Reps in the News: New Federal Funding for Wisconsin Dairy; More

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Evers announced his appointment of Beau Liegeois to the Brown County Circuit Court, which fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William Atkinson.

“Beau Liegeois is committed to public service and has a strong legal background, having served as a prosecutor in Brown County and as a JAG officer in the Wisconsin Army National Guard,” Evers said. “I am confident that this experience and his temperament will make him an excellent judge.”

Liegeois is a lifelong resident of Brown County. For 11 years, he has been an assistant district attorney for Brown County, where he has prosecuted cases ranging from complex property crimes to homicide and sexual assault. He has also been a leader in growing the county’s treatment-court programs. For eight years, Liegeois was a citizen-soldier in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, for which he served as a legal officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was the Democratic challenger to Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher during the 2018 election.

Liegeois is a graduate of Green Bay Southwest High School, UW-Madison and Valparaiso University Law School.

Source: Evers press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

On Sept. 19, Sen. Baldwin announced two major wins for Wisconsin dairy farmers and the agriculture economy through her Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, which helps dairy businesses to start, grow, modernize and reach new markets. Baldwin’s Dairy Business Innovation Act was included in the 2018 Farm Bill that passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump. 

The new federal funding for Wisconsin dairy is the result of Baldwin’s bipartisan work to secure key investments to support dairy-product innovation and address the oversupply of milk by providing resources to help dairy farmers and cheesemakers develop new products and expand their markets. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a significant increase in funding for Baldwin’s program. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, she secured $20 million for the program, an increase of $18 million from the previous fiscal year. The Appropriations legislation will next go before the full Senate for a vote.

On Sept. 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture selected Wisconsin to host the new Dairy Business Innovation Alliance: a Midwest hub that supports dairy entrepreneurs and helps farmers find new ways to be profitable and meet consumer demand during this very difficult time.

The new initiative will receive $454,000 to start its work providing technical assistance and grant funding to dairy businesses and entrepreneurs. The Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will lead the alliance, in partnership with the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and with the support of many other dairy and agriculture stakeholders. 

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson warned the Trump administration against releasing the transcript of a call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying it could have a chilling effect on talks with other heads of state.

“It’s a very dangerous precedent, and I think it’s going to really harm any president, whether it’s this president or a future president’s ability to talk to world leaders candidly,” Johnson told reporters on Monday. 

“This is not something that Congress necessarily has to have its hands on,” he said. 

The president is facing calls, including from some within his own party, to release the transcript of his conversation with Zelensky, which is reportedly linked to a whistleblower complaint. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, attempted to persuade Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden, who had business dealings in the country.

Source: Johnson press release

President Donald Trump

President Trump was incredulous Tuesday – according to sources familiar with the moment – as he sat in Trump Tower watching House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announce she was launching a formal impeachment inquiry against him. He had felt confident after phoning Pelosi earlier that morning. 

The drive for impeachment in her caucus had ramped up amid reports that he had pushed the Ukrainian president to investigate former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden, and Trump was hoping to head off a clash. He figured he could de-escalate tensions by speaking with her directly.

It was after that call that Trump made the decision to release an “unredacted” version of the transcript of his July call to the Ukrainian president – against the advice of aides such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who warned him it would set a risky precedent. Trump wanted to undercut the argument from Democrats that he had acted inappropriately during the phone call, he said, and felt he had nothing to hide.

But when the announcement that he would release the transcript did little to quell the growing calls for his impeachment, Trump was in disbelief.

Democrats immediately argued that it wouldn’t be enough. They also wanted to see the whistleblower’s complaint, which the inspector general for the intelligence community had found to be urgent and credible, and which was mandated by law to be handed over to the intelligence committees.

After Pelosi’s historic announcement, Trump immediately began lashing out, accusing Democrats of distracting from his successes at the United Nations General Assembly and arguing it was just “more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage.”

A source close to the White House who routinely speaks with Trump said Trump has worried about the possibility of being impeached for nearly a year, dating back to the weeks that followed the November 2018 midterms, when Democrats won the House.