Jonathan Brostoff garners endorsement of Sandy Pasch

On Wednesday Democrat Jonathan Brostoff, who’s running to replace Jon Richards in the 19th Assembly district, received the endorsement of Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader Sandy Pasch.

Here’s what Rep. Pasch had to say about Jonathan Brostoff:

“Milwaukee needs Jonathan’s fresh, effective, and proven leadership in working directly our communities on everyday needs and services,” noted Pasch in her endorsement. “I have known Jonathan throughout my entire career in serving Milwaukee’s communities, and I know first hand that he is the right candidate for the job.”

“As a nurse and Milwaukee’s currently highest-ranking Assembly elected leader, I know that social service experience complements a bright, informed perspective in effective policy making,” followed Pasch. “Jonathan’s work in our city’s homeless shelters and with veterans at Dryhootch gives him the background and experience necessary to make him a thoughtful and effective public servant.”

While each of the Democrats running in the 19th Assembly district has garnered their fair share of endorsements, Sandy Pasch’s endorsement of Jonathan Brostoff is a big deal.

That Didn’t Take Long: Supervisor Bowen to Run for Rep. Pasch’s Seat.

Just a day after Representative Sandy Pasch’s announcement that she will not seek re-election from the Wisconsin 10th Assembly District, County Supervisor David Bowen throws his hat squarely into the ring.

I don’t think he’ll be the only candidate…seats without incumbents are magnets for political figures wanting to move up and there is no reason to believe the 10th district race will be any different. Stay tuned for more excitement! The 2014 assembly races may prove to be the races to watch and get involved in.

Rep. Sandy Pasch Is Not Running For Re-election.

Most of you have probably heard or read about State Representative Sandy Pasch’s decision to not run for re-election.

This is a real disappointment to me and I am sure many of the progressives in Wisconsin. Rep. Pasch is one of the most active, effective, consistent and articulate progressive members of the Wisconsin State Legislature. And I do hope that she is able to have a greater impact on issues in the state of Wisconsin as she stated in her announcement. The 10th Assembly District, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and the State Legislature have been very lucky to have her serve. I wish her well.

It will be interesting to see who steps forward to take on the challenges in the 10th Assembly District. It could prove to be as intense as the concurrent race in the 19th Assembly District to replace Jon Richards.

Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch announces she won’t seek re-election

This is awful news…

Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Shorewood), the assistant Assembly minority leader, said she was leaving in part to take care of a nonagenerian father who increasingly needs her care. That brings to 16 the number of Assembly members who won’t be returning next session. 

Pasch, a pyschiatric nurse by training, served on a bipartisan task force that helped pass a series of bills in recent months to improve mental health care around Wisconsin. That included a bill to overhaul the governance of the troubled Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex.

But Pasch also acknowledged that she wasn’t looking forward to more partisan fights with majority Republicans who are likely to hold their control of the Legislature in November’s elections. 

Pasch said she wasn’t sure if she would have been able to win Republican support for mental health legislation, which has been her passion.

“It has been frustrating,” Pasch said. “Legislatively, how much more could we get done? Yes, that’s questionable…I think I can have a greater impact from outside the (Capitol) building.”

Rep. Pasch has served her constituents well during her time in the Assembly, and she will be sorely missed.

Assembly Democrats Have No Spine: What Budget?

Although it doesn’t always pay to tilt at windmills, the decision by Wisconsin Assembly Democrats and Assembly Minority Leader Representative Peter Barca to refrain from offering a single amendment to the biennial budget is downright perplexing. On the one hand I can understand the futility of offering up amendments that have absolutely no chance of making it into the budget…and the Democrats reportedly had over two hundred budget amendments ready to propose…but they may have left themselves open to accusations of not doing their jobs come 2014.

Now I don’t think it would have been wise to propose and debate every single amendment ad infinitum. That would have played out worse in the press than walking away from this fight. But it may have been wise to introduce the strongest amendments, those with potentially the most support or at least the most empathetic recognition in the state and forced the Republicans to take a stand against them. Yes I think this budget may hoist the Republicans by their own petard…but the Democrats could have improved the return on investment with some well placed counterpoint!

Not sure this was well played.

Whither Manitowoc County: Board Passes Resolution in Support of Milwaukee County Board

Quite frankly I am surprised that it has taken this long for other county boards to take notice and then take action:

MANITOWOC, Wis. —The Manitowoc County supervisors have passed a resolution criticizing Republican-backed legislation that would weaken the power of the Milwaukee County Board.

Manitowoc County is three counties north of Milwaukee County, but its supervisors weighed in this week to express their disapproval over the resolution that takes away resources and authority from their Milwaukee County counterparts. They passed a resolution 20-4 opposing the state’s legislation.

The resolution was written by Supervisor Jim Brey, who said the Wisconsin Legislature’s action violates the principle of home rule, the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reported.

He said “there would be hell to pay” if state legislators tried to tell Manitowoc County supervisors how to do their jobs, and that the action opens the door to the state micromanaging county governments.

State lawmakers to host public hearing on changes to local control in Milwaukee County

From the email from the Milwaukee Democratic Legislative Caucus;

State lawmakers to host public hearing on changes to local control in Milwaukee County

MADISON – Local residents are invited to share their opinions on the state-imposed changes to the Milwaukee County Board at a public hearing this Tuesday in Milwaukee. The hearing starts at 5:00 p.m. and will be held at the Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vilet Street.

After Senate Republicans failed to hold a committee hearing in the community that they are forcing to change, local Legislative representatives of Milwaukee County are holding an opportunity for citizens in Milwaukee County who were unable to attend the midday Madison hearing to voice their opinion on the bill forcing state-imposed changes to the Milwaukee County Board.

WHAT: Milwaukee County hearing on the attack on local control

WHO: Sen. Chris Larson, Sen. Tim Carpenter, Sen. Nikiya Harris, Sen. Lena C. Taylor, Rep. Josh Zepnick, Rep. Sandy Pasch, Rep. Mandela Barnes, Rep. Evan Goyke, Rep. John Richards, Rep. Christine Sinicki, Rep. Daniel Riemer, Rep. LaTonya Johnson, Rep. Leon Young, Rep. Fred Kessler and Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa

WHERE: Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vilet Street

WHEN: Tuesday, April 30, 5:00 p.m.

Republicans ready to “drop the bomb” on private sector unions (VIDEO)

According to a press release issued yesterday by Democratic State Sens. Julie Lassa and Chris Larson and State Rep. Sandy Pasch, Republican legislators Paul Farrow and Ed Brooks are prepared to “drop the bomb” on private sector unions in the form of legislation that would allow employers to reduce the hours of their union-represented employees without the union’s approval.

According to Lassa, Larson, and Pasch, the measure to allow employers to reduce the hours of their union-represented employees without union approval could very well be the first blow in an effort to scale back private sector employee bargaining rights.

“Republicans began their war on bargaining rights with Act 10, and with this bill they have now turned their attention to private sector unions,” Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said. “This bill is a clear opening shot at undermining private sector unions.”

“This is the beginning of ‘divide and conquer’ part two,” said State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point). “The Farrow-Brooks bill says that private sector unions shouldn’t be able to negotiate for their members. It’s one more step toward their goal of ending the right of Wisconsin citizens to have their voice heard in the workplace.”

Senate Bill 26 and its companion, Assembly Bill 15, were introduced on Friday and could come up for committee votes as soon as Thursday.

Keep in mind that while Republicans may deny these bills are part of a larger effort to weaken private sector unions, it was Gov. Scott Walker himself who said he wanted to make Wisconsin a “right to work” state by working to “divide and conquer” unions, starting with removing collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin.

Time for a Milwaukee County Caucus in Madison!

We all remember Tommy Thompson’s ‘Stick it to ’em’ quote about Milwaukee back in 1995 or more recently Governor Walker’s recall speech ‘We don’t want to be like Milwaukee’. And several of our progressive candidates during the recent state primaries voiced the concern that we weren’t being adequately represented in Madison.

We have to fix that…and one of the first steps was electing new young progressive voices to elective state offices. The next one is having a united voice in the Capitol representing Milwaukee County.

From what I understand there is currently a casual Milwaukee Caucus in Madison. But it is time that a true non-partisan Milwaukee County Caucus becomes part of the environment. A caucus that regularly meets to discuss the issues and concerns relevant to all of Milwaukee County. Where the state senators and legislators that represent any and all areas of Milwaukee County can find a common voice to promote our common interests. A place where local elected officials and agencies can go to more effectively make their voice heard in Madison, whether they are mayors, county supervisors, school board members, or village administrators.

It seems like a simple thing but to me it seems that we have neglected to make sure that Milwaukee County has been effective in making it’s voice heard in our Capitol!