Upcoming Events:

(Click to View Full Calendar)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tues April 3 - Spring Elections

Make your plan to vote Tuesday, April 3rd!
A 10-YEAR TERM on the WI Supreme Court is on the line. 

Judge Rebecca Dallet is the clear choice. Dallet has served Wisconsinites for more than 20 years, first as a prosecutor and now as a judge. She believes in supporting working families, strong public schools, protections for clean air and water, strategies to end the opioid crisis, fighting for women’s rights, and standing up for victims of abuse. Along the way, she's earned the endorsement of over 200 judges.

Meanwhile, her opponent is the guy who defended Walker's gerrymandered maps and Act 10 in court.

Drop us a line here. Or, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter. We'll get back to you quickly. Always appreciate extra hands with this!


Amendment to WI State Constitution: Eliminate Office of State Treasurer

We recommend a "NO" vote to send the message that we don't want to concentrate any more power in the Governor's Mansion. It's not about small government or big government; it's about how power is allocated.

This article sets the stage well. The powers and duties of the State Treasurer have been whittled down to almost nothing over the last 20 years. A "Yes" vote would totally eliminate the office, and what little power remains would transfer to the Governor and Lt Governor.

Local School Referenda:

City of Rice Lake Referendum: Money Out of Politics

We recommend a "YES" vote to support an amendment to the US Constitution stating:
  1. Only human beings are endowed with constitutional rights – not corporations, unions, non-profits or other artificial entities; and
  2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting speech.
There's just too darn much money in politics, and too much of it is secret. We need an amendment like this if we're ever going enact any real campaign finance reform. See more at Wisconsin United to Amend.

Other Local Offices:

Many local offices like School Boards, County Board, Town Boards, and Mayorships will be decided on April 3rd. While our party doesn't endorse in these races, we encourage everyone to be informed on and engaged with their local government. 

Click here to see exactly what's on your ballot. 

To learn more about the candidates and offices, you may want to talk to your neighbors or the candidates themselves. Here's a list of all the municipal officials in Barron County. Here's a list of current County Supervisors. You can watch recorded meetings for several local governmental bodies at Rice Lake Community Media.


Make your plan to vote on Tuesday, April 3... or Absentee!

Check out MyVote.WI.gov, and tell your friends about it! It's a great resource to confirm that you're registered to vote, know where to vote, how to get an absentee ballot, who to contact if you have questions, and more.

You need to have PHOTO ID on you to vote.

Do you have any of the following? (valid, or expired after 11/8/2016)
  • Wisconsin Driver's License
  • Wisconsin State ID Card
  • Military ID Card
  • US Passport
Yes? Good. You're all set! Bring one of those when you vote.

There are other forms of Photo ID that are valid to vote. These include Veterans Affairs Cards, Wisconsin Tribal IDs, Certificates of Naturalization, and some Student IDs. Each of these has slightly different requirements, however. Please take a minute and check BringItWisconsin.com to confirm that what you have will suffice for voting.

NEED AN ID? You can get a FREE Photo ID from the Wisconsin Dept of Motor Vehicles. Here's the DMV's Page outlining the process. Remember that not all DMV offices are open every day. Check your location's hours before you go.

Make your #PlanToVote Tues April 3rd! Info & Resources: http://bit.ly/VoteApril3rd Will you vote at the polls on April 3rd or will you vote early/absentee?

Posted by Barron County Democratic Party on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

3/20 - Meet Tony Evers in Rice Lake

Tony Evers Meet & Greet
Tuesday, 3/20 @ 7:30pm
16 W John St, Rice Lake (map)

Democratic candidate for governor Dr. Tony Evers will be in Rice Lake on Tuesday, March 20. Great chance to meet Dr. Evers, learn about his campaign, and ask about the issues that are important to you.

It's very early still, but the few polls that have been released so far show Evers leading the Democratic field of candidates for governor.

Friday, March 9, 2018

3/15 - March Meeting with Dr Brian Ewert

Barron County Dems March Meeting
with special guest & candidate for US Congress
Dr. Brian Ewert
Thursday, 3/15 @ 7pm
16 W John St, Rice Lake (map)

Dr. Brian Ewert will be our guest speaker at our March meeting. Dr. Ewert is running for Congress against Sean Duffy. Some of you may know him from his time as president of Marshfield Clinic.

As always, our meetings are a great chance to meet fellow Democrats, get the latest updates on campaigns, and get plugged in to all we're doing to win elections this year.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Quinn Spin Vol. 2: Property Taxes

Assembly Rep Romaine Quinn (R-Barron) set a new low for political gamesmanship this time. He co-authored a bipartisan bill to fix a real problem (that's good!). But when the chips were down, he turned around and voted against his own bill on the Assembly floor! What?!

At issue is the "Dark Store Loophole." Across Wisconsin, big businesses are suing municipalities claiming that their properties are over-valued by millions of dollars, and they're winning. They point to abandoned commercial properties in the area (often, former Walmarts) and argue that their newer, profitable buildings should be valued similarly to these "dark stores."

With a lower assessed value comes lower property taxes for the business, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, municipalities and school districts still face the same costs to maintain roads, provide emergency services, and keep the lights on. With no additional money coming from the state, their only choice is to collect higher taxes from homeowners and businesses that are too small to lawyer-up and pursue their own "dark store" lawsuit.

The Appleton Post-Crescent estimates that if all the pending dark store cases are successful, it could take over $770 Million off the tax rolls statewide, and new cases are being filed every month. Right here in Rice Lake, both Menards and Walmart have used the Dark Store Loophole and more are sure to follow. It was against that backdrop that Rep Quinn recorded a video message to bring attention to the issue and promise his constituents that he would work to close the loophole.

Then, things got weird in Madison. Despite dozens of lawmakers from both parties signing on to support the bill to close the loophole, Republican leaders mysteriously refused to schedule it for a vote.

Maybe Scott Walker didn't want to sign it. Maybe Republicans feared the wrath of the business lobbies lined up against the bill. A report on the backroom negotiations surrounding the bill seems to suggest that lobbyists at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce effectively exercised veto power over every GOP lawmaker.

Whatever the reason, when Democrats forced a vote to close the loophole on February 13, Rep Quinn voted in lockstep with GOP leadership to shoot down his own bill and break his promise to taxpayers and local officials in the 75th District.

UPDATE: As expected, Rep Quinn and his Majority Leader have chosen to split hairs, claiming Quinn's vote shouldn't count because it was "only a procedural vote."

Sure, it was procedural. But it was also the only chance Quinn had to close the loophole and he voted to block the bill he claims to support. The bill had already had 2 public hearings, passed 1 committee unanimously, and wasn't the least bit controversial among folks who aren't lobbyists.

And none of this changes the fact that businesses are still free to pull this loophole garbage and raise YOUR property taxes.

If you support a bill, vote for it.

And for the record, here are at least 2 recent examples where Quinn and Republicans voted Yes on the exact same kind of "procedural moves" to take up bills that weren't on the agenda: AB365 and AB65. In both cases, Republicans then used substitute amendments (which neither the public nor Dem legislators had any prior knowledge of) to completely re-write the bills on the fly. Quinn's concern for process and public notice rings pretty hollow.