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State Senator Luther Olsen cancelled a tour of a veterans home in his district to eat pie and other sweets as a baking contest judge at a county fair, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today. The Veterans Home at King has been under scrutiny after reports of substandard conditions for the armed service veterans living at the nursing home there. Olsen has on multiple occasions voted to raid funds from veterans homes to help pay for staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Madison and authored a controversial budget amendment changing funding for County Veterans Service Officers.

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On Gov. Scott Walker’s watch, Wisconsin has risen to third highest in the nation for the percentage of graduates with student loan debt. According to statistics from the federal government, there are nearly one million Wisconsin borrowers with over $19 billion in federal student loan debt alone.

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One Wisconsin Now is calling on U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Wisconsin Congressional delegation to pass a short-term federal funding bill that includes assistance for Flint, Michigan. Republicans in Congress have dragged their feet in helping the city and there are efforts underway this weekend to get Flint the help they need. ProgressNow affiliates, including One Wisconsin Now, across the country are demanding action from their congressional leadership.

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Public opinion research in key Wisconsin state Senate Districts by respected national pollster Paul Harstad finds “lopsided support” for allowing people to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage. Between 81 and 85 percent of those polled in state Senate Districts 12, 14 and 18 favored “pass[ing] a state law to help allow people with student loan debts to refinance their student loan interest rates - like borrowers can do with their home mortgage and car loans.”

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Allowing student loans to be refinanced, just like you can a mortgage, is a common sense policy reform to help borrowers who worked hard for their education and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it have a fair shot at the middle class. Today, One Wisconsin Institute launched its interactive voter scorecard to educate the public on where state legislators stand on the critical issue of student debt. Additionally, One Wisconsin Institute has launched a “What They’re Saying” feature to inform the public about presidential and Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidates’ statements on student loan reform.

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Wisconsin Rapids became the first city in the state to commence early voting yesterday as result of Federal Judge James Peterson’s decision in One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen. With numerous municipalities around Wisconsin ready to start early voting in the next week, One Wisconsin Institute applauded the actions of clerks who recognize the importance of giving voters access to the ballot box.

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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Michele Jawando, Vice President of Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, and One Wisconsin Institute Research Director and attorney Jenni Dye today highlighting the partisan obstruction of the Republican U.S. Senate, including Sen. Ron Johnson, on federal judicial nominees. It has now been an unprecedented six months that President Obama’s nominee for a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court Judge Merrick Garland has been denied a confirmation hearing and vote. Meanwhile, a slot on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that includes Wisconsin that is the nation’s longest at over 2,500 days since the opening was announced.

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Recently published documents from the 2012 John Doe investigation of political corruption in Wisconsin reveal that huge donations from corporations and individuals went to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a group that sponsored election advertising in 2011 on behalf of key Republican state Senators. State laws were then changed to benefit the donors and three state Senators at the nexis of the campaign cash and public policy, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen and Tom Tiffany, all subsequently supported giving elected officials like themselves a special exemption from John Doe investigations of political corruption.

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Today marks six months since President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court. Garland, despite bipartisan support for his previous nomination to the federal judiciary, has been denied a confirmation hearing and vote by the Republican led U.S. Senate, an unprecedented obstruction of the operation of the nation’s high court.

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State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf voted for special, retroactive legal immunity from liability in lawsuits over lead paint after newly released documents show she benefitted from spending by a group that received at least $750,000 from the owner of one of the largest manufacturers of lead in paint. Harsdorf’s response when asked by the media about these facts? Silence.

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Yesterday it was revealed that State Sen. Luther Olsen voted for special, retroactive legal immunity from liability suits over lead paint after he benefitted from spending by a group that received at least $750,000 from the owner of one of the largest manufacturers of lead in paint. In response to media inquiries, Olsen said it was, “quite a jump” to suggest any impropriety and that it was not pay to play because, “somebody else got some money.”

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Explosive documents from the 2012 investigation of Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and political corruption in Wisconsin reveal conservatives' strategy to make baseless accusations of voting impropriety to question the results of an election they thought they had lost. In an email chain, Republican insiders, concerned that conservative Justice David Prosser had lost his 2011 election bid, hatched a scheme to question the legitimacy of the election by enlisting the support of right wing radio to spread allegations of fraudulent voting.

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 In the state Senate Tom Tiffany has been a reliable vote for the special interests lobbying to take money from local public schools and send it to unaccountable private schools. And now it’s payoff time for Tiffany as the pro-voucher American Federation for Children is reportedly ponying an estimated $230,000 in TV advertising over just nine days to boost his election bid.

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Another for-profit college chain finding itself under scrutiny for questionable business practices raises questions about U.S. Ron Johnson’s admiration for the industry, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. According to media reports, a Minnesota judge has ruled that the for-profit Globe University has violated state consumer protection and fraud laws.

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Recent rulings in federal court striking down restrictions on early voting enacted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature are big wins for Wisconsin voters. Local election officials are now free to offer extended early voting hours, including on evenings and weekends, and can offer early voting at multiple locations, not just the clerk’s office. Analiese Eicher of One Wisconsin Institute, the lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, today called for the Green Bay City Clerk and other local election administrators to help voters vote by offering more early voting.

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ITT Tech, a for-profit college, announced on Wednesday that they were closing immediately, leaving hundreds of Wisconsin students in limbo. The chain of schools had been under scrutiny by both federal and state government officials from some time, including a prohibition on enrolling new Wisconsin students issued by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, investigations of their business practices and sanctions including a ban on federal aid.

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After his latest embarrassing gaffes, including calling for teachers to be replaced by “tapes” of documentaries of filmmaker Ken Burns, Sen. Ron Johnson has taken to right-wing radio to lash out about questions being raised about his votes against allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage, and opposition to federal financial aid for eligible college students.

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As Washington D.C. Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson, continue their unprecedented obstructionism on judicial nominees, State Rep. Chris Taylor, Wisconsin attorney Lester Pines and attorney Jenni Dye from One Wisconsin Institute joined the Why Court Matter coalition’s national day of action calling for a fair hearing and vote on President Obama’s nomination to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Merrick Garland, who received bipartisan support for his earlier nomination to the federal bench, has now waited a record 168 days without a committee hearing or confirmation vote on his nomination to the nation’s high court.

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One Wisconsin Institute today sent the following letter to the Wisconsin Elections Commission urging them to, “exercise oversight on important issues arising from the decisions of Judge Peterson and the Seventh District Federal Court of Appeals in One Wisconsin Institute, et. al. v. Thomsen finding the state’s implementation of the voter ID requirement was unconstitutional and deciding in favor of plaintiffs on other issues.”

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With the for-profit “college” ITT Tech under increasing scrutiny and with state and federal regulators handing down penalties for shady business practices, the question remains: Why did Gov. Scott Walker conduct a photo-op at the Greenfield ITT Tech site? ITT has been barred by federal regulators from accepting new students using federal financial aid and by Wisconsin regulators from accepting new state students. Adding to the cloud of scandal, ITT is also under investigation by multiple attorneys general, as well as the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for deceptive and abusive practices against students.

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Gov. Scott Walker’s election-year grandstanding on the student loan debt crisis after cutting $1 billion from universities and technical colleges and his opposition to the Higher Ed, Lower Debt student loan refinancing plan “insults the intelligence of every student loan borrower in the state of Wisconsin.”

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“If you wanna teach the Civil War across the country, are you better having tens of thousands of history teachers who kinda know the subject, or would you be better off popping in 14 hours of Ken Burns Civil War tape and have teachers proctor over that excellent tape?” — [U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson at WisPolitics.com Forum, 8/18/2016, minute 31:15 (full interview transcript at bottom of release)]

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With the eyes of the nation focused on racial unrest in Milwaukee, Gov. Scott Walker has provided no leadership on bringing communities together and healing racial wounds. Quite the contrary, Walker’s career has been built on and is embodied by fomenting racial strife in Milwaukee, according to a review of Walker’s 24-year record as an elected official conducted by One Wisconsin Now.

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Allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage, and providing financial aid for eligible students are common sense measures to make higher education affordable for Wisconsinites. With UW-Madison students on the move August 14 and 15 and student debt topping $1.3 trillion, One Wisconsin Now unveiled a mobile billboard noting U.S. Sen Ron Johnson remains opposed to college affordability efforts.

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In a campaign appearance Tuesday, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump made comments inciting violence as a means to prevent Hillary Clinton from appointing judges to the federal judiciary if she is elected President.

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A review of publicly available state and federal records reveals State Sen. Duey Stroebel has taken tens of thousands of dollars in state and federal government subsidies and tax breaks while routinely reporting no personal state income tax liability. Stroebel, who resides in a million dollar plus mansion and owns over 300 acres in the immediate area of his estate, has been ringleader in the efforts by a cadre of state legislative Republicans seeking to cut workers' pay by repealing a state law that requires laborers on public works projects be paid the prevailing wage for similar workers on similar projects in the area.