Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC, the state’s only conservative pro-family PAC, endorsed several candidates in advance of yesterday’s primary election.  Those winning their races include:

Scott Walker, Republican, Governor
Leah Vukmir, Republican, US Senate
James Sensenbrenner, Republican, Congressional District 5
André Jacque, Republican, State Senate District 1
Shae Sortwell, Republican, State Assembly District 2

WFA PAC director Julaine Appling commented, “We are proud to have endorsed these candidates and congratulate them on their victories and their hard-fought campaigns. We are confident each of them is committed to a pro-family, pro-life and pro-religious freedom Wisconsin and America. To that end, we wish them all the very best as they regroup and begin the final leg of their campaigns leading to the November 6 election. We urge conservative Wisconsin citizens to give these candidates not just their vote in the general election, but their time, energy and financial support over the next twelve weeks. Wisconsin and the entire country will be freer, stronger and more prosperous if they win again in November.

“In addition, we want to thank all of the candidates our PAC endorsed for being willing to step off the sidelines and into the game by running for elected office. It’s not easy to do that. Running for office is costly in many ways.  We deeply appreciate the good people who did not prevail but were willing to bear those considerable costs on behalf of their beliefs and values, as well as for the good of those they would represent.  That’s what public service should be about in this great country.”

###

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.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION PAC ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS FOR 2018 FALL ELECTIONS

Madison, WI – Today Wisconsin Family Action PAC released an additional round of endorsements for the 2018 fall elections.  Additional endorsements will be added in the coming weeks.

State Senate State Assembly
Rep. Kathy Bernier – SD 23 Joe Sanfelippo – AD 15 (inc.)
  Ty Bodden – AD 59

“inc.” = incumbent

Wisconsin Family Action PAC’s endorsement means the candidate has either shown a consistent and solid pro-family, pro-life, pro-religious freedom track record as an office holder or shows great promise of building such a track record if elected.

###

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 ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF FALL 2018 ENDORSEMENTS

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC has released its first round of endorsements for the 2018 fall elections.  More endorsements will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Constitutional offices US Senate  
Scott Walker – Governor Kevin Nicholson
Rebecca Kleefisch – Lieutenant Governor Leah Vukmir
   
  US House of Representatives
  Adam Steen –Congressional District 1
  Jim Sensenbrenner – Congressional District 5 (inc.)
  Glenn Grothman – Congressional District 6 (inc.)
   
State Senate  
André Jacque – SD 1  
Devin LeMahieu – SD 9 (inc.)  
Steve Nass – SD 11 (inc.)  
Chris Kapenga – SD 33 (inc.)  
   

State Assembly

Shae Sortwell –AD 2 Michael Schraa – AD 54 (inc.)
Ron Tusler – AD 3 (inc.) Michael Rohrkaste – AD 55 (inc.)
Rob Hutton – AD 13 (inc.) Dave Murphy – AD 56 (inc.)
Robin Moore – AD 14 Rick Gundrum – AD 58 (inc.)
Janel Brandtjen – AD 22 (inc.) Rachel Mixon – AD 59
Dan Knodl – AD 24 (inc.) Bob Kulp – AD 69 (inc.)
Terry Katsma – AD 26 (inc.) Romaine Quinn – AD 75 (inc.)
Cody Horlacher – AD 33 (inc.) Chuck Wichgers – AD 83 (inc.)
Jeremy Thiesfeldt – AD 52 (inc.) Scott Allen – AD 97 (inc.)

 

“inc.” = incumbent

Wisconsin Family Action PAC’s endorsement means the candidate has either shown a consistent and solid pro-family, pro-life, pro-religious freedom track record as an office holder or shows great promise of building such a track record if elected.

###

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.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NOMINATION OF JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH FOR SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

MADISON—Monday evening President Trump announced that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is his nominee to the US Supreme Court to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice Kennedy. Trump has said regarding this process that his “greatest responsibility is to select a Justice who will faithfully interpret the Constitution as written,” noting that “[j]udges are not supposed to re-write the law, re-invent the Constitution, or substitute their own opinions for the will of the people expressed through their laws.” President Trump believes Judge Kavanaugh, meets those requirements.

“The American people care deeply about strong originalists on the Supreme Court, as evidenced by the 2016 presidential election,” said Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action president. “We appreciate President Trump’s continued transparency and principled process for choosing the next Supreme Court nominee and are hopeful that Judge Kavanaugh will uphold the First Amendment and the original public meaning of the Constitution.”

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

Copy available online here.

FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS WISCONSIN’S UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT

FEDERAL COURT UPHOLDS WISCONSIN’S UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals says lawsuit against the act is moot

MADISON—  Late yesterday the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the lawsuit brought against Wisconsin’s long-standing Unborn Child Protection Act is moot because the plaintiff moved out of state, making her case null and void.

Wisconsin’s Unborn Child Protection Act became law in 1997 and allows certain state officials and law enforcement agents to help pregnant women who are struggling with substance abuse, which of course helps both the mother and her unborn baby.

“As Wisconsin, like so many other states, faces this opiod crisis and as the number of babies born with drug dependencies increases, to be able to enforce our Unborn Child Protection Act is more important than ever. We are glad for the outcome of this legal challenge and are grateful for Attorney General Brad Schimel’s aggressive defense of this law throughout the legal proceedings.  Making sure women and their unborn babies get the help they need is especially critical when dealing with addiction,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.


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

Copy available online here.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WINS IN US SUPREME COURT

MADISON—  Earlier today the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in one of the major cases of this term, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case originating in Colorado,  involving owner Jack Phillips who declined to design a cake for a same-sex wedding. The high court ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack and his Masterpiece Cakeshop, overturning the State of Colorado’s decision, which had punished Jack for declining to participate in a wedding that violated his religious beliefs.

Following is a statement from Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling. Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) joined with other like-minded organizations from around the country in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in this case. That brief is available here.

“Today is a victory for the Constitution and for all Americans.  We are reminded we still have a justice system in which the First Amendment actually means something significant. This historic decision will no doubt be part of efforts to protect religious freedom in our country for generations to come. In essence, the decision sends a clear message that it is unconstitutional to show hostility towards people of faith in the marketplace because of their religious convictions.

“As Jack said in his statement, ‘[t]oday’s decision makes clear that tolerance is a two-way street. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others with whom we disagree,’ especially on important issues such as the meaning of marriage. The government’s hostility directly impacted the shop Jack and his family relied on for their livelihood, including receiving death threats and harassment.

“Since June 26, 2015, when the US Supreme Court forced a redefinition of marriage on Wisconsin and the entire country, we have known such a showdown was coming. Today’s decision is encouraging and we trust precedent setting moving forward.”

More About the Decision 

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, served all customers including his LGBT neighbors. Jack was before the U.S. Supreme Court simply because he did not want to create a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding.

The US Supreme Court found that the Colorado Human Rights Commission treated Jack with incredible hostility. As Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion:

“[The] Commission’s treatment of Phillips’ case…showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection. As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.”

Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court found this hostility unconstitutional. While the decision was made on narrow grounds, it sets the tone for future cases on this issue. The decision also shows the Court is still open to considering whether cake artistry is protected speech.

Certainly this is not the final word in protecting religious freedom. Wisconsin Family Action will continue its work to ensure that Christians and all people of faith are not discriminated against because of their sincerely held religious beliefs.

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

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family, Pro-Life Champion André Jacque Wins First Senate District Special Election

Madison, WI – Yesterday, State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) won the GOP primary for the Special Election in Senate District 1.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) endorsed only Jacque in this race.

“André’s bona fide pro-family, pro-life credentials were difference-makers in this hard-fought primary,” said WFA PAC director Julaine Appling.  “Voters have come to know and trust André to do what he says he will do, to stand up for what he believes and to work hard to champion laws that strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious freedom in our state. He’s obviously the kind of senator the people in that senate district want.

“We are proud to have endorsed André and will continue to work hard to ensure he is again victorious in the general election on Tuesday, June 12.”

###
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 André Jacque

Statewide group issues sole endorsement in First Senate District special election

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) has endorsed State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) for the 1st Senate District in the May 15th Special Election Primary.

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

“It’s no secret that Rep. Jacque is one of Wisconsin’s most significant pro-life, pro-family champions. That’s why Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed only André Jacque in this special election.

“André Jacque has great passion for his pro-life work. During his time in the Assembly, he has consistently championed the rights of the unborn, as well as stood up for the freedom for all Wisconsin citizens, especially for Wisconsin’s best resource, her families. We are confident that André Jacque as a senator will, in both policy and practice, continue to work to ensure that our families become or remain independent of government and will strengthen and preserve the core values of marriage, family, life and liberty.

“We are proud to endorse André and thank him for running for the 1st Senate District seat. We encourage people in the First Senate District to vote for him in the May 15th Special Election Primary.”

###

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 Poll: André Jacque Leading Alex Renard 81% to 19% Head-to-Head

MADISON— On March 29, 2018, Governor Scott Walker called for a special elections to fill Senator Frank Lasee’s seat (SD 1) after Lasee resigned to take a position in Walker’s administration.

Candidates must be registered by April 17, 2018. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the only two candidates currently registered are Republicans André Jacque and Alex Renard.

From April 3rd to April 5th, Wisconsin Family Action conducted a poll of 770 voters in the May 15th Republican Primary for State Senate District 1. Among those who say they are very likely to vote in the next election, State Rep. André Jacque leads 81% to 19% over businessman Alex Renard. Counting undecideds, Jacque is the choice of 32%, compared to 7% for Renard, with 61% undecided. Even with the large number of undecideds, Renard would have to win over 70% of all undecideds, whereas Jacque would need just 30% of undecideds to break his way.

Among all GOP voters that have decided on a candidate in the May 15th special Republican primary, State Rep. André Jacque leads businessman Alex Renard 80% to 20%. Counting undecideds, Jacque has 27% of the vote, to 7% for Renard, with 67% undecided. Even with the large number of undecideds, Renard would have to win 65.4% of all undecideds, whereas Jacque would need just 34.9% of undecideds to break his way.

Looking ahead to the August Primary for US Senate, Republican voters in the 1st Senate District are starting to pick sides. Kevin Nicholson is in the lead among very likely voters with 29%, followed by Eric Hovde with 26%, followed by Leah Vukmir with 6%. 39% of voters are undecided.

Among all Republican voters, Eric Hovde takes the lead over Nicholson. Eric Hovde, who in 2012 won 5 of the 6 counties in the 1st Senate District with approximately 38% of the vote, has a greater pull with those less likely to vote, bringing him to 29.9%. Kevin Nicholson is in second place with 24%, followed by Leah Vukmir with 5%. 41% of all Republican voters in this senate district are still undecided in the US Senate race.

The poll had a 4% margin of error at a 95% confidence rate.

###

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

Copy Available online here.

Governor Walker Signs Pro-Life Bill

Governor Walker Signs Pro-Life Bill
New law prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions of state employees

MADISON— “We’re always happy when public funding of abortion is halted,” said Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling, responding to Governor Walker signing Assembly Bill 128 into law yesterday.  Wisconsin Family Action actively supported the bill.

Appling joined other supporters of the legislation, along with legislative authors Sen. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), in the Governor’s office for the signing ceremony.

Assembly Bill 128 prohibits the state from purchasing employee health-insurance plans that cover elective abortions, thereby stopping taxpayers from paying for such this life-taking procedure. (more…)

WFA PAC endorsed Judge Michael Screnock Advances in WI Supreme Court Primary

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock, endorsed by Wisconsin Family Action PAC, was the top vote-getter in yesterday’s Spring Nonpartisan Primary Election. WFA president Julaine Appling stated, “We believe he is exactly the kind of person we need on the Supreme Court. His background and family life, community involvement, legal experience, and judicial philosophy all align with what we are looking for in a judicial candidate.” Screnock currently serves as Sauk County Circuit Judge and will face off against Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet in the General Election on April 3. Congratulations to Judge Michael Screnock!

 

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorses Candidates in US Senate Race

Strong candidates given pro-family group’s “seal of approval” to take on Tammy Baldwin

Madison, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) announced its endorsements for the 2018 US Senate race. In keeping with its policy of each candidate seeking WFA PAC endorsement being evaluated strictly on his/her own merits and positions on its core issues, WFA PAC has endorsed two candidates in this race: Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson.  WFA PAC director Julaine Appling issued the following statement:

“We are very encouraged that we have strong and committed candidates running for a high-level office. That doesn’t happen often. Leah Vukmir as a long-serving state legislator has been solid on our issues. Kevin Nicholson gives strong evidence for being willing to stand strong for marriage, family, life and religious freedom.

“Tammy Baldwin has for years, from the time she was in the state legislature until now as a US Senator, acted consistently with her liberal, progressive beliefs. She’s pushed for redefining marriage, promoted abortion, and believes religious freedom isn’t for individuals, only for religious institutions.  We have a great opportunity to replace Senator Baldwin with a true conservative who will champion our values.

“Sometimes in the course of governing, elected officials are asked to take tough votes. The pro-life issue is a great example. Both Kevin and Leah believe life begins at conception and deserves protection from then until natural death, without exception. However, from time to time a bill that is overall pro-life gets put forward with exceptions for rape, incest and/or life of the mother. When it becomes obvious the bill won’t pass without exceptions, even strong pro-life legislators will vote for the bill because on the whole the proposal will save babies and advance the pro-life cause.

“WFA PAC is pleased we have fine candidates willing to take on such tough votes and Tammy Baldwin. Wisconsin will be well served by either Leah Vukmir or Kevin Nicholson. We need the best we have to ensure that Tammy Baldwin and her liberal, destructive ideas are finished in Washington.”

###
Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer.  C000506089 Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family Group Applauds Governor Walker’s Child Tax Credit

Giving back to Wisconsin’s families is a good idea

MADISON— “Helping Wisconsin’s families by giving some of their hard-earned money back to them in the form of this credit is a great idea. It’s responsible leadership. The legislature needs to get behind this and get it done yet this session,” said Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling.

In yesterday’s State-of-the-State speech, Governor Scott Walker announced that he plans to give parents a $100 per child, per year tax credit, an initiative that this year would cost $122 million. This year the credit would be available to parents via a rebate and in subsequent years would be part of their annual income tax filing. Funds to pay for this years credit would be from the revenue surplus, which recently was projected to be more than the Department of Revenue had originally forecasted.

Governor Walker says he wants this year’s credit to reach parents before the beginning of school this fall. For this year, parents with children who were under 18 as of December 31, 2017, qualify for the credit. There is no income restriction.

Appling, noted, “Families with children are the backbone of our state. When dads and moms can get real cash in their pocket to help offset expenses related to child-rearing, that is directly helping to strengthen our best natural resource. Whether parents use this credit for school supplies or clothing or to help pay for music lessons or playing a sport or whatever the need or want may be, this is a good use of surplus revenue. Families can do much more with $100 per child than the state can. No contest there, for sure,” Appling noted.

“We would note, however, that even better than a tax credit would be for the state to do better budgeting. What we ultimately need is to let families keep more of their money in the first place. Let’s get Wisconsin out of being a high-taxed state. I’m pretty sure that would give families a lot more than $100 per child.

“Governor Walker is working hard to help Wisconsin families, and we applaud this pro-family proposal. Further, we urge the state legislature to make it a priority in the closing weeks of the session. If there’s anything elected officials should be able to agree on, it’s helping families help their children.” concluded Appling.

The current legislative session will be over no later than mid-March and could be done sooner.

###

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

Copy available online here.

WFA PAC Endorses Rick Gundrum for 58th Assembly

Dec. 16, 2017 – West Bend, WI –  Wisconsin Family Action PAC is pleased to announce its endorsement of Rick Gundrum, candidate for the 58th Assembly District.   We fully expect Rick will be the leader we need in Madison.

With his proven background of reform and fiscal conservative leadership in Washington County, we have every reason to believe he will aggressively support, both publicly and behind the scenes, good fiscal policy and other measures that will strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious liberty. Most legislation elected officials deal with directly impacts at least one of these core areas.

We need strong leadership from people with integrity in order to keep moving Wisconsin forward. We are confident Rick embodies these characteristics and anticipate his leading from the front on behalf of all of his constituents and for the good of all Wisconsin citizen.

We urge citizens in the 58th Assembly District to cast their vote on Tuesday for Rick Gundrum.

Julaine K. Appling, Director
Wisconsin Family Action PAC

Pro-Family, Pro-Liberty Organizations Share Christmas Message in State Capitol “Merry Christmas” sign and nativity sets greet visitors this season

MADISON—Each year for the past 22 years, Wisconsin Family Council (WFC), the educational arm of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), has displayed a Merry Christmas sign in the State Capitol Rotunda. The sign not only wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, but reminds viewers of the real reason for the season—Jesus Christ, mankind’s Savior.

Today Wisconsin Family Council once again put up the sign in the capitol while Wisconsin Family Action placed an accompanying nativity display.

“Celebrating Christ’s birth is a Christian celebration, an American holiday and a Wisconsin tradition,” said Julaine Appling, president of WFA and WFC.  “The Germans who played such an important role in settling our state brought this great tradition with them.”

The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits government from interfering with religion and guarantees citizens the right to exercise their religion, including celebrating Christmas, both in the privacy of their homes and in the public square.

Appling continued, “Thousands of visitors come to our beautiful state capitol during the holiday season to enjoy the gorgeous state Christmas tree with all the handmade ornaments. We are honored to be able to exercise our religious freedom and have our display in the rotunda as a silent but powerful witness to the truth of Christmas and to offer hope to all those who see it.”

The sign and the nativity will be on display on the First Floor Rotunda from today through December 31, 2017.

Merry Christmas to all!

###

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

Copy available online here.

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.

###

Copy available online here.

Breaking: Wisconsin Family Council Joins Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

Madison, WIWisconsin Family Council President Julaine Appling released the following statement regarding the organization‘s participation in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Jack Philips and Masterpiece Cakeshop.

“As part of its mission to defend free speech and religious liberty, Wisconsin Family Council joined 32 other pro-family policy organizations in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last week in support of a small business owner’s religious freedom rights.  CLICK HERE to read the brief.

The ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief was filed last Thursday in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case that will be going before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. The question before the court is whether Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, can be forced by the government to convey a message that goes against his religious beliefs.

In July 2012, two men asked Jack to bake a cake for their wedding ceremony. Jack explained that he would gladly serve them any other baked-good they wanted, but that he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith.

Drafted by National Review Institute’s David French, the brief celebrates the long standing American tradition of allowing individuals and business owners to live their lives in accordance with their conscience, free from government retribution. It cites historical Supreme Court cases and current stories of people refusing to communicate a message that would violate their conscience.

‘This brief will relate stories of artists who refused to reproduce Bible verses they found objectionable, design clothing for politicians they dislike, or to recreate flags of American enemies,’ the brief says. ‘But it will also go beyond, illustrating how corporations now view the decision to do business itself as a political act, granting or withholding economic opportunity on the basis of the rights of conscience of their leaders, employees, and shareholders.’

The bottom line is that diversity of opinion in a pluralistic society is one of America’s strengths. From students and athletes declining to rise for the pledge of allegiance, to Walmart refusing to sell Confederate paraphernalia, to fashion designers refusing to make dresses for Melania Trump because they disagree with her husband’s politics, Americans understand that no one should be forced to participate in an event or communicate a message with which they disagree.”

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.

###

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.”

###

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.

###

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.”

###

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

WFA Testifies in favor of AB 127; stops group insurance board from contracting for abortions

Today Julaine Appling, WFA president, testified before the Assembly Committee on Health in favor of Assembly Bill 128 which prohibits the group insurance board from contracting for or providing abortion services.

Testimony in Support of Assembly Bill 128
Assembly Committee on Health
Public Hearing, April 19, 2017

Julaine Appling
President, Wisconsin Family Action

Thank you, Chairman Sanfelippo and committee members, for the opportunity to testify in support of Assembly Bill 128.

Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) believes this bill is necessary to bring the state fully in compliance with existing state prohibitions on funding abortion, as cited in Section 20.927 of our state statutues.

Providing a benefit in the form of a health insurance policy to state employees, state annuitants or local government employees whose local government unit participates in a Group Insurance Board health insurance plan certainly constitutes state funding.  Since the law clearly prohibits state funds from subsidizing abortion, with the exceptions as noted in 20.927, making health insurance policies that include abortion available to state employees and the others as noted obviously is funding abortion and should therefore not be permitted.

It is time to bring this outlier into conformity to state law.

Wisconsin Family Action urges the committee to support this bill and move it to the full Assembly for a vote.

Click CLICK HERE to view the full testimony.

Click HERE to read AB 128.

 

WFA Testifies In Favor of AB 57 – “Deadbeat Parent” bill

Testimony in Support of Assembly Bill 57 Assembly Committee on Public Benefits Reform Public Hearing, April 11, 2017
Julaine Appling President, Wisconsin Family Action

Thank you, Chairman Krug and committee members, for the opportunity to submit in writing the testimony I gave today before the committee in support of Assembly Bill 57.

Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) believes the very best environment for children is to live with their married mother and father. Unfortunately, that gold standard is not reality for very child. In situations where the child’s best interest has already been sacrificed too often on the altar of adult desires through divorce or unwed child birth, we believe it is mportant that children be as closely tied to their biological parents as possible, assuming parental rights have not been terminated for good reason.

Further, Wisconsin Family Action believes our citizens are much better off, and as a result, our entire state is much better off when our citizens are independent of government. Public benefit programs can, if not managed very carefully,, keep people from becoming independent, but rather contributing to keeping people in poverty by not requiring some measure of personal responsibility..To this point, Governor Walker has said recently he believes public benefits should be a trampoline, not a hammock.

Wisconsin Family Action believes Assembly Bill 57, authored by Rep. Sanfelippo and Sen. Kapenga, helps with both of what I just laid out. It is a bill about acknowledging and accepting responsibility as a parent of a child in at least two ways: paternity and related child support. The idea behind the bill is that custodial or non-custodial parents who wish to receive FoodShare benefits need to cooperate in determining paternity, establishing or enforcing a child support order, and being no more than 3 months in arrears on child support. These requirements are reasonable and are about the best interest of the child.

The fastest way for a woman or a child to experience poverty is for them to be involved in a divorce or unwed childbirth. Some of this poverty experience can be alleviated if the biological father of the child is known and then held accountable for, at a minimum, contributing to the financial needs of the child through child support. Public benefits should not “reward” bad behavior, particularly when minor children are involved. (While the preceding focuses on non-custodial fathers, the reality is a woman, whether custodial or non-custodial, guilty of obstructing a support order or being delinquent in child support, would also be denied FoodShares under this bill.)

WFA does not see AB 57 as punitive but rather as an appropriate push towards parental responsibility by a reasonable withholding of a public benefit. Public benefits doled out without requirements become hammocks rather than trampolines.

Thank you for your careful consideration of this bill. Wisconsin Family Action urges the committee to pass AB 57 and move it to the full Assembly for a floor vote.

Publications I referred to in my remarks and responses to questions are available online.

Wisconsin Family Council’s Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition
The Family Prosperity Index (2017 edition)
Wisconsin Family Prosperity Report (2016)

View document HERE.

Wisconsin Family Action Responds to Pre-Enforcement Lawsuit Filed

March 10, 2017

Commissioned photographer and blogger sues for
right to create & speak

MADISON, WI – Earlier this week, Wisconsin Family Action partner Alliance Defending Freedom filed a law suit in Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of Amy Lynn Photography Studio. The Studio and its owner, Madison resident Amy Lawson are suing the City of Madison and the State of Wisconsin because a city ordinance and a state law prevent her from creating and speaking in accordance with her beliefs. Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling issued the following statement:

“We have long known that Madison’s public accommodations ordinance is draconian—overreaching and free-speech chilling—and that the state public accommodations law is one of the broadest in the country. This pre-enforcement challenge to both Madison’s ordinance and the state law are timely, not just for Amy Lawson and her Amy Lynn Photography Studio, but for many others who are engaged in creative vocations where these laws essentially shut down their free speech.

“Our Wisconsin constitution and our US constitution clearly provide for free speech and freedom of conscience, and neither one turns on the viewpoint espoused. Just because Amy’s viewpoint as expressed in her creative, commissioned photography and her related blog does not agree with what others may think on issues such as marriage and abortion, does not mean Amy or her business lack the right to free speech. Laws that restrict such freedom are unduly burdensome and as in this case can even mean loss of livelihood.”’

Full details about this case are available here.

Wisconsin Family Action has monitored and been involved in protecting conscience rights and religious freedom in Wisconsin for more than a decade.

Click HERE for pdf of release.

###

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.”

###
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.

“Choose Life” License Plates Coming to Wisconsin!

NEW PRO-LIFE LICENSE PLATE WILL BE AVAILABLE IN 2017

choose-life-plate
A Choose Life Wisconsin license plate is becoming a reality. The red, white and black plate features an ink print of a baby’s foot and the words Choose Life. The effort began years ago as a cooperative project of Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin. $25 from the sale of each plate will go to Choose Life Wisconsin, an independent not-for-profit corporation. Choose Life Wisconsin will then distribute those funds to various Wisconsin Pregnancy Resource Centers. Over $23 million has been raised nationally from the sale of Choose Life plates in various states.

>>>>>Read the full PRESS RELEASE 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.

###


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.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Pinterest