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One Wisconsin Now’s historic effort to provide relief to student loan borrowers across Wisconsin and the nation by allowing borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage takes center stage at this evening’s opening night of the Democratic National Convention with Sen. Elizabeth Warren set to address delegates. Warren, along with Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, authored and has championed a common sense plan that would help tens of millions of the nation’s 43 million student loan borrowers holding $1.4 trillion of debt.

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In America today there are over 43 million people with student loan debts exceeding $1.3 trillion. Yet the speeches of three Wisconsin officials – Reps. Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy and Sen. Ron Johnson – contained zero references to the crisis of student debt. Next up is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who likes to talk about freezing tuition while his son is in college, but has overseen the rise of the state to third highest in the nation for percentage of graduates with student loan debt.

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Today marks the 125th day since President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, officially matching the longest time from nomination to confirmation of a high court nominee since 1916. But instead of doing his job and acting to fill the high court and others like the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson will be in Cleveland today delivering a speech in advance of Donald Trump’s coronation as the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

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Failed Republican presidential candidate and current Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has refused to condemn documented plagiarism by the Donald Trump campaign, which is the exact opposite of Walker’s thunderous condemnations in 2014 over allegations of plagiarism by his Democratic opponent.

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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is speaking today in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention in advance of Donald Trump’s nomination as the GOP’s 2016 Presidential nominee. While Clarke may be familiar to some from his incomprehensible Fox News appearances, he has a lengthy and embarrassing record of extremism, bombast and incompetence in his time in public office.

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The United States Senate is scheduled to begin a summer recess today that will run through early September. As they prepare to skip town, Sen. Ron Johnson and his Republican colleagues have left important work undone, like refusing to give a fair hearing and timely vote to President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court and failing to take final action to fill the longest running federal appeals court vacancy in the nation. The Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, that covers Wisconsin has been without its full complement of judges for nearly 2,400 days.

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Gov. Scott Walker claims that he hears “good things” at his taxpayer-financed, closed to the media and the public listening sessions. Based on information obtained by One Wisconsin Now about how his audience is hand picked from lists provided by lobbyists, fellow Republican politicians and his state agencies with regulatory power over businesses it’s obvious how a governor at record low approval ratings is hearing what he wants to hear.

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Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has amassed an appalling record of cronyism, corruption and incompetence. Instead of seeking reforms to improve it’s performance, a media report reveals Gov. Walker’s WEDC is seeking to impose what amounts to a gag order on members of the Board of Directors at its next meeting.

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Several of Sen. Ron Johnson’s colleagues will take to the floor of the United States Senate today and request votes on a series of nominees to fill judicial vacancies, including the Federal Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit that covers Wisconsin. Due to the unprecedented partisan obstructionism of Sen. Johnson, the Seventh Circuit has the longest vacancy of any Appeals Court in the nation.

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In a media report yesterday, Sen. Ron Johnson’s spokesperson touted how the Senator has “stabilized” student loan interest rates. Unfortunately, Johnson’s multiple votes against allowing student loans to be refinanced just like you can with a mortgage means borrowers in Wisconsin and across the nation are locked into stable, but higher than necessary, interest rates.

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“We have epidemics of racism and gun violence in this nation today. Shooting back isn't going to solve our problems, but neither is denying the reality of what we face – a society torn apart by racism with too many guns and too many politicians willing to pander to prejudice, resentment and hatred to try to win elections.

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Lawyers representing One Wisconsin Institute made their closing statements today in the federal voting rights lawsuit One Wisconsin Institute Inc., et. al. v. Gerald Nichol, et. al. Over the course of the trial, the plaintiffs showed how a series of election law changes made by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican led state legislature were meant to and have the effect of making it more difficult to vote in Wisconsin, especially for minorities, young people, and voters who tend to support Democratic candidates.

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A representative of the state big business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce declared they welcome a debate over a massive state tax loophole projected to send over $161 million to 1,270 people earning over $1 million next year. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross replied, “invitation accepted.”

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The United States Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision today ruled a Texas law attempting to restrict access to abortion as unconstitutional. The decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt held that the Texas law requiring abortions service providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals constituted an undue burden on abortion access.

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Today marks the one hundredth day of Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Senate Republicans unprecedented refusal to do their jobs and give a fair hearing and timely vote to President Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. By going along with the partisan power play of his Washington D.C. leadership, Johnson is leaving the nation’s high court split at four-four and on the brink of a Constitutional crisis that threatens important rulings on issues important to Wisconsin.

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Is Rebecca Bradley willing to undermine the state open records law and add to the ethical morass created by her conservative court colleagues who have sat on cases involving their campaign supporters? One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said if Bradley refuses to recuse herself from a case involving tea party Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s refusal to comply with a request for information under the state open records law there will be more than just an appearance of impropriety.

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One Wisconsin Now, on behalf of its more than 100,000 supporters, has “endorsed with the intensity of 1,000 suns” U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore’s “Top 1% Accountability Act of 2016.” The plan, devised in the wake of Gov. Scott Walker suing the federal government to require people in poverty to be drug tested, would require tax filers receiving more than $150,000 in itemized deductions to provide the results of a clean drug test to the IRS to receive the deductions — a plan which would only affect those with incomes over $500,000.

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Analiese Eicher, program director for One Wisconsin Institute, offered the following statements regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote in favor of Wisconsin attorney Donald Schott’s nomination to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Madison, Wis. — According to a report in today’s Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Scott Walker is denying the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s request for legal representation in a school privatization case brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL). Public files reviewed by One Wisconsin Now show between 2011 and 2015, WILL received an astonishing $3.78 million from the Bradley Foundation, which is run by Walker’s campaign chair Michael Grebe.

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State Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) issued a press release yesterday declaring the country has been “torn apart” by the “divisive racism” of the first African American President of the United States. But amazingly, that was not the most outrageous thing Kremer did on June 14. In a follow-up interview on his rant about President Obama with the state news service Wispolitics.com Kremer declared, "I don't remember race ever being a problem before he took office."

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U.S. Senator Ron Johnson continues to stand by his endorsement of Donald Trump, despite numerous and continuing incidents displaying an alarming lack of judgement and a disturbingly racist and misogynistic world view. As details of emerge about the unsavory practices of Donald Trump’s for-profit donaldwith little or no actual education, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if Johnson will continue to endorse more for-profit colleges as a solution to the $1.3 trillion student loan debt crisis.

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Trump University, the for-profit “college” owned by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, has been under scrutiny by the courts and the press for business practices that left students deep in debt with little to show for their time and money. But according to a media report in the Capital Times, in Wisconsin the shady outfit could have received less scrutiny under a provision Gov. Scott Walker included in his state budget after receiving a then maximum allowed by law campaign contribution of $10,000. Trump had also previously given to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, an organization investigated by state prosecutors for allegations of illegally coordinating with Walker’s campaigns.

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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan today unveiled a plan he entitled “A Better Way” to address a number of policy issues, including college affordability. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said it was appalling Ryan would call his plan a better way while refusing to help any of the 43 million Americans with over $1.3 trillion in student loan debt by including a proposal that would allow for the refinancing of those loans.

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Russ Feingold is standing with nearly one million student loan borrowers in Wisconsin and renewing the call for common sense reform to allow them to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage. Meanwhile, current U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who has voted multiple times against allowing the refinancing of federal student loans, is standing with Donald Trump, the owner of the for-profit Trump University. The now defunct institution is the subject of multiple lawsuits making allegations that students were scammed out of significant sums of money and left deep in debt.

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One Wisconsin Institute, a member of the national Why Courts Matter coalition, unveiled a new website today featuring the latest news and information about the importance of our federal courts and the crisis they are facing. The website, WICourtsMatter.org, includes information about current court vacancies on the Federal Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, issues at stake in the courts and other court related news and advocacy work.

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Testimony concluded today in the federal voting rights trial, One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Gerald Nichol et. al., which challenges the state voter ID requirement, changes to voter registration requirements, limits on early voting and other restrictive changes to Wisconsin’s election laws adopted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature.