Upcoming Events:

Events marked with a ⚡ are online or on your phone.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Sat 12/11 - Learn about the local impact of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

The Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2021, a $1 trillion dollar law to substantially upgrade and redirect our nation’s physical infrastructure over the next 10 years, was passed by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans and signed by President Biden on November 15.

Big dollar numbers like that are almost too abstract to understand, yet this is a real investment that will give a much needed boost to those of us who live in NW Wisconsin. We will see acceleration of broadband fiber expansion, repairs to long neglected local bridges and roads, closer access to passenger rail lines, electric vehicle charging stations and more. We’ll see stronger trade unions, and families will benefit from good jobs and stronger finances.

Join the Six Lakes Dems on Saturday, December 11, at 10am, at the Chetek Lanes Event Center (map) for a presentation on the new law, with special attention to what we will experience locally as these infrastructure projects are rolled out.

Six Lakes Dems will be collecting cash donations for Christmas Cookie Kits for Kids. State Senator Janet Bewley will be with us too.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Barron Dems to Help with Salvation Army Shelter Project

The holiday season is a good time to remember those less fortunate, especially the homeless. The Salvation Army has taken on a major project to open a homeless shelter to serve Barron and Polk County residents. The Salvation Army purchased a former nursing home a few miles out of Barron and is now in the process of repairing the building, furnishing the bedrooms and common spaces, and preparing for an opening in early spring 2022. The Salvation Army warming house in Rice Lake is no longer in operation. Benjamin House is now the only remaining shelter in Barron County, though Salvation Army does provide funds for emergency short stay shelter in area motels. 

According to an article in the Rice Lake Chronotype, the building was purchased with $525,000 in Community Development Block Grant Covid relief dollars plus $200,000 from Foster Friess. Economic Development Executive David Armstrong was instrumental in obtaining the CDBG funds. Churches and civic organizations are mobilizing now to provide additional funds and help prepare the space. The Rice Lake Community Health Foundation has established a matching fund donation of $15,000.

At this time Barron County Democrats are collecting donations of cleaning supplies and equipment. We are forming a work crew to help with repairs and setting up a plan to collect furniture for a number of bedrooms and common spaces at the shelter.

Please join us at an informational session, Saturday, December 4, from 10:00am to noon, at our office at 16 W. John St in Rice Lake. A Salvation Army representative will present plans for refurbishing the shelter space. The public is welcome to stop by for donuts and coffee and learn about the project. Face masks are required.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Republicans wouldn't know a communist if one bit them...

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Just to set the record straight, we Democrats are not communists.  We’re just Americans, Americans who love our country, and our flag. We’ve always thought America was Great and we are proud to hold a hand over our heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It shouldn’t be necessary to have to say any of this. I must though, because some lies about our love of country, calling us communists and flag haters, were printed in the Wild Rivers South Advertiser in July and August 2021, with a byline, “paid for by the Barron County Republican Party.” (see below)

They smear us as “communists” because we Democrats support government subsidized general benefit programs: Social Security, Medicare, public schools, crop insurance, highways, bridges, police, fire, ambulance, FEMA, and now the expanded child tax credit. They know these programs are popular, so they use a slur—“communism”—and hope the voters don’t look too deeply. 

It is to their benefit to tar us with one “communist” brush.  But we Democrats have diverse opinions about the role of government, about free-market economy, about health care access and help for people in need.  In our Party there is room for debate, and I’d think it is fair to say that rural Democrats are quite a bit more conservative than our big city cousins.  Yet even here we enjoy diverse opinions within our local party. 

I’m worried that something ugly is happening with local Republican Party leadership, now that Trumpian impulses have taken over. They’ve given up on promoting policy points and enabling good government. They put up billboards with heroic pictures of their leaders surrounded by patriotic images (ala, North Korea). They sell gun raffle tickets and hold “Cold Dead Hands” rallies. They pay for newspaper ads that shout Democrats Are Communists Who Hate the Flag. They are all about guns, and there are even some links on their website to suggestions that it’s time to form up militias.

I worry too that their extremist rhetoric will cause some confused person with a gun to take it all to heart and do something awful. If that happens, it will not be sufficient to look away and blame someone else’s mental health. All this “end of society” rhetoric encourages people to act. Already we see people violating customary social norms displaying profanity on flags for any schoolchild to see passing by on the school bus, as if the country will be saved by potty talk.

I suspect these leaders are not able to accept that Trump lost the election.  He can’t, so why should they?  Go along with that one lie and the rest pile on—the Covid vaccine is a hoax; the election was corrupt; Democrats are communists.  If that is what they want to believe, it’s their choice. But they need to back off on the dangerous rhetoric before someone does something stupid. 

Some of the thoughtful, constructive ads the Barron County Republican Party has been running...
Newspaper ad: Democrats call our flag a symbol of hate
Newspaper ad: Democrats support communism
Newspaper ad: God gave his archangels weapons because you cannot fight evil with tolerance and understanding
Newspaper ad: You are your 2nd Amendment Sactuary, God gave you that authority

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The 2021 Barron County Fair

We enjoyed a successful presence at the Barron County Fair.  The crowds were exceptionally heavy this year and we had way more traffic at our booth than ever before.  Our booth was particularly bright and cheerful, especially when compared to the dark mood expressed by the neighboring Republicans at their booth a few doors down from ours.  

Pat, Kathy and I want to send out a big note of appreciation to the large team that pulled it all together.  A big "Thank You" to Chris who designed the graphic and to Milt and Joe and his team who restored the shed and setup our new display hardware.  A big "Thank You" to the folks who staffed the booth at various times over 4 1/2 days: Kathy, Mary, Lynn, Diane, Pat P, Linda T, Valerie, Marissa, Mike, Lisa, Dan E, Ginny Brian , Jeanette, Jeneane, Sam, Linda K, Judie, Carol O, Jackie, Dan M, James, Carol S, Helen, Tim, Michelle, Harold, Dale, Lana, John, Deb and Candace.  A special Thank You to the five teenage gals from Chetek who brought a special light to our booth on Friday night: Marissa, Jonja, Zandria, Jerica and Lauren. 

Our booth was all about unity, the strength of a democracy whose founding document, an homage to the essential dignity inherent in each and every one of us, begins with the words "We the People".  Our message was inclusion, acceptance, diversity, voting rights, and the joy of families and friends out for a nice summer event.  

In contrast the Republicans, or more accurately, the Trumpers, have got nothing.  Their booth messaged guns, gun rights, and resentment.  There was nothing about better public policy or tax policy or infrastructure or anything that we might expect from a responsible political party.  It was all darkness and gloom teetering on a pile of lies about the election and the Democrats.  The only call to action there was to get more guns--for what purpose we can only imagine.  

Many folks stopped by our booth to comment on the contrast and shake their heads.  Some were of a Republican bent, which mades the point that the Trumper booth did not represent the larger Republican electorate.  Instead it did a good job of shaming it.  Let that be their problem on election day.  


Friday, July 9, 2021

New Billboard is up!

Barron County Democrats Billboard

Please take a road trip to see the new Barron County Democrats billboard. It's on the east side of Highway 53 facing north, on the north side of Chetek near the County Highway D (8th Avenue) underpass.

This Billboard Message is part of a long-term effort to communicate how Democrats are fighting for families. The message will change periodically, and highlight issues such as the monthly Child Tax Credit payments, which families in Barron County and across the US will start receiving in mid-July. The Republicans will try to take credit for this, even though every single one of them voted against it. It's time to stand up for all the good things that Democrats are doing!

Join us in being a part of this exciting venture! (Donate here)

$200 will extend the message for a Week!

$28 will extend it for a Day!


Thank you for your consideration!

Questions about the Child Tax Credit Payments?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Billboard Coming Soon!

Barron County Democrats Billboard: Equal Justice, Facts not myths, Fair Elections

Barron County Democrats are kicking off a multifaceted messaging campaign, to set the record straight on the fundamental principles motivating us as Democrats; principles in sharp contrast to the Fascist impulses now so apparent on the extreme right.

We plan to make this a long-term, integral part of our strategy for changing the political climate in Barron County. The most visible portion of our campaign will be billboard messaging. We are placing the initial billboard message on Hwy 8 west of Barron in mid-May. We anticipate changing the message from time to time to reflect various aspects of our principles and beliefs

We want your help in two ways:
  1. Suggestions for messages to use on subsequent billboards.
  2. Donations to fund the campaign into the future.
We appreciate any amount you can pitch in!
Each contribution of $25 keeps the billboard up for more than a day. A contribution of $175 covers costs for more than a whole week!

Rather send a check?
Democratic Party of Barron County
P.O. Box 404
Rice Lake, WI 54868-0404
(Please put "Billboard" on the memo line.)