Reps in the News: Kitchens Announces Listening Sessions

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Kitchens has announced a series of listening sessions that will be held throughout the 1st Assembly District.

The locations and times of the listening sessions will be:

• Door County Library, Jane Greene Room, Sturgeon Bay, April 27, 10-11:30 am.

• Sister Bay Village Hall, April 29, 10-11:30 am.

• Nelsen’s Hall and Bitters Pub, Washington Island, April 29, 1-2:30 pm.

• Algoma City Hall, Algoma, April 29, 5-6:30 pm.

Source: Kitchens press release

Governor Tony Evers

A state appeals court has sided with Gov. Tony Evers in a dispute with Republican lawmakers over Evers’ decision to rescind 15 lame-duck appointees made by Gov. Scott Walker.

Republican state Senators confirmed 82 Walker appointees during December’s lame-duck session. Evers rescinded all 82 of them last month, shortly after Dane County Judge Richard Niess ruled that the entire lame-duck session was unconstitutional.

Evers later reappointed 67 of those same people, effectively removing 15 of the Walker picks from various state boards and commissions.

Wisconsin’s District 3 Court of Appeals later stayed Niess’ decision, putting it on hold while the case was appealed. An attorney for Republicans asked the appeals court to rule that by rescinding the appointments, Evers had violated the stay.

But in a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel found that their March 27 stay order only covered the case going forward and was not in effect when Evers rescinded the appointments on March 22.

Evers’ office celebrated Tuesday’s ruling, saying it affirmed what the governor had been arguing for weeks.

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin helped introduce the bipartisan Access Broadband Act: bicameral legislation led by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Representative Paul Tonko that fosters the development and growth of broadband resources for businesses as well as underserved urban and rural communities in Wisconsin and throughout the country.

The Access Broadband Act requires the Department of Commerce to establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The bill aims to streamline processes for local businesses to access federal broadband resources through a simplified application process and better oversight of federal broadband support programs.

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson said on Monday that he is concerned about a “leadership void” at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amid talks of a shake-up of top staffers.

“In addition to congressional dysfunction, I am concerned with a growing leadership void within the department tasked with addressing some of the most significant problems facing the nation,” Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

The statement comes after Trump announced that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would be leaving her post and that Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, will lead DHS on an acting basis until a permanent replacement for Nielsen is chosen.

In addition to Nielsen, CNN reported that White House adviser Stephen Miller is pushing for Lee Cissna, the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; and John Mitnick, the department’s general counsel, to be dismissed.

A Trump administration official told CNN that there are also questions about the future of Claire Grady, undersecretary of management at DHS.


President Donald Trump

The Trump administration is considering auctioning off Florida’s coastal waters for oil and gas drilling, and Republicans are warning it could cost the president dearly in Florida in the 2020 election.

An industry lobbying offensive has put it on the cusp of achieving its holy grail: access to the resource-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico. The idea is so politically toxic in Florida that past presidents haven’t even entertained it. But behind the scenes, oil and gas interests are appealing to Trump’s desire to turbocharge U.S. energy production, including his past openness to drilling off the Florida coast.

The president and his top advisers haven’t yet weighed in on the plan taking shape inside his Interior Department. But giving it the green light would be tantamount to a declaration of war on his second home state, given the uniform opposition from Florida Republicans, including prominent allies such as Sen. Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis and others.