Thank you for electing me to be your new Chair of the Marathon County Dems!
The fall elections are over. We certainly did not get the outcomes that we worked hard for. Yes, it is discouraging. If you are like me, you are tired of losing. Keep in mind, the fight is far from over. It is easy to say Democrats are not good listeners and that we should have seen this coming. I prefer to think that far too many people would rather take words at face value and not do the research. Believing in the magic belongs in our holiday season, not our politics. We must remain committed to working on what we value: public education, good jobs, health care, equality for all, and our environment; to name a few.
Shortly after we were elected, Nancy Fisker (first chair), Kody Hart (second chair) and I met and talked about goal setting; we decided that going forward we will be inclusive and keep strong communication with our party members. We have exciting events in the works; so stay tuned!
We have many committees already in progress that you can join. We will get them listed and you can sign up if you choose. In the upcoming months, we hope to add more committees. We want your voice to be heard. We hope you will find your niche! Help make the Marathon Dems and Friends the strongest and best group out there.
Above all, please come; be engaged in the spirit of friendship and shared values!
Yours in the fight,
We’re in the final stretch of what seems like a very long election cycle. With Election Day in sight, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
First, we have to finish strong. When you receive this Newsletter, there will be very little time left in the campaigns, but it is a crucial time, so dedicate yourself to reenergizing, recommitting, and finishing the job.
Second, there are plenty of activities and events in the days ahead. Some of these are campaign-related, but there are two that I want to highlight that are Marathon County Democratic Party-related. There will be an Election Night Watch Party on November 8th at Sconnie’s starting at 7. The large Northwest room is reserved for us. Please show up to have some fun.
The other event is our November Membership Meeting on the 17th. This is an important one as we will be nominating and electing our leaders for the next two years.
Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that elections are just a pause in the political process. Regardless of outcome, the same things that we were organizing and working for before the election need to continue to be fought for after the election. Nothing is ever settled—not civil rights, not peace, not women’s rights, not environmental justice, not racial justice—everything must be committed toover and over, generation to generation. This is our continued fight.
The primary season is over. But before we move on I think we must first pause and thank the people who ran in the Democratic primaries and did not win. Both Joel Lewis (Democratic candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat) and John Small (Democratic candidate for the 86th Assembly seat) ran spirited campaigns. We must thank them for putting themselves in the public arena and for making their opponents better candidates for the general election.
We now have our full slate of candidates and it is hard not to feel optimistic about success in November. At the top of the ticket we have Hillary Clinton, one of the most experienced and knowledgeable candidates ever running for President and the bright, courageous and tested, Russ Feingold, looking to retake his Senate seat. Both are polling well in the state. And although we know polls can change quickly the early leads heighten hopes for gains down ballot.
The 7th Congressional District Democratic candidate is Mary Hoeft. She has notable strengths. She has a substantial resume, knows the issues, has strong public speaking skills, and has a tenacious attitude. While her opponent has taken more money from Wall Street than he can ever spend in an election and is an ardent support of Donald Trump, Mary will take every opportunity to speak powerfully for Main Street.
The 85th and 86th Wisconsin State Assembly Democratic candidates are, respectively, Mandy Wright and Nancy Stencil. They have both been non-stop, hard-at-it for months. Both have a cadre of committed volunteers at the core of their campaign. Mandy looks to reclaim her assembly seat and Nancy is going to take a run at unseating an incumbent Republican.
At the Marathon County government level we have four candidates seeking office. First there are three candidates running for the first time: Theresa Wetzsteon for District Attorney; Connie Beyersdorf for Treasurer; and Jeff Johnson for Register of Deeds. The fourth candidate is Nan Kottke who is the incumbent County Clerk and familiar name on the ballot.
These are all great candidates who are deserving of your time, energy, and money. We have a great opportunity to perform well in this election but nothing is assured. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. If you are interested in volunteering please contact our office and we will find a place to put your talents to work.
The Democratic Party has been operating the Coordinated Campaign from the Marathon County Democratic Office on 3rd Avenue for the past few months. They have now moved the office to a new location on a more visible street.
The new address is:
330 Grand Ave
The easiest way to contact the office is by calling 971-330-6574 and asking for Colin. Most of the staging for Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold’s campaigns will take place at this location. Mandy Wright and Nancy Stencil will be primarily located at the Marathon County Democratic Office at 833 S. 3rd Ave in Wausau.
The Thursday, May 5th Women for Women Caucus event featured John Moe, Clerk of Courts for Stevens Point, who provided updates on Wisconsin’s legislation on election law and information on how to become a poll worker, poll watcher and a special registration deputy.
Senate Bill 295 changing voting rules recently passed the legislature. It made many changes in voting laws. Some are useful, like allowing on-line voter registration by 2017 and allowing veterans IDs for voting purposes for the April election. Some may limit voters like shortening the voting window and requiring the absentee ballot tracking system which may be an unnecessary invasion of voters privacy. It should be noted that Under Senate Bill 295, this information can be sold by the state as a subscription service which could lead to groups trying to influence voters.
This bill was the 32nd new law making changes to voting and elections since the GOP majority took control in 2011.
There is a great need for poll workers and poll watchers. Applications for applying to be a Poll Worker are available through your Clerk of Courts. Please look for upcoming training on how to be a Poll Watcher. The role of special registration deputies will be changed with the advent of on-line registration.
The Women for Women Caucus will not meet during the summer months. Our hope is that we will all be renewed by Fall to help support women and men candidates who support women and family issues! Look for updates in August for our September meeting which will kick-off our election support!
This Thursday, May 19 at 6:00, the Marathon County Democratic Party will have a Membership Meeting at the office. The special guest speaker will be Professor George Kraft who teaches Water Resources and has done extensive research at UW – Stevens Point. His topic will be “Groundwater Pumping and its Impact on Lakes and Streams with a Central Wisconsin Focus.”
Groundwater, the underground water that can be pumped by wells, feeds most of Wisconsin lakes and streams and wetlands. The uncontrolled growth of high capacity wells is affecting many water bodies, especially strong in the Central Sands where dozens of lakes and stream headwaters have been negatively affected. That growth continues and more water bodies will be affected unless rational groundwater management strategies are adopted.
Groundwater pumping is a political football at present, with pumping advocates, mainly farm groups, clamoring for unfettered access to the resources, lake and stream advocates asking for some basic protections, and the legislature, courts and governor’s office all weighing in.
Hope you all can make it.