, not the special interests.”

One Wisconsin Now: Brian Hagedorn’s college classmates saw Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate’s political ambition

MADISON, Wis. — College classmates recognized the political fervor in state Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn, naming him “most likely to run for president,” according to his college yearbook. As a law student, the hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) accepted him into their program to train right-wing legal activists. He even worked as a top lawyer to the governor and advocated for the election of a conservative court justice as critical to defending the political agenda he supported. Now, as a candidate for office, Brian Hagedorn is attempting to distance himself from the political inclinations his record clearly reveals.

“Brian Hagedorn claims he could leave his politics behind,” said One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “The reality of what he has done and continues to do is different. His college classmates saw it when he was an undergraduate and looking at his record the people of Wisconsin can see it now.”

In the 2000 yearbook of Trinity International University, a small evangelical Christian school in Illinois, Hagedorn’s fellow undergraduate students tabbed him as “most likely to run for president.”

Several years later, as a law student, Hagedorn was accepted into the Blackstone Legal Fellowship. In their publicly available promotional material, the often secretive ADF describes the program to train right-wing activists as a “long-term investment in its participants” with the ultimate goal to “form a far reaching network of legal professionals … to create lasting change in our legal culture.”

While Hagedorn described ADF as “formed to fight the culture wars,” others have classified it as a hate group based on its agenda that includes support for, “the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad” and that the group “has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society.”

Hagedorn’s willingness to use courts to advance his agenda were revealed during his time as a top lawyer for the governor, when he tried to undermine a Wisconsin law providing basic rights for LGBTQ couples like hospital visitation and inheritance.

He petitioned the court for the state to withdraw from the case defending the state domestic partnership registry, as they agreed with the plaintiffs’ legal analysis and conclusion that the law the state constitution. Hagedorn’s contention that the law ought to be struck down was unanimously rejected by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Beilman-Dulin also noted that Hagedorn explicitly urged people to vote for a conservative judicial candidate for the state high court because it would help advance the political agenda of the governor he was working for.

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Pro-Life Wisconsin: Welcomes leaders of life saving initiative

Dan Miller, State Director
P: 262.796.1111 ext. 11
E: [email protected]

Anna DeMeuse, Communications Director
P: 262.796.1111 ext. 12
E: [email protected]

Milwaukee, WI –  On Tuesday, March 19 at 3:30 PM Steve Karlen, 40 Days for Life Campaign Director, and Chris Davis, 40 Days for Life Campaign Strategist, will be on tour in Wisconsin at 1428 N. Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202.

Their Milwaukee visit is part of a two day Wisconsin tour in Kenosha, Sheboygan, and Stevens Point. “40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families,” the mission states. Since the Spring campaign started on March 6, 2019, pro-life individuals have kept vigil day and night at local abortion facilities. Through their peaceful presence, 92 women have chosen life for their babies rather than abortion.

Steve Karlen, current Campaign Director, was a volunteer leader with the 40 Days for Life campaign in Madison, Wisconsin through Pro-Life Wisconsin’s affiliate, Vigil for Life, before he found himself at the center of a nationwide controversy. The health system at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin Madison, was secretly preparing to open a late-term abortion center on campus and groups across the state looked to him for leadership. After nearly a year and a half, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics abandoned its plan to open an abortion facility, citing Steve and the pro-life community in Dane County as the reason for the decision.

Chris Davis, Campaign Strategist, has led sixteen 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2010. He has witnessed more than 100 babies saved in his community, at least one abortion worker leave the abortion industry, and the permanent closure of an abortion facility.  He is eager to bring a peaceful message of life and hope as Campaign Strategist on the 40 Days for Life headquarters team.

“Pro-Life Wisconsin welcomes Steve Karlen and Chris Davis to the State of Wisconsin. We are immensely grateful to the 40 Days for Life Campaign and all dedicated volunteers who partake in this local life saving effort.”

Racine Mayor Mason: And Foxconn partner on Smart City initiatives

CONTACT: Shannon Powell

Partnership will make Racine a hub of innovation that enhances quality of life and work for residents and businesses

City of Racine – Mayor Cory Mason, together with Foxconn Technology Group’s (Foxconn) executive leadership, today announced a partnership to pursue public-private partnerships to accelerate a shared vision for Racine as a ‘Smart City.’ The agreement, which Mayor Mason will submit for the Common Council’s approval tonight, builds on the “Racine Smart City Initiative” framework passed in February. Dr. Louis Woo, Special Assistant to the Foxconn Chairman and CEO, signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on behalf of Foxconn.

Projects within the scope of the agreement include the development of strategic relationships with public and private organizations, academic institutions, or technology-based companies. Under the agreement, various partnerships will yield solutions for industry sectors such as public safety, transportation systems, public utilities, high-speed networks, and related infrastructure.

“Racine’s history is rooted in innovation. We are inventors, builders, and doers. To be successful in the 21st century and continue to innovate, we have to anticipate the needs of future entrepreneurs and create an environment that will attract innovators to the City of Racine,” said Mayor Mason.

“Partnering with Foxconn gives the City a unique competitive advantage. All over the world there is a Smart City movement happening, and both the City and Foxconn want to operate in that space. The City’s infrastructure combined with ingenuity of Foxconn sends a clear message to innovators and investors – if you have an idea, you want to be in Racine,” continued Mason.

Foxconn owns two buildings in the City of Racine – 601 Lake Ave, which will be a hub for Smart City projects, and One Main Street, named Foxconn Place Racine. The building will also be home to the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center, part of the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is building in Wisconsin.

Dr. Louis Woo said the Racine Smart City Initiative will be a great outcome for both parties and in line with Foxconn’s vision for a AI 8K+5G ecosystem.

“This initiative speaks to the core of what Foxconn is all about, and this partnership will cement a lasting legacy for the next generation of innovators in the City of Racine and beyond. I am excited to see projects get off the ground and start to take shape. I have no doubt that we will soon see some exciting stories of creativity, discovery, and success that will positively shape the future of Racine and Wisconsin as a whole,” said Dr. Woo.

Last month, the Common Council authorized the City of Racine to submit an application to the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge. Winning the challenge would officially designate Racine as a “Smart City” as well as give the City access to best practices in use of integrated technology and systems implementation, capital for specific projects, and consulting support from the Smart Cities Council. Only five cities in North America will receive the award.

On Friday, March 15th, the City was notified that it was selected as one of the 10 remaining finalists. The five winners of the Readiness Challenge will be announced on April 16th.

“I am excited about the opportunities the partnership with Foxconn and the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge presents. For our residents, my goal is to use data and new technologies to make more informed decisions and deliver better services. When it comes entrepreneurs, we want to be the City of choice for inventors and innovation. There is a lot of work to still be done, but we are making fantastic progress,” said Mayor Mason.

Rep. Shankland: To hold two budget office hours on Friday

STEVENS POINT – Representative Katrina Shankland (D–Stevens Point) is pleased to announce two sessions of her monthly office hours this Friday, March 22, at the Community Engagement Room on Mid-State Technical College’s Stevens Point campus, as well as at Central Waters Brewery in Amherst.

Rep. Shankland hosts office hours every month around the 71st Assembly District to hear from her constituents. Members of the public are invited to join Rep. Shankland to share their questions and concerns about any matters facing state government. This month, special focus will be given to Governor Evers’ biennial state budget. Feel free to stay for all or part of it!

Friday, March 22

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Mid-State Technical College

Community Engagement Room

1001 Centerpoint Drive

Stevens Point, WI 54481




1:30- 2:30 p.m.


Central Waters Brewery

351 Allen Street

Amherst, WI 54406


Sanders campaign: Announces national staff hires


Arianna Jones: 
[email protected]
Sarah Ford: [email protected]

WASHINGTON – Bernie 2020 today announced a slate of national staff supporting Sen. Sanders’ campaign for president. The team brings a diverse and dynamic set of skills and experiences as political operatives, organizers and digital and communications strategists — and will help lead an innovative, grassroots campaign to win the Democratic primary, defeat Donald Trump and transform American politics.

Full details below:

Faiz Shakir, Campaign Manager
Faiz joins the campaign from the ACLU, where he served as the national political director, overseeing the organization’s Washington Legislative Office and State Advocacy and Policy departments. Prior to joining the ACLU, Shakir worked as one of the most senior advisers to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Shakir also served as Senior Adviser and Director of Digital Media for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and was a founding member and editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress.org.

Rene Spellman, Deputy Campaign Manager
René Spellman joins the campaign from Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where she harnessed the power and reach of the entertainment industry to create positive social change by connecting clients to philanthropic and advocacy opportunities. Previously, she served as Campaign Manager for Jim Barksdale for U.S. Senate and a New York State Assembly race. An alumnae of Bernie 2016, she served as the campaign’s National Director of Traveling Press and Media Logistics during the primary season before becoming National Director of Surrogates during the convention.

René began her career in politics as a Youth Vote Director on the 2008 Obama for America presidential campaign and went on to become a Senior Advisor in Florida during the 2012 re-election campaign. Between campaign cycles, René was Vice President of Youth Marketing and Entertainment at a global public relations agency, Vice President of Local Marketing at a music marketing and management consulting firm, and a political appointee during President Barack Obama’s first term in the White House Council for Community Solutions, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Ari Rabin-Havt, Chief of Staff
Ari Rabin-Havt will serve as Chief of Staff, transitioning into the role from Sanders’ Senate office where he held the title of Deputy Chief of Staff. Prior to working for Sanders, Ari hosted The Agenda, which aired nationally on SiriusXM, and served as Executive Vice President of Media Matters for America. Ari previously served as an advisor to Al Gore and former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. He is the author of several books including Lies Incorporated: The World of Post Truth Politics.

Analilia Mejia, Political Director
Before joining Sanders’ team as the National Political Director, Analilia Mejia led grassroots, labor and community building efforts in New Jersey and across the Midwest for various unions and grassroots organizations, including; SEIU, Unite Here, Workers United and UFCW. During her tenure at the Working Families Party, Analilia successfully led the effort to elect progressive candidates and pass progressive policies such as a $15 Minimum Wage, guaranteed Earned Sick Days for workers and Automatic Voter Registration amongst other policies adopted in New Jersey. Her work has been recognized by various leaders, organizations and news outlets, and in 2015 she was honored by President Obama as a “Champion of Change.” She is the daughter of Colombian and Dominican immigrants, a mother of two, and an activist through and through.

Sarah Badawi, Deputy Political Director
Prior to joining Sen. Sanders’ campaign team last fall as a Senior Advisor, Sarah Badawi served as Legislative Affairs Director for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee where she specialized in turning popular opinion into legislative momentum for progressive priorities. In 2016, she was recognized by Fusion Media as one of the 30 women under 30 changing the presidential election for her work transforming the conversation on higher education resulting in a majority of democratic lawmakers embracing the goal of making college debt-free for everyone. During her time with the PCCC, Sarah spearheaded legislative strategy while working closely with members of Congress, federal candidates, and senior political staff to elevate an increasingly progressive Democratic platform. Sarah earned her bachelors from the University of Florida and her JD from the George Washington Law School.

Claire Sandberg, National Organizing Director
Claire Sandberg joins Bernie 2020 as National Organizing Director. In 2016 she was the Bernie campaign’s Distributed Organizing Director. The Bernie 2016 distributed program empowered volunteers to make over 85 million phone calls, send 10 million peer to peer text messages, and host over 80,000 individual events. In 2018 Claire served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Abdul El-Sayed in his gubernatorial run in Michigan, and worked for Ady Barkan’s organization, Be A Hero.

Josh Orton, Policy Director
Most recently, Josh worked as senior advisor in Sen. Sanders’ U.S. Senate office. Previously, Josh served as longtime senior advisor and policy director to Sen. Russ Feingold, and as senior legal advisor to NARAL Pro-Choice America, focused on judicial nominations including Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. Josh was also press secretary and progressive outreach director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, serving when Democrats regained Senate control in 2006. He is originally from Madison, Wisconsin, and received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Heather Gautney, Senior Policy Advisor
Heather Gautney is senior policy advisor on Bernie 2020 and a professor of sociology at Fordham University. She was the Executive Director of Our Revolution, and prior to that served as a senior policy advisor on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, where Sen. Sanders is the ranking member. Dr. Gautney was a senior researcher for Bernie 2016, and legislative fellow in Sanders’ Senate office from 2012-2013. She has written and edited books, opinion essays, and academic articles on US politics, social movements, social inequality, and workforce issues, including an analysis of the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, entitled Crashing the Party.

Arianna Jones, Communications Director
Arianna is an alum of Bernie 2016 where she served as the deputy communications director. After 2016, Arianna worked as a senior vice president at Revolution Messaging, leading earned media strategy and public relations campaigns for progressive clients and campaigns. She most recently served as the senior communications advisor for Friends of Bernie Sanders. Prior to joining the campaign in ‘16, Arianna spent four years as a booking, segment and field producer for MSNBC’s The Ed Show, elevating voices of the labor movement, progressive leadership, and the middle class through multi-platform storytelling.

Sarah Ford, Deputy Communications Director
Sarah is an alum of Bernie 2016 where she served as the national deputy press secretary. Since 2016, she worked at BerlinRosen Public Affairs, focusing on communications strategy and public relations for leading labor unions, and served as the communications director for Cynthia Nixon’s bid for governor of New York. Prior to launch, she also worked as a communications advisor for Friends of Bernie Sanders.

Briahna Joy Gray, National Press Secretary
Briahna Gray is a former attorney, columnist and senior politics editor at The Intercept. Prior to joining The Intercept, Briahna practiced law at a boutique litigation firm in New York City and was a contributing editor to Current Affairs Magazine. She received a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2011, and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 2007.

David Sirota, Senior Communications Adviser & Speechwriter
David Sirota is a senior adviser and speechwriter for Senator Sanders’ presidential campaign. Prior to that, he has been an award-winning investigative journalist at Newsweek/IBT and Capital & Main; a newspaper columnist at The Guardian; and a radio host in Denver. He has previously served as a media strategist for Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont during his Senate race and for Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. In the early 2000s, Sirota also served as Sanders’ U.S. House press secretary, as the spokesperson for Democrats on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, and as the Director of Strategic Communications for the Center for American Progress.

Georgia Parke, Senior Social Media Strategist
Georgia Parke joins the campaign as Senior Social Media Strategist after serving in Bernie’s Senate office since 2016. As Digital Director in the Senate office she managed Sanders’ social media pages with a total 16 million followers, including his Facebook page, which reached followers 3.9 billion times and garnered more than 700 million video views in 2018 alone. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in political science.

Tim Tagaris, Senior Advisor  
Tim Tagaris served as the Digital Fundraising Director for Senator Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. As the owner of Aisle 518 Strategies, Tagaris’ team has helped drive record-setting small-dollar fundraising for organizations like Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, VoteVets and the campaigns of Senator Chris Murphy and Stacey Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign in Georgia among others.

Robin Curran, Digital Fundraising Director
During the 2018 election cycle, she served as Email Director at the Democratic National Committee where she led the team to reach record-breaking online fundraising numbers. Before that, Robin worked with a variety of progressive campaigns and organizations, including Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. She was one of three people dedicated to running the national email and online fundraising program, which brought in a total of $218 million from more than 8 million donations.

Senate Dems annual golf outing 🗓


Senate Democrats Annual Golf Outing
Tuesday, July 30

Evening reception at the Chula Vista Tavern Restaurant (inside golf course clubhouse) with soon to be announced Special Guest

1000 Chula Vista Parkway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

5:30-7 p.m.
Sponsor Levels: $3000, $2000, $1000
Suggested Contribution: $500

RSVP to [email protected] or 608-260-2417

Hotel reservations for Tuesday night available at Chula Vista Resort. Rooms are $179.00 + tax and resort fee. Call 1-855-785-4343 and use booking ID H12963 to book a room. Rooms will be released from the block on June 30th, so be sure to book them soon!

Wednesday, July 31
Golfing at Cold Water Canyon Golf Course
1000 Chula Vista Parkway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

9 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
10 a.m. Shotgun start
3 p.m. Afternoon Reception

Foursome: $4000
Individual Golfer and Wednesday Reception: $1000
Hole Sponsorship: $750

Wednesday Reception only: $500

RSVP to [email protected] or 608-260-2417

Senate Dems annual golf outing 🗓


Tuesday, July 30th

Evening reception at the Chula Vista Tavern Restaurant (inside golf course clubhouse) with soon to be announced Special Guest

1000 Chula Vista Parkway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Sponsor Levels: $3000, $2000, $1000
Suggested Contribution: $500

RSVP to [email protected] or 608-260-2417

Hotel reservations for Tuesday night available at Chula Vista Resort. Rooms are $179.00 + tax and resort fee. Call 1-855-785-4343 and use booking ID H12963 to book a room. Rooms will be released from the block on June 30th, so be sure to book them soon!

Wednesday, July 31
Golfing at Cold Water Canyon Golf Course
1000 Chula Vista Parkway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

9 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
10 a.m. Shotgun start
3 p.m. Afternoon Reception

Foursome: $4000
Individual Golfer and Wednesday Reception: $1000
Hole Sponsorship: $750

Wednesday Reception only: $500

RSVP to [email protected] or 608-260-2417

Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation: Entrepreneurship and workforce intrinsically linked



For Immediate Release

March 18, 2019


Entrepreneurship and Workforce Intrinsically Linked


By Ray York, Business Counselor for the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay


Sheboygan County, WI – According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, a function of economic development is bringing jobs to people; most economic development organizations focus on ‘workforce development,’ which is about bringing people to jobs.  The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has this focus of ‘workforce development’ but also believes that entrepreneurship development is intrinsically linked to our workforce needs in Sheboygan County. One of the SCEDC’s goals is to work with educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations to create entrepreneurial classes and programming.  Expanding entrepreneurship education is essential to addressing our continuously changing workforce needs.


Why are entrepreneurship education and workforce development linked?  When entrepreneurship principles are taught, employers get a more adaptable workforce, which is better equipped to deal with a multitude of environments, has better analytic and problem-solving skills, creative and design ability, social awareness, and collaborative communication.  “When we see a student with an entrepreneurial education background, we get very interested,” said a local college relations recruiter. “These students tend to be years ahead of their peers.”


World Learning Inc states that 25% of global youth aged 15-29 are not in school, employed, or in training.  In many places, adults are out of work simply because their skills do not match the available opportunities.  World Learning Inc believes that entrepreneurship programs build a more promising future by training youth and adults in the skills essential in the modern workplace, encouraging them to respond constructively to community needs and opportunities, and ultimately helping them find or create meaningful work.


Sheboygan County offers a variety of learning experiences focused on entrepreneurship principles.  The SCEDC works with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay to help facilitate individual entrepreneurship and business counseling.  The SBDC regularly teaches a business writing class called Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP). Entrepreneurship education is taught in our postsecondary schools as well, such as Lakeland University and Lakeshore Technical College.  Junior Achievement also has a program in our local schools that teaches 4th graders basic entrepreneurship.


According to a Gallup survey, organized by Junior Achievement, 96% of employees feel it is important for the American workforce to become more entrepreneurial in order to keep America competitive in the global market.  Also, 46% of employees and 41% of hiring professionals believe the best place to learn entrepreneurship is in grades K-12, surpassing all other options.


Sheboygan County’s school districts understand the workforce needs of the future.  Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) has recognized that entrepreneurship helps build an adaptable workforce and is working to implement an innovative program called INCubatoredu.  “This program offers students an authentic entrepreneurship experience,” said Graig Stone, SASD department chair and business education and information technology teacher. “INCubatoredu is a year-long program where students create and fully develop their own product or service.  Volunteer experts serve as coaches and mentors helping student teams through the processes of developing hypotheses about a business concept, testing those hypotheses, adapting, and continually learning and improving.” This experimentation is combined with foundational marketing and finance content and teaches students the adaptability and communications skills needed in the workforce today.    


With the SCEDC, Sheboygan County schools, and Sheboygan County employers working together on entrepreneurial and workforce development, we will be able to meet our fast-changing workforce needs in Sheboygan County and drive more success in our communities!


For more information about SCEDC entrepreneurial services please email at [email protected] or call (920)452-2479.


For more information about, donating to, or coaching/mentoring opportunities for, the INCubatoredu program at SASD please email Jason Duff, Academic and Career Planning Coordinator, at [email protected] or call (920)459-6493.



State Supreme Court: Releases opinions


2017AP850-CR (2019 WI 25) State of Wisconsin v. Joseph B. Reinwand – THE DECISION OF THE CIRCUIT COURT IS AFFIRMED.
Justice Rebecca Frank Dallet, Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley concur – opinion filed.




2016AP1525 (2019 WI 24) Milwaukee District Council 48 v. Milwaukee County – THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IS AFFIRMED.
Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler and Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack dissent – opinion filed.





State Treasurer Godlewski: Financing provided for public safety initiatives around Wisconsin

Contact: Sarah Smith, [email protected]

MADISON- Today, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) approved financing for important public safety improvements around Wisconsin.

The town of Greenville, in Outagamie County, will now be able to build a public safety building for the town’s fire and police departments. BCPL is providing them with over $6 million in financing that will provided a proper decontamination area, vehicle bays, and conference rooms for planning.

“Fire, police, and other emergency services are essential to our community’s overall wellbeing. We have an obligation to make sure public safety needs are appropriately financed, and I’m glad we can support the Greenville’s fire and police departments.” said board chair, Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.

The village of Twin Lakes, in Kenosha County, is also received financing to purchase a fire truck. Both Twin Lakes and Greenville fire departments operate with primarily volunteers.

“Volunteer fire departments are prevalent across Wisconsin and often lack the resources necessary to provide fast and effective service to their community. The state trust fund financing program is intended to be used by communities like Twin Lakes that provide the needed resources to local governments,” stated Godlewski.

TUE AM Update: New Greater Wisconsin ad targets Hagedorn on abortion

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TUE News Summary: Foxconn to start manufacturing plant construction this summer

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TUE PM Update: Hagedorn, Neubauer clash again, Greater Wisconsin goes up with more TV ads

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U.S. Rep. Kind: Returns $107,608.50 to taxpayers from annual office budget

Contact: Aaron White
Phone: 202-225-5506
[email protected]

Kind has returned nearly $2 million to pay down the debt

La Crosse – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind announced that he is returning $107,608.50 to the U.S. Treasury to pay down the national debt. Rep. Kind has found savings in his congressional budget every year since taking office and has returned nearly $2 million to taxpayers, to date. 

“Now more than ever, we need to re-instill a sense of fiscal responsibility in Congress. I want to lead by example, which is why every year – with the help of my staff – I find savings in my office budget and return our unused funds to the U.S. Treasury to pay down our National debt. This year, I am proud to return $107,608.50 – bringing the grand total to just shy of $2 million to date,” said Rep. Ron Kind.

Rep. Kind’s interest in finding savings in government programs began as an intern for Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin. While interning, Rep. Kind was tasked with investigating wasteful government spending programs for Sen. Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Awards.

Rep. Kind has continued on this tradition as Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District Representative, and has fought to lower the national debt and cut wasteful spending across a wide range of government programs and agencies, such as wasteful spending on outdated Defense equipment and reducing bloated farm subsidy payments to millionaires and billionaires in the Farm Bill program.

Last week, Rep. Ron Kind introduced a bipartisan bill that will require that all unused Congressional office funds be returned at the end of fiscal year to the U.S. Treasury, and be used for deficit or debt reduction. The Giveback Deficit Reduction Act was introduced with Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ).

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Helps introduce legislation to take on student debt crisis

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Contact: [email protected]



U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislation to Take on Student Debt Crisis


Aid Student Loan Borrowers With Refinancing At Lower Interest Rate


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped reintroduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to allow undergraduate borrowers repaying public or private loans to refinance those loans to an interest rate of 3.76 percent.

The bill, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), would allow graduate and parent borrowers to refinance to competitive rates, which can reduce monthly payments and help borrowers repay loans sooner. This legislation will help families and students afford the costs of higher education and reduce the burden of student loan debt.

“Higher education should be a path to prosperity, not suffocating debt. Right now, student loan debt is holding back an entire generation and creating a drag on economic growth in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation will help bring relief to Wisconsin students and families by ensuring they can refinance their loans and pursue a repayment plan that works for them.”

“The student debt crisis is real for millions of Americans, and our current student loan system is deeply unfair to borrowers,” Senator Warren said. “This legislation has always been about basic fairness: people should be able to lower their federal student loan interest rates and reduce their debt burdens like they can with a mortgage, car loan, or other consumer loans.”

“With interest rates near historic lows, students and recent graduates should be able to refinance their debts in the same way that we allow business entities, homeowners, and others to refinance,” said Representative Courtney. “A college education is one of the most valuable investments a family can make, but it’s also become one of the most expensive – and student loans often come with higher interest rates than mortgages, car loans and other forms of consumer lending. With so many young borrowers struggling to make payments on student loans with overinflated interest rates and on legacy loans with high interest rates that are locked-in, and with agencies like the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sounding the alarm on the dangers of rising student debt, Congress shouldn’t wait any longer to take action on Senator Warren’s and my bill, which will help ease the burden on student and family borrowers by giving them the same sort of refinancing options available in other markets.”

The Act would allow borrowers with existing public or private student loans to refinance those loans to a 3.76 percent annual interest rate – the same lower rate that was offered in the 2016-2017 school year. Graduate school loans could be refinanced to 5.41 percent, and parent loans for a child’s education to 6.41 percent. According to estimates from the Department of Education, about 25 million borrowers would be likely to refinance under this legislation, and borrowers would receive an average savings of $2,000 over the life of their loan.

The bill was also cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives with 58 cosponsors.

University of Wisconsin: New rankings show healthiest and least healthy counties in Wisconsin


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                    Contact: Andrew Hellpap

March 19, 2019                                                                (608) 316-9786

                                               [email protected]uwhealth.org


New rankings show healthiest and least healthy counties in Wisconsin

Report explores the impact of severe housing-cost burden on residents


PRINCETON, N.J. and MADISON — Ozaukee County ranks healthiest in Wisconsin and Menominee County is the least healthy county in the state, again, according to the annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).

The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

An easy-to-use snapshot that compares counties within states, the Rankings State Report calls attention to key drivers in health such as severe housing-cost burden and its connection to other factors like children in poverty. High housing costs can force some families to live in unsafe or overcrowded housing or even become homeless. This year’s Rankings State Reports show stark differences across and within counties in the opportunity to afford a home, especially for people of color and those with low incomes. In addition, the analyses show that a lack of opportunity for a safe, secure and affordable home is tied to poor health.

Among Wisconsin’s children living in poverty, 49 percent were living in a household that spends more than half of its income on housing. High housing costs make it difficult for families to afford other essentials that contribute to good health, such as healthy food, medicine or transportation to work or school.

Looking at differences by place and race offers a more complete picture of health. While in Wisconsin, 13 percent of households spend more than half of their income on housing costs, when race is taken into account, even deeper differences emerge. Households headed by black residents are the most burdened by severe housing costs at 28 percent, compared to white resident households at 11 percent. County by county, severe housing-cost burden ranges from seven percent to 19 percent of households.

“This year’s report clearly shows the linkage between quality, affordable housing and health. Policies such as the expansion of Medicaid not only expand access to health care, but can link people with resources to keep them healthy, such as safe housing,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, now deputy secretary, Department of Health Services. (Van Dijk helped put together the report.)

“These rankings continue to frame the importance of focusing on factors that may not be traditionally seen as impacting health. Social determinants such as healthy housing, income and education are crucial to influencing how healthy we are as a state. The shared understanding and collective voice that public health organizations across the state have about rankings and these factors are key to establish better health outcomes,” said Lieske Giese, Wisconsin Public Health Association president and Eau Claire City-County Health Department Health director.

According to the 2019 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Wisconsin, starting with the most healthy, are Ozaukee County, followed by Washington County, St. Croix County, Waukesha County and Calumet County. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with the least healthy, are Menominee County, Milwaukee County, Sawyer County, Forest County and Vilas County.

“Our homes are inextricably tied to our health,” said Dr. Richard Besser, RWJF president and CEO. “It’s unacceptable that so many individuals and families face barriers to health because of what they have to spend on housing. This leaves them with fewer dollars to keep their families healthy. Imagine the stress and pain that come with unplanned moves. We are all healthier and stronger together when everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of the color of their skin or how much money they make.”

In addition to the county-level data, the rankings also features What Works for Health, a database of more than 400 evidence-informed strategies to support local changemakers as they take steps toward expanding opportunities. Each strategy is rated for its evidence of effectiveness and likely impact on health disparities. The Take Action Center also provides valuable guidance for communities who want to move with data to action.

“All communities have the potential to be places where everyone enjoys full and equal opportunity. But the data show that’s not happening in most communities yet. Children of color face a greater likelihood of growing up in poverty, and low-income families struggle to pay rent and get enough to eat,” said Sheri Johnson, acting director of County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. “It is time to do the difficult work of coming together to undo policies and practices that create barriers to opportunity. The rankings can help communities ground these important conversations in data, evidence, guidance and stories about challenges and success.”




About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.


About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state and national levels. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. A focal point for health and health care dialogue within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond, and a convener of stakeholders, the Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena. The Institute leads the work on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the RWJF Culture of Health Prize. For more information, visit http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu.

UW-Madison: Team finds key to cancer pathway

CONTACT: Richard Anderson, (608) 262-3753, [email protected]; Vincent Cryns, (608) 262-4786, [email protected]

DOWNLOAD IMAGE: https://uwmadison.box.com/v/cancer-pathway


Discovery could unlock new therapies

MADISON – Scientists have long known that the protein p53, when mutated, is a critical factor in the onset of many different kinds of cancer. In its unmutated form, however, it is known to protect against cancer.

These dueling qualities make the p53 protein and the gene that makes it among the most studied in biology, yet the molecular mechanisms that govern its stability and function have yet to be fully understood.

Writing this week (March 18, 2019) in the journal Nature Cell Biology, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison cancer researchers Richard A. Anderson and Vincent Cryns reports the discovery of an unexpected regulator of the critical protein, opening the door to the development of drugs that could target it.

“p53, like Janus, has two faces,” says Anderson, referencing the Roman god of gates and doorways. “The p53 gene is the most frequently mutated gene in cancers, and when mutated it switches its function from a tumor suppressor to an oncogene that drives the majority of cancers.”

Typically, explains Anderson of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the p53 protein serves as “the guardian of the genome,” initiating the repair of DNA damaged by ultraviolet radiation, chemicals or other means and preventing tumor growth. When mutated, however, the protein goes rogue, becoming more stable and abundant than its unmutated counterpart, accumulating in the nucleus of the cell and causing cancer.

The research team, which includes study lead authors and postdoctoral fellows Suyong Choi and Mo Chen, found a new mechanism that drives this stability. The culprit: an enzyme called PIPK1-alpha and its lipid messenger, known as PIP2, which seem to behave as a master regulator of p53.

The Wisconsin team showed that when a cell is stressed, whether by DNA damage or other means, the enzyme associates with p53 and produces PIP2, which binds strongly to it and promotes interaction between p53 and molecules known as small heat shock proteins. This stabilizes the protein complex, setting the stage for cancer, including aggressive cancers such as triple negative breast cancer.

“Small heat shock proteins are really good at stabilizing proteins,” says Cryns, a professor of medicine in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and expert on heat shock proteins. “In our case, their binding to mutant p53 likely facilitates its cancer-promoting actions, something we are actively exploring.”

In the new study, the researchers also showed that when the PIP2 enzyme pathway is disrupted, mutant p53 does not accumulate and cause damage.

“If you can eliminate mutant p53, you might be able to eliminate cancers driven by p53,” says Anderson.

The researchers are now actively searching for inhibitors of the PIPK1-alpha enzyme, a kinase, that could be used to treat tumors harboring p53 mutations.

“Although p53 is one of the most commonly mutated genes in cancer, we still do not have any drugs that specifically target p53,” Cryns notes. “Our discovery of this new molecular complex points to several different ways to target p53 for destruction, including blocking the kinase or other molecules that bind to p53.”

The findings, Anderson adds, were a little puzzling because the catalytic enzyme and PIP2 are typically and most abundantly found in cell membranes and not in the cell nucleus interior, where mutant p53 does its damage.

“This lipid pathway is weird,” he says. “Lipids are supposed to be in membranes and this is not in a membrane compartment.”

# # #

UW-Milwaukee: Police officer involved in shooting on campus

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Michelle Johnson, (414) 229-7490, [email protected]

A UWM police officer shot an individual this morning near the loading dock by the Fine Arts Building. The individual, who is not connected to UWM, was taken to the hospital. No UWM students or employees were injured in the incident. An investigation is underway.

Campus is open, although the area around the Fine Arts Building has been blocked off by police. Operations are normal. However, this is spring break, and no classes are in session.

Waukesha Co. Exec. Farrow: Names Andrew Thelke new director of Dept. of Administration

Contact: Nicole Armendariz
Phone: 262-548-7902

(Waukesha, WI) – Today, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow announces the appointment of Andrew Thelke as Director of the Waukesha County Department of Administration. Thelke will replace current Director Norman Cummings, who is retiring in June. The Director of Administration serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the County and oversees Budget, Accounting, Business Services, Human Resources, Information Systems, Risk Management, and Purchasing. Pending confirmation of the County Board, Thelke will begin working in his new position on May 1, 2019.

“Andrew Thelke’s government experience and proven track record as a manager made him the standout candidate for the Director of the Department of Administration,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “His background leading projects across multiple departments show he has the diverse experience to step into this role and lead the Department for years to come.

Mr. Thelke is a long time resident of Waukesha County and lives in the City of Waukesha with his wife Anne and two daughters. He received his Masters of Public Administration from UW-Milwaukee and began his career working in municipal management and for the State of Wisconsin before joining the County in 1997. He has served in areas of financial and operations management over his 20-year career with the County. For the past seven years Andrew has been the Department of Administration Business Services and Collections Manager.

Current Director of Administration Norman Cummings will retire in June. He served as Waukesha County’s Director of Administration since the Department’s creation in 1995. He has led many innovative initiatives, including a collaborative effort with the City and School District of Waukesha to establish the Waukesha Employee Health & Wellness Center in 2014.

Wisconsin Historical Society: Hosts 2019 National History Day LaCrosse regional contest

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kara O’Keeffe

[email protected]org


March 19, 2019


Wisconsin Historical Society Hosts 2019 National History Day LaCrosse Regional Contest

LaCrosse, Wis. – The 2019 National History Day LaCrosse Regional Contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Society will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm, at University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse campus. The 2019 theme is, “Triumph & Tragedy in History.”

“The National History Day Wisconsin regional contests are a great way to showcase talent from area students,” said Jenny Kalvaitis, National History Day coordinator. “This program teaches students how to develop skills in writing and research as well as how to think critically.”

This year’s theme, Triumph & Tragedy in History, requires students to look at history through multiple perspectives. Information on the La Crosse contest can be found here, https://www.uwlax.edu/history/student-resources/national-history-day/.

National History Day is like a science fair, but for history and was established over 30 years ago. It is an exciting academic enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. This yearlong academic adventure fosters students’ enthusiasm for learning and their love for history.

Each year over 10,000 students around Wisconsin present their ideas on the national theme through a variety of mediums including, documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances and websites.

Wisconsin has eight National History Day regions based on county groupings.

Winners at the regional level will move on to the state competition which will take place on April 13, 2019 in Madison at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. For more information, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org/NHD.


About National History Day

The Wisconsin Historical Society is the state’s sponsor institution for National History Day. The annual, year-long academic enrichment program helps more than 10,000 students in grades six through twelve learn about historical issues, ideas, people and events. For more information, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org/NHD.


About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.




Wisconsin Safety Council: Survey: Opioids impact 75 percent of workplaces in America

Wisconsin Safety Council Joins National Safety Council in Emphasizing Poison Prevention Week
MADISON – Three out of four workplaces in America have been impacted by opioid usage according to a new survey from the National Safety Council (NSC). During National Poison Prevention Week – March 17-23 – Wisconsin Safety Council is working with NSC to bring attention to the opioid epidemic, which kills someone every 12 minutes.
The nationwide survey found 38 percent of employers have experienced absenteeism or impaired worker performance due to opioids and 31 percent have experienced a near miss/injury, overdose or an arrest.
While such a large percentage of employers have experienced the effects of opioid usage, only 17 percent feel confident in dealing with the issue.
“Nearly every person in Wisconsin and across the country has been impacted by opioids, and this new data shows our workplaces are no different,” said Katie Yeutter, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President of Insurance & Safety Services. “We will continue to educate employers on how to best deal with this wide-spread ailment while working with employees to ensure they can spot the warning signs of opioid misuse.”
In an effort to fight back against the rise in opioid use, Wisconsin Safety Council – a program of WMC – will feature an educational session at its upcoming Annual Conference about the impact of opioids in the workplace. Additionally, the conference will focus on numerous other ways to keep workers safe on the job.
“The number of deaths directly resulting from opioids is on the rise, and we need to educate each other on the impacts it is having on families, workplaces, friends and our loved ones,” added Yeutter. “We will continue to share ways for everyone to address this epidemic and reduce the use of opioids.”
During Poison Prevention Week specifically, Wisconsin Safety Council will be focusing on actionable items for individuals to implement at home, work and on the go throughout the week.
  • Employers who want more information about managing prescription drug use in the workplace should click here for a free employer kit.
  • Watch this video to learn the key signs of an opioid overdose.
  • Break down the costs of the opioid epidemic in the workplace with this Substance Use Cost Calculator for employers by clicking here.
  • Watch this video to see the stories of employers, families and individuals who are affected by opioids.
The full NSC survey results are available by clicking here.

WisDems: Floundering Hagedorn campaign excoriated by conservative radio

Contact: Courtney Beyer, [email protected]

“I’m not going to lie, I’m a little concerned”

MADISON — Two weeks before the statewide election for Wisconsin Supreme Court, former Scott Walker lawyer Brian Hagedorn is finding criticism of his floundering campaign from even his most fervent supporters after weeks of brutal press coverage over his radical, partisan agenda.

Conservative radio host Dan O’Donnell sharply criticized Hagedorn on this morning’s “The Dan O’Donnell show” for his campaign’s many blunders and missteps, worrying aloud that Hagedorn doesn’t understand what’s at stake in this race. Excerpts from the program cast Hagedorn’s campaign apparatus as inept and incapable of getting out the vote, much less responding to supporters’ emails. When asked what his campaign was doing to reach voters, he could only point to the fact that he has a website.


“I have heard from…people who want to vote for you…they say ‘we don’t hear back when we email the campaign’” (30:02)

“Is your campaign responsive enough to the conservatives who want to support you?” (31:00)

“There is so much at stake in this race…I’m not going to lie, I’m a little concerned about some of the responsiveness” (36:20)

“I’ve been getting a lot of emails. I would say it’s almost 4:1 people concerned about the general lack of awareness that there’s even an election going on right now” (37:43)

“I’ve been hearing this since the start of January that people are concerned…that the campaign isn’t responsive enough, they’re not seeing enough tv or radio advertising” (37:55)

WisDOT: Orange barrels return, construction resumes along Verona Road (US 18/151) in Fitchburg

Steven Theisen, WisDOT Project Communications Manager
(608) 884-1230, [email protected]

Traffic shift planned for northbound Verona Road, between Williamsburg Way and Raymond Road.

FITCHBURG, WI – Construction is anticipated to begin this week for the Verona Road (US 18/151) Project in Fitchburg. Mobilization of crews and equipment is ongoing with minimal traffic impacts. The Verona Road Project is reconstructing and expanding Verona Road from Raymond Road south to County PD (McKee Road), and building interchanges at Williamsburg Way and County PD. Work this year will include:

  • Completion of the signalized Verona Road and Raymond Road intersection;
  • Bridge construction for Williamsburg Way over Verona Road;
  • Bridge construction for Verona Road over County PD; and
  • Expansion of Verona Road between County PD and Raymond Road.

On Thursday night (March 21), northbound Verona Road traffic between Williamsburg Way and Raymond Road will shift back to the new concrete pavement on the west side of the highway. Southbound Verona Road traffic was shifted last fall onto this new pavement. Nightly lane closures will occur on northbound and southbound Verona Road between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Delays may occur during the overnight period as crews complete the traffic shift.

Motorists are advised to be alert for the northbound lane shifts and be patient as everyone adjusts to the new traffic pattern. The work operations and traffic shift is weather dependent.

Two lanes remain open to traffic in each direction on Verona Road and County PD, especially during peak travel times. Access remains open to area businesses and neighborhoods, and the public should continue to patronize the local businesses.

The entire Verona Road Project is currently scheduled to be completed in fall 2020.

The public is strongly encouraged to register for weekly construction updates via email on the Verona Road Project website,www.VeronaRoadProject.wi.gov. You can also follow the project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WIVeronaRoadProject. Alerts and updates provided via these sites are not intended for use while driving. When driving, your focus should always be on driving.

WisGOP: VIDEO: Pastor Jerome Smith discusses recent attacks on Judge Brian Hagedorn’s faith

Contact: (608) 257-4765
Pastor Smith Explains Why Attacks on Religious Beliefs Have No Place In This Race
[Madison, WI] – Over the last few weeks, Supreme Court candidate Judge Brian Hagedorn has come under fire from his opponent Lisa Neubauer, the Liberal Left, and the media because he spoke publicly about his faith and pro-life values. The Constitution does not have a religious test for public office, yet Lisa Neubauer and her liberal allies have tried to center this entire election around Judge Hagedorn’s faith. Pastor Jerome Smith explains why this type of discrimination and intolerance against religious freedoms has no place in this race.
Watch the video here

WisPolitics Midday: Mar. 19, 2019


In today’s WisPolitics Midday update:

  • Corrections Department nominee moves through committee.
  • Bernie Sanders campaign staff grows in WI.
  • Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan added to a board of directors.


March 20, 2019 | March 18, 2019
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