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A space for civil discussion of Wisconsin (and national) politics. People who do not maintain a civil tone or who are threatening will be removed from this space. In this context consider politics in a wide sense - not just inter-party squabbling.

User-Contributed Politics News

Enough of Divide and Conquer Politics

Senator Jeff Smith Headshot

When politicians have no answers, they find a way to distract constituents. Politicians have a knack for finding a scapegoat to blame when a plan is failing. It’s been the game played by politicians for decades.

How polarized are Wisconsin lawmakers?

wisconsin capitol

Talk of political polarization — epitomized by the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats — is ubiquitous these days. Watch the nightly news, read a newspaper article about a political issue or talk to someone about politics, and the topic of polarization will likely come up.

This is No Time for Legislators to Rest

Senator Jeff Smith

Students are floating down the river while friends and families are enjoying outdoor fairs and festivals. It’s finally summer; time for a break, right?

More speeches from Families Belong Together

Families Belong Together Rally video

More videos of speeches from the Families Belong Together event in Eau Claire. Today's video is speeches from Andrew Werthmann, Ann Francis, and Zoe Roberts.

Trust The Voters

Redistricting is right around the corner in 2021. New legislative and congressional district maps will be drawn up after the census by the political party in charge. Gerrymandered maps will give the party in charge a secure advantage for the next 10 years.

Governor Evers signs budget with 78 partial vetoes

This morning Governor Evers signed the budget forwarded from the legislature, but added 78 partial vetoes. The end result is a budget that is a compromise between Evers' budget proposal and the bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature. The entire veto messages is included below, but some of the primary items of interest include

Mareya Sigala Valdez speaks about detention camps at Families Belong Together

This speech is by community organizer Mareya Sigala Valdez as she spoke about the detention camps at the border and her experience working at them. I apologize for the fact that we only have audio of this speech, but due to the heat at the event we were having some problems with the video cameras overheating in the sunlight. With or without the video, this is worth listening to. 

Why are taxpayers subsidizing a cable industry windfall in the state budget?

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Cable and phone companies are getting a big windfall in the state budget and taxpayers are
going to pay the bill for the next ten years. Wisconsin Community Media can think of a lot
of better ways to spend tax dollars than subsidizing large telecommunications companies
like Charter Communications, Comcast and AT&T that are making a lot of money here in
Wisconsin through their cable TV, broadband and telephone services. We are asking

Jeff Smith - Independence and Freedom for All

Senator Jeff Smith

 

When we think of the 4th of July, we often think of parades, fireworks and gatherings throughout our community. It’s a day of remembrance and pride for our country. It’s the day we officially recognize that our forefathers declared our independence as a separate nation.

Rep. Jodi Emerson at Families Belong Together 2019

Families Belong Together Rally

Jodi Emerson speaks at 2019 Families Belong Together Rally

A Families Belong Together rally was held in Eau Claire in 2018 when the family separation policies at the Mexican Border first became apparent. This was well-attended, and a second rally was held today in Owen Park in Eau Claire. As several of the speakers pointed out, it is disappointing that not only does this policy still exist, but it has become severely worse in the past year. 

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Yesterday, July 22

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    When politicians have no answers, they find a way to distract constituents. Politicians have a knack for finding a scapegoat to blame when a plan is failing. It’s been the game played by politicians for decades.

    We’re seeing it played out as Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald turn on their favorite scapegoat: Milwaukee. Republicans have failed our state time and again, they want you to believe Milwaukee is responsible for your expectations not being met. 

    This plan has proven to work for them. They work to anger voters and convince them that somebody else is taking more than their share.

    We can’t continue to let politicians divide our state for petty political points. Rather than pitting voters against voters or one city against another, we should be working together for a stronger Wisconsin.

    This isn’t a new strategy for politicians. In 1979, Representative William Gagin (my own representative at the time) said money was going to that “black hole” in Milwaukee when asked why some critical programs were underfunded. Now, you might choose to believe he meant no harm with that statement, but you’d be wrong. It was a racist statement then and is a racist statement now. Fortunately, that statement doomed Gagin from serving another term, but sadly, the idea that Milwaukee is undeserving still exists today.

    During former Governor Walker’s campaign in 2010, he blatantly said to one of his billionaire donors that his strategy was to “divide and conquer” our state. These statements by Representative Gagin and Governor Walker define what the political rhetoric is really about – tapping into the fears and biases of rural voters to hold power.

    We’re still seeing this game played today. In April, Republican Joint Finance Committee members rejected Governor Evers’ proposal to provide an additional $40 million for replacing lead service lines because they feared Milwaukee would get too much of the funding. Milwaukee and the entire state will miss out on critical lead service line replacements just because Republican leaders claimed most of the additional funding was directed towards Milwaukee.

    Just last week, Republican leaders threatened to take a veto override vote to prevent Milwaukee from using additional transportation dollars for their streetcar project. While Milwaukee officials publicly stated they do not plan to use the funds for that project, Republican leaders spread misinformation to villainize Milwaukee and score political points outstate.

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