the Student Loan Debt Project

the Student Loan Debt Project cover image

One Wisconsin Institute has undertaken a multi-year student loan debt campaign involving both state and national partners conducting cutting edge research, polling, communications and the development of policy alternatives as well as executing a massive public education campaign to both the media and the public about the full economic impact of the $1.3 trillion crisis affecting 43 million Americans, including nearly one million in Wisconsin.

Why this Issue Matters

For decades, conservatives have utilized the issues of race and LGBT rights to divide voters in the waning days of political campaigns. As younger generations grow as a percentage of the voting public, their evolved positions on these issues will denude the effectiveness of this divisive tactic. Unfortunately, saddling young people with multiple decades of record amounts of never before seen personal education debt will create fearful and pessimistic young voters without economic power. Fearful voters are more susceptible to the conservative economic message and inclined towards less investment in their communities, schools and neighborhoods.

Success on this Issue

To say the Institute’s campaign on student loan debt has started with a bang is an understatement to say the least. The results of a comprehensive report on student loan debt, homeownership and automobile purchasing were the lead story in the state’s largest newspaper and featured in media across the country. The Institute has generated print and television additional coverage of the crisis around the state and country, as we’ve presented findings to allied organizations, student groups, labor unions and business leaders.

Wisconsin Investigative Research Project

Wisconsin Investigative Research Project cover image

The Wisconsin Investigative Research Project involves synthesizing and marketing complex research on critical topics facing Wisconsin’s middle class and those in need. Over the years, the Institute’s research has focused on topics ranging from the attacks on voter rights, student loan debt, public education privatization, the conservative financing network in Wisconsin and Wisconsin taxation and finances.

Past reports from One Wisconsin Institute staff include:

Voter Rights & Election Protection

Voter Rights & Election Protection cover image

One Wisconsin Institute fights tirelessly against voter suppression and voter restrictions such as the state’s voter identification law. We’ve conducted comprehensive research around the legalities and challenges of enacting voter identification legislation, including being the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging at least a dozen changes made to Wisconsin voting laws related to voter ID, early voting and registration restrictions, and polling place voter intimidation.

Fighting the Myth of Voter Fraud: In elections since 2005, less than two dozen cases of voter impropriety have been charged and successfully prosecuted in the state of Wisconsin. Given the more than 14 million ballots cast during that period, it is clear there is no real fraud in Wisconsin. This has not stopped the right wing from promoting the myth of voter fraud and passing draconian restrictions, such as voter identification in Wisconsin. We have fought this both in the media, in the state legislature and in the courtroom.

Expanding Access to the Polls: The Institute utilizes research, communications and organizing to expand access to the polls for voters in Wisconsin, particularly in traditionally underserved communities. The Institute’s legal counsel secured a historic first-in-the-nation victory for proof of residency for voters. In addition, the Institute developed a user-friendly voter registration site and working with partner organizations, conducted voter registration on various University of Wisconsin campuses, while engaging students on the issue of student loan debt.

Exposing Voter Suppression: The Institute has been a statewide leader in exposing voter suppression schemes in Wisconsin. In the past, staff at the Institute uncovered a nationally-covered voter caging scheme between the Republican Party of Wisconsin, headed by then-chair Reince Priebus, Americans for Prosperity and the various tea party groups. Work like this has made our organization one of the primary media sources in Wisconsin on voter suppression. In 2012, this culminated with our greatest victory over voter suppression to date: our exposure of the anonymous funder of voter suppression billboards in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Opposing Voter Restrictions: In 2011, Wisconsin passed one the nation’s most restrictive voter identification bills. The bill was ruled unconstitutional in state court and is currently under appeal by the Walker administration. In mid-November, Gov. Scott Walker announced during a speech in California at the Reagan Foundation, he would seek to repeal Wisconsin’s 36-year-old law allowing Election Day registration and we have immediately mobilized opposition to the Walker plan.

Federal Courts & the Judiciary

Federal Courts & the Judiciary cover image

One Wisconsin Institute works with numerous partners across the state as a leading member of the Why Courts Matter Coalition in Wisconsin. Why Courts Matter focuses on ensuring the federal judiciary is representative of America’s diverse population and ending the judicial vacancy crisis. Our work on the issue is showcased at Why Courts Matter | Wisconsin.

The environment in the state provides the opportunity for Why Courts Matter to achieve success in Wisconsin by providing education and outreach to Wisconsinites about how the courts impact our lives; hold our public officials accountable for their action or inaction related to the judiciary; and advocate for a judiciary that is reflective of the diversity of the United States, where vacancies are promptly filled, and every Wisconsinite can expect to be treated equally under the law and access the justice system without delay.

Coalition Partners:

  • One Wisconsin Institute
  • People for the American Way
  • Common Cause Wisconsin Education Fund
  • League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
  • WISPIRG
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort
  • League of Conservation Voters Education
  • Wisconsin Justice Initiative
am joy, msnbc 2017-10-08
scot ross on msnbc's am joy
scot ross on fox news
scot ross on msnbc to talk scott walker's right-to-work
scot ross in the progressive
voter suppression billboard

Our Profile

One Wisconsin Institute has established a reputable statewide and national profile, providing a leading voice for progressives in the media on a range of issues. In addition to regular appearances on MSNBC, our staff and our work has been cited in national media stories by major publications including the New York Times, the Nation, the Progressive Magazine, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and USAToday.

Meet the Team

Our staff are experts in opposition and educational research, media communications, online campaigns. We are the progressive information hub for allied organizations and tens of thousands of activists across Wisconsin.

Scot Ross

Scot Ross

Executive Director
Scot Ross
Scot Ross
Executive Director

Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now and One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director since 2007, has served as a senior communications director and research strategist for numerous statewide campaigns and elected officials.

Ross has worked as a communications director in the United States Congress, the Office of the Attorney General in the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Wisconsin State Legislature. Ross was research director for America Coming Together and research director the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He also unsuccessfully challenged a 30-year incumbent Democrat for WI Secretary of State in 2006 and, consequently, now strongly believes in term limits.

A former journalist, Ross got his first professional job as a reporter at age 18 and his stories have appeared in publications ranging from the Pittsburgh Press and The New York Times. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English and earned an MA from George Washington University.

While at One Wisconsin Now & Institute, Ross has overseen the organizations’ from a several hundred-member email list to Wisconsin’s most-often quoted progressive advocacy organization with over 75,000 online supporters. The organizations’ work has appeared in thousands of media stories and Ross has been a guest on national television and radio programs including The Rachel Maddow Show, the Ed Show, Melissa Harris-Perry, Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo and has been quoted in national publications ranging from The New York Times to USAToday to The Washington Post.

Among his favorite moments at work: When Stephen Colbert made fun of Scott Walker for nine minutes based on the “Thanks again and Molotov” letter that One Wisconsin Now uncovered.

Mike Browne

Mike Browne

Deputy Director
Mike Browne
Mike Browne
Deputy Director

Mike has been involved in progressive politics in Wisconsin for two decades – working for leadership in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly, progressive political candidates and issue organizations at the state and local level.

Serving as the communications director for two Senate Democratic Leaders, including the leader of the “Wisconsin 14”, has given Mike extensive experience working with state and national media to deliver the progressive viewpoint on issues. His involvement as a top policy aide in the development of state budgets and other legislation has provided Mike with a broad understanding of state issues and the implications of policy initiatives.

Mike lives in Madison and has two children.

Analiese Eicher

Analiese Eicher

Program Director
Analiese Eicher
Analiese Eicher
Program Director

Analiese is the program and development director at partner organizations One Wisconsin Now and One Wisconsin Institute where she primarily works on two programs: fighting the trillion dollar student loan debt crisis and protecting the right to vote.

Prior to joining One Wisconsin Now/Institute, Analiese served as the government relations director and chief lobbyist for United Council of UW Students and as District 5 Supervisor on the Dane County Board. She currently serves as the vice chair of the Emerge WI Board and as soccer coach to a great team of kids.

She is a proud UW-Madison Badger and lives in Sun Prairie, WI.

Cody Oliphant

Cody Oliphant

Online Director
Cody Oliphant
Cody Oliphant
Online Director

Cody currently oversees online communications, web development, and graphic design at One Wisconsin Now & the Institute, having served previously as Deputy Research Director from 2009 to 2012.

As a student at a University of Wisconsin college, Cody was a reporter and editor of the student newspaper. In 2008, he graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in political science and began an internship at our organization. A lifelong resident of Wisconsin, Cody grew up in Viola, a small community in the Kickapoo Valley in the southwestern part of the state.

Cody and his family live in Cottage Grove with their cat, Pearl.

Joanna Beilman-Dulin

Joanna Beilman-Dulin

Research Director
Joanna Beilman-Dulin
Joanna Beilman-Dulin
Research Director

A west coast native, Joanna moved to Wisconsin to attend UW-Madison to study music performance. She quickly became involved in progressive politics and decided to devote her professional life to improving life and opportunities for her wider community.

Prior to working at One Wisconsin Now, Joanna worked in the Wisconsin State Legislature for eight years, during which she focused on policy analysis and research. She has also served as membership and finance director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and worked on several local and statewide campaigns.

Joanna is a proud graduate of UW Law School. During law school, she served in the Consumer Law Litigation Clinic, where she focused on cases and policy analysis related to payday lending, truth in lending, and the Wisconsin Consumer Act.

Joanna lives in Madison with her husband and two children.

Kim Warkentin

Board President

Mandela Barnes

Board Member

Amy Loasching

Board Member
wisconsin capitol
In the News

Bill would allow electronic voting for in-person absentee ballots

A federal judge in July 2016 struck down certain restrictions on early voting hours and locations in the One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen case.
WisPolitics
12/08/2017
voters voting
Press Release

Assembly Bill Runs Afoul of Federal Court Decision Protecting Early Voting

A public hearing on Assembly Bill 637 today underscores serious flaws in the proposal that put it at odds with a federal court decision protecting early voting.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/28/2017
In the News

Milwaukee Announces New Early Voting Sites for 2018 Election

Nelson commented that midtown was on the places with an early voting site in Milwaukee. This came about due to One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen.
Milwaukee Courier
11/18/2017
In the News

Milwaukee to increase number of early voting sites

Tom Barrett joined One Wisconsin Institute in announcing the city approved funds for eight places where Milwaukee resident can vote absentee in person.
Wisconsin Radio Network
11/16/2017
Press Release

State Senate Committee to Consider ‘Riot’ Legislation

The legislation as introduced would create broad new definitions of what constitutes a “riot” and threaten peaceful protesters with criminal penalties...
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
10/19/2017
In the News

Planned Parenthood opening new health center in Milwaukee

Planned Parenthood’s announcement is great news for women & families of Wisconsin who deserve confidential, nonjudgmental reproductive health care services.
Wisconsin Gazette
10/09/2017
In the News

Student loan forgiveness program is about to face its first major test

“Not only is there an uncertainty about whether or not this program is going to happen, but there’s still an uncertainty about how this works,” said Analiese Eicher.
MarketWatch
09/29/2017
In the News

New poll shows popular support for student loan payment reform

Poll conducted by One Wisconsin [Institute] showed broad bipartisan support for student loan payment reform despite failure to pass such legislation in Wisconsin
Badger Herald
09/26/2017
In the News

Bryan Kelly talks with Analiese about reforms to help student loan borrowers refinance their debt

Bryan Kelly talks with Analiese about reforms to help student loan borrowers refinance their debt.
WRRD-AM
09/12/2017
In the News

New Poll of Wisconsin Voters Picks Up On Student Loan Trends

A poll of Wisconsin voters commissioned by One Wisconsin Institute found nearly two-thirds of poll participants would favor a student loan refinancing program.
The Student Loan Report
09/12/2017
In the News

Poll: 64 percent of WI voters want state plan for student loan refinancing

The poll, commissioned by the liberal policy group One Wisconsin Now and conducted by Public Policy Polling, shows just 31 percent of voters are against such a plan.
WKOW-TV
09/11/2017
Press Release

New Poll: Strong Support for Reforms to Help Wisconsin Student Loan Borrowers

Results of a new poll commissioned by One Wisconsin Institute finds broad support for reforms to help student loan borrowers.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
09/11/2017
In the News

Follow the Money: A Handy Guide to Some of the Organizations on the School Choice Gravy Train

One Wisconsin Institute compiled a list of the organizations that have been funded by the far-right Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee.
Diane Ravitch
09/06/2017
Press Release

Student Debt Reform Advocates Unveil New Online Resource for Borrowers

Leading student debt advocates have joined together to mobilize support for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program with online resources at ProtectPSLF.org.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
08/16/2017
In the News

Piling On: DeVos, Trump Make Student Loan Crisis Worse

One Wisconsin Institute, found that people with student loan debt are far more likely to rent versus own a home.
The Progressive
08/07/2017
Press Release

Donald Trump Undermines Bipartisan Wisconsin Selection Process

Donald Trump announced he would also be subverting the five-decades long practice of selecting a nominee forwarded by both Wisconsin United States Senators.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
08/04/2017
In the News

This is the age most Americans pay off their student loans

A study from the OneWisconsin Institute finds that it takes graduates of Wisconsin universities 19.7 years to pay off a bachelor's degree.
CNBC
07/03/2017
In the News

Non-Educational Spending of Student Loan Funds Increasing

A survey by the One Wisconsin Institute found the average amount of time needed to repay a loan for a bachelor’s degree was about 21 years.
GoodCall
06/06/2017
In the News

6 Ways to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven

A study by One Wisconsin Institute revealed that on average, a graduate with a bachelor's degree will take 21 years to repay their student loans.
Associated Press
05/07/2017
In the News

New York is a beacon of free tuition…

The standard repayment plan is not nearly enough according to research done by One Wisconsin Institute.
Daily Titan
04/12/2017
Column

Americans Deserve Independent, Consensus Pick for U.S. Supreme Court

We deserve, and need, a consensus justice on our high court whose loyalty is to all American people and our American values, not one president nor one party.
Jenni Dye
Jenni Dye
03/14/2017
Press Release

Federal Court Hears Oral Arguments in Appeals on Voting Rights Case

A three judge panel today heard oral arguments in appeals of the federal voting rights case One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen, et. al.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
02/24/2017
Press Release

Donald Trump Announces His Pick for Seat on U.S. Supreme Court

Donald Trump announced his pick for who he would like to fill a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
01/31/2017
Press Release

Donald Trump to Attempt to Fill Stolen U.S. Supreme Court Seat

The questions surrounding Donald Trump and his compliance with and commitment to following the United States Constitution are serious and unresolved.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
01/31/2017
Press Release

American People Deserve Answers Before Trump Makes High Court Pick

Donald Trump has announced, via Twitter, he intends to reveal his nominee to fill a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court next Thursday.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
01/27/2017
Press Release

One Wisconsin Institute Statements on Trump Phony Voter Fraud Claims

The only fraud in our elections are partisan politicians like Donald Trump and Gov. Scott Walker manipulating the voting laws for political gain.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
01/25/2017
In the News

Voter Suppression Works Too Well

Frank v. Walker as well as One Wisconsin Institute, Inc., et al. v. Mark Thomsen, et al., both cases that contest Wisconsin’s photo-ID laws.
American Prospect
01/11/2017
In the News

Scott Walker: Wisconsin is ‘still one of the easiest places in the country to vote’

Wisconsin saw record-high early voting numbers in the presidential election, made possible by a lawsuit filed by the liberal group One Wisconsin Institute.
Capital Times
12/27/2016
In the News

Jenni Dye: It shouldn’t take Christmas miracle for Ron Johnson to do his job

Will Sen. Ron Johnson and the GOP deliver on a judge to fill the longest-running federal judicial vacancy in the nation – or will they deliver a lump of coal?
Capital Times
12/16/2016
Press Release

It Shouldn’t Take a Christmas Miracle for Ron Johnson to Do His Job

Instead of trying to rig federal courts for partisan gain, Johnson and his GOP colleagues should give American people the gift of democracy this holiday season.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
12/08/2016
In the News

At least 399 votes not counted because voter didn’t provide valid ID

Jenni Dye said the number of voters who had to cast provisional ballots because they lacked an ID is “really just the tip of the iceberg”
Wisconsin State Journal
11/23/2016
In the News

Did Voter ID Hand Wisconsin to Trump?

Analiese Eicher, program and development director for One Wisconsin Institute, said the voter ID law had an impact on voter turnout.
Shepherd Express
11/15/2016
In the News

Why did Wisconsin see its lowest presidential election voter turnout in 20 years?

One Wisconsin Institute was a plaintiff in the case that overturned the state’s early voting restrictions.
Capital Times
11/11/2016
In the News

Madison Election Day turnout lower than 2012 so far

A judge ruled in the One Wisconsin Institute case that certain laws restricting voting rights are unconstitutional.
Capital Times
11/08/2016
In the News

Nearly 800,000 early votes cast so far in Wisconsin

Liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Institute... issued a statement Monday calling early voting “an amazing success.”
Wisconsin State Journal
11/08/2016
In the News

Counties won by Obama in 2012 lead Wisconsin in 2016 early voting

"These record numbers show that voters vote when given the opportunity to vote," said One Wisconsin Institute executive director Scot Ross.
Capital Times
11/07/2016
In the News

Russ Feingold, Ron Johnson deliver their closing arguments in Wisconsin Senate race

The reason why: record-setting early voting throughout the state. That’s thanks in part to a lawsuit filed by the liberal group One Wisconsin [Institute].
Capital Times
11/07/2016
Press Release

The Early Votes Are In

A federal court ruling in the voting rights suit paved the way for expanded days, hours and sites for early voting in Wisconsin.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/07/2016
Press Release

Data Confirms: Voters Vote When Given the Opportunity to Vote

One Wisconsin Institute v. Thomsen Federal Voting Rights Win Leads to Record-Setting Early Vote Numbers After GOP Restrictions Struck Down in Court
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/03/2016
In the News

Green Bay city clerk refused early voting on campus for partisan reasons

One Wisconsin Institute provided the emails to The Associated Press, after The Nation first reported about them.
Wisconsin Gazette
11/03/2016
In the News

Mayor Barrett to report on early voting numbers

A ruling in response to a lawsuit filed by One Wisconsin Institute... lifted restrictions to early voting that was enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature.
WTMJ-TV
11/03/2016
In the News

Presidential Candidates’ Plans for Tackling Student Debt

The average amount of debt per student has increased more than 50 percent in the last decade, according to TICAS, and One Wisconsin Institute.
Loyola Phoenix
11/03/2016
Press Release

Real Life Stories Highlight Toll of Student Loan Crisis

One Wisconsin Institute has released two new videos of student loan borrowers telling their stories as part of their “I Am A Student Loan Voter” campaign.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/02/2016
In the News

Eric Genrich: ‘I want every eligible citizen to vote’

The decision in the One Wisconsin Institute v. Nichol case gave all Wisconsin communities the ability to offer additional in-person absentee voting opportunities.
Green Bay Press-Gazette
11/01/2016
In the News

2016 Election Lawsuit Tracker: The New Election Laws and the Suits Challenging Them

“This evidence makes clear that the State does not have a functioning safety net for its strict voter ID law,” the plaintiff, One Wisconsin Institute wrote.
ProPublica
10/28/2016
In the News

Wisconsin clerk opposes potential campus voting site: ‘Students lean more toward the Democrats’

The emails from Teske were made public by One Wisconsin Institute, a liberal organization working to strike down a handful of Wisconsin voting restrictions.
The Week
10/28/2016
In the News

Did a Wisconsin election clerk block early voting because of ‘partisan bias’ against Democrats?

Says an election clerk in Green Bay refused to allow early voting on campus because she "was afraid it would help Democrats," showing "outrageous partisan bias."
Politifact
10/28/2016
In the News

Wisconsin solicitor general says state’s voter ID law is ‘quite permissive,’ should be...

The liberal group One Wisconsin Institute had asked the judge to either suspend the voter ID law or put in place remedial measures.
Capital Times
10/28/2016
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