Pro-Family PAC Issues Final Endorsements for Fall Primary

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed the following candidates in the respective races for the primary election next week on Tuesday, August 11. These candidates are in addition to those announced last week.

State Senate
Cherie Link – Senate District 10
Jim Engstrand – Senate District 28

 State Assembly
Rachael Cabral-Guevara – Assembly District 55
Donna Rozar – Assembly District 69

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

“We are pleased to endorse these candidates. We have great confidence that they will each use their public office to strengthen, preserve and promote the core issues of marriage and family, the sanctity of human life and religious freedom, in addition to standing strong for limited government, responsible taxation and spending, educational freedom, and free enterprise. We urge voters in the respective districts to support these candidates in this primary and beyond. Wisconsin families will be well served by these citizens seeking to become statesmen and stateswomen.”

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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.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WINS AT US SUPREME COURT

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WINS AT US SUPREME COURT
Wisconsin Family Action responds to the decisions

MADISON, WI – The US Supreme Court has upheld religious freedom in every challenge brought against it this session, with two more victories today. Today’s rulings make it clear: The government cannot dictate hiring policies for religious entities, but it can provide for exemptions based on religious and conscientious objections.

The First Amendment indeed means the right to freely exercise one’s religion for both private religious schools and religious entities. That government cannot override that right for faith-based organizations.

In its ruling in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru St. James School v. Biel, the Court rejected the notion that Catholic schools must allow teachers who do not hold to the faith.

Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion, stating in part, “The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission.” In referencing a previous case, the justice writes, “What matters is what an employee does. Implicit in the Hosanna-Tabor decision was a recognition that educating young people in their faith, inculcating its teachings, and training them to live their faith are responsibilities that lie at the very core of a private religious school’s mission.”

The Court also upheld First Amendment rights in the second case today, Little Sisters of the Poor and Paul Home v Pennsylvania. The Court held that the government cannot force the nuns to take part in insurance coverage that includes contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, in violation of violating their religious beliefs.

It is the second time The Little Sisters of the Poor have successfully defended their faith at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Thomas wrote the opinion in which Alito agreed, “I would hold not only that it was appropriate for the Departments to consider RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act], but also that the Departments were required by RFRA to create the religious exemption (or something very close to it).  I would bring the Little Sisters’ legal odyssey to an end.”

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, commented, “The two opinions are lengthy and will take more time to fully digest and apply to Wisconsin law. But they send a very clear message: First Amendment protections of the exercise of religion are not only core to our country’s founding, but they remain relevant and crucial today in the face of much hostility.”

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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.

US Supreme Court Advances Abortion, Devalues Women

MADISON, WI – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that devalues women’s health and the lives of their unborn babies, disregards states’ rights, highlights bad judicial precedence and advances abortion.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court determined that Louisiana’s law that would require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where an abortion is being performed puts an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion and is therefore unconstitutional.

Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote, joining the pro-abortion justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsberg and Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion. Roberts wrote his own concurring opinion.  Justices Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch all dissented, at least in part.

Roberts largely based his decision on the stare decisis, which is the idea that previous court decisions dictate, in large part, the way the high court will determine current and future decisions. He opined that the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt decision arising in Texas and decided in June 2016 dictated how the current case had to be decided.  In Whole Women’s the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that abortion restrictions Texas had enacted restricted access to abortion and put an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortion. Requiring admitting privileges was one of the restrictions in the Texas law.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling commented, “I find Roberts’ legal analysis and decision incredibly weak and quite frankly dangerous. As Roberts noted in his own concurrence, stare decisis is not ‘an inexorable command,’ Yet he inexorably and wrongly followed it in this decision.

“If the court somehow sees itself as duty-bound to this legal idea, then bad decisions will be and have been, in general, indefinitely perpetuated. Whole Women’s Health was a bad decision. Using it as the reason for another bad decision from the high court in this current case is not just lame but is downright dangerous to the health and safety of women.

“Louisiana passed this law with the well-being of women in mind. They had every right to do so, just as we did in Wisconsin when we passed enacted the same law in 2013. Planned Parenthood immediately challenged our law. As a result, it has never been enforced here; and now we know it likely never will be. The Supreme Court had a perfect opportunity to right a wrong. The Chief Justice chose to sabotage that effort. Americans deserve better from their high court.”

Wisconsin Family Council, the educational arm of Wisconsin Family Action, was part of a friend-of-the-court amicus in support of the State of Louisiana in this case (June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Gee).

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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.

US Supreme Court Once Again Oversteps Authority; In major decision Court redefines biological sex

MADISON, WI – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in three Title VII cases.  On a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment “on the basis of sex.” Title VII is the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

One of the cases involved Harris Funeral Homes in Detroit, Michigan. This family-run business has the delicate task of serving grieving families. Tom Rost, owner of Harris Funeral Homes, had that in mind when a male employee of six years decided to start living as a woman and insisted on dressing as one at work. Tom held the employee to the dress code he agreed to at time of hire and was promptly sued. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today dictates how Tom and other employers can run their businesses, regardless of their beliefs.

The Court ruled that an employer who fires an individual “merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” Essentially, the Court is saying that the word sex in laws from the 1960’s, also includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

While many aspects of the Court’s ruling are troubling, the most concerning is that the Court again has shown its inclination to make law, not interpret law. Changing the definition of a word in a congressionally passed law is not the purview of the court; that is for the legislative branch.

Justice Alito, with Justice Thomas agreeing, wrote in his dissent: “There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation.” “A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall.” “The question is not whether discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity should be outlawed. The question is whether Congress did that in 1964.”

President of Wisconsin Family Action Julaine Appling commented, “Today’s decision by the high court causes significant problems. At a minimum, it undermines equal opportunities for women. Males identifying as female will take women’s places on athletics team and on the award podium, as recently happened at the Connecticut girls’ high‐school track finals where two boys identifying as girls have won 15 girls’ state-track-and-field titles over the past two years. It jeopardizes bodily privacy rights of women by forcing organizations to open women’s shelters, locker rooms, restrooms, and showers to men who say they are women.  In addition, it forces employers, such as Harris Funeral Homes, to choose between violating their religious beliefs or facing lawsuits and financial hardship.

“We will continue to analyze the decision to determine its impact on Wisconsin law and specifically on faith-based employers such as churches, schools, and para-church ministries. The breadth of the Court’s decision remains to be determined.”

By June 30, the court will be handing down more opinions that directly touch on religious liberty and rights of conscience.

Wisconsin Family Action was part of a friend-of-the-court amicus in the Harris case that was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Read ADF’s statement here.

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Copy available online HERE.

Pro-Family PAC Endorses Donald Trump for President

Pro-Family PAC Endorses Donald Trump for President

Madison – Wisconsin Family Action Federal Political Action Committee (WFA PAC) announced today that it has endorsed Donald Trump and his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election.

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

“During his first term in office, President Donald Trump has shown that his campaign promises were more than empty rhetoric. Time and again President Trump has taken action on issues of paramount importance to our organization and to the tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens who engage with us.

“In his policies, President Trump has kept his promises to defend innocent human life; restore and respect religious freedom; promote school choice; befriend and defend Israel; cut taxes; improve the nation’s overall economic position; deregulate businesses; and in general make America great again both at home and abroad.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, under President Trump’s leadership America enjoyed the highest median income, the lowest levels of unemployment, and the strongest economy ever recorded, lifting millions of Americans out of poverty.  President Trump has a proven track record that has rebuilt the middle class, and we believe the continuance of these policies will provide the best path to recover from the aftermath of COVID-19.

“President Trump’s ability to get things done in Washington is unprecedented. He has fought for and stood up for marriage, family, the sanctity of human life, and religious freedom time and again. It is on the basis of his leadership and promises kept that Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC is proud to endorse President Trump in his re-election bid this fall.

“Regardless of who ends up running against President Trump, the contrast will be stark on these core issues. We want Wisconsin citizens to know early-on that we wholeheartedly endorse what this president has done on the issues of greatest concern to us.  President Trump’s policies have shown an incredible regard for the nation’s most valuable natural resource—our families. No other viable presidential candidate has done or will do that.

“We urge Wisconsin citizens to join us in championing the policies of President Trump and ensuring he is given four more years to keep America great.”

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Authorized and paid for by 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.

BREAKING: Wisconsin citizens call on Governor Evers to open Wisconsin

WISCONSIN CITIZENS CALL ON GOVERNOR EVERS TO OPEN WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Family Action leads petition to reverse extended stay-at-home order

MADISON, WI Today, Wisconsin Family Action launched a statewide online petition calling on Governor Evers to stop extending the time Wisconsin is shut down and instead begin taking positive steps to open the state for business, including allowing some church services again.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said, “We are grateful the efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state have worked and our numbers have stayed quite low. In fact, as of today, seven counties have not reported even one case of the virus. We’ve flattened the curve; so it’s time to begin opening Wisconsin for business again. However, and very disappointingly, Governor Evers is prolonging the time we have to keep our places of commerce, education, and religion shuttered. We believe Governor Evers needs to hear loudly from the people of Wisconsin that we think his new emergency order is misguided and will hurt our state and its families more than help.”

The individual signed petitions will be printed and mailed to the governor on a regular basis.

“Forty-five of our 72 counties are reporting 10 or fewer positive cases of the virus. Let’s keep exercising common sense, responsible distancing, and good hygiene to make sure we keep this illness contained. But it’s counterproductive to keep the entire state closed, causing untold harm to so many individuals and families. That’s the message we want Governor Evers to hear and heed,” noted Appling.

The petition is available HERE.

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Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates

Wisconsin Family Action PAC Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates
Kelly and Tiffany garner most votes across the board in Primaries

Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC), the state’s only conservative pro-family PAC, endorsed Justice Daniel Kelly for Wisconsin Supreme Court and State Senator Tom Tiffany for US House, District 7, in advance of yesterday’s primary election.

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 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 seven weeks.

“Justice Daniel Kelly is well positioned to go head to head with Judge Karofsky in the general election. Justice Kelly has everything we look for in a judge, especially for our state’s highest court. He has made it very clear and very public that his judicial philosophy is that the courts are not lawmakers; that’s the job of the legislature. The role of the judiciary, as Justice Kelly puts it, is to interpret the laws according to the clear language of state statutes and the Wisconsin Constitution and the US Constitution. Deciding a case based on a political or personal agenda is outside the purview of a justice.

“Tom Tiffany has served in our state legislature since 2010, both in the Assembly and currently in the Senate. Over those years, he has taken a number of tough votes involving our core issues of marriage, family, life and religious freedom. His voting record clearly shows he is reliably conservative in every sense of the word.”

Wisconsin voters who support upholding the rule of law should vote for Justice Kelly for Wisconsin Supreme Court, while Wisconsin voters who live in the 7th Congressional district and want conservative values taken to Washington, should vote for Tom Tiffany. The general election for Supreme Court will be held on April 7. The general special election for the 7th Congressional District is on May 12.

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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.

ACTION ALERT: Wisconsin Culture Wars; MMSD “Coming Out” Video

BY: MacIver News Service

“English and math are tough subjects. Maybe that’s why Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is focusing, instead, on teaching kids about sexual preferences and how to participate in political rallies.

“MMSD just celebrated “National Coming Out Day” last month (October). The video below is still up on the MMSD home page. It features middle school and high school students talking about their “sexuality.” Start at 1:00.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If you live in the MMSD, call your school board members and voice your opinion. Contact information may be found HERE for individual board members. OR you may email the entire board at one time using the following email address: board@madison.k12.wi.us

Sheboygan Converison Therapy

 

Friday, August 2, 2019

You are receiving this email because according to our records you live in the city of Sheboygan. If that is not accurate, please let us know; and secondly, if you know someone who does live in the city of Sheboygan, please forward this email to them.  Thank you!

We are sorry for the late notice on this, but we just today learned that the Sheboygan Common Council is going to be voting this coming Monday, August 5, on a proposal that will ban so-called “conversion therapy” for minors.  Obviously, the intent has been to move this proposal quickly and quietly so as to not give citizens much time to respond. In a call made this morning to the City Clerk’s office inquiring why the agenda for the upcoming meeting wasn’t yet posted online, the clerk responded with, “Well, we only have to post the notice 24 hours in advance,” which in this case would be Sunday late afternoon. From my perspective, while that may be legal, it’s terrible governing, at a minimum.

The ordinance is essentially the same as the other community’s have passed. The idea is basically to stop anyone from offering real help and real hope to minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender identity issues.  The proposed ordinance would apply to any person, which in the actual wording means not just an individual but businesses, organizations and even churches.  A “person” would be prohibited from offering counseling that is Christian or biblical–because the intent of such counseling would be contrary to what the new law would allow.  As is typical with these ordinances, they allow and even encourage counseling that affirms and encourages same-sex attraction and gender “transgendering.”  But any counseling of a minor that does not affirm and encourage a minor in these areas would be forbidden, including counseling by a pastor or ministry leader or a Christian counselor–if a fee is paid for such counseling. However, legal experts in this area have repeatedly told us that no one knows for sure what “for a fee” really means, making that murky language at best and certainly subject to litigation. Also like the others this proposal also has no religious exemption, which means, at a minimum, a Christian counselor who works for a counseling center that clearly charges a “fee” for services would be prohibited from offering true biblical counseling to a minor whose parents sought him/her out for help with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender-confusion.

This proposal is dangerous and unconstitutional. It trounces on parents’ rights and on religious freedom of counselors and ministry leaders. It is dangerous in that it encourages minors to continue on paths that will very often lead to heartache and even major health issues.  

Now is the time for you to let your Sheboygan Common Council know your opinion of this proposal and how you want them to vote. We hope (and encourage) you to graciously but firmly urge your elected officials to oppose this proposal and vote no this coming Monday.  Here is a link to find out who your alderman is and how to contact him/her (email or phone): http://www.sheboyganwi.gov/officials/common-council/.  It’s important you know 5 of your 10 alderpersons, Sorenson, Felde, Ackley, Donohue and Savaglio, have co-sponsored this proposal. If the Council votes 5-5 on this issue, then your Mayor, Mike Vandersteen, would cast the deciding vote. So contacting Mayor Vandersteen is very important as well.  The Mayor’s phone number is 920-459-3317. His email is mayor.vandersteen@sheboyganwi.gov.

It’s very important that you know if you want to speak at the meeting Monday evening, you must call and register with the clerk’s office by noon Monday, August 5. Public comments happen early in the meeting and speakers are asked to restrict their comments to no more than 5 minutes. The clerk’s phone number is 920-459-3361. We hope many will attend the meeting and that many will also speak.

The meeting is at 6 p.m., Monday, August 5, at the Sheboygan County Courthouse, 5th Floor, 615 N. 6th St., Sheboygan, WI.

In an article in yesterday’s Sheboygan Press, Alderperson Felde says this is a personal matter for her since she has “a child who identifies as a member of the LGBT community.” Alderperson Sorenson says, in the same article, those supporting the ordinance see it as a public health issue and that Sheboygan is “not going to tolerate child abuse.”  

Friend, this is not a matter of public health and because one’s child identifies as LGBT does not mean this is good or right policy. For a sitting alderperson to maintain that not passing this ordinance means Sheboygan is tolerating child abuse is nothing but an open scare tactic, just as are the opening words in the ordinance, which says, “The City of Sheboygan is a welcoming community to all people, and does not accept bigotry and hate” (emphasis added). Officials want to be sure anyone who objects knows they are being labeled as hateful and bigoted. This is a shameless attempt to silence opposition to this very dangerous and wrong ordinance.

Three other important action steps you can take:
1) Share this email with others you know who live in the city of Shebogan and urge them to join you in contacting your local officials and getting the word out.
2) Check with your pastor to be sure he knows about this issue–and encourage him to contact all of the council members and the mayor. This is VERY important!
3) Plan to attend the council meeting on Monday–and encourage others to join you, including your pastor. 

God bless you for anything you can do to stop this very bad proposal from moving forward in your city!

 

 

The Fight Is On For School Choice in Rural Wisconsin

Like a number of rural Wisconsin communities, Mattoon recently lost its only school due to consolidation. The building remains empty, but a local Christian group wants to acquire the building to start a Christian school and become part of the statewide voucher program. However, the Antigo School District owns the building and is blocking their efforts, refusing to let the building be used for any competing educational purpose. Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is representing Mattoon and another community in a lawsuit against the school district.

The voucher program is designed to give parents an important educational option, especially lower-income families. The Mattoon area has a lot of families that would qualify for the voucher program and would support this private school. What the Antigo school district is doing is wrong in depriving this community of a school and depriving parents of a local and viable educational option.

Read more HERE and HERE.

Click HERE to support the very important work we do each and every day in partnership with you and on your behalf in The Badger State. 

Why Public Schools Need To Engage the Spiritual Side of Students

From Gateways to Better Education (GTBE) for Christians teaching in public schools: “The majority of your students come from homes with religious backgrounds. Yet, too often this is not acknowledged or affirmed in a public school environment.

“The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that, 80 percent of high school seniors indicate that religion plays a role in their lives.”
Read more HERE.

Gateways has assembled everything you need to help guard your children’s hearts and minds. In the comfort of your home and at your convenience learn how to guide your children through the public schools so they keep their faith and values intact.

CLICK HERE to obtain your “Public School Parenting Kit.”

Planned Parenthood’s Noncompliance Will Cost Them Big Tax $$’s– And that’s just fine with us.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business said this week it will not comply with President Donald Trump’s new pro-life rules that require any recipient of federal taxpayer dollars for family planning to separate out any abortion business it does.

Because the nation’s largest abortion company is so wedded to its abortion business and refuses to separate it from its family planning operations, Planned Parenthood will lose as much as $60 million dollars in taxpayer funds. 

“Frankly, I’m glad Planned Parenthood refuses to comply with the new rule,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president. “Such a position makes it very clear what Planned Parenthood is really about—and it’s not women’s healthcare. Every taxpayer dollar the abortion giant does not get means a better opportunity for the life of an unborn baby to be saved and his/her mother spared years of emotional and maybe even physical distress.”

Wisconsin Family Action is 100% pro life; from conception to natural death. Click HERE to partner with us for LIFE in The Badger State.!

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATION COUNCIL’S FLAG COMPARISON ALLEGATION

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION RESPONDS TO JEWISH COMMUNITY
RELATION COUNCIL’S FLAG COMPARISON ALLEGATION

MADISON, WI –Yesterday the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation along with Diverse & Resilient (D&R) (a pro-LGBT organization) jointly released a statement falsely accusing Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) of comparing the so-called “Rainbow Pride” flag to a Nazi flag. This was in response to a press release in which the following question was asked regarding Governor Evers’ divisive and exclusive action:

“By ordering this flag to fly over the state capitol, Governor Evers is proclaiming one group of Wisconsin citizens as preferred over others. He may have the authority as governor to make this decision; but in our opinion, he made a blatantly bad decision. Would the Governor authorize the Christian flag to be flown over the capitol or a Nazi flag or any number of other flags representing all sorts of Wisconsin citizens and their beliefs?”

JCRC and D&R stated in their press release that they were “disappointed and outraged about Wisconsin Family Action’s comparison of the Pride flag with the Nazi flag.” WFA did not compare the “Pride” flag with the Nazi flag any more than it compared it to the Christian flag. That reference was clearly part of highlighting the reality that there are many citizen groups in this state that have beliefs and identities that could ask for the same special treatment to recognize them as the Governor has done with this “Pride” flag. Sadly, the use of “identity politics” is not a new strategy for those who want to use emotional manipulation to get people to react a certain way and come to a specific conclusion, even if the reaction and conclusion are based on inaccurate or untruthful information.

Wisconsin Family Council, our sister organization, has launched a petition that has, in only a few short days, garnered 6000+ signatures and continues to grow. Wisconsin’s citizens are exercising their voice in sending the message to Governor Evers that they don’t feel represented by this latest tactic and are asking him to take the “Pride flag” down.

Note: The JCRC of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation should not be mistaken for the Milwaukee Jewish Community (MJC). A call was placed yesterday to MJC who, in turn, informed us that statements placed by JCRC are not a reflection of their organization. According to the spokesperson, the JCRC “does not speak for us.”

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

Copy available online here.

Wisconsin Family Action Legislative Update

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
2019-2020 Wisconsin Legislative Session
Current as of December 16, 2019

(To view as a pdf, click HERE.)

MARRIAGE/FAMILY
AB 41/SB 49 Decriminalization of child prostitution.  (WFA opposes)

Despite intentions and motives of those authoring and co-sponsoring this bill Wisconsin Family Action believes this proposal is ill-advised because it takes a tool away from law enforcement who are trying to get minors engaged in prostitution off the streets, assumes all minors involved in this activity are being coerced and gives an advantage to the Johns and the pimps to recruit more minors into their nefarious work, including sex trafficking. A substitute amendment was offered by author Republican Senator Alberta Darling. This amendment improved the bill. The Senate passed the bill on November 5, 2019, and sent it to the Assembly where it is currently in the Rules committee ready to be scheduled for a floor vote. The Assembly committee has already recommended the bill for passage.

AB 71/SB 68Possession of child pornography (WFA supports)

This bill tightens up the definition of child pornography making it easier to bring charges against someone who is engaged in this activity. The bill passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. Governor Evers signed it into law in July as 2019 Wisconsin Act 16.

AB 111/SB 107 – Prohibiting so-called “conversion therapy” for minors (WFA opposes)

This bill prohibits certain mental health workers from actually providing real hope and real help for minors dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction and/or gender confusion. It makes it clear that the only advice these mental health workers can give is that which affirms, normalizes and encourages minors to continue with these beliefs and behaviors. The bill trounces on religious freedom of mental health workers and on the rights of parents regarding counseling for their children. This bill is in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate; no further action to date.

AB 201/SB 191 – Creating a nonrefundable tax credit for adoption expenses (WFA supports)

The intent of this bill is to encourage Wisconsin families to adopt children. This $5,000 tax credit piggybacks on the federal adoption tax credit and helps parents offset some of the costs related to adoption, which today can be very expensive. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 248/SB 262 – Removing “personal conviction” exemption from vaccination requirements (WFA opposes)

Wisconsin currently has three options for parents seeking to exempt their children from vaccinations: health, religious and personal conviction. This bill would remove “personal conviction,” which would make it harder for parents choosing to not vaccinate their children. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 439/SB 398 –Eliminating waiting period after a divorce is finalized before a re-marriage (WFA opposes)
Wisconsin law currently requires that after a divorce is finalized that an individual must wait six months before entering into another marriage, whether that marriage is in Wisconsin or another state or country. This waiting period is both reasonable and responsible, especially if minor children are involved. The state has a valid interest in the well-being of the next generation. Parents rushing into another marriage immediately after a divorce is not in the adults’ best interest and certainly not in the best interest of minor children who are already dealing with much uncertainty and loss as a result of their parents’ divorce. The bill is authored by Republicans with substantial Republican support as co-sponsors, along with some Democrats. Both the Senate and the Assembly committees have held public hearings on the bill. The Senate Committee has passed it, but the Assembly Committee has not yet voted on the bill.

      EDUCATION (subheading of Marriage/Family)
AB 108/no senate version yet – Requiring parental choice program schools and charter schools to provide instruction in American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty. (WFA opposes)
WFA does not support more requirements for voucher schools. We do not believe this curricular mandate does anything to increase the educational value in any given school. It simply takes away from time that could be better spent.  We believe most schools cover this topic already in the course of implementing their curriculum across the grades. This bill is in committee; no further action to date.

AB 129/SB 111 – Allowing voucher schools to provide pupil instruction virtually (WFA supports)

This bill levels the playing field with public schools by allowing voucher schools to offer direct pupil instruction virtually—to make up for missed time due to extreme weather closings and also as a part of the regular program of the school. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 149/SB 138Funding character education in public schools (WFA opposes)

Character education under this bill is not defined—and there is too much room for “character” to be stretched beyond its typical meaning and understanding. The bill authorizes DPI to award grants to schools to pay teachers to receive “professional development trainings in character education.” The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing and voted to move the bill to the full Senate. As of this update, the bill has not been scheduled for a Senate floor vote. There has been no public hearing on the Assembly version.

LIFE
AB 128/SB 114 – Creating a tax credit for parents who experience a stillbirth (WFA supports)

This bill seeks to compensate parents who have had a stillbirth for some of the costs related to this heart-rending situation (up to $2,000). These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 179/SB 175Born Alive bill (WFA supports with one concern).
This bill requires any health care provider present at the time an abortion or attempted abortion results in a child born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive. The bill makes intentionally causing the death of a child born alive as a result of an abortion or attempted abortion a felony with a penalty of life imprisonment. WFA’s concern is that the bill has an express exemption for a woman who intentionally kills her baby that has managed to survive an abortion or an attempted abortion. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 180/SB 174Requiring that women taking RU-486 be told there is a reversal to the abortion-causing drug (WFA supports).
This bill requires certain information regarding an abortion-inducing drug regimen to be given to a woman who is planning to have an abortion induced by this abortion-inducing drug regimen. This is primarily about RU-486. Essentially the bill requires that the woman be told that the first drug in the regimen may not result in an immediate abortion and that if she acts quickly, she can reverse the effects of the first drug and perhaps save her baby. This information would be added to the Woman’s Right to Know publication. The bill also requires that any place an abortion takes place, including a hospital, certain information must be collected and reported. The bill adds to what the law already requires abortionists to report. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 181/SB 199 – Stopping taxpayer funded Medicaid payments from going to most abortion providers (WFA supports).
This bill generally prohibits an entity that does abortions from receiving Medicaid payments. This bill is effectively dead with the legislature having voted on AB 183/SB 187.

AB 182/SB 173 – Prohibiting abortions based on sex, race, nationality, ethnicity or disability (WFA supports with one concern).
Our concern is that the bill has an exception related to disability. That exception deals with a situation where medical professionals determine an unborn baby has a disability that is deemed “fatal,” meaning the child is unlikely to survive outside the womb and the condition is not treatable. We believe this is an unnecessary exception. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 183/SB 187 – Stopping taxpayer funded Medicaid payments from going to most abortion providers (WFA supports).
This bill generally prohibits an entity that does abortions from receiving Medicaid payments. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 590/SB 524 –Prohibits the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies, requires reporting of the sex and any fetal anomaly of an aborted baby, and requires proper final disposition of an aborted baby (WFA supports)
This bill has been introduced in prior legislative sessions. Even with a Republican governor and strong Republican majorities in the Senate and the Assembly, the bill has never received a floor vote. Current Republican leadership does not seem inclined to move these bills at all. The bills are currently in committee in both the Senate and the Assembly; no public hearing has been scheduled.

LIBERTY
AB 185/SB 197 – Changing how WI’s electoral votes are allocated (WFA opposes)
This bill erodes the Electoral College. Instead of awarding WI’s 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in our state, those 10 votes would go to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

MISCELLANEOUS
SB 577/no Assembly version to date – Decriminalizing 28 grams or less of marijuana (WFA opposes).
This bill makes a number of changes in the current law as it relates to bringing charges against a person who possesses, attempts to possess, possesses with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or deliver marijuana. WFA believes marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to using other harder drugs and that marijuana use in and of itself can significantly impair judgment and alter behavior. Twenty-eight grams of marijuana is the equivalent of over 80 “joints.” The bill is currently in committee; no further action to date.

AJR 106/SJR 75 – Renaming the decorated tree in the capitol rotunda during the Christmas holiday season as the Wisconsin State Christmas Tree (WFA supports).
These joint resolutions reflect the long-standing tradition of referring to the tree in the capitol rotunda during Christmas as a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree as Governor Evers refers to it. The Assembly passed the resolution in November on a bi-partisan vote; the resolution is waiting for action in the Senate.

AJR 108/SJR 59 – Prohibiting the governor from using the partial veto to increase state expenditures (first consideration) (WFA supports).
This resolution would amend the Wisconsin constitution to prevent the governor from using his/her partial veto power in an appropriations bill (like the state budget) to increase state expenditures for any purpose other than what is provided in the bill that is presented to him/her for signing. A proposed constitutional amendment requires adoption by two successive legislatures and then ratification by the people in a statewide referendum before it becomes law. If this resolution passes both the Assembly and the Senate this session (which concludes December 31, 2020), then it would need to be reintroduced and passed again sometime between January 2021 and December 2022 before it could be put on a statewide referendum. The Senate passed the resolution in November; the Assembly has not held a public hearing yet on the proposal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Promotes Abortion at DHS Appointments and hires concern pro-life organization

MADISON, WI – Today the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, chaired by Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point), held a public hearing regarding the confirmation of Governor Evers’ nominee Andrea Palm as Secretary of the Department of Health Services (DHS).

As Secretary-designee, Ms. Palm has already hired Nicole Safar as Assistant Deputy Secretary of DHS. Ms. Safar is no stranger to state government as she has been lobbying on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for over a decade.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling expressed concern about the direction DHS is going under the Evers administration. “DHS’s job according to its website is ‘protecting and promoting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.’ Having Ms. Safar in a key leadership role in this agency indicates to me that DHS is going to be much more about special interests and political agendas than about the needs of Wisconsin citizens. Frankly, I share Senator Duey Stroebel’s concern as expressed in the press release he issued today about Ms. Palm and Ms. Safar looking for ways to work around laws in order to direct taxpayer funds to abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood.”

“This move, along with Governor Evers appointing Tanya Atkinson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, to his Health Advisory Board, bodes ominously for unborn children and their mothers. Abortion isn’t health care—for women or their unborn babies. It certainly doesn’t qualify as ‘protecting and promoting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.’ As Senator Stroebel pointed out, Wisconsin and its citizens deserve better when it comes to the leadership at DHS.”

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

Copy available online here.

One Wisconsin Now Owes Judge Hagedorn Public Apology for Religious Bias

One Wisconsin Now Owes Judge Hagedorn Public Apology for Religious Bias
Imposing religious test as qualification for public service violates U.S. Constitution

MADISON, WI – In an attempt to discredit Brian Hagedorn, candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, One Wisconsin Now yesterday declared Hagedorn “unfit to hold public office” because he co-founded a Christian school that seeks to follow orthodox Christian beliefs and standards.

“One Wisconsin Now owes Judge Hagedorn an apology for smearing his character and discriminating against him based on his religion,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action. “The U.S. Constitution simply doesn’t allow a religious litmus test for public office-holders and blacklisting candidates for public office because of their religious beliefs and associations is profoundly intolerant.

“Imposing a litmus test on individuals running for public office based on their faith is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American.  One Wisconsin Now appears to have taken a page from the playbook of those who have bullied and badgered other judicial candidates in recent months for their religious beliefs, and, most recently, Second Lady Karen Pence for teaching at a Christian school that similarly states its religious beliefs and establishes codes of conduct for employees and students. One Wisconsin Now certainly has a right to hold its own beliefs, but smearing a candidate with different beliefs is the very essence of intolerance. Such attempts should concern all Wisconsinites.”

One Wisconsin Now, bolstered by other activists, asserts that because the Christian school Hagedorn helped to found, and now serves as a board member, holds to an orthodox Christian teaching regarding marriage, Hagedorn is incapable of “fairly and impartially” judging cases.

“A judge’s job is to interpret the law as written, not to legislate or impose personal policy preferences from the bench. Judge Hagedorn should be vetted and reviewed based on his temperament and character as a judge—not on his personal religious beliefs, practices, or associations. For millennia, people of all the Abrahamic faiths and no faith at all have held the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Holding that belief, or being associated with institutions that hold that belief, doesn’t mean a judge can’t fairly and impartially interpret and apply the law,” Appling continued. “These tired tactics to discredit judicial candidates because of their faith’s beliefs have failed before, and they will fail again.”

Article VI of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

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

Copy available online here.

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.”

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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.

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.

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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 Releases NEW Voter Guide before Aug 14 Primary Partisan Election

Is your candidate truly a reflection of your convictions and vision for America and  Wisconsin? iVoterGuide will be your biggest asset and tool that will guide you through the next election, answering every question that is important to you.

Wisconsin’s 2018 Fall Partisan Primary election is Tuesday, August 14—that’s only weeks away!  Your guide covers contested races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House districts, state Senate and Assembly districts and the critical gubernatorial race for Wisconsin’s Governor.

Compare candidates’ answers on over 20 survey questions.  Look at who has endorsed them.  You can see facts on the issues that are the most important to you, like religious liberty, life, immigration, defense, and more.

>>>>>Click HERE to learn more about and access your FREE, DOWNLOADABLE Fall Partisan Primary 2018 Voter Information Publication.

May we ask a favor? Would you take a moment to share this email with friends, family and neighbors so that they, too, may have this vital information before election day on August 14? Better yet, download, print and share!

JUST IN! Wisconsin Family Action PAC (Political Action Committee) has just released the first round of endorsements for the Fall 2018 Partisan Primary Election on August 14!  CLICK HERE to view the endorsements.

Not sure where to vote or who is on your ballot? Click HERE and type in your home address to find out the answers to these questions so you can vote your values!  We’ve also created a Voter Q&A resource guide for all of your questions regarding Election Day. Access your Voter Q&A HERE.

REMEMBER to bring a valid form of photo identification. Click HERE to learn what forms of ID are acceptable. If you haven’t already registered to vote, you may also register on the day of the election at the polls.

Wisconsin Family Action also stands ready to help you if you have any questions. We can be reached at 866-849-2536 (toll free) or 608-268-5074 (Madison).

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.”

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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.

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.”

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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 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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copy available online here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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