Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Wisconsin Now Statements on Walker Signing Voter Suppression Bill


One Wisconsin Now Press Release
For Immediate Release
May 25, 2011
Contact: Cody Oliphant
Phone: 608-204-0677

One Wisconsin Now Statements on Walker Signing Voter Suppression Bill

Bill May Deny Legal Voters Access to the Franchise

Madison -- One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s planned signing of the nation’s most restrictive voter identification bill.
“We believe Wisconsin’s law is overly burdensome on voters and that the state is simply unequipped to administer this law and ensure legal voters will not be disenfranchised or subject to a poll tax. We continue to confer with legal counsel about what potential legal challenges can be made against Gov. Walker’s voter suppression bill.”
Facts on Voter ID Bill:
The bill originally was based on Indiana’s Voter ID Bill. According to the Supreme Court case upholding Indiana’s Voter ID bill, the lower court found, “99 percent of Indiana’s voting age population already possesses the necessary photo identification to vote under the requirements.” The Supreme Court concluded that Indiana’s law was Constitutional, specifically because so few Indianans were without the state-issued photo identification.
Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study showed that the following numbers about those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill:
  • Over 178,000 elderly Wisconsinites
  • 17 percent of white men and women
  • 55 percent of African American men and 49 percent of African American women
  • 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59 percent of Hispanic women
  • 78 percent of African American men age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24
Additional statistics about Wisconsin lack of accessible DMVs compared to Indiana:
  • Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open one day a month or less, while none of Indiana’s are open less than 100 days a year and nearly all are open over 250 days a year.
  • Wisconsin has only one DMV with weekend hours, while Indiana has 124 offices with weekend hours.
  • Three Wisconsin counties have no DMVs, no Indiana county is without a DMV.
  • Over half of Wisconsin’s 91 DMVs are open on a part-time basis, while Indiana provides full-time DMVs in every county.
Republican claims of widespread voter irregularity have long been debunked. After a two-year investigation, Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen has found only 11 potentially-improper votes cast out of nearly 3 million votes in 2008. Former Wisconsin U.S. Attorney under George W. Bush, Steve Biskupic concluded after a similar investigation there was no widespread voter fraud. The majority of charges in all of these cases involved felons who were technically ineligible to vote.
# # # 
One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Hopper Recall Election is Scheduled - Help Elect Jess King!

Government Accountability Board voted unanimously to schedule the recall election for Randy Hopper for July 12th.


That means that we are only 50 days away from the election and really need your help down at the office.  


We are knocking on doors and making phone calls every day of the week and if you have anytime at all please stop down at the office at 480 N. Main St in Oshkosh and I can get you squared away.  


We are knocking on doors starting at 4 pm every weekday and will be knocking on doors this weekend starting at 10 am and 2 pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  

It would be great to see as many of you down here as possible.  If you have any questions do not hesitate to send me an email or give me a call at 920 664 2417.

You can also check out our volunteer page www.wisdems.org/oshkoshvolunteers for more details. 

The Office is Open!
Help us
to the State Senate
480 N Main St, Oshkosh
(920)664-2417

Randy Hopper's $200 Million Toilet

King - State Senate
Dear Friend,
Sen. Randy Hopper's plan to give hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars to the big insurance companies has been described as a "$200 million toilet."

It's been called the largest special interest tax giveaway in Wisconsin history.

It's so outrageous that even Hopper's Republican friends are criticizing this enormous gift to corporations.

Hopper wants to shower big insurance companies with enormous tax giveaways, while gutting education and raising taxes on seniors. These challenging times require shared sacrifice to solve our problems, not lavishing the wealthy and big corporations with taxpayer money while working and middle class families continue to struggle.

We can reject these flawed priorities and stand up for our values in the recall election this summer, but we need your help to spread our message. Will you donate $15, $35, $50 or whatever you can afford today to help us take back our state?

Earlier this week state election officials certified the recall election against Sen. Hopper, and his misguided plan shows exactly why we need change now. His massive corporate tax giveaway makes a mockery of Wisconsin values, and once again proves that Hopper stands with the powerful special interests, not with working and middle class families in the 18th Senate District.

But it will take resources to unseat Randy Hopper. We know his special interest buddies, the ones he's showering with our taxpayer money, will make sure he has deep pockets to continue to do their bidding. But I know with the help of ordinary citizens like you, we can stand up to them and take our state back.

Please contribute $15, $35, $50 or whatever you can afford today.


With your help, we can flush wrong priorities, like Randy Hopper's $200 million toilet, down the drain. Together, we can take back Wisconsin.

Sincerely,
Jess
Jess King
P.S. Please show your support now by contributing now. With only a short time between now and the election, it’s important our campaign builds strong grassroots support.
 Contribute | www.jessicakingforsenate.com


Authorized and Paid for by Friends of Jessica King, Vicky Fitzgerald, Treasurer.


PO Box 632
Oshkosh, WI 54903

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Attacks on Seniors Failing for Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and GOP

Attacks on Seniors Failing for Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and GOP

MADISON-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate following Republican attacks on seniors in the Legislature and nationally.
"In the face of overwhelming opposition, Republicans have been stymied in their attacks on our seniors.
In the Legislature, Republicans furiously reversed their own plans to gut SeniorCare only after six GOP senators now face recalls this summer and thousands of Wisconsin citizens signed petitions to save the successful program that helps seniors pay for prescription drugs  They claim that they will, for the moment, spare the program.

And as New York's Congressional election shows, Paul Ryan's attempt to end Medicare is being rejected even by Republican voters.

Both Republican legislators and Paul Ryan promise that they will preserve SeniorCare and Medicare, but we know these promises are an absolute sham.
It's time for Scott Walker and his rubber-stamping Republicans to stop playing politics with SeniorCare, for Paul Ryan to stop his plans to end Medicare and for all of them to stop paying for tax cuts for the rich and huge corporations on the backs of Wisconsin's seniors."

Scott Walker's Poll Tax and Wisconsin's African-Americans

Scott Walker's Poll Tax and Wisconsin's African-Americans

MADISON-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Black Caucus Chair Stephanie Findley following signing of today's voter suppression legislation.

"Today’s signing of the Republican voter suppression bill into law marks a sad day for Wisconsin. Our proud tradition of open elections and high voter turnout will suffer. And with a stroke of the pen, thousands of African-American citizens will no longer be able to vote, solely because of their lack of identification. We now return to the days before the Voting Rights Act, where literacy tests and poll taxes were the rule.


Make no mistake, the Republicans knew what they were doing with this new law. A UW-Milwaukee study in 2005 found that less than half of African-American adults in Milwaukee County hold ID that would be considered valid to vote in an election. Despite this knowledge, they continued to push this legislation through and killed every single amendment that could have fixed the problems - precisely because our community does not vote for a Party that does nothing for them.

But we will not back down. We will vote as never before for candidates who do not deliberately seek to punish us at the voting booth. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “However difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because truth pressed to the earth will rise again.” We will persevere and continue to fight against Scott Walker and this Jim Crow-esque example of voter suppression until our rights to participate in our democracy are restored."

Rally at the Oshkosh Sundial

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201047993272829

Time
Thursday, May 26 · 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Location
Corner of Algoma and Main

Created By

More Info
Sen. Hopper is supporting a bill that would give tax breaks to out of state corporations. This is a plan that even Republicans like Sen. Grothman can't being themselves to support. HOW WILL THIS HELP WISCONSIN???????? It won't. Not at all, in fact. This is just showing how extremely radical Hopper is being coming.

It is time to lace up your rally shoes and hit the corner with us to let, soon to be former, Sen. Hopper know that we are still paying attention to his reckless disregard for our state's well-being. He needs to know what his choices are doing to our community.


Thursday, May 26th
5:30pm-7:00pm
Oshkosh Sundial
Corner of Algoma and Main.

So dig out your rally signs, buy some cough drops, and let's go make some noise!

Bishops to Senate GOP: Don't Vote For "Morally Indefensible" Ryan Budget

"Unlike the Good Samaritan, who stopped to care for a wounded stranger on the side of the road, the House budget turns its back on the most vulnerable at a time of grave economic uncertainty even as it endorses policies that gives tax breaks for the privileged few."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/bishops-to-senate-gop-don_n_867050.html

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rep Michelle Litjens wants you to stop singing already....

I've had enough! One hour of union protesters singing, "We Will Overcome" etc. in the Capital Rotunda!!! When with the insanity end!

Sen. Lena Taylor on WI Voter Suppression Bill 5.19.11

Sen Lena Taylor speaking against Wisconsin's Voter ID Bill:


Wisc. GOP celebrates anniversary of Plessy v. Ferguson pushing racially-charged bills [Irony]

Wisc. GOP celebrates anniversary of Plessy v. Ferguson pushing racially-charged bills [Irony]

On this day 115 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court concocted the erroneous “separate but equal” rule in Plessy v. Ferguson decision, legalizing racial segregation in the U.S. for 58 years until it was overturned by Brown v. Board in 1954.

Ron Johnson (R-BP) Votes to Preserve Big Oil Subsidies - Does he still own stock?

Ron Johnson (R-BP) Votes to Preserve Big Oil Subsidies

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Calls on Ron Johnson to Disclose Whether He Still Owns Stock in Big Oil
MADISON – Senator Ron Johnson yesterday voted against a Democratic bill that would have stripped big oil companies of multi-billion dollar annual tax subsidies.
Johnson’s preference for multi-billion dollar tax breaks for special interests seeing record profits, while supporting a Tea Party budget that proposes draconian spending cuts to programs that preserve healthcare funding for children, the elderly and the poor, is particularly troubling in light of his prior investments in Big Oil.
On the campaign trail, Johnson flip-flop-flipped on the issue of whether he would sell his stock in BP, first claiming he would not sell, then that he would sell the stock to pay for his campaign, and then that he wasn't sure if he would sell the stock.
“With gas prices rising, working Wisconsin families are struggling to make ends meet, yet Ron Johnson voted to preserve billions of dollars in corporate welfare for the special interests that helped support his political campaign,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “The people of Wisconsin deserve an explanation from Ron Johnson – and he can start with disclosing whether he still holds financial interests in Big Oil.”

Wisconsin's Shame

Wisconsin's Shame

MADISON-Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate upon Republican passage of voter suppression legislation.
"This ghastly voter suppression legislation saves no money, creates no jobs, expands no rights, fixes no problems and makes no sense. The Scott Walker Republicans have realized a dream that would shame most lovers of democracy, to make it harder for eligible voters to exercise a fundamental American right bought by patriots.
The reason is simple, and it has nothing to with the important issue of protecting the integrity of elections.  It’s really all about trying to silence the voices of those who reject Scott Walker and the Republican leadership’s extreme, divisive agenda that hurts middle class families and decimates our schools and help for our seniors. The mad dash to ram through this devastating legislation is a clear attempt to change the rules before the recall elections to keep their grip on power.
In the past, Wisconsin led the way in ensuring the fullest participation in democracy. Now, in a move that will reek through history as the baldest of political grabs, Wisconsin shamefully leads the way in abridging democratic freedoms."

Scott Walker’s Refusal of Federal Rail Dollars Leaves Wisconsin on the Hook for More Than $200 Million to Upgrade Existing Hiawatha Rail Line

Scott Walker’s Refusal of Federal Rail Dollars Leaves Wisconsin on the Hook for More Than $200 Million to Upgrade Existing Hiawatha Rail Line

After Scott Walker’s request for federal rail dollars to upgrade the existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha rail line was denied, the state is looking for a way to pay for the millions of dollars of necessary work.
Read more here.
The state is now facing at least $209.1 million in costs, which include at least two new locomotives and a maintenance base already contracted to rail manufacturer Talgo, track upgrades, a train shed and related engineering and design costs, all of which would have been covered by Wisconsin’s original high-speed rail allocation that Walker famously rejected.
In rejecting the federal funds, Walker cited the state’s burden of annual operating costs, originally estimated to be approximately $7.5 million. Revised estimates, coupled with the news that federal aid could cover up to 90% of the state’s costs, reduced the state’s annual costs to as low as $750,000. Using this metric, the state could have paid for up to 278 years of maintenance with the original federal rail allocation for less than what it will have to pay to upgrade the Hiawatha line.
“We knew all along that Scott Walker’s refusal of federal high-speed rail dollars would cost Wisconsin thousands of family-supporting jobs, as well as the opportunity to lead the nation as an innovator in the field of green technology,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “Now that Wisconsin has missed out on this second round of high-speed rail dollars, Walker’s short-sighted rejection is actually going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars too.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Jess King Events!


Hello Members and Friends of the Winnebago County Democratic Party!

There are two events that are upcoming to support Jess King:

"Jess Kingapalooza" meet and greet w/ Jess King & Senator Chris Larson

Wednesday, May 18 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Becket's Restaurant
2 Jackson Street
Oshkosh, WI

We'll have snack food and live music provided by the band Jazz Orgy.

The event will be Wednesday May 18th from 7-10 PM in the the round room in front the whole time and the band will be playing in the main bar area.

Fund Raiser for Jessica King for Senate - a little jazz, and meet & greet

Sunday, May 22 · 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Brooklyn Grill
607 S Main St
Oshkosh, WI

Join in supporting Jessica King for Wisconsin State Senate. A voice of reason. A voice determined to represent Wisconsin and build upon 50 years of Progressive values.

Wonderful food Brooklyn Grill style!
Musical guest the famous Andy Mertens!!

For both events:

Support Jessica at the following levels
$500 - Sponsor
$250 - Host
$100 - Friend
donation of your choice
all are welcome, suggested donation of $20

please rsvp if possible, feel free to bring a guest!

DONATE HERE: http://www.jessicakingforsenate.com/

authorized and paid for by Friends of Jess King, Vicky Fitzgerald, Treasurer



Jef Hall
112 E Irving Ave
Oshkosh, WI  54901

920.203.6883

Authorized and Paid for by the Winnebago County Democratic Party – Sata Stichert, Chair

"Town hall-style meeting with Rebecca Kleefisch in Oshkosh"

Received from the Winnebago GOP:

Dear WCRP Members and Friends,

Please join us for a town hall-style meeting with Rebecca Kleefisch in Oshkosh.  This event will be held Tuesday, May 24th, at 6:00 PM at Robbin's Restaurant in Oshkosh.

The primary topic of discussion will be Governer Walker's Budget Bill and other related items currently going on in Madison.

Please respond to events@winnebagogop.org if you would like to attend.

Sincerely,

Todd L. Peters
WCRP Chairman
Authorized and paid for by the Winnebago County Republican Party, John Wieland - Treasurer.

There is no indication that this is a private event.  It might be a good way to get some questions answered.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ICYMI: Scott Walker Seeks to Privatize Food, Medical Assistance Programs

ICYMI: Scott Walker Seeks to Privatize Food, Medical Assistance Programs

Privatization Plan Jeopardizes Federal Dollars, State Jobs

MADISON - Despite his previous failures privatizing vital services as Milwaukee County Executive, resulting in tragedy, dysfunction and enfeebled services, Scott Walker is now poised to privatize the operation of Wisconsin’s Medicaid and FoodShare programs, thus eliminating hundreds of jobs and endangering millions of dollars in federal funds allocated to assist the must vulnerable Wisconsinites.

Read more about Scott Walker's abysmal track record on privatization here.

“Scott Walker has a track record of privatizing vital public services at a great monetary and social cost,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. “Given his previous failures and mismanagement, Walker can not be trusted to gamble with hundreds of family-supporting jobs and millions of dollars of federal funds that provide food and healthcare for Wisconsin’s most vulnerable citizens.”

GOP Sens Harsdorf, Hopper, Olsen, Rep. Nygren Vote to Raise Property Taxes on Wisconsin Seniors

GOP Sens Harsdorf, Hopper, Olsen, Rep. Nygren Vote to Raise Property Taxes on Wisconsin Seniors


MADISON - Three Republican state senators likely facing recall elections for their extreme anti-worker, anti-family agenda today voted to eliminate property tax relief for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin families and seniors.  

Senators Sheila Harsdorf (R - River Falls), Randy Hopper (R - Fond du Lac) and Luther Olsen (R - Ripon) voted in a budget meeting of the Joint Finance Committee to eliminate provisions of the Homestead Tax Credit that will essentially raise property taxes on seniors and those in Wisconsin hit hardest by the recession by $8.1 million. 

State Rep. John Nygren, who is trying to unseat longtime working and middle class family champion Dave Hansen, also voted to eliminate this tax relief.

"This vote exposes the radical agenda of these Republicans, and proves they're not looking out for the people in their districts," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate.  "They're perfectly comfortable giving $140 million in huge tax breaks to big corporations, but they draw the line when it comes to property tax relief for grandma.  These Republicans are not on our side, and they need to be recalled, or kept out of the Senate, before they do even more damage to our families and seniors, and our shared Wisconsin values."

The Homestead Tax Credit plays an extremely important role in making property taxes less burdensome for many in Wisconsin. According to data obtained from the Department of Revenue, approximately 247,000 people utilized the credit in 2010, with seniors representing more than a third of total claimants.

"Nobody's Senator But Ours"

"Nobody's Senator But Ours"


Today we got the news that, after four terms, Herb Kohl will not seek another term in the United States Senate.
Sen. Kohl's retirement is well-earned.

We all could sleep well at night knowing that Sen. Kohl was fighting for us. We all know him as nobody's senator but ours.

Preserving Wisconsin's small farms. Saving the retirements of America's working families. Ensuring that children are well-educated and healthy. Making it so seniors don't end up in the poorhouse when they fill their prescriptions. Seeing that Wall Street is regulated properly so that Main Street is protected.

He didn't seek out the limelight or jump in front of the cameras like some politicians we see. And he served with a dignity that has become uncommon, a gentleman who sought consensus in his fight for children, seniors, farmers and working families.

We will work hard as a Party to ensure that his Democratic successor to the seat continues the work he began.

There will be plenty of time to honor his continuing legacy, but today, Wisconsin says, "Thank you, Sen. Kohl."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rep. Michelle Litjens mocks God, the Homeless and Voting Rights in 140 characters or less...

The Tweet is here: http://twitter.com/#!/michellelitjens/status/68480335339470848

Text:
So the dems found God - God wants the homeless to vote so our faith should guide us to vote no.

Ron Johnson Supports Senate Tea Party Budget


Ron Johnson Supports Senate Tea Party Budget

Tea Party Budget Reduces Taxes on the Wealthy, Cuts Health Care Funding
MADISON- At a press conference in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Ron Johnson broadly endorsed the budget proposal presented by fellow Tea Party Senator Pat Toomey.
In light of the tremendous backlash against House Republicans who supported Paul Ryan’s disastrous “Path to Poverty” budget that dismantles Medicare, Johnson’s Tea Party budget leaves Medicare alone and instead relies heavily on repealing the successful Affordable Care Act, which Johnson has assailed as the “greatest single assault on our freedom” in his lifetime. The Affordable Care Act ensures that more than 63,000 Wisconsinites with “pre-existing conditions” will no longer be denied insurance coverage or forced to pay more for care and will help more than 1.3 million Wisconsin families with tax credits and other assistance so they may purchase health care more affordably.
Like Ryan’s proposal, however, the intentionally vague Tea Party budget uses these cuts, along with plans to turn Medicaid into a block-grant program, to offset tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% and calling for the elimination of unspecified loopholes and deductions.
“After months of silence, Ron Johnson has come out of hiding to support what he calls a serious budget proposal,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. “And he’s right - the Tea Party budget that preserves tax breaks for the wealthy while reducing access to affordable health care is serious – serious trouble for millions of working Wisconsin families.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rep. Hintz: How far will Assembly Republicans take voter suppression today?

Rep. Hintz: How far will Assembly Republicans take voter suppression today?
5/11/2011 

Contact: Rep.Hintz@legis.wi.gov
1-888-534-0054

Voter Suppression Bill Fast Tracked in Effort to Shape the Next Election 

Madison – The State Assembly will be taking up Assembly Bill (AB) 7 today. If this bill passes, Wisconsin will have the most stringent requirements to vote of any state in the country. 

This bill has been fast-tracked by the Republican leadership. A 125 substitute amendment to AB 7 was first introduced on May 3rd. It passed the Assembly Election and Campaign Reform on May 5th and passed the Joint Finance Committee on May 9th. Within 9 days this legislation is before the Assembly Floor for a vote. 

According to the non-artisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, this bill will cost the state $7.5 million. It is an unfunded mandate for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the University of Wisconsin System. 

“This bill is an expensive and ineffective excuse being used to disenfranchise voters,” said Rep. Hintz. It has not been a secret. This is just another power-grab that attempts to shape the electorate by suppressing voter participation in future elections.” 

“This cynical bill puts up costly hurdles that make it harder for lower income individuals, students, seniors and minorities to vote. Yet it doesn’t even address the recent threats to our election integrity and limited voter fraud cases we have seen in our state.” 

“There is still time to push for a meaningful effort to ensure there will be no voter impersonation while not discouraging participation of Wisconsin citizens. Today, Republicans could change AB 7 to allow students to vote on campus without costing the University System millions of dollars to issue new ID’s. They could also work with us to ensure that seniors and minorities do not lose their voice at the polls.”

“Right now this costs millions of dollars and suppresses the votes of too many people. This should not be the top priority of the Republican agenda. We should look at this bill and put the $ 7.5 million back into our public schools, technical colleges and healthcare programs. My hope is that the Assembly Republicans will reconsider this ideological attack on voter participation and consider less costly reforms that will truly address election and ballot integrity in our election system.”

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rep. Hintz: Voter ID bill is a misplaced Republican priority

Rep. Hintz: Voter ID bill is a misplaced Republican priority
5/5/2011 

Contact: 
Rep.Hintz@legis.wi.gov 
1-888-534-0054

This ineffective and expensive bill is not ready for prime-time 

Madison – The Assembly Committee on Election Reform voted today to pass an amended Assembly Bill 7, the Voter ID bill. The committee voted 5 to 3, along party lines, to adopt a 125 page substitute amendment that was introduced late last Friday afternoon. The substitute amendment significantly altered AB 7. A public hearing was held on April 27th on AB 7, with the majority of individuals testifying opposed to the measure. 

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Voter ID bill is one step closer to becoming law in our state”, said Rep. Hintz. “It has been a priority for Karl Rove and the right-wing machine for years.” 

“Preserving voter integrity is extremely important, but this bill is an inefficient and expensive excuse to disenfranchise voters. This bill puts up costly hurdles that make it harder for students, seniors and minorities to vote. Additionally, there have been numerous studies on voter fraud in our state, and the cases of voter impersonation, the only type of voter fraud this bill prevents, are very rare.” 

After the Presidential election in 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice investigated Wisconsin and only found 18 cases of voter irregularities out of 2,997,007 votes cast. Not a single confirmed case would have been prevented by this bill. 

“We, as elected officials should be encouraging voter participation, not placing expensive obstacles in their way. We should also be more wisely spending the state’s money and reallocate these costs to our public schools, public transportation and healthcare programs. It is difficult for anyone to justify this ineffective and costly bill at any time, but especially during a time of severe budget cuts.” 

“It has not been a secret. This is just another power-grab to give those in leadership an edge in future elections. And to do so by pretending this is in the best interest of voters, is appalling and irresponsible.” 

Kevin Kennedy, the Director and General Counsel of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), recently submitted an opposition letter. The GAB is non-partisan and charged with oversight of Wisconsin's campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws. The 125 page amended draft was first available last Friday, April 29th. GAB’s position was that more time was needed for proper vetting of this bill. However, the Committee moved forward and took a vote. The next step will be for this to be brought to the Assembly Floor for a vote as early as next week.

League of Women Voters Denounces Costly Voter Suppression Legislation - Calls on Legislature to Reject the Bill

League of Women Voters Denounces Costly Voter Suppression Legislation
Calls on Legislature to Reject the Bill

League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Executive Director, Andrea Kaminski, today strongly denounced the “voter photo identification” bill that has been recommended by a State Assembly committee and calls on the Legislature to reject this legislation. The legislation requires eligible citizens to present specific government-issued photo identification in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is an expensive new government program that will create barriers to voting for thousands of citizens in an effort to “fix” a problem that does not exist.

“This is a truly sad day for our state. The Assembly is advancing legislation that masquerades as protection against voter impersonation. In reality, this bill is a means to discriminate against legal, eligible voters. While legislators are looking to cut millions of dollars from education, transportation and other programs Wisconsin desperately needs, they should not be approving a new government program that will restrict citizens' rights and cost the state millions of dollars to implement. How can they justify this when they can't point to even one case of voter impersonation, the only kind of illegal voting that would be addressed by this legislation?

“Any proposal that restricts voter registration or raises barriers to voting is a fear-based approach instead of a fact-based solution. When one takes a closer look behind the political smokescreen, it is clear that this bill’s restrictions will disproportionately impact those who are least likely to have a current photo ID: the elderly, young people, people of color, rural voters and low income individuals.

“In modern society, it is easy to assume that everyone has appropriate ID. But it is estimated that 11 percent of voting age citizens nationwide do not have photo ID (“The Cost of Voter ID Laws: What the Courts Say,” Brennan Center for Justice, 2011)  This bill impacts the very people for whom it is most difficult to take the time off work and get transportation to the DMV to obtain an ID. Our state government should be in the business of making it easier for citizens to vote, not adding costly restrictions and hassles that will negatively impact all voters.”

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund is a nonpartisan membership organization that promotes informed and active participation in government. There are 16 local Leagues in Wisconsin. To join or for more information, go to our website at www.lwvwi.org