Battleground Wisconsin is Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s weekly podcast that features the latest political news from the front lines in the embattled state of Wisconsin.
America needs a Wealth Tax
New blockbuster ProPublica research finds the wealthiest Americans pay a true tax rate of only 3.4%. Is America finally ready for a wealth tax? Next, the panel asks on the big question of the day: Can U.S. Senate Democrats get their act together and pass pass bills to protect American democracy? As infrastructure talks with Republicans stall, the only bi-partisanship Congress can muster is behind a nationalist anti-China agenda. Meanwhile horrendous racial disparities in health care access and vaccination access continue despite all the of the lip-service payed to health equity. Does any level of government have the courage to intervene? In the WI Legislature, Republicans look to delay local redistricting a year; and to give back federal Unemployment Insurance money. Meanwhile, a revised estimate of Legislative Republican's cuts to schools finds it will cost the state $2.3 billion in federal revenue. We close the show by welcoming Peter Rickman from the Milwaukee Area Hospitality and Service Workers union (MASH) to discuss the Justice for Janitors contract campaign launching next Tuesday, June 15th at 3pm in Milwaukee’s Zeidler Park.
Republicans embrace anti-vaxxers & the "Big Lie"
We discuss Legislative Republican’s scheming with their corporate patrons such as Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce (WMC) to gin up a fake “worker shortage” to punish the unemployed. Does Robin Vos really believe Wisconsinites are lazy and irresponsible or is he just trying to exploit the working class? In a clear effort to mobilize a 2022 off-year election base of anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, Legislative Republicans are supporting bills to make anti-vaxxers a protected category and pumping life into the “Big Lie” with bogus “Arizona style” voter fraud investigations into the 2020 election. Meanwhile new data from the Wisconsin Election Commission demonstrates minuscule voter fraud in Wisconsin elections, most of it generated by Jim-Crow still disenfranchisement of released prisoners. We close with a discussion on the centrality of the Senate filibuster in the success of the Biden agenda, addressing the nation’s major challenges and needs, and the survival of democracy itself.
This is not that, This is the Battleground Wisconsin Podcast
We welcome Citizen Action’s Movement Politics Director, JoAnna Bautch, to discuss Citizen Action's new podcast, This is NOT that, which premiered this week on the 1st anniversary of George Floyd's murder. The panel reviews the BadgerCare legislative Special Session that came and went quickly due to Republican intransigance. Depite refusing even to debate BadgerCare, legislative Republicans found time to attack transgendered kids and to threaten massive cuts to public school funding. Robert discusses the latest exodus of teachers in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, America's premature reopoining threatens million with pre-existing conditions and suppressed immunity. Who sounded the "all clear" siren in the middle of a global pandemic? Chris Larson enters an already crowded U.S. Senate race to take on distraced WI Senator Ron Johnson. The GOP snipes at another U.S. Senate candiate, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. Why is Godlewski their early target in a multicandidate field? National Democrats and mainline pundits increasingly agree that the GOP is a threat to democracy itself. But are the Democrats unified enough to stop them? We close by welcoming Citizen Action's Driftless Organizing Co-op organizer, Ben Wilson, to discuss the proposed expansion of the Roth Feeder Pig II Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in rural Crawford County. Will corporate agriculture win again over the health and prosperity of our rural communities?
Evers calls BadgerCare Special Session
Our panel discusses Gov. Tony Evers’ declaring a special legislative session on BadgerCare Expansion with Shawn Phetteplace of the Main Street Alliance of Wisconsin. We also deconstruct a Republican state legislative effort to remove $300/weekly federal Unemployment Insurance benefits and completely cut-off the self-employed and gig workers. Citizen Action’s Movement Politics Director JoAnna Bautch joins us to announce the launch of a new Citizen Action podcast called This, Is Not That, featuring JoAnna, Citizen Action Climate and Equity Director Rafael Smith, and rising journalistic star Isiah Holmes from the Wisconsin Examiner. We close with a discussion of the CDC’s mass mask confusion created by publicly declaring that fully-vaccinated Americans need not wear masks indoors or outdoors, without revising public policy guidance for businesses and employers. What is the CDC’s motive? Will at lead to a resurgence of COVID infections?
Anti-Vax Ron Johnson
Our panel discusses Senator Ron Johnson’s continued anti-vaccination lies while the county struggles with slowing vaccination rates. How many will die because of Johnson’s political ambitions and loyalty to the ex President? We update the state budget battle following Republican’s action in the Joint Finance Committee to strip hundreds of popular items. We also review the latest rash of terrible GOP bills on everything from school vouchers to more attacks on the voting process being pushed through the Legislature and certain to be vetoed by Governor Evers. Vital Federal pandemic recovery money will start to roll out to states and local governments as Wisconsin discovers our share will be $700 million less. Legislative Republicans are also preparing to impose more Unemployment Insurance barriers to acquiring vitally needed benefits, following other red state Governor’s blaming the unemployed, while a new conservative report pushes privatization of Wisconsin’s unemployment system in the wake of pandemic dysfunction at the agency. What could go wrong? We close by encouraging our listeners to attend the Fair Maps Rally at the State Capitol next Monday, May 17th at Noon.
COVID vaccine waiver
We discuss the partisan vote in Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee which removed 280 publicly popular items from their state budget, including BadgerCare Expansion. Does this end the budget fight or is it really just getting started? Our panel talks about a Federal court ruling this week invalidating the CDC’s eviction moratorium. What is this Trump-appointed judge thinking? We also dig into why the green transition will largely exclude people of color and women if it does not include fundamental structural reform or our economic system. We welcome Tobita Chow from People’s Action to discuss President Biden’s bold move to suspend the patents of Big Pharma corporations to get generic COVID vaccines to the rest of the world. Is this the end or just the beginning of the fight with Big Pharma to prioritize lives over profits during the worst global pandemic in a century?
My home state, now in a state of peril..
Someone recently introduced me to this fine podcast, and I can't resist it!
Wisconsin has has a fine progressive tradition. But now it has a "governor" who was expelled from a Catholic university for cheating, whose money comes from out of state, and who purports to be representing the state while flying around the country promoting HIMSELF.
(All it means is that he'll eventually be another Sarah Palin: a grossly overpaid flunkie who makes a lot of money off the hopelessly naive).
That aside, we need information the podcast provides to wake up Wisconsin and move back into civilization. So thanks so much for it! Wake up, Wisconsin!
Audio is muffled
Hard to listen to as the audio is muffled
Progressives in WI: there’s more of us! You’re not the only one in your town! This show keeps up with national and Wisco news, promoting donation funds, contacting your reps, and making you feel involved.