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Vinehout - Conversations with Constituents

Kathleen Vinehout

“You all lie, steal and cheat,” the Sparta woman told me. I did not know her, and when I disagreed, she said “Well, you will.”

Then she smiled and handed me a piece of the chocolate bar she was eating.

The year was 2006. I was a rookie candidate passing out literature at the Butterfest parade. I don’t think I will ever forget that woman.

Wisconsin LWV Statement on Signing of Lame Duck Bills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 14, 2018

Phone: (608) 256-0827

www.lwvwi.org

Contact: Erin Grunze, Executive Director

608-256-0827; [email protected]

Statement on the Governor’s Signing of Extraordinary Session Bills

MADISON, WI –The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has long held that the legislature

Speed and Secrecy: The Last Act

Kathleen Vinehout

If you were a legislative leader in Wisconsin, and had an opportunity to pass new laws before your party’s governor left office, what would you do? What would you fix as your last act in power?

As I face my last Senate votes, I am working hard to understand what laws my Republican colleagues choose to pass before the new Democratic Governor takes office.

League of Women Voters: Lame-duck session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Contact: Erin Grunze, Executive Director
November 30, 2018     608-256-0827; [email protected]

Vinehout - Preserving our hunting heritage

Opening weekend of gun deer season, conditions were nearly perfect. The weather was cool, but not too cold. The sun came out and warmed us. A light dusting of snow made it easy to see critters’ tracks from the night before.

I saw nine deer opening morning. What an abundance!

Walker concedes to Evers

News Conference: Gov-Elect Evers & Lt. Gov-Elect Barnes Discuss Tuesday Win

The Governor's campaign office has released a concession letter. Evers is now speaking after the concession.

What Does Foxconn Mean to Me?

“Hard to wrap my head around,” the woman shared as she considered Foxconn. Just what do big budget decisions mean to us?

Work has begun on crafting the next state budget. Over the next few months, this work will continue in earnest. One hefty unbudgeted expense added to upcoming budget math is a large taxpayer funded payment to a foreign corporation.

Matt Rothschild, Dr. K. Zagorski on Fair Maps

Fair Maps Panel

Fair Maps/Gerrymandering Panel

Thursday night Matt Rothschild of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Dr. K. Zagorski spoke in a forum on fair maps and gerrymandering in Menomonie. The discussion, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Greater Chippewa Valley clarified the history and current status of gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and what can be done to move forward. Wisconsin currently has one of the most gerrymandered voting maps in the country.

67th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Wren Keturi and Rob Summerfield

Wisconsin 67th District Candidate Forum

The League of Women Voters of the Greater Chippewa Valley sponsored a candidate forum on October 22 at Bloomer Middle School. Rob Summerfield and Wren Keturi fielded a wide array of questions submitted by the audience, which numbered approximately 35. This video will be the last of our video coverage of area candidate forums. 

Please keep the candidate responses to the questions in these forums and in the various voter questionnaires in mind when you vote on Nov. 6. 

K. Vinehout - WEDC: Facts Don’t Jive with Rhetoric

What happens to state money given to companies to create jobs? Do the jobs get created? How do we ensure the money is not misspent?

These questions came to mind as I recently communicated to a constituent who feared state economic development money was being misused. I encouraged, among other actions, a call to the Legislative Audit Bureau’s Fraud, Waste and Mismanagement Hotline (877-372-8317).

Getting Ready to Vote

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“I talked with a group of women in Galesville,” my friend Mary Lee told me. “They were full of questions about the election, like when is it, where do I vote, how do I find out if I’m registered?” Mary is one of many folks helping to make sure people know and when to vote.

The Future of Voting in Wisconsin

Automatic Voter Registration Forum

Candidates from western Wisconsin participated in a forum on voting in Wisconsin. Issues discussed included automatic voter registration, voting by mail, election security, gerrymandering, and more. The candidates invited had all pledged to support automatic voter registration in Wisconsin, in an attempt to increase participation in voting. It should be noted that the candidates were all representatives of the Democratic Party, the Green Party, or Independent. 

US Senate Debate - Tammy Baldwin and Leah Vukmir

Watch it again: Wisconsin Senate Debate with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Leah Vukmir

If you did not get a chance to watch the Vukmir/Baldwin debate last night, here is another chance to watch it thanks to WTMJ.

Hi-Crush will not be fined by DNR for May sludge release

Hi-Crush Spill photo

The Wisconsin DNR will not fine Hi-Crush Proppants for the May spill of mining sludge that polluted area property and flowed into the Trempealeau River. The DNR will not levy the fine because state law allows WPDES permits to be violated in the case of an emergency (and in this case the side of the pond was breached to save the life of an operator who had fallen into the pond). 

Vinehout - Legislative Audit Bureau: The Sentinels of State Government

Kathleen Vinehout

“As Governor, I would get rid of the programs that don’t work and fund the ones that do,” said a candidate at a forum last summer. I am sure people thought just how would you know that?

President Obama Endorses Jeff Smith’s State Senate Campaign

Eau Claire – Today Jeff Smith has received the endorsement of former President Barack Obama in his race for state senate

Ted Auch speaks at Wisconsin Grassroots Festival in Eau Claire

Ted Auch Speaks about Frac Sand Mining at Wisconsin Grassroots Festival in Eau Claire

Dr. Ted Auch spoke at the Eau Claire Grassroots Festival about the current status of fracking, frac sand mining in Wisconsin, and what we can expect in the future. The slide deck from his talk is attached to this article. Please note that the audio quality is sketchy as there was a fairly loud presentation going on in the next room, and the room dividers in this building are not great for sound isolation. 

Dark Money airing on PBS Monday Night

DARK MONEY (2018) | Official Trailer HD | PBS Distribution

Wis.Community recently held a screening of the film Dark Money in Downsville. This film will be shown Monday, Oct. 1 on PBS stations nationwide (the first showing will be at 9 PM Monday night). The film will also become available for streaming after the national premiere. 

Newly-Formed Covia closing sand mines, reducing production in Menomonie

Fairmont Santrol and Unimin merged in June to form a new company called Covia. Today Covia announced that they are reducing their frac sand production from 36 million tons per year to 32 million tons. This is primarily because many production companies are postponing fracking wells while waiting for more pipeline infrastructure. 

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Yesterday, December 18

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    3:22pm

    “You all lie, steal and cheat,” the Sparta woman told me. I did not know her, and when I disagreed, she said “Well, you will.”

    Then she smiled and handed me a piece of the chocolate bar she was eating.

    The year was 2006. I was a rookie candidate passing out literature at the Butterfest parade. I don’t think I will ever forget that woman.

    Just the act of having a brief conversation caused something to soften in her. Listening to constituents is a powerful act. By itself, listening can heal.

    As my twelve years in the Senate comes to a close, I reviewed conversations with constituents over the years. My Senate records show that we logged 70,662 contacts with constituents.

    These people came forward with their problems, opinions, knowledge and good wishes. They taught me much about people’s lives and what people care enough about to contact my office. Many more people shared stories, concerns and feelings with me as I traveled.

    People care about their family and their neighborhood. They want a great place to live, work and raise a family. They want healthcare for their family, a great education for their kids and grandkids, and safe communities.

    People want to cross the railroad tracks to go ice fishing. They want the roads and bridges fixed. They want to know they can rely on SeniorCare for help with prescription drug costs. People are concerned about the rising cost of health insurance. They want to know why Minnesota residents get the same health insurance coverage for less money. People don’t like legislation that took away local powers.

    Over the years, I saw patterns in the types of contact we received. Agriculture, healthcare, better funded schools, money for universities and technical colleges, programs for children and families were all reoccurring themes in my conversations with constituents.

    As I examined the contacts I received over 12 years, I was a bit surprised to learn the number one issue was natural resources. Almost 15,000 people contacted me about our environment. There were many sides of the issue including, hunting and fishing, water and air quality, sand, sulfide and iron ore mining, and high capacity wells.

    We live in a place of breath-taking beauty. People want to protect our part of the world. They are willing to take time from their busy schedule, move outside their comfort zone,...

    Read more