March and April, 2023 Newsletter


The future freedom in our state depends on the election of Judge Janet Protasiewicz to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Experts believe there is a clear-cut case that would overturn the 1849 abortion ban which is already working its way through the lower courts. But if the Supreme Court continues its pattern of right judicial activism, then it’s a near-certainty the Supreme Court would declare the ban in full effect. Voter suppression, gerrymandered maps and anti-union decisions will continue if we fail to elect a progressive justice.

Also on the ballot are two constitutional amendment changes. Question 1 is about conditions of release before conviction. Question 2 is about cash bail before conviction. The ballot questions are ambiguous and misleading. Increased pretrial detention and denial of bail will violate the rights of those who are innocent until proven guilty, increase costs for rural jails, and adversely impact the less affluent. Please vote NO on these amendments.

There is a quick turnaround between when absentee ballots will be sent out (March 15) and the April 4th election. If there is a chance that your ballot won’t be received on time (mail by March 27th) voters are asked to either early vote with their municipal clerk from March 21-31 or vote on election day. Any voting questions can be answered by calling the Voter Protection Line at 866-336-3232.


Our office at 1404 E. Green Bay Street will open on Friday, March 10th. It will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm until the election. We will soon be getting yard signs for Judge Janet. We will also have progressive flags for sale. Stop in and talk to Carrie. Sign up to make phone calls or write postcards to encourage others to vote in this important election.


Matt Rothchild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, will be speaking on this topic at our March 15th 7:00 pm zoom meeting. This nonprofit group is dedicated to clean, open democratic government where everyone has an equal voice .It is a nonpartisan watchdog that tracks and exposes money in politics. The zoom link will be sent out via email.


March 9 and April 6: Breakfast Club on WTCH 960 am. 8:00-9:00 am.

March 10: Democratic office open from 11:00 am–4:00 pm

March 15: 7:00 pm Zoom Membership Meeting with Matt Rothchild from the WI Democracy Campaign

March 21: Early voting begins

April 4: Spring General Election 7:00 am—8:00 pm


The 8th Congressional District’s Convention will be held on April 29th in Sturgeon Bay. The State Convention will from June 10-11 in Green Bay. If you wish to be a delegate, let Jan Koch know. You don’t need to be a member to attend.

Chair’s Comments

We were successful in putting Judge Janet on the ballot. Shawano County increased primary voter turnout from the low 20s to over 30 percent. Some of the increase may be attributed to TV advertisements but we also had volunteers calling Democrats across Shawano County to inform them to vote for one of progressive candidates (Thank You!). We also invested in radio ads on WTCH and WOWN.

We plan to continue our calling efforts and will also have postcards in the office for volunteers to pick up. Weekends of Action will inform voters of the election’s importance through door canvassing and phone calls. Please volunteer.

Jan Koch, Chair

Letter to the Editor (October 2022)

Republican Extremism Not Recent Phenomenon

I’m often asked why so many people don’t challenge what is being said by Republicans, especially Donald Trump. I try to make sense of it, and I think it has a lot to do with what has been happening the last fifty plus years in the Republican Party.

Author David Corn’s recent book, American Psychosis, An Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy, traces Republican extremism, beginning with McCarthyism up to its current form — Trumpism. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s impact is still with us. His picture is displayed above the jury box in the Shawano County Court House. Why?

From 1950-54, McCarthy lead a witch hunt to root out alleged communists in the US government, Hollywood and elsewhere. Most of those he accused had nothing to do with the Communist Party, yet they were still blacklisted and/or lost their jobs.

The John Birch Society picked up where McCarthy left off. They even accused President Dwight D. Eisenhower, of being a Communist.

More recently, we have had the Tea Party, which falsely repeated over and over that President Obama was not born in the United States, that he was a Kenyan nationalist seeking to take over the government with socialism. Now we have Qanon with its unexplainable conspiracy theories.

Our nation is struggling to hold onto its democracy. In the past, the two major opposing political parties worked cooperatively. Today, it has become a money-fueled winner take all power struggle. Republicans make assertions that Democrats want to destroy our country. Democrats say Republicans are actually doing it: with stacked courts that render blatantly partisan decisions, and legislatures that seek to suppress the vote, even intent on controlling the voting process itself and the final outcome as well.

History has shown us that some people can and will say and do anything for power. History will also show that the elections next month can and will determine America’s future based on who we choose: whether it be a renewed effort to maintain our democracy, or acceptance of a radical right wing shift towards an authoritarian takeover by people who will not accept election results unless they win.

We need to vote wisely for our future and that of our families. That is, if we want to remain the United States of America. As Abraham Lincoln cautioned during a similar time of great peril: “a house divided cannot stand.”

Shawano County Dems Fall Fundraiser

The Shawano County Democrats held their annual Fall Fundraiser on Friday, September 24. The event was held at the Lumberyard Bar & Grill in Bonduel. Activities included a few key speakers, raffles with an assortment of prizes and a delicious meal.

Aaron  Richardson attended the Fall Fundraiser

Judge Everette Mitchell addresses the guest in attendance

William Switalla with attendees