2019 July 11

Daily Archives: July 11, 2019

Dem presidential contenders rip Trump at LULAC town hall

Milwaukee — Democratic presidential candidates at a League of United Latin American Citizens town hall here Thursday night ripped President Trump over his immigration policies while pledging to reform a system they described as broken.

The candidates also shared their plans on issues such as health care, education and climate change during the group’s national convention.

Speaking during the event were Julián Castro, who served as San Antonio mayor and U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary; Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Texas U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Each candidate appeared separately and took questions from the moderator and several audience members.

Castro, who was first to speak, said he would repeal immigration policies enacted under Presidents George W. Bush and Trump so future administrations can’t “weaponize” the laws to detain asylum seekers and separate children from families.

He said those coming from Central America are no different than those from past generations who came from Ireland, Germany, Italy and other countries.

“Everybody was fleeing desperate circumstances,” Castro said. “That’s the common denominator.”

He called for a 20th Century Marshall Plan to improve conditions in Central America so people will want to stay in their home countries.

He also called for allowing veterans who have been deported to return to the U.S. and begin the process of gaining citizenship.

Castro responded to criticism from former Vice President Joe Biden and O’Rourke about his plan to decriminalize crossing the border saying both are “wrong on this.”

Sanders leveled the sharpest criticism at the president, calling Trump a racist, a bigot, a xenophobe and “an embarrassment to everything this country stands for.”

He pledged to provide legal status to all people eligible for the DACA program and move toward a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants in the country.

He also said he would “develop a humane policy at the border, not one which criminalizes desperate people for having traveled a thousand miles, not one that puts children into cages, not one that rips babies out of the arms of their mothers.”

Sanders said shortly after being elected he would meet with Mexican and Central American leaders to find ways the U.S. can play a role in alleviating the poverty and violence he said is driving immigration.

“Everything being equal, nobody wants to travel a thousand miles, they’d rather live at home in peace and security,” said Sanders, who did an invitation-only event at a Milwaukee coffee shop ahead of the forum.

While he discussed immigration, he spent much of his time laying out his plans to enact single-payer health coverage for all, provide tuition-free college and cancel student debt.

Ahead of the event, the Republican National Committee touted an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent for Hispanics in June, near record lows, and the president’s efforts to reach out to Hispanics with the launch of Latinos for Trump.

“The President’s policies are clearly working while the socialist platform adopted by the 2020 Democrat field would kill our economy,” said RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt.

Warren said she would expand legal immigration, create a path to citizenship for those already in the country, work to end the crisis at the border and provide more aid to Central America to improve conditions there “so not so many people feel they need to run for their lives.”

“No great nation tears families apart, no great nation locks up children,” said Warren, who also did a town hall at a Milwaukee high school Thursday night.

Warren said Trump’s plan to gather data on non-citizens living in the U.S. through various agencies after he dropped his effort to ask a citizenship question during the census isn’t really about collecting data, but rather sewing division.

Warren said Trump’s message for those who are struggling is to blame people who don’t look or sound like they do or come from the same place as themselves.

“He wants to build an America that pits working people against hard-working people,” Warren said. “That is not how we build a future in this country. We build a future together. That’s how we build a stronger America. ”

She also addressed her plans to provide tuition-free college, cancel debt for most students, fight climate change and reform the criminal justice system.

O’Rourke slammed Trump’s plan to conduct immigration raids and deport thousands of people starting this weekend. He said many of the people targeted pose no threat to the country and that potentially thousands of families will be separated. He added that the enforcement actions will cause distrust between law enforcement and those in targeted communities resulting in people being less likely to report crimes or cooperate with authorities.

“What he proposes to do this weekend … will not only remain a stain on our conscience if we allow this to continue, but will also make us less safe as a country,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke said he will lead an effort to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws. He said those seeking refuge should not be charged with a crime, children detained in camps should be freed and reunited with their parents “at once,” and that the U.S. must invest in strategies in Central America to fight poverty, hunger and violence. He also called for citizenship for legal residents and those eligible for DACA and legal status for undocumented immigrants.

Additionally, while praising the work of border patrol agents, he called for greater oversight and accountability for the agency.

O’Rourke also criticized Trump on foreign policy, saying the president favors strongmen and dictators over traditional U.S. allies, called for equal pay for women, and discussed his plans to fight climate change.

Asked about how he would heal the country after Trump, O’Rourke said he would work to bring people together regardless of political affiliation or whether they hail from cities or rural areas.

“It certainly can’t be with more division, more pettiness and more meanness.,” he said. “He is defining this country right now by the walls that he seeks to construct and the cages in which he has placed those kids. To that fear, we must bring our courage, our confidence, our ambition and our aspirations, and we must bring everyone.”

Both Castro and O’Rourke took questions from reporters after they left the stage.

Milwaukee is often cited as one of the most segregated cities in the nation, and Castro said he’d address that by enforcing fair housing laws, working to provide affordable housing in higher-opportunity neighborhoods and improving public schools.

Addressing the same question, O’Rourke said he would address segregation by providing equal funding for minority school districts, hiring “teachers who look like the students in front of them” and ensuring federal housing dollars are spent in ways that don’t separate people by race or income.

Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who did not participate in the town hall, also addressed reporters after the event.

Gabbard participated in a breakfast event with veterans and an awards banquet at the conference in addition to holding a town hall at the Jackson Blue Ribbon Pub in Milwaukee

Asked how she can win votes in states like Wisconsin that Trump flipped Republican in 2016, Gabbard, a veteran who served in Iraq and Kuwait, pointed to her message of “service above self” that she said veterans hold dear.

She said what’s she’s heard from those who have voted Democratic in the past but voted for Trump is indicative of “leaders who’ve left the people behind” to benefit themselves and large corporations.

“Putting this focus on service above self is exactly how we best meet the needs and address the challenges that people both across the Midwest and across the country are facing,” she said.

Dem candidate Marianne Williamson was slated to address a Women’s Hall of Fame Luncheon at the convention Friday.

Department of Administration: Housing grant to help homeless announced


MADISON – Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Executive Director Joaquin Altoro, and Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness Director Michael Basford announced today the availability of $500,000 for projects to help fight homelessness.

The funding application and further information was published today on the Council’s website athttps://doa.wi.gov/Pages/AboutDOA/ICH.aspx.

“Homelessness and housing insecurity affect kids in the classroom, it affects our criminal justice system, and it affects economic development in our communities,” said Gov. Evers. “I’ve always said we need to connect the dots on this important issue, so I’m incredibly pleased to see the good work and collaboration that is occurring between WHEDA and the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness.”

Applications for funding will be accepted through Friday, August 9th. Eligible uses of funds include new construction, building acquisition, rehabilitation, handicapped accessibility improvements, conversion of or additions to buildings, site acquisition, and other development activities.

“As a proud member of the Interagency Co
uncil on Homelessness chaired by Governor Tony Evers, WHEDA is extremely gratified to provide this funding to those in desperate need,” said WHEDA Executive Director Joaquin Altoro. “We will also continue to use our highly successful allocation of federal and state housing tax credits to finance rental developments in an effort to offer the most vulnerable individuals statewide stable housing and services.”

Distribution of the funds will be through a request for proposals competitive process and is open to all organizations, associations and businesses – public- and private-sector and for-profit and non-profit entities are encouraged to apply. The Council will look to fund as many projects as possible with these grants and looks to help a wide variety of projects throughout the entire state.
“I am very grateful for the funding availability from WHEDA,” said ICH Director Michael Basford. “This will help organizations all over Wisconsin with their missions to help homel
ess people in the state. The Council will be working to get the funds out as quickly as possible.”

For more information on the housing grant, please contact Michael Basford at 608-266-3633 or[email protected]

Dept. of Military Affairs: Sendoff ceremony set for deploying Wisconsin Army National Guard infantry battalion


Contact: Capt. Joe Trovato | [email protected] | 608-242-3048

— Gov. Tony Evers and senior Wisconsin Army National Guard leaders will join family and friends in sending off nearly 400 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan at a noon ceremony July 14 at the Johnson Fieldhouse on the UW–Stout campus in Menomonie.

The Eau Claire-headquartered infantry battalion and its subordinate companies, which are all part of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team, will deploy as a security element for coalition forces operating in the region.

Soldiers from each company that make up the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, including Company A in Menomonie, Company B headquartered in New Richmond with a detachment in Rice Lake, Company C headquartered in Arcadia with a detachment in Onalaska, Company D in River Falls, and the battalion headquarters in Eau Claire with a headquarters detachment in Abbotsford will all deploy as part of the mission.

The 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry has deployed numerous times since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including multiple tours from 2004-06 and 2009-10 in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 128th has a long and distinguished lineage of service to Wisconsin and the nation dating back to its origins during the Civil War as part of the famed Iron Brigade made up of three Wisconsin infantry regiments as well as one from Indiana and one from Michigan. The 128th Infantry traces its lineage to the 1st and 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiments which earned battle streamers at places like Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor among many others. The same units would later serve in the Spanish-American War before reorganizing at the outset of World War I, when the 1st and 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry reorganized as the 128th Infantry within the famed 32nd Division.

The Wisconsin National Guard commemorated the centennial of the 32nd Division’s formation over the past two years. The now famous “Red Arrow” earned its moniker after piercing every enemy line it encountered in Europe during World War I, including the famed Hindenburg Line. The 128th played a starring role in the Red Arrow’s four major campaigns during World War I when it earned the Croix de Guerre from the French government for its tenacity in combat. It played a key role again during World War II when the 32nd fought in brutal campaigns in the Pacific Theater across New Guinea and the Philippines, where it earned the distinction of serving more days in combat – 654 – than any other American division in the war.

In the early 1960s, the 128th and the rest of the 32nd Division again mobilized to active duty at the height of the Berlin Crisis before reorganizing into a brigade in 1967. Since that time, the 128th and the rest of the Red Arrow have played a pivotal role in fulfilling the Wisconsin National Guard’s dual mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army while simultaneously serving as the state’s first military responder during times of emergency. The 128th and the rest of the Red Arrow have mobilized numerous times during the Global War on Terror and on many occasions to support civil authorities here in Wisconsin or elsewhere such as in 2017 when the battalion deployed to Florida to assist civil authorities with security, traffic control, and humanitarian assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

The unit’s upcoming deployment marks the 128th’s first to Afghanistan, where the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry, a fellow Red Arrow infantry battalion deployed in late 2018, marking the first Red Arrow deployment to Afghanistan.

The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operational tempo with worldwide deployments in support of its federal mission. The nearly 400 Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry remain in Afghanistan and the Middle East, while more than 350 Soldiers from the Milwaukee-based 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery returned from their deployment to the Middle East and Afghanistan in May. Another 25 Soldiers from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s Military Engagement Team returned from their Middle East deployment in February, and a team of Soldiers from the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment also returned in February from its mission to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In addition, Soldiers from the 248th General Aviation Support Battalionreturned from a Middle East deployment in September 2018.

Approximately 70 Airmen from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee celebrated the completion of a series of successful global deployments in October 2018, and a group of Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing are currently deployed in support of global contingency operations.

The Wisconsin National Guard simultaneously stands ready to complete its state mission of assisting civil authorities during times of emergency as the state’s first military responder.

Last fall, UH-60 Black Hawk medevac crews deployed to the North Carolina to assist civil authorities there in the wake of Hurricane Florence, and hundreds of Guardsmen assisted with sandbagging efforts in south central Wisconsin after torrential rains soaked the state in late August and early September.

Drift & Row aims to improve the value of play


Flashing lights, bright colors and loud noises… When you walk down the aisle of a toy store, that’s what you will see and hear.

Highly stimulating toys currently dominate the market. While these products are great entertainment for children, they generally don’t aim to improve language development or learning. A Wisconsin business is working to change this — one toy at a time.

Drift & Row LLC is a Milwaukee-based startup focused on designing and creating handmade toys that support language and learning in children. It was founded in 2018 by owner Brenna Davis, a speech language pathologist.

“The meaning of ‘Drift & Row’ is a reminder about what play should be. ‘Drift,’ meaning freedom and unstructured time. ‘Row,’ meaning children need to work and fail in order for it to be play,” Davis said.

After working to support children and parents in her professional career, Davis saw a need for toys parents could buy to support social skills and education.

“As a speech language pathologist, I was struggling with this disconnect as to good work happening in my therapy room and schools, and what was being translated into the home,” Davis said.

See more at WisBusiness.com.

Five Dem presidential candidates to address LULAC convention


Wisconsin will take another turn in the presidential race spotlight over the next two days, starting with five Dem candidates addressing the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and activist Marianne Williamson are scheduled to speak at the convention in Milwaukee.

Castro, O’Rourke, Sanders, and Warren are to participate in a town hall event tonight. Williamson is to speak at a luncheon on Friday.

A LULAC spokesman said the group invited President Trump in early spring to address the convention. But the White House turned down the request this week shortly before it was publicly announced that Trump would be in Wisconsin on Friday for a fundraiser and tour of a Milwaukee business.

LULAC spokesman David Cruz said the organization had already filled all of its speaking slots before the White House formally turned down the invitation because it had been so long since the request was first submitted.

Mandela Barnes will introduce Warren at this evening’s LULAC event. But a spokesman for the lt. guv said he it isn’t an endorsement of the Dem presidential contender.

The spokesman said Barnes was asked by Warren’s campaign to introduce her to the crowd, and he plans to welcome any candidates to Wisconsin as his schedule permits.

Fox Cities Chambers: Nominations open for the Fox Cities Chamber’s 2019 Pinnacle Awards


Tonya Boelter
Senior Director, Community Engagement
[email protected]

APPLETON, Wis.  – The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce its nomination process is open for the 2019 Pinnacle Awards.

Each year this prestigious awards program recognizes individuals who make the Fox Cities a great place to live, work and play. The award recipients are individuals who embrace principled leadership, strategic thinking, balanced workplace values and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Online nominations will be accepted now through September 6 at foxcitieschamber.com.

The award categories include ATHENAâ Leadership, Business Hall of Fame, Champion of the Chamber, Gus A. Zuehlke Distinguished Service and the Joyce Bytof Exceptional Mentor award. Criteria and descriptions for each award can be found on the online nomination form.

Pinnacle Award eligibility includes:
· Nominees have shown support and commitment to the business community
· Nominees are committed to the mission and values of the Fox Cities Chamber
· Nominees conduct or have conducted business within the Fox Cities
· Previous nominees are eligible for re-nomination the following year
· All nominations are considered at the discretion of the selection committee
· Awards can only be won once in the same category, except for the Champion of the Chamber Award.

Award recipients will be announced in October and recognized at the Pinnacle Awards Gala on Thursday, November 21, 2019 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Downtown Appleton. Black tie attire is admired but not required for this event.

Registration is now open for this year’s event at foxcitieschamber.com. Individual tickets are $65 each and Corporate Packages are available for $1,250 which includes 10 tickets, 10 raffle tickets and recognition as an event supporter. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce initiatives and Fox Cities Chamber Foundation which encompasses talent and workforce programming created to adapt and respond to workforce needs in our community.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2019 Pinnacle Awards. Please contact Nora Langolf to learn more at (920) 734-7101 or [email protected] For event information, please contact Katie Gaffney, Events Coordinator at the Fox Cities Chamber at (920) 734-7101 or [email protected] To see previous recipients, visit http://foxcitieschamber.com/community/pinnacle-awards/.

Kelly campaign: Off to strong start


Contact: [email protected]

[Madison, WI] – Today, Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly announced his campaign raised more than $243,000 during the first five weeks of his campaign. With this strong fundraising start, Justice Kelly’s campaign enters the final six months of the year with nearly $240,000 cash on hand – far surpassing that of his opponents. More importantly, this fundraising haul is a sign of a strong campaign with a groundswell of support from across the state.

“I am truly humbled by the incredible outpouring of support I’ve received from supporters all across the state,” Justice Kelly said. “In just the short amount of time since I announced my campaign, we’ve seen an awe-inspiring amount of enthusiasm from Wisconsinites who are passionate about preserving the rule of law on our Supreme Court. That has always been my promise to the people, and I am so grateful for their support.”

After a lifetime of practicing law in Wisconsin, Justice Daniel Kelly was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2016 following the retirement of Justice David Prosser. Justice Kelly graduated from Carroll College and Regent University School of Law, where he was the founding editor-in-chief of the law review. He started his legal career as a law clerk for the late Judge Ralph Adam Fine of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Kelly then spent two decades representing clients on a wide variety of legal issues, including the Wisconsin Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court. Kelly developed a specialty working on complex cases that protect our constitutional rights.
Justice Kelly is a member of the Carroll University President’s Advisory Council and the Wisconsin Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He and his wife Elisa (a nurse) live in North Prairie with their five children, where they are active in their church and community.

To learn more about Justice Daniel Kelly, please visit JusticeDanielKelly.com.

Kelly raises $243,794 for Supreme Court campaign


Conservative Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly raised $243,794 over the first five weeks of his bid for a full 10-year term, his campaign said.

Over the past decade, only Lisa Neubauer and Rebecca Dallet reported more receipts on their July report ahead of their bids for the state Supreme Court. But Neubauer’s $358,288 in July 2018 included a $250,000 personal loan, and Dallet’s $270,984 in July 2017 included a $200,000 loan.

Kelly’s campaign said he didn’t put any personal money into the campaign during the period and received donations from 400 contributors. He finished June with $238,484 in the bank.

Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky and Marquette University Law Professor Ed Fallone are seeking to knock off Kelly next spring. Karofsky announced yesterday she had $121,000 in receipts since early May, though that included a $15,000 personal contribution. Fallone hasn’t announced his fundraising numbers as of Thursday morning.

LFB: State faces $1.4 billion structural deficit to start 2021-23 budget

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One Wisconsin Now: Speaker Robin Vos shuts down Assembly for his summer vacation(s)


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

Special Interests and Taxpayers Will be Picking Up the Tab for Another Summer of Travel for ‘Boss‘ Vos

MADISON, Wis. — Speaker Robin Vos recently declared the state Assembly he oversees would be taking the summer off and not return to session work until October. A review by One Wisconsin Now of the calendar maintained by Vos’ state office sheds some light on why he’s shutting down the Assembly for July, August and September — he has travel plans.

“Robin Vos has never been shy about having special interests and Wisconsin taxpayers pick up the tab for his travel and his lifestyle,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “Summer 2019 looks to be no different.”

From 2013 when Vos became Assembly Speaker through 2018 he has reported accepting travel and honoraria worth over $85,000 from outside groups on statements of economic interest he is required by law to file. Taxpayers have chipped in another $43,000 for state paid travel and reimbursements for mileage.

One Wisconsin Now’s review of Vos’ 2019 calendar reveals he’s already visited New Orleans, Washington D.C., Quebec, Denver and Charleston this year.

Summer 2019 finds Vos blocking out time in August for out-of-state trips to Nashville, Tennessee and Denver, Colorado. He also has a quick jaunt to Sand Valley resort in Central Wisconsin lined up, courtesy of the Jobs First Coalition. The group pays Vos’ third wife handsomely as a fundraiser and works to elect Republicans to the state Assembly for the benefit of Vos. In 2017 Vos helped pass a budget provision calling on state taxpayers to fork over $4 million to upgrade the runway at the area airport to better accommodate the private jets bringing millionaire and billionaire guests to Sand Valley.

After a busy August, it’s off to Italy in September. According to Vos’ schedule he’ll be spending two weeks there, making stops in Milan, Florence and Rome. Vos was married for the third time in Italy in Fall 2017 so celebrating his anniversary there will be made easier and cheaper by the “platinum” status corporate supporters who make a minimum $25,000 contribution to the organization sponsoring Vos’ travel.

The 2017 European junket Vos took preceding his Italian nuptials was steeped in sleaze and controversy. The predatory payday loan industry and other special interests were revealed to have picked up the tab for Vos and legislators from other states including the best man for his wedding, former Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, to visit Iceland, England and France. After the trip Rosenberger resigned from office amid an FBI investigation that was probing his trip with Vos among other alleged improprieties.

Rounding out the year, as the weather cools, Vos has trips to Florida, Hawaii and Texas listed on his schedule.

Rep. Steineke: Weekly Radio Address: Jim Steineke on Evers’ Budget Vetoes


MADISON – Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) released the Weekly Radio Address on behalf of Wisconsin State Republicans.

Hi, I’m Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke.


While most of us were packing the car last weekend to head to a barbeque or up to the cabin, Governor Evers and his team were pouring through our WISCONSIN Budget, looking for ways to undermine our conservative spending plan.


When all the dust settled, Evers used his veto pen to strike out or alter nearly 80 pieces of the budget, resulting in a final budget that makes it easier to stay on welfare, hinders our communities from repairing their local roads, and allows the wants of big cities like Madison and Milwaukee to overshadow the needs of the rest of the state.


Simple things like drug screenings and providing worker training for those receiving government benefits – slashed. A program to help local districts retire old school buses – vetoed.


Even as voters call for improvements to our highways and bridges, Evers vetoed out new money we designated to help fix our local roads!


Now, the governor continues to say that these actions only allow his administration more flexibility. But let’s not be fooled.


Really, what that means is that more decisions will be made by unelected, unaccountable, Madison bureaucrats. And if you ask me, that’s a far cry from how things should be done.



Republican Party of Wisconsin: WisGOP Statement on LULAC Presidential Town Hall

[Madison, WI] – In response to tonight’s League of United Latin American Citizens’ (LULAC) Presidential Town Hall, the Republican Party of Wisconsin issued the following statement from Chairman Andrew Hitt:
“Tonight, Wisconsinites heard a group of Democrat presidential candidates shamelessly advocate for radical policy proposals and a socialist platform that includes open borders, decriminalizing illegal immigration, and taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants. These radical policy proposals threaten the safety and economic prosperity of all Americans.
Conversely, President Trump continues to champion economic policies that have delivered real results for our Hispanic Americans in Wisconsin and across the country. This President’s policies have led to record-low unemployment for Hispanic Americans and the opportunity for Latino Americans to start new businesses at a rate nearly three times the national average. And that is exactly why these communities will continue to embrace President Trump’s policies over the extreme agenda Democrats proposed tonight.”

THU AM Update: Kelly raises $243,794 for Supreme Court campaign, five Dem presidential candidates to address LULAC in Milwaukee

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THU News Summary: Republicans seek to pass lottery privacy bill; Illinois pharmaceutical company plans $250M facility in Pleasant Prairie

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THU PM Update: Regents approve student fee increases

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U.S. Rep. Kind: And Gallagher introduce resolution recognizing veteran-to-veteran programs in Wisconsin


Contact: Sarah Abel

Phone: 202-225-5506

[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Reps. Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher introduced H.Res.483, a resolution recognizing the importance of veteran-to-veteran mentorship programs. Wisconsin has a number of established veteran mentorship programs which work to connect returning service members with veterans who have transitioned back to civilian life. Click here to read the text of the resolution.

“Veteran peer-to-peer mentoring programs are vital to helping service members’ transition back into civilian life—a time that can be challenging for many. By talking to those who have gone through the transition themselves, veterans are more likely to keep their VA appointments, access additional treatment when necessary, and live healthier lives overall,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I’m proud to help introduce this resolution and honor the important work the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program has done for our veterans in the Third District”

“When I left military service, I saw firsthand how difficult the transition to civilian life can be,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher. “Veteran-to-veteran relationships provide returning service members with a trusted resource as they reintegrate back into civilian life, and shine light on what can otherwise be a process filled with feelings of confusion and isolation. I’m proud to recognize Wisconsin organizations like the NEW Battalion which provide exemplary veteran-to-veteran mentorship programs, and hope the federal government will follow Wisconsin’s example.”

“The La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program is excited and thankful to see Congressmen Gallagher and Kind supporting peer-to-peer services for veterans. Our organization has been gifted with the opportunity to witness the life changing impact of peer support. Social integration is difficult for some veterans who may have unidentified or unaddressed mental and behavioral health issues. Veteran Mentors are capable of engaging with veterans, encouraging him or her to seek assistance and empowering the veteran as they build healthier, more enjoyable lives,” said Dustin Schultz, Executive Director of the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program.

“Veteran to Veteran peer support has been very helpful easing the transition to civilian life among our student veterans on campus,” said Elaina Koltz, President of Bravo Company. “This is why I believe in the mission of Bravo Company, N.E.W. Veterans Battalion. Trust comes quicker between those who have served. This trust opens communication and helps to solve transition problems. Matching up a veteran new to the area with another veteran knowledgeable about resources is key.”

U.S. Rep. Moore: Applauds Committee passage of legislation to address multiemployer pension crisis


Today, the Ways and Means Committee advanced the Butch Lewis Act (H.R. 397), which would address the multiemployer pension crisis affecting millions of retirees across the country. Congresswoman Moore released the following statement:

“For decades, labor unions have been a forceful voice for the American worker, fighting for good paying jobs for Americans including pension benefits. These pension plans, including multiemployer plans, gave American workers a peace of mind knowing that they could have a secure retirement.

But these multiemployer plans have come under pressure, including the 2008 recession. Now, some of these plans face insolvency, creating great anxiety for current and future retirees. It’s simply unfair for hardworking Americans who have worked for decades, put money in their pension plans, to now face financial uncertainty, due to no fault of their own.

Solving the multiemployer pension crisis is critical to my constituents, Wisconsinites, and millions of Americans. No action to help these retirees would create devastating ripple effects throughout our regional economy, small businesses and impact more than 1,400 future and current Milwaukee retirees whose pensions are at stake.

Today, I was proud to vote, as a Member of the Ways and Means Committee, for the Butch Lewis Act to preserve American workers hard-earned retirement benefits. I am thrilled that this legislation passed the Ways and Means Committee and look forward to working to support its swift passage in the House.”

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Helps introduce bipartisan resolution congratulating U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team on historic victory, urges equal pay


Contact: [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) was being cheered by thousands of fans at the ticker tape parade in New York City today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined her Senate colleagues, led by Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in introducing a bipartisan Senate resolution congratulating the team for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The resolution also highlights the Senate’s solidarity with the team as they fight for equal pay.

“The U.S. women’s national soccer team brought our nation together and made us all proud winning their second straight World Cup. I was especially proud to see Wisconsin Badger Rose Lavelle become a breakout star and help lead her team to victory,” said Senator Baldwin. “Despite their proud history of successes on the field, players on the U.S. Women’s National Team are still paid considerably less than their male counterparts for doing the same job. It’s past time for the U.S. Soccer Federation to establish equal pay for its athletes, and I will continue to stand with the women’s team. Their hard work is respected and now it should be rewarded.”

The resolution is also cosponsored by Jack Reed (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Doug Jones (AL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chris Coons (D-DE.), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL.), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

A copy of the resolution can be found below and here.


Congratulating the United States Women’s National Soccer Team for winning the 2019 FIFA World Cup.

Whereas on July 7, 2019, in Lyon, France, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (referred to in this preamble as the “USWNT”) won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (referred to in this preamble as the “Women’s World Cup”);

Whereas during the Women’s World Cup the USWNT finished first in its group before eliminating teams representing Spain, France, and England in the knockout stages to reach the final;

Whereas the USWNT secured a decisive 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final, winning the Women’s World Cup championship twice in a row and becoming the first team to win the Women’s World Cup 4 times;

Whereas the USWNT scored the first goal in every match it played during the Women’s World Cup;

Whereas, in the final match against the Netherlands, Megan Rapinoe scored in the 61st minute and Rose Lavelle scored in the 69th minute of the match;

Whereas Crystal Dunn, Alyssa Naeher, and other members of the defensive line played key roles in preventing the Netherlands from scoring against the United States;

Whereas all 23 players on the roster should be congratulated, including captains Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe, as well as Morgan Brian, Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Ali Krieger, Rose Lavelle, Allie Long, Jessica McDonald, Samantha Mewis, Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Sonnett;

Whereas head coach Jill Ellis—the first coach to win consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup titles, displayed extraordinary leadership in adjusting the team’s starting lineup as the tournament progressed in order to promote teamwork and capitalize on the talents of each player;

Whereas Megan Rapinoe was presented with the Golden Boot award, which is awarded to the individual who scores the most goals in the tournament, and the Golden Ball award, which is awarded to the tournament’s best player;

Whereas Alex Morgan was presented with the Silver Boot award, which is awarded to the individual who scored the second-most goals in the tournament, and Rose Lavelle was presented with the Bronze Ball award, which is awarded to the third-best player in the tournament;

Whereas the USWNT was bolstered by historic attacking prowess, setting all-time records for goals scored in a single game and throughout the entire Women’s World Cup, as well as a strong defensive record, conceding only 3 goals over 7 games;

Whereas every participant in the Women’s World Cup from nations all over the world showed the extraordinary quality and spirit of women’s soccer, and will serve as an inspiration to not only women and girls, but to all people as they chase their dreams;

Whereas for decades the USWNT has been leading the fight to grow and promote women’s soccer;

Whereas the USWNT is leading the fight for equal pay for female athletes; and

Whereas dedicated fans and citizens across the United States showed their unmitigated support for the USWNT as they competed in France: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) congratulates the USWNT for winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup through spectacular skill, teamwork, and determination;

(2) recognizes the achievements of all of the players, coaches, and staff who contributed to the success of the USWNT;

(3) stands in solidarity with the women of the USWNT as they strive for equal pay; and

(4) celebrates the contributions of the millions of fans across the United States, and the world, who cheered the USWNT to victory, and made the players the best supported team in the world.

UW Alumna Mildred Fish-Harnack: Honored as hero of resistance to Nazi regime


“Ich habe Deutschland auch so geliebt”

“And I have loved Germany so much.”

Those were the last words of Mildred Fish-Harnack before the blade of the guillotine fell.

She was sentenced to six years of hard labor for the crimes of treason and espionage but that wasn’t enough for Adolf Hitler. Fish-Harnack, a 1925 graduate of UW-Madison, became the only American civilian to be executed on the direct order of Hitler.

Her story has gotten somewhat lost in the vast horrors of the Third Reich. The punishment continued long after her death. In the Cold War years after World War II, Fish-Harnack’s name and legacy were not honored in the U.S., because she and her husband were believed to have been connected with Communism. But the smearing of her name and the burying of her story has become part of why she’s being recognized today.

“Mildred,” a sculpture by John Durbrow, will be dedicated by the city of Madison in her honor at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, in Marshall Park, 2101 Allen Blvd. in Madison.  The black granite obelisk was designed by John Durbrow, a longtime Manitowoc-area resident and retired professor of architecture at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology. The statue was originally placed Oct. 31, 2018, by the city of Madison Arts Commission. The dedication will be attended by an academic delegation of representatives from eight German universities. A similar sculpture is planned for the campus of the University of Giessen, where she completed a PhD in literature.

How does a woman from Wisconsin end up a celebrated hero of resistance to the Nazi regime in Germany?

A bit of chance is involved, along with her strong sense of what is right and wrong.

Read the complete story: https://news.wisc.edu/mildred-fish-harnack-honored-as-hero-of-resistance-to-nazi-regime/

Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition: Statement on NAFTA regarding President Trump’s visit to Milwaukee


Contact: David Newby, (414) 581-0942 or [email protected]

Milwaukee, WI
— David Newby, President of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s visit to Milwaukee on Friday to tour Derco Aerospace facility and make remarks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and his proposed replacement trade agreement, the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“NAFTA has been a disaster for working people and absolutely must be replaced.  Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed NAFTA revision (USMCA) fails to make the changes needed to stop outsourcing of jobs and even adds new giveaways for big pharmaceutical companies that would lock in high prices for medicines.

“The president needs to decide if he’ll work with Congress on a real NAFTA replacement that stops the pact’s ongoing damage.  If he tries to force a vote on his weak NAFTA rebrand before it is fixed, he’ll be responsible for the continued flow of American jobs out of our country and for sinking wages.

“Democrats in Congress have been demanding stronger labor and environmental standards with swift and certain enforcement, as well as the removal of new language expanding pharmaceutical monopolies, which will raise drug prices.  The White House should accept those necessary changes in order to create a new deal that actually protects jobs, raises wages and works for working families.”

Wisconsin Working Families Party: Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro to meet with Working Families party supporters


CONTACT: Stacey Mink, 410-790-9913

MILWAUKEE: Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro will meet with voters at a happy hour at the Wisconsin Working Families Party offices in Milwaukee. The political party recently embarked on an endorsement process to elevate progressive champions to win the Democratic nomination and beat Donald Trump. Castro will meet with Working Families Party members to elicit their support in the Party’s endorsement process and share his vision of building a society that works for the many and not the privileged few.

Working Families Party asked all the Democratic presidential candidates to lay out their visions and their plans. Based on that review, and on input from supporters around the country, WFP’s leadership invited the following six candidates to proceed to the next round of our endorsement process: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

The best way to beat Donald Trump in 2020 is with a bold transformative vision of real and sustained justice. And if we can win the presidential election on the basis of such a bold vision, we will move that much closer to winning the world we deserve.

WHAT: #WFP2020 Happy Hour with Julián Castro

WHEN: Thursday, July 11, 7 PM – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Wisconsin Working Families Party office, 413 N 2nd St (Back Party Room), Milwaukee, Wisconsin


WisDOT: Public meeting scheduled to discuss potential Madison Beltline improvements


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

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is examining a range of alternatives to improve the Madison Beltline’s deteriorating pavement and median areas, and to address operational issues during weekday peak traffic periods.

A public involvement meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Community Room at The Village on Park (2300 South Park St., Madison). Brief, formal presentations are scheduled for 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. The objectives for the meeting include:

  • Explaining the identified needs for the corridor
  • Outlining options to address identified needs
  • Gathering public input

Potential improvements

One option includes resurfacing the pavement, making drainage improvements, and replacing deteriorated sections of median barrier wall.

WisDOT is also considering upgrades to the median shoulders so motorists can use them as travel lanes. The shoulder lanes would be open during peak travel hours. The added capacity will improve traffic mobility and safety along the Madison Beltline between I-39/90 and Whitney Way. This section currently handles 120,000 vehicles per day. The practice, known as dynamic part-time shoulder use, is currently in place in at least 17 states.

Part-time shoulder use is recognized as a safe, sustainable and reliable way to alleviate congestion. It allows vehicle traffic on paved shoulders during peak travel times. Changeable message signs would be used to indicate when the shoulder is available for use.

In addition to the mobility improvements, shoulder modifications:

  • Minimize impacts to the environment
  • Does not require additional real estate acquisition from adjacent residences and businesses
  • Could be implemented as early as 2021

The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the proposed options and provide input.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, or would like more information, contact Brandon Lamers at (608) 246-3852. Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to Brandon Lamers, WisDOT Southwest Region Office, 2101 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53704 or [email protected]. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and who require an interpreter may request one by contacting Brandon Lamers at least three working days prior to the meeting via the Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System (dial 711).

WisPolitics Midday – July 11, 2019


In today’s WisPolitics Midday, sponsored by Spectrum:

  • Justice Kelly’s record-breaking fundraising report.
  • UW Regents poised to approve hikes in student fees.
  • Five Democratic presidential candidates to speak before LULAC in Milwaukee.

July 12, 2019 | July 10, 2019
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