CC/WI Public Forum at UW-Stevens Point

October 28, 2013

Friday, September 12, 2014

Common Cause Promises Intensified Voter Registration, Turnout Effort After Court Reinstates Wisconsin Voter ID Law



For Release: Friday - September 12, 2014

A federal appeals court decision reinstating Wisconsin’s Voter ID law places an unneeded and unjustified obstacle in the path of thousands of Badger State voters, Common Cause said Friday.

“This is a terrible, undemocratic ruling,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “The Voter ID requirements imposed by the state law fall most heavily on senior citizens, the young, and people of color, many of whom already are less likely than the general public to register and vote.

“Our focus from now through Election Day will be on helping every qualified voter meet the law’s requirements and cast a ballot. We have a message for the elected officials who erect such barriers: we’re determined to see that they don’t work. And in the long term, we’ll continue working across America to repeal unneeded and discriminatory voter ID requirements.”




CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

If an Eligible Voter is Denied a Ballot at the Polls and No One Sees it, Did it Happen?



Are you concerned about the integrity of Wisconsin’s elections?

Maybe you'd like to do something to help ensure that no eligible Wisconsin voter is denied the right to cast a ballot on November 4th?

Something relatively easy and rewarding?

Our friends at the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin are providing folks across the state with a way to help: they are looking for volunteers to serve as the League's eyes and ears at the polls during the November 4th election, watching for and reporting any signs of voters being disenfranchised.



You don't need to be a League member to volunteer.

It's simple.

The League provides online training, a reporting form, a polling place assignment and numbers to call on Election Day if you have a question or need to report a problem.

Just sign up on their 2014 Election Observer Volunteer Form and the League will get back to you about where you are needed and times for online training.

Whether you can spend all day or just a few hours at a polling place, you can sign on to be an election observer.

Please take a moment and make this commitment to help – and tell your friends about this important opportunity to make a difference. Many volunteers are needed!





Contact:

Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach


608/256-2686
smiller@commoncause.org

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
Holding Power Accountable Since 1970

www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



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Friday, September 5, 2014

Ron Johnson Should Vote for Key U.S. Senate Measure Monday to Overturn Citizens United Decision



Common Cause in Wisconsin Reform Update
Friday September 5, 2014


1. Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson Urged to Put Country over Party and Vote for Senate Joint Resolution 19 on Monday

2. Wisconsin Citizens Overwhelmingly Want to Know Who the Donors Are to Outside Spending Groups in Elections

3. Governor Scott Walker Now Apparently Opposes Disclosure Measure Introduced By State Representative Scott Walke



1. On Monday, U.S. Senators will return to the nation's Capitol for a key test vote on support for a constitutional amendment to control money in politics. The measure (S.J. Resolution 19) would give Congress and the states explicit power to set limits on campaign contributions and spending, including the power to ban campaign money from corporations, unions and other "artificial" entities. S.J. Res. 19 would overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions equating campaign spending with speech and that the First Amendment prohibits limits on campaign money.

In other words, S.J. Res 19 would overturn the terrible 2010 Citizens United vs. F.E.C. decision as well as the even more infamous 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision which started all of this mess.

Half of the 100 U.S. Senators, including Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, are co-sponsors and supporters of S.J. Res. 19. Wisconsin's other U.S. Senator, Ron Johnson, ought to be a true "maverick" in our state's finest tradition, and buck his party leadership's opposition to the measure and support it.

Here is our letter to Senator Johnson urging him to do just that.

You can call Senator Ron Johnson at 202-224-5323 or email him using the contact form here (a phone call is far more effective), and urge him to support S.J. Res19 for Wisconsin!



2. Last week, the widely-touted Marquette University Poll asked Wisconsin residents a variety of questions about the race for Governor of Wisconsin and other elections this Fall. It also asked a question about secret money in Wisconsin, specifically about whether Wisconsin voters favored knowing who was behind the millions of dollars of communications (particularly TV and radio ads) run by outside special interest groups.

The statewide Wisconsin Radio Network interviewed CC/WI Director Jay Heck about the poll's findings on campaign disclosure.



3. In 1997, then-State Representative Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa) introduced legislation that CC/WI supported and which would have required the disclosure of donors to all groups outside of Wisconsin who spent money in Wisconsin trying to influence the outcome of Wisconsin elections. We reported on this in mid-August.

Recently, the Shepherd Express in Milwaukee explored this issue in more depth with CC/WI Director Jay Heck and further, compared what Governor Walker may have been doing in 2011-2012 to conceal outside spending with what State Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) merely talked about doing last April before being driven into retirement.





CONTACT:
Jay Heck

608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org

Read More...


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mary Burke Informs CC/WI of Her Support for Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform



For Release: Wednesday - September 3, 2014

Mary Burke Informs CC/WI of Her Support
for Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform


On Labor Day, Common Cause in Wisconsin heard from the campaign of Mary Burke, the Democratic nominee for Governor of Wisconsin, that Mary supports non-partisan redistricting reform in Wisconsin – specifically the "Iowa Plan." She supports a measure that would put the new redistricting process in place for the 2021 redistricting process, following the next decennial census in 2020.

Mary Burke joins Robert Burke, the Libertarian nominee for Governor, who informed CC/WI of his support for the Iowa Plan earlier this Summer. Neither incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker nor his campaign has contacted CC/WI thus far in support of non-partisan redistricting reform. In the very few public statements Walker has made about this issue, he has indicated neither support nor opposition to this much-needed, common sense reform that has the endorsement of 19 Wisconsin daily newspaper editorial boards and thousands of Wisconsin citizens.

Go here for the complete, updated listing of the 59 statewide and state legislative candidates on the November 4th ballot who have contacted CC/WI in support of non-partisan redistricting reform.





CONTACT:

Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org



Read More...


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Which State Legislative and Statewide Candidates on the November 4th Ballot Support Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform?



Common Cause in Wisconsin Reform Update
Tuesday - August 19, 2014


1. 55 Candidates for the Wisconsin Legislature and Statewide Office On the November Ballot Support the Iowa Plan to End Gerrymandering in Wisconsin

2. Editorial Says "Now is the Time to Push Candidates to Support Redistricting Reform" Citing CC/WI's' Aggressive Advocacy on the issue

3. More Than Half of the 99 Candidates for the State Assembly Face No Major Party Opposition This Fall

4. Libertarian candidates making non-partisan redistricting reform a major campaign issue

5. Recent Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision on Voter Photo ID Causes Confusion



1. Over the past two years CC/WI has pushed hard for non-partisan redistricting reform to be in place in Wisconsin by 2021. This Summer we began trying to elevate ending partisan gerrymandering as a campaign issue this year and have been challenging candidates to proactively contact us to express their support for the "Iowa Plan." Now that the August 12th primary election has come and gone, CC/WI is beginning to push those candidates – up for election on the November 4th ballot – to support non-partisan redistricting reform. We have posted the updated list of supporters on our website where you can check back often to see who has been added to the list.

You can play an important role in pushing candidates to support non-partisan redistricting reform by contacting them and telling them to contact CC/WI by email or by phone (608-256-2686 and leave a message if no answer) to get on the list.



2. The Capital Times of Madison has been a tremendous supporter of our efforts to elevate the non-partisan redistricting reform issue and last week published this excellent editorial urging that this issue be kept front and center this Fall when looking at which candidates to support for statewide public office and for the state legislature. Please read it and then press your candidates to support the Iowa Plan.





3. It is downright shocking and sad that less than half of the 99 Assembly seats that will be decided on November 4th have two major party candidates for voters to choose from. WKOW-TV (Channel 27), the ABC affiliate in Madison featured this story late last week with CC/WI commentary on how gerrymandering is undermining democracy in Wisconsin.



4. The only Republican legislative candidate who contacted CC/WI in support of ending partisan gerrymandering thus far, lost in last week's primary election. Conservative Republican Bryn Biemeck had challenged Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) the most vociferous proponent of the current hyper-partisan, expensive (to taxpayers), secretive and indefensible current redistricting process. Meanwhile, three Libertarian candidates have contacted CC/WI in support of the Iowa Plan. They are the Libertarian candidate for Governor, Robert Burke, for Secretary of State, Andy Craig and for State Representative in the 51st Assembly District, Adam Laufenberg who issued this press release in support of the Iowa Plan yesterday.



5. The Capital Times recently published this opinion-editorial by CC/WI Director Jay Heck and national Common Cause research analyst Jay Riestenberg on the Wisconsin Supreme Court's confusing, recently-issued opinion upholding Wisconsin's extreme and restrictive voter photo ID law enacted in 2011.

Fortunately, a federal court decision striking down this ill-advised and unconstitutional law prevails over the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling and it is likely that there will be no photo ID requirement in place for the November 4th election.





CONTACT:
Jay Heck

608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)




Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
608/256-2686

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!
www.CommonCauseWisconsin.org

Read More...