As many of you know I have gone home for the summer back to Madison, Wisconsin. In my state right now there is an unprecedented and historic recall election taking place. The Governor is facing an election for his destructive union-busting budget repair bill that removed most collective bargaining rights of most of the public employee unions. That is not all this recall election is about, what most people from outside my home state don't understand is the budget repair bill was just the spark that ignited the fire. Scott Walker has done things in my home state that have set Wisconsin back decades and have significant ramifications for the rest of the country.
Walker's national polling is still at about 80% around the rest of the country. I don't blame the people of our country for that. I blame the media. They have not covered Wisconsin honestly or fairly. In this post I will detail some of the atrocities that have occurred under Scott Walker this past year. I hope this post can convince some people on the opposing side of the political civil war in Wisconsin to come to the side of justice, democracy and the Wisconsin way. The election is less than a week away and polling is not as positive for the outcome. I will explain how Wisconsin is going to effect us all if we do not win this fight.
Why Wisconsin Matters
The right wing of this country is using Wisconsin as a social experiment. The full effects and powers of Citizens United have never been tested in the election ring. The 2010 elections were just the beginning of the new era of unlimited corporate donations to election funds. In Wisconsin this past year over 35,000 volunteers braved the cold of Wisconsin winters to collect almost a million signatures to recall the Governor. These were average working-class people reminding us all we still control our democracy and that politicians answer to the people on election day not their campaign backers.
The ring wing is challenging this very notion. They believe that money will win elections and their political pawns cannot be held accountable for their corporate greed. The proof of this is in the pudding as they say. Scott Walker has raised a war chest of over 25 million dollars to spend on this campaign. If you include all the Super- PAC's, the Republican Governor's Association, and Third Party groups such as Americans for Prosperity the total money being spend in Wisconsin for the Governor will be about $45 million dollars.
Over 70% of Scott Walker campaign contribution are coming from out of state donors. That should tell you everything you need to know. In comparison the Democrat, Tom Barrett (The mayor of Milwaukee), has raised just barely 4 million dollars. Scott Walker's direct campaign is out spending Barret and a ratio of 12:1.
Citizens United has created a sever threat to Americans democracy. Never before have corporations and wealthy individuals been able to influence our political process. The million people that have mobilized are testing whether people power and real grass-roots level organization can defeat big money. If Scott Walker wins next Tuesday that will signal to every corporation and wealthy individual that money CAN and WILL buy elections and the floodgates will be opened for the 2012 election. They are already predicting that 2012 will be a Billion dollar election. If Scott Walkers wins It will be a 2 or 3 billion dollar elections and the elite of this country will be playing for keeps.
If Scott Walker wins in Wisconsin his radical agenda for our state will become the mandate for the country. Mitt Romney will be run around the country saying Walker is a hero and he has fought for what the majority of Americans want. Just so this agenda is very clear this is what Scott Walker has done to my home state:
- Removed almost all collective bargaining rights of public union as well has forced them to pay more towards their pensions and pay towards their health care. Effectively a pay cut of $500-$700 a month ($6,000 to $8,400 a year).
- Under Walker's leadership Wisconsin lead the country in job losses last year with a net loss of over 33,000 jobs, while the governor ran on jobs and promising creating 250,000 private sectors jobs by the end of his term.
- He has cut 1.5 billion dollars from K-12 education while at the same time capping property taxes (how school districts raise most of their money) effective cutting education twice.
- He has cut numerous social programs and tax credits for the poor, elderly, and minorities while giving huge tax cuts to millionaires and corporations.
- He has passed one of the most radical voter ID bills in the country while at the same time closing several DMV's in the state and radically reducing services hour. Effectively suppressing the democratic voice of students, elderly, and minorities.
- He repealed the the Fair Pay Act in Wisconsin which gave women more inexpensive legal avenues to sue their employers for wage discrimination (Women made a national average of 77 cent to every male dollar in this country. In Wisconsin it is 75 cents).
- He has repeal comprehensive sexual education that required schools to teach contraceptives if they chose to have sex ed in their school. Now schools are encouraged to focus on abstinence only education.
- He signed a bill that requires women to privately conference with a doctor before performing a abortion to make sure she isn't being "threatened" into the procedure-- a blatant attack on women's reproductive rights.
- He has put a radical anti-conservationist in charge of the DNA who is busy undoing every environmental regulation that environmentalists have fought for. Prime example: Wolves, a species we almost hunted into extinction, are now legal game.
The list goes on and on, but these are some of the most major points. Looking forward it is also important to know what is still at risk in the state of Wisconsin:
- Scott Walker has hired a deer Czar that has concluded that they need to privatize hunting rights and government land use for the state of Wisconsin. This is one move if he stands election.
- With the budget repair bill Walker now has the authority to sell off state assets with a no-bid process. If Walker stands an election you will see Highways, airports, State forests, and most importantly state power plants sold off to Walker corporate backers for pennies on the dollar. Millions of dollars of value we can never get back.
- Walker will expand his voucher system in Milwaukee to the rest of the state supporting private for profit charter schools and dealing the final blow to our education system.
- I have no doubt in my mind that if Walker stands an election he will pursue right-to-work legislation (or right-to-work-for-less) effectively ending private sector unions in this state.
Scott Walker is a Fascist.
Now I understand the severity of the word I just used and I do not use it lightly. I will provide some evidence to prove my point.
In this video a prank caller identifies himself as David Koch (one of Walker's major backers) and they start talking about massive protests taking place outside the capital. The prank caller asks Walker if he considered putting a few troublemakers in the crowd to turn to demonstration violent. Walker says they considered it but it was too risky of a calculation. He considered risking ten of thousands of peoples lives and putting the police force in danger. He decided against it not on moral grounds, but on it could be too politically costly.
start listening at 4:20
Also during the protest last year Walker said he would not hesitate to call out the national guard if necessary. Comparable to the violent Vietnam War Protests in Madison or the Democratic National Convention.
Here is a video of Scott Walker's Capital Police force arresting people who are sitting peacefully in the public state assembly because they have political signs pinned to their shirts:
Also remember that Scott Walker tricked protesters out of the capital building during the protests and then locked the Capital building for days. The Wisconsin Capital historically has always been open to the public. People were unable to petition their state representatives.
Here is Walker describing that the Collective Bargaining law was intended to be use to "divide and conquer the state" not for budgetary reasons:
He also was recently before the Federal Ethics Committee where he was repeatedly asked by congressmen if he used his collective bargaining bill to punish public unions. He under oath said it was for solely budgetary reasons. He was repeatedly asked if he meant with single campaign contributors and discussed the strategy he said no. He technically committed perjury under law and members of the ethics committee have sent letters for him to reclarify his statements made under oath. (read about that here).
Scott Walker is a criminal
I will end my plea for the residents of my state to see reason. There is an ongoing John Doe investigation in Wisconsin investigating Walker's days as County Executive. So far 14 felonies charges have been filed and 10 current and former Walker officials and donors have been granted immunity. Walker has a legal defense fund and has spend $160,000 in legal fees to private law firms. An innocent person doesn't have a defense fund and they don't rack up 160K in lawyers fee with discussing with the DA.
We don't want to be the most embarrassing incident since Watergate. Nixon got a landside victory and then was forced to resign for threat of impeachment. Walker will do the same and this investigation surrounds him.
Please Vote on June 5th and support Tom Barrett. Wisconsin needs an end to this civil war and we need to prove to corporations that people power will beat big money every time.
Yours truly at the protests last year.
If you need help with registration, need a ride, or just want to commit to coming to vote on June 5th you can join my small event and attempt to remind everyone in my life here: http://www.facebook.com/events/282446698518144/