Reps in the News: Kitchens Praises Northern Sky Theater

Representative Joel Kitchens

“It was a tremendous honor to present an Assembly citation to Northern Sky Theater recently to help them celebrate the grand opening of their new Creative Center and Gould Theater,” a recent Kitchens newsletter stated, noting that the organization will also celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

“I am very impressed with how Northern Sky’s donors and volunteers selflessly came together to raise almost $8 million to build the first-of-its-kind Creative Center and Gould Theater. It truly is a sight to behold, and I am more than confident that, with this new facility, Northern Sky will be able to continue leaving their mark on our region for years to come. 

“Our area is very fortunate to have this venue, which has done so much in the past several decades to further our knowledge of our culture and heritage. It is simply awe-inspiring that Northern Sky Theater has created more than 60 original musicals that have been seen by hundreds of thousands of residents and guests of Door County.”

Source: Kitchens newsletter

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Last week, Sen. Baldwin called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to address the outbreak of severe lung disease connected to vaping, and the CDC has announced that it will do so.

“My home state has been on the frontlines of this outbreak – from identifying the first cases to working with the CDC to develop a specific case definition – but we need more help,” Baldwin said. “I’m encouraged to see the CDC step up and activate an Emergency Operations Center so the federal government can better provide the resources necessary for understanding the cause of this illness and preventing future cases.”

According to the CDC, EOC activation allows the agency to provide increased operational support to meet the outbreak’s evolving challenges. 

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sens. Johnson and Tammy Baldwin agreed to reestablish the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission to advance nominations for vacant federal judgeships and U.S. attorney positions in Wisconsin during the 116th Congress.

“The bipartisan nominating commission has delivered highly qualified nominees in the past, and I am hopeful it can deliver similar results going forward. I respect and trust the judgment of the commission, and I look forward to working to fill the vacancy in the Eastern District,” Johnson said.

The commission will comprise six Wisconsinites who are members of the Wisconsin State Bar, three appointed by each senator. Johnson appointed William Curran, Richard Esenberg and Paul Swanson; Baldwin appointed Retired Judge Charles Clevert Jr., Jeremy Levinson and Barbara Quindel. Swanson and Clevert Jr. will co-chair the commission. 

The Wisconsin State Bar is accepting applications – to be received no later than Oct. 16, 2019 – for appointment to a vacancy left by Judge Rudolph Randa on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 

Source: Johnson press release

President Donald Trump

Senate Republicans are responding cautiously to a new proposal to expand background checks for gun sales that the Trump administration is circulating on Capitol Hill. President Trump has yet to endorse the proposal; the White House is taking the temperature of Senate Republican support for the idea.

“There are some ideas floating around that different members of the administration are coming up with, and at this point it’s probably too early to say” whether Republicans will support it, said Senate Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he has not yet reviewed the administration’s memo on expanding background checks, which is along the lines of the amendment sponsored in 2013 by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

“I haven’t seen it, but I talked to [Attorney General William] Barr yesterday,” Graham said of the memo. “He’s going around talking to people. If he’s good with it, I’m good with it.” 

The memo, titled “Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks,” proposes expanding background checks to all advertised commercial sales, including sales at guns shows.