Daily Archives: August 13, 2019

AG Kaul: Joins lawsuit against Trump’s dirty power rule


MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Kaul, with a coalition of 22 states and 7 local governments, today announced a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its “ACE” – aka “Dirty Power” – rule. The ACE rule replaced the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever nationwide limits on one of the largest sources of climate change pollution: existing fossil-fueled power plants. The EPA’s rule rolls-back these limits and will have virtually no impact on these emissions, prolonging the nation’s reliance on polluting, expensive coal power plants and obstructing progress of states toward clean, renewable, and affordable electricity generation.

“Climate change is not only real; it’s a crisis,” said Attorney General Kaul. “We’re only beginning to see its effects, including severe flooding and extreme temperatures. We can’t afford to wait for 20 years or a decade to take meaningful action. We need to step up now and to start responding to the climate crisis like our kids’ future depends on it—because it does.”

Besides ignoring the science of climate change – the text of the entire ACE rule barely mentions climate change, much less recognizes the dire threat it poses to people’s health, the economy, or the environment – the rule disregards requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.  The Clean Air Act requires that limits on air pollutants, such as greenhouse gases, must be based on the emissions reductions achievable through the “best system of emission reduction.” However, in the “Dirty Power” rule, EPA has ruled out as such a “best system” the most cost-effective, proven, and successful approach to controlling greenhouse gas emissions: shifting from coal-fueled generation to less carbon-intensive generation.

In the 10-state (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based cap-and-trade program, has proven to be an effective, cost-efficient model for reducing power plant emissions of climate change pollution. Power plants in the participating RGGI states have cut their emissions by more than 50 percent, and between 2015 and 2017, these states saw $1.4 billion of net positive economic activity and the creation of 14,500 new jobs – all while maintaining reliability of service and holding the line on electricity rates.

Imprudently, the “Dirty Power” rule prohibits states from participating in cap-and-trade programs means of complying with the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

Significantly, the “best system of emission reduction” used by the Trump EPA in the “Dirty Power” rule – equipment upgrades at coal power plants – will reduce emissions by only 0.7 percent more by 2030 than having no rule at all, according to EPA’s own analysis.  Further, EPA found that emissions of one or more of three pollutants – carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) – will increase in 18 states in 2030 compared to no “Dirty Power” rule.

The differences in benefits provided by the Clean Power Plan compared to the Trump “Dirty Power” rule are substantial, as reflected in the table below using the agency’s own calculations when it finalized the two rules:

 “Dirty Power” Rule

(ACE Rule)

Clean Power Plan
Pollutant Reductions by 2030 
CO2 (million tons)11




SO2 (thousand tons)5.7




NOx (thousand tons)7.1




Benefits by 2030 

($ millions)*

Costs by 2030

 ($ millions)*

Net Benefits by 2030

($ millions)*


* 3% Discount Rate; ACE rule in 2016 dollars and Clean Power Plan in 2011 dollars.

Sources: Repeal of the Clean Power Plan; Emission Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing Electric Utility Generating Units; Revisions to Emission Guidelines Implementing Regulations, 84 FR 32520, 32583 (July 8, 2019); Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 80 FR 64661, 64964 (October 23, 2015).

The implications of the “Dirty Power” rule’s failure to achieve virtually any reductions in power plant emissions are serious.  The International Energy Agency estimates that climate change pollution from the U.S. power sector must be reduced by 74 percent by 2030, below 2005 levels, for the U.S. to be able to achieve the goal of limiting worldwide temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius. By the EPA’s own estimates, the “Dirty Power” rule falls woefully short of hitting this target with a projected reduction of only 35 percent from 2005 levels. Of that, only roughly one percent is attributable to the impact of the “Dirty Power” rule and 34 percent attributable to market factors.

Today’s suit was filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In addition to Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul, the suit, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, is joined by the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, and the chief legal officers of Boulder, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and South Miami.


Bridge Project: Launches effort to expose disastrous local impact of Trump’s policies for WI


Promoted Articles Continue Series that Also Focuses on FL, MI, & PA

Today, Bridge Project announced the latest round of posts on the group’s digital media site, American Ledger, with new articles exposing the damage caused by Trump’s disastrous policies for communities in Wisconsin. The articles will be promoted through Facebook advertising targeting each to its pertinent county. Reports on Trump’s negative impact on Kenosha, Marquette, Sauk, and Winnebago counties are included in this newest release.

The promoted posts mark the latest in a five-figure campaign to detail the detrimental effects the Trump administration has had on local communities in Wisconsin as well as Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (previous rounds of articles have already been launched in the latter two states). The promoted county-level campaign in the four states is an initial step in a major $50 million, “hyper-local,” effort to target Trump’s base in key swing states heading into 2020.

“From layoffs to increased healthcare costs to a failure to take meaningful action on the opioid crisis, Wisconsinites can’t afford any more of the disastrous Trump agenda,” said American Bridge Trump War Room Communications Director Jeb Fain. “We’re going to continue ramping our work to spotlight, county-by-county, how badly Trump’s trail of broken promises has hurt communities in Wisconsin and across the country.”

The new American Ledger articles being promoted in Wisconsin follow:

As Opioid Epidemic Ravages Kenosha County, Federal Budget Cuts Could Compound Crisis, Deaths

Lawsuit Pushed by Trump Admin Could Mean Major Health Care Costs for Marquette County

Sauk County Continues to Combat the Opioid Epidemic With No Serious Support in Sight From Trump Admin

Kimberly-Clark Corp. Shutters Wisconsin Plant Despite Reporting $3.3B in Profits



Dane County Exec Parisi: Announces Astra Iheukumere as deputy director of Human Services


Contact: Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823

Position was Created in the 2019 Budget

Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that Astra Iheukumere will serve as Dane County’s new Deputy Director of Human Services. The position was created in the County Executive’s 2019 budget and will focus on communications, policy and procedure development, long-term planning, and institutional practice and process development related to equity. Iheukumere previously worked for the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) as the Director of Strategic Partnerships.

“I look forward to having Astra serve as Dane County’s first Deputy Director of Human Services,” County Executive Joe Parisi said. “Astra’s experience with building strong community relationships and expansive knowledge in public affairs will serve our Department of Human Services well.”

In Iheukumere’s role as Director of Strategic Partnerships for MMSD, she monitored the district’s Partnerships Policy and procedures, managed the Strategic Partnerships Team, and coordinated the implementation of various large-scale tutoring partnerships. Iheukumere also supervised the development and implementation of district-wide systems to support volunteerism in schools.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to serve the community I am from and consider it a privilege to have the chance to impact such a broad portfolio of policies and programs,” said Iheukumere. “I look forward to supporting the work of the fabulous team at Dane County Human Services.”

Prior to her work at MMSD, Iheukumere served as the Assistant Director of Community Networks and National Partnerships for UW-Madison’s County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Program. While there, Iheukumere was the primary liaison to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded national partners. She helped determined effective community mobilization strategies between local communities and partners to create engagement opportunities around public health improvement.

For three years, Iheukumere served as Deputy Mayor and Public Safety Liaison to the Mayor of Madison, where she helped coordinate community outreach, policy development, and program management. She has also held multiple positions in state agencies, including Outreach Director for the Department of Revenue, Medicaid Benefit and Fiscal Policy Analyst for the Department of Health Services, and Assistant Affirmative Action Officer for the Department of Natural Resources. Iheukumere’s start date is September 3.

Edgewood College: Dr. Scott Flanagan to take new position with top national education search firm


Madison, Wis. (August 13, 2019) – Dr. Scott Flanagan, long-time Edgewood College leader, and President since 2014, announced to faculty and staff today that he will be taking a new Senior Consultant position with Academic Search, one of the most highly respected higher education search firms in the nation.

Over the last 21 years Dr. Flanagan has held a number of top leadership positions at Edgewood College, including Vice President for Planning and Enrollment and Executive Vice President. He has also served in various leadership roles in the national higher education community, including being elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent College and Universities in 2017.

“I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to call Edgewood College home for so many years. It has been an honor to work with such outstanding colleagues and students and to be recognized locally, regionally and nationally as an exceptional campus for quality student learning,” Flanagan said. “I’m a better person because of my time here, and I am hopeful this is a better place because of my presence.”

Board of Trustees Chair Lucy Keane ’84 expressed appreciation on behalf of the board for Flanagan’s contributions.

“We have been so lucky to have had Scott in the Edgewood College family for as long as we have,” Keane said. “During Scott’s tenure at the College, he led enrollment management to record class sizes. After taking on the presidency he oversaw the recruitment of a more diverse student body; introduced innovative affordable pricing strategies and three new intercollegiate sports; invested in infrastructure to support philanthropic efforts; and as an excellent strategic planner he has set the stage for our future. Dr. Flanagan leaves the College in a strong financial position with a larger endowment and more reserves than at any time during the history of Edgewood College.”

Stepping into the role of Interim President is Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P.

“Sr. Mary Ellen is the ideal person to lead the College through a successful leadership transition,” Keane said. “We won’t miss a beat as we enter the exciting new beginnings that the start of a new academic year brings as we welcome our students, faculty, and staff back to campus. We are able to prepare for a leadership transition with the luxury of knowing there will be no operational gaps.”

Gevelinger has executive leadership experience as the Prioress of the Sinsinawa Dominican congregation, holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership, was a tenured faculty member at Edgewood College and the former director of Doctoral research in the School of Education. Most recently she chaired a task force that developed a series of actionable recommendations for accelerating the success of Edgewood College into the future.

“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and devote myself to making sure that our students have the best possible college experience in the Dominican tradition,” Gevelinger said. “I look forward to continuing the great work Scott has done, while at the same time helping the College navigate the demographic challenges facing higher education across the county.”

Flanagan will retain his position through the end of August and will advise Edgewood College through the end of the year to ensure a successful transition.

Edgewood College will begin a national search for a new president with an eye toward having a new leader in place at the start of the 2020-‘21 academic year.

About Edgewood College

Located in Madison, Wis., Edgewood College is a liberal arts Catholic college in the Dominican tradition. We serve approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The College offers more than 40 academic and professional programs, including master’s degrees in business, education, and nursing, and doctoral degrees in educational leadership and nursing practice. For more information about Edgewood College, please visit www.edgewood.edu, or call Ed Taylor in Marketing & Strategic Communications at 608-663-2333.

Gov. Evers: Appoints Angeline Winton as Washburn County Circuit Court judge


Contact: [email protected] or 608-219-7443

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced his appointment of Angeline Winton to be Washburn County Circuit Court Judge. The appointment fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Eugene Harrington.

“Ms. Winton is a hard-working, fair district attorney who understands the challenges facing Washburn County. She will be a dedicated judge who treats everyone with dignity and respect,” said Gov. Evers.

Winton is currently the district attorney of Washburn County. She was elected to the position in 2016. Winton previously worked in private practice and served as an assistant district attorney for Washburn and Burnett counties. As a prosecutor, Winton has handled thousands of criminal cases, ranging from homicide to methamphetamine distribution to traffic offenses.

Winton graduated from Hayward High School. She graduated summa cum laude from UW-Eau Claire and magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law. She resides in Springbrook.

Jon Erpenbach: Democrats give Republicans a second chance to expand health care


The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

Last week, I stood with Governor Tony Evers to announce that I was introducing stand-alone legislation to increase the eligibility limit of the Wisconsin Medicaid program to 133% of the federal poverty level. I was happy to have Representative Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) with me, as the author of the Assembly companion.

Today in Wisconsin, if you are a single person who makes $12,500 a year, you do not qualify for health care assistance. That is not a lot of money. That is not enough money to afford basic necessities. By increasing the number to 133% of the federal poverty level, individuals making up to $16,612 would be able to qualify for assistance. That change would make a huge difference in the lives of real people. What we are doing with this proposal is helping real people take an extra shift, without fear of losing their health care, and not making them choose between school supplies and insulin.

Expanding Medicaid goes beyond numbers and percentages. Democrats and Republicans heard stories and personal testimony from Wisconsinites who asked for us to put politics aside and expand health care. One of these families reached out to us after a town hall in Stevens Point to tell us their story.

The Hamman family had identical twins, who were born premature, at 27 weeks, and required extensive medical care, spending several months in the NICU. They feared that they might lose one or both of their babies, as they were told on several occasions that they would not make it through the night. Thankfully, both of the twins survived and, for the most part, are healthy.

Their family had health insurance, and their 3 million dollars in pre-insurance charges was reduced. However, they still faced $20,000 in out-of-pocket costs for the twins. Due to their extreme health complications, both twins qualified for Medicaid. Without it, they could have lost their home trying to pay their medical bills.

They had a message that they wanted to share: even though they don’t often speak up and prefer to remain quiet on politics, this subject is near and dear to their family. Both of the parents have college degrees from UWSP, and both of them have jobs, but they would have struggled without Medicaid. This is what Logan Hamman had to say: “I want to share my story because I want people to know that individuals who need Medicaid are not always the poor, the homeless or the helpless; individuals like my wife and I need Medicaid.”

Their message is plain and simple, Medicaid is health care, not welfare; and their family is not alone in their support. According to a recent Marquette Law School Poll, 70% of Wisconsinites support the expansion.

One reason for the broad support is that it goes beyond benefiting families who are uninsured and underinsured, it would benefit every single person in Wisconsin while strengthening our health care system. This is because by expanding Medicaid, premiums on the individual market will decrease as well. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) confirmed this fact by releasing a report that established that premiums are 7-11% lower in states that have expanded Medicaid – that’s a difference of between $57 a month, or $684 per year.

Instead of facing the facts, Republicans are using scare tactics and dog whistles, such as “welfare” and “government-run insurance,” in order to muddy the water. When arguing against the expansion, I often hear people quoting studies that are published by unreliable sources, such as the conservative, billionaire-funded law firm, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), which has gone out of their way to spread misinformation in order to keep money in the hands of insurance companies, and not the pocketbooks of Wisconsinites.

There is no way to refute the fact that the Medicaid expansion is good for our state. Wisconsin is among a minority of states that have chosen to save their taxpayers $2 billion. Instead, we are sending that money to other states, such as Illinois and New Jersey, to expand their health care. Wisconsinites deserve better.

In summary, the Medicaid expansion would make health care affordable for everyone. It will give 40,000 uninsured Wisconsinites health insurance. It will reduce the cost of premiums on the individual market, save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and would keep $2 billion of our federal taxes in Wisconsin. These are proven facts, substantiated by the Department of Revenue, Commissioner of Insurance and Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

This issue is not and should never be political. It is time for us to take action, and join 37 states in expanding health care for our residents. Medicaid is not welfare, it is an investment in Wisconsin and in our health care system. It is the fiscally smart thing to do, and we no longer have the opportunity to ignore this issue. The time to expand health care in Wisconsin is now. The time to cover more Wisconsinites for less is now. Republicans have their second chance, and we should all be putting pressure on them to do what is right.

– Erpenbach, D-West Point, represents the 27th Senate District.

Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors: Supervisor Sebring calls for removal of anti-law enforcement ad on county bus


MILWAUKEE – County Supervisor Dan Sebring is calling for the removal of a Milwaukee Art Museum sponsored advertisement on a county bus which depicts Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arresting children and lists tactics for evading detention by ICE agents. Supervisor Sebring also condemned the actions of the museum and the Milwaukee County Transit System for approving the anti-law enforcement message.


“The racist, anti-law enforcement messages contained in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s paid ad on a county bus is an offensive abomination and a slap in the face to law enforcement officers and officials at every level. We cannot allow a county bus to be decorated with advertising that includes a “how-to” guide for illegal immigrants to evade law enforcement. MCTS should remove this so-called “art” immediately,” said Supervisor Sebring.


The bus is completely “wrapped” on all four sides with images designed by local youth and selected by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s education department. 


One of the sides of the bus lists tactics for evading detention by ICE under a heading that reads “What to do if ICE comes to your door,” and includes suggestions such as “Do Not Open Doors,” “Remain Silent,” “Do Not Sign,” “Report the Raid,” and “Fight Back.”


Supervisor Sebring represents the 11th District and is Vice-chair of the Committee on Transportation, Public Works, and Transit. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran.

National Taxpayers Union: Adds State Affairs staff with hire of Jessica Ward


The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) today announced the hire of Jessica Ward to be Director of State Affairs, adding to their growing state advocacy team. Ward, a longtime veteran of Wisconsin state politics, will add her expertise to an organization prepared to lobby for taxpayer interests in more states in coming legislative sessions.

“I am excited to join the team at the National Taxpayers Union,” Ward said. “Keeping more dollars in the pockets of American families and keeping government accountable for the money it spends are ideals I have been passionate about throughout my career. I look forward to working on behalf of these principles, and more, with this impressive organization.”

Ward will begin work with NTU in September. Her hire follows those of former Governor Scott Walker and former state legislator Leah Vukmir in growing the NTU state affairs team.

Ward has run campaigns, served as a policy researcher, and served as chief of staff at the state level. She has been a tireless campaigner for taxpayers during her time in Wisconsin, and will bring her record of success to Wisconsin and other states in which NTU will prepare to advocate on behalf of taxpayers.

“With Jessica Ward on staff, our state affairs team is larger and more accomplished than ever,” said NTU President Pete Sepp. “Jess has spent her career helping to craft policies that have greatly benefitted taxpayers in Wisconsin, and her knowledge of the state legislative process will, with NTU’s team, protect the well-being of taxpayers all across the country.”

To speak with NTU President Pete Sepp about the growth of the NTU state affairs team and the future of NTU advocacy in states across the country, please contact Kevin Glass, NTU Vice President of Communications, at 703-299-8670 or [email protected].

One Wisconsin Now: Republican state legislators offer white nationalism protection act


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

With Nationalism on the Rise GOP Threatens Students Protesting Hate Speech on Campuses With Suspensions, Expulsion and Lawsuits

MADISON, Wis. — A handful of Republicans in the state legislature including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Sen. Chris Kapenga, who traded his budget vote for a special provision to benefit a business he owns, have re-introduced legislation to protect right-wing hate speech on University of Wisconsin campuses.

The bill is largely similar to a bill introduced at the direction of Vos in the 2017 legislative session and includes language threatening students with suspension and expulsion for violations.

However, the latest version of the proposal includes new language that could allow a white nationalist who believes their “expressive rights are violated by a violation of the bill’s requirements to bring an action to enjoin a violation and obtain reasonable attorneys fees and damages.”

The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher:

“Threatening students with lawsuits and expulsion for protesting white nationalism on campus isn’t protecting free speech, it’s protecting hate speech.

“I’d call on the Republicans who introduced this ridiculous bill to hang their heads in shame for what they’ve done, but it’s clear they have none.”

Records: Evers using state planes less than Walker

Gov. Tony Evers has dramatically cut the use of state planes compared to Scott Walker and instead is much more likely to use a car to get outside of Madison, according to records obtained by WisPolitics.com.

Still, Walker’s plane use — which became an issue that dogged him in last year’s election — also meant Wisconsin residents outside of Madison were more likely to see him in their communities. The WisPolitics.com check found Walker made more stops outside of Madison during the first three months of 2017 than Evers did over his first three months in office.

The records show state planes traveled 3,692 miles to ferry Evers and his aides around the state over his first three months in office at a cost of $28,296 to taxpayers. Altogether, he used the state planes on 13 days during his first three months in office.

By comparison, Walker racked up 11,046 miles at a cost of $84,625 during the first three months of 2017, when he was selling a state budget, just like Evers was earlier this year. Walker’s trips on 24 days also included a flight to Washington, D.C., on a state plane, while Evers’ only stop outside of Wisconsin on a state plane was Menominee, Mich., to visit Marinette, which is right across the state line.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is also using state planes less than his predecessor, flying 687 miles at a cost of $3,450 to taxpayers over the first three months of the year. Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch flew 2,242 miles at a cost of $14,550 during the first three months of 2017.

During the 2018 campaign, opponents focused on Walker’s plane use, including the number of flights that were 50 miles or less. The liberal One Wisconsin Now also documented 82 times state planes flew without Walker on board between September 2015 and April 2018 before picking him up on the way to other stops in Wisconsin.

The records WisPolitics.com obtained showed two instances where state plans flew without Evers as part of a trip.

* On March 4, Evers drove to Milwaukee in the morning to meet with UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone, according to his official calendar. Later that morning, a state plane flew from Madison to pick him up for stops in Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and Sheboygan for public events. It then flew him back to Madison.

* On March 19, Evers also drove to Milwaukee in the morning for several public events until he headed to the airport, where a plane flying in from Madison picked him up at 4 p.m. for a 30-minute flight to Baraboo.

The state plane then returned to Madison as Evers overnighted for the governor’s Tourism Dinner Awards Reception. It then came back the following day to fly him up to Green Bay for two stops before returning him to Madison.

Evers’ office didn’t provide on-the-record comment on his plane use despite multiple requests, and several Republicans didn’t respond to offers from WisPolitics.com to comment on the guv’s travels.

While Evers is using state planes much less frequently than Walker, he’s also more likely to hit the road in a state car.

A comparison of Evers and Walker’s calendars over the three-month periods show the Dem made some two dozen road trips on official business in a state car with 17 of them to Milwaukee.

Over the first three months of 2017, Walker listed nine road trips in his official calendar with seven of those to Milwaukee or its suburbs. There were also several trips on Walker’s calendars that were blacked out.

Evers’ longest road trip on official business was to Wausau as he overnighted during his first week in office as part of a tour of the state’s troubled youth prisons.

Altogether, Evers’ calendars list public events in 59 Wisconsin cities outside of Madison during his first three months in office, with 19 of them to Milwaukee or its suburbs. Walker, meanwhile, visited 68 cities outside of Madison over the first three months of 2017 with 22 of those Milwaukee or its suburbs.

Evers has been dinged by critics who suggest he hasn’t spent enough time getting outside of Madison and meeting with residents since taking office. While signing the budget, Evers mocked that idea that he’s a “hermit king” who doesn’t talk to anyone, noting his various meetings with lawmakers since taking office.

Walker signed all four of his budgets outside of Madison, going to Ashwaubenon, Pleasant Prairie, Waukesha and Neenah to sign the documents.

“But also getting out from underneath the bubble and going into villages and cities and townships of this state is far more important to me and will continue to do that,” Evers said last month.

–This item first appeared Friday in the WisPolitics.com PM Update. To subscribe, click here, or sign up for a free two-week trial here

Rep. Shankland: Republican So-called “Campus Free Speech” Bill


Contact: Rep. Katrina Shankland
Office: (608) 267-9649

Likely To Do Just The Opposite

MADISON – Today, Republican lawmakers introduced legislation directing the University Of Wisconsin System Board Of Regents to establish a system-wide disciplinary policy for anyone under an institution’s jurisdiction found to have engaged in conduct which disrupts the free expression of others. The bill also prohibits UW institutions from weighing in on public policy controversies of the day and establishes a “three strike” rule culminating in expulsion for individuals found to be in violation of the new policy.

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) released the following statement in response:

“As the ranking member of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, I’m extremely concerned about Republican legislation that would supersede or nullify the Board of Regents’ already problematic campus speech policy and replace it with an even more chilling policy. Under this bill, individuals could bring action and sue for damages if they are protested or potentially interrupted. Anyone could report another person for violating this new policy, and an individual could be suspended or expelled after just a few allegations, an investigation, and a hearing.

“I’m especially concerned about the far-reaching impact this legislation could have on freedom of speech on campus. Language in the bill stating that “institutions must remain neutral on public policy controversies” is overly broad and can be construed as preventing campus leaders from taking positions on human and civil rights, at a time when our world most needs leaders to take a stand. How this bill would reach constitutional muster is a mystery. It’s enormously disappointing to see this zeal for misleading rhetoric about so-called campus free speech when we could and should be working together to invest in our UW System and make higher education more affordable for everyone in Wisconsin.”

Sen. Kapenga, Rep. Horlacher: Legislators introduce campus free speech bill


Contact: Sen. Chris Kapenga   608-266-9174
Rep. Cody Horlacher 608-266-5715

Madison, WI – On Tuesday, Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Representative Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago) introduced a bill that would ensure free speech on UW campuses.

“Free speech is a foundational part of our constitution. Unfortunately, across the country and here in Wisconsin, we have seen examples of free speech being suppressed on our university campuses. Freedom of speech leads to freedom of thought, but all too often universities are teaching students what to think instead of how to think. This bill affirms the ability to engage in the free exchange of ideas without the fear of intimidation or disruption,” said Senator Kapenga.

This bill directs the UW Board of Regents to implement a policy on free expression which states it is not the role of an institution to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment and that students and faculty have the freedom to discuss anything as permitted by the First Amendment. It also states that any person lawfully on campus may protest or demonstrate, but actions that interfere with the expressive rights of others are subject to sanction.

“I am honored to lead the charge for Campus Free Speech. We must ensure that open expression is available to all students and that certain ideas are not stifled on our university campuses. It is vital that we codify these protections in our state statutes,” said Representative Horlacher.

Speaker Robin Vos: State Assembly to honor first responders


Madison…Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) is announcing a new recognition program for first responders. Wisconsinites including local leaders are asked to submit nominations for the First Responder of the Year award to their state representative before early September. State representatives will each select a district winner who will be recognized during an October floor session as part of First Responders Appreciation Month.

“It’s important that we honor our first responders who serve and protect our communities every single day,” said Speaker Vos. “We appreciate their dedication and would like to express our gratitude for putting their lives on the line for the safety of others.”

Nominations can be directed to the first responder’s state representative.  The nomination can be predicated on a variety of factors including a specific heroic action, a significant professional achievement, community work and/or length of service.

The person nominated can be a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, a firefighter or any level of EMS provider.  It can also be a paid or volunteer public servant.

The Speaker’s Office is coordinating the recognition effort and has asked that a winner from each district be delivered to his office by Friday, September 14th.

TUE AM Update: Evers, legislative leaders to address WMC’s Policy Day

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TUE News Summary: Evers asks Trump to end trade wars; study finds Asian carp could survive throughout Lake Michigan

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TUE PM Update: Elections Commission approves scaled-back proposal to provide loaner computers to some clerks

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Van Mobley: Trump correct with tariffs on China


The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

Thirty years ago the Chinese Communists rolled the tanks on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square and demonstrated their resolve to maintain their authoritarian/totalitarian regime by force. Shortly thereafter the Democrat Bill Clinton won the Presidency, in part, by savaging the incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush (who failed to sanction Beijing for Tiananmen Square) for coddling the “Butchers in Beijing.”

After he became president something transformed Bill Clinton and instead of advancing American interests in relation to the Chinese government he coddled the Chinese Communist Party by giving it expanded access to American economic markets. Perhaps he was motivated by the idea that by trading with China we could transform the Chinese Communists into nice people who didn’t roll tanks to crush protestors, allowed for democratic processes, and contributed to goodness and light all around the world as honest participants in a borderless free trade utopia.

This curious idea concerning trade’s therapeutic effects on its participants helped frame America’s relationship with the Chinese government during the Presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama as well. But as time passed it increasingly became apparent that trading with the Chinese was not changing the Chinese Communists and was instead having unforeseen and pernicious consequences. The Chinese Communists remained authoritarian/totalitarians, remained bent upon dominating the globe (something they saw as their birthright), continued to conceptualize trade as a type of warfare which justified their predatory trade practices and habit of stealing intellectual trade property and secrets, and were very successful at growing the Chinese economy. On the other hand the American economy declined as our GDP stagnated, much of our manufacturing sector went to China, and large swathes of our population suffered from chronic underemployment and a declining standard of living. Americans began to recognize that if we didn’t get off the trajectory Bill Clinton had placed us on the US economy would soon be annihilated and instead of the Chinese Communists becoming more and more like us, we would become more and more like them – or maybe just become a sad little subordinate part of their expanding authoritarian/totalitarian system.

Fortunately the American people are smart and can see past the end of their nose (unlike Tony Evers and the Democrats). So they decided to elect Donald Trump to avoid such a sorry and humiliating destiny. Together we are changing our and the world’s trajectory. The Chinese Communists are either going to straighten up or we are going to disentangle our economies. Trump is using tariffs as a stick to help the Chinese government choose correctly but ultimately there are over a billion Chinese and it is really hard, and maybe impossible, for us to make them do something (with either carrots or sticks) that they have determined not to do.

President Trump realizes that the necessary steps he is taking to put the American economy back on the growth path are having some deleterious short term impacts upon American farmers (although there are multiple causes for decreasing farm commodity prices over the last few years and not all are related to Trump’s trade actions). So Trump is taking care of farmers. Furthermore he has/is negotiating improved trade deals with our allies – like the USMCA – which will help Wisconsin farmers in the short and long run. Trump’s policies are exactly what the doctor ordered. They are working now and will work in the long term.

Governor Evers should know all this and for that reason his decision this week to call upon Trump to remove the tariffs on China at precisely the moment when the Chinese Communists are massing tanks on the borders of Hong Kong (to snuff out the little bastion of freedom there and thereby expand the burgeoning Chinese Communist system) appears mysterious. Is Governor Evers dull-witted? Is he uninformed? Is he just an irresponsible Democratic hack stirring up trouble? Is he something worse than a dull-witted, uninformed, craven political hack? Instead of advancing the disproven notion that the Chinese Communists will change if we are nice to them and allow them to keep on plundering our economy why doesn’t Governor Evers send a letter to Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of obstructionist House Democrats demanding they ratify the USMCA which Trump negotiated – which we know will help Wisconsin’s farmers?

I know Tony and have my eye on him. He needs to do better.

— Mobley is a professor of history and economics at Concordia University Wisconsin and the president of Thiensville. The perspective advanced in this article is his own.


WisDems: Donald Trump’s Administration laughs in the face of struggling farmers


Contact: Philip Shulman, [email protected]

(MADISON, WI) — Farmers in Wisconsin and across the country are getting crushed by President Trump’s trade war with China. Exports continue to fall, forcing farms to close their doors, manufacturers to lay off workers, and small businesses to stop expanding.

But apparently it’s all just one big joke to Donald Trump and his administration.

Shot: “Tariffs are making an already terrible situation so much worse for farmers and our business owners in the dairy industry.” — Anna Landmark, co-owner and cheesemaker at Wisconsin’s Landmark Creamery, at a press conference highlighting the negative impacts of Trump’s trade war on her industry.

Chaser: “What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.” — Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at a FarmFest listening session in Minnesota.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Spokesperson Philip Shulman released the following statement in response to Sec. Perdue’s comments:

“Somehow Donald Trump and his administration’s tax and trade policies are still worse than the asinine jokes they make about our struggling farmers, which shows how little they actually care about the very real and tangible pain being felt by so many in our state and across this country. Instead of wasting our time trying to think up the latest laugh, they should start listening to the farmers, manufacturers, and small business owners who are being crushed by their policies and chaotic trade war with China.”

WisPolitics Midday – August 13, 2019


In today’s WisPolitics Midday update, brought to you by Spectrum:

  • Gov Evers writes President Trump regarding the trade war.
  • AG Josh Kaul joins other states in a lawsuit against Trump administration.
  • Speaker Vos and Gov Evers to meet tomorrow at the request of Evers regarding gun control.

August 14, 2019 | August 12, 2019
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