Tag: tammy baldwin
Republican Party of Wisconsin

Wisconsin GOP Senate Candidates All Support Abortion Ban

The Republican field for the 2024 Wisconsin Senate race remains in flux as several potential candidates mull over whether to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Despite strong support among Wisconsin voters for reproductive rights, each of the likely GOP contenders has a history of opposing legal abortion or actively working for an abortion ban.

In the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans expected a “red wave” would net them a pickup of at least two Democratic-held U.S. Senate seats and a GOP majority in the chamber. Instead, every single GOP challenger lost, and Democrats ended up gaining an open Republican-held seat in Pennsylvania.

Many analysts have attributed the lack of predicted Republican victories to voters’ anger over the 2022 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the nearly 50-year-old guarantee of reproductive rights established in Roe v. Wade. Republicans nominated abortion rights opponents in targeted Senate races across the country in 2022, and they all lost to Democratic backers of reproductive freedom.

As the 2024 elections approach, Senate Republicans seem poised to repeat the same failed approach.

On June 17, the WisPolitics political news site held a straw poll at the convention of the Republican Party of Wisconsin in La Crosse. Six possible Republican Senate candidates received support: former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke; real estate developer and 2012 Senate candidate Eric Hovde; staffing firm executive Scott Mayer; former College Democrats of America president turned 2018 GOP Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson; former state Senate President Roger Roth; and U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany.

Clarke has repeatedly backed state and federal abortion bans. After House Democrats passed a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons in July 2022, he tweeted: “Oh bag it Democrats. They claim gun control will save lives. SO WILL A BAN ON ABORTION. That kills more lives than guns do.”

A month earlier, Clarke compared abortion rights to slavery, tweeting: “These same devils would have called reversing Plessey v Ferguson [sic] and Dred Scott decision was a step backward. WRONG. It righted a wrong by the US Supreme Court just like reversing Roe v Wade has done. Killing babies is as immoral a wrong as slavery.”

According to the progressive website Blogging Blue, Hovde said at a July 2012 campaign event, “I’m 100% pro-life,” and added that he only would make an exception in cases of rape and incest. In campaign radio ads that year, he noted an endorsement from the anti-abortion rights group Wisconsin Right to Life and said: “I believe that we’re all created in God’s image. Defending innocent human life is a basic responsibility of civilized people.”

Wisconsin Right to Life said in its June 2012 endorsement, “Eric Hovde has indicated strong support for federal right-to-life issues should he be elected.”

“I am absolutely unapologetically pro-life, I really am,” Mayer told USA Today in May, “ but we have to have some access.” In April, he told NBC News that he was “absolutely pro-life” and would likely allow the procedure only in the first three months, except in cases of rape, incest, or health risk.

Though Nicholson said in a 2000 address at the Democratic National Convention that Democrats “care about a woman’s right to choose,” he has since abandoned his support for reproductive rights. During his unsuccessful 2018 bid for the Senate, he said he would back an abortion ban but would consider exceptions “case by case” as long as the legislation “saves the unborn and does it in a way that’s enforceable.” In an aborted 2022 gubernatorial campaign, Nicholson promised to “protect innocent life” by providing state funding for anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.

During Roth’s unsuccessful 2022 campaign for lieutenant governor, his biography on his campaign website said, “Despite radical moves from liberals to push partial-birth abortion, abortion on demand, or murdering a child based on their sex, Roger has stood to thwart the left’s ruthless ambition to end the life of thousands of future Wisconsinites.”

Roth sponsored a 2015 bill in the Wisconsin Senate to prohibit “abortion of an unborn child considered capable of experiencing pain.” Abortion rights opponents have falsely claimed that fetuses can feel pain as early as 15 weeks into a pregnancy, though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says on its website, “The science conclusively establishes that a human fetus does not have the capacity to experience pain until after at least 24–25 weeks.”

Tiffany received “A+” ratings from the anti-abortion rights group SBA Pro-Life America for the past two Congresses, indicating consistent agreement with its positions. He is currently a co-sponsor of a bill that would ban abortions nationally after a “fetal heartbeat is detectable.” Abortion opponents falsely claim that there is a heartbeat at six weeks into a pregnancy, while the science shows that there is no cardiac structure in a fetus at that age.

“All of the potential GOP candidates for Senate want to help Mitch McConnell and MAGA Republicans pass a national abortion ban and keep abortion illegal in Wisconsin,” Arik Wolk, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, told the American Independent Foundation. “That’s out of touch with Wisconsin values and dangerous for our state and our country.”

According to the report “Abortion Attitudes in a Post-Roe World: Findings From the 50-State 2022 American Values Atlas,” produced by the nonprofit research organization PRRI, 64 percent of Wisconsin residents believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases.

A June 2023 survey by the polling firm GQR of voters in Wisconsin and six other Senate battleground states, commissioned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, found that 65 percent support abortion being legal in all or most circumstances.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

GOP Ads Falsely Claim Democratic Senators Will 'Take Away' Social Security (VIDEO)

GOP Ads Falsely Claim Democratic Senators Will 'Take Away' Social Security (VIDEO)

A couple of weeks after President Joe Biden noted in his State of the Union address that some congressional Republicans want to cut safety net programs, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is running false ads accusing Senate Democrats of wanting to put Medicare and Social Security "at risk."

The campaign arm of the Senate Republican conference released a series of six nearly identical attack ads on Tuesday, accusing potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents up for reelection in 2022 of trying to take away retirement benefits from older Americans.

One 15-second spot targets Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Over various stock video clips, a narrator tells viewers: "You earned your retirement benefits. Follow the rules. Paid into the system. But Tammy Baldwin wants to take 'em away. Baldwin backed Joe Biden's extreme agenda, putting your Medicare and Social Security at risk. Tell Tammy Baldwin: Hands off our benefits."

The words "TAMMY BALDWIN Take your benefits away" appear on the screen, sourced to the Bipartisan Policy Center, which describes itself as "a Washington, DC-based think tank that actively fosters bipartisanship by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans."

The claim that Baldwin backed Biden's "extreme agenda" is tied in very small letters to her 2021 vote for the American Rescue Plan, Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The accusation that her vote imperiled Social Security and Medicare is attributed to a February 2021 CNBC report about a provision in the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 that would trigger an automatic cut to Medicare — though not to Social Security — unless Congress specifically voted to stop it.

The group makes the same claims in its ads against Sens. Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Manchin (WV), Jacky Rosen (NV), and Jon Tester (MT) with a script that's identical aside from the lawmakers' names.

An array of House and Senate Republicans recently backed significant cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson proposed making annual spending on the programs optional. Since Biden called them out in his February 7 State of the Union address to Congress, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, Iowa Rep. Randy Feenstra, and other Republican lawmakers have falsely claimed it is really the Democrats who are trying to cut the programs.

In a February 17 press release, NRSC spokesperson Tate Mitchell said: "We are fully prepared to hold Tammy Baldwin accountable for backing policies that threatened Social Security and Medicare. Democrats' reckless spending is the true threat to these two popular programs."

An NRSC spokesperson did not immediately respond to an American Independent Foundation request for the source of the claim that each of the six Democrats want to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits.

The only related document on the Bipartisan Policy Committee's website from the date listed in the ads is a blog post endorsing changes to the Social Security program, warning that inflation was putting benefits at risk. It doesn't mention the six Senate Democrats.

The cited CNBC story noted that because the pandemic relief act increased the federal deficit, it would trigger a 4% cut to Medicare starting in 2022, as well as other cuts to mandatory programs, but would not impact Social Security. It also said that experts fully expected Congress to waive those required cuts — as it did after President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress enacted the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and following the enactment of bipartisan COVID-19 relief bills in 2020.

"That ain't gonna happen," former Congressional Budget Office official Barry Anderson told the outlet. "They'll waive it."

Indeed, in December 2021, 59 senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and nine other Republicans — voted to delay the Medicare cuts until 2023.

Last December, a bipartisan majority further delayed the automatic cuts until at least 2025 as part of its Consolidated Appropriations Act. That legislation passed 68-29 with 18 Senate Republicans in support.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines voted against both bills, as did most members of his caucus.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Hillary Clinton Supports Ban On ‘Revolving Door’ Corporate Bonuses

Hillary Clinton Supports Ban On ‘Revolving Door’ Corporate Bonuses

NEW YORK (Reuters) — U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton endorsed a proposed law on Monday that would prevent corporate firms paying bonuses to their executives for leaving to take senior government jobs.

Clinton, in an op-ed published by The Huffington Post, was critical of the “so-called revolving door” between government and Wall Street firms in particular, saying it erodes public trust “if a public servant’s past and future are tied to the financial industry.”

“That’s when people start worrying that the foxes are guarding the hen house,” Clinton, the front-runner in the race to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2016 election, wrote. “If you’re working for the government, you’re working for the people — not for an oil company, drug company, or Wall Street bank or money manager.”

Support for the proposed Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act had become a sort of litmus test for the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, which is seeking far more stringent oversight of the U.S. financial services industry.

Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who has become a standard-bearer for the party’s progressives, called on presidential candidates to endorse the bill last month shortly after it was introduced.

The law would ban incoming government employees from accepting such bonuses, sometimes known as “golden parachutes”, from their former private sector employers.

It would also require senior government regulators to recuse themselves from any work that would particularly benefit any employer or client they had in the two years before joining the government.

Bernie Sanders, the socialist Vermont senator who is Clinton’s nearest rival for the nomination, had already given the bill his support, as had Martin O’Malley, a former Maryland governor, who has been lagging in public polls.

Last week, groups representing Democratic progressives called for Clinton to make her position clear.

Clinton co-wrote her Monday op-ed with Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, the bill’s Democratic sponsor.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Photo: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Summer Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Craig Lassig