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Thursday, January 19, 2017

 9:18 AM 

Wendy Riemann column: Advantageous Advocacy: New year, new offices, new beginnings

Happy New Year!  Tomorrow, January 20th, begins a new presidential administration and with it will come many new beginnings.  We cannot plan for or expect government to be “business as usual” because in a strange irony, America elected a businessman, not a politician, to be the leader of the free world.  Like any transition, there will be growing pains.  There will be changes – some more noticeable than others.  And this inauguration, there will be a larger shake-up of the status quo, per the electorate.

Additionally, earlier this month, Senators and Representatives were sworn into office for the start of a new Congress.  Each comes to D.C. with a sense of purpose and hopes to make a difference.

As voters and advocates, we do not need to agree with any or all the positions these officials take, however we should always respect the office they hold in representing our one nation under God.

If an advocate has not already, now is the time to get organized for the year, including updating contact information.  For example, many Wisconsin officials in Washington, D.C., have new office addresses, including: Representatives Duffy (2330 Rayburn), Gallagher (1007 Longworth), Grothman (1217 Longworth), and Pocan (1421 Longworth).  Telephone numbers and email addresses remain the same.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that as a new Congress begins, the scoreboard returns to zero as the restart button is pushed.  Legislation that was introduced or was moving last year is back to square one.  Now is the time for making known any needed edits to legislation that will be reintroduced, updating materials, reconnecting with allies, or beginning the advocacy push again.

Now is also a good time to think about specifics.  Saying “We need healthcare prices to decrease” is not as helpful as providing good examples of ways to potentially achieve this.  As new staff members join offices, it is also a great time for a group or business to make an introduction, explain its presence in the district, and how it can help the office – without making a formal ask.

A new session offers a fresh start.  If a group has not reached across the aisle before, or needs to make amends, there is no time like the present to extend the olive branch.

Finally, let us not forget patience and understanding as new officials and new staff are finding their way – we were all new at our jobs once and mistakes are not only bound to happen, but to error is human.  The important thing is forgiving and working to move forward, because we all sink or swim together.

-- Riemann is president of 1492 Communications, a consulting firm. Like 1492 Communications on Facebook to learn more.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

 8:26 AM 

Committee assignments taking shape for Wis. congressional delegation

Committee assignments are starting to firm up for Wisconsin’s members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan announcing he’ll serve on Appropriations.

The appointment, which the Town of Vermont Dem said will be a chance for him to “fight for middle class families,” is one of several that’s been announced so far.

Below is a summary of the appointments for the state’s congressional delegation, according to their aides or news releases. The list excludes House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville.

*U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson will remain chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He’ll continue to chair the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation within the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. He’ll also serve on the Budget Committee and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

*U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin will stay on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. She’ll also join the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

*U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner will be on the House Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.

*U.S. Rep. Ron Kind will be on the Ways and Means Committee.

*U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher will be on the Armed Services Committee and is still waiting to hear on other appointments.

*U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy will be on the House Financial Services Committee, chairing its Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. A spokesman said it’s yet to be decided whether he’ll have other roles within the committee.

*U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman’s only confirmed appointment so far is to the Committee on Budget, a spokeswoman said, adding that the decision on other committees is forthcoming.

*U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore’s assignments haven’t yet been decided, a spokesman said. Last session, she was on the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Budget.

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· Tammy Baldwin (D)
· Ron Johnson (R)

· 1st CD: Paul Ryan (R)
· 2nd CD: Mark Pocan (D)
· 3rd CD: Ron Kind (D)
· 4th CD: Gwen Moore (D)
· 5th CD: F. James Sensenbrenner (R)
· 6th CD: Glenn Grothman (R)
· 7th CD: Sean Duffy (R)
· 8th CD: Reid Ribble (R)



· July 2013: Wood's 2001 DC inauguration trip turned into new career
· May 2013: Hard work propels Berens from Doyle to Pelosi to DGA
· March 2013: Riemann uses PR skills, 'lunch-pail work ethic' to boost state interests in D.C.
· Feb. 2013: Stocks seeks to remake NEA as 'more than a traditional labor union'
· Dec. 2012: As modest Kohl bids farewell to Senate, others do the bragging
· Dec. 2012: Wisconsin experience provides guideposts to Priebus at RNC


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