Will a Biden Administration (if elected) be Progressive? – Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

Will a Biden Administration (if elected) be Progressive? – Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We are on tape from last week’s from the Democratic National Convention, in our long planned counter programming to the proto-fascist Republican National Convention. Will not be able to comment on the latest racist atrocity in Kenosha until next week (but links to our latest statements are below). For this week’s program, on radio row at the Democratic National Convention we taped 4 interviews about a central question for the future of racial justice, economic equality, and the future of the planet: will a future Biden Administration, if we can elect him, be boldly progressive? The alliance between Biden and Bernie Sanders on policy is a great sign, but there are huge challenges to making this alliance between moderates and progressives really happen after the election. We ask two moderates and two progressives for their views. We start the moderates, leading off with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whose storied political career in state and national politics has made him a very well informed player within the Democratic Party. Next we talk to Jason Rae, the Secretary of the Democratic National Committee, who knows the inner workings of the party as well as anyone. Then, we talk to two progressives with national reputations. John Nichols the National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, and one of the most prolific writers in the entire progressive media and a large following in his native Wisconsin. Finally George Goehl, Executive Director of People’s Action (Citizen Action’s national network), bats clean up on our powerhouse panel. George is one of the most respected and strategic progressives organizers in the country.

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Press Clips

Supporting Links:
Citizen Action of Wisconsin Statement on the Racist Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Everyone with Love in their Hearts Must Do More to Interrupt Systemic Racism

People’s Action – The Next Move Podcast: Building a Coalition with Robert Kraig

Citizen Action Weekly: Friday, July 24th

Friday, July 24th

North Side Rising Campaign Keeps the Lights On for WeEnergies Customers

Last week, North Side Rising and community allies held a rally and march to We Energies calling for an extension of the moratorium on We Energies and utilities from cutting of power to those who can’t currently pay their bills. As of early this week, We Energies had not agreed to a moratorium extension Therefore, Northside Rising held another march and protest at We Energies this Wednesday.

The event focused attention on how important it is for everyone to have essential energy and power. “Please just have a heart, please look at us as people and not as profit,” said Dana Kelley, Citizen Action North Side Rising organizer. “We are struggling,’ said Kelley. “So to struggle to whether you’re going to pay the electric bill, or buy food, that’s not something right now that people need to be struggling and worrying about.”

In addition to the protest, North Side Rising organized people to contact the Public Service Commission to extend the moratorium on cutting off people’s power.

BREAKING UPDATE: On Thursday, the Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to extend the moratorium that bars utilities from disconnecting residential customers behind on their bills to Sept. 1.  A huge victory for people in Wisconsin unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19.  Citizen Action of Wisconsin got some of the credit, see story in the Milwaukee Journal SentinelRead media from North Side Rising rally.

Driftless Co-op Anniversary Meeting, Saturday, August 29th

On August 29th the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-op will have its one year anniversary of organizing in the area.  In honor of the big day we will be hosting a virtual meeting for all our members, friends and allies.

This will be a chance to hear about all the work we have done to expand healthcare, protect voting rights, fight climate change and elect progressive candidates.  We will also be laying out our plans for the rest of the year.  Several members will be presenting on projects they have been working on with Citizen Action.

We encourage everyone to come out for this very special virtual meeting.  Please use the link below to RSVP.  Space is limited so RSVP today!  Details on how to join this Zoom meeting will be sent once you RSVP.


Vote safely and conveniently from home in 2020! 

All Registered Wisconsin voters are eligible to vote with an absentee ballot. You can request ballots for both the primary and general elections in 2020.

Request your absentee ballot today.

Primary Election is Tuesday, August 11th; Thursday August 6th is the last day to request your absentee ballot.

General Election is Tuesday, November 3rd; Thursday, October 29th is the last day to request an absentee ballot.

Meet Wisconsin State Assembly district 96 candidate Josefine Jaynes by watching her Citizen Action town hall.

On July 21st 2020 Citizen Action of Wisconsin was thrilled to host a candidate town hall with Wisconsin’s 96th Assembly district candidate Josefine Jaynes.  Thank you to all of you who were able to join us for this very special event. For those who could not make it a video of the town hall can be found right here.  Please watch the video and feel free to share it with friends and family.

After you watch the town hall please fill out this quick and easy survey.  This survey will help us make sure that future town halls are informative for voters.  It will also help generate feedback for Josefine’s campaign.

Wisconsin’s primary election is just three weeks away.  It is so important that Josefine’s supporters lend a hand to turn out the vote. Below are a few ways to get involved with Josefine’s campaign.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be working with Josefine’s campaign to schedule several days of action to help her win her primary.  Keep an eye open for information about the following events

  • Phone banking
  • Text banking
  • Sending handwritten postcards to voters across the district
  • Volunteer shifts to drop flyers on voters’ doors

Green Bay Passes City-Wide Mask Ordinance

After a week of intense community discussion, the Green Bay City Council passed a City-Wide mask ordinance 7-5. Mayor Eric Genrich unveiled the proposal at a press conference on Monday. “I think we all want our schools to be open, but in order to do that, we need to crush this curve,” he said. “We all want the Packers season to be back and for fans to be able to witness the games … We want our economy back going strong, but in order to do that, we really need to bring the fight to the coronavirus.”

Green Bay Alder Randy Scannell first proposed a communication last week encouraging a city-wide mask ordinance, however it was not passed through the Policy and Protection committee. Thanks to you, we were able to help over 130 people contact the Green Bay City Council in favor of passing a mask-ordinance! Thank you to everyone who took action with us to encourage our elected leaders to put the health of our community above all else.

Join One of Multiple Solar Jobs & Green Homes Presentation Coming Up

Join a live video Zoom discussion about new ways Citizen Action of Wisconsin has found to help support job creation and fight climate change based on new federal actions that makes it easier for homes to get solar and/or cut mortgage & utility costs.

These presentations will go over what we are doing, how it fits into a movement for change, and how people can help, whether or not they are able to add solar panels. Virtual events are coming up on all the following dates/times:

  • Wednesday, Jul 29 at 10:00 AM, co-hosted by Connie Raether, click here
  • Wednesday, Jul 29 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Kay Hoff, click here:
  • Wednesday, Jul 29 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Bryan Milz & Renee Gasch, click here
  • Thursday Jul 30 at 04:00 PM, co-hosted by Jonathan Barker, click here:
  • Thursday Jul 30 at 07:00 PM, co-hosted by Max Winkels, click here
  • Friday Jul 31 at 09:00 AM, co-hosted by Jackie Cody, click here:
  • Friday Jul 31 at 11:00 AM, co-hosted by Laura Lokken, click here
  • Friday Jul 31 at 01:00 PM, co-hosted by Karen Lemke, click here:
  • Tuesday Aug 4 at 03:30 PM, co-hosted by Rebecca Alwin, click here
  • Tuesday Aug 4 at 05:00 PM, co-hosted by Randall Wendt, click here
  • Thursday Aug 6 at 07:00 PM, co-hosted by Michael Karolewicz, click here

Vote August 11th & Volunteer for Citizen Action Candidate Kristina Shelton

The August 11th primary is fast approaching! In addition to making sure that you have your absentee ballot requested and filled out, you can make a huge impact in supporting Kristina Shelton in the 90th assembly district.

Kristina Shelton is in a tough race against the incumbent in Assembly District 90. She continues to demonstrate a commitment to her community and her experience, integrity, and vision to lead is greatly needed in the State Assembly. You can help Kristina win her election by sending texts, calling voters, and helping do lit drops in her district. You can help learn more about her action opportunities by visiting //www.kristinaforassembly.com/volunteer.

North Central Organizing Co-op is Working on a Solar Group Buy…Help Create Union Jobs and Cut Your Energy Bills and Carbon Emissions All at Once!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has helped convince multiple banks through a public campaign to offer green home upgrades, where the bank provides resources to help cut a home’s carbon emissions and utility bills that pay for themselves right away. According to the Nature Resource Defense Council, reducing the carbon emissions coming from our home is the number one thing that we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, it’s good for the pocketbook!

Now, we are launching a project to train and coach homeowners through the steps of accessing solar through this campaign victory where they can help create good jobs fighting climate change through this “green mortgage” program saves more than it costs from the get go!

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is currently accepting applications for 20 homeowners from North Central Wisconsin to be fellows in this program at this time and participate in this “Group Buy”. Fellows chosen will be trained through video meetings and 1-1 coaching sessions to undertake and communicate how to fight climate change at home. Fellows will only be chosen if we are confident we can reduce their costs and cut their carbon emissions, with extra consideration for Citizen Action members and/or those from historically under-invested areas (especially rural and communities of color) and/or union members. You do not need to be a Citizen Action member for consideration.

Through this group buy, we will achieve better savings, and help push the industry to be better at delivering carbon-cutting upgrades to people in the Northwoods/Wausau area! Sign up here!

Fair Maps Coalition Update – Marathon County

Citizen Action of Wisconsin members from all across the state are part of the Fair Maps Coalition, and there has been some movement in the North Central region to get Fair Maps resolutions and/or referendums passed. Currently, the Marathon County Board of Supervisors is preparing to vote on a Fair Maps resolution. This will be the 2nd time that this has been attempted. The difference is that this time there is a new board, and several new members now exist. But the votes will be close!! Calling your County Board Supervisor, if you’re a Marathon County resident, and telling them that you support this, could be the difference between them voting yes or no! If you would like to call your County Board Supervisor, you can identify them and find their contact information here!

If you would like to stay up-to-date on the Fair Maps Coalition and the work that they are accomplishing, check out their latest newsletter, and stay tuned for future issues. One of the founding members of the Citizen Action of WI North Central Organizing Co-op is featured in this newsletter!

Citizen Action in the News

Citizen Action’s protest last week in Milwaukee on COVID-19 relief, led by our new African American led North Side Rising project, included the demand that the Public Services Commission extend the moratorium on utility shut-offs. On Wednesday the PSC reversed itself and extended the moratorium until October.  Citizen Action got some of the credit in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on the decision.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig sat down for a deep interview with People’s Action Executive Director George Goehl on how progressives can build governing power in the Biden Administration. It was a full episode of the Next Move Podcast, the newest feature of People’s Action, Citizen Action national federation of state and local social justice groups.

Citizen Action’s Robert Kraig was on the Jeff Santos Radio Show to discuss progressive movement building, following an interview with path-breaking African American Political Scientist Adolph Reed. The program, which originates from Boston, is replayed on the commercial progressive radio stations in the Madison and Milwaukee media markets. Citizen Action’s Battleground Wisconsin is also featured on these stations every week.

“Uncontrolled Contagion” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

The panel digs into the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, now one of the worst 19 states in the country in containing the virus. How bad is it? What is the State Legislature, the Evers Administration, and local governments doing about it? As the federal cut-off of pandemic unemployment benefits looms, the panel discusses dissension in the ranks of the GOP, and the likely inadequate proposal they will make to the Democrats. We also look at the immense economic impact being inflicted on working Americans, and the disproportionate impact on communities of color. Will right-wing conservatives in The Senate and the White House get their act together, or will they unleash a historic wave of utility cut offs, hunger, evictions, and foreclosures?
Listen Now – Episode #452
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Facebook Post of the week


U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions

For Immediate Release–March 2, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]

U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions

Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, marketplace health insurance, at grave risk of having coverage taken away by right-wing federal judges

Statewide: Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case being pushed by the Trump Administration that could take health care away from millions of people in America. The court will take oral arguments in October, and likely rule in early 2021, on a case that seeks to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). The timing cynically capitulates to the Trump Administration’s politically-motivated request to move until after the 2020 election what would be one of the most unpopular decisions in American history.

In December, a Republican dominated Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Texas vs. United States, striking down the ACA’s individual mandate. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr are using the case as a vehicle for invalidating the entire ACA, including the popular protections against pre-existing condition discrimination.

If the ACA was struck down the following provisions would be eliminated from federal law:

      • Guaranteeing coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, impacting an estimated 852,000 to 2.436 million Wisconsinites.
      • Prohibition of price discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions. In Wisconsin, without this protection a patient with a pregnancy could be charged $17,060 more, and someone with metastatic cancer could be charged $140,510 more.
      • Free coverage of preventative care such as mammograms and colonoscopies for 2,804,258 Wisconsinites.
      • Mental health parity.
      • Prohibition of gender discrimination in coverage and pricing.
      • Prohibition of age discrimination in pricing, the so-called “age tax.”
      • Prohibition of lifetime and annual care limits.
      • Protections against junk health care plans by requiring that all essential health benefits be covered.
      • Substance abuse coverage.
      • Resources and funds to hold insurance companies accountable to regulation.

In addition, 153,000 Wisconsinites would have their health coverage taken away if the ACA was struck down, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute.

Citizen Action is urging lawmakers to codify the ACA’s consumer protections and health insurance regulations in state law to protect Wisconsinites in the event of a damaging U.S. Supreme Court decision. Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, is a huge step in this direction. Citizen Action is also urging lawmakers to create a plan, triggered by an adverse court decision striking down the ACA, to replace marketplace plans for people who buy insurance on their own and the federal subsidies that make them more affordable.

“The nullification of the ACA by right-wing judges is a predictable human-made disaster that would wreak havoc with the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We urge state lawmakers to take action to put the popular federal protections against pre-existing condition discrimination and other insurance industry abuses in state law, and beyond the reach of activist federal judges.”


Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]

Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

Announces more key endorsements in Milwaukee area spring elections

Milwaukee: Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a statewide membership group headquartered in Milwaukee, announced its endorsement of state Senator Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. Additional spring election endorsements we would like to highlight include candidates in three key Milwaukee Common Council races: State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa in the 8th district; Marina Dimitrijevic in the 14th district; and Fred Royal in the 7th district.

In the hotly contested Milwaukee County Executive race, Citizen Action members and board leaders decided that Senator Larson, who is a Citizen Action member, made the strongest and most comprehensive case for bold reform of county government. “Chris Larson would be the first progressive Milwaukee County Executive in modern history,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Local Citizen Action members are particularly excited about Senator Larson’s strong support for using the power of county government to address the climate crisis in a way that provides living wage jobs for people currently locked out of economic opportunity.”

While we are endorsing Larson, Citizen Action members also were impressed with Milwaukee County Executive candidate State Representative David Crowley, and believe he would also be a solid progressive leader for Milwaukee County.

In the 14th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing Marina Dimitrijevic. “As our County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrijevic has led the way to reduce the county’s environmental footprint,” said Kraig. “She authored Milwaukee County’s Greenprint and her plan to eliminate forever plastics will make an enormous impact in keeping our waterways clean. At City Hall, I know she will be a partner in our efforts to win a Milwaukee Green New Deal which dramatically reduces community-wide greenhouse emissions and creates family supporting jobs for those who need them most.”

In the 8th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, who is a member of our board of directors. “In this majority people of color southside district we believe JoCasta will do a tremendous job of bringing the diverse voices of the area to City Hall,” said Kraig. “We also believe that Zamarripa will be a strong progressive leader who will fight for Citizen Action’s climate and racial equity agenda.”

While Citizen Action is endorsing JoCasta Zamarripa, members and board leaders concluded that her opponent Justin Bielinski is aligned with our values, and also would be a positive voice at City Hall.

Citizen Action also made endorsements in a number of other Milwaukee Common Council and County Board races, as well as the Milwaukee Comptroller and Wauwatosa mayoral races.

Milwaukee area endorsements 

  • Milwaukee County Executive
    • Chris Larson
  • Milwaukee Comptroller
    • Alex Brower
  • Wauwatosa Mayor
    • Dennis McBride

City of Milwaukee Common Council

  • District 5
    • Nikiya Dodd
  • District 7
    • Fred Royal
  • District 8
    • JoCasta Zamarripa
  • District 11
    • Peter Burgelis
  • District 14
    • Marina Dimitrijevic

Milwaukee County Board

  • District 1
    • Liz Sumner
  • District 2
    • Sequanna Taylor
  • District 12
    • Sylvia Ortiz-Velez
  • District 15
    •   Eddie Cullen

The Primary Election is Tuesday, February 18th and the General Election is Tuesday, April 7th.


Movement wins on Election night

We discuss this week’s election results from around the country, and what they portend for 2020. We look at the significance of high profile victories in the Kentucky and Virginia and highlight some amazing members of the Working Families Party and People’s Action affiliates who won elections. We analyze the latest escalation of the Legislature’s partisan war against Governor Tony Evers: the State Senate firing of Agriculture Secretary Brad Pfaff. What does it mean, and who in Governor Evers’ cabinet is their next target? Foxconn wants to omit sprinklers from part of their new factory (what could go wrong?), the special session on gun safety comes and goes with no action, and the top electoral issues, healthcare reform, remains a no show in the legislature, despite GOP vows to do something about pre-existing condition discrimination.

Kissy Coakley, will be the first African-American woman to serve on the Minnetonka City Council.

Tuesday’s Elections Show Impeachment Might Not Boost GOP As Much As It Hoped.
3 takeaways from Tuesday’s elections in Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi.
Election Results 2019: GOP Incumbent Refuses to Concede in Tight Kentucky Governor Race.
People’s Action candidates and agenda win last night! Setting the stage for a big 2020.
Full-court press for Pfaff puts GOP senators in a bind.
Evers sits on the Senate floor as Republicans fire his ag secretary.
Wisconsin tourism secretary designee confirmation unsure, ‘there’s a storm brewing’
Foxconn wants to omit firefighting sprinklers in part of its factory, and a consultant says that’s safe.
Anticipating Thursday’s special session on gun safety? Don’t blink.
Legislature set for another clash with Tony Evers.
What hasn’t happened in health care. Some health legislation passes, but major issues fall from legislature’s agenda.

Vote in People’s Action Presidential Endorsement Process

Vote in People’s Action Presidential Endorsement Process

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is member of the national organizing network, People’s Action. People’s Action is driven by local and state organizing. People’s Action was founded in 2016 to ignite a movement of millions that captures the rising demand for change in our society. We have our sights set on the future and the world we’re aiming to build. Here’s what we’re fighting for.

Elections Matter: 2020 Presidential Primary

We believe elections should revolve around everyday people, not candidates. Elections also need to be centered on our issues and our long term Platform.

That’s why we decided to switch things up for 2020. We’re bringing leading Presidential contenders to four early primary states for Q&A forums — and real grassroots leaders are running the show.

We already complete the first forum in Des Moines, Iowa in September. Nearly 50 Citizen Action members attended the forum and 3 asked questions of the Presidential candidates.

We encourage our members to watch the Iowa forum!

You won’t see anything like this during the other mainstream TV debates.

People’s Action is hosting one more Presidential Candidate Forum

Saturday, October 26th
Las Vegas, Nevada
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Sign up to watch via live stream

Read completed People’s Action questionnaires returned by candidates.

Citizen Action Cooperative Members Vote in People’s Action Presidential Primary Candidate Survey

Citizen Action is surveying its organizing cooperative members on their attitudes in the Democratic presidential primary election.

We are encouraging all members to VOTE in the survey.

The survey will be open for members to vote between Friday, October 18th – Sunday, November 3rd.

For more information contact [email protected]

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Sensenbrenner to retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We discuss the surprise announcement that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is retiring after 40 years in Congress, setting off CD 5 candidate speculation. We take stock of his fractious legacy. The panel reviews the new MU Law Poll which continues to reveal a vulnerable President Trump and plenty of opportunity for Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. We talk about a new The Hill article which includes Sauk County on a list of the 10 bellwether counties that will determine the 2020 election. Citizen Action is building a new organizing co-op this fall and winter in the region. We discuss an open records request by citizen-activist Sheila Plotkin revealing overwhelming public opposition to the GOP’s lame duck session last year, which was entirely ignored by the gerrymandered GOP majority.
Listen Now – Episode #407
Download MP3
Press Clips

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm


Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner won’t run for re-election in 2020 after more than 40 years in Congress.
Sensenbrenner by the numbers and the tales.
New Marquette Law School Poll finds Biden leading Trump.
Mark Pocan sees political winds shifting in Wisconsin.
The 10 counties that will decide the 2020 election.
No progress in dispute between AG Kaul, Republican lawmakers.
Legal Standoff Continues Between Attorney General, GOP Lawmakers.
Open records request reveals overwhelming opposition to lame duck session.

Citizen Action Weekly: Labor Day Weekend

Citizen Action Weekly: Labor Day Weekend

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Attend a Labor Day event.

On Monday, September 2, America will celebrate the achievements of the union movement – safe workplaces, the 8-hour workday, collective bargaining contracts that build our middle class — and we pledge to keep up the fight for all working people.

Celebrate Labor Day on September 2. Join with union brothers and sisters and community members around the state as we honor all who labor at these great union-made events in Wisconsin.

See list of events.

Welcome Co-op Organizer Ben Wilson in Southwestern Wisconsin!

Ben will be working in the last part of 2019 to build our newest Organizing Co-op, the Southwestern WI Organizing Co-op covering La Crosse, Vernon, Monroe, Juneau, Crawford, Iowa, Sauk, and Richland Counties. Email [email protected] to find out more information and join the co-op!

Ben grew up in the Driftless region in a small town called Lansing on the Iowa side of the Mississippi river, directly between Prairie du Chein Wisconsin and La Crosse Wisconsin.  He grew up in a family owned super club in his hometown of 1000 people so he understands the hardships rural voters and small business owners face in our current political climate. His interest in politics began at a very young age while helping his mother in her successful run for city council.

Ben drifted away from politics during college to study marketing. He spent most of his 20s traveling the country doing marketing events all across the country. He has currently worked in 49 states and has lived in Hawaii, Las Vegas, Seattle, Phoenix and Madison Wisconsin. While his work in marketing had opened amazing doors for him and allowed him to see more of this country then he ever dreamed of the marketing world left him wanting a career path that would leave more of a lasting, positive impact on the world around him.

After returning to Wisconsin in 2015 he become involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign during the 2016 presidential primary. Eventually he joined the field staff of For Our Future’s 2016 canvass team eventually being promoted to the role of Lead Canvasser during the campaign’s Get Out the Vote efforts. The heartbreaking loss of the 2016 election only strengthened Ben’s resolve to fight to make the world a better place. During the 2018 midterm election Ben served as Lead Organizer with For Our Future, helping to flip seven rural Southwestern Wisconsin counties from red to blue. Most recently Ben was able to travel to Washington DC to take part in the Need to Impeach day of action lobbying members of Congress directly to begin impeachment inquiries against Donald Trump.

Everyday Ben wakes up with a focus and drive to fight for issues close to his heart such as fighting climate change, healthcare for all, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, criminal justice reform and political corruption. In his free time Ben likes to spend time with his nine year old Pit Bull Bliss, play video games, binge television shows, swim, cook and travel. He is an avid comic book reader and considers himself a foodie. Ben is thrilled to be fighting in Southwestern Wisconsin and building the first Citizen Action co-op in the area!

Northwestern Co-op Hold Vigil for Gun Background Checks in Eau Claire

Citizen Action Northwestern co-op organized a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Phoenix Park in Eau Claire. State Rep. Jodi Emerson, school board president Eric Torres and local victims of gun violence talked about why they believe universal background checks are necessary.

The vigil was attended by about 75 people and was well covered by the local media.

View media coverage: Eau Claire Leader Telegram, WEAU TV 13 Video, WEAU TV 13 II, WQOW TV 18,

Rep. Emerson and Gov. Evers introduced a plan to have universal background checks in Wisconsin. Republicans have not been supported background

checks and say it’s unlikely bill will get a floor vote

Healthcare Co-op Long Term Care Meeting

Members of the healthcare co-op met with Susannah Dyen from Caring Across Generations. They discussed the caregiver shortage and how to build a movement around the caring economy. Solutions discussed were raising the wage and guarenteeed paid leave. We need to keep the discussion going within our community that our elders deserve good care, love and respect and the people that do this work are very valuable.

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm

DONATE today

Join Citizen Action in Iowa for Presidential candidate forum

To attend contact: [email protected]

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review the big news that Rep. Sean Duffy is resigning from Congress, sparking widespread speculation about the election to replace him. Guest panelists Claire Zautke and Robert discuss comments by Congressman Pocan about healthcare in the 2020 election. We also talk about the fallout of the GOP’s lame duck power grab from Attorney General Josh Kaul and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s unfair slamming of the new progressive newspaper, Wisconsin Examiner. Finally we welcome Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker, president of the Wausau School Board, to discuss her work to retire Native mascot imagery from Wisconsin public schools.


Facebook post of the week


“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

“Time to Retire” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast

We review the big news that Rep. Sean Duffy is resigning from Congress, sparking widespread speculation about the election to replace him. Guest panelist Claire Zautke and Robert discuss comments by Congressman Pocan about healthcare in the 2020 election. We also talk about the fallout of the GOP’s lame duck power grab from Attorney General Josh Kaul and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s unfair slamming of the new progressive newspaper, Wisconsin Examiner. Finally we welcome Citizen Action co-op member Tricia Zunker, president of the Wausau School Board, to discuss her work to retire Native mascot imagery from Wisconsin public schools.
Listen Now – Episode #406
Download MP3
Press Clips

Attend Citizen Action Brew Fest, Thursday, September 19th, 5pm

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy explains decision to retire over health concerns for unborn child.Sean Duffy facebook post.
Congressman Pocan says anything is possible in CD 7.
Mark Pocan touts fall priorities in Congress, urges Democrats to discuss health care as ‘a value’.
GOP lawmakers’ attorney agrees to confidentiality deal
Evers calls on ‘adults’ to solve conflict with Kaul, GOP.
Lame-duck fallout: Wisconsin politicians still don’t have a way to settle lawsuits as more than 12 cases sit unresolved.
Lawsuits on hold as budget committee delays action.
Wausau School Board Asks State To Ban Native American Mascots In Public Schools.
Momentum Grows to End Native American Mascots in Wisconsin.
Proposal on banning Native American mascots in Wisconsin schools gains traction in Milwaukee area.
Journal Sentinel Slams “Liberal” News Site.

Bill Kaplan: Trump flails, McConnell blockades

Bill Kaplan: Trump flails, McConnell blockades

In 2018, Trump praised Chinese President Xi: “He’s now president for life. … he’s great. … Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.” Jaw-dropping! And, acting like a tin-pot dictator, the mercurial Trump is taking the U.S. economy down. Trump said: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” The unhinged Trump has escalated his trade war with China. Predictably, the Dow Jones plunged 623 points. More than a whiff of recession in the air.

“Domestically, the manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in a decade. Sales of U.S. exports have decreased at the fastest pace since August 2009” (Washington Post). And the Wall Street Journal headlined: “China Deals ‘Body Blow’ to Struggling U.S. Farm Belt” (more than 1,600 Wisconsin dairy farms gone under Trump). Our enfant terrible (Trump) looking for a scapegoat said: “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy (Federal Reserve Chair) Jay Powell or (Chinese President) Xi?” The U.S. is becoming a banana republic.

An out-of-control Trump “ordered” all U.S. companies to leave China. Then this weekend Trump said he had “second thoughts” about escalating the trade war. He backed away from his bombast and claimed he was making progress with China. Later Trump backpedaled and said he was “misinterpreted” and “regrets not raising the tariffs higher” (Washington Post). Not a “stable genius”. Alarming.

Meanwhile, the GOP-led Senate refused to act as a check and balance on a dangerous White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP senators are running from microphones. McConnell craves power and will do anything to remain Majority Leader. Having held up Obama Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland until after the 2016 presidential election, McConnell no longer claims that he was “letting the people’s voice be heard”. If a U.S. Supreme Court justice were to die in 2020, McConnell said: “Uh, we’d fill it.” No shame.

Worse, McConnell has enforced a blockade on bread-and-butter and other legislation passed by the Democratic-led House. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin said: “Generally, Senator McConnell has not shown himself likely to schedule legislation for consideration on the floor unless he personally supports it and unless he get signals from (Trump) that the (White House) supports it. Sadly, that makes the prospects low that we’ll get a chance to have a vote.” Examples abound.

House Democrats strengthened the Affordable Care Act (ACA): blocked the sale of useless bare bones “junk” health insurance, restored funding for ACA advertising and outreach and lowered drug prices. And, the House passed an historic $15 minimum wage, helping 27.3 million Americans, including 829,000 Wisconsinites. Finally, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led in passing a bipartisan pension protection bill (Butch Lewis Act), helping over 1 million Americans, including 25,000 Wisconsinites. McConnell is not allowing the Senate to vote on these bills. Time to end the GOP blockade.

The late Arizona GOP Senator John McCain implored the Senate: “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths… . They don’t want anything done for the public good.” Unlike Trump or McConnell, always a hero.

–Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995—2009.