Tag Archives: special interest

Trump conflict plan woefully inadequate 

President-elect Donald Trump’s planned arrangement with the Trump Organization falls far short of what’s necessary to avoid conflicts of interest and Emoluments Clause violations that will dog his administration and severely undermine the public’s faith in government.

Common Cause has called on President-elect Trump to divest from the Trump Organization and put his wealth into a blind trust managed independently from him.

Instead, he’s decided to retain full ownership of the Trump Organization and have two of his sons run it—no divestment and no independence.

These are the same two sons who recently had their name attached to an inauguration fundraiser that promised access to their father for those willing to pay $1 million dollars. The event was cancelled but the precedent was troubling.

The American public must now demand complete transparency of the Trump Organization and President-elect Trump’s finances.

Such transparency is America’s only hope for protecting itself against conflicts of interest and Emoluments Clause violations — and holding President-elect Trump accountable for his promises to avoid conflicts and violations of the constitution.

The president-elect must take additional steps immediately to safeguard the integrity of the office of the president.

To begin with, Trump must release his taxes and quit hiding the facts and the potential conflicts from the American people.

At today’s press conference, when asked to release his tax returns, the president-elect rejected the request and claimed that the “only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters.”

Common Cause’s more than 700,000 members and supporters care about the president-elect’s tax returns and additional financial disclosure.

We demand it.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Fighting a real battle to help Milwaukee’s poor

When Milwaukee succeeds, Wisconsin succeeds. Unfortunately, in too many of our Milwaukee neighborhoods, innocent kids are dying, our children lack access to basic human necessities and our neighbors struggle to find jobs.

For far too long, our communities have been crying out in a fever pitch for their elected leaders to address these real problems. However, these calls continue to get paid only lip service by the Wisconsin Republicans who control our state government. 

Recently, Senator Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, introduced their legislative agenda for the City of Milwaukee. This plan from suburban Republicans does little to undo the harm that Wisconsin Republicans have done to Milwaukee communities and, in some cases, it would further damage neighborhood schools and local workers. 

While I appreciate the attention they’re paying to Milwaukee neighborhoods, Republicans largely ignore the root problems facing our neighborhoods and instead place Band-Aids that only further their political ideology.

Our schools and workers aren’t falling behind because they need to be placed in haphazard “enterprise zones” that undermine local control and put corporate interests ahead of the community. Those communities are falling behind because our state’s elected leaders are failing to provide the real infrastructure and investments needed for them to prosper. 

We can and must do better. It’s time to put a halt to the failed political experiments and extreme special interest agendas that rig the rules for the mega-rich and prevent our neighbors and families from getting ahead. Rather, we need to push ideas that prioritize real opportunity and security for Wisconsin communities, which is exactly what my Democratic colleagues and I have been fighting for. 

We’re fighting for families to be able to put more money in their pockets and work their way into the middle class. We’re fighting for raising the minimum wage and cutting taxes for low-income workers by restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit, by providing incentives for local businesses to hire more employees, and by protecting our workers and private employers. We’re fighting to ensure our children and future generations have the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential in life by fully funding community-based education in our local public schools and ensuring our children have the support they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. We’re fighting to ensure that our elders, parents and children have the security of quality health-care coverage. And we’re fighting to keep our neighborhoods safe and secure by standing for sensible alternatives to our current gun laws that can keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, while still maintaining the freedom of law-abiding citizens to participate in our rich Wisconsin traditions. 

When Milwaukee succeeds, Wisconsin succeeds, and we can accomplish this by getting real about creating opportunities and providing security for Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and families.

State Rep. Mandela Barnes, D–Milwaukee, represents Wisconsin’s 11th Assembly District, which includes Milwaukee’s northeast side and parts of Glendale.