State & National Profile

One Wisconsin Now & the Institute have established a national media profile, providing a leading voice in the media on both state and national issues.

the Student Loan Debt Project

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Director
Scot Ross
Scot Ross
Executive Director

Scot Ross has served as a communications director at various levels of state and federal government and on a variety of political campaigns. He also unsuccessfully challenged a 30-year incumbent Democrat for WI Secretary of State in 2006 and, consequently, now strongly believes in term limits.

The last decade, Scot Ross turned One Wisconsin Now from a 2,000-person email list into the most quoted progressive organization in Wisconsin with more than 100,000 online supporters. Ross is a frequent guest on MSNBC and One Wisconsin Now been quoted in every major publication in America.

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.

Ross’s philosophy on mobilizing voters: “You gotta turn ‘em on, if you want to turn ‘em out.” He also notes that the largest voting bloc in America are GenX/Millennial voters, who also carry 85 percent of the $1.5 trillion dollars, 44 million member-strong student loan debt demographic.

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

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

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

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