Category Archive: Recall Walker

May 31 2012

Recall Related Volunteer Needs

All Hands on Deck – GOTV

We are within one week of ending this!  No rest for the weary!

Wear RED for Public Ed Monday AND Tuesday!

Why spend your valuable free time knocking on doors and calling people?  It might feel like you aren’t reaching many voters when you do this…and that might be true as an individual volunteer but you are part of a much larger effort and multiple contacts translates into votes.  In fact, in a two hour shift, if you affect the vote of two or three people, you’ve done a powerful thing.  If we ALL affect the voting behavior of two or three people over the next week, we can make a signficant difference and we can ensure that Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell win and that Scott Walker fades into Wisconsin history.

If you absolutely do not want to knock on doors or make phone calls, then write down the names of 10 people who you will call and ask about their specific plan to vote or sign up to work a visibility shift on GOTV Weekend.  Remind your folks that they can register and vote at their City Clerk’s Office until Friday June 1 (in Madison, until 7:00 pm).  After that, you can only vote at the polls on June 5 from 7AM – 8PM.

Recall Related Events:  June 2 – June 5
Quick Links (click the link for more info.):

Increase voter turnout, Get Out the Vote!
Sign up for a volunteer shift using the signup calendar!
   – MTI is sponsoring the events of Election Day at the Labor Temple
Talk to YOUR Voters – The Relational Voter Program
Sign up to canvass  – From the Labor Temple or MTI this weekend
Help with the Visibility Campaign – make signs and plan in lieu of postcards
Phone Calls for the Recalls – At the Labor Temple or the WEAC Offices
Donate to help with the Recall!

Other information
Voting information – including info. for college students
Free rides to the polls courtesy of Union Cab! – Call 242-2000.

Have some fun and get your politics on!
We Are Wisconsin, The Movie! Thursday, May 31, Barrymore Theater
GOTV Weekend Kick-Off Bash, Friday, June 1 – The Labor Temple

Wear RED for Public Ed Monday AND Tuesday!


Participate in the MTI Relational Voter Program

Are there voters on your list who could use a postcard reminder?
The quick version is here: My Voters Template; Details and resources are available here.
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Canvass Programs:

Canvasses in Dane County
This is the single most important campaign activity right now.  This program is geared toward face-to-face conversations with recall petition signers and likely Democratic votersThis population is critical to the success of the Recall!

There will be GOTV Canvassing out of the MTI Offices (821 Williamson Street).
Saturday, June 2 through Tuesday June 5.  Sign up for a shift!

The We Are Wisconsin / AFL-CIO Canvass Program at the Labor Temple (1602 S. Park St.), any day after 10 AM to pick up a walk route!

MTI will be sponsoring the GOTV Events at the Labor Temple with We Are Wisconsin on Election Day!
Please join us, canvass, make phone calls, help voters get to the polls, etc.
Sign up here!

The Doors Less Knocked
We Are Wisconsin and local community activists are working to increase turnout in traditionally low-turnout wards in Madison.  You will have a voter list but will also be talking to other residents about voting, helping with voter registration forms and talking about what’s at stake on June 5.  If you have not yet signed up for this program and are interested, e-mail for more information.  This program is very rewarding because you are educating folks and empowering them to vote.  Remind them that their vote is just as valuable as Scott Walker’s 1% pals’.

We’re also going to need help with visibility signs and shuttle drivers for these areas On Election Day!  E-mail me if interested.
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GOTV Postcard Reminder!
We are out of postcards!  Thanks everyone for your interest, make signs instead (see below).

AnchorMake Visibility GOTV Signs
Make signs with messages aimed at increasing awareness of Election Day and why we are recalling Scott Walker.  We have posterboard, markers and you can bring your own materials.  We’ll have some ideas too but your creativity is the fun part of this project.  This will be happening at MTI Thursday 5/31 from 4-7 PM.

We will also need location ideas and bodies to make this program effective.  Pick a spot to stand with signs in a school neighborhood, perhaps an intersection or street near a Doors Less Knocked area.  This program is aimed at reminding people publicly about the elections and the reasons to Recall Walker and elect Tom Barrett.
Sign up for a shift to hold signs (Sat. – Tues.)

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Phone Calls for the Recalls! 

Two phone bank programs, as defined below.

  1. We are looking for volunteers to make calls to Wisconsin famiies that have children in public schools.  These calls are being made on a statewide predictive dialer network with teachers from all over Wisconsin.  This program is taking place at the WEAC building (33 Nob Hill Road).
    Wed.-Friday, 5/29 – 6/1 from 4 PM to 8 PMPlease let Jeff Knight know if you are interested (257-0491) in participating
  2. MTI phone nights at the Labor Temple are still Wednesdays 4:00 – 8:00 PM in Room 104 of the Labor Temple (1602 S. Park St.).  This program makes phone calls to union households to identifiy Tom Barrett supporters for GOTV efforts.  If voter turnout is high, Tom Barrett wins! 

Sign up for a shift at the next “MTI Night
Sign up here!

This program is also running every weeknight from 4-8 PM.  Contact Greg Neil at 608.556.9521 or e-mail gneil@wisaflcio.com to volunteer for a shift.  You can also just show up and Greg will put you to work.

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Other ways to help:

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Donate

These organizations are working hard to get the message out about the recall and to protect the integrity of your vote!
The Barrett Campaign
We Are Wisconsin
United Wisconsin
League of Women Voters
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Voter Registration in information
City of Madison and Early Voting Hours
Check your registration status
If you are not registered, you can register, in person, at your municipal clerk’s office up to Friday before Election Day or at the polls.  Detailed information here!
Find your polling location
College Student Voting for the Recall – Where and how to vote if you are a college student
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Early Voting in Madison

Room 103, City-County Building,
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.Weekdays
May 29- June 1 (Tues-Fri): 8:00 AM – 7:00 PMPOLLING HOURS FOR ELECTION DAY
JUNE 5, 2012:  7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Find your polling locationFree rides to the polls courtesy of Union Cab!
Call 242-2000.

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We Are Wisconsin: Get Out the Vote Rally

Friday June 1 at the Labor Temple, 5:30 PM

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Tom Morello of “Rage Against The Machine,” singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, Tim McIlrath of the punk rock band “Rise Against,” international touring hip-hop artist Brother Ali and Mike McColgan, the original lead singer of “Dropkick Murphys” and the lead singer of the “Street Dogs,” are all hitting the stage in Madison to turn out the vote in a Wisconsin recall election that’s too close to call.  Be a part of it.

This great group of artists will be hitting the stage in Madison to turn out the vote in an unprecedented Wisconsin recall election.

And the best part—this rock concert is FREE to the public. All you have to do is sign up to volunteer to help get-out-the-vote. Doors open at 5:30 p.m and we will have volunteer sign up sheets on hand when you arrive at the Labor Temple.

Facebook Event Link

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Let’s go to the movies!

The newly completed documentary, We are Wisconsin—This is What Democracy Looks Like, debuts in Madison on May 31. The film chronicles ordinary citizens-turned-activists throughout the 2011 battle over Scott Walker’s divisive Act 10. The protests received weeks-long national and international attention, and led to an historic round of recall elections. (An earlier sneak preview showing of an unfinished film marked the one-year anniversary of Scott Walker’s signing of Act 10.)

The film was recognized as one of the top ten audience favorites earning a People’s Choice Award, rave reviews and a standing ovation at a recent international film festival debut in Toronto.  We are Wisconsin—This is What Democracy Looks Like debuts Thursday May 31 at 7 pm the Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Ave. in Madison.  Advance tickets are $10 online at www.barrymorelive.com or by phone (608.241.8633), or $13 day of the show. See also www.wearewisconsin.org

May 16 2012

Governor Walker: Fact v. Fiction

Scott Walker and the GOP have made drastic changes to Wisconsin in the past 14 months.  The list is long and the information is telling of their agenda, which appears to be straight out of the ALEC / Corporate Favoritism playbook.  Who is really running your state?  Here are some issues to consider when discussing the election with your family, friends and colleagues.

Video testimonials why Scott Walker is facing a recall election

Education and Public Schools
Equal Pay for Women
Taxes
Jobs
The Wisconsin Retirement System
Health Care: Collective Bargaining
Health Care: Family Care
Health Care: Women’s Health Care
Health Care: Badger Care (Medicaid)
Workers’ Rights
Cuts to University of Wisconsin System
Limiting Access to Higher Education
Cuts to Technical College System
Voter ID
Child Labor
Sick Leave

On Education

Scott Walker claims that school districts were able to balance their budgets while improving education quality because of his reforms.

Fact: By law, school districts have always had to balance their budgets—this is nothing new.

Scott Walker is responsible for cutting $1.6 billion from our public schools and then claims the action is intended to improve quality. All across Wisconsin, school districts are in a fiscal crisis and children are losing opportunities like art, foreign language, music and vocational training.   

In a recent statewide survey of school superintendents:

  • 71% of districts cut in at least one core area
  • 59% of districts increased class size
  • 46% of districts made cuts in art, music and phys ed
  • 45% of districts made cuts in career and tech ed
  • 28% of districts made cuts in special education

(Source: Department Public Instruction).

Several school district administrators have gone on record acknowledging that the tools aren’t working. Here’s a recent example, taken from the River Falls Journal: Tools are not working

PolitiFact rates as “true” Kathleen Falk’s statement that Governor Scott Walker enacted “the biggest cuts to education in our state’s history.” PolitiFact concludes: “Falk claimed Walker’s cuts in state support to local schools, tech colleges and public universities amount to the largest in state history. We found previous cuts in those areas, but not in all three in the same year, and not nearly as deep when you roll them all together as has Falk. We rate her statement True.”

Scott Walker asserts that school districts were able to hire more staff thanks to his reforms.

In reality, 4,000 education jobs were lost this year as a result of budget cuts.  Nine out of 10 Wisconsin students attend a district that had staff reductions.

The Walker Administration often compares new hires only to the number of staff let go—it ignores entirely the historic number of staff that retired.   When total leavers and new hires are tallied up, thousands fewer are employed. (Sources: Cap Times; Department Public Instruction).

PolitiFact rates the Walker administration’s jobs claims that “the overwhelming number of school districts reported their staff stayed the same or grew after the 2011-’13 state budget “false.”  Read the full assessment.

Scott Walker argues that if school districts would not have extended their contracts with the union, they wouldn’t have to reduce staff.

That’s simply not the case. Even with the pension and health care concessions offered by educators, districts all across the state have had to make further cuts.

Consider the following news stories (and these are just a few – you can find examples all across the state):

Appleton Post Crescent
Menasha faces $2million school deficit

Beloit Daily News
Outlook for schools: more cuts

Madison Area / Channel 3000
Lodi school districts considers more cuts

Parkview School Board Votes To Close 2 Rural Schools to cover budget shortfall

Chippewa Herald
Lake Holcombe to cut 6 staff members

Eau Claire Leader Telegram
Eau Claire faces $4.2 million shortfall

La Crosse Tribune
La Crosse School District Facing $2.8 million cut in 2012-13

Walker’s reforms accomplished absolutely zero
Saving money, but budget repair bill doesn’t offset state cuts

Oshkosh Northwestern
Oshkosh schools face $17.8 million deficit, new financial forecast shows

Superior Telegram
Superior schools deal with brutal budget cuts, more to come

Tomah Journal
Education cuts real, and more to come

WUWM
Different opinions on how budget affects schools

For more perspective on this important topic, join the discussion on Facebook at Speak Out For Wisconsin Public Schools. Learn about the fiscal crisis affecting school districts across the state and here what parents, educators and community members are saying about the current state of public education.

Governor Walker claims his cuts are improving education:

“This year we saw better class sizes, fewer teacher layoffs, property taxes were kept in check, and educational opportunities for students were the best they have been in a decade.”

A continuation of unfounded claims

1. Fifty-nine percent of districts reported class size increases, which mean the majority of districts experienced worse class sizes.  Moreover, unlike prior years, districts had federal stimulus monies to use and imposed significant pay cuts on staff.  Even still, a significant gap between funding and costs remained, and the majority of districts were forced to increase class sizes.

2. Earlier statements by the Governor on education jobs were proven incorrect by survey data and ranked false by PolitiFact.  He now repeats that misinformation.  The recent DPI survey asked about layoffs, retirees and non-renewals to determine a total loss in staff; Walker only talks about layoffs.

3. The revenue control survey never asked about property taxes, so this comment is just political posturing masquerading as research.

4. No data are presented in the governor’s press release to support his final claim. When one cuts more classes for children, there are fewer opportunities, not more.  The idea that more students have opportunities today because fewer classes were cut this year than last year is a logical fallacy and a misstatement of fact.  

For example, if there were 5 cuts last year and 3 this year, students experienced 3 additional cuts for a total of 8 and are not better off today than they were before.  In just this school year:

  • 46% of districts made cuts or increased class size in core academic subjects
  • 20% cut sections outright in technical education
  • 19% cut sections outright in art
  • 18% cut sections outright in business
  • 17% cut sections outright in music  

(source:  DPI survey)

For more history on the Governor’s misstatements on education, go here.

On Equal Pay for Women

Governor Walker signed into law legislation overturning the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, a statute that allowed employees to collect punitive damages from employers for sexual, age and other forms of discrimination on the job.

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men make nationally. In Wisconsin, it’s 75 cents, according to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH), which also estimates that families in the state “lose more than $4,000 per year due to unequal pay.”

Democratic Chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on CNN about Walker signing the legislation just before Easter break: “He tried to quietly repeal the Equal Pay Act. Women aren’t going to stand for that. . . . The focus of the Republican Party on turning back the clock for women really is something that’s unacceptable.”

Regarding Republican legislative actions affecting women, and this act in particular, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus dismissed attacks by Democrats, comparing their concerns to a “war on caterpillars”—suggesting, perhaps, he believes the issue is of little significance.

On Taxes

Property owners saw a decrease in their bills, and schools’ portion of the property tax levy was down 1% across the state.

This is really a discussion about priorities.

Consider the consequences when you cut public education – kids and classrooms are hurt.

Instead of cutting our schools for tax relief, corporations and the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes so Wisconsin can keep our schools strong and taxes low.

We also need to acknowledge the fact that

Wisconsin’s school funding system is outdated – and we need a better way to fund our schools.

Scott Walker claims he is looking out for Wisconsin taxpayers.

Governor Walker enacted a number of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy totaling $2.1 billion this decade.  Many of his personal campaign supporters benefitted while Wisconsin was deprived of resources it needs to thrive.   

Health care, education and other vital programs are being cut.

At the same time, Governor Walker turned tax fairness on its head by enacting tax increases on low-income working families and homeowners by tens of millions of dollars, making it more difficult for seniors and others to stay in their homes.

(Source: Wisconsin State Journal).

On Jobs

Scott Walker claims Wisconsin is adding jobs.

Wisconsin leads the nation in total job losses.  The Federal Reserve reports that in the three month period August-October 2011, Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state.

  • Wisconsin lost more public sector jobs than any other state last year, experiencing a 10% loss of 8,000 jobs (MJS).
  • Wisconsin lost 14,600 jobs in November, the largest single month drop in the nation and the fifth month in a row of job losses (CT).
  • The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future documents how cuts and reduced spending can lead to the loss of 18,000 full-time private sector jobs (IWF).
  • In fact, numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics January 23, 2012 show that Wisconsin is the only state in the country to have lost jobs for the past six months straight, (WSJ).

PolitiFact rates as a “Pants on Fire” lie Scott Walker’s assertion that the CAPCO program – which spent $247,000 on each job it created – was approved by former Gov. Jim Doyle. PoltiFact concludes: “”In the wake of a story about poor jobs results of a state-sponsored program, Walker sought to pin the blame on his predecessor, Jim Doyle. But he was off by five years, two governors — Thompson and successor Scott McCallum — and one political party. As governor, Doyle didn’t have anything to do with approving the CAPCO bill. But as an Assembly member, Scott Walker did. Pants on Fire.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

State posts largest percentage job loss in U.S. over the last year

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin has lost more jobs than any other state

WEAC.org:

State loses another 4,500 jobs in March under Walker

On the Wisconsin Retirement System

The state should study changes to the WRS, including an “opt-out” option for employees and converting the system to a 401(k) style plan.

The WRS is one of the most secure, best run and fully funded retirements systems in the nation.  There is absolutely no need to reform it.

The motives of Governor Walker and allies are questionable – especially when it comes to public pensions. They favor 401(k) plans that provide less security for working men and women, but give big financial service companies control of billions in worker’s pensions.   

  • The WRS serves 572,000 participants statewide. 
  • 90% of annuitants remain in the state.
  • More than $3billion annually is contributed to local communities.
  • The investment board invests hundreds of millions in Wisconsin companies.

(Source:  Employee Trust Funds)

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) created model legislation that calls for “replacing” secure retirement programs like WRS, which is what this study is preparing to do.   ALEC is funded by many of the same right-wing groups that support Governor Walker

(Source: mediamattersaction.org).

La Crosse Tribune commentary: Two former Wisconsin retirement officials say the state retirement plan is a model for the private sector

On Health Care and Collective Bargaining

Scott Walker claims that collective bargaining agreements made it impossible for districts to save money and switch health insurance carriers.

He alleges that changes he made mean school districts can now take competitive bids. 

School districts have ALWAYS been able to get competitive bids and negotiate changes in insurance through the collective bargaining process—that is what bargaining is all about. See Examples.

Educators have long made changes to their health care plans to save money. For instance:

  • 99% percent of educators moved to 3-tiered drug cards, which increased out-of-pocket expenditures, and
  • 81% of educators changed plans to more cost effective coverage – even before Act 10 was imposed.
  • Many more significant changes were enacted prior to Act 10.

Attacks like these are just another example of what Governor Walker is doing to pit Wisconsinites against each other rather than move forward for the betterment of everyone. That’s why we need to reclaim Wisconsin.      

On Health Care: Family Care

Governor Walker claims he had to cut this program because the state is broke.

At the same time, Walker enacted $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years for corporations, and increased spending on new highway construction by $420 million.

The Walker Administration froze enrollment in the Family Care program, which keeps the disabled and frail elderly in their homes by providing medical assistance.  Without it, many would be forced to live in more costly nursing facilities.  The program serves about 40,000 statewide in 53 counties.  Walker’s enrollment cap kept 6,700 disabled and elderly on the waiting list through February 2012.

In December, Walker suggested he was removing the cap out of the goodness of his heart, but it later came out that the federal government ordered him to make the change because it violated regulations.  Family Care receives about 60 percent of its funding from the federal government

Since that time, the administration proposed new restrictions and cuts to the program totaling $73 million.  In reaction, Milwaukee county supervisors testified that the changes are “making it so hard” that “people don’t qualify anymore.”  They also suggested the proposed changes were a stretch “both morally and legally.”

On Health Care: Women’s Health Care

Governor Walker claims he had to cut this program because the state is broke.

At the same time, Walker enacted $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years for corporations, and increased spending on new highway construction by $420 million.

Governor Walker proposed eliminating all funding  for family planning, potentially undermining a provider network of 52 health care centers around the state.  Although the legislature restored 90 percent of the funding, state aid to women’s healthcare centers affiliated with Planned Parenthood was eliminated.   

According to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, more than 30,000 mostly uninsured women in small communities across the state receive preventive health care from these centers, including breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, patient education, pregnancy help, and counseling.  

Governor Walker also terminated the state’s 16-year contract to run the Wisconsin Well Woman Program, affecting Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Outagamie and Sheboygan counties.  Today, as a result of cuts in a combination of programs, eight counties have lost funding for primary providers of health services for moderate income women.

In related actions, Walker enacted into law his proposal to ban men from obtaining family planning coverage, and he also recommended eliminating the requirement that health insurance policies provide coverage for contraceptives prescribed by a health care provider or outpatient medical services.  This last proposal was reversed in the budget.    

On Health Care: Badger Care (Medicaid)

Governor Walker claims he had to cut this program because the state is broke.

At the same time, Walker enacted $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years for corporations, and increased spending on new highway construction by $420 million

Some 780,000 Wisconsinites rely on Badger Care for their health coverage.  Nearly two-thirds of the Medicaid budget covers health care for the elderly and disabled, with the balance serving low income families unable to find coverage elsewhere. 

The Republican legislature gave Walker sweeping authority to cut approximately $554 million from these programs with no opportunity for public input.  By ceding its power to a political appointee, the legislature not only thwarted the democratic process, it washed its hands of the proposed cuts. 

  • Proposed cut to drop 29,000 children from Badger Care Plus
  • Proposed cuts of $72 million for Family Care, that helps the elderly and disabled
  • Reduced coverage for 200,000 people who will be shifted to a higher cost plan with fewer benefits.

An analysis by the nonpartisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau reports that 65, 000 people – nearly half of them children – would lose coverage if the savings plan is approved as currently written. 

Changes are currently pending (2/29/12).    

On Workers’ Rights

Scott Walker asserts that changes in the bargaining law were an economic necessity forcing him to cut the budget.

Both statements are incorrect.   

And we cannot lose sight of the obvious here: Walker’s extreme, uncompromising approach ignored our democratic process and tradition of open government and left the state deeply divided and unable to move forward.

Through all of this, public employees have been unfairly blamed for the state’s budget problems.

When he says changes to the bargaining law were an economic necessity, that’s simply not true. The right to bargain is unrelated to balancing the state budget. In fact, all Wisconsin governors have had to balance the budget—it’s in the constitution.

Governor Walker’s true intent wasn’t to cut spending, and it sure wasn’t to work together as a state to balance the budget. By shunning compromise, he exposed his true intent which is to limit the economic rights of men and women everywhere. And the result has divided the people of this state like never before

Cuts to University of Wisconsin System

Governor Walker claims he had to cut this program because the state is broke.

At the same time, Walker enacted $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years for corporations, and increased spending on new highway construction by $420 million.

Badgers have long embraced the Wisconsin Idea—that education should serve all quarters of the state. From agricultural extension programs, to the nation’s first business school, to the establishment of one of the world’s top research universities, Wisconsin has a proud tradition in higher education.

Governor Walker threatens this tradition when he cut funding not once but twice for the famed UW.

In the budget, state aid to the University of Wisconsin System was reduced by $250 million, resulting in a tuition increase of 5.5 percent in each of the next two years.  The UW system also suffered from a recent budget “lapse” of $46 million, the result of renewed budget shortfalls, bringing total cuts to nearly $300 million. 

The UW was affected more by Walker’s recent budget lapse than any other state program.  Due to course reductions, it will now be harder for some students to graduate on time, increasing the financial burden on families trying to secure a good education for their children.    

Limiting Access to Higher Education

Governor Walker claims he had to cut this program because the state is broke.

At the same time, Walker enacted $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years for corporations, and increased spending on new highway construction by $420 million.

Wisconsin Covenant Program, which helped successful, moderate-income students get to college.  Walker also froze Higher Education Grants, preventing students from getting needs-based grants to attend technical colleges and higher education.  Finally, he denied the children of immigrants, who meet specific conditions including Wisconsin residency, in-state tuition to attend the UW System or a technical college.  The program cost taxpayers virtually nothing.    

All told, Governor Walker enacted three changes that deny children access to higher education and technical college training.  Students from middle class families are being squeezed out of higher education. 

Education is one of the best tools we have to spur long-term economic growth and development.  Governor Walker is moving the state in the wrong direction, hurting the ability of families to help their children get ahead.  

Cuts to Technical College System

Governor Walker claims he had to cut this program because the state is broke.

At the same time, Walker enacted $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years for corporations, and increased spending on new highway construction by $420 million.

With the economic downturn, Wisconsin’s technical colleges are experiencing historic levels of demand for training and education. 

The 2011-13 state budget cut $71.6 million from technical colleges, a deep 30 percent reduction in funding that harms this vital and respected system, now serving 375,000 Wisconsinites.  The economy gets a boost from highly skilled workers, and that job-seeking individuals also are helped with such training. 

Governor Walker cut state funding, and froze local funding, for these essential colleges that help people on an individual basis while spurring overall economic development.       

On Voter ID

Prohibitive Voter ID restrictions

Voter fraud is non-existent in Wisconsin.  A major study by the Brennan Center for Justice found virtually no evidence of fraud.   Instead, the new voted ID law, called one of the strictest in the nation, is intended to restrict the rights of certain individuals to vote.  

A study by UW-Milwaukee found that “177,399 Wisconsin residents 65 and older do not have a driver’s license or state photo ID — 23 percent of that population.”  Additionally, “another 98,247 residents ages 35 through 64 lack IDs . . .  [a lack] especially pronounced among racial minorities.”

Those without a valid picture ID are forced to pay a de facto poll tax to acquire documentation required to get a voter ID.  Poll taxes are illegal and Wisconsin’s law is being challenged

Students, low-income residents, legal immigrants, and the elderly  are groups most adversely affected by the new law.

Voter ID legislation, proposed by the conservative group ALEC, has been enacted in more than 30 states to varying degrees.   Critics suggest ALEC is attempting to restrict votes in an effort to sway national presidential elections as well as state results.

On Child Labor

Expanding hours of child labor

Wisconsin had some of the strongest child labor laws in the nation, protecting the health of children and their ability to study and do well in school.  By limiting the number of hours a child can work, more opportunities also become available for adults seeking entry positions into the workforce.

The state budget (p.  828) repealed these protections.  The budget struck most protective limits on the hours of work per day, days of work per week, and time of day protections for minors 16 years of age, except when they are in school. 

Essentially minors 16 years of age or older are now treated as adults, and work hours for children younger than 16 were expanded as well.  

On Sick Leave

Denying employees sick leave

About 44 million Americans receive no sick leave from their employers.  Most affected are those in service industries, like restaurants. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world not mandating some paid time off for workers.

Nationally, a movement sprang up to pass local ordinances mandating sick leave for employees.  Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, and Milwaukee all passed such ordinances.  Milwaukee’s ordinance, initiated by the women’s business group 9 to 5, passed with 69 percent of the popular vote.

Research shows that sick leave promotes employee retention, and of course the health of patrons benefits as well.  

The Walker-dominated legislature passed a senate bill overturning Milwaukee’s ordinance and prevented all municipalities in the state from enacting local ordinances to protect workers.

According to Think Progress, Wisconsin’s legislation mirrored legislation drafted by the conservative legislative group ALEC, at the behest of major fast food industries that oppose such measures.  Whatever the origin, the new law overturned a popularly supported, common sense protection for working men and women

May 09 2012

Congratulations to Tom Barrett!

Let’s pull together MTI!  Now it’s all about recalling Scott Walker in 27 days.  Please get involved, talk about the election with your friends, family and neighbors and help get people to the polls! Tom Barrett gives a fired up victory speech:

In related news, congratulations also to Lt. Governor Candidate for the Democratic Party, Mahlon Mitchell and to the four “Real” Democratic challengers in the recall Senate Districts who all easily defeated the “Fake Dems” put up against them by the Republican Party. 

Lori Compas (D) -      SD-13   (Scott Fitzgerald (R))
John Lehman (D) -    SD-21   (Van Waangard- I (R))
Kristen Dexter (D) -  SD-23   (Terry Moulton-I (R))
Donna Seidel (D) -     SD-29   (Vacated by Pam Galloway)

Full results here.

Apr 16 2012

LWV Seeking Election Observers for June 5!

The League of Women Voters is seeking 200 election observers to monitor polling places on June 5 in what is expected to be a contentious and high-turnout election. The League will provide nonpartisan online training and a packet of materials. You don’t have to be a League member to participate!  Volunteers from past election report that this is an interesting and rewarding experience.  Sign up using this simple online form.

Mar 15 2012

What’s with the deal the MTEA made?

John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., which includes some 2,700 members, according to its website, said the governor and Republicans have inadequately funded education in Wisconsin and now want to dump the burden on the backs of teachers.

“Why should teachers be the people to sacrifice here?” Matthews said. “I’ve said this many times, unlike nuns, teachers don’t take a vow of poverty. They’ve got bills to pay, mortgages to pay, kids to feed, too.”

Full article here:  http://statehousenewsonline.com/2012/03/14/milwaukee-teachers-union-blasted-by-brethren-in-contract-concessions-bill/

Mar 14 2012

Recall Signature Data Entry – Help Needed!

Data Entry for Recall Signatures
The groups aligned to help Recall Scott Walker are still entering this information into a voter database to ensure that the million-plus people who signed a petition will get at least one phone call or mailing reminding them when the election is and providing information on how to register and vote.  This is a critical step in ensuring that the Recall is a success.

Dates:           Until Scott Walker is Gone!
Times:         Four shifts: 9-12, 12-3, 3-6, 6-9

One of four convenient locations!

Democratic Party Field Office (210 North Bassett Street, Madison)
IUPAT, District Council No. 7 Office (1571 Ivory Drive, Sun Prairie)
United Wisconsin Office (131 West Wilson Street, Suite 303, Madison)

Sign up for a shift here! 

If you can, bring a laptop to use, computer resources are limited.

Mar 04 2012

Reclaim Wisconsin Rally March 9 – 10

Walker started this fight and we’re going to finish it!

To commemorate the one year anniversary of the dead-of-night passage of Walker’s Act 10 legislation stripping the collective bargaining rights of nearly all public sector workers, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO is hosting a state-wide tour to Reclaim Wisconsin!

This tour culminates in Madison on March 9th and 10th.  Make sure your voice is heard on this infamous anniversary.  Wisconsin workers were sold out while Walker’s corporate funders were given tax breaks and sweetheart deals.  They are still at it!  One year later, Wisconsin is still under attack and we’re still fighting back!  With the Recall elections on the horizon, let’s Stand Together as brothers and sisters to Reclaim Wisconsin!

Friday, March 9, 2012
6:00 PM – Candlelight Vigil, Capitol Square
7:00 PM – Film Screening:  “We Are Wisconsin,”  Orpheum Theater

Saturday, March 10, 2012
1:00 PM – Rally events, music and speakers
2:00 PM – Reclaim Wisconsin March around the Square!

View the Event on Facebook!

Mar 04 2012

Scott Walker Lies Exposed!

This video proves what we all knew already; that Scott Walker is a bold faced liar.  His claims the he campaigned on eliminating the collective bargaining rights of public employees are shown to be utterly false in this video that was shot just days before the 2010 Election in a meeting with the Oshkosh Northwestern editorial board.

It’s almost too hard to watch, but here’s a link to the video in case you have any people in your life who still claim that he’s doing what he said he would do.

Link to: Cap Times Article about the video!

Feb 23 2012

Petition Processing Task Force

The week of February 27th, the GOP will submit challenges to our recall petitions for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.  Over the next two weeks, we need to review these challenges line by line to determine their validity and help guard against GOP legal shenanigans.  We need a Petition Processing Strike Force to get this done!   Can you join us?

Go to:  http://bit.ly/PPSFWalker  to  join us!

This is an all hands on deck effort!   There will be lots of work to do and a short time window to do it in.  Use the link below to sign up for as many shifts as possible to help ensure our success.  You can also forward this link to your friends and family to ask them to sign up as well.

All challenge verification will take place in a secure location on Madison’s far west side.   Once you sign up online you will receive a confirmation email with more details.

Also, please bring a laptop if you have one available.

We will only have a limited number of computers at the petition processing site.  Bringing your own laptop will help ensure we can accommodate as many people as possible.

Go to: http://bit.ly/PPSFWalker and  join the effort!

Thank you for all your hard work and determination.  It’s incredibly inspiring to work with such a great group of people.  The past year has been an amazing journey and together we’ve accomplished monumental feats.  This effort is one of our most important ones to date.  Let’s show Scott Walker that, “the PEOPLE, UNITED, will NEVER BE DEFEATED!”

FORWARD>>
-The Petition Processing Team
Petition Processing Team
Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Feb 19 2012

Media Coverage of the 2012 Valentines Day Protests


Protesters ‘still ♥ UW’ one year later, Daily Cardinal (2/15)

Looking back into ‘Protest Village,’ Daily Cardinal (2/15)

Grass Roots: Faith communities work to broaden movement for worker justice, Capital Times (2/14)

Ohio pastors say overturning collective bargaining limits worked because of union, faith leader partnership, Wisconsin State Journal (2/14)

Norman Stockwell: Teachers’ role huge in protests’ success, Capital Times (2/14)

Big Scott Walker Protests on Valentine’s Day, The Progressive (2/14)

Live-blogging the Valentine’s Day anniversary rallies at the Wisconsin Capitol, Isthmus (2/14)

A year later, in praise of the TAA, Capital Times editorial, (2/14)

VIDEO REPORT: Marking An Anniversary, NBC 15 (2/14)

Protesters return to the Capitol (Video), Wisconsin Radio Network (2/14)

‘I Still ♥ UW’ reprises, commemorates Valentine’s kickoff to Wisconsin Capitol protests, Isthmus (2/14)

Remembering. As We Move Wisconsin Forward, AFL-CIO Now Blog (2/14)

Protesters Return to State Capitol, WISC-TV (2/14)

365 Days of Discord, Badger Herald op-eds (2/14)

25 Faces of an American Uprising, The Nation (2/14)

Wisconsin remembers: Protesters commemorate year of ‘solidarity,’ Badger Herald (2/14)

On Campus: UW-Madison teaching assistants plan anniversary of “I
♥ UW” rally, Wisconsin State Journal (2/13)

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