Campaign Update for Volunteers - 2/13/2018

What’s Kathleen Up To? – Senate Side

  • The Capitol continues to be extremely busy, with bad bills brought before committees by the dozen and no warning for legislators or time to hear from the public. As Kathleen wrote on Facebook:

“It’s been a long couple weeks. There have been days with 25 hearings in one day and another committee I sit on heard 10 bills at one time. And, that’s not the end! In the next few months, the Republicans will try to push through every bill their donors want done. That could mean as many as 150 more bills to hear and vote on before we’re through this session.”

  • Some Republican Special Session bills include provisions that kick people while they’re down, imposing new restrictions on who can receive state aid through programs like FoodShare and BadgerCare. Read Kathleen’s two columns here and here relating to the moral injustice and fiscal irresponsibility of these bills.
  • Other focuses of the special session include limiting wetland protections and jeopardizing up to 100,000 wetland acres statewide, in the same manner they were waved for the FoxConn development. Kathleen has been urging voters around the state to contact their legislators and voters they may know in Republican districts to urge them to contact their legislators in opposition to these bills.

  • Kathleen has been taking advantage of the special session as well, proactively introducing a set of bills that tackle some real problems people face in communities around Wisconsin. A centerpiece is Moving Broadband Forward: a bill authored with Rep. Don Vruwink (D – Milton) to offer the Real Deal on broadband expansion for Wisconsin, not just broadband expansion by press release, as Governor Walker has offered. Read Kathleen’s most recent column on this issue here.

  • Kathleen introduced ten other bills this week, which she is circulating seeking bipartisan support. A selection are listed below:

    • LRB2581 - Wisconsin State Treasurer: Would transfer cash management, local government investment pool, unclaimed property program, college savings programs, and administrative services functions back to the Office of the State Treasurer.

    • LRB5395 – Local Transportation Collaboration: Would restore the ability of counties and municipalities to contract with another county to perform highway improvement projects.

    • LRB5386 – Rural Teachers Loan Forgiveness Bill: Would create a rural teacher grand program, administered by the Higher Educational Aids Board, to encourage teachers to teach in rural schools.

    • LRB5387 – Higher Ed Academic Scholarships for Rural Schools: Would make changes in the way the Higher Educational Aids Board awards academic excellence higher education scholarships to students in public or tribal high schools with between 20 and 79 students.
  • For detailed coverage of the state legislature we recommend viewing hearings and floor sessions on Wisconsin Eye and subscribing to Under the Dome. We would love to dialogue with you about key occurrences in the Capitol we can highlight.

What’s Kathleen Up To? – Campaign Trail

  • Despite the busy session, Kathleen fit in time for an energizing and standing-room-only fundraiser at the Brink Lounge in Madison. To quote Senator Fred Risser, who introduced Kathleen, “She is not out there pushing special interests. She is out there pushing the needs of Wisconsin. We could not go wrong with Kathleen as our Governor.” Thanks to all the members of our Dane County teams who helped out!


  • On her way home to the farm, Kathleen stopped in Dresser to speak with the Polk County Democrats to share her vision for the state and her ideas about how we win. Thanks to the volunteers in Burnett and Polk Counties who helped make phone calls and get the word out! Kathleen was pleased to be visited by her son Nathan, visiting from school in the Twin Cities.


  • Kathleen has appearances scheduled between now and the end of the month in Jefferson, Eau Claire, Whitehall, and Menomonie.

Press Update

  • The Wisconsin State Journal ran a story highlighting the different priorities that Democratic candidates for Governor bring to the race, noting Kathleen’s commitment to environmental issues and an independent DNR.
  • Channel 3000 covered the gubernatorial forum in Madison, sharing a clip of Kathleen speaking from the stage.
  • IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Kathleen responded to the Governor’s State of the State address on Mike Gousha’s Sunday Morning Up Front program in Milwaukee, stressing that in the Real state of the state, “people are hurting.” She spoke about the desire across Wisconsin to get big money out of politics.

Messaging Update: What we’ll be talking about

  • As long as the Senate remains in session, we will continue to highlight the work Kathleen is doing to shed light on and push back against abuses of power, threats to vulnerable places and populations, and attacks on our cherished Wisconsin traditions of good government, environmental protection, and fair economics. 
  • Kathleen is the only candidate with ten years of legislative experience and a deep knowledge of the workings of state agencies and processes. This knowledge and experience makes her ready to step into the job on Day One and start to undo the damage of the Walker administration.
  • The bills and alternative budgets Kathleen has prepared demonstrate a clear path forward for the state, as distilled in the issue pages on our website, which we will continue to roll out on social media.
  • Valentine’s Day this year marks seven years since the introduction of Governor Walker’s anti-union Act 10 legislation. We will be talking retrospectively about Kathleen’s role fighting these measures, the time she and her Senate colleagues spent at her sister’s home in Illinois, and her commitment to restoring collective bargaining rights for workers across Wisconsin.

Organizing Update

  • We now have action teams at some stage of forming in 24 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties – that’s one in three!
  • The organizing team will be in Viroqua and La Crosse this weekend to initiate teams there, and is working on follow up meetings around Southeast Wisconsin. If you would like us to set up an organizing meeting in your neck of the woods, let us know on this call and we’ll find a time to come to you next! 
  • Our focus continues to be on team building an volunteer recruitment: the big date to keep in mind is April 15th, when signature collection begins!
  • What activities, ideas, documents, and strategies can YOU share to help other Vinehout volunteers recruit more members of the team?