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 June 3, 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.  

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.

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.

AB201/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.

AB 248/no senate version yet –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.

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.

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.

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.”

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Copy available online here.

SCOTUS decision “encouraging” says WFA president Julaine Appling

The Supreme Court ruled decisively Monday that religious institutions should be eligible to receive public funds for purely secular purposes.

Even though the state’s denial of funds likely would lead only to “a few extra scraped knees,” Roberts said, “the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benenfit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.”

READ MORE HERE

“This decision is encouraging,” responds WFA president Julaine Appling, ” For a change we have an opinion on this type of issue that is faithful to the First Amendment and not hostile to religion. Other cases with religious freedom implications will be on the court’s docket next session, including a baker in Colorado who, based on his religious beliefs, won’t do cakes for same-sex weddings.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online copy available here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appling: WI Needs to Buck the Trend of No Waiting Period After Divorce

A bill is being introduced in the Wisconsin legislature that would remove entirely the waiting period after a divorce before a remarriage. Currently the law requires six months after a divorce is finalized before a person can remarry. Wisconsin is one of 6 states with a waiting period. Two other states also require six months before remarrying. Democrat Sondy Pope is authoring the proposal, and a number of Republicans have been sympathetic to the idea. Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council, says, Wisconsin should not change this law, regardless of what other states have done or are doing.

“Wisconsin needs to buck the trend. We need to keep the remarriage waiting period. We already have the worst combination of divorce law in the country: no fault, no contest. Removing the waiting period would further undermine marriage. Research shows remarriages are much more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Experts tell us the longer the waiting period the better.”

It’s all about recognizing dignity/humanity of aborted, stillborn or miscarried babies

This month State Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) sent a memo to their legislative colleagues inviting them to join them as co-sponsors of the bill package known as the Heal Without Harm Initiative. This initiative is comprised of two bills.

  • One bill bans the trade and use of the body parts of aborted babies and requires that they be given anhwh header.jpg appropriate final disposition.
  • The second bill requires” facilities where a woman could experience a tragic miscarriage or stillbirth to inform women that they can voluntarily donate their child for research. The bill also provides that facilities where a woman miscarries or delivers a stillborn baby arrange for the proper disposition of the baby.

The bills are strongly supported by the Heal Without Harm Coalition, comprised of the state’s main pro-life groups: Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Catholic Conference.

“Many pro-life Wisconsin citizens were very upset that a similar bill did not pass last session. These bills are even better than that bill. The package is all about recognizing the dignity and humanity of aborted, stillborn or miscarried babies,” said WFA president Julaine Appling..

For more details on the Heal Without Harm Initiative and this issue in general, click “CONTINUE READING” below.

CLICK HERE to find our your state senator and state representative are and their phone number. Simply type your street address in the space under “Find My Legislators” and hit “enter.” 

A few weeks ago 2 Republicans, Sen. Alberta Darling (River Hills) and Rep. Cindi Duchow (Waukesha) introduced a bill that they claim stops the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies. None of the state’s pro-life groups were consulted on the bill. Heal Without Harm Coalition analyzed the bill and found it pretty severely lacking. Parts of the bill are confusing, and it also has significant exceptions that would basically allow the UW to continue doing research using the body parts and tissue of aborted babies. All four main pro-life groups have registered as opposing this bill.

CONTINUE READING

NAT GEO denies basics of gender, exploits children

National Geographic is running an ad on Facebook featuring the caption, “Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet,” and then below that, “Subscribe to National Geographic for just $12.”

It’s good advertising. But how will subscribing to this magazine help facts, science, or the planet in light of their January cover? If you recall, it featured a young boy dressed in pink leopard print with long, dyed hair and the caption, “The best thing about being a girl is that I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”

Pushing the idea that biological males can become females and vice-versa while posturing as champions of science is a bit contradictory. It elevates an ideology that denies facts and science in favor of feelings.

Read more HERE.

Wisconsin Family Action Responds to Pre-Enforcement Lawsuit Filed

March 10, 2017

Commissioned photographer and blogger sues for
right to create & speak

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

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

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

Full details about this case are available here.

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

Click HERE for pdf of release.

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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.

Speaker Vos Says He Is “Open” To Legalizing Medical Marijuana

From Fox6Now:

Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are circulating a bill to legalize medical marijuana.

The proposal by state Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Chris Taylor comes after Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he would be open to the idea. Republicans have typically been against any attempts to legalize marijuana.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is against medical marijuana. And Gov. Scott Walker also says he opposes it.

WI House Speaker Robin Vos

WI House Speaker Robin Vos

Read more HERE.

WFA president Julaine Appling says, “I’m not sure why Republican Speaker Robin Vos is open to the idea. Most Republicans oppose this idea and the slippery slope it creates. While some claim this is an important medical treatment, many others point out the legal issues for doctors, remind us of the addictive nature of marijuana and point out other treatments exist that don’t involve this addictive narcotic.”

WFA Appling on NPR “A Nation Engaged” LISTEN HERE

Headshot_JulaineApplingWisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling was a guest panelist Wednesday evening, January 11, participating in “A Nation Engaged,” a live pre-inauguration community conversation, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The forum was put on by National Public Radio (NPR) and Wisconsin Public Radio. Similar panels were also held in Sacramento, Houston and Raleigh-Durham this same evening.

During the forum, community leaders were invited to speak to the questions: What are your hopes for the Trump Administration? What should the country know about your community? The moderator also took questions and comments from the audience during the one-hour panel.

The program aired nationwide on NPR on Monday, January 16. Click HERE to listen.

UW Madison Strives To Define Masculinity & Its “Problems”

uwm“Another offering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this one on masculinity, is drawing fire from conservatives as an example of ideological excesses at the school.

The target is the Men’s Project, a six-week voluntary discussion program that “aims to explore masculinity and the problems accompanied by simplified definitions of it,” according to a UW Health Service news release.

Continue reading HERE.

WFA president Julaine Appling says, “This situation reminds us there are many eager to tell your son what masculinity is. How much better coming from a loving father who purposefully in both word and example instructs his son on what it means to be a man. And Dads have the best instruction manual available–the Word of God. Be assured, our Creator isn’t silent or confused about masculinity.”

 

Wisconsin Doesn’t Need Another Casino

Gambling NeighborFrom the Beloit Daily News: “Parties involved with the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Beloit casino project are testing the waters to see if there’s support to move the plan ahead at the federal level after President-elect Donald Trump takes office January 20.

The move follows the tribe’s request to Beloit city staff asking for local state legislators to reaffirm support for the project and to help line up Wisconsin’s congressional delegation behind the plan. If approved at the federal level, the plan would head for Gov. Scott Walker’s desk for approval or denial.

>>>>READ MORE HERE

WFA president Julaine Appling says, “This would be the first off-reservation casino in WI—opening a huge door for many more. The Ho-Chunk are proposing a 145,000 square foot gaming facility, with a 300-room hotel and 35,000 square foot convention center right off I-90/39 in Beloit.”

She adds, “Wisconsin does not need another casino—anywhere. We already have over 20. Right now no one in Wisconsin is more than a 2-hour drive from a casino. Gambling is not an innocent, victimless activity. Studies show the nearer people live to a casino the more likely they are to become problem gamblers—which destroys individuals, families and communities. That makes it bad for Wisconsin.”

“Choose Life” License Plates Coming to Wisconsin!

NEW PRO-LIFE LICENSE PLATE WILL BE AVAILABLE IN 2017

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

>>>>>Read the full PRESS RELEASE HERE.

Wisconsin Family Action Responds to Future of Family Commission Report

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

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

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

Read more here.