Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wisconsin Looks toward November 2 General Election

This week’s primary election results were not unexpected, with Democrat Tom Barrett emerging from a lightweight primary as the Democratic candidate, and with Scott Walker winning a hotly contested primary race on the Republican side. The two will duke it out between now and November 2, when voters in Wisconsin cast their ballots to decide who will be the state’s next Governor, to serve a four year term commencing in January of 2011.

The most crowded primary election this year was for the post of Lieutenant Governor. Of the four Democrats vying for the seat, Tom Nelson, a Democratic legislator from Kaukana, came out on top, defeating AFSCME-endorsed State Senator Spencer Coggs, who will remain in the State Senate.. He’ll face Rebecca Kleefisch of Oconomowoc, who beat four other Republicans.

The open 7th Congressional District seat in northern Wisconsin, being vacated by the legendary Dave Obey, also will be decided by voters November 2. Democrat Julie Lassa won a decisive primary victory September 14 and faces Ashland Republican Sean Duffy. If current state Senator Julie Lassa wins that race, there will have to be a special election sometime early in 2011 for her state Senate seat.

In the state legislative world, there were numerous primary races, especially in the state Assembly, with some 20 seats open due to legislators either retiring or seeking other opportunities. Of all the contested Assembly races, the incumbents won. The only contest seat in which an incumbent lost was in Senate District 7, where incumbent Jeff Plale of South Milwaukee, lost to Democratic challenger Chris Larson. Plale had served in the state Senate since 1996. Chris Larson currently serves on the Milwaukee County Board.

The General Election is now less than seven weeks away. For information about the elections and the AFSCME –endorsed candidates, go to or to AFSCME Wisconsin website (

All the candidates for state or federal office on the November 2 ballot will be inaugurated in early January. In Wisconsin, the next legislature will be expected to get up to speed on issues quickly because by mid-February they will be knee-deep in the state budget deliberations.

For more information, contact Steven Williams 608-269-0307 ( or the AFSCME area office at 608-836-6666.

Lawsuit Challenges Law Banning Employers Discussing Unions with Employees

The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce this week filed a lawsuit challenging recently enacted legislation that prohibits employers from discussing with employees whether to join unions.

Under 2009 Wisconsin Act 290 (SB 585), the Department of Workforce Development now requires employers to post in their workplaces a notice advising employees of their rights under the new law. Employers that violate the new law by discriminating against or retaliating against employees who refuse to attend meetings that discuss joining unions are liable for punitive and compensatory damages. Wisconsin is only the second state in the nation to pass such a law, joining Oregon.

In their lawsuit, WMC and MMAC argue that for over 60 years employers have had a federally protected right to hold mandatory meetings with employees to discuss the pros and cons of joining or supporting a union. Specifically, the business groups argue that Wisconsin's new law unlawfully interferes with free speech under the First Amendment and is preempted by federal law.The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

These Milwaukee Area Candidates Need Your Support

Milwaukee County Members,

We have a number of important Primary elections today. Below is a list of AFSCME Endorsed Candidates:

Chris Moews, Milwaukee County Sheriff
Spencer Coggs, Lieutenant Governor
Scott Dettman, 7th District Assembly
JoCasta Zamarippa, 8th District Assembly
Stephanie Findley, 10th District Assembly
Leon Young, 16th District Assembly
Barbara Toles, 17th District Assembly

It is important for AFSCME members to support the candidates who support us. Today is our opportunity to decide who is on the other side of the bargaining table. Who you vote for is your own decision and AFSCME respects that, but we ask that you consider the AFSCME endorsed candidates.

Peter Drummond
"Take Back America" Project Organizer
414-344-6868 office
414-333-1606 cell
414-344-1274 fax
3427 W St Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Please Support Rep. Bob Turner

Racine County Members,

Today is the Primary Election and we need your help to re-elect AFSCME endorsed candidate Bob Turner as our representative in the 61st Assembly District.

After 26 years of public service in the state assembly Bob Turner has a 100% labor voting record! Every single time that a piece of legislation has crossed his desk Bob has stood with working families and voted with us. Today we have to opportunity to return the favor and re-elect a champion for working families.

How you vote is your decision, but we ask that you consider voting for Bob Turner in today’s primary.

Peter Drummond
"Take Back America" Project Organizer
414-344-6868 office
414-333-1606 cell
414-344-1274 fax
3427 W St Paul Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208

Social Security Up for Election?


Since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1934, millions of American workers have earned benefits by paying into the system, creating a safety net that keeps retirees, survivors of workers who die young and people with disabilities and their families out of poverty.

This November, voters will decide the future of Social Security by the representatives they select. We need to get direct, truthful answers from the candidates on exactly where they stand on this important issue. SEPAC has in some cases and is currently reviewing the positions of and endorsed those candidates who support our issues.

Now it's up to you. In no other state is there as much at stake this year: Senator Feingold's Senate seat; two, possibly three Congressional races, the Governor's race and both houses of the WI legislature. Now, more than ever, we need to be one train, on one track going in one direction.

Please click on this link for the list of Member-to-Member Walks statewide for the rest of September. Phone Banks are also up and running and a list of those locations around the state is attached as well.

We need your help. Even if you are not an active or retiree union member, please join us in these election activities. Your help can make a vital difference.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Labor 2010 Walk in the Wausau Area

Do you live in or near the Wausau area? If so, please know that Labor is having a Labor 2010 member-to-member walk this Saturday – and we ask that you and other union activists or family members join us for this important walk! Congressman Obey and our Labor's endorsed candidate for the 7th CD State Senator Julie Lassa will be stopping by, so we would very much like to have a large show of support for our Labor 2010 Member-to-Member program.

WHAT: Labor 2010 Member-to-Member Walk
[Limited phone lines will be available for member-to-member calls for those unable to walk.]
WHEN: Saturday, September 18th, 9:00 a.m. – approx. 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Wausau Labor Temple, 318 S. 3rd Ave., Wausau

Sloppy Joes, Burgers, Brats and other refreshments will be served when walkers return from their walk.

PLEASE RSVP to: Scott Wright, (715) 298-0033; so he can be sure there are enough walk packets and food for all.

Thanks for all that you do!

Authority: Marty Beil, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 24 · AFL-CIO
Steven Williams, PEL Coordinator
AFSCME Council 24 · AFL-CIO
(608) 836-0024 Central Office (608) 487-2424 Cellular

Wisconsin AFL-CIO Launching Mail Effort This Week

Statewide Mail Targeting Ron Johnson on his record of anti-worker, anti-union policies.

Milwaukee, WI - The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is beginning its direct mail effort to its membership this week with a massive statewide mailing targeting Senate candidate Ron Johnson. The mailing points out that Johnson is wrong for working families. It highlights Johnson’s history of anti-union policies in his own business, his desire to gut worker pensions and his refusal to extend unemployment benefits. Click here to download the piece.

Thousand of union volunteers across the state are mobilizing through the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Labor 2010 Program, to educate tens of thousands of workers each week about their choice in the mid-term elections. The Labor 2010 Program - launched by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and participating unions in July - is the largest voter mobilization efforts in the state, reaching union households daily through telephone, home visits, direct mail and worksite leafleting.

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO represents 250,000 workers across Wisconsin to fight for working families, economic justice in the workplace, and to achieve social justice for all Wisconsin workers.

Click here to download the mail piece.

From Your AFSCME Wisconsin "Next Wavers"

Get Out and Vote Tomorrow Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

WI Next Wave wants to remind all of the AFSCME Next Wavers across Wisconsin that tomorrow is a primary election day. Electing labor friendly candidates impacts every aspect of our jobs and lives so please go to the polls and remember when you pull the lever or mark the box your salary and benefits are on the line.