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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.

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Records obtained from the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as part of the federal voting rights trial One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v Gerald Nichol et. al. reveal that eligible voters are being denied the franchise because of DMV decisions refusing to issue them voter ID cards, even when DMV has no reason to doubt their eligibility to vote. Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director, called it “indefensible” that U.S. citizens who have a fundamental right to vote are having that right stripped from them by a decision of a state DMV employee that has nothing whatsoever to do with their eligibility to participate in elections in Wisconsin.

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In testimony today in the federal voting rights trial One Wisconsin Institute et. al., v. Gerald Nichol et. al., a top Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) staffer testified about troubling racial disparities among those applying for a free voter ID and how numerous applicants have not received an ID. One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross said the statistics show that the state voter ID law, the centerpiece of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature’s five year effort to manipulate the rules on voting, is working as intended, disproportionately increasing the burden for electoral participation on minorities in Wisconsin.

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Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature have attempted to justify their five-year-long assault on voting rights in Wisconsin as a fight against fraud. But today in the federal voting rights lawsuit, One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Gerald Nichol et. al., Dr. Lorraine Minnite, likely the nation’s leading scholar on voter fraud, testified that there have been zero cases of in-person voter impersonation in Wisconsin. She also noted that the voter ID law will not prevent any other impropriety and that the GOP has displayed a “consistent pattern" of using allegations of voter fraud for political gain. A copy of Dr. Minnite’s report to the court can be found at onewi.org/15-CV-324.

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A media report says Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson failed to appear at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today on the nomination of Donald Schott to fill a vacancy on the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Typically both Senators from the nominee’s home state appear at their hearing. Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin was in attendance according to the same media report.

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In testimony in the federal voting rights case, One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Gerald Nichol et. al., experts agreed that, “it’s working” when it comes to the five year campaign by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature to suppress votes in Wisconsin. Their analysis follows the earlier testimony of a top Republican legislative aide who revealed several GOP state senators were ”giddy” at the prospect of passing a voter ID law they believed would suppress votes and help them win elections.

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In federal court yesterday in One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Gerald Nichol et. al., the plaintiffs offered testimony from a former high level Republican staffer who revealed that Republican state senators were “giddy” at the prospect of passing a voter ID law they believed would give them an electoral advantage by suppressing votes in urban areas and on college campuses.

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Gov. Scott Walker has spent three years blocking legislation that could help Wisconsin student loan borrowers with their debt by allowing them to refinance, just like you can with a mortgage. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted Walker for now asking for campaign donations to pay off the massive debt from his failed 71 day campaign for President because his sons are in college.

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New polling finds overwhelming support among Wisconsin voters for holding fair hearings and a timely vote on Judge Merrick Garland, the President’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. One Wisconsin Institute, a member of the Why Courts Matter coalition in Wisconsin, today released the results of a statewide survey gauging public opinion on the unprecedented obstruction and potential consequences of Senate Republicans, including Ron Johnson, refusing to do their jobs on the nominee to the nation’s highest court.

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One Wisconsin Institute today delivered petitions with over 6,300 citizen signatures to U.S. Ron Johnson, calling on him to do his job and hold a timely hearing and fair vote on President Obama’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Johnson is standing with his Washington D.C. Republican colleagues in their unprecedented refusal to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the nation’s highest court. His intransigence on federal judicial nominees has also resulted in the longest federal court vacancy in the nation.

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U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been blocking a nomination to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for his entire term. Now he’s marching lockstep with his Washington D.C. Republican colleagues in their unprecedented refusal to do their jobs and give a fair hearing and timely vote to President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. To keep the public informed of the status of Sen. Johnson appalling record of obstructionism on the courts, One Wisconsin Institute today announced the launch of IsRonJohnsonDoingHisJob.com.

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U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has been front and center with Washington D.C. Republicans refusing to do their jobs on President Obama’s nominee to the U. S. Supreme Court. Johnson has attempted to excuse his unprecedented gridlock claiming President Obama, serving a four year term won with the votes of 65 million Americans, should not make a nomination as required by the U.S. Constitution, instead waiting until after the next election to fill the court vacancy. With right-wing state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser’s abrupt, mid-term retirement One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if Johnson will also advise Gov. Scott Walker to wait until after the next gubernatorial election to fill the state vacancy.

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Gov. Scott Walker and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos have in public comments both suggested the absence of an educational campaign on the state voter ID law is in part due to the lawsuits over the law. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted Walker and Vos, driving forces behind state GOP schemes to manipulate the rules on voting for an unfair partisan advantage, for their stunning hypocrisy.

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From U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led state legislature, Wisconsin Republicans stand united against common sense solutions to the student loan debt crisis that today marks the fourth anniversary of hitting and surpassing the $1 trillion mark. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that with the GOP in charge and Johnson in Washington D.C., Wisconsin has risen to third highest in the nation for the percentage of college graduates with a share of what is now over $1.3 trillion in student debt.

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Today marks the deadline for filing state and local taxes for 2015, and because the inaction of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature, Wisconsin taxpayers with student loan debt are paying higher taxes and higher monthly loan payments. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act officially died, buried in legislative committee by Republicans and opposed by Gov. Walker, with the April 7 expiration of the 2015-16 legislative session.

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April 12, 2016 is this year’s national Equal Pay Day, the day when, because of the gender wage gap, women’s pay for the previous year equals men’s. One Wisconsin Now Program Director Analiese Eicher noted that the gender pay gap highlighted today also means greater student loan debt burdens for women. The latest update of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) report, Graduating to a Pay Gap, finds less pay translates into women taking longer to pay off student loan debt.

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman told a Milwaukee television reporter last night that he believed Republicans would win Wisconsin’s Electoral College votes for the first time in over 30 years because of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature’s unconstitutional voter ID bill. As a then-state Senator, Grothman was the legislature’s biggest cheerleader for the Voter ID law’s passage in 2011.

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The results of five years of manipulation of election laws by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature was realized yesterday with numerous media reports of legal voters in municipalities across the state, especially on or near college campuses, being forced to wait in hours long lines to cast their ballots. With voter turnout below 50 percent, One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross, whose organization is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging the GOP’s partisan efforts to gain an electoral advantage, raised concerns about even worse delays in a higher turnout in the November 2016 Presidential Election.

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Rebecca Bradley, appointed an unprecedented three times to three judicial seats by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and whose single largest campaign contributor is the state Republican Party, has taken to decrying political partisanship in the closing days of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court race. One Wisconsin Now Research Director Jenni Dye summed up noted partisan Bradley’s hysterics over partisanship as, “unbelievable.”

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According to media and reports from election administration officials a technology failure at Gov. Scott Walker’s Department of Administration means election officials and voters have lost access to the state voter registration system and the Department of Motor Vehicles is unable to process requests for voter IDs.

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In a poll of attorneys conducted by the Dane County Bar Association Rebecca Bradley, Gov. Scott Walker’s thrice appointed State Supreme Court crony, received less than satisfactory ratings in critical areas of “character and integrity” and “fairness and impartiality.” Bradley’s abysmal ratings from legal professionals in Dane County comes on the heels of a survey of members of the Milwaukee County Bar Association in which a plurality of respondents ranked her “unqualified.”

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Donald Trump, Republican Presidential nomination front runner, is quickly backing away from the extreme position he took in a media interview that women ought to be punished for having an abortion. Meanwhile, State Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley has refused to disavow her controversial writings on the topic in which she compared abortion to the Holocaust, equated birth control with murder and called for changing state law to let pharmacists refuse to fill a woman’s birth control prescription written by a doctor.

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Gov. Scott Walker, himself a 2016 Republican presidential candidate for 71 days, endorsed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz today. In announcing his pick, Walker failed to mention the most obvious reason for his support, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross — Cruz is the only candidate still in the race who actively solicited money to help retire his massive campaign debt.

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 As candidates travel to Wisconsin in advance of the April 5 Presidential Primary Election, one thing they’re quickly noticing is Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson refusing to do his job, joining the unprecedented Washington D.C. partisan power play that could leave the nation’s highest court gridlocked for at least a year by refusing to consider President Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee. In an appearance on the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus today, Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton is expected to comment on the impending crisis that could be triggered by Ron Johnson’s obstructionism.

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Wisconsin’s leading right-wing homophobic organization, Wisconsin Family Action, has joined the fray in trying to put fellow homophobe Rebecca Bradley on the state high court, producing at least one mailing to benefit Bradley’s campaign by attacking her April election opponent. Family Action joins elected Wisconsin homophobes David Clarke and Rebecca Kleefisch in coming to the defense of Bradley, who has been under fire since One Wisconsin Now exposed her on the record in newspaper writings calling LGBTQ individuals “degenerates” and “queers” who engage in “abnormal and immoral” behavior.