Monday, October 4, 2021

People's Maps Commission Release Draft State Legislative and Congressional District Maps

Monday - October 4, 2021



A Vast Improvement Over 2011 G.O.P. Gerrymandered Maps
 
 
The People's Maps Commission (PMC) released their long-anticipated draft voting maps for state legislative and congressional districts last Thursday night in a virtual presentation and they put forward three map options for both the legislative and congressional maps. Their plan is to take public comment on the draft maps through Thursday of this week (10/7) and then begin to finalize their maps to submit to the Wisconsin Legislature in mid-October. The Republican majority in the Legislature may well ignore the PMC maps but regardless they will likely form the basis of "alternative" voting maps to the partisan gerrymandered voting maps expected to be put forward by majority Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature to later be considered by the State Supreme Court and/or a federal three judge panel in the certain litigation ahead to determine the final maps in this redistricting process. Court involvement and determination of the final voting maps would occur after Gov. Tony Evers vetoes the partisan Republican voting maps, which he has publicly vowed to do.
 
Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) believes the PMC maps are a vast improvement over the 2011 gerrymandered voting maps. The PMC realistically concedes that there is a Republican advantage in a fair redistricting process by virtue of the way Democrats tend to be more concentrated in urban areas and Republicans are more spread out over rural areas. They didn't engineer a partisan Democratic gerrymander as some skeptics feared they might or predicted they would. Instead, the People’s Maps Commission produced draft maps that met overwhelming citizen demand for fairness utilizing non-partisan criteria such as contiguity, compactness, less division of counties, cities, and communities of interest. These maps do a far better job of keeping counties, cities, and communities of interest intact than the partisan 2011 G.O.P. maps that badly butchered or ignored altogether those factors.
 
The PMC said they really took into consideration the more than 1,000 local and state maps that were submitted to them over the past year from citizens all over the state. So unlike in 2011, there was considerable public input into these maps. Ten years ago, the public, the media and everyone else but G.O.P legislative leaders and their high-priced lawyers were completely shut off from the redistricting process.
 
Tim Cullen, the Chair of the CC/WI State Board was a former Democratic State Senate Majority Leader and was a leading proponent of non-partisan redistricting reform in the Wisconsin Legislature, said today, "Voting Maps viewed by the public as fair, will produce better candidates, organizations and campaigns and the citizens of Wisconsin will feel that fairness is back in our state elections. I am very pleased that the People’s Maps Commission did their work so well. I was concerned that there might be some tilting toward the Democrats. There wasn't. These maps reflect the political geography of Wisconsin. They are realistic and fair and I believe they will truly have a positive impact in the courts."
 
The PMC draft maps were released for public inspection two days after Republicans in the State Senate and Assembly strong-armed through -- along strictly party lines -- joint resolutions calling for new state legislative and congressional districts to be changed "as little as possible" from the heavily, hyper partisan gerrymandered 2011 voting maps passed by the G.O.P. That certainly indicates their intention to try to repeat this year what they did a decade ago during redistricting.
 
TAKE ACTION: CC/WI urges citizens to view the draft state legislative and congressional voting maps put forward by the People’s Maps Commission and provide them feedback in the next three days. You can view and comment on the maps through the PMC website
 
For good news summaries of the PMC map release and how they fit into the overall picture of redistricting in Wisconsin this year you can go here (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel subscription required to view article) and here. (Wisconsin Examiner free article).
 
The redistricting process is moving ahead very rapidly now. The tremendous energy and determination of so many Wisconsin citizens of all political persuasions to secure a much fairer and less partisan redistricting process this year is moving forward. We need to keep the pressure on and get the outcome we all desire to take fair voting maps to the finish line.
 
Thanks for your support and active participation in advancing democracy in Wisconsin!
 
Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director

--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Be Vote Ready! And Help Others Register to Vote.

Tuesday - September 28, 2021



National Voter Registration Day is Today - Celebrate Democracy!

 
Common Cause Wisconsin is excited to be part of a national effort to strengthen our democracy by encouraging voters to register TODAY, this year’s National Voter Registration Day, September 28, 2021.
 
Help celebrate National Voter Registration Day by registering to vote, checking your voter status, and sharing with others information about how they can register to vote, too. Sharing is easy when you can send an email, text, or post to social media.
 
You can begin by double-checking that you are currently ready to vote by going to myvote.wi.gov. Even if you think you’re registered or have cast a ballot recently, it’s a good idea to verify your voter registration on at the official election site: MyVote.
 
And, if you’ve never cast a ballot before, this is your moment to take action so that you can do so. Voting is one of the most meaningful ways that you can engage in our democracy and have your voice heard and counted.
 
Know a student voter that needs to register to vote?
Here are some resources and information to share.
 
If you know a student attending a college or university in Wisconsin, make a special effort to reach out to them about voting. Over half of eligible young voters (ages 18-29) do NOT cast a ballot. They need encouragement and accurate information to be able to vote in Wisconsin because, unfortunately, the Wisconsin Legislature and then-Gov. Scott Walker enacted a voter suppression law ten years ago that made it more difficult for Wisconsin college and university students -- who lacked a Wisconsin driver's license, passport, or one of the other relatively narrow listing of photo ID that can be used to vote -- to be able to vote than in almost any other state in the country. At many public and private colleges in Wisconsin, the photo ID issued to students is not sufficient or valid to be able to vote.
 
We have important information available to share from the Common Cause Wisconsin website:
  
Most students already have a Wisconsin driver license or one of the other acceptable forms of photo ID for voting.
 
Students who do not have one of the other forms of acceptable ID for voting should look up their college/university on the appropriate list linked below to see if their student ID can be used as a photo ID to vote or if their school offers a special photo ID card for voting:
     
AND if you’re looking for an opportunity or know someone who would like to help engage young people to vote and be engaged with democracy, this upcoming event does just that! Our friends at the Campus Vote Project are hosting both a virtual and in-person WI Campus Voting Summit on October 8th and 9th. The summit is FREE and assistance with transportation costs is available. Sign up today:
  

Have questions or need some assistance with voter registration?
Help is just a call, text, or email away.
 
Call or text the WI Voter Helpline at 608-285-2141 and you will be connected to a nonpartisan person who can help answer all your questions. You can also request services such as getting assistance at the DMV to get an ID to vote or having someone walk you through the voter registration process.
 
Call the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline for assistance: 1-844-347-8683. Or email: info@disabilityvote.org. Additional online resources are also at the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition website.
 
Partner organizations and community groups are holding voter registration events in areas across the state today and are happy to help! You can find National Voter Registration Day events TODAY near you by going here and entering your zip code.
 
Remember!
National Voter Registration Day is not about paying attention for just this one day, but rather, it is a day meant to highlight an important step that all voters must take to preserve and protect our democracy.
 
Democracy depends on you.
 
Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director

--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Wisconsin Redistricting Process is Moving Forward Fast This Fall

Tuesday - September 14, 2021 



Variety of Actions Citizens Can Take to Promote Fair Voting Maps
 

Summer is nearly over and school has started again all over Wisconsin. Currently, the decennial redistricting process is well under way in the state since the release of the 2020 Census data in mid-August. With a population gain of about 200,000 over the past decade, Wisconsin narrowly dodged losing one of our eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives but every congressional district and all 99 Wisconsin Assembly districts and 33 State Senate districts must be redrawn to be of equal size to reflect population shifts over the past decade.

That process is beginning in cities, towns and counties all over Wisconsin as well as in the Legislature and in federal and state courts. While it may seem to be a very complex issue, there are a lot of relatively simple tasks any citizen who cares about representative democracy can do to have an impact on the critical matter of securing fair voting maps for Wisconsin during this 2021-22 redistricting process and beyond.
 
Pick one or do them all. If you've taken action in some way, thank you! And consider additional ways to support or further ensuring fair voting maps in 2021 and beyond. Be sure to share these actions with family and friends. Our voices are being heard and we are making a difference!

First, you can familiarize yourself with the issue of redistricting and the need to reform the current redistricting process in Wisconsin and what that reform might look like. This past August 17th, CC/WI hosted a statewide 90-minute webinar on this subject with special guests State Senator Jeff Smith of Eau Claire, State Representative Deb Andraca of Whitefish Bay, redistricting legal expert Mel Barnes of the Madison-based progressive firm, Law Forward, former State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber and I in which more than 300 Wisconsinites registered. You can watch and listen to that complete webinar (or any part of it) by going here.

Second, you can also inform yourself about the various legal issues surrounding redistricting in Wisconsin in a number of ways. This recent article from the Wisconsin Examiner provides a good summary of recent developments in the courts. Also, this recent redistricting segment from a news program, Capital City Sunday (on WKOW Channel 27 in Madison) provides good information on the legal battle over redistricting. And just yesterday, there was this latest legal development captured by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As we have noted, redistricting is moving forward fast and furiously!

Third, you can contact both your State Senator and your State Representative and demand that they support the bipartisan redistricting reform legislation introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature in June based on our neighboring state of Iowa's non-partisan redistricting process. Senate Bill 389 and Assembly Bill 395 is the "Iowa Model" legislation whose lead sponsors are State Sen. Jeff Smith and State Rep. Deb Andraca, who discussed the measures in the August 17th CC/WI webinar.



Fourth, you can participate in the statewide virtual lobby day and directly advocate to support a fair map making process and SB 389/AB395 on September 27. There are virtual training workshops ahead of the lobby day event so you can prepare for interacting with your legislators. Pre-registration required. More information from the Fair Maps Coalition site here.

Fifth, you can submit your own fair voting map to the online portal set up by the Wisconsin Legislature and specifically by long-time opponent of fair voting maps, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos because of tremendous public pressure to allow the public to have some say in how legislative and congressional districts are redrawn in 2021-22. 

Sixth, you can urge both your State Senator and State Representative to include a question about support for fair voting maps and non-partisan redistricting reform legislation in their next questionnaire that they send to their constituents. The overwhelming majority of all Wisconsin citizens -- Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike -- support non-partisan redistricting and when legislators ask their constituents this question, they often respond by becoming supporters of redistricting reform -- which is the whole idea! In 2019, State Rep. Jeff Mursau (R - Crivitz) asked his constituents this question and received these results.

And if you want even more ideas about how to promote fair voting maps this year in Wisconsin, we have them! Just contact me at jheck@commoncause.org or call our Madison office at 608-256-2686 and we can discuss it.

We can and will have fairer voting maps and a less partisan and more fair redistricting process this year if we take action to make that happen. Thank you for all that you have done in the past.

Forward.

On Wisconsin!

Jay Heck
Common Cause Wisconsin
Executive Director
--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Stop the Sham Election "Investigations" in Wisconsin

Thursday - September 9, 2021



Say No to Reinvestigating the 2020 Elections in Wisconsin

All across the country, cronies of former President Trump have been attacking the official election results, all as part of an effort to keep the lies about the 2020 election alive and undermine our power at the polls.
 
In Arizona, a sham election review has dragged on for months with no end in sight. The Cyber Ninjas operation lacks transparency, credibility, and created chaos and infighting for state and local leaders. [1] Various groups have spent at least $5.6 million on the spectacle, to date, buying who-knows-what with their private donations. [2] But the effort has compromised voting machines, which will cost taxpayers $2.8 million to replace. [3]
 
In Pennsylvania, officials in three counties declined to participate in a similar review, citing the expected costs of replacing their voting machines – estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars. [4] One Republican-led County Commission accused a state Senator of creating “unnecessary chaos” with his planned review, urging him to drop the idea and “let responsible Republicans get back to work on subjects such as recovering from COVID-19, addressing the opioid crisis and the ‘help wanted’ issue.” [5]
 
Now, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Representative Janel Brandtjen are trying to recreate the Cyber Ninjas chaos in Wisconsin. Speaker Vos even took a plane ride with former President Trump where he boasted about this illegitimate “forensic audit” and said he “very much enjoyed the chance to get to know President Trump on a personal level.” [6]
 
What Vos plans to do to keep close to Trump is not exactly clear. But Reince Priebus of Wisconsin – one of Trump’s former chiefs of staff and a close friend of Vos – estimated that this sham operation would cost taxpayers more than $680,000. [7] Last week Monday, in closed-door meeting, Republican lawmakers on the Assembly's organization committee approved spending that much on “an additional investigation into the 2020 election in Wisconsin.” [8]
 
 
Wisconsinites don’t deserve to be dragged into this nationwide effort to massage Trump’s ego by attacking our election systems and our freedom to vote. Just yesterday, Republican State Senator Kathy Bernier invited members of the legislature and their staff to hear from clerks, election officials, and experts to see first hand how elections are run in our state, and once again revealed how perpetuating these lies about the election harm our democracy. [9]
 
The members of our communities who stepped forward to serve as election workers during the pandemic deserve our gratitude and respect – not to be targeted with unfounded and unspecific allegations.
 
And – there are so many other things that Wisconsin could spend $680,000 on. That would pay for the entire cost of the new “dairy processor grant” program to grow our dairy industry. It would pay the entire FY23 cost of statewide monitoring and testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as “forever chemicals.” It would pay for a year of grant funding to counties, nonprofit organizations and tribes for innovative practices aimed at reducing child abuse and neglect. [10]
 
The voters of Wisconsin expect our state legislators to put our needs above personal political ambitions. Already our hard-earned tax dollars have been spent on chasing conspiracies and keeping dangerous lies about the 2020 election alive through calls for sham investigations. The 2020 election was free, fair, and accurate. It’s time for Wisconsin politicians to stop inflaming unsubstantiated allegations, respect the outcome of the election, and get back to work helping the people of Wisconsin.
 
Write your state senator and representative to tell them you oppose these sham investigations into the 2020 election. Click here to send them a letter now. The form makes it easy.
 
Thank you for taking action and standing up against carrying out sham election investigations in Wisconsin that come at a high cost to taxpayers and our democracy.
 
Onward!
Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director
--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Monday, August 30, 2021

Sheboygan Area Activist Elected to Common Cause State Board

Monday - August 30, 2021


Newest CC/WI Board Member Mary Lynne Donohue

Mary Lynne Donohue, a long-time community activist and retired attorney from Sheboygan, was elected to the Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) State Governing Board at its quarterly meeting earlier this month. CC/WI is the state's largest non-partisan political reform advocacy organization with more than 12,000 active members and activists living in every corner of the state. Before retiring from her law practice, Donohue worked at Legal Services of NW Wisconsin, and in a general private practice focusing on municipal litigation, personal injury and Social Security disability work.
 
Donohue has long been active in high profile public policy issues and in support of redistricting reform and against partisan gerrymandering, in particular. She was a plaintiff in the 2018 Gill v. Whitford Wisconsin redistricting case challenging partisan gerrymandering which was heard (and remanded back to the state) by the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
"Partisan gerrymandering is at the root of the political polarization and dysfunction in Wisconsin today. Creating a non-partisan redistricting system, which takes partisan politicians out of the map drawing business and puts the voters of Wisconsin voters first, is the single most important political reform that can be accomplished for our state and the nation. I am eager to actively participate and be a part of Common Cause in Wisconsin's leadership and effective advocacy on this and other critical matters," Donohue said.
 
Donohue has varied and extensive community and political involvement and experience. She served on Sheboygan Common Council for nine years and is a former president of the Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education. She has also served on the Sheboygan Police and Fire Commission, and she was a candidate for the Wisconsin Assembly for the 26th Assembly District in 2020.
 
"Mary Lynne Donohue brings great expertise and passion to the current, high-profile battles in the state for voting rights and fair voting maps," said CC/WI Board member and former State Senator (1991-99) and State Representative (1975-1991) Cal Potter of Sheboygan Falls, who nominated Donohue to serve on the board. "Her energy and leadership will be of immense help in advancing these issues in Wisconsin," he concluded.
 
In addition to Donohue and Potter, the CC/WI State Governing Board is composed of: Tim Cullen of Janesville (Chair), Penny Bernard Schaber of Appleton, David Deininger of Monroe, Michael Drew of Shorewood, Luke Fuszard of Middleton, Kristin Hansen of Waukesha, William Hotz of Brookfield, Kriss Marion of Blanchardville, David O. Martin of Muscoda, E. Michael McCann of Mequon, Robert Schweder of Princeton, Wanda Sloan of Beloit and Roger Utnehmer of Wausau.

--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Monday, August 23, 2021

Common Cause Wisconsin Redistricting and Anti Gerrymandering Webinar Attracts Large Statewide Audience

Monday - August 23, 2021


Panelists Explore the 2021-22 Redistricting Process, Litigation and Legislative Solution During 90 Minute Program

More than 300 Wisconsinites registered for Common Cause Wisconsin's first statewide webinar on the current redistricting process and how to end partisan gerrymandering that was conducted last Tuesday evening with panelists and voters participating from every corner of the state. The event originated from Madison where CC/WI Director Jay Heck and CC/WI Voting & Elections Consultant Erin Grunze provided opening comments and introductions of the other panelists.
 
State Senator Jeff Smith of Eau Claire and State Representative Deb Andraca of Whitefish Bay, the lead legislative sponsors of a redistricting reform measure based on Iowa's 40-year-old non-partisan, effective redistricting process, detailed how their bipartisan measure would ensure that state legislative and congressional districts would be re-drawn by neutral civil servants rather than partisan legislators utilizing strict, non-partisan criteria that keep communities of interest intact and don't rely on past election results to gerrymander new districts. Smith, who served in the Wisconsin Assembly from 2007 to 2011 was elected to the State Senate in 2018 in one of the very few, even remotely competitive legislative districts. Andraca, a former elementary school teacher who defeated a long-time incumbent in 2020 likewise represents one of just a handful of competitive Assembly districts in the state. Both expressed optimism about the ultimate success of their legislation gaining eventual enactment, citing overwhelming public support for this non-partisan redistricting process for Wisconsin.
 
Elections law expert and attorney for Law Forward, Mel Barnes, laid out the legal environment and the critical role of state and federal courts in the current redistricting process, highlighting the substantial litigation that has occurred already since the release of U.S. Census information just last week. She also projected how the current, contentious redistricting process might emerge once the Legislature, the Governor and the courts have all weighed in.
 
CC/WI Board Member and former State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber of Appleton spoke about how the critical importance that citizen activism and direct contact and sustained pressure by constituents with their state legislators has resulted in unprecedented public and legislative support for ending partisan gerrymandering and that this activity must continue if reform is to occur.
 
Excellent questions from audience members helped to further illustrate and explain how redistricting reform has become such a "front and center" critical public policy issue for Wisconsinites and that ending gerrymandering is a top priority for many of the state's voters.
 
 
And here are additional actions you can take to end gerrymandering in Wisconsin:
 
  • Directly contact your legislators in support of the redistricting reform bills and demand a hearing for this important legislation. You can do that in just a few clicks here.
 
  • Join the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition Legislative Lobby Day on Monday, September 27th at the Capitol in Madison to talk to legislators and encourage them to support AB 395 / SB 389  — the fair maps bills introduced by Sen. Smith and Rep. Andraca. This event will be both in-person and virtual, and the Coalition will host training sessions to make sure everyone feels comfortable to participate. Sign up and get more information here.
 
We cannot tolerate the drawing of state voting maps out of public sight and without public input to again benefit politicians in power. Thanks for doing your part to keep the light shining on the 2021-22 redistricting process in Wisconsin.

Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director
--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Monday, August 16, 2021

Redistricting and Fair Voting Maps are Front and Center Right Now! Find out Why and More This Tuesday!

Monday - August 16, 2021



Still time to register for the Statewide Webinar on Redistricting & Ending Gerrymandering in Wisconsin

This past Thursday's release of U.S. Census nationwide data allows Wisconsin to begin the process of redistricting and drawing new voting district maps that will shape our elections, our public policy and our very lives for the next ten years.

While this process in Wisconsin has historically been conducted behind closed doors with little to no public input as in 2011, this year is our year to flip the script and ensure that the voices of everyone in our communities, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and other communities of color are very much included and are a central component of the redistricting equation.

When redistricting is fair, transparent, and includes everyone, our voting maps are more likely to be truly representative and lead to much more secure, free, fair, and responsive elections for the next decade. And to better public policy for all of the people. That is why we are advocating for a process that prioritizes opportunities for meaningful public input, public access to the redistricting data used by mapmakers in Wisconsin, and a mapmaking process conducted openly rather than behind closed doors.

Fair voting maps mean the politicians must work to earn every vote in every corner of their district and that we the people, get to choose our elected representatives, not the other way around.

Common Cause Wisconsin (CC/WI) is hosting a webinar this Tuesday, August 17th, beginning promptly at 6:00 PM Central Time to discuss how we can end partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, the reforms needed to ensure a fair and transparent process and what this year's redistricting process is shaping up to look like.

We hope you can join us! The event is free and open to the public. Please feel free to share the link so others can learn and be part of what we hope will be an interesting and informative discussion.

A panel of democracy reform leaders and elected officials, including State Senator Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire) and State Representative Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay), will discuss the introduction of redistricting reform measures this session that put people before politicians and how to end partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin (Senate Bill 389 / Assembly Bill 395).

Additionally, Law Forward attorney Mel Barnes will present her legal perspective on the current developments in the battle for nonpartisan, transparent voting maps for Wisconsin and what the new Census data will mean. Current CC/WI Board Member and former State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber of Appleton will discuss the progress and challenges of local and grassroots efforts in Wisconsin to make fair voting maps and redistricting reform a reality. I will moderate the discussion and CC/WI Voting & Elections Consultant Erin Grunze will oversee and conduct the webinar.
 
Here are the details:
What: Redistricting Reform Webinar Hosted by Common Cause Wisconsin
When: Tuesday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m. CT
Who: Expert panelists include:
 
  • Wisconsin State Senator Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire)
  • Wisconsin State Representative Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay)
  • CC/WI Board Member & former Wisconsin State Representative Penny Bernard Schaber of Appleton
  • Mel Barnes, Attorney, Law Forward
  • Jay Heck, Executive Director of CC/WI (since 1996!)
  • And You, the Voters of Wisconsin!

Where: Zoom webinar. Click here to register.

There is so much happening right now in this decade long fight to achieve fair voting maps: the release of the 2020 Census data, the real start of the 2021 redistricting process, the introduction and advancement of redistricting reform legislation and more. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn about and get a grasp of all that is at stake for the future of elections and public policy in Wisconsin. So, please join us.

We very much look forward to having you be with us this Tuesday evening! See you then.

All best to you.

Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director
--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Combatting Voter Suppression in Wisconsin is a Long Term Fight that We are Winning!

Thursday - August 12, 2021

photo from Governor Tony Evers Facebook page video - August 10, 2021

Citizen Activism is Effective in Countering the Current Assault on Democracy

On Tuesday morning in the Capitol, Wisconsinites who believe in preserving existing voting rights and expanding them to make it easier and simpler for more citizens to be able to vote, won an important victory when Gov. Tony Evers vetoed five hyper partisan anti-voter measures passed earlier this year by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature. Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) was invited to be present at the event in the State Capitol building in Madison and we issued this strong statement in support of the Governor's action and in opposition to further voter suppression measures from the Legislature. And, for more on the Evers vetoes and what that means, go here

Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) has been in the forefront of opposition to these types of measures -- which are based on unfounded conspiracy theories, debunked lies and massive disinformation perpetrated and condoned by a political party which continues to allow itself to be dominated and controlled by former President Donald Trump, who still refuses to accept the fact that he was decisively defeated in November of 2020. We warned about this scorched-earth policy back in January: Beware of GOP Voting Restrictions in Wisconsin.

Throughout this Spring and early Summer, CC/WI spoke out against the more than 20 hyper partisan voter suppression measures that were introduced in the Legislature without any bipartisan support or in consultation with any of the non-partisan voting rights organizations in Wisconsin such as CC/WI. We issued several extensive calls to action for CC/WI members and activists to write to their Wisconsin State Representatives and State Senators expressing opposition to these anti-voter measures and they (you!) responded overwhelmingly! In total, Common Cause Wisconsin has generated 5094 letters to state legislators and an additional 605 letters to Gov. Evers urging his veto of these misguided, ill-conceived measures.

This is proof positive that citizen activism and contacting your elected officials is a critical element in this ongoing struggle to combat anti-democratic measures designed to reduce and restrict citizen participation in our elections. We need to sustain this elevated level of engagement in the months and years ahead.

In addition to the voter suppression legislation still snaking its way through the Legislature there is also conspiracy-theory inspired efforts to mount an "Arizona-style' forensic audit of the 2020 election by some GOP members of the Legislature led by Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls). She has even issued subpoenas of questionable legal validity to seize all the ballots of voters from Milwaukee and Brown Counties at a cost of likely hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds. Attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday said that Brandtjen's subpoenas are not valid. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has said he opposes the Brandtjen forensic audits but he has devised his own 2020 witch hunt by hiring (yes, at taxpayer expense) former rightwing Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to act as a sort of "special prosecutor" of the 2020 election. Gableman is easily the most partisan, least impartial and least respected Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice in state history. For more on this and on what CC/WI thinks is behind much of this, read this very recent article published in the Public News Service.

How best to combat the Brandjten and the Vos/Gablemen assaults on democracy and war on Wisconsin voters? You already know the answer to that question. Keep on doing what so many of you have been doing: taking an active role in combatting this disinformation and these lies by raising a little Hell. With your own state legislators, with legislative leaders, in letters to the editors of your papers, and with your family, friends and neighbors. If ever there was a time to get off the sidelines and get involved, it's now.

Thank you for being one of the most engaged and active state memberships in the nation. Your children, grandchildren, and all of us will thank you too.

On Wisconsin. Forward!
 
Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director
--------------------------

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

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

Read More...