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September 27, 2021

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Don’t Mourn: Anger is an Energy, and Wisconsin is Furious.

Greed is the Enemy

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?  On the surface, there’s not much to be happy about in Wisconsin right now.  So what have those crafty corporatists been up to during the last few days? (photos at end of post) The republican majority called an Extraordinary Session in order to pass a reprehensible budget with as little interference as possible. This budget is so one sided, it may as well be a Teahadist fantasy come to life. The budget puts in motion a plan to award $2.3 billion in tax breaks for corporations over the next decade, strips $834 million from already cash-strapped public schools, expands the school voucher program that does nothing more than lay the groundwork for Education, Inc, cuts $250 million from the  UW System, and $71 million will evaporate from the Wisconsin technical college system. All of these cuts are necessary, says Governor Walker, because the state is broke. But it isn’t so broke that he’s willing to spend up to $2 Billion as a giveback to the Road Builders. To add insult to injury, the GOP snuck into the budget yet another special gift to private industry; James Rowan of The Political Environment Blogreports that:

…as the Joint Committee on Finance wound down towards the three-day Memorial Day weekend, it voted to add to Scott Walker’s proposed budget a fresh giveaway to the road-builders: a requirement that all 72 Wisconsin Counties hire private contractors for any job over $100,000.  And the measure bars counties and other municipalities from performing such work for another unit of government – – so a village can’t contract with a County to get an intersection rebuilt, for example, if the cost exceeds $100,000. All this work is to be privatized – – even though the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has said and documented that private contracting for road-building costs the public more money. These items are in the Omnibus Transportation Motion, sections 18-20, which was sprung as motion #352 before Joint Finance Friday around noon, and was sponsored by the co-chairs, Republicans Robin Vos and Alberta Darling.

There is no question that republicans are endeavoring to make the rich wealthier while ensuring that workers get less of an education and remain subservient to monied interests. Make no mistake; this is not a class war, this is a full-on putsch orchestrated by groups and individuals such as ALEC, The Koch Brothers, Americans For Prosperity, corporate-backed think tanks, large banks and others to destroy democratic institutions in order to facilitate the creation of a permanent majority.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in record time,  conveniently overturned Judge Marayann Sumi’s decision that voided the GOP’s attempt to remove collective bargaining rights for thousands of public employees.  It is now clear that the open meetings law is pointless and the conservative majority on Wisconsin’s high court is more interested in pandering to right wing idealogues than exercising the rule of law. Justice David Prosser, the conservative incumbent who nearly lost to little known challenger JoAnn Kloppenberg, should be especially ashamed. It wasn’t long ago that he desperately tried to characterize himself as independent. Everyone knew it was a sham, and his actions just serve to prove it. On her conservative colleagues, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson had this to say“The majority justices make their own findings of fact, mischaracterize the parties’ arguments, misinterpret statutes, minimize (if not eliminate) Wisconsin constitutional guarantees, and misstate case law, appearing to silently overrule case law dating back to at least 1891″. How convenient that Assembly GOP Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald threatened to put the collective bargaining measure back into the budget if the Supreme Court didn’t act on the original measure by Tuesday.  In Fitzwalkerstan, the Judicial Branch now serves the Legislative branch as evidenced by an e-mail obtained by WKOW- TV that suggests republican lawmakers knew the court would act ahead of the budget sessions.

Republicans Gone Wild – Encouraged shill candidates to run as democrats in order to force primaries.

The Republican party fielded Republican candidates to run as Democrats in all six of the recall primaries, with the purpose of giving their incumbents an extra four weeks before facing general elections. The state’s recall law would require general elections July 12 unless there is more than one candidate in either party, in which case the election would be a primary, with the final general election held Aug. 9.  By engaging is such shenanigans, the self-described party of “ecomonic responsibility”  will fleece taxpayers to the tune of more than $465,000 by running fraudulent candidates and forcing primaries. This figure comes from election clerks in the recall districts. So much for concern about the mostly manufactured budget crisis.

Here’s a list of the fake democrats who should be ashamed of themselves:

Senate District 2 Incumbent: Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Allouez). Challengers: Democrat Nancy Nusbaum of De Pere, fake Democrat Otto Junkermann of Green Bay.

Senate District 8 Incumbent: Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). Challengers: Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-River Hills), fake Democrat Gladys Huber of Mequon.

Senate District 10 Incumbent: Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls). Challengers: Democrat Shelly Moore of River Falls,fake Democrat Isaac Weix of Menomonie.

Senate District 14 Incumbent: Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). Challengers: Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo), fake Democrat Rol Church of Wautoma.

Senate District 18 Incumbent: Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac). Challengers: Democrat Jessica King of Oshkosh,fake Democrat John D. Buckstaff of Oshkosh.

Senate District 32 Incumbent: Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse). Challengers: Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse),fake Democrat James D. Smith of La Crosse.

This is further proof that these people will stop at nothing to hold on to power while making  a mockery of the electoral process.

Tuesday’s Mass Rally on the Capitol Square.

Once again thousands of citizens massed in Madison to protest the corporate republican-backed horrendous budget and the war on working families. As expected, the calls for fairness and pleas for compassion went unheeded. Just before the rally started at 5pm, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced that it had reversed Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi’s decision that voided the original measure.  Instead of an overwhelming sense of defeat, protestors and activists were outraged and immediately looked toward the upcoming recall elections as the next battle.

Marty Biel, Executive Director of AFSCME referred to the capitol as a “marble whorehouse” and announced to republican legislators that “we’re going to be spending our summer in your neighborhoods”.

Marty Biel, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 24.

Video of Reverend Willie Briscoe’s speech

Introduced by Mahlon Mitchell, Phil Nuenfeldt, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President speaks.

Ellen Carlson speaks about budget impacts on education

Kim Hoffman, middle school teacher and 17 year veteran of the Wisconsin Army National Guard

Francisca Miras, member of Youth Empowered in the Struggle of Voces de la Frontera.

Mahlon Mitchell, President of Firefighters Union and Jackie Pokorney, SEIU member

We’re not going anywhere. We will fight, we will recall, we will keep the Wisconsin Idea alive until we successfully return a measure of sanity to the legislature, and ultimately, the governor’s mansion. The immoral actions of the republican majority will not be forgotten. What they’ve created is a new generation of activists, and ultimately a new national progressive movement. On Thursday, thousands of labor activists rallied at the NJ State Capitol to protest my home state’s bid to severely restrict collective bargaining rights. Just more evidence that this is a nationwide effort to destroy unions and advance a radical right wing agenda. Say goodbye to women’s reproductive rights, strong public schools, and critical social safety nets- unless we continue to organize and fight.

Photos from the Wisconsin rally on Tuesday.

Firefighters and supporters at the rally.

 

Phil Nuenfeldt, WI State President, AFL-CIO

 

Mary Bell, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council

 

Ellen Carlson and son speaking about education cuts.

 

Kim Hoffman, middle school teacher and army veteran

 

Mahlon Mitchell, President, Wisconsin Professional Firefighters

 

Rev. Willie Briscoe

 

Francisca Miras, Voces de la Fronterra

 

Marty Biel, Exec. Director of AFSCME council 24

 

Mahlon Mitchell, President of Wisconsin Professional Firefighters.

 

And finally…the inspiration for the article title:

 

 

Comments

comments

Comments
25 Responses to “Don’t Mourn: Anger is an Energy, and Wisconsin is Furious.”
  1. pccel says:

    You can donate for the 5 female democrats running for the WI state senate through Emily’s List at information@emilyslist.org….

  2. Zyxomma says:

    Thanks, Patrick. We stand with Wisconsin! Here in NYC, schools and libraries are threatened with Nanny Bloomberg’s budget axe. Normally, I sympathize when people lose their loved ones, but not this time.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Patrick-any idea why Prosser and friends seem to have gotten away with stealing the Suckpreme Court election? Sounds like so many red flags had popped up,Rethuglicans should have been ashamed to steal that easily.I must have missed several somethings.

  4. leenie17 says:

    For years, the Republicans have been controlled by the corporations and wealthy supporters but they tried very hard to hide their efforts to pass legislation that would help their friends. Now they are actually proud of their complete contempt for the poor and middle class and they brag about the laws they’ve passed which will help make the rich even richer by putting more of a burden on the rest of us.

    I sincerely hope that their tremendous overreach on both economic and social issues will finally come back to haunt them in the coming elections. Even the titans of years ago still understood that if you destroy the middle class, you ultimately destroy the very people who will buy your products and pay for your services, which will bring the economy to a grinding halt. They understood the importance of investing in the future and in infrastructure. Today, the wealthiest are only interested in padding their bank accounts as quickly as possible and to hell with everyone else.

    Exactly how much money is enough for them?

    Wisconsin is the front line in the battle to save our country for the majority of its citizens. If we lose there, it will be infinitely harder to stop this same kind of thing, or worse, from spreading throughout the nation. Thanks, Patrick, for keeping us informed and thanks to the people of Wisconsin for continuing the fight.

  5. yukonbushgrma says:

    Patrick, you need to send this to Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and HuffPo! — ALL the MSM, for that matter!

  6. NickWI says:

    those 4 weeks are not going to save those Republicans thiugh. Hopper and Kapanke are toast so all the Dems need to do is get one of Hansdorf Darling, cowles or Hansen to flip the Senate. If they could get all 6 that would give us a 20-13 split in our favor.

  7. HudsonElizabeth says:

    Thank you to Patrick for writing these horror stories and to AKM for posting them. Every time I read one my stomach turns with absolute fear for our country. What is happening in Wisconsin is just a preview of what will soon happen in many other states and the entire country if we don’t keep these crazy tea bagging people out of office. And, another horror is that it seems this blog is the only place I ever read about Wisconsin any longer. Another really BAD fail of our weaker and weaker MSM. Whoever let the corporations purchase the media companies not so long ago, is the real traitor. That is when we lost the power of the media to help the country stay on course.

    • mike from iowa says:

      If memory serves,it was Colin Powell’s son Michael,as head of the Federal Communications Commission under Bush 43 that released the Murdochs of the world to buy up newspapers and television and radio stations. Like other Bush appointees he figured the less competition,the better for a wealthy few.

  8. LibertyLover says:

    Why can’t the Democratic Party set limits on the fake Democrats running in the primary? Such as requiring the fake Democrats to be a Declared Democrat for more than just a few months?

    • yukonbushgrma says:

      Yes, Liberty! I’ll bet anything if that came up in court, the rethugs would have egg all over their faces ……..

  9. PaPa23 says:

    Patrick, once again you excel at getting the word out and helping to keep the spirit of Wisconsin alive. I find it absolutely amazing that four full months into this situation there are still thousands turning out (on a weekday yet) at the many rallies.
    The new budget has many little surprises in it like loosening restrictions on labor laws removing restrictions on the number of hours 16 year olds can work. They can now work as many hours as adults, even during the school year. I think that amendment should have been written in Mandarin Chinese. How soon will the minimum wage be 50 cents an hour?

  10. Judi says:

    Standing with Wisconsin and every state under attack right now. Locally the union is calling for a rally here tomorrow. I will attend…proudly wearing the red Solidarity tee I got in Wisconsin…and my grandkids will wear the ‘teach me how to protest’ tees I got them.

    This is What Democracy looks like. and We the People do have the POWER to stop the assaults agains all working people, women, children, unions, seniors, disabled, vets, well darn it…everyone except the very rich. United we will stand.

    Thanks Patrick for all you do…and keeping us well informed!

  11. barbara says:

    the NC republicans are working overtime to do the same injustice to the poor and middle class here in NC. it is scary what’s going on. yay for WI, my very favorite of all the states i’ve never been to!

  12. fishingmamma says:

    We Stand with you, Wisconsin. We’ll have your back.

    I am retired AFSCME…….

  13. Califpat says:

    Thanks Patrick for being boots on the ground and taking us inside Wisconsin to have a close up look at the movements!!

  14. Mo says:

    Patrick – what’s the best way to contribute some funds?

    • Mo, let me think on that a bit. There are many organizations involved in the effort, some much more well-funded than others. I’ll get back to you on this.

      And thanks, all, for your support! I can’t tell you how much it means to me and others.

      –Patrick

      • Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

        Patrick, we can’t tell you how much your efforts mean to the rest of us. You and all Wisconsin, are today’s Lexington-and-Concord. You’re showing the rest of us how it’s done. Power to you all.

    • CoyoteMarti says:

      Go to Act Blue and search Wisconsin. There are several funds going, both national through PCCC and the local parties and they all go right into the campaigns.

  15. Nan (aka roswellborn) says:

    Chilling.

    We thought “…that can never happen here…”

    WAKE UP! It IS happening! Wisconsin is only one state, and there are more under this travesty, this obscene travesty of democracy in action. And it will only be a matter of time until it’s “your” state, if this isn’t dealt with now

    Strength to Wisconsin.

  16. Gramiam says:

    We STILL have your backs, Wisconsin!!!!

  17. GoI3ig says:

    Hopefully, they will follow through all the way to the polls.

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