Wisconsin Family Action Files Public Records Request with Madison Police Department Regarding Arson Attack

MADISON – Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) today filed a public records request with the Madison Police Department (MPD) seeking information about the Department’s investigation of the arson attack that took place on May 8, 2022, at WFA’s Madison headquarters.

MPD has furnished no information or updates to WFA since early June on the status of its investigation.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling released the following statement:

“The Madison Police Department is tasked with protection of all Madison residents, as well as the prosecution of those who commit violent crimes, such as the arson attack on our building. If MPD cannot or will not provide a reasonable update after more than three months, we can only assume that either the investigation is closed or that the investigation has not been aggressive, as we were originally told it would be.

 “We have been fully cooperative with all levels of law enforcement—ATF, FBI, and MPD. We are not against law enforcement in any way, but we do believe this attack merits aggressive investigation and on-going reports and updates to us as to any progress. And surely, after three months, there must be something to report on at least the physical evidence that was collected the day of the attack.”

The records request was also filed with Attorney General Josh Kaul, Governor Tony Evers, and Madison Police Department Chief Shon F. Barnes.

“Wisconsinites deserve to feel safe, no matter their political views,” Appling added. “We certainly don’t want to think that there would be any prejudice by any law enforcement agency based on our particular beliefs and values, but not hearing anything from MPD or any other law enforcement agency since early June certainly raises questions.”

Wisconsin Family Action, Inc is offering a reward up to $5,000 payable to the person or persons who furnishes information leading to the arrest and conviction of individual(s) responsible for this attack. See this poster for more information.

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

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard
27 state legislators earn 100% for their work in most recent session

Madison, WI – Today Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) released its 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard, giving its assessment of how all thirty-three State Senators and all ninety-nine State Assembly Representatives did this past legislative session. The session began in early January 2021 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, sixteen (16) senators and eleven (11) representatives earned a 100% score from WFA, meaning on all bills scored, these legislators agreed with WFA’s position.

The 100% senators are Kathy Bernier (R-SD 23), Julian Bradley (R-SD 28), Alberta Darling (R-SD 8), Mary Felzkowski (R-SD 12), Dan Feyen (R-SD 18), André Jacque (R-SD 1), John Jagler (R-SD 13). Chris Kapenga (R-SD 33), Devin LeMahieu (R-SD 9), Steve Nass (R-SD 11), Jerry Petrowski (R-SD 29), Roger Roth (R-SD 19), Rob Stafsholt (R-SD 10), Duey Stroebel (R-SD 20), Van Wanggaard (R-SD 21), and Eric Wimberger (R-SD 30).

Representatives achieving a 100% are Scott Allen (R-A 97), Janel Brandtjen (R-AD 22), Rick Gundrum (R-AD 58), Cody Horlacher (R-AD 33), Dave Murphy (R-AD 56), Kevin Petersen (R-AD 40), Tim Ramthun (R-AD 59), Michael Schraa (R-AD 53), Shae Sortwell (R-AD 2), Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-AD 52), and Chuck Wichgers (R-AD 83).

“Earning a 100% on our scorecard is not easy. We are proud of these state legislators whose body of work during this past session evidences courage and true commitment to conservative principles and ideas. We congratulate these officials on a job very well done,” noted Appling.

A number of legislators distinguished themselves with scores in the 88%-90% range.

“We are also pleased to recognize the excellent work of those in this group of lawmakers,” Appling commented. “Being an elected official is not easy. It requires tough decisions in pressured situations. We are grateful for those officials who more often than not vote to protect Wisconsin’s families and their freedoms. We encourage citizens to check out the Scorecard to see how their legislators scored.

This edition of WFA’s Scorecard scores eleven (11) bills in the state Senate and eleven (11) bills in the state Assembly. Details on scoring, WFA’s positions, and the bills themselves are available in the Scorecard.
WFA’s 2021-2022 Legislative Scorecard is available online HERE.
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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life, and religious freedom in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Endorsed Candidates Make Good Showing

Madison – In yesterday’s fall partisan primary election, Wisconsin Family Action PAC-endorsed candidates in contested races did well.

Attorney General
Eric Toney

State Senate
Devin LeMahieu (SD 9)

Rachael Cabral-Guevara (SD 19)
Cory Tomczyk (SD 29)

State Assembly
Joy Goeben (AD 5)

Jerry O’Connor (AD 52)
Ty Bodden (AD 59)
Karen Hurd (AD 68)

Nik Rettinger (AD 83)
Bob Donovan (AD 84)

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC director, issued the following statement.

“We congratulate these candidates on their victories yesterday. Each of them ran hard and smart campaigns, and a number of them were in very close races with multiple candidates. We look forward to their continued hard work over the next 90 days so they can win again in November. These men and women share our values and will serve their constituents and the entire state well as they stand strong on and actually work to promote the foundational issues of marriage and family, the sanctity of life, religious freedom, economic prosperity, and educational freedom.

“We urge voters to support these candidates in every way as we head to the November 8 general election.”

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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 Makes Additional Primary Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today another round of candidate endorsements for this fall’s primary and general elections. These candidates are all involved in primaries and are in addition to those WFA PAC has released earlier.  An up-to-date list of all WFA PAC-endorsed 2022 candidates is available HERE.

State Assembly
Milt Swagel – Assembly District 1
Joy Goeben – Assembly District 5
Matthew Albert – Assembly District 6
Dean Neubert – Assembly District 6
Nik Rettinger – Assembly District 83
Bob Donovan – Assembly District 84

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC director, commented, “We are pleased to endorse these candidates have met our high endorsement standards. We believe these candidates are well-qualified to serve in our state legislature and to uphold the values we share. In particular, we look for each of these candidates to do everything they can to strengthen, preserve, and promote marriage and family, the sanctity of life, religious liberty, economic prosperity, educational freedom, and more on behalf of the constituents they represent and for the benefit of all Wisconsin citizens.”

“We urge voters to support these candidates in the August 9 primary and then in the general election on November 8.”

Additional endorsements for other offices for this fall’s general election will be forthcoming.

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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.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT DECISION REGARDING PARENTS’ RIGHTS

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT DECISION REGARDING PARENTS’ RIGHTS
High court says parents cannot be anonymous; declines to rule on policy

Madison, WI – Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down a ruling on a case filed by a number of parents whose children attend schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). The case challenges the constitutionality of the MMSD’s policy that keeps parents in the dark about how their children are presenting at school relative to their gender identity. The parents were filing anonymously.

The court, on a 4-3 vote, ruled that the parents cannot remain anonymous, taking a pass on ruling on the policy itself. Instead, the majority sent the case back to the trial court. Brian Hagedorn joined with the liberal contingency of Justices Ann Walsh Bradley, Jill Karofsky, and Rebecca Dallet. Justice Patience Roggensack wrote a dissent joined by Chief Justice Ziegler and Justice Rebecca Grassley Bradley.

Wisconsin Family Action was part of a friend-of-the-court brief that was filed in support of the parents.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, commented, “We are definitely disappointed that these parents who have already shown a great deal of courage will not be allowed to remain anonymous as this case continues through the judicial process. The majority justices seem to believe that the identity of these parents can be protected if their names are disclosed to the defendants’ and their attorneys. Experience tells us that’s a pretty hollow promise.

“We also are personally and keenly aware that people and organizations who hold beliefs and values that are unpopular with some segments of society are very susceptible to retribution. In fact, in her dissent, Justice Roggensack mentions the firebombing of our office on Mother’s Day as an example of how identified individuals can become the target of attacks. These parents and their children deserve protection.

“We are grateful for Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and their attorney Luke Berg who is handling this case on behalf of the parents. WILL has stated publicly that they will check with the parents to see if they are willing to proceed with the case given the court’s ruling and, importantly, that because the court did not rule on the policy itself, they will continue to aggressively and skillfully defend the rights of parents and the protection of children in MMSD.  We are very encouraged that the three dissenting justices clearly indicated they think the MMSD policy unconstitutionally violates parents’ rights. We are optimistic that ultimately the rights of these parents will be upheld and children protected from these dangerous school policies.”

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

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Makes Additional Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today another round of candidate endorsements for this fall’s primary election and general elections. These endorsements are in addition to those released earlier this year.  An up-to-date list of WFA PAC-endorsed candidates is available HERE.

Attorney General
Eric Toney

State Senate                                                         State Assembly
Rachael Cabral-Guevara, SD 19                          Erik Ngutse, AD 13
Brian Westrate, SD 23                                          Bart Williams, AD 32
Romaine Quinn, SD 25                                         Jerry O’Connor, AD 52
Cory Tomczyk, SD 29                                            Ty Bodden, AD 59
Adam Steen, AD 63
Karen Hurd, AD 68
Michael Bub, AD 87

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC director, commented, “Each of these candidates has met our high standards for endorsement. Some have proven and consistent conservative track records from elected positions they currently hold. Others who don’t have a track record on the issues of vital importance to us give every evidence they are committed to principles and values that align with ours.

“We are always looking for candidates of good character, strong conservative beliefs, and leadership qualities to serve in our state government.  These candidates meet those criteria. We look forward to their serving in their respective offices with distinction, as they hold true to their principled beliefs while working to strengthen, preserve, and promote marriage and family, the sanctity of life, religious liberty, economic prosperity, educational freedom, and more on behalf of the constituents they represent and for the benefit of all Wisconsin citizens.

“We urge voters to support these candidates in the days leading to the August 9 primary and then in the weeks heading into the general election on November 8.”

Additional endorsements for other offices for this fall’s elections will be forthcoming.

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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 TO EVERS & KAUL: DO YOUR JOB!

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION TO EVERS & KAUL:
DO YOUR JOB!

Kaul files lawsuit to stop enforcement of Wisconsin’s law prohibiting abortion

Madison, WI – Yesterday, Governor Tony Evers (D) and Attorney General Josh Kaul (D), flanked by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin personnel, filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court alleging Wisconsin’s law that criminalizes most abortions is not enforceable.

Kaul maintains that laws that Republicans have passed mostly over the last fifty years negate the 1849 law.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, responded to this latest development following the US Supreme Court opinion released last Friday that overturns Roe v. Wade and rightly returns the issue of abortion to the states.

“While I’m not at all surprised that a lawsuit has been filed, I am definitely disappointed in Attorney General Josh Kaul. His job is to defend Wisconsin law, not to challenge a duly enacted statute that he and the governor disagree with. This is obvious pandering to Evers’ and Kaul’s political allies. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin spent a great deal of money in 2018 to help get Evers and Kaul elected. They have both been very solicitous towards them over the last four years. This lawsuit is likely the pinnacle of their doing Planned Parenthood’s bidding.

“Unfortunately, this kind of political pandering and unwillingness of Evers and Kaul to do their job has come with the highest cost: loss of life. From the Kenosha riots in 2020, to the Waukesha parade attack in 2021, to Milwaukee’s murder rate sitting at 5 times the national average, and now the life of the unborn. Not enforcing our laws has real life consequences to Wisconsin citizens’ safety and security – true law enforcement should be the top priority.

“Kaul and Evers have taken an interesting approach in their messaging—blame Republicans for the abortion-banning law not being enforceable. That’s ludicrous. The abortion restrictions and regulations that have been enacted have been only in response to a rogue US Supreme Court in 1973 foisting abortion on demand across the country, trouncing on the right of each state to deal with the matter. None of those laws contradict the 1849 law.  If this law isn’t enforceable, why have the liberals introduced legislation numerous times, including this past session, to repeal it?

“We trust the courts will do the right thing regarding this legal challenge. We will certainly do everything we can to assist the legislature in robustly defending this law. However, this lawsuit maneuver is a powerful reminder that we need a new governor and a new attorney general. We need people in these high-level offices who will do their job which includes doing everything in their power to protect Wisconsin citizens, including unborn babies and their mothers.”

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

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO US SUPREME COURT OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE

Madison, WI – Today, after 50 years and the loss of 60+ million unborn children, the U.S. Supreme Court has finally reversed the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. This means that each state must decide its own abortion policy. As for Wisconsin, abortion is prohibited! For details on current law in Wisconsin and what happens next, see #AfterRoe.

In 1973, the court opined that they could not determine when life begins. They were wrong then and science over the last 5 decades has proven that. Wisconsin Family Action is grateful that this court has finally righted that wrong and concluded that the states possess the rightful responsibility to protect life. We thank Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, whose majority vote provided this landmark opinion.

Wisconsin is in a unique position to protect the unborn because the state has a pre-Roe law that is still on the books criminalizing most abortions in our state.

Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action, remarks on today’s decision: “For my entire adult life, I have worked and prepared for this day. I remain hopeful that Wisconsin’s pre-Roe prohibition on abortion will only be eclipsed by an authentic respect for life ethic. I pray that grace and compassion toward all women experiencing unintended pregnancies becomes the norm and that those who have experienced an abortion and its after-effects would find healing and wholeness.

“We call upon Attorney General Josh Kaul and all county district attorneys to uphold the 1849 law that is still enforceable. We ask simply that you do your job and set aside your personal political agendas.

“Today’s decision does not mean our work is done. Wisconsin Family Action will continue its vision to build a Wisconsin where God is honored, life is respected, families flourish and religious freedom flourishes. That necessitates policy, infrastructure, and awareness in our state which directly assists women and children – born and unborn and their families. We will continue to aggressively promote our amazing Pregnancy Care Centers—the heartbeat of Wisconsin’s respect-life efforts. We will encourage compassion and grace for all who now regret their previous abortion decision. We will work to restore a respect life ethic throughout America, until abortion is un-thinkable, and the self-evident truths enumerated in our Declaration are restored and respected for all.”

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

Copy is available here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR EVERS’ SPECIAL SESSION DEMAND

Madison, WI – Today Governor Tony Evers used his authority as governor to call the state legislature into special session to consider repealing Wisconsin’s 1849 law that criminalizes most abortions in the state.

Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action, issued this following statement in response.

“Governor Evers has just super-charged an already highly-charged issue with his inflammatory rhetoric and this special session order. This is the kind of action that encourages people to firebomb pro-life offices and pregnancy care centers and to attempt to assassinate US Supreme Court justices. We know in a unique way what we’re talking about since we were the victims of pro-abortion zealots attacking our office on Mother’s Day.

“This is political, partisan grandstanding. It’s also presumptive. The Supreme Court has not issued its final decision on the Dobbs case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. To ask the state legislature to repeal the law before that decision comes down is irresponsible. Additionally, if the issue does come back to the states, the people deserve the opportunity to debate what we want to do. We are just months away from the fall elections, when we will elect all 99 of our state Assembly representatives and half of our state Senate. The composition of both bodies could be significantly different from what they are now. Both elected officials and ‘we the people’ deserve a serious discussion of this matter that isn’t at all about health care but is very much about the life of the unborn.

“I fully expect the legislature to handle this partisan maneuver the same way they have handled the previous ten special session orders Governor Evers has issued during his tenure. Basically, I expect they will ignore it and stay focused on the real issues at hand. I don’t see them at all participating in the governor’s partisan shenanigans.”

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

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION OFFERS REWARD FOR ARSON INFORMATION

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action, Inc is offering a reward up to $1,500 payable to the person or persons who furnishes information leading to the arrest and conviction of individual(s) responsible for the arson which occurred on May 8, 2022, in the early morning hours at the Wisconsin Family Action office in Madison. See poster for more information.

On Tuesday morning, May 11, a group called Jane’s Revenge took credit for the fire bombing and warned that more attacks to pro-life organizations throughout the country will occur unless their demand of “disbanding all anti-choice establishments, fake clinics and violent anti-choice groups within the next 30 days.”

The FBI is working with local Madison law enforcement to investigate this matter, and after 3 weeks and despite the admission of Jane’s Revenge, there been no arrests made or any indication of progress identifying a person(s) of interest.

Senator Ron Johnson sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas railing against the agencies lack of action on what Senator Johnson called “domestic terrorism” and has requested answers to his questions about these agencies plans to stop Jane’s Revenge from delivering on their threats.

Additionally, Wisconsin Congressmen Fitzgerald, Tiffany, Grothman, Steil and Gallagher have co-authored a letter to US Attorney General Garland asking for the US Department of Justice to provide assistance with the investigation of this attack.

“It’s perplexing that Jane’s Revenge has not only taken credit for the fire bombing of our headquarters, but they have also threatened our personal safety and promised to continue this extreme violence to other pro-life organizations across the nation, and three weeks later not even a single person of interest has been named,” said Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action.

Appling added, “Both Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes and Governor Tony Evers fell extremely short of showing any interest in bringing those responsible to justice and instead exhibited empathy with pro-abortion activists and their emotional reaction to overturning Roe. Therefore, we believe it necessary to offer this reward to help move this investigation along.”

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

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action issues statement on anarchist group claiming responsibility for attack

MADISON, WI –This past Tuesday, an anarchist group by the name of Jane’s Revenge, claimed responsibility for the Molotov cocktail/arson attack on the Wisconsin Family Action office on Mothers’ Day, Sunday, May 8, 2022. WFA president Julaine Appling has issued the following statement:

“Now that the Madison Police Department has been made aware of who is claiming responsibility for the attack, I expect that they, along with Governor Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, will move to prosecute the perpetrators to the very fullest extent of the law. Tolerance cannot be a one-way street, and if we are to preserve a free society, we must always hold accountable those who promise violence against others and their deeply held beliefs. I echo the concerns of many other Wisconsinites who believe as we do, that we should all be able to live out our beliefs without intimidation and violence.

“Let me very clear: WFA will not stop lawfully fighting for the unborn no matter what threats may come.

“We are also releasing a sample of voicemails received at our office voicemail or received on the personal phones of our staff. These voicemails are just a taste of the deluge of threatening and hateful messages we have received at Wisconsin Family Action since the Mothers’ Day arson and vandalism at our office.

“The pro-abortion group claiming responsibility for the firebombing and threatening of our office has publicly called for more violence against pro-life organizations. At Wisconsin Family Action, we believe lawless violence is never the appropriate way to respond to others with whom you don’t agree.

“We are 100% committed to advancing our shared values, to pushing back in a real way, as the law allows, against this violence and to doing so for all Wisconsin citizens and families. What we’ve experienced has not deterred us; it’s emboldened us. The attempts to bully and intimidate us serve as a renewal of our efforts to be bold as we continue to strengthen, preserve, and promote marriage, family, LIFE, and religious freedom.”

Listen to the voicemails HERE.

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

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO ATTACK ON ITS OFFICE

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO ATTACK ON ITS OFFICE


MADISON, WI –Early this morning a leftist anarchist group attacked Wisconsin Family Action’s office in Madison, throwing two Molotov cocktails into the office, after breaking windows, and then proceeded to light a fire. The arsonists posted graffiti on the outside of the building near the group’s offices. The message was, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.” Anarchy 1312 took responsibility for the attack, leaving its logo on an outside wall.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, issued the following statement:

“While this attack was directly provoked by the leaked draft opinion from the US Supreme Court in the Dobbs case earlier this week, this has far broader implication. Apparently, the tolerance that the left demands is truly a one-way street. Violence has become their answer to everything. This is what happens when leadership is missing or when leadership implies that violence is ok. In 2020, Governor Tony Evers basically looked the other way when violence erupted in Kenosha and Madison. That kind of non-response fosters what happened to us this morning, leaving Wisconsin citizens who disagree with his policies extremely vulnerable to similar violence.

In fact, Governor Evers’s response to today’s incident said nothing about demanding a full investigation and criminal prosecution. He just told his supporters he’d keep supporting abortion.

“But this attack fails to frighten us, and instead steels the resolve of law-abiding, common-sense, every-day folks to stand up and push back. We know today it is Wisconsin Family Action getting Molotov cocktails tossed through broken windows and fires ignited, but tomorrow it could be anyone in our state or another state who is attacked because we disagree with a policy or action, give voice to the voiceless, or stand up for what’s right.

“Americans see through the hypocrisy of the left. The violence needs to stop and stop now. It’s not the answer to any question or any problem. Just because the liberals don’t get their way, doesn’t give them license to threaten bodily harm or to burn and destroy.”

“Wisconsin has had enough of this kind of terror condoned by current state and national leaders. But we are still standing. We still support freedom. We love our republic and care for our neighbors. We will repair our offices, remain on the job, and build an even stronger grassroots effort. We will not back down. We will not stop doing what we are doing. Too much is at stake.”

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

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION URGES CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION URGES CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM
Leaked draft of US Supreme Court opinion in abortion case calls for “wait-and-see” approach

 MADISON, WI – Last night, Politico broke a news story that the U.S. Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The story linked to a draft opinion ostensibly written by Justice Alito and leaked by an unnamed source. The headline reads, “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights,” but this draft is not the final opinion nor a final vote by the justices.

Following is a statement from Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling:

“It is totally unprecedented for a draft opinion to be leaked. This in itself is shocking. Frankly, every effort should be made to find who did this and he/she should be immediately fired. However, if this was done, as many suspect, by a pro-abortion employee of the Court, it certainly shows the desperation of those wanting to keep Roe intact.

“Here’s how the US Supreme Court typically operates. The Court held oral arguments on Dobbs on Tuesday, December 1. We are quite certain that on Friday of that week, the justices met to take a preliminary vote on the case. This timing is in synch with the Court’s normal practices. Depending on that vote, the longest-serving justice in the majority would have assigned a justice to write the draft opinion. That justice was likely Justice Clarence Thomas, as it appears Chief Justice Roberts might be in the minority.

“If the Politico story is accurate, Justice Alito was assigned to draft the opinion. The Alito-leaked draft is dated February 10, 2022. Since that date, the other justices would have made comments with possible suggestions to refine the draft opinion. In addition, justices can change their vote on a case pretty much at any time before an opinion is released to the public.

“Because it is a leaked, first-draft opinion, we caution against premature celebration of what would, no doubt, be a huge victory for the pro-life cause. If the opinion holds as it is currently written, we will have reason and time to celebrate. But prudence demands that for now we take a “wait-and-see” approach to this unprecedented development. We can certainly be cautiously optimistic as we consider what could unfold in the days ahead. As a reminder, should the court actually overturn Roe, abortion is not automatically illegal across the country. The issue returns to the states. In Wisconsin we have a pre-Roe criminal statute in place that should be enforceable. Tragically, but not surprisingly, Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) has already said he will not enforce that law if Roe is overturned.

“I think Mississippi’s Attorney General’s approach is warranted at this time. In a released statement regarding last night’s developments, AG Lynn Fitch said, ‘We will let the Supreme Court speak for itself and wait for the Court’s official opinion.’ We want to see the actual opinion released by the Court before we rejoice. That could come at any time between now and the end of June. In the meantime, we will carefully read the 96- page draft opinion—and pray.

“If the Court does overturn Roe, Wisconsin’s pro-life movement must be ready to serve women facing unplanned pregnancies and their babies. We must be ready for this election season to stand together for babies and their mothers. We must be ready for any other court challenges or other moves from the pro-abortion industry and their allies. We must truly be prepared for life after Roe.

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

Pro-Family PAC Announces Spring General Election Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the spring nonpartisan general election on Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Brown County Board of Supervisors
Mike LaBouvé – District 19
Denmark School District
Craig Janssen
De Pere City Council
Kelly Ruh – District 2
Green Bay City Council
Melinda Eck – District 11

Jennifer Grant – District 1

Hobart, Village  Board of Trustees
Vanya Koepke
West De Pere School Board
Jason Dorn
WFA PAC endorses local candidates who have either proven track records of strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life, and religious freedom or who give strong evidence of doing that if they are elected. These candidates have been fully vetted, and we are confident they will stand strong on conservative principles as they govern in their respective positions. WFA PAC encourages voters in their districts to support them in the weeks leading up to the April 5 election and to certainly vote for them.
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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 Makes Gubernatorial Endorsement

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed Kevin Nicholson for governor.

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC Director, issued the following statement:

“Wisconsin Family Action PAC endorses candidates based on three criteria: their positions on our core issues and our assessment of the strength of their commitment to those positions, their character and personal integrity as leaders demonstrated by their past and current track records, and their ability to conduct a viable campaign for the office for which they are running. We see our endorsement as a kind of ‘seal of approval’ that says to voters ‘this candidate has been carefully and fully vetted.’

“Sometimes that means we put our seal of approval on more than one candidate for a single office, leaving it to the voters to make nuanced choices between two (and occasionally more) fully vetted candidates. This is one of those times.

“Kevin Nicholson, while he admittedly has no legislative or governing track record, has verbalized commitment to the positions WFA PAC holds on issues such as marriage and family, the sanctity of human life, and religious freedom in our state. But over the past four years, he’s done more than talk about his beliefs and commitment; he’s been actively involved in an organization that has promoted his core values and beliefs—the sanctity of human life, parents’ rights, education freedom, limited government, capitalism and the free market, reduced tax burden, religious freedom and more. We expect that Kevin will govern and lead consistent with what he says and what he has been doing.

“The endgame comes in November when the primary winner takes on Tony Evers head-to-head. The candidates we have endorsed for governor, Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson, are equipped to do that. We need the best we have to ensure Tony Evers and his liberal, destructive ideas are finished in The Badger State. Fortunately, we have that in the gubernatorial candidates WFA PAC has put its seal of approval on.”

Additional endorsements for other offices for this fall’s elections will be issued over the next several months.

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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 FILES SUPREME COURT BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF COACH WHO PRAYED AT 50-YARD LINE

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION FILES SUPREME COURT BRIEF IN
SUPPORT OF COACH WHO PRAYED AT 50-YARD LINE
We all benefit when freedom flourishes.

MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), along with 28 other state family policy councils across the country and the national organization Family Policy Alliance, filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of high-school football Coach Joseph Kennedy who was fired from a public school in Washington State after he prayed briefly at the 50-yard line.
Kennedy began saying a brief prayer following games years ago. Initially he did so alone, but some students asked him what he was doing. When they asked if they could join, he responded, “This is a free country,” and “You can do what you want.” When the school learned what he was doing, it demanded he stop; but he felt responsible to thank God for the games in that way. As a result, he lost his job.
Following his termination, Kennedy, represented by First Liberty appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where he was subsequently denied. The U.S. Court of Appeals suggested that Coach Kennedy was a bad example to the students when he prayed. Treating such prayers with contempt conflicts with the religion clauses of our constitution, which protect our religious diversity.
At issue before the Supreme Court is whether the First Amendment speech and religious rights protect Kennedy’s brief prayer following games, and whether the Establishment Clause justifies his dismissal.
“We all suffer when our First Amendment freedoms are violated,” said Julaine Appling, WFA president. “A free society should not single out a person’s religious speech for unfavorable treatment.”
The Supreme Court’s modern Establishment Clause cases discuss fostering neutrality towards religion. But when all kinds of controversial speech by teachers is permitted and only religious speech is silenced, it sends a message not of religious neutrality but of hostility toward religion. A short prayer following a game, joined in only by those who wish to join, hardly amounts to an establishment of religion, particularly when the school was clear that it had nothing to do with Kennedy’s activities.
A copy of Wisconsin Family Action’s brief can be found here.

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

Copy available here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION JOINS WITH OTHER PROLIFE GROUPS DEMANDING GOVERNOR EXPLAIN GRANTS TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION JOINS WITH OTHER PROLIFE GROUPS
DEMANDING GOVERNOR EXPLAIN GRANTS TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD

MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), represented by Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), joined Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right to Life in issuing a letter to Governor Evers demanding that he explain the legal basis for the two grants he has given to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
The funds for the grants, totaling $2.4 million for Planned Parenthood alone, have come from a couple of COVID-19 federal relief programs. The state legislature has passed several bills that would have directed at least some of the funds, but the governor has vetoed all of them.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin received $1.4 million from the “COVID-19 Pandemic Response Nonprofit Grant Program” and then received an additional $1 million last month from the “Equitable Recovery Grant Program.” Both programs were concocted by the governor, without legislative approval or permission.
WILL attorneys assert that Governor Evers has no authority to create grant programs, has disregarded appropriate department rulemaking to govern the distribution of the funds, and has violated state law that prohibits federal funds being given as a grant to pregnancy programs that promote, refer for, or perform abortions.
WFA president Julaine Appling commented, “The people of Wisconsin deserve a full explanation of the legal authority Governor Evers is using to justify his largesse to Wisconsin’s largest abortion provider. This is the peoples’ tax dollars. Some might consider what the governor has done as a kind of ‘quid pro quo’ since Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin spent $700,000 to help get the governor elected in 2018. This isn’t the first time the governor has acted with questionable authority. Two years ago, he unilaterally extended an emergency declaration that exceeded the 60-day statutory limit. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately stopped that power grab. In this instance, the Governor is giving our hard-earned tax dollars to an organization whose number one funding source is the killing of unborn babies. Through our elected officials in recent years, ‘we the people’ have made it clear we don’t want public funds to support abortion in any way; and state laws have been put in place to stop that in many instances. Unless Governor Evers has a solid legal basis for these grant programs and the distribution of these millions to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, he is apparently just fine with taking the law into his own hands. The voters may have something to say about that this fall.”
The letter sent to Governor Evers is available HERE.

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

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Endorses David Varnam for Lieutenant Governor

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed David Varnam for Lieutenant Governor.

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC Director, issued the following statement:

“David Varnam is our kind of candidate. He has a strong Christian faith, a rich policy background, in particular on the foundational issues of marriage and family, life, and religious freedom, and is an elected local official. That’s a great combination for someone looking to be our next lieutenant governor.

“As Mayor of Lancaster, WI, David has some executive experience that would serve him well as a part of a conservative executive branch. He’s been governing close to the people, listening to and responding to their concerns and working for their well-being. That’s what we expect of a lieutenant governor.

Our vetting process is quite thorough, and David passed every test we gave him when it came to his positions on our core issues and those we know Wisconsin citizens really care about.

“It’s refreshing to see young candidates like David—a candidate who realizes that Wisconsin’s best natural resource is our families and who is committed to championing policies that actually strengthen families and help them remain or become independent of government, which in turn strengthens our state. David sees that at the local level and can and will easily translate that into the much bigger platform the office of lieutenant governor affords.

“David’s campaign literature clearly says he’s pro-life. He’s proud of that position, not apologetic; and he’s not just saying it to get votes. It’s who he is; his policy work attests to that. While a lieutenant governor can’t make law or sign a bill into law, he or she can definitely be a help in getting pro-life legislation enacted; we would expect nothing less of David.

“WFA PAC wishes David Varnam all the best as he takes his pro-family, pro-freedom, pro-business, pro-life message across the state in anticipation of the primary election in August.”

Additional endorsements for this fall’s elections will be issued over the next several months.

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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.

Pro-Family PAC Endorses Rebecca Kleefisch for Governor

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed Rebecca Kleefisch for governor.

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC Director, commented, “WFA PAC is proud to endorse Rebecca Kleefisch for governor of Wisconsin. Rebecca has a solid conservative track record. She understands and is committed to strengthening, preserving, and promoting Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her families. Supporting economic growth through job creation and a commitment to reducing the tax burden are proof-positive that Rebecca understands that when Wisconsin’s families are strong and independent, Wisconsin is strong.

“Time and again, Rebecca has proven she is pro-life—that she is dedicated to the biological reality that life begins at conception and deserves protection from that moment. As lieutenant governor, while she was not in a lawmaking or law-enacting office, Rebecca championed pro-life legislation, using her unique position as a platform to advance protections for both the unborn and their mothers. We have no doubt that as governor, she would continue to advance the pro-life cause in our state.

“In recent months, Rebecca has been an especially strong voice for the right of parents to be involved in the education of their children. She is listening to parents and encouraging them to hold school boards accountable for their policies and instruction and to run for their local school boards. She is also advocating for the expansion of school choice, understanding that income and zip code should not determine whether or not parents have educational options.

“We cannot imagine Rebecca Kleefisch ever issuing an Executive Order or signing a bill into law or even championing a bill that would in any way restrict our religious freedom. Rather, we are confident that as governor she will bring a correct understanding of the First Amendment of the US Constitution and of Article I, Section 18 of our State Constitution—and will appropriately protect our religious freedom and right of conscience—especially in times of crisis.

“Rebecca Kleefisch doesn’t just talk; she backs up what she says with action. She’s someone who will fight for what is right and best for our citizens, always looking to build a Wisconsin where families will have every reason to stay, and families in other states will have every reason to move here. We issue this endorsement with confidence because we have seen proof of Rebecca’s conservative beliefs, of her character and her conviction under intense pressure. She’s ready to lead.”

Additional endorsements for this fall’s elections will be issued over the next several months.

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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.

Read online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION JOINS 30 OTHER STATE FAMILY POLICY COUNCILS OPPOSING BIDEN’S EMPLOYER VACCINE MANDATE

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION JOINS 30 OTHER
STATE FAMILY POLICY COUNCILS
OPPOSING BIDEN’S EMPLOYER VACCINE MANDATE

MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Family Action, along with leaders and representatives from 29 other states, is part of a coalition of state family policy council organizations from across the country opposing the illegal Biden employee vaccine mandate by filing a legal amicus (friend of the court)  brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of N.F.I.B. v. D.O.L, U.S., No. 21A244. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in court on this fast-tracked case this Friday, January 7.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, issued the following statement:

“Wisconsin Family Action is honored to join 30 other state family policy organizations and leaders in filing a brief that highlights the threat to religious freedom, a critically important and foundational freedom, that is at risk with such a dangerous and rushed rule that sidesteps Congress and cuts out the American people. Today, more than ever, it is necessary that we stand up to and fight back when our religious freedom, as well as other freedoms, are attacked”.

The brief explains that “unelected and unaccountable administrative agencies” tend to be hostile to religious freedom by treating it as “an afterthought, an inconvenience that stands in the way of their desired policy.” Religious liberty is “a vital and enduring thread in the nation’s fabric.”  Further, OSHA’s rulemaking not only circumvents the normal process for lawmaking through Congress, but also through  state legislatures—and the states have a much better track record for safeguarding religious liberty.

For religious employers in particular, the brief states that OSHA’s rule amounts to “indirect coercion [that] contradicts fundamental religious autonomy principles.”

The case, brought by a union of states and business industry groups, challenges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) nationwide vaccine-or-testing rule for U.S. businesses with 100 or more employees.

In addition to Wisconsin Family Action, 30 family policy organizations (representing entities from 29 other states and a national organization) signed on to the legal brief as amici curiae, including California Family Council, Family Institute of Connecticut, Delaware Family Policy Council, Florida Family Policy Council, Frontline Policy Council (Georgia), Idaho Family Policy Center, Indiana Family Institute, The Family Leader (Iowa), Kansas Family Voice, The Family Foundation (Kentucky), Louisiana Family Forum, Christian Civic League of Maine, Massachusetts Family Institute, Michigan Family Forum, Minnesota Family Council, Montana Family Foundation, Nebraska Family Alliance, Cornerstone Policy Research of New Hampshire, Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, North Carolina Family Policy Council, North Dakota Family Alliance, Center for Christian Virtue (Ohio), Pennsylvania Family Council, Palmetto Family Council (South Carolina),Texas Values, The Family Foundation (Virginia), Family Policy Institute of Washington, and Family Policy Alliance.

The legal amicus brief filed at the U. S. Supreme Court can be found here.

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

Copy available online here.

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION FILES LAWSUIT TO PROTECT FREE SPEECH RIGHTS AND DONOR PRIVACY

Federal Election Commission uses donor exposure tactics to silence nonprofits

MADISON, WI – Yesterday, through attorneys with the Institute for Free Speech and Michael D. Dean, LLC, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) filed a federal lawsuit aimed at stopping a massive expansion of the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) donor disclosure mandates for nonprofit groups that advocate for the election or defeat of federal candidates.

WFA filed the lawsuit to protect its right to speak independently to the public about various federal candidates in future elections. In recent years, the FEC has suggested that federal law required a nonprofit who advocates for the election or defeat of a federal candidate and spends $250 or more to communicate their message, to publicly disclose the name and addresses of every person who gives the nonprofit as little as $200 in a calendar year.

“Wisconsin citizens who support our work should never have to worry that their personal information will be shared with the FEC, and thus be made publicly available. We know from personal experience that those who oppose our mission and our values are not above harassment and threats. This lawsuit is a preemptive measure to ensure our freedom of speech is protected and that our friends who financially support this organization are not subjected to disclosure or any acts of retaliation,” commented Julaine Appling, president of WFA.

“If the FEC’s interpretation of the law is correct, it’s unconstitutional. Americans have a right to support nonprofits without being reported to the Federal Election Commission or having their personal information plastered all over the internet. The First Amendment doesn’t allow the government to make such sweeping demands for sensitive information about our support for nonprofit causes,” said Don Daugherty, Senior Attorney at the Institute for Free Speech.

The case is Wisconsin Family Action v. Federal Election Commission in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Green Bay Division. The complaint is available HERE. The press release for Institute for Free Speech is available HERE.

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

Copy available online here.

Governor Evers Approves Online Sports Betting at Expense of Wisconsin Citizens, Particularly Teens

MADISON, WI – Earlier this week, Governor Evers celebrated the launch of the first-ever online gambling/sports betting operation in Wisconsin at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay. Governor Evers amended the Oneida compact to allow online sports gambling in the Oneida Casinos earlier this year. Per Wisconsin law, the governor has unilateral ability to amend the gambling compacts with the Native American tribes.

Studies in the U.K., where sports betting has been legal for some time, have shown an explosive increase in teen gambling addiction. One study found more than 50% of 16-year olds had sports gambling apps on their phones before such betting was even legal there. “We know gambling operators target ads to the mostly likely segments of our population to wager; that audience is young males in their teens through early 30s,” said Julaine Appling, President of Wisconsin Family Action. “This is a vulnerable group whose cognitive ability to associate behavior with consequence is not fully developed which is exactly why they are so heavily targeted.”

The state of Michigan has set records in online gambling and sports wagering revenue just 10 months after going live. In that same time frame, the gambling addiction hotline saw a 33% increase in calls (over 2,000 more calls) in just one year. Analysts and recovery advocates have raised concerns about the lack of education and awareness campaigns directed at gambling addiction similar to ones that focus on drug and alcohol addictions.

It is expected that the remaining 10 tribes will line up to amend their compacts to allow for online sports betting, creating the largest expansion of gambling in Wisconsin history.

“Gambling is a zero sum game. It creates no new wealth, and little to no economic multipliers in the local economy. It’s a short-sighted revenue stream for government as eventually people play to extinction. The biggest winners will be the casinos and the government, all at the expense of Wisconsin citizens,” said Lorri Pickens, Executive Director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling.

Wisconsin deserves better from its leaders. Governor Evers should always put Wisconsin citizens first.

Copy available online here.

STATE ASSEMBLY PASSES FREEDOM & EQUALITY BILLS

STATE ASSEMBLY PASSES FREEDOM & EQUALITY BILLS
Legislators recognize personal medical rights & fairness in athletic competitions

MADISON, WI – Yesterday the Wisconsin Assembly passed  three important bills. These bills are now in the state Senate, and if passed there, will make it to the governor’s desk.

AB 299: This bill protects the rights of individuals to choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by banning businesses and government from requiring their customers and employees be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or any of its variants. Wisconsin Family Action supports this bill and in the public hearing testified in favor, along with literally dozens of passionate Wisconsinites who are concerned about the erosion of their freedoms. AB 299 passed with 59 Republicans and 1 Democrat voting in favor, while 37 Democrats voted against.

AB 195 and AB 196: These are the Protecting Women’s Sports bills. They are designed to protect women and girls from having to compete against biological males in college and K-12 athletics. AB 195 protects women’s sports in UW System schools and technical training schools. AB 196 protects girls in K-12 public schools, as well as private schools participating in Wisconsin’s Parental Choice programs. Wisconsin Family Action supports these bills and testified in favor of both of them during the public hearing. Both AB 195 and AB 196 passed on strict party-line votes, 59-38, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.

Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, commented, ”We’d like to thank the authors, as well as the Assembly leadership, for moving these essential bills. The bill related to the vaccine issue is fundamentally about recognizing and protecting our right to make our own medical decisions and not being discriminated against because of our choice. The Protect Women’s Sports bills are about fundamental fairness for women athletes who should not be robbed of opportunities because biological males are allowed to compete on or in a girls’ or women’s team or competition. It’s encouraging to see so many legislators understand these ideas and act on them. We urge the Senate to do the same and give Governor Evers an opportunity to also protect our freedom and to ensure fairness for girls and women.”

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

Copy available online here.

Pro-Family PAC Announces Endorsements for Assembly District 37 Special Election

Pro-Family PAC Announces Endorsements for Assembly District 37 Special Election

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates for the special election for Assembly District 37.  The primary for this election is Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Cathy Houchin

Nick Krueger

Jennifer Meinhardt

William Penterman

Nathan Pollnow

Julaine Appling, WFA PAC Director, commented, “It’s always encouraging to have candidates who understand the importance of Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her families—and who are prepared to do all they can to strengthen, preserve and promote marriage, family, life and religious freedom, as well as the rule of law and a strong economy by supporting capitalism and free enterprise in our state. These candidates have been carefully vetted and have met a rigorous standard to earn our endorsement. We wish them all the best as they campaign hard between now and the primary and thank them for stepping up to enter public service.”

 

 

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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.

TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF ASSEMBLY BILLS 299, 303, 309, 316, & 347

TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF ASSEMBLY BILLS 299, 303, 309, 316, & 347
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTION AND ETHICS
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2021

JULAINE K. APPLING, PRESIDENT

Read online here.

Thank you, Chairman Wichgers  and committee members, for the opportunity to testify on Assembly Bills 299, 303, 309, 316, and 347. Wisconsin Family Action supports these bills that address a critical issue in our state. We are grateful for the authors who have taken the lead on these bills and for the co-sponsors who have stepped up to lend support.

At the outset, I want to be perfectly clear that we take no position on whether or not an individual should take the COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine for that matter. We are not in any way dismissive of the virus. Like virtually everyone in our state, we have been affected by its reach in our own families and organization. We are not making any kind of judgment in this testimony as to the efficacy of or the necessity for the vaccine. That is not the point or purpose of these bills.

The bills taken as grouping each do what we believe needs to be done: prohibit any effort by any entity to require any COVID-19 vaccination or to require proof of one having had said vaccine.

One issue we do have with any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine, is whether or not the research and/or testing has involved the use of the cells or tissue or any body part of an aborted baby. And that reality does play into our position on these bills because people should be able to choose not to take a vaccine that in its development violates a person’s core, deep-seated beliefs and convictions. That choice should be protected—and we believe it is—by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and by Article I, Section 18 of our Wisconsin Constitution, which gives unequivocal protection to the right of conscience:

Article I, Section 18, Wisconsin Constitution

Freedom of worship; liberty of conscience; state religion; public funds. SECTION 18. [As amended Nov. 1982] The right of every person to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, without consent; nor shall any control of, or interference with, the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishments or modes of worship; nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of religious societies, or religious or theological seminaries. [1979 J.R. 36, 1981 J.R. 29, vote Nov. 1982] [emphasis added]

We believe deciding to take a vaccine is a personal matter, even a matter of conscience. Individuals might also involve a doctor in their decision, but even that choice is up to the individual. No vaccine should ever be forced on people, not even during a declared “emergency.” As you will hear today and as you know, vaccines are potent pharmaceuticals. Every vaccine has a risk-benefit associated with it, and people are entitled to determine for themselves whether they want to assume the risk for any benefit the vaccine may bring.

In a country where the rule of law is supposed to be at the heart of how we do government, we cannot set aside the Constitution, either  the US Constitution or our state constitution, even during a health crisis. To the contrary, constitutions are meant to ensure protections even during the worst of times. Giving government officials at any level of government the authority to mandate a vaccine or proof of vaccination threatens the rights of individuals. These bills appropriately restrict that authority and ensure that the rule of law is respected.

When it comes to employers, we firmly believe employees do not forego their constitutional or legal rights when they sign on to work at a given company. Receiving a vaccine or having to provide proof of vaccination should not be a condition of employment. Consider the precedent that would be set if this prohibition does not happen or if such discrimination is permitted. Right now, COVID-19 is the virus we are fighting. Tomorrow it could be something different for which scientists develop a vaccine. We could have situations where a person would need to get multiple vaccines just to have a job. To not prohibit this vaccine mandate and having to provide proof of vaccination would put us on the proverbial slippery slope—which seems to always take us further and take us faster than we ever imagined.

For those who would say that Wisconsin has three vaccine exemption options and that should be sufficient to cover the current vaccine situation, thereby making these bills unnecessary, we  respond that we have learned over the last year that once a state or local official declares an “emergency,” safeguards and options we thought were available can be quickly set aside, legally or not. We have no confidence that these exemptions apply in general, say, to an employee or to an individual citizen seeking service at a business, or that if they do apply more generally, that  they would be upheld during a declared emergency. Simply put, we need these specific safeguards.

Frankly, our only concern with all of these bills, with the exception of AB 309, is that they are specific to the COVID-19 vaccine. We believe they should be more generally applicable so that we do not have to revisit this issue for any future health crisis we face in the state. AB 309 appropriately makes vaccination status non-specific so that we are not back here next year seeking similar protections from possible vaccination mandates and/or proof of such vaccination regarding another virus or disease.

Individuals and families are being asked to deal with a great deal right now. They should not have to be concerned that they will be violating a law if they decide not to take the COVID-19 vaccine and therefore have no proof of such vaccination, and they should not have to be concerned that their employment would be in jeopardy should they decline the vaccine. Enacting the measures included in these bills  would ensure authority would not be abused, would uphold the rule of law, and would help families avoid additional stress. We urge this committee to pass these bills quickly and move them to the full Assembly where we hope they will receive swift passage.

Thank you for your attention and thoughtful consideration of our position on these bills.

Will You Join Us in Prayer?

Today is going to be a busy day in Madison! Wisconsin Family Action will be testifying on 4 separate bills: AB195/SB323AB196/SB 322SB 260, and SB 261. More information about each bill is given below. Will you join us in prayer today as we and many others will testify and present the truth in our capitol today?

AB 195/SB 323 and AB 196/SB 322These bills are the Protect Women’s Sports bills. The bills stop biological males from participating in girls’/women’s sports. AB 195/SB 323 prohibits this at the UW System schools and the technical training schools, both publicly funded institutions of higher learning. AB 196/SB322 does the same thing in Wisconsin’s public K-12 schools and private schools participating in a parental choice program.
We have hearings today in both the Senate and the Assembly on these bills.

SB 260: This bill would close loopholes in the law to make it clear that the UW Madison and the UW Medical College cannot have any kind of funding relationship with Planned Parenthood to train residents to do abortions or to provide UW doctors to Planned Parenthood to do abortions.

SB 261: This bill would add additional information that would need to be tracked and reported after an induced abortion is performed. The additional information includes reporting the sex of the baby if that can be visually determined and if there is any fetal anomaly. The bill would also require reporting the identity of the facility where the induced abortion takes place. The author of the bill, Senator Jacque, yesterday offered an amendment with a number of additional points of information that would need to be determined and reported.

The two pro-life bills will be heard in a Senate committee today.

Each of these bill is important to help protect our families here is Wisconsin. Please keep us in prayer today for knowledge and wisdom and please keep praying as these bills continue through the legislative process.

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates
Pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty candidates perform well

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC), the state’s only conservative pro-family PAC, endorsed Judge Shelley Grogan for Wisconsin Court of Appeals District II, John Jagler for State Senate District 13, and Elijah Behnke for State Assembly District 89, prior to yesterday’s Spring Nonpartisan General Election. Each of these candidates prevailed in his/her respective races.

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. Judge Grogan will be an excellent addition to the Court of Appeals. She clearly understands the role of the judiciary and promises to exercise judicial restraint, while putting into practice her textualist interpretation of the Constitution.

“John Jagler and Elijah Behnke were in special elections, each of which had its own challenges. We know John Jagler; we’ve seen him and worked with him since he first was elected to the Assembly a number of years ago. Our full expectation is that John will continue to work hard to strengthen, preserve and promote our conservative values.

“Elijah Behnke is a newcomer, but brings great energy and common sense, in addition to solid conservative values and positions on the issues most important to us—all of which in some way relate to making sure Wisconsin’s best natural resource is strengthened—our families. Elijah understands that when our families are strong and independent, Wisconsin is also strong.

“ We look forward to good reports on the work of Appellate Judge Grogan and to working directly with Senator-elect John Jagler and Representative-elect Elijah Behnke to accomplish much that will advance the pro-life, pro-family, and pro-liberty values of tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens.”

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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 Announces Spring General Election Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the spring nonpartisan general election on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

District II, Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Shelley Grogan

Senate District 13 (Special Election)

John Jagler

Assembly District 89 (Special Election)

Elijah Behnke

Fond du Lac City Council

Daniel Degner

WFA PAC endorses legislative and local official candidates who have either proven track records of strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life, and religious freedom or who give strong evidence of doing that if they are elected. Judicial candidates must be Constitutional originalists (or textualists), show judicial restraint, reflect an appropriate judicial temperament, and eschew making law from the bench.

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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 Announces Spring Primary Election Endorsements

Pro-Family PAC Announces Spring Primary Election Endorsements

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the spring nonpartisan primary election next week on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Senate District 13 (Special Election)

John Jagler

Don Pridemore

Assembly District 89 (Special Election)

Elijah Behnke

Fond du Lac City Council

Daniel Degner

WFA PAC carefully vets each candidate; candidates receiving WFA PAC’s endorsement have met a rigorous standard. WFA PAC endorses candidates who either have proven track records of strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and religious freedom or who give strong evidence of doing that if they are elected.

 

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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.