Your Reps in the News: April 7, 2017

Representative Joel Kitchens

“Today [April 4], the Assembly voted in bipartisan fashion on a number of bills brought forward by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette). These bills, which were introduced as a part of a special session, will go a long way toward combating the opioid and heroin epidemic. I thank Rep. Nygren for his continued, relentless leadership on this issue as he builds upon his HOPE Agenda. I look forward to having the Governor sign these bills into law and working with my colleagues to further tackle this issue.

“In addition, the Assembly also passed Assembly Bill 73 introduced by Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) to make cheese the official dairy product of Wisconsin. The bill, which was brought forward by fourth grade students from Mineral Point Elementary School, looks to make cheese the official state dairy product. I had the privilege of seeing this bill make its way through committee and listened to the convincing testimony of these fourth grade students. It is great to see such bright and curious children learn about the democratic process. It speaks to the high-quality education that we strive for and attain here in Wisconsin. We have our excellent educators to thank for that.” You can watch the testimony from the fourth grade class at

Source: Kitchens press release

Governor Scott Walker

Former Democratic state Sen. Tim Cullen said he will not run for governor in 2018 after all, leaving Democrats searching for someone to mount a serious challenge to Gov. Scott Walker. The only Democratic candidate who has declared a run is 25-year-old Bob Harlow, who has never held political office and only recently moved back to Wisconsin. One by one, possible contenders are removing themselves from consideration. Cullen, who filed paperwork to form a campaign committee before changing his mind, said while he feels strongly that someone needs to replace Walker, he never felt “deep inside” it had to be him. “There’s a huge challenge in raising the campaign dollars even to be remotely competitive with the millions and millions of out-of-state dollars that will flood Wisconsin to keep Gov. Walker in power,” Cullen told reporters. Candidates and outside electioneering by dark money groups spent a record $81.8 million on both parties during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, according to a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis.


Congressman Mike Gallagher

Rep. Mike Gallagher delivered a speech urging his colleagues to cancel Congress’ two-week break in legislative activity until they finish their work on behalf of the American people. Gallagher asked his colleagues, “In what other job would you grant yourself a two-week vacation if you failed to do that fundamental job? I know we need to go back home…to hear from our constituents. But more than anything else, our constituents sent us here to do our job – to work together, to fix problems rather than punting them down the road to [the] next generation.”

Source: Gallagher press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin has a 40 percent favorability rating heading into her 2018 re-election bid, according to a new poll. That’s up slightly from 37 percent in October 2016. Thirty-five percent of voters surveyed by the Marquette University Law School poll said they view Baldwin unfavorably, while 24 percent lacked an opinion.

The Democratic senator’s favorability ratings are similar to those of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who was elected to a second term in November. Thirty-nine percent of voters said they view Johnson favorably, down slightly from 41 percent in October 2016. Johnson is viewed unfavorably by 39 percent of voters, while 26 percent said they had no opinion. Republican groups at the state and national level have made Baldwin a top target for 2018, especially after Wisconsin voters supported Johnson and President Donald Trump in November. Baldwin, who defeated former Gov. Tommy Thompson in 2012, is serving her first term in the Senate after representing Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District for seven terms.

Source: The Cap Times

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, spoke before the Senate voted to affirm Montenegro’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Johnson has been a leader in laying the groundwork for the United States to formally approve Montenegro’s accession. Excerpts of his remarks are below. “As Russia continues its destabilizing actions throughout Eastern Europe and the world, it is imperative we spend an unwavering message of strength and resolve by approving Montenegro’s accession to NATO…. Russia has warned Montenegro that it will face consequences if it continues to pursue NATO membership. As Russia continues its destabilizing actions throughout Eastern Europe and the world, it is imperative we spend an unwavering message of strength and resolve by approving Montenegro’s accession to NATO.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Donald Trump

Donald Trump has donated his first-quarter presidential salary to the National Parks Service – days after announcing $2 billion worth of cuts to the department that funds it. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the donation at a press briefing, handing a $78,000 check to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The donation comes after the Trump administration announced budget cuts of 11.7 per cent – worth roughly $2 billion – to the Department of the Interior (DOI). “The Park Service has cared for our parks since 1916, and the President is personally proud to contribute the first quarter of his salary to the important mission of the Park Service, which is preserving our country’s national security,” said Spicer. Zinke said he was “thrilled” to receive the donation, but conservationists have hit out at President Trump for trying to distract the public from cuts to the DOI.

“If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, an environmental group.

Source: The Telegraph

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