NEW! Wisconsin Primary Voter Guide Released

Who are our leaders – REALLY?  
What’s behind the polished speeches
and promises to make our lives better?

>>>>>Click HERE to watch a video that explains how YOU can affect change in Wisconsin, and in Washington, with your VOTE.

Less than 20% of voters actually vote in the PRIMARY elections in their state, yet did you know…

  • primaries determine the election?
  • in low-voter-turnout elections, your vote matters more than ever?
Wisconsin’s Primary Election is Tuesday, August 12.

That’s less than 3 weeks away!  How do you know who to vote for?  Who are the candidates? How have incumbents voted in the past?

YOUR customized voter guide is NOW AVAILABLE – CLICK HERE!  

The Wisconsin Voter Guide is a combination of:

  • Voting records/ratings
  • Financial contributions
  • Endorsements
  • Candidate website
  • Comprehensive candidate survey

Each candidate is evaluated by a panel of volunteers, people like you, who are dedicated to helping others vote wisely.  
Click HERE for general voter information and to see if you have a primary on your ballot.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  • Access the Voter Guide TODAY.  Take a close look.  If you want, print off your local races and be prepared for the Wisconsin Primary Election on August 12!
  • SHARE SHARE SHARE this Voter Guide with everyone you know who is eligible to vote in Wisconsin!  Print off extra copies of the Voter Guide candidate results for your local race and distribute them to neighbors and others in your voting district.
  • Copy and paste this link:  http://goo.gl/ORWhCW  (this is just a shortened URL that goes directly to our WI Voter Guide) in an email, on Twitter, or on your Facebook, and let others know about this valuable voting tool!

NEW STUDY: AMERICA – Improving or Getting Off Track?

Heritage logoThe Heritage Foundation has just released its 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity tells how social and economic factors relate to the success of individuals, families, opportunity, and freedom. Through charts that track changes, and commentary that explains the trends, the Index shows the current state of some key features of American society and tells whether specific indicators are improving or getting off track.

>>>>>Click HERE to access The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity on line.

cultural indicatorsWisconsin Family Action also recently released the new publication, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, which is the only document of its kind, giving statistical overview of Wisconsin, her values, and the impact on traditional families.  We trust that public officials, educators at all levels, business leaders, pastors, ministry leaders, and lay citizens will find this Wisconsin Cultural Indicators 2014 Edition instructive and helpful as they make decisions affecting Wisconsin’s future.

>>>>>Access YOUR copy of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, HERE

Woe to Wisconsin: Getting Serious About This Marriage Thing

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

single momThe story could be repeated countless times.  Cindy—not her real name—was born to a single mom in Milwaukee; no father in her life.  Her mom could have chosen abortion; fortunately she made the right choice and chose life. Mom struggled to make ends meet but was dealing with her own issues in addition to rearing a child by herself. Her grandmother became the strongest and most reliable influence in Cindy’s life—taking her to church, praying with her, in general being there for her.  Eventually Cindy wound up in the foster care system and experienced some pretty rough knocks in her teen years and early twenties.  Life was rough. She saw a lot of the seamy side of it.

It took some time, but by God’s grace, Cindy was spared some of the worst things that can happen as a result of an upbringing such as hers.  She got a college education, found a good job, and took on adult responsibilities. In a recent conversation with her, Cindy said in a completely unsolicited comment, “You know, I think if I had had a father in my life, things would have been different.”

Cindy knows, intuitively or otherwise, that being born to a single mom with no father around put her in a dangerous situation and at a distinct disadvantage to actually grow up and thrive.  Today, nearly 40% of babies born in Wisconsin are born to single mothers.  In Milwaukee, that number skyrockets to over 80%.

Cindy happens to be biracial but really her race is immaterial.  Family matters regardless of one’s race.  Children of any race or ethnicity do better when they are brought up by their married moms and dads. Thousands of research studies confirm this.  Experience confirms it.  But yet we pay little to no attention to this incredible truth.

dad_baby_1Our state legislature still is unwilling to grapple with this situation in any kind of meaningful way. Unwed childbirth and divorce, which is nearly as harmful to children as being born to a single mom, cost our state over $737 million each year.  I hear every day from sitting officials and candidates that the only issue worth talking about and the only one anyone is interested in is the economy and jobs.  Well, how about we deal in some significant way with that $737 million number?  How about weaning women off taxpayer-funded handouts that encourage them to keep having children without being married to the father of their children?

How about providing real incentives for men to marry the mothers of their children and to be around for the children they bring into being?  How about modifying our divorce laws so that couples with minor children, in marriages where adultery, abuse, and abandonment are absent, are required to attend classes that show the effect of divorce on their children and extending the waiting period before such a divorce is finalized?

How about honestly and aggressively promoting marriage by championing it instead of dismissing it or worse redefining it to ensure that legally some children will never have both a mother and a father?

After all, judges keep telling us that all children need is people who “love” them and provide for them—whatever that may mean to any particular judge.  Federal judges around the country have determined they know better than the experts in this area and have decreed children don’t need both their mother and father—they just need people…two men or two women—it’s all the same. Two men or two women can give a child everything he or she needs to grow up to be well-adjusted, healthy, productive, contributing citizens.  If nothing else, that’s a denial of reality.

marriage defendingAnd then there’s the president who campaigned saying he believed marriage is between one man and one woman, and early in his presidency made a point of saying how important fathers are in the lives of their children.  Fast forward several years, and we finally get the truth from this man who would be king:  he really believes marriage should be redefined to include at the very least two men and two women because, don’t you know, they are in loving and committed relationships—whatever that may mean.  By promoting this marriage de-construction, the president was also essentially saying gender and inborn gender differences are meaningless and that fathers really aren’t all that important.

Cindy would not agree.  She knows, from very real personal experience, that her life would have likely been considerably different—and much better—if she had had a father involved in her life.  And by the way, God, the creator of male and female and the One Who instituted marriage, doesn’t agree either.

For all the Cindys in Wisconsin, we need to get serious about this marriage thing.  Mothers and fathers—men and women–really do matter to children.  Woe to Wisconsin if we keep ignoring both research and reality.

WFA President Appling on SCOTUS Religious Freedom Ruling “Good News, but ‘Telling’”

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and others in a momentous case that upholds religious liberty and protects the conscience rights of business owners.

>>>>>read more HERE

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Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling responds, “This is certainly good news for Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties and other similarly situated family-owned and run companies. It is telling, however, that the Court made it clear that this ruling does not provide, as they say, a “shield” for employers trying to cloak discrimination as religious belief.  This tells me we must stay very much on guard to protect religious freedom.”

Gauging the Well-Being of Wisconsin

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Council president, Julaine Appling:

“Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition: Gauging the Well-being of Wisconsin”

In 1997, Wisconsin Family Council released the first edition of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators.   It was a well-received publication in part because it was the only document of its kind that brought together important statistics giving a panoramic snapshot of Wisconsin.  We released the second edition in 2008.

Modeled after William Bennett’s The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators at the national level, our Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators provides an overview of important indicators that impact Wisconsin’s best natural resource:  traditional families.  When Wisconsin’s families are healthy, Wisconsin is healthy.  When our state’s families are weak, struggling, and dependent on the government, that is sure to be reflected in the overall health of the state. As the family, so the state.

The greatly expanded 2014 edition of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators follows in the footsteps of the 1997 and 2008 editions and continues to track critical indicators, typically, over a substantial amount of time, almost 50 years in some instances.  When we present these indicators graphically, we are able to see trends—trends that reveal how healthy or unhealthy our state is in specific areas and in a general sense.  As we look at these trends, we are also able to assess whether or not interventions have been helpful. This in turn can provide direction for policy and decision makers on whether or not to maintain such interventions or to introduce others.

ImageIn this 2014 edition, we basically doubled the size of the publication because we added what I consider to be an extremely important section.  Entitled, “Family Structure,” this opening 29-page section shows in graphs, charts and tables that family structure really does matter to Wisconsin’s well-being.  On every measure we considered, husband-wife families do better than single-parent families in Wisconsin.

For instance, single-mother households are much more likely to live in poverty.  Single-parent households are much more likely to take government assistance, including Food Stamps and other income assistance.  One table we provide shows that a single-mother with two children would lose $2,600 every month in government-subsidies if she were to marry.  In annual numbers, this single mom has over $36,000 of taxpayer money coming into the household from credits and programs such as Earned Income Credit for both the state and federal government, Child Tax Credit, WIC, and other subsidies.

Other statistics show that Wisconsin’s marriage rate has dropped nearly 38% in just the last 12 years and that Wisconsin’s total fertility rate has been below replacement levels since 1975.  Replacement level is 2.1 children per woman.  We have vacillated between 1.7 and 1.9 for 39 years.   The data also shows that while teen births have gone down, births to unmarried women have steadily risen since 1960, when only 3% of babies were born out of wedlock to 2010 when 37% of Wisconsin babies were born to unwed mothers.  That figure correlates closely with 50% of the babies born in 2010 having their births paid for by Medicaid.

On some indicators we separated out Milwaukee from the rest of the state.  Milwaukee numbers show an even more startling difference between married and unmarried households.  I believe it is very fair and very accurate to say that written all over this publication is the impact of fatherlessness on a state and a community.

Quite honestly, the data tells the story.  We do provide some analysis and additional information from current research.   Our hope is that public officials, educators at all levels, business leaders, pastors, ministry leaders, and lay citizens will find this Wisconsin Cultural Indicators 2014 Edition instructive and helpful as they make decisions affecting Wisconsin’s future.  We want this publication to make a real difference in our state as we work to improve and increase Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her married mom-and-dad families.

This unique and significant report is available online HERE.

Milwaukee Data Show Decline of Family Hurting the City

Press release from Wisconsin Family Council:

Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition shows children suffer

when the traditional family is on the decline

ImageMadison, WI—Today Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) announced the online release of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition.  WFC first released this premier publication in Appleton, Wisconsin on May 27th.  The Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, provides an overview of important indicators impacting the well-being of children and families in the state of Wisconsin and Milwaukee in particular.

“This timely compilation of data highlights how much the disintegration of the family unit is hurting Milwaukee,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council. “While some blame government, the failure of programs, the judicial system or the education system for problems in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators shows the root problem: where the family unit is no longer the underpinning of society, everyone suffers at every level of society, especially the children.”

The seventy-page publication provides a breakdown of data and trends between Wisconsin and Milwaukee for indicators such as “Children and Family Structure,” “The Relationship Between Government Assistance and Family Structure,” “Childbearing and Poverty Status,” “Sexual Activity Among High School Students,” and “Illegal Drug Use on School Property,” as well as a “Government Entitlement Analysis” that uses Milwaukee County rates.

“We know, for example, that 73 percent of children in Milwaukee living in single-mother households were in families receiving government assistance in 2010, compared to 56 percent of single-mother households statewide,” noted Appling. “Both figures are staggering, but they highlight the unique needs in Milwaukee. So many children in Milwaukee are missing out on the great benefits of living with a married father and mother. It is our hope that Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators will help leaders and concerned citizens in Milwaukee craft policy and programs that strengthen marriage and families and by so doing, strengthen the city of Milwaukee.”

Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition is available online.

 

BREAKING: Statewide Pro-Family Group Releases New Publication TODAY

Press release from Wisconsin Family Council:

STATEWIDE PRO-FAMILY GROUP RELEASES NEW PUBLICATION
Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition shows well-being of state closely tied to well-being of marriage and family

Madison, WI—Today Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) announced the release of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition.  WFC will formally introduce the Cultural Indicators at noon today at The Machine Shed Restaurant in Appleton, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, is a premier publication unique to Wisconsin Family Council in the state.  It provides an overview of important indicators that impact Wisconsin and the state’s best resource: traditional families.

Image“We are pleased to provide this important resource for lawmakers, educators, pastors and ministry leaders, community leaders and concerned citizens in Wisconsin,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council. “Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators shows long-term trends affecting the social and economic health of Wisconsin’s families and children. When our families are strong, our state is strong. And the converse is certainly true, as well.”

The seventy-page publication includes data and trends for indicators such as “Family Structure and Income,” “Childbearing and Poverty,” “Births to Teenagers Age 15-19,” “Expenditures for Public Education (K-12),” “Underage Drinking Among High School Students,” and “Juvenile Arrests,” as well as a “Government Entitlement Analysis.”

“Over and over again, the data and trends clearly indicate that married, husband-wife families, on average, are in everyone’s best interest. They bolster the state’s economy and provide the best place for children to grow up to become healthy, well-adjusted, contributing workers and citizens.” said Appling. “This publication is designed to help decision makers and leaders craft policy and programs that strengthen marriage and families and in doing so strengthen our communities and state.”   

Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition Executive Summary and Table of Contents is available online.

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Wisconsin Family Council is a statewide, not-for-profit organization advancing Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty.

BREAKING: WFC Launches NEW Publication “WISCONSIN CULTURAL INDICATORS” at EVENT 5/27, Appleton

LAUNCHING: WISCONSIN CULTURAL INDICATORS, 2014 EDITION

(WISCONSIN FAMILY COUNCIL’S BRAND NEW PUBLICATION)

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TUESDAY, MAY 27

MACHINE SHED, APPLETON, WI

12 – 1 p.m. (FREE)

GUEST SPEAKERS: Sen. Glenn Grothman/Rep. Andre Jacque & More!

On Tuesday, May 27, Wisconsin Family Council will publicly release its newest publication. Wisconsin Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, is a unique, Wisconsin-specific document that looks at cultural and policy trends that impact the well-being of the state. This publication clearly shows how important intact mom-and-dad families are to Wisconsin’s well-being, both now and in the future.

You are invited to join us for this event at The Machine Shed in Appleton from noon to 1 p.m.! A complimentary lunch will be provided. Registration is not necessary; we’ll fill the room on a first-come, first-served basis. Fox Valley Conservative Forum has graciously agreed to allow us to do this public launch in cooperation with them and their weekly meeting at The Machine Shed. Attendees will receive a copy of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition (one per family).

In addition to WFC staff, several special speakers will join us for this special event. State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), Rep. Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and other community leaders will deliver brief remarks about the importance of the information in this publication to our state.
We look forward to seeing you at The Machine Shed in Appleton on Tuesday, May 27, at noon!

Life-saving, Women-helping Pregnancy Resource Centers Under Attack

A Federal Appeals court has put a hold on a law that would have negatively impacted pro-life pregnancy centers in New York City. The law, which was written by pro-abortion lawmakers, requires the centers to disclose whether they have a licensed medical professional on staff. It also forced them to put disclaimers on their signs, in their ads, and in conversations with clients.
>>>>>read more HERE

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Council, says, “Those making money from the abortion industry would love to shut down pregnancy resource centers.  They lie about them, pass onerous laws against them and take them to court, all in an effort to stop their life-saving work.  That’s why the liberals fought so hard to kill our “Choose Life” Wisconsin license plate that would have provided funding for these centers in our state. What’s sadder is that the Republican-led Senate refused to help.”

Additionally, the popular internet search engine “Google” has now removed all advertising for “crisis pregnancy centers” after being bullied by NARAL and other abortion rights groups.
>>>>>read more HERE

The Need For More Mothers in Wisconsin

Maybe you’ve seen that silly commercial for a website that helps people find good prices on hotels.  A man dressed like a military official shows up and makes absurdly obvious statements about the room a family is considering.  Family members refer to him as “Captain Obvious.”  Today as we open this commentary I am assuming that role.

So here we go. This Sunday is Mothers’ Day.  To which you respond, “Well, thank you, Captain Obvious.”  We honor mothers on Mothers’ Day.  You groan and mutter, “Wow. Thanks, Captain Obvious.”  Mothers technically become mothers by having children either biologically or through adoption.  And you in a resoundingly exasperated chorus say, “Well, thank you, Captain Obvious.” And under such heavy disdain, Captain Obvious slinks away.

As obvious as all this seems, there are some aspects of Mothers’ Day that aren’t so obvious. For instance, did you know that Wisconsin’s birth rate has fallen below replacement levels for over two decades?  Demographers tell us that it takes 2.1 babies per woman, on average, for any population to sustain itself.  That’s not to grow; that’s just to maintain.  In addition, we still kill over 7,000 unborn babies each year in our state.  Put bluntly that means fewer Wisconsin women are becoming biological mothers.

Our state’s population has not fallen dramatically over the past 20 years for two reasons:  immigration and older people living longer.  However, the reality of fewer mothers is starting to catch up with us.

Two years ago, in the early stages of Governor Walker’s big push to get more jobs in Wisconsin and get more people employed, I heard a news report on conservative talk radio.  The teaser said Wisconsin had 25,000 jobs going begging.  The reporter said those job weren’t empty because of a skills gap.  He said they were not filled because there are too few workers between the ages of 25 and 55.  Then he proceeded to report that one of the main reasons for this dearth is that we have been below replacement birthrate in this state for 20 years.

Just this week Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance issued a new report in which they are forecasting that as the Baby Boomers retire, there is likely to be an even more significant workforce shortage in our state.  There just aren’t enough women choosing to marry and become mothers.

ImageIf you are a politician who wants to ensure enough tax money is coming into the state’s coffers to pay for all programs—and to pay your salary, you should be concerned that more Wisconsin women aren’t becoming mothers.  Generally speaking, the more people we have in the workforce, the more tax money is generated for the state.

Wisconsin isn’t unique.  Other states are experiencing similar situations.  Nationally, we are just barely holding on at 2.0 or 2.1 babies per woman, but other countries have already or are about to experience what some demographers call a “demographic winter.”  Demographic winter is when the birthrate, which is directly related to the number of women who become mothers, stays very low over a significant amount of time and threatens the future of a society or nation.

Most of the European countries are right now below replacement birthrate, including, of all places, Italy.  Russia is beginning to slowly come back from the edge of the demographic cliff, but to do so they had to offer couples special financial incentives to have children.  How very sad it is when women have to be paid to become mothers.

The Bible tells us that motherhood is a blessed calling and that children are a gift from God.  God’s plan and design from the beginning of human history was a man and a woman marrying and establishing their own family. One of God’s clear commands to Adam and Eve was “be fruitful and multiply.”  They obeyed, and thus Eve became the first mother.  We, too, obey God when we honor our mothers.

Perhaps at this point Captain Obvious would say, “We need more mothers in Wisconsin!”  To which I trust we would all say, “That’s for sure, Captain Obvious!”  May God grant us a resurgence of the blessing of motherhood in Wisconsin.