Citizen Action Weekend E Newsletter, July 14th – 16th
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Ranked 2nd Most Transparent Political Non Profit: Dark Money Groups are the Least Transparent
By Robert Kraig, Executive Director
501(c)(4)s used to be public interest groups like Citizen Action of Wisconsin, but the decision allowed the creation of giant “dark money” groups funded secretly by billionaires which are undermining democracy itself. This has unfairly lumped membership groups that enhance democracy such as Citizen Action with groups that undermine the public interest on the behalf of a greedy few.
Now an academic study has done a great service by ranking 501(c)(4) groups on the basis of their transparency. The most transparent groups are those that disclose their positions, and represent the views of their members who are organizing to participate in our democracy. The most opaque groups are the billionaire and corporate supercharged dark money groups which jam our airwaves and social media feeds with toxic propaganda that trades in the most hateful racist, homophobic, and xenophobic tropes each election cycle. Which corporate interests and which billionaires are behind the ads is not disclosed.
The study by University of Oregon Professor Renee A. Irvin ranks Citizen Action of Wisconsin as the 2nd most transparent 501(c)(4) organization in the U.S.! The only other progressive group in the top 5 was the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the lobbying arm of the Quakers. Read the full study here. You can also read an interview with the author here.
All Citizen Action members and supporters should be proud that they are part of an organization that is upholding democracy and fighting for its full restoration. I hope progressive donors will consider these rankings when they make their donation decisions for the critical 2024 election cycle! Where we choose to give during elections will make a huge difference in the future of democracy.
If you wish to contribute to our 2024 election efforts in Wisconsin, or provide general support, follow this link.
People’s Action Convention Recap
Washington D.C. – Members of Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Healthcare for All Co-op joined a rally of over a thousand people against American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), one of the largest healthcare lobbying groups in America, during the People’s Action Organizing Revival in Washington DC.
AHIP’s lobbying efforts in Washington have left millions of Americans in unfair and unregulated health care plans. Members from CAWI’s Healthcare for All Co-op were able to stand up against AHIP to let their voices be heard and to tell their stories.
Our member leader, Nancy Wilson, was able to tell her story in front of the headquarters of AHIP. Nancy is a retired medical biller with over 20+ years of fighting against private insurance companies. Overturning hundreds of healthcare claim denials during that time.Nancy had this to say regarding her experience; “This was my first convention and it was FANTASTIC! I met so many great people and we learned so much while having a great time! This was my first time speaking in public too and I was pretty nervous but my wonderful mentor, Brandon, stayed by my side the whole time and I did it!”
Nancy truly enjoyed her experience and wants to be at future conventions.
Have you or someone you know been denied healthcare from private insurance companies? Do you know anyone who has a Medicaid Advantage or Managed Care plan? Do you hate private insurance altogether? If so, please contact Brandon Williford, Healthcare for All Co-op Organizer, at 414-687-4300 or [email protected].
Citizen Action North Side Rising’s Energy Burden Teach-In.
Last Saturday, Citizen Action North Side Rising, along with Power to the People Campaign and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, hosted a tach-in on our joint energy burden campaign that seeks to lower the cost of energy for Milwaukee residents.
To learn more and get involved in the campaign contact: [email protected]
Attend Green Bay Energy Plan Open House
Green Bay is in the process of finalizing its comprehensive energy plan this year, and on July 25th there will be an opportunity to learn more about it. The city of Green Bay, Green Bay Water Utility, and Green Bay Metro Transit are hosting an open house, where there will be an overview of the plan and a presentation of the recommendations.
Join this event on July 25th at the Green Bay Water Utility to learn more about sustainability efforts in Green Bay! Sign up below.
Are clean air, a stable climate, and affordable energy important to you?
We are asking you to join our friends at Sierra Club in their efforts to encourage Dairyland Power and their rural electric cooperatives to make a bold new change!
Please see the Sierra Club message below:
The New ERA program, funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, dedicates $9.7 billion to help rural electric cooperatives (RECs) transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. In Wisconsin, the electricity for 18 co-ops and nearly 20 municipalities (see the list at the end of this message) is generated by Dairyland Power Cooperative. With New ERA funding, Dairyland Power could both reduce their electric generation costs AND reduce the carbon emissions that are driving climate change. Can you help us pressure Dairyland to submit a bold New ERA funding proposal by signing this Sierra Club petition?
If you are a member/owner of one of the RECs served by Dairyland Power, you could help even more by contacting your electric co-op’s board and general manager – let them know you want your energy to come from clean, affordable sources and ask them to encourage Dairyland Power to apply for New ERA funding! You can find a sample message and links to contact information for co-op board members here, or call Sierra Club with the name of your co-op if you’d like one of our volunteers to guide you through the process. Sierra Club WI Chapter – 608-256-0565
Thank you and please feel free to reach out to me: Kristie Tweed, Driftless Region Co-Op Organizer; 608-317-1331; [email protected]
Dairyland Member Cooperatives and Municipal Utility Customers: Barron Electric Cooperative, Bayfield Electric Cooperative, Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative, Clark Electric Cooperative, Dunn Energy Cooperative, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, Jackson Electric Cooperative, Jump River Electric Cooperative, Oakdale Electric Cooperative, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative, Price Electric Cooperative, Richland Electric Cooperative, Riverland Energy Cooperative, St. Croix Electric Cooperative, Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative, Taylor Electric Cooperative, Vernon Electric Cooperative; Municipal utilities of Bangor, Clintonville, Cornell, Kiel, Manitowoc, Medford, Shawano, Stratford, Trempealeau, and Wisconsin Rapids.
Citizen Action in the News
Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Earl Ingram radio show on the Civic Media Network for the full hour to discuss the fallout from the GOP state budget, and the no-win vote the Milwaukee Common Council took to raise the local sales tax to meet Milwaukee’s basic obligations.
Listen to “From Budget to Culture Wars” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast
This week we discuss the ongoing fallout of the disastrous State Budget and the GOP immediate shift to a renewed culture war offensive. We are joined by State Representative Supreme Moore Omokunde for the entire show and in the final segment by Minocqua Brewing Co. owner Kirk Bangstad. We start with the painful vote Milwaukee Common Council was forced to take this week to raise a regressive sales tax (without control over how it is spent) and the fallout from the GOP refusal to adequately fund special education. Next we discuss a series of new culture war attacks launched this week in Wisconsin, all warning signs of the rising tide of right-wing authoritarianism. First, the Waukesha School Board fired 1st Grade teacher Melissa Temple Wednesday evening for trying to include Dolly Parton’s popular song on inclusion Rainbowland and then speaking out against the principal’s censorship. Next we look at a new bill introduced in the Legislature to ban Trans Women from participating in women’s high school and college sports. Finally, we bring Kirk Bandstad into the program to discuss an attempt to close his popular Minocqua Brewing Company because local officials disagree with his political views.
Listen to the show.