FRI AM Update: Priorities USA launching digital campaign ahead of Trump visit

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Wisconsin Women in Government Ad
Wisconsin Women in Government

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— Priorities USA says it’s launching a six-figure digital campaign in Wisconsin ahead of the president’s Saturday rally in Green Bay, including a video that declares “Trump’s economy isn’t working for us.”

The buy is part of a previously announced $100 million campaign Priorities USA plans in Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The group said the new ads will run statewide through May 3 but with a focus on the Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison markets.

The video features a couple talking about the struggle to afford health care with a woman identified as Deborah Candelaria, a registered nurse, saying, “I’m sure he doesn’t run into anybody on his golf courses or in his hotels that have the issues that 70 or 80 percent of our country has.”

The buy also includes a radio ad featuring a woman saying she works hard but can’t get ahead.

“My health insurance is through the roof, I owed more in taxes this year and now Trump is coming to Wisconsin to tell us the economy is great? Great for who? Maybe folks at the top,” she says.

There’s also a display ad that reads, “Trump’s economy works for corporate CEOs — not us.”

See the spots:

— See the Election Blog tomorrow for coverage of Trump’s rally:

— Rep. Staush Gruszynski praised recent clean water initiatives and Wisconsin’s history of environmentalism in this week’s Democratic radio address celebrating Earth Day.

Gruszynski, D-Green Bay, said Wisconsin’s natural resources are “a key driving force” behind the success of the tourism and outdoor recreation industries, as well as broader economic development across the state.

But Wisconsinites’ responsibility to the environment is not limited to Earth Day, Gruszynski said. The Green Bay Dem added that we should celebrate “conservation icons like Gaylord Nelson and Aldo Leopold” as well as “look forward to future generations that we will never meet.”

“We need to recognize that our actions today are directly linked to the world that we leave behind,” Gruszynski said, as he urged lawmakers and the public “to do our part to ensure that our environmental legacy is one worth celebrating.”

Listen to the address:

— In the GOP address, Rep. Adam Neylon touted his proposed environmental protection package he says will protect natural resources while promoting tourism.

The Pewaukee Republican called legislation aimed at sustainability a “bipartisan effort,” referencing former Wisconsin Dem U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson’s development of Earth Day in 1970.

“Everyone believes in clean air, land and water to have a prosperous state,” he said.

Neylon’s proposed package includes the development of electric vehicle charging stations on interstate highways, renewable energy rebates for homeowners, and increased recycling of electronics.

He said the package would also extend the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund, which purchases land for public use. Currently, the fund is set to expire in 2020.

“By working together, we can protect our water resources and air quality, and promote tourism,” Neylon said.

Listen to the address:

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and other senators say the U.S. government should investigate Gilead Sciences — maker of the HIV-prevention drug Truvada — for potentially infringing on a government-held patent.

This comes after a Washington Post story focused on how the pharmaceutical company is profiting from the treatment, which was created using federal funding.

The senators also say Gilead is selling the Truvada product at a price that’s unaffordable to most in the country.

In a letter sent to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the senators are asking the agency to detail any cases of potential patent infringement and explain how government agencies consider drug affordability when licensing patents.

“Gilead charges between $1,600 to $2,000 for a month’s supply of Truvada and generated $3 billion in revenue off of Truvada sales last year,” they wrote.

According to the letter, Azar has said negotiations with the company are ongoing. But the senators point out Gilead reportedly has not reached any agreement that would enable the use of the patented methods.

“The government should also be willing to enforce its patents and take legal action against companies that appear to be infringing on their patents,” they wrote.

The letter is signed by Baldwin as well as: Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. They’re asking for a response by May 7.

See the full letter:

— Baldwin will be in La Crosse today to hear from Wisconsinites with pre-existing medical conditions about how they would be affected by a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The Madison Club Ad
The Madison Club

Edge Messaging Ad
Edge Messaging


Evers won’t meet with Trump in Green Bay
… a shift from his predecessor, former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Walker met with Democratic President Barack Obama at least three times … Baldauff [for Evers] said in a statement that the White House did not invite the governor to meet the president during his visit.

Trump heads to WI as both parties prepare for an epic 2020 election fight
… [in] Green Bay on Saturday, he’ll be visiting a prime battleground region of a prime battleground state. … “his 18th (campaign) rally in Wisconsin … since 2015” … Both parties in Wisconsin are bracing for an epic struggle. Both have won enough battles here to think (or hope) they have the upper hand. But both have been humbled often enough to carry a healthy fear of defeat. … “It is easy to do the totally Pollyanna analysis that we only lost by 20,000 votes (in 2016), Democratic turnout was really low, Hillary Clinton never showed up, so there’s no problem” retaking Wisconsin in 2020, said [Dem pollster] Feldman … But she doesn’t think it’s that simple … “There is no way you can look at it and not think this is going to be a close race,” said GOP strategist Stephan Thompson [who ran Hagedorn’s surprise win] … “We think the (key) difference this time is that the president has a record of achievements to run on and chief among them probably is the economy,” said Murtaugh of the Trump campaign. … But Trump’s approval has been perpetually “underwater” in Wisconsin and nationally … worse than those of GOP Gov. Scott Walker going into Walker’s 2018 re-election — which Walker lost. … But 21% of the voters who didn’t like him voted for him anyway. If anything, Trump is less reliant now than he was back then on the votes of people who don’t like him, because he’s less unpopular today then he was in 2016. … “His ‘favorables’ among Republicans are far greater than four years ago. (Wisconsin) was the birth of ‘Never Trump’ (in the GOP primaries) yet he won the state” in the general election, said Republican strategist Bill McCoshen. … “From a tactical standpoint, Trump’s formula here is pretty simple. He has to reduce the Democrat margin in the two main (blue) counties of Milwaukee and Dane, and increase his own margins in the WOW counties.” Geographic analysis. Dem pollster Maslin: “Can he possibly replicate what he did in the north? Secondly, can he get out of his difficulties with college-educated suburban voters in and around Milwaukee? I think he ultimately has to do (both) things. … The last thing I’m going to do is underestimate any Republican campaign (in Wisconsin) because they’ve won just as much as we have.” Dem strategist Pruitt: “It’s all going to be about, in so many ways, the choice (in 2020), and it’s all going to be about who the electorate is. … various components of the electorate are not all [energized] the same.” Thompson: “For them to win the state, they can’t let Trump get the kind of margins he did in the rural communities and just bank on Dane County (to offset that). There is not enough there. … at the end of the day, we’re going to be the most important state in America.” Graph analyzed Trump’s approvals by demographics, geography.

Sanders trolls Trump’s visit to WI
… “Donald Trump Lied To Wisconsin Workers,” a front-page ad to run in Friday’s Green Bay Press-Gazette and paid for by Sanders’ campaign alleges. “In a Bernie Sanders White House, we will end the corporate greed behind the Shopko closures, Kimberly-Clark layoffs and Foxconn scam.” … Sanders campaign also pointed to Kimberly-Clark using savings from a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed by Trump in 2017 for a restructuring plan that included layoffs in Wisconsin…. spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to questions about the Sanders’ ad. Rehash Walker deal to stop K-C closure. Review MU Law poll.

Vos: Budget compromise on education with Evers possible
… [Vos, Wanggaard] hosted three listening sessions — in Burlington, Union Grove and Mount Pleasant — to hear from their constituents on the budget. … “Gov. Evers has the most powerful line-item veto of any governor in the country,” Vos told the crowd at Community State Bank in Union Grove … “He can take something that we pass saying something ‘The State of Wisconsin may not,’ and he can veto out ‘not’ and so (it reads) ‘The State of Wisconsin may…'” … [but] cannot allocate more money than what is passed. … called the increase in education spending a “laudable goal … a huge increase … might not have enough money for the university system, raises for public employees, corrections, so I am confident we are going to do an increase for public schools, I just don’t know if we can do it at [Evers’] level … pretty confident that we’ll get to the two-thirds funding. … do an increase in special education funding.” Foster care deal possible, but welfare, overall spending not. Smooth budget could be signed by July, but Walker’s last budget was not signed until Sept.

GOP Leaders: Evers’ Medical Marijuana Proposal Won’t Be Approved
JFC co-chairs Darling and NYgren at WisPOlitics event Thursday. Darling concerned Evers plan would allow people to grow and distribute marijuana, “When you read what he actually has in his budget, it’s really off the wall scary.” Evers plan also would decriminalizing possession and sale of less than 25 grams, set state regulations for manufacturing and sales of medical marijuana at dispensaries. Nygren called for separate bill, “Something of that substance, in my opinion — no pun intended — needs a much larger conversation than being stuck into a 2,000-page document.” Evers argued med pot would treat certain conditions and decriminalization would cut prison population.

GOP Lawmakers Defend Foxconn Amid Mixed Signals About Job Creation
Foxconn’s Yeung tweeted, “Who has the crystal ball to predict if 13,000 jobs will be created by the year 2032? Esp in April ’19.” The state’s contract with Foxconn expires in 2032. Yeung’s tweet came amid Foxconn leadership flux, with CEO Gou pondering running for Taiwan presidency and giving up day to day business. Foxconn did not respond. JFC co-chair Nygren at WisPol event: “He’s saying that a lot can happen between now and 2032 — which, we know that to be true.” Darling: “I don’t see Foxconn totally failing. That’s not their MO. … I know there’s been a lot of political talk about it, but it has be a ‘pay as you grow’ — they don’t get paid unless they grow jobs.” Evers has said contract needs changes due to Foxconn changing scope of proposal, but Vos has vowed to reject major changes.

GOP legislators seek to intervene in more lawsuits at taxpayer expense — this time over environmental laws
… One of the [WI Supreme Court] cases … centers on what requirements can be included in an environmental permit for a dairy operation in Kewaunee County. The other concerns whether [DNR] must take into account the cumulative effects high-capacity wells will have on nearby lakes, rivers and streams. … committee of legislative leaders voted 6-4 [party line] Thursday to hire Husch Blackwell, a national law firm with offices in Wisconsin. … did not say how much they would pay the firm’s attorneys, but for other work by the firm they recently agreed to pay $215 to $820 an hour. Vos-Fitzgerald statement: “we’re concerned about the implementation of all laws by state agencies. We can’t afford to go back to an era where overzealous bureaucrats bury the hard-working men and women of the state of Wisconsin with needless government red tape.” Minority Leader Shilling: “Rather than ensuring every Wisconsinite is able to drink clean water from their tap, Republican leaders want to continue picking petty political fights on the taxpayer’s dime.” Review of GOP record on interventions, attorney fees.

In wake of Girl Scout tragedy, bill would give new protections to roadside cleanup workers
… state law already allows for doubling the maximum fine or forfeiture for speeding or driving recklessly in a work zone when construction workers are present. The proposed legislation, Assembly bill 151, would be expanded to include “roadside cleanup or maintenance work, including the collection of litter.” … Chippewa County highway supervisor Brian Kelley — whose daughter, 9-year-old Jayna, died in the crash that killed four people who were cleaning debris alongside a road Nov. 3 in Lake Hallie — testified on a bill in Madison on Tuesday

Feds Say Doctors Going Too Far Limiting Pain Pills
… [CDC] clarification … made public on Wednesday along with a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine by doctors who wrote the guidelines. … concerned that some patients are taken off painkillers too quickly or can’t find a doctor, some patients with cancer or surgical pain couldn’t get opioids even though the guidelines are only meant for those with chronic pain. UW Med. Dr. Abd-Elsayed agreed, “I think we went from one extreme of being liberal about prescribing opioids to another extreme of no opioids.” Patient advocate McIlwain told of chronic constipation patient who “was just cut off. … now has been two weeks without a bowel movement and she is at risk of perforating,” happy for the CDC-NEJM effort to clarify policy. Earlier in April, 39 AG’s [including Kaul] wrote to HHS urging low doses for short periods, weighing alternatives, to avoid cascading opioid prescribing, addiction. Kaul at drug take-back day said reducing Rx reduced addiction, “It’s certainly important that doctors follow the guidelines accurately and if there are patients for whom an opioid prescription is appropriate, those guidelines shouldn’t be preventing doctors from making an appropriate prescription. But it’s also important we work to address over-prescription.” CDC is currently evaluating the intended/unintended impacts of opioid Rx guidelines.

Rastafarian church in Downtown Madison distributes cannabis as city tries to stop it
… Since March, Jesse R. Schworck and Dylan Paul Bangert, Madison natives who live in Stoughton, have been operating the Lion of Judah House of Rastafari church [registered with DFI, IRS], and openly smoking cannabis and distributing it as a sacrament to church members for donations, from a modest rental space at 555 W. Mifflin St. … “Wisconsin’s first & only lawful Rastafari cannabis sanctuary” … offers membership cards with electronic sign-up as well as examples of gifts, cannabis sacrament and religious books. Schworck: “We just live life according to life itself. It’s what we know. We talk it and walk it. We are exercising inalienable rights. … We’re not trying to convert people to something.” On March 26, Madison police visited and confiscated several jars of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. On April 10, police sent landlord Charajeet Kaur a formal notice of public nuisance, allowing a five-day notice to vacate. Kaur met Monday with MPD Capt. Freedman, City ATty. ZIlavy. If Kaur fails to act, city may seek a court order to declare the property a public nuisance and order the building closed and sold. Freedman and Kaur could not be reached. Zilavy said a police investigation is ongoing, believes it is merely a front for illegal pot sale. Ald.. Verveer favors legal pot but supports efforts to stop selling pot there. Schworck seeking federal injunction to stop religious persecution.

Dane County begins turning gas from landfill’s trash into vehicle fuel
… As representatives of the county, contractor BioFerm Energy Systems and CNG seller Kwik Trip cut a ribbon Thursday at the gas-processing facility … resulting methane to be injected into an interstate pipeline owned by ANR Pipeline Company. “You know that banana peel someone threw out six months ago and rotted? The gas from that banana peel is being cleaned and put in the pipeline and fueling vehicles,” County Executive Joe Parisi said. After contract with MG&E ended because wind, solar are less expensive now. Combusted methane turns to CO2, considered a cleaner exhaust. About 30% of the county’s fleet, 85% of Kwik Trip’s fleet use CNG. “Long term, our goal is to have zero emissions” from the landfill, County’s Welch said. Facility itself isn’t running on green energy yet, but will add solar from airport array. Parisi expects the $29M facility will pay for itself in four years.


Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges & Universities Ad
Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges & Universities


– 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.: BizTimes Media: “Waukesha County 2035: Competing in a New Era of Innovation.” Features a keynote address from “Mapping Innovation” author Greg Satell.

– 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Worker Justice Wisconsin: 19th Annual Faith-Labor Breakfast.

– 9 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Thompson Center on Public Leadership: “The Future of Transportation in Wisconsin.” Among speakers are Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson, former Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb and Sen. Jerry Petrowski, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs.

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