Citizen Activist Groups Launch Statewide Campaign To Stop Largest Expansion of Gambling in Wisconsin’s History

Last week, Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) circulated a co-sponsorship memo for LRB 2122, a bill proposing to “legalize” and “regulate” Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games.  The bill would legalize online gambling and represents the largest expansion of gambling in Wisconsin’s history.

In response, Wisconsin Family Action and Citizens Against Expanded Gambling have launched a statewide campaign to oppose this massive expansion of gambling.  Combined, these two groups represent over 22,000 Wisconsin citizens who oppose any expansion of gambling. These citizens are being encouraged to contact their legislators and hold them accountable.

Additionally, a digital awareness campaign, statewide robo calls to citizens who oppose online gambling, a statewide tele-townhall briefing and legislative office visits are underway.  “We’ve  jointly  held statewide information forums on this issue to educate citizens about the dangers of expanded gambling with an emphasis on legalizing DFS.  To date, we’ve held 14 events with over 550 attending. We have 8 more scheduled for this fall.  When the people find out the truth about this issue, they are appalled and  committed to doing what they can to stop it,” says Lorri Pickens, Executive Director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling.

The proposed “Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) bill” allows the state to force internet gambling into nearly every home, every dorm room and onto every smart phone in the state, a far greater expansion of commercialized gambling than constituents, legislators and state media have been led to believe.

“The point of this DFS bill is to give the appearance of regulation and create the impression this is being done on behalf of consumers. However, no consumer protection groups are advocating for DFS. Only the industry itself is advocating for ‘legalizing’ and ‘regulating’—a situation which should give any lawmaker pause,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action. “What industry has ever sought to regulate itself?”

Gambling expansion in Wisconsin is currently occurring in multiple ways:

  1. The Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature approved $143 million in expansion for four of the tribe’s six gaming facilities.
  2. The proposed 2017-2018 Wisconsin State Budget calls for a $1 million increase in lottery advertising to increase the number of tickets sold annually.
  3. Proposed off-reservation casinos in Beloit and Shullsburg are pending approval from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

As is well documented, gambling is addictive; and opening up online gambling, such as DFS, will result in more problem gamblers, more gambler indebtedness, and more broken families. Online gambling does not put money back into the economy; but rather makes it more difficult for problem gamblers in particular to be productive, contributing citizens, helping to enrich the local and state economy.

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Copy available online here.

Free Speech Victory in Dane County Court: Judge To Issue Order Recognizing Right of Artistic Expression of Madison Photographer/Blogger

MADISON, WI – “This is a huge win for free speech in Wisconsin,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.  “As our good friends at Alliance Defending Freedom keep reminding everyone, no one should be threated with punishment for having views that the government doesn’t favor.”

Earlier this year Amy Lawson, a professional photographer and blogger who works out of her Madison home, filed what is known as a “pre-enforcement challenge” lawsuit against the City of Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, alleging that the city’s public accommodations ordinance and the state’s public accommodations law prohibit her from conducting her business, Amy Lynn Photography Studio, according to the dictates of her conscience and beliefs. Lawson argued the ordinance and law even force her to use her creative expression in support of activities she doesn’t agree with, including same-sex marriage and abortion.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Neiss determined in yesterday’s court hearing in the case Amy Lynn Photography Studio v. City of Madison  that he would resolve the matter by issuing an order that declares Amy Lawson and her home-based business are not subject to the city’s public accommodations ordinance or the state’s public accomodations law. Both the state and the city agreed to this resolution.

Appling commented, “What this decision means is that creative professionals in Wisconsin and in Madison, those who like Amy don’t have storefronts, have the freedom to determine what ideas they will promote using their artistic talents. In other words, the City of Madison and the State of Wisconsin can’t punish these professionals for exercising their freedom of speech artistically, even if the city or state disagrees with what they are saying.”

Amy Lawson and her photography studio were represented by attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom.

The court has not yet issued the order but that is expected to happen in the near future.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Commends Legislators for Reining in Lottery “Advertising” Budget

MADISON, WI – “Finally, a bill that addresses the unconstitutional advertising of the state lottery and saves taxpayers money,” says Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.

Earlier this week State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Assembly Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) announced they have authored a bill that will cap the amount of spending for “informational advertising” for the Wisconsin lottery at $5 million annually. Currently, the cap is $7.5 million.  Governor Walker has proposed an additional $6 million be added to the  lottery’s “informational advertising” budget in an effort to increase lottery ticket sales. Research shows that more advertising does not directly increase ticket sales.

In 1986, Wisconsin voters approved the lottery in a statewide referendum which included the provision that no “promotional” advertising of the lottery could be done using public funds or monies created through the lottery operation. The lottery commission has deemed their advertising as “product information.” They believe as long as the odds are given in an advertisement, then it isn’t advertising but rather “product information.”

The bill also requires that the information regarding odds be readily decipherable by the average viewer or listener by requiring that a human voice speak the information at a normal rate of speed.

Appling commented, “Thanks to Senator Risser and Representative Hutton at least with this bill the so-called ‘product information’ will be more than a blur on a tv or a voice speaking four times faster than normal. It’s time we stop being disingenuous on this ‘product information’ for the lottery. Let the good citizens of this state know that their odds of winning are ridiculously low.”

The lottery was originally approved with the idea of giving property owners a property tax credit. Over the last 10 years, the average lottery-generated property tax credit has been $93.[1]

“Capping the questionable advertising expenditures will make more funds available to property tax owners rather than hope that additional ‘product information’ results in additional ticket sales,” said Appling. “That’s a responsible position for the government.”

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.          

[1]https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lfb/informational_papers/january_2017/0021_state_property_tax_credits_informational_paper_21.pdf Accessed 6/29/17

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Commends Joint Finance Committee for Eliminating Statewide Same-Sex Only Domestic Partnership Registry

MADISON, WI – Yesterday, the state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC)  approved on a party-line vote a budget motion that puts an end to the state’s statewide same-sex-only domestic partnership registry.

This registry became law as a part of Democrat Governor Jim Doyle’s 2009-2011 budget and was an effort to undermine Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment passed in 2006 by more than 59% of the voters. The registry in essential ways mimics marriage and gives numerous benefis to unmarried same-sex couples as if they are married.

The budget proposal would go into effect six months after the bill is enacted and grandfathers in existing domestic partnerships.

Two years ago this month, the United States Supreme Court decided in Obergefall v. Hodges that Wisconsin’s voters have no right to determine what marriage will be in this state and foisted marriage for same-sex couples on the entire country.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said, “Since this registry was enacted, we have been working to repeal it. Not only does it undermine marriage, but it promotes discriminatory co-habitation. Now that the US Supreme Court has waved its magic wand and overridden the will of the people on marriage, there is no reason for this registry. Same-sex couples can get government-offered benefits of marriage by marrying. The state is rightly dismantling this unfair and detrimental registry.”

During the JFC discussion yesterday, Democrat Representative Katrina Shankland (Stevens Point) argued that rather than do away with the registry that it should be expanded to include heterosexual couples. The majority of JFC members rightly determined promoting marriage was a better approach than encouraging government-sponsored co-habitation.

“We are grateful for Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt initiating this proposal and for Representatives John Nygren and Dale Kooyenga for making the official motion as JFC members. The twelve members of JFC who supported the motion got it exactly right. It’s time for this discriminatory registry to go and to stop pretending this registry is good or fair. It came in through the budget; it needs to be rescinded the same way,” noted Appling.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Online copy available here.

Wisconsin Family Action Responds to President Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Freedom

MADISON, WI – The following is a statement from Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling on President Trump’s religious freedom Executive Order, signed earlier today.

“Religious freedom and rights of conscience have been severely undermined in America in recent years. The Executive Order signed today by President Donald Trump represents a good first step towards restoring needed protection for those precious rights and the beginning of fulfillment of his campaign promises to protect the religious freedoms of Americans. But it is only a step.

“The previous administration created a climate of hostility towards religion and the right of Americans to live out their faith freely. Across the country employers, faith-based schools and charities have been forced to choose between their faith and continuing to operate for the good of our economy and society.

“While we welcome the signing of today’s Executive Order, on behalf of the thousands of citizens our organization represents and in concert with the 39 state family policy councils with whom we  are in alliance, we call on President Trump and his administration to work towards completely fulfilling his pledge to protect religious freedom. As President Trump said in the Rose Garden this morning, ‘For too long the Federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs.’

“Today’s Executive Order represents a start towards reversing this unwarranted government discrimination. Wisconsin Family Action will continue to work for a Wisconsin and an America where religious freedom flourishes and families thrive.”

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC-Endorsed Candidate Moves on to General Election

Holtz garners second-most votes in Primary for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Madison, WI – Dr. Lowell Holtz, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, took the second highest vote total in yesterday’s statewide primary election. Incumbent Tony Evers placed first, with John Humphries placing a distant third. Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) endorsed Dr. Holtz earlier this month.  Evers and Holtz move on to the general election on Tuesday, April 4.

WFA PAC director Julaine Appling said, “We congratulate Dr. Holtz on yesterday’s election. Primary elections are never easy—and spring nonpartisan elections are notoriously difficult. All things considered he put in a solid performance.

“We believe Dr. Holtz is well positioned to go head to head with Tony Evers in the general election.  He provides a stark contrast with Dr. Evers on many issues, including school choice and Common Core. Wisconsin voters who are concerned about these issues as well as wanting to hold public schools accountable while ensuring they are doing an excellent job of educating children should vote for Dr. Holtz in April.

“WFA PAC believes it is time for a real change at the Department of Public Instruction and that Dr. Holtz, with his experience, expertise, and beliefs, is the change we need. We wish Dr. Holtz the very best as he campaigns over the next six weeks and urge Wisconsin voters to plan now to go to polls and vote for him on April 4.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorses Dr. Lowell Holtz for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Madison, WI – Today Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) announced it has endorsed Dr. Lowell Holtz, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Julaine Appling, WFA PAC director, made the following statement:

“We are honored to endorse a candidate of the caliber of Dr. Lowell Holtz for this important office. Dr. Holtz’s personal educational preparation and attainment, coupled with his hands-on experience are extremely well suited for this position. But more important to us is his character and his positions on the critical issues surrounding education today.

“Dr. Holtz understands that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Public Instruction don’t need to be adversarial to school choice. He rightly believes parents, not the state, are ultimately responsible for the education of their children; and he is therefore rightly supportive of giving parents more options for fulfilling that responsibility. We’ve not had a State Superintendent of Public Instruction with that mindset for decades. This is the election where that needs to change.
Read more here.

Wisconsin Family Action to President Trump: Make Religious Freedom Great Again

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) joined national ally Family Policy Alliance and our network of 40 state-based family groups, representing hundreds of thousands of families across the country, in sending a letter to President Trump asking him to make good on his campaign promise to protect religious freedom.

President Trump has an opportunity to do this by signing an Executive Order to that effect.

This Executive Order is good, lawful public policy that reinforces existing religious freedom protections in law and affirms that President Trump’s administration will respect the religious freedom rights of all Americans.

The letter, delivered to both the President and Vice President, cites the passage of Obamacare and the HHS mandate, other discriminatory practices by the previous administration, and the numerous small business owners who have been negatively affected by the push to keep people of faith out of the public square.

Read more here.

Wisconsin Family Action Responds to Future of Family Commission Report

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine K. Appling today issued the following statement in response to the recently released final report of the Future of the Family Commission:

“Wisconsin Family Action commends Governor Walker, Secretary Anderson, and the members of the Future of the Family Commission for recognizing that successful families are the foundation of thriving communities and a prosperous Wisconsin. Having read the Commission’s final report, we can say that while we have a different perspective on certain points, there are particular areas on which we agree–namely, the importance of encouraging and strengthening married families and addressing the impact of social isolation.

“As noted in the Wisconsin Family Prosperity Index (FPI) report we co-authored with the American Conservative Union Foundation in June, Wisconsin’s marriage rate ranks 44th in the nation. Given all the research illustrating the strong connection between marriage and economic prosperity, it just makes sense for Wisconsin’s leaders to prioritize and encourage marriage. This has been a focus of Wisconsin Family Action’s executive budget and legislative work over the years, and I’m glad to see the Commission reinforce it.

Read more here.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC-Endorsed Candidates Dominate

Madison, WI – “We are proud of the candidates we endorsed. Some had a much easier time than others who were in tough races, but who through hard work and perseverance prevailed. We are honored to have endorsed all of these men and women,” said Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action PAC director.

WFA PAC state-level candidates won in all but one race in which WFA PAC had endorsed candidates (22 races). And the one race, Senate District 32 (Republican Dan Kapanke challenging incumbent Democrat Jennifer Shilling) is so close that there will likely be a recall.

Federal-level candidates also had a strong showing winning 2 out of 3 races where there were WFA PAC-endorsed candidates.

Appling continued, “We look forward to having these candidates take their pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty message to Madison and to Washington on behalf of those who share these core values. These strong leaders will be important as we look to advance our agenda that will strengthen and preserve marriage, family, life and religious freedom in Wisconsin and across the nation.

“This is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history as we consider the significance of yesterday’s election. We believe our WFA PAC-endorsed candidates recognize that their total-package conservative positions are absolutely vital to putting or keeping Wisconsin and our nation on the right track. Their core beliefs and the policies and positions they champion are good for Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her traditional families—and that means they are good for Wisconsin.”

We congratulate the following WFA PAC-endorsed candidates and look forward to working with them in the days ahead:

Federal Candidates

Jim Sensenbrenner –
Congressional District 5
Glenn Grothman –
Congressional District 6

State Senate Candidates

Tom Tiffany – Senate District 12
Dan Feyen – Senate District 18
Duey Stroebel – Senate District 20
Dave Craig – Senate District 28

State Assembly Candidates

André Jacque – Assembly District 2
Ron Tusler – Assembly District 3
Rob Hutton – Assembly District 13
Joe Sanfelippo – Assembly District 15
Janel Brandtjen – Assembly District  22
Paul Tittl – Assembly District 25
Terry Katsma – Assembly District 26
Cody Horlacher – Assembly District 33
Mary Czaja – Assembly District 35
Joel Kleefisch – Assembly District 38
Mark Born – Assembly District 39
Joan Ballweg – Assembly District 41
Jeremy Thiesfeldt – Assembly District 52
Michael Schraa – Assembly District 53
Dave Murphy – Assembly District 56
Bob Gannon – Assembly District 58
Jesse Kremer – Assembly District 59
Rob Brooks – Assembly District 60
Bob Kulp – Assembly District 69
Romaine Quinn – Assembly District 75
Chuck Wichgers – Assembly District 83
Pat Snyder – Assembly District 85

WFA PAC endorses and supports candidates whose record or intent is to strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION PAC STATEMENT ON 2016 PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION

Madison, WI – In 2012 Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) formed the WFA Federal PAC to endorse and support candidates for federal office who share the vision and goals of Wisconsin Family Action:  strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty.  Our 2016 endorsements (including both state and federal candidates) can be found HERE.

Some have asked whether WFA PAC would be endorsing in the 2016 presidential race. The WFA Federal PAC will not be endorsing any candidate for president for the 2016 general election, a position consistent with the previous general presidential election in 2012.

Read more here.

Wisconsin Family Action Rolls Out Voter Guide for November 8 Election

Equipping Wisconsinites to vote wisely

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) has rolled out a brand new online voter guide for the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 8. This powerful resource covers contested races for president, the U.S. Senate, U.S. House districts, and state senate and assembly.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, comments, “We know many voters don’t believe they have access to factual information on the candidates. Compounding the problem is that many also believe the information they do obtain is marred by the candidate, big money, or the media. We believe this voter guide significantly helps solve this problem, encouraging all voters to judge a candidate, as much as possible, based on what they do and not on what they say.”

Read more here.

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2015-2016 Legislative Scorecard

Twelve state legislators earn 100% for their work in most recent legislative session

MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) released its 2015-2016 Legislative Scorecard, giving its assessment of how all thirty-three State Senators and all ninety-nine State Assembly Representatives did this past session. The session began in early January 2015 and floor activity concluded in March of this year.

“Within our mission, we work on or at least track quite a variety of bills during a legislative session. It’s important that citizens get an idea of how their elected officials did relative to those proposals,” said Julaine Appling, WFA president.

This past session, three (3) senators and nine (9) representatives earned a 100% score from WFA, meaning on all bills scored, these legislators agreed with WFA’s position.

Read more here.

State Pro-Family PAC Releases Another Round of Endorsements

Madison, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action PAC announces another round of candidates it has endorsed for this fall’s general election.  Additional endorsements may be forthcoming prior to November 8.

Federal Candidates                                                        

Peter Theron, Congressional District 2
Jim Sensenbrenner, Congressional District 5
Glenn Grothman, Congressional District 6

State Senate Candidates                                                               

Tom Tiffany, Senate District 12
Dave Craig, Senate District 28

State Assembly Candidates

André Jacque, Assembly District 2
Rob Hutton, Assembly District 13
Paul Tittl, Assembly District 25
Terry Katsma, Assembly District 26
Cody Horlacher, Assembly District 33
Mary Czaja, Assembly District 35
Joel Kleefisch, Assembly District, 38
Mark Born, Assembly District 39
Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Assembly District 52
Michel Schraa, Assembly District 53
Rob Brooks, Assembly District 60
Pat Snyder, Assembly District 85

WFA PAC director Julaine Appling comments, “We are proud to endorse these candidates who have shown themselves to be true conservatives. They are pro-family, pro-life and pro-liberty, as well as pro-free market and pro-limited government. We wish each of them well as they run to win on November 8.”

WFA PAC endorses and supports candidates who support strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS OBAMA’S SWEEPING TRANSGENDER POLICY

Wisconsin is part of lawsuit initiated by Texas

Madison – Today a Texas federal judge stopped the enforcement of Obama’s “bathrooms” edict, which, among other things, would have forced Wisconsin schools to allow boys into girls’ bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms.  Earlier this summer, at the direction of Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, Wisconsin joined this lawsuit. 

This past May, President Obama’s administration sent a non-binding letter to schools across the nation with only a thinly veiled threat to take away Title IX funding if schools do not adopt the administration’s rule to allow boys into girls’ showers, locker rooms, bathrooms and vice versa. Included in the directive is allowing boys to play on girls’ sports teams and girls’ on the boys’ teams, as well as urging faculty and staff to use “appropriate” pronouns when addressing transgendered students.

A total of 23 states are suing the Obama administration because of the dangerous guidelines and the gross overreach of the federal government into the right of states and individual school districts to self-govern, especially in the area of education.  Today’s ruling can be found here: http://wifamilyaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Harrold-ISD-PI-Order-8.21.16.pdf

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the issue by implementing a temporary hold on a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that would have forced a Virginia school district to implement a school bathroom policy that forces schools to allow boys into girls’ restrooms.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling commented, “We are thankful Governor Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel had Wisconsin join this lawsuit and are pushing back against this gross federal overreach. Our state and our schools should have every right to implement policies that protect the privacy rights of all students. ”

This past legislative session, Wisconsin Family Action worked with legislators to introduce legislation that would protect the privacy rights of all students, not give a select few special rights and privileges.  Unfortunately, that bill did not pass. However, lead authors Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) have said they will return with a similar effort in the new session.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening,
preserving & promoting marriage, family, life & liberty in Wisconsin.

 

Copy available online here.

State Pro-Family PAC-Endorsed Candidates Have Good Showing in Primary Election

Madison, WI – “We are proud of the candidates we endorsed,” said Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action PAC director. “And we congratulate those who prevailed in their primary contests yesterday.  We look forward to having these candidates take their pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty message to an even bigger audience in their respective general-election races.”

WFA PAC candidates won in 4 out of 6 races in which WFA PAC had endorsed candidates.

Appling continued, “In November, we anticipate that these individuals will prevail because voting citizens will recognize that their total-package conservative positions will truly keep Wisconsin on the right track. The policies and positions they champion and will implement are good for Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her traditional families—and that means they are good for Wisconsin. We wish these candidates all the best as they gear up for the final stretch in this election cycle.”

Senate District 18

Dan Feyen

Senate District 32

Dan Kapanke

Assembly District 3

Ron Tusler

Assembly District 83

Chuck Wichgers

WFA PAC endorses and supports candidates who strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious liberty in Wisconsin.

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Rescinds Endorsement of State Assembly Candidate

Wisconsin Family Action PAC responds to insinuation of “religious extremist”

Madison –  Today, the Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) rescinded its endorsement of Steve Whittow, candidate for the 83rd Assembly District.  WFA PAC director Julaine Appling issued the following statement:

“Wisconsin Family Action PAC vets as thoroughly as possible the candidates we endorse. In this instance, new information has very recently come to light. Steve Whittow used the term ‘religious extremists’ on his official campaign Facebook page (posted August 2; recently deleted).  In context he was referring to various people who have come into the district to help one of his primary opponents, Chuck Wichgers. Steve wrote, ‘I’ll be loyal TO YOU, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS and religious extremists.’ (Emphasis in original)

“We have learned that those coming into the district or giving money to help Chuck Wichgers, another WFA PAC-endorsed candidate, are State Representatives Joe Sanfellipo, Janel Brandtjen, André Jacque and Pro-Life Wisconsin. In an email to Steve, WFA PAC sought to clarify just who he was referring to but received only a statement that he was saying anything about WFA PAC. However, all 3 of the state representatives are WFA PAC-endorsed candidates; and Pro-Life Wisconsin is a front-line partner for us on pro-life issues. We would by association be included in that term—a term we categorically reject in reference to these staunchly pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty elected officials and our friends at Pro-Life Wisconsin.

“Steve also seems to be disparaging of our core issues of marriage, family, life and religious liberty. In another Facebook post (dated July 29), he touts the endorsement of Wisconsin Realtors and says, ‘A candidate supported by them [WRA] must understand the plethora of issues facing state government not just the emotional ones.’  We asked Steve to clarify what issues he was referring to as “’emotional ones.’ We assume, based on context, he must be referring to the issues of life, marriage, family and even religious freedom. Steve did not respond to our request for clarification. As we categorically reject and condemn the term ‘religious extremists’ as applied to those supporting the pro-life, pro-family position, we also categorically reject the idea that the foundational issues of marriage, family, life and religious freedom are ‘emotional.’ In the context in which Steve used this term, it is disparaging.

“We do not endorse lightly and we definitely do not take the drastic action of rescinding an endorsement lightly. But in this instance we believe reconsidering and ultimately rescinding our endorsement of this candidate is the right thing to do. We will never knowingly endorse a candidate who holds and publicly states these opinions about pro-life champions and about the critical issues of marriage, family, life and religious freedom.

“WFA PAC urges voters in the 83rd Assembly District to vote for Chuck Wichgers in the primary election this coming Tuesday, August 9.  If a candidate is known by the company he keeps and those who support him, then we are doubly proud to have endorsed Chuck in this race.”

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC and Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

WFA HELPS WISCONSIN VOTERS FIND INFORMATION ON CANDIDATES

Hard-to-find background information becomes available at one online resource

Madison – As part of an ongoing voter education effort, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) has announced today that it once again has partnered with iVoterGuide to provide Wisconsin citizens with unbiased, easily accessible background information on candidates running for state and federal office here in Wisconsin. WFA’s goal with this robust voter guide is to serve as an asset and tool for those voters looking for sometimes hard-to-find information on the candidates running for office, such as donations and endorsements from political action committees. In addition, the candidates are rated on a scale of very liberal to very conservative, giving users a general overview of how a panel of their peers believes these candidates would govern if elected.

“We are really excited about the new user-friendly interface of this exceptional online voter information resource. Over the years we have had countless voters from across the state come to us looking for a convenient, one-stop website that fairly presented background information on the candidates that would be appearing on their ballots, and we believe that the 2016 WFA iVoterguide will exceed their expectations,” said Julaine Appling, president of WFA.

The release of the WFA iVoterguide is well timed with in-person early voting having already begun for the Tuesday, August 9th Wisconsin Primary Election.

“With early absentee voting already starting, we believe this resource will be a valuable educational tool for those voters looking to cast a more informed ballot this fall, both in the primary and general elections.” Appling continued.

The Wisconsin iVoterguide can be accessed through the WFA website at: wifamilyaction.org, or simply by visiting wifa.ivoterguide.com.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, preserving & promoting marriage, family, life & liberty in Wisconsin.

 

Copy Available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Endorses Candidates for US House of Representatives, State Senate, State Assembly

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the August 9 primary election:

US House of Representatives

Frank Lasee – Congressional District 8

State Senate

Mark Elliott – Senate District 18

Dan Feyen – Senate District 18

Dan Kapanke – Senate District 32

State Assembly

Christopher Schaefer – Assembly District 3

Ron Tusler – Assembly District 3

Tony Zammit – Assembly District 67

Steve Whittow – Assembly District 83

Chuck Wichgers – Assembly District 83

Julaine Appling, Director of WFA PAC, commented on the endorsements:

“WFA PAC is very pleased to endorse these candidates, who have met the stringent requirements necessary to receive our support.  They have each shown that they understand that to lead Wisconsin and our nation properly, to ensure our future, our best natural resource—our families—must be strengthened and preserved.  These candidates are committed to doing that by working to, among other things, reduce government regulation, improve the business climate in order to encourage job creation, ensure families can make their own health-care choices, protect human life, and strengthen the institution of marriage.  These are values WFA PAC shares with these candidates and with thousands of Wisconsin citizens in their respective districts.

We believe voters this fall will find themselves in agreement with these Wisconsin citizens who have stepped out and taken on the daunting job of running for office.  WFA PAC wishes them the very best as they take their message to their fellow citizens.”

WFA PAC will be releasing additional endorsements for the general election after the primary election has been completed.

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Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC and Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Online copy available here.

US SUPREME COURT BULLIES STATES, ENDANGERS WOMEN Wisconsin’s hospital admitting privileges law for abortionists in jeopardy

Madison – Today the US Supreme Court handed down 5-3 decision that epitomizes and perpetuates the liberals’ war on women.

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a case filed in Texas by pro-abortion activists, alleging the state had in 2013 enacted unconstitutional restrictions on abortion. The restrictions included requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital with 30 miles of where the abortions are done. Wisconsin recently enacted a similar law.

“Among other things, this is yet another example of the federal government bullying states.  But more importantly this ruling endangers women. Instead of protecting women, this court has put them at greater risk during abortions,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.

“Pro-abortion advocates want us to believe abortion is pretty much a risk-free procedure. That’s just not true. Thousands of women suffer complications from abortions, some requiring hospitalization. A compassionate society does all it can to protect women in this situation. That’s why we passed this law in Wisconsin. We weren’t trying to inhibit a woman’s access. We were, as always, seeking the woman’s well-being and safety. This court has put its liberal political agenda ahead of what is best for women,” Appling continued.

Court experts say the impact of the high court’s ruling on Wisconsin’s law is unclear.

Under the leadership of Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, in cooperation with Governor Walker, Wisconsin filed a friend of the court brief in this case, supporting the right of the state to pass reasonable laws to protect women seeking an abortion.

Appling commented, “We are proud of and thankful for Governor Walker and Attorney General Schimel for defending our law and the women in our state. It’s beyond unfortunate that five unelected and unaccountable lawyers in black robes put our law and our women in danger.”

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, preserving & promoting marriage, family, life & liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

 

WISCONSIN JOINS STATES PROTECTING PRIVACY AND SAFETY OF STUDENTS

Wisconsin Family Action Commends Attorney General Brad Schimel and DOJ

Madison – Today the Wisconsin Department of Justice joined a lawsuit filed by Texas against the Obama Administration and its Department of Justice.  The lawsuit challenges the federal government’s recent release of “guidelines” regarding Title IX , which includes an unconstitutional redefinition of the term “sex,” to include “gender identity.”

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, commented, “We commend and thank Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel for taking the leadership on this on behalf of all Wisconsin citizens.  Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Department of Justice have repeatedly pushed back against the unconstitutional overreach of the federal government.  This time, the overreach threatens the well-being of our children—Wisconsin’s most valuable resource, to be sure.

With its recent release of the Title IX “guidelines” affecting every public school in the country, and extending to universities and colleges that receive federal funding, the Administration has proven it will stop at nothing to push its agenda — even if it means sacrificing the privacy and safety of the nation’s children.

“There’s much more at stake in this than the blatant federal government power grab.  Real students at every grade level will be affected by the policies this mandate forces on our schools.  I am sure our state leaders are as concerned as I am for the well-being, privacy rights and safety of our students.  I am especially grateful for state legislators such as Rep. Jesse Kremer, who truly understands this issue and repeatedly has provided leadership to protect the privacy rights of all students. After this attempt by the federal government to usurp Wisconsin’s authority in its own schools, I am sure many other state legislators will join him,” said Appling.

While some try to make it appear that these sweeping changes are completely innocuous, more and more women who have been victims of transgender policies in restrooms, locker rooms and showers—the very places included in Obama’s decree—are speaking up. Wisconsin Family Action and the Family Policy Alliance, a national group working with 40 state-based family policy groups, have been working to tell some of the stories of these women.  Kate is one of those women.

“Nobody asked me first,” Kate said. “I felt completely violated. I left there shaking because I felt, ‘No one is looking out for me.’ There are no safeguards in place whatsoever. There’s no reassurance that somebody can’t come in with harmful intentions.”  Watch Ask Me First: Kate.

In addition to its ongoing statewide leadership on this issue, yesterday, Wisconsin Family Action joined over 30 state level groups, as well as Family Policy Alliance and Family Research Council in sending a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other leaders in Congress, urging them to take legislative action against the Obama Administration’s mandate that puts an agenda over the best interest of children.

Read the letter here.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, preserving & promoting marriage, family, life & liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy Available here.

 

MILWAUKEE & DANE COUNTY CLERKS BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Wisconsin Family Action calls on Attorney General to stop the lawlessness

Madison – Last Friday, Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki and Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell announced they are now issuing domestic partnership registrations to opposite-sex couples, in direct violation of existing state law.

In 2009, Governor Doyle and the state legislature enacted as a part of the state’s budget a statewide, same-sex-only domestic partnership registry that in many ways mimics marriage.  Chapter 770 of the state statutes clearly includes the requirement that the two persons involved in this domestic partnership must be “members of the same sex” S.770.05 (5).

“It is unbelievable that these arrogant county clerks think they can just ignore the law and do what they want,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA).  “This is an amazing overreach of power. They are simply taking matters into their own hands and saying the State Constitution and any other binding law doesn’t matter.  County clerks have absolutely no authority to unilaterally make law.  None whatsoever.”

Wisconsin Family Action has fought against this registry from the time it was proposed.  WFA sued alleging the registry violated the Marriage Protection Amendment passed by nearly 60% of the people in 2006. The case went to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where WFA lost in 2013.  At no point in these protracted legal proceedings was there anything in any court opinion, including in the Supreme Court’s ruling, indicating that the registry had to include opposite-sex couples.  Likewise, the state legislature has not taken any action whatsoever regarding this registry.

Since last June, WFA has repeatedly asked elected officials, from the Governor down, to dissolve this domestic partnership registry, arguing that in light of the US Supreme Court in June 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage, the registry was no longer needed and was in fact discriminatory against heterosexual couples.  Other than State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), no official was inclined to take action.

Appling continued, “This registry was in retaliation against the marriage amendment.  Proponents said it wasn’t ‘fair’ that same-sex couples couldn’t get benefits. The liberal progressives wrote and passed this law to try to erode marriage—and now liberals are trying to take it a step further with no legal authority again using the ‘fair’ argument.  Clearly, making marriage utterly meaningless is their endgame. And clearly they will stop at nothing to get what they want—including ignoring the law.  We are calling on Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to issue an immediate injunction against this lawlessness.”

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening, preserving
and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

OBAMA DECREE ENDANGERS STUDENTS Wisconsin must push back against this unconstitutional power grab

Madison – Today President Obama formalized what he has been threatening for several weeks. Through a letter from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Education (DOE), every public school district in the country has been at least implicitly threatened with loss of federal funding if they don’t provide for transgendered students’ unfettered, unquestioned access to the restrooms and changing rooms of their choice.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, commented, “President Obama has once again overstepped his authority. The administration cannot unilaterally decide to change the meaning of the word sex as used in Title IX.  Congress, which established Title IX 44 years ago, and the Courts, have never defined sex to include ‘gender orientation.’ Regardless of what he thinks, President Obama is not a king.  He doesn’t get to change the law and issue decrees based on his whims and wishes. That’s not how America works.

“This issue is about the privacy, safety and dignity of all students.  With his edict today, President Obama has essentially put a price tag on the privacy and safety of students—especially female students.  He’s threatened to withhold federal funding if schools don’t conform to his extreme political agenda that includes allowing males in the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms and girls in the boys’ facilities.  This puts the privacy rights, safety and well-being of all students at risk. And what about girls who have been sexually assaulted? This decree says their fears are meaningless and should not be considered.  At a time when our society is decrying campus and date rape and rails against a so-called ‘war on women,’ you would think the government wouldn’t be interested in putting these women in situations that could easily re-traumatize them.”

Wisconsin Family Action asserts that today’s mandate is completely unnecessary.  Common-sense accommodations are called for, not a blatant usurpation of the right of states and local school districts that takes an extreme and dangerous approach.

Wisconsin Family Action calls on all Wisconsin elected officials and public school administrators to stand against this most recent dictate from President Obama and his administration.  Wisconsin schools must reject this extreme political agenda foisted on our state and our schools by an out-of-control federal government and take reasonable measures to safeguard the privacy rights and safety of all students.

Appling noted, “North Carolina has led the way on this issue and has stood firm; we need to follow their lead.”

Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening, preserving
and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty in Wisconsin.

Online Copy Available here.

NORTH CAROLINA FIGHTS BACK AGAINST OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S BULLYING

Wisconsin Family Action stands with Gov. McCrory

Madison – Today, North Carolina, under the leadership of Governor Pat McCrory (R), responded full-force to the Obama Administration’s bullying regarding the state’s recently enacted, common-sense law (H.B. 2) that protects the bodily privacy and safety of its citizens, especially women and girls.  The state filed a lawsuit today alleging that the federal government has overstepped its bounds with this “baseless and blatant overreach” in threatening to withhold millions of federal dollars to the state if the state doesn’t comply with its interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling commented, “Led by President Obama, this administration continues its pattern of capriciously circumventing Congress and making law with its outrageous and egregious declarations. This time the Department of Justice is the hammer. Fortunately for all of us, North Carolina has a courageous governor in Pat McCrory—a governor who refuses to be bullied by an out-of-control federal government.

“This issue isn’t just in North Carolina. It’s right here in Wisconsin in various municipalities and in our public schools. Representative Jesse Kremer and Senator Steve Nass authored a bill this last session to address this issue in our public schools. Unfortunately, the bill died in committee. But Rep. Kremer has made it clear, he’s coming back next session with a similar bill that will protect the bodily privacy of students in our public schools.”

The May 4 letter from the Department of Justice to Governor McCrory alleges that H.B. 2 is discriminatory.  The letter references federal Title IX education programs and funding as it relates to the University of North Carolina, which is a veiled threat of stopping the millions of dollars in Title IX funding to UNC. H.B. 2 requires, among other things, that all state employees use the restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their biological sex as stated on their birth certificates. Title IX is generally interpreted in light of how Title VII is interpreted.

“The net result of the Obama Administration’s action will be the rewriting of Title IX without authority and thereby forcing Obama’s ‘bathroom agenda’ in schools across the country, including in Wisconsin. This is constitutionally wrong, and it is definitely not in the best interest of students. Wisconsin Family Action stands firmly with Governor McCrory against the Department of Justice’s bullying,” Appling stated.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide, not-for-profit organization actively strengthening, preserving
and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty in Wisconsin.

 

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorses Ted Cruz for President

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed Ted Cruz for president.

Following is a statement from WFA PAC director, Julaine Appling:

“WFA PAC is pleased to endorse US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president. We believe Sen. Cruz has the character, the temperament and the right values to lead America. He has proven throughout his career and during the campaign that he understands the importance of strengthening, preserving and promoting in this country natural marriage and family, the sanctity of human life and constitutionally-provided religious freedom. Read more here.

 

GOVERNOR WALKER SIGNS BILLS DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD & RESPECTING WISCONSIN TAXPAYERS

Bills redirect taxpGov Walker signs pro-life billsayer dollars away from state’s largest abortion provider

Madison – “We couldn’t agree with Governor Walker more,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action. “As he noted at today’s billing signing, every taxpayer in Wisconsin, whether or not they are pro-life, should be pleased that with the signing of these bills millions of their hard-earned tax dollars will stop being used inefficiently and wastefully. And we would add, even fraudulently.”

Today, at a beautiful pregnancy resource center, Life’s Connection in Waukesha, Governor Scott Walker signed two bills into law, Assembly Bill 310 and Senate Bill 238.  Assembly Bill 310 redirects federal Title X funds away from organizations that provide abortions and to other qualified health centers in the state.  For the last 35 years, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has been the sole recipient of this money.

Read more here.

TOUGH QUESTIONS FOR DONALD TRUMP FROM WISCONSIN’S AND AMERICA’S FAMIILIES

Wisconsin Family Action and its national family policy alliance say questions remain for Donald Trump.

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action, along with CitizenLink and its national alliance of nearly 40 state-based family policy councils representing millions of Evangelicals nationwide, today released an open letter to presidential candidate Donald Trump calling on him to answer direct questions on his policy positions.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said, “Time is ticking. We want Mr. Trump to clear up his contradictory record on issues tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens care about. We have invited Mr. Trump several times to join our Presidential Candidate Teleconference Series. He has yet to accept, leaving our constituents wondering.”

Read more here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION COMMENDS STATE ASSEMBLY FOR PROTECTING TAXPAYERS BY DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Madison – “Stopping waste, fraud and abuse has been a hallmark of the state legislature recently, and today the Assembly stepped up once again to protect Wisconsin taxpayers from these misuses of their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.

This afternoon the State Assembly passed a bill (SB 238) requiring certain family-planning organizations, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, to bill the state and its tax payers the actual acquisition cost of prescription drugs it purchases and dispenses through a Medicaid drug program, plus these organizations can bill for a defined dispensing fee. The bill passed on a 61-35 vote along party lines.

Read more here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION COMMENDS WISCONSIN’S PRO-LIFE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS & ATTORNEY GENERAL

Madison – Last week 34 US Senators and 140 Members of the US House of Representatives submitted a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the right of states to pass laws regarding protecting the health and well-being of women seeking an abortion. Among those senators and members of the House are Wisconsin’s US Senator Ron Johnson (R) and US House of Representatives members Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-CD 1), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-CD 5), Glenn Grothman (R-CD 6), Sean Duffy (R-CD 7) and Reid Ribble (R-CD 8).  The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, is scheduled for oral arguments on Wednesday, March 2, before the US Supreme Court.  The Court will likely issue an opinion in this case by the end of June.

Read more here.

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