US Senate candidates tear Johnson apart

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U.S. Senate candidates on Sunday ripped U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, while telling party activists why they were the right person to beat him this fall.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson called Johnson “a lying, betrayal-loving, woman-hating Putin lackey” who must be sent “back to his vacation home in Florida to be with his beau’s money.” -billionaire father. State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski said Johnson “just doesn’t care about us.”

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes sought to draw a parallel to 2018, when the ticket he was on with Tony Evers beat out GOP Gov. Scott Walker and Dems’ opportunity this fall to defeat Johnson. He recounted his background growing up in a union household and noted that he felt “the game is stacked against us” with Roe v. Wade canceled, voting rights taken away, industries in crisis and rising costs.

“We don’t want handouts. We just want a fair shot, and we know we’ll never get that fair shot while Ron Johnson is in the US Senate,” Barnes said.

Alex Lasry, on furlough from his job with the Milwaukee Bucks, touted his work helping the NBA team build its new arena, saying the effort showed that “progressive values ​​are good for business and good for workers. “.

He argued that the Dems needed to address issues such as abortion by ending the filibuster to codify Roe v. Wade and passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which includes redistricting and voter ID provisions, while ensuring families have access to clean water and passing the U.S. Sen Act on Tammy Baldwin’s dairy pride. The proposal would ban non-dairy products made from nuts, seeds and plants from being labeled milk, yoghurt or cheese.

“Because I don’t think we have to choose between fighting for the causes we believe in or focusing on the everyday issues that make life better for families every day. We have to do both,” he said.

Godlewski said she planned to speak with activists about her childhood in western Wisconsin, the daughter of public school teachers. But then the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, a decision she called devastating.

“A lot of us in this room now have less rights than just 72 hours ago, and I’m pissed,” Godlewski said.

She said the Senate had nearly 50 years to codify the decision, but treats reproductive freedom as “an extra credit.”

Nelson said the Dems needed a “strong Wisconsin beer contender” to beat Johnson. He compared himself to Spotted Cow, which is brewed in Wisconsin by an employee-owned company. He compared his rivals for the Dem nomination to Bud Light, which he says is owned by interests outside of Wisconsin, has no real history here and has watered down tastes.

“My plea is not weak. It’s not shy. It’s not probingly tested in a lab. It’s based on doing the right thing,” Nelson said.

Eight candidates on the Aug. 9 ballot for office spoke at the convention, each limited to a five-minute speech.

Steven Olikara, who founded a national nonprofit that aims to bridge partisan divides by working with young decision makers, said his first bill if elected would be to get big money out of politics and restore democracy.

“Let’s shock the world, make history, pass on stronger democracy to our children and grandchildren,” Olikara said.

Darrell Williams, the administrator of Wisconsin Emergency Management, said he did not support defunding the police and argued that everyone within a community should come together to solve the problems facing society. . This includes issues in the black community such as black crime, economic disparities, trauma, lack of mental health services and substance abuse.

“Blacks Lives Matter doesn’t mean all lives don’t matter,” Williams said. “But black lives don’t matter until they’re part of the ‘whole’.”

Businessman Kou Lee said he fled Laos as a child and his parents took his family to Thailand and eventually to the United States.

“Everything I am, everything I have, every freedom I enjoy, I owe to the United States of America,” he said.

Democrats have spent part of the past two years disproving conspiracy theories raised by former President Trump and his supporters about Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, including his win by less than 21,000 votes in Wisconsin. .

Attorney Peter Peckarsky claimed that the results for the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, as well as those for Wisconsin and three other states in 2016, did not match the exit polls. He claimed to have launched the 2004 race for George W. Bush and the 2016 contest for Trump, resulting in their nomination to the United States Supreme Court. These justices were part of the majority that overturned Roe v. Wade Friday.

State GOP spokesman Mike Marinella hit out at leading Democratic candidates ahead of their speeches.

“Democrats like Mandela Barnes, Alex Lasry, Sarah Godlewski and Tom Nelson want to dodge, dodge and distract through November, but as Democratic policies continue to fail, they can’t hide the truth about their records,” said Marinella. “The desperate attacks on Republicans are the only message Democrats can send as they refuse to face reality as Wisconsin families struggle.”

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