Weekly Update October 18th, 2015

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Monday Help Save Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (And Our Vote)


On Monday, Assembly Dems are having three events around the state to talk about the GAB and campaign finance bills. Please attend if you can! Show the media we care; get up to the minute info on how to defeat these bills.

  • MILWAUKEE: 10 am, Monday, October 19th, City Hall (200 E Wells St). Speaking: Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa (She was fabulous in hearing on Tuesday!)
  • MADISON: 10:30 am, Monday, October 19th, Assembly Parlor (2nd Floor West), Capitol Building. Speaking: Dane County Legislators, Jay Heck-Common Cause
  • GREEN BAY: 10:30 am, Monday, October 19th, Rotunda, Brown County Courthouse (100 S. Jefferson St). Speaking: Sen. Hansen, Rep. Genrich, Rep. Stuck, Rep. Hintz
Iran nuclear deal takes effect
By Julian Hattem

The nuclear deal with Iran takes effect on Sunday, setting in motion a series of events that will put President Obama’s diplomatic gamble to the test.

Iran is months away from putting in place the limits on its nuclear program that would trigger relief from economic sanctions, and an international inspection regime is only just beginning.

Still, Sunday’s "Adoption Day" represents a big moment for the Obama administration; having prevented the deal from dying in Congress, Obama officials must now see whether Iran can deliver.

“We are moving now to the implementation stage, and it is essential that we will maintain our vigilance, our unity of approach and our common purpose,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech at Indiana University this week.

“Now, the Middle East remains a deeply troubled place, but every problem in the region would be made much worse if countries were to move towards nuclear weapons.”

Whether the diplomatic effort will succeed is an open question.

Critics note that Iran has shown no willingness to change its behavior after reaching the deal, even staging a ballistic missile test that the United States on Friday called a breach of international sanctions.

In the coming months, the onus will be on Iran to fulfill its end of the nuclear bargain. The country has agreed to shut off thousands of centrifuges, drastically reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium and remove the core out of the Arak heavy water reactor and fill it with concrete.

Read more at the Hill.

To find out more or to read the full text of the Iran Nuclear Deal, check out Whitehouse.gov

Larry David's Bernie Sanders joins 'SNL' political impersonations hall of fame
By Lisa Respers France

Larry David may have been born to play Bernie Sanders.

The "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star nailed it Saturday during a "Saturday Night Live" skit parodying the CNN Democratic debate. As Democratic candidate Sanders, he quickly "dialed it up to 10" and spouted such quips as "I don't have a super PAC. I don't even have a backpack."

To watch the clip and to see more great SNL political impersonations, check out CNN.
Legislator unmoved by appeal on what UW prof calls ‘product placement’ by gun lobby
By Pat Schneider

State Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, is one Wisconsin legislator unmoved by a constituent’s plea to back off a campus carry bill, saying it would make the professor's workplace safer.

“Bad guys don’t respect (a no guns allowed) sign,” Steineke tweeted to Chuck Rybak, an associate professor of English at UW-Green Bay, in an exchange detailed by Rybak on his blog. Banning guns in campus buildings, so potential shooting victims can’t carry them, “makes you an easier target,” Steineke wrote.

Rybak told Steineke that he won’t carry a gun to protect himself.

“Will anyone stand for me in the legis(lature)?” Ryback tweeted.

Rybak is challenging a bill circulated this week by Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) that would revoke an exception to the state concealed carry law that allows universities and technical colleges to ban guns inside campus buildings.

The bill drew swift opposition from students and faculty on the UW-Madison campus.

Rybak said the prospect of guns in the classroom, following a recent spate of shootings on college campuses, makes him view students running across the Green Bay campus in much more sinister light than he used to.

The real driver of a bill that would make a shooting scenario on a Wisconsin campus more likely, he said, is consumerism.

“Bills like this, disguised as ‘gun rights’ or ‘second amendment’ initiatives, are really nothing more than product placement for a specific business interest seeking expanded markets,” Rybak wrote.

“Guns are no different than networked, smart devices in this respect — their content must be everywhere, all the time, or something is wrong,” Rybak wrote Wednesday.

Read more at The Cap Times
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How Scott Walker spent $90,000 a day to lose an election
By Jenna Johnson

When Scott Walker dropped out of the presidential race late last month because he could no longer afford to continue, many of his fundraisers and supporters were stunned. They couldn't believe the candidate had burned through so much money so quickly.

Walker's campaign raised $7,379,170 between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to federal paperwork filed on Thursday. And during that time, they spent $6,393,957 and had bills for $161,133. Given that Walker's campaign lasted just 70 days — from July 13 to Sept. 21 — that means each day cost more than $90,000.

When Walker dropped out of the race, the campaign had nearly $1 million left, although that money will likely go toward paying ongoing contracts, leases and other expenses that can continue even when a campaign stops.

So how does a campaign spend that much money that quickly? For Walker, money went toward a payroll of more than 80, generous paychecks for top staffers, dozens of consultants and vendors who were paid tens of thousands of dollars, and elaborately staged campaign events. For a candidate who bragged on the campaign trail about finding deals at Kohl's and packing sack lunches to save money, the reports show that the campaign spent lavishly even as fundraising dollars began to disappear.

[Here's why Scott Walker suspended his campaign]

The campaign's payroll for those three months totaled nearly $2 million in salaries, taxes and benefits. Additionally, the campaign engaged dozens of consultants and vendors who were collectively paid more than $800,000. Walker's campaign was known for paying more than many of its rivals, and at least 20 employees were paid at least $30,000 in less than three months. Walker's two college-age sons, Matt and Alex Walker, were both on the payroll but were among the least-compensated staff members, making less than $5,000 each. Five employees earned more than $50,000 in salary and benefits during that three-month period: Campaign manager Rick Wiley received nearly $52,000. Political director Matt Mason, $61,000. Communication director Kirsten Kukowski, more than $58,000. Treasurer Kate Lind, $57,730. General counsel Jonathan Waclawski, $57,600.

Read more at Washington Post.
AG Schimel Fights Court Ruling To Release Training Videos
By Gilman Halsted

Attorney General Brad Schimel is asking the state Supreme Court to block the release of training videos that the Democratic Party sought under the open records law.

The party sued for release of the tapes last year, claiming that they include Schimel making inappropriate comments while training prosecutors how to convict sex predators. This week, a unanimous appeals court panel upheld a lower court ruling ordering their release.

Read more at Wisconsin Public Radio.

Copyright © 2015 Southwest Regional Democratic Organization, All rights reserved.

Founded in 1952, The Southwest Regional Democratic Organization is the official Democratic Party of Milwaukee County regional unit for the following areas: Zip Codes 53129, 53130, 53132, 53214, 53219, 53220, 53227, 53228, the part of the City of Greenfield in 53221 and the entire Village of West Milwaukee.

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