Democratic events in

Pierce County and beyond

August Dems Meeting
Tuesday, August 20
6:30 PM Social Time
7:00 Meeting Begins 

Join us at the office:
111 E Locust Street, River Falls


Pierce County Fair

Thursday - Sunday, August 8 - 11

Sign up here to choose your shift(s),
and get a free ticket to the fair!

Vote NO: August 13

Absentee ballots are arriving in mailboxes! Don't forget to vote NO on both Constitutional Amendments on the back of your ballot.

A vote yes would give the Republican-controlled legislature full power over how Federal dollars are spent by permanently taking the decision out of the hands of the Governor.

Do we want the MAGA GOP to determine if and how to spend Wisconsin’s Federally allocated dollars? For one, think about how long it could take the legislature to allocate Federal emergency funds if your home is flooded!

For more info about why to vote NO, check out what the League of Women Voters and WisDems have to say about how the amendments will affect Wisconsin.

Donuts with Dems

10 am - 1 pm the 2nd and 4th Saturdays
July 27, Aug 10 & 24, Sep 14 & 28, Oct 12 & 26

On the second and fourth Saturdays, the Pierce Dems are hosting Donuts with Dems at the office at 111 E Locust Street in River Falls. Come visit the nicest office we've ever had, enjoy a donut and coffee, and find out how democrats are working to elect candidates who will work on your behalf. 

Have a look at the NEW... 

July 10, 2024

Questions Eric Hovde Needs to Answer About His Bank Taking Foreign Money

MADISON, Wis.Today, a bombshell news report by Heartland Signal uncovered Eric Hovde’s bank is holding millions of dollars in deposits by foreign governments and banks. This comes after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Hovde does not plan to give up ownership of his bank if elected to the U.S. Senate.

Hovde owning his bank while that bank is taking millions of dollars from foreign banks and foreign governments raises serious questions if he were to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

“Eric Hovde is a walking conflict of interest. Not only does he want to be in the Senate so he can help his bank profit, it has come to light that foreign governments and banks have put millions into his bank and could put in millions more to influence him if he were in the Senate. We can’t trust Eric Hovde to stand up to foreign interests and fight for Wisconsinites,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Arik Wolk.

Hovde has so far refused to release his personal financial disclosure and reveal the full truth about his financial entanglements and conflicts of interest. Recent reports have also revealed that Hovde’s family business has tried to do business in China.

Read more below:
Heartland Signal: Eric Hovde’s bank has been accepting money from unknown foreign governments and banks for years

By: Clare Olson

Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde actively serves as the chairman and CEO of Sunwest Bank, a company which has been consistently accepting donations from foreign banks and governments dating back to 2017.

Sunwest Bank, a commercial bank for entrepreneurs based in the West Coast worth $3 billion, began reporting foreign government deposits totaling nearly $250,000 in December 2023, coinciding with Hovde’s confirmation as a Senate candidate.

This disclosure follows a trend seen on the company’s call reports since March 2017, indicating holdings of more than $118 million from undisclosed foreign banks, which began only after Hovde assumed the role of CEO.

In a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Hovde confirmed that he would step down from his managing positions at Sunwest Bank should he be elected to the U.S. Senate in November. However, he has expressed reluctance to divest his ownership of the company, a decision that can lead to a conflict of interest.

When asked about how he plans to handle his ownership in the bank, Hovde responded saying he “will make that decision when that bridge comes.”

Though it has not been disclosed how much of the company Hovde owns, he has referred to Sunwest as his “main business” when mentioning that he “owns a bank.”

A position in the Senate could give Hovde the ability to influence banking-related legislation, which could lead to personal benefits if he continued to own a large portion of Sunwest Bank. Yet, Hovde believes only a “small handful” of voters would care.

“California bank owner Eric Hovde is running for Senate to help himself and his bank make millions of dollars, not to fight for working Wisconsinites,” said Arik Wolk, rapid response director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “He is a walking conflict of interest who the people of Wisconsin cannot trust him to work for them and only them.”


July 17, 2024

Shameless Politicians

by Senator Jeff Smith

Since 2017, the University of Wisconsin System has been under what we might call a restructuring. It began with integrating the UW 2-year campuses with UW four-year institutions and assigning divisions within UW-Extension to UW-Madison and UW System Administration.

This new arrangement appeared to be a way to stabilize the 2-year campuses until November of 2022 when President Jay Rothman announced the closure of the UW-Platteville at Richland campus. This campus resides in the 17th Senate District which is currently represented by Howard Marklein. Senator Marklein (R-Spring Green) happens to be co-chair of our Joint Committee on Finance. This position made it convenient for Sen. Marklein to slip $20 million for redevelopment of the now closed Richland County campus in the last budget.

Sadly, UW-Platteville at Richland wasn’t the only campus closure in the state so Governor Evers used his veto pen to open up funding for other two-year campuses closing. In short, the governor removed the senseless restrictions on how these funds could be used.

Jumping ahead to 2024, and the Chippewa Valley suffered a terrible blow with sudden, unexpected closures of two hospitals and multiple clinics owned and managed by the HSHS health system. For most of this year, we have been wrestling with the consequences of these closures.

Thankfully, the legislature and Governor Evers repurposed $15 million already slated to be used by HSHS for a new grant program aimed at helping other Chippewa Valley health care companies to meet the needs of our community through this crisis. During this process, Republicans attempted to unnecessarily restrict the use of these funds to only capital costs for emergency rooms, despite numerous pleas for broader use of the funds by providers. Similar to the campus closure case, Governor Evers used his veto pen to remove the restrictions so the funds could be available for more services such as mental health, OBGYN, and more. Again, we see the governor removing senseless restrictions on how these funds can be used. 

The governor’s action on the HSHS bill has caused quite a stir among the Republicans who made claims they could not move that money to DHS now since the governor had vetoed their intentions for the money. Senator Marklein, in particular, made comments saying he wished he could do something but he didn’t know how he could move the money along since the governor vetoed their original intentions. I heard this claim in a press conference and on the Senate floor. The chairs of the Finance Committee have refused to accept the Department of Health Services’ 13.10 request for those funds as well as the governor’s pleas to meet and approve this simple request. 

Last week, the Joint Committee on Finance met and passed Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s 13.10 Request to Fund Branch Campus Redevelopment Grants. Richland Center’s campus will get their millions of dollars thanks to the finance committee’s action to accept this request. Isn’t it odd how, in this case, there was no whining that a partial veto changed the intent of their original bill? 

Senator Marklein didn’t hesitate to move the funds needed in HIS district for economic development, but when faced with almost the exact same financial situation in the Chippewa Valley, he refused and claimed it is an action he cannot take. 

You may be tired of hearing about the hospital closures and the $15 million being held up in finance. You may be disgusted and confused by the back and forth between Republicans and Democrats over the money. I don’t blame you. But, you need to know the truth. We can’t let deceitful politicians slide by hoping that you won’t notice when they are pulling a fast one on you. Those of us in the Chippewa Valley can’t, and won’t, let them forget about the healthcare crisis we continue to face.


Senator Smith currently represents District 31 in the Wisconsin State Senate. The 31st Senate District currently includes all of Buffalo, Pepin and Trempealeau counties and portions of Pierce, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson and St. Croix counties.


For more from Senator Smith, go to his website at:

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