Citizen Action Weekend; Friday, July 15th – Sunday, July 17th
Attend Citizen Action Driftless Coop “Summer Party” in La Crosse, Saturday, July 16th, 1pm
Join your fellow progressive activists for our annual, summer fundraising party! This is your chance to party with other progressive leaders and activists, hang out and enjoy the beach vibe and free beverages, learn more about our movement and enjoy a summer afternoon in beautiful La Crosse Wisconsin! Invite your progressive friends to come so that we can bring them into our activism as well.
One of our very own member leaders will be hosting this event at their house! To protect their home the address will be sent out after you RSVP.
Beverages will be on the house. Please bring a dish to pass, consider vegan! Dress is beachwear. This is going to be a family friendly event so bring the little ones…it’s never too soon to teach your children how to fight for a better tomorrow!
There is a suggested donation of $25. Your donation will help us fund Driftless progressive victories in November! There will be a major announcement about the future of the Driftless Co-op. You are not going to want to miss this!
Citizen Action hires Natalie Hoffman as the new organizer for the Northeast Organizing Cooperative
We are excited to announce the hiring of Natalie Hoffman as the new lead organizer for the Northeast Organizing Cooperative. Natalie was born and raised in Greenfield, WI and moved to Green Bay for college in 2016. She majored in German and Criminal Justice and minored in Political Science and Sociology.
Natalie currently lives in Green Bay with three of her best friends in a house full of cats. Natalie’s strong sense of ethics and justice developed in college as they learned more in-depth about the inequities of the criminal justice system and American political history, and the desire to fight for progressive change led them to the world of organizing.
Natalie began her organizing experience during the 2020 election season as the Northeast Regional Organizer for Vote Mob (WI), where she worked with college students and other young activists to develop their leadership skills and educate young voters. After the election, Natalie continued to organize locally with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Green Bay chapter, and she remains active with the group today. Natalie has also worked alongside Citizen Action within the past year, including being endorsed by CAW during her campaign for Green Bay City Council in spring of 2022.
As the Northeast Co-op Organizer, Natalie builds people power in the northeast region of Wisconsin by training and developing leadership skills to give folks the tools they need to create bold, progressive change.
In their free time, Natalie plays keyboard and tambourine in a local band called The Sinner and The Saint, and she enjoys reading, playing video games, painting, traveling, and spending time in nature.
Citizen Action endorses Sara Rodriguez for Lt. Governor
Citizen Action endorses Angelito Tenorio for State Treasurer
Citizen Action announces pre-primary endorsements for State Legislature
Citizen Action will have more endorsements post-primary.
Citizen Action releases Billionaires Report this week
Wealthiest Pump Millions into 2022 Campaigns, Mostly to Republicans Who Will Cut Their Taxes and Supported Trump’s January 6th Insurrection
Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a new report this Wednesday in coordination with Americans for Tax Fairness and Health Care for America Now, showing that America’s billionaires are pumping tens of millions of dollars into the 2022 midterm elections, mostly backing Republican candidates for Congress who will cut taxes for the ultra-rich and the corporations they own.
The report finds that many of the candidates and lawmakers receiving billionaire campaign contributions are undermining our democracy by supporting the January 6th, 2021, insurrection to overthrow election results including Wisconsin billionaire Diane Hendricks. The increased flow of billionaires dollars into American politics this year continues a trend that began when the Supreme Court struck down effective campaign-contribution limits 12 years ago in the Citizens United decision.
The United States has a growing number of billionaires, many of whom increased their wealth during the last two years of the pandemic even as average Wisconsinites struggled with health, financial security and growing inflation. The eight billionaires in Wisconsin, for instance, increased their wealth by 19.7 billion from March, 2020 to April, 2021. Diane Hendricks has used some of that increased wealth to support candidates and lawmakers who will pass policies that further enrich the ultra-rich and advance their agenda, including tax loopholes that enable many billionaires to pay lower tax rates than teachers, firefighters and nurses.
The report, Billionaires Buying Elections: How the Nation’s Wealthiest Translate Economic Power Into Political Clout, shows that:
- Almost half—$89 million, or 47%—of the nearly $190 million raised by the House and Senate GOP super PACs in the first 16 months of the 2022 campaign cycle came from just 27 billionaires. Almost all of that money came from Wall Street tycoons, who particularly benefit from some of the biggest loopholes in the tax code.
- The Democratic counterparts of the two congressional GOP super PACs have received much less billionaire money: about 17%, or about $26 million out of $154 million. These billionaire contributions were much less concentrated by industry: while the most still came from finance and investment (35%), cryptocurrency (26%) and high-tech (18%) were also substantial sources.
- Among the biggest billionaire donors are Illinois hedge-fund pioneer Ken Griffin, who alone contributed over $28 million to the two GOP congressional super PACs; money manager Stephen Schwarzman, who gave the groups $20 million; and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who handed nearly $30 million to super PACs backing his U.S. Senate candidates in Ohio (J.D. Vance) and Arizona (Blake Masters) who both used to work for him and deny that President Biden won the 2020 election.
In addition to direct contributions to candidates who will keep laws rigged in their favor, the wealthy also leverage influence through the corporations they control. Many of those corporations also spend big on midterm elections, backing mainly GOP candidates who pledge to keep corporate tax rates low and support lawmakers and candidates that deny the 2020 election outcome. The report highlights seven large corporations—AT&T, Chevron, ExxonMobil, FedEx, GM, Merck, and UPS—that together gave almost $1.5 million to election deniers this election cycle. In 2021, they paid an average 2.7% tax rate on a combined $78 billion in profits. Average American families pay about 13%.
Many of the Republicans they supported who are now in Congress are expected to oppose the current reconciliation bill that would raise taxes on millionaires and corporations while lowering prescription drug prices for seniors and making health care coverage more affordable for people with private insurance plans.
“What’s good for billionaires—like lower tax rates for the ultra-rich and corporations—is bad for the rest of us. A handful of billionaires already control more wealth than over half the American population and they plan to hold onto that wealth by buying the candidates and election outcomes they want to keep the rules rigged in their favor. Congress should take action now by cleaning up campaign finance rules and tax reforms that hold the super wealthy accountable to the same rules as the rest of us,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
Legislation to tax the ultra-wealthy has been proposed by President Biden, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman. Billionaires’ income tax proposals would tax the increased value of rich people’s wealth more like workers’ wages. Right now, the wealthy pass no more in taxes when their wealth increases because of stock assets unless they choose to sell those assets. A billionaires income tax could raise between $360 billion and $550 billion over 10 years.
North Side Rising members fighting climate change & creating good jobs
If we are going to address climate change, one of the biggest steps we can take is improving energy efficiency. North Side Rising member Will Pritchard of We R Community LLC supports the Green New Deal In Milwaukee and has stepped up to create a plan for a weatherization training center.
“I see it as the perfect opportunity to decrease energy usage by weatherizing hundreds of homes while developing a quality trades workforce to rebuild our community,” said Will Pritchard.
The energy burden in Milwaukee is the highest in the state. That is because Milwaukee has large low income communities that live in older housing which is not energy efficient. The result is those who can least afford it pay the largest share of their income just to keep the lights on. We can lower energy waste by tackling this issue building by building. At the same time, we can create family supporting jobs that are much needed in the city.
To join or get more information about North Side Rising contact: [email protected]
Volunteer to make calls for Mandela Barnes, Wednesday, July 20th, 5-8pm
Citizen Action Staff Retreat this week.
Citizen Action in the News
The Billionaires Report Citizen Action released this week (see above) drew good coverage from the Wisconsin Examiner. Read it here.
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Earl Ingram Show for the full hour to talk about the attacks on Mandela Barnes for telling the truth about American history, and other Wisconsin political issues. Listen here.
Listen to “Unelected Federal Reserve uses workers as the hammer against inflation” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast
We discuss the implications of a new Billionaires Report Citizen Action released this week with Americans for Tax Fairness. The report shows how the nation’s billionaires are pumping tens of millions of dollars into the 2022 midterm elections, mostly backing Republican candidates for Congress who will cut taxes for the ultra-rich and the corporations they own. The panel talks about the unelected Federal Reserve’s policies to tamp down inflation. Is this Wall Street-dominated body using class warfare to address the economic issues caused by the ultra rich and our dysfunctional Congress? In yet another bombshell from the January 6th Committee, evidence mounts that Trump personally orchestrated the attack on the Capitol. Does this mean our timid Attorney General will bring charges? We also review a horrendous Wisconsin Supreme Court session, and announce Citizen Action’s endorsement of Sara Rodriguez for Lt. Governor and Angelito Tenorio for State Treasurer.
Listen to the show!
Social media post of the week