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Goodman writes: "Central to Walker's win was a massive infusion of campaign cash, saturating the Badger State with months of political advertising. His win signals less a loss for the unions than a loss for our democracy in this post-Citizens United era, when elections can be bought with the help of a few billionaires."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, 04/13/12. (photo: AP)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, 04/13/12. (photo: AP)



Thank Citizens United for Scott Walker

By Amy Goodman, Guardian UK

07 June 12

 

he failed effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is widely seen as a crisis for the labor movement, and a pivotal moment in the 2012 US presidential election season. Walker launched a controversial effort to roll back the power of Wisconsin's public employee unions, and the unions pushed back, aided by strong, grassroots solidarity from many sectors. This week, the unions lost.

Central to Walker's win was a massive infusion of campaign cash, saturating the Badger State with months of political advertising. His win signals less a loss for the unions than a loss for our democracy in this post-Citizens United era, when elections can be bought with the help of a few billionaires.

In February 2011, the newly elected Walker, a former Milwaukee county executive, rolled out a plan to strip public employees of their collective-bargaining rights, a platform he had not run on. The backlash was historic. Tens of thousands marched on the Wisconsin Capitol, eventually occupying it. Walker threatened to call out the National Guard. The numbers grew. Despite Walker's strategy to "divide and conquer" the unions (a phrase he was overheard saying in a recorded conversation with a billionaire donor), the police and firefighters unions, whose bargaining rights he had strategically left intact, came out in support of the occupation. Across the world, the occupation of Tahrir Square in Egypt was in full swing, with signs in English and Arabic expressing solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin.

The demands for workers rights were powerful and sustained. The momentum surged toward a demand to recall Walker, along with a slew of his Republican allies in the Wisconsin senate. Then laws tempered the movement's power. The Wisconsin recall statute required that an elected official be in office for one year before a recall. Likewise, a loophole in the law allowed the target of the recall to raise unlimited individual donations, starting when the recall petitions are filed. Thus, Walker's campaign started raising funds in November 2011. His opponent, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, was limited to individual donations of up to $10,000, and had less than one month to campaign after winning the Democratic party primary on 8 May.

Coupled with the impact of the US supreme court's Citizens United decision, the Wisconsin loophole set the stage for grossly lopsided fundraising between Walker and Barrett, and an election battle that was the most expensive in Wisconsin's history. According to the most recent state campaign finance filings, Walker's campaign raised over $30.5m, more than seven times Barrett's reported $3.9m. After adding in Super Pac spending, estimates put the recall election spending at more than $63.5m.

According to Forbes magazine, 14 billionaires made contributions to Walker, only one of whom lives in Wisconsin. Among the 13 out-of-state billionaires was Christy Walton, the widow of John T Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz writes about the Walton family in his new book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future. He notes, "the six heirs to the Walmart empire command wealth of $69.7bn, which is equivalent to the wealth of the entire bottom 30% of US society." That is almost 95 million people. Stiglitz told me:

"We've moved from a democracy, which is supposed to be based on one person, one vote, to something much more akin to one dollar, one vote. When you have that kind of democracy, it's not going to address the real needs of the 99%."

The voters of Wisconsin did return control of the state senate to the Democratic party. The new majority will have the power to block the type of controversial legislation that made Walker famous. Meanwhile, three states over in Montana, the Democratic state attorney general, Steve Bullock, won his party's nomination for governor to run for the seat held by term-limited Democrat Brian Schweitzer. Bullock, as attorney general, has taken on Citizens United by defending the state's 100-year-old corrupt practices act, which prohibits the type of campaign donations allowed under Citizens United. The case is now before the US supreme court.

Wisconsin's recall is over, but the fight for democracy starts with one person, one vote, not 1%, one vote.

• Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column

 

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+23 # Lisa Moskow 2012-06-07 10:52
Scott Walker could be cast for a new movie.
"The Return of the Zombies".
 
 
+24 # Glen 2012-06-07 12:51
No No, Lisa. The movie will have more to do with cannibals. They have no compunction in consuming and absorbing fellow beings. Cannibals will also eat their own. Walker will be guilty of that - just watch.
 
 
+6 # doneasley 2012-06-07 22:08
Quoting Glen:
No No, Lisa. The movie will have more to do with cannibals. They have no compunction in consuming and absorbing fellow beings. Cannibals will also eat their own...


Scott Walker will find that when he's no longer useful, he'll become the Right Wing's supper too. Remember Katherine Harris, the FL Sec'y of State who stole the 2000 election thru voter suppression? Or Colin Powell who delivered the Iraq invasion "clincher" speech at the UN? Or Jack Abramoff, the GOP's bag man? Or Scooter Libby who took the fall for Cheney?

These vile cannibals will eat their own mothers if it advances their goal of becoming a "permanent Republican majority"!!
 
 
+3 # Glen 2012-06-08 09:54
Quite right, don. How could I forget the sacrificial lambs, or goats, or pigs.

Cheney remains the head of the clan and is pretty damn good at head shrinking, too. Be hard to find someone as evil, to replace him.
 
 
+34 # Barbara K 2012-06-07 10:56
Wisconsin will get the government they bought. Let us hope they don't live to regret it. I think it is long past time to declare war on the greedy liars in our government. Time to take down the Republicans who are trying to take us down.
Don't vote Republican at any level. Our future, and the future of our kids is at stake.
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-06-07 13:39
Barbara, why do you still harbor the false delusion that the Democrats are any better? They are equilly guilty.

I will share with you my concern...

Why do the states not pass laws probibiting foreign corporations from influencing local elections?

Why should the Koch brothers be allowed to spend millions on a local election to influence who will be the Attorney General, or the Governor or a state legislature...

That to me is a major concern and where the states should focus their efforts!

"Local citizens for Local government" Keep foreign money out of local politics!
 
 
+7 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-07 14:58
Quoting John Locke:
Barbara, why do you still harbor the false delusion that the Democrats are any better? They are equilly guilty.

I will share with you my concern...

Why do the states not pass laws probibiting foreign corporations from influencing local elections?

Why should the Koch brothers be allowed to spend millions on a local election to influence who will be the Attorney General, or the Governor or a state legislature...

That to me is a major concern and where the states should focus their efforts!

"Local citizens for Local government" Keep foreign money out of local politics!

add to that, keep out of State money out of local politics. If crossing State Lines to demonstrate can lead to arrest, apply the same logic to money (freedom of speech?).
 
 
-19 # MidwestTom 2012-06-07 15:14
George Soros can outspend the Koch Brothers several times over, and he only supports Democrats. Do you think that poor people paid #35,000 per person to have dinner with Obama two weeks ago in California?
 
 
+13 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2012-06-07 16:42
That's a useless statement because Soros DOESN'T outspend the Koch brothers several times over, whether he can or not.
 
 
-12 # phantomww 2012-06-07 17:06
Midwest,
YOU can't bring up Soros and compare him to the Koch brothers. You have to understand that Soros is a "good" billionaire (according to libs) and the Koch brothers are "bad" billionaires. Also, make sure you don't mention all of the money the unions poured into WI because union money is "good" and corporations and individuals giving money to support Walker is "bad". Hope that clears things up. lol
 
 
+3 # dovelane1 2012-06-08 03:23
According to Dan Marin (sp) on Wisconsin public Radio, the Dems were outspent 10 to 1, 30 million to 3 million. Ever ask yourself why the Kochs don't support fair elections? Could it possibly be that they are afraid?

I've read that to a wise person, enough is as good as a feast. To a greedy, psychopathic person, there will never be enough, money, or the power they have learned to believe money buys. Only people who are afraid will go to these kinds of lengths to control everybody and everything. That's why they are afraid of unions - when they are healthy, they cannot be controlled.

That's what all of this is all about - control. The less control they have, the more afraid they become.
 
 
+2 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2012-06-08 08:30
I would call money spent to protect the rights of The People "good money" as compared to money spent to enable the plutocratic few to infringe on the rights of The People. Does the phrase "The People" sound familiar? It's what democracy is for. So in your snide remark, you've inadvertently hit the nail on the head.

Hope that clears things up.
 
 
+5 # geraldom 2012-06-07 19:27
A lot of the blame for the Citizens United decision has to be put on two Democratic Senators who were supposed to be, and I quote, extremely experienced in politics and should have known better, Senators Diane Feinstein and Charles Schumer who strongly backed up and supported GWB's nominees for the United States Supreme Court, Samuel Alito and John Roberts.

Both Feinstein and Schumer should have known at the time, when Alito and Schumer were being interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as to their beliefs and to their agenda, that as soon as their mouths began moving that they were lying through their teeth when they made assurances that they would not act in such a way.

After both Alito and Roberts voted for Citizens United as well as other decisions that further deteriorated what little we had left of a Democracy, Chuck Schumer later expressed his disappointment in supporting both of Bush's nominees. When voting for federal judges, one must never forget that these are lifetime appointments. Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein forgot about that.
 
 
+3 # dovelane1 2012-06-08 03:26
There has been info out on the web about getting Thomas off the bench. Why haven't I heard any of the democrats talking about that? I wrote my congressman, and heard nothing back. Any thoughts?
 
 
+1 # geraldom 2012-06-08 09:24
Quoting dovelane1:
There has been info out on the web about getting Thomas off the bench. Why haven't I heard any of the democrats talking about that? I wrote my congressman, and heard nothing back. Any thoughts?


You won't be hearing anything back. That's why I've given up even calling their offices and attempting to speak with their firewall, the people who answer the phones with such a dispassionate attitude and have absolutely no answers for you.

The Democrats, being the wimps and wussies that they are, will, if at all possible, never ever make waves.
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2012-06-07 20:47
John, that's all well and good, but tell us,.... PLEASE...how do we prevent any of these rich jerks from BUYING the elections, when nobody knows who gives what TO WHOM???

They don't have to disclose ANYTHING. I am SURE that some foreign countries have money in our elections.
Netanyahu, no doubt is doing what he can to defeat Obama, but I doubt that he is the only one secretly meddling in OUR affairs.

We can thank the Supreme Court for destroying the country. It is sickening what they have done to us, these right wing black robed, monsters.
 
 
+4 # lexy677 2012-06-08 08:35
John Locke,
The first step in keeping money out of politics; whether local or national; is to take Barbara's advice and NEVER vote for a republican candidate again....on ANY level.

Who do you think brought us "citizen's united"? and do you know what a "false equivalency" is?..your first sentence tells me that you do not. Get a book on "elementary logic" and please please read it.
 
 
+6 # doneasley 2012-06-07 23:36
Quoting Barbara K:
Wisconsin will get the government they bought...
Don't vote Republican at any level...


Barb, It is long past time to declare war. Many Democrats don't realize that these Rats mean business. "Compromise" is a dirty word to them. In addition to voter suppression in GOP-controlled states, the thing most of us are missing is the redistricting that they're doing. It's why we don't have the voice of Dennis Kucinich anymore. They combined his OH district with that of fellow Democrat, Marcy Kaptur, and she won in a runoff. It's happening in other states that lost seats after the 2010 census. They're also redrawing districts so that they'll remain majority GOP.

True Tom Barrett was overwhelmed by $$$$, but there are a couple of bright spots. (1) The Dems took control of the WI Senate; and (2) many Obama supporters who voted for Walker didn't feel the case for Recall had been made. I really believe that's why President Obama didn't go to WI. He would have been condoning a Recall - Impeachment on the national level - without strong evidence that Walker had broken the law.

Since we can't match the dollars, the only way we can overwhelm this Dollar Deluge is by volunteering our time. Go to barackobama.com , click on the "VOLUNTEER" icon, and it will present you with lots of volunteer options.

We can't allow Puppet Romney to ascend to a presidency that will be controlled by an extreme Right-Wing Tea Party.
 
 
+35 # dkonstruction 2012-06-07 10:59
While i agree that money played a big role in Walker's victory there also needs to be a critique of how the Democratic Party and the national unions decided to fight this battle; there was a conscious decision not to pursue either the calls for organizing a general strike or calls to put forth a genuinely progressive democratic candidate that could more clearly differenctiate him/herself from Walker and the mainstream Democratic Party. While i'm not from Wisconsin and so didn't follow the day-to-day activities it struck me from afar that the unions also did little to nothing to make the case as to why collective bargaining rights are important both for union and non-union workers alike and how this campaign was more than simply a self-serving one for public employees...thi s is part of the lesson public employee unions need to learn nation-wide i.e., how do you get the majority of non-union workers to support union efforts around collective bargaining, wages and benefits...if we can't win over that majority labor is doomed. So, yes, talk about getting the money out of politics but we also need a bit of constructive self-criticism and not simply give the Democrats and the big national unions a pass on this one.
 
 
+21 # Hey There 2012-06-07 13:07
Couldn't have said it better.

The unions need to step up and educate the public that every time a worker cries that federal or state workers,educate d or not, are being paid too much they are dealing a death blow to their chances of getting anything better for themselves.
A case in point are the Postal Unions which rather than urging members to contact their representatives to vote against S1789 are counting on amendments proposed by the unions to get rid of the most harmful parts of the bill which by all accounts is difficult to do.

47 Democrats voted in favor of S1789.
13 Republicans did.
Without the Democrat's support 1789
would have died in the Senate.
So much for Democrats control of the Senate being favorable to workers.
3 videos I made give key points of whats wrong with S1789 and HR2309.

May need to copy and paste in browser to view
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ybkkiH2Ho

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am4wez1ShPY
 
 
+3 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-07 14:59
Time element and limitations on the Dem also played into the results
 
 
+24 # Regina 2012-06-07 11:17
This catastrophe is not brand-new. Citizens United (such a wicked misnomer -- only the prime plutocrats are citizens?!) was the leading edge of a well-organized conspiracy to return us to the heyday of the Robber Barons in the 1890s. We ignored history, and we're paying the exorbitant price. Until we pry that evil, conspiratorial 5-4 ruling by a subservient "Supreme" Court out of our jurisprudence, we will not be able to recover what we've lost.
 
 
+17 # Kwelinyingi 2012-06-07 11:31
"...a loss for our democracy in this post-Citizens United era, when elections can be bought with the help of a few billionaires."

I stand to be educated as to when was the last time since American democracy has not been for sale to the highest bidder --- at least not in living memory?
 
 
+17 # Marvin Mandell 2012-06-07 12:33
I agree completely. I am 85 and the rich have controlled every election in memory. The liberals talk fondly of the "democracy" we had before Citizens United. What democracy? The ability to vote for a Tweedledee whose rhetoric is more euphonious sounding to the ear than Tweededum's? We live in a plutocracy, not a democracy.
 
 
-34 # Robt Eagle 2012-06-07 12:49
Let's see...before Citizens United it was ok for the unions to have the right to contribute unlimited amounts, but not corporations. So now that the playing field is leveled it is no good. Come on, it is terrible that unions or corporations or super wealthy individuals can throw money at elections and buy votes, but don't just focus on corporations... it was the unions that caused the Citizens United decision to allow unlimited funds in politics!!!
 
 
-2 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-07 15:03
The rare thumbs up from me to you Robt. Spending Limits need to be established for any election. These tons of money from inidentified "unco-ordinatin g" groups has got to stop.
 
 
+1 # tomtom 2012-06-08 10:47
Yes, robot e and bodio,
Getting to where any individual has the same right, ability and opportunity to represent us. No frills. Equal time in the media, stage, forum, exposure to the voters. It would end the abusive power of this monopolized, two party system. We need to be represented by Our peers, not oligarchal, privatized, power hoarding, entiities.
 
 
+5 # tadn54 2012-06-07 15:37
It's not corporations, per se, that taint the democratic process, it's billionaires. They have much, much more cash than unions-----comb ined.
 
 
+12 # tanis 2012-06-07 11:34
I can't decide if the photo is Alfred E. Newman (what me worry?) or Mortimer Snerd, friend of Charlie McCarthy. Anyway, he is ficticious. I am concerned mostly that the democratic party as a whole has adopted passivity as their permanent behavior model. If so, study the Quakers, they know how to do it right. If not, get off your rear ends and fight!
 
 
+11 # jlohman 2012-06-07 11:44
Clearly the recall process worked and should be preserved. Walker doesn’t like it at the moment, but he got his last job as county executive through the recall process. And one was started on Jim Doyle but didn’t gather enough steam. Recalls provide a needed do-over when candidates go bad, though this one was more union-driven.

But recently I've seen calls to "save the unions" and "increase the minimum wage." Indeed a higher minimum wage is warranted, but such would simply drive more jobs to lower-wage countries. Better that we repeal NAFTA and CAFTA and get manufacturing returned to the US, but the politicians are on the payroll of the corporations and the unions don't have the cash to compete.

The Dems simply don't know who the enemy is yet. It is mainly the greedy CEOs who transfer cash bribes to politicians. But it is the politicians who take the cash and return the favor, and for a while the unions were part of the game. "Some" union leaders got greedy and were more concerned about getting to $300K than solving the political corruption problem.

I don't see the unions being very influential in the future, and could even be detrimental. Even 35% or so of the union members voted for Walker.

Thus I recommend that the Dems refocus on the political "system" and put themselves above the corruption. Educate the public on the high cost of corruption (subsidies and tax breaks).
 
 
+5 # heraldmage 2012-06-07 15:44
I believe it is time for all of us to turn back to the first document of this nation. It is written as much for today as it was as a Declaration of Independence from England. What we didn't realize than is that the same people would be charge afterward.
The revolution eliminate British hereditary control of colonial property giving to those who lived in the colonies. But the original Constitution did nothing for the 99%. Only the 1% could vote (white male literate land owners) Now with the majority of the planets wealth controlled by a few people the plan is to return to feudalism, where the rich control everything & the people are serf. Working within the framework of our Constitution we can stop them. So before you loose heart remember and remind other of this section of our Declaration of Independence
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." The Declaration of Independence July 1776
1 more quote "If not now when..."
 
 
+18 # michelle 2012-06-07 11:56
Sadly this is also a statement about the electorate. The plutocrats have very successfully divided us into camps, rather like team sports. We vote against the interests of others never seeing or understanding how it will impact us. We are letting plutocrats come for us one group at a time, indeed we are helping them with the task. It wasn't just Wisconsin. San Diego and San Jose voted to screw government workers out of their pensions. The voters can't seem to put their energy into securing pensions for all rather than removing them from others. When I read comments straight out of Fox or Limbaugh I must admit I have no idea how to reach these folks. How do we convince people we are all in same lifeboat?

Once upon a time we built bridges, interstate highways, national parks, etc. Nobody asks, 'where has all the money gone?'We might ask where have all the journalist gone as well. I no longer believe in America and I am sorry I live here.
 
 
+8 # bbaldwin 2012-06-07 12:46
I am sorry to read you are sorry to live here. We are in sad times, but don't ever give up. We will come out of this mess, and pick up the pieces of what is left and start anew. I am optimistic, but also a realist. We have to work hard, get out the vote, challenge people to to know the real truths and stand up for our rights. If we give up, our country is gone... so start thinking positively...
 
 
+7 # Glen 2012-06-07 15:45
Voting, bbaldwin, is not the answer. Votes are bought and manipulated. The issues confronting citizens of the U.S. are way beyond voting. The solution, I fear, is not pretty, and I'd like to not be here when it comes down.
 
 
+10 # Glen 2012-06-07 13:05
My sentiments, also, michelle. Long have I referred to the U.S. political system as encouraging various citizen franchises as in football. Too many people do see voting and all things related as the ole us against them rah rah stuff, and blindly support whoever they decide is on their team. Little do they realize the truth of the system or how they are being played big time.

Remember Vista? Peace Corps? Outward Bound? Efforts to maintain a decent citizen enthusiasm and health? I didn't think so.

Me, too, on being ashamed of the U.S. and wishing to leave. Too bad I cannot.
 
 
-2 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-07 15:07
I am supportive of unions in general, but here in California the politicos have gotten in to bed with the government unions to the point hwere the white collars keep "advancing" in positions and wages and benefits, while the working staff (in the fields) get smaller and smaller. Incompentance continues to get rewarded...and early retirement, usually more in retirement benefits that actually earned...electe d officials here need to be banned form negotiating the public union contracts. Hence the SD and PA votes.
 
 
-8 # phantomww 2012-06-07 17:12
There is an easy answer. Just move to another country. Maybe somewhere in Europe since there are so many socialist democracies there.
 
 
+4 # pernsey 2012-06-08 00:00
Quoting phantomww:
There is an easy answer. Just move to another country. Maybe somewhere in Europe since there are so many socialist democracies there.


Your statement is such a cop out, and it just sounds so juvenile.
 
 
+21 # Larry 2012-06-07 12:07
This is the realization of W's Dream: A corporate and billionaire's oligarchy (even though he would have to ask Uncle Dick what that word means). The greatest threat created by his selection as president (even greater than the harm he would--and did--do to the country during his term) is the possibly irreversible legacy of civil repression and corporate favoritism left behind by his right-wing Supreme Court appointees.

We didn't have to wait long to see it happen, did we?
 
 
+19 # bbaldwin 2012-06-07 12:39
I would agree this is Ws Dream, but the dream did not start with W, as his brain is not big enough for that. This is a Dick Cheney dream and an awful one. I do not see any good coming out of what is happening to our country.
 
 
+7 # cordleycoit 2012-06-07 12:43
Fighting a money war with rich people requires either original thinking or at least the same amount. Paying for political office has always been a problem for honest candidates. The DNC did not back their canadate and he was a lack luster guy to start with. A fine party hack a good man perhaps. From the beginning the people had said they did not want Walker they did not say they wanted what the DNC was offering. Occupy does not represent the hand in every pocket that the DNC assumes as their gospel. Offering the same old oppression does not stir people to your camp.Offering a gray understated socialism an East Germany with cheese won't capture many minds. Try smashing capitalism yes. Chain the beast: yes. Come to the people with a vision that might work even but not the slave state please. Time to offer the people a life not more living death.
 
 
+11 # James Marcus 2012-06-07 12:43
Our Electoral System is presently lethally compromised with human 'Greed Weakness' (Remember? Ben Franklin said, upon emerging from the Constitutional Convention, 'We've given us 'A Republic, ....if we can keep it')
Band-aides won't work. The Money MUST 'come out'.

Publicly Funded campaigns/elect ions. No Political Contributions, at all. No extra spending, or extraneous advertising. REAL debates!
ALL...stand for re-election ! (and NO 'Witch-Hunts')
 
 
+1 # tomtom 2012-06-08 10:58
Quoting James Marcus:
Our Electoral System is presently lethally compromised with human 'Greed Weakness' (Remember? Ben Franklin said, upon emerging from the Constitutional Convention, 'We've given us 'A Republic, ....if we can keep it')
Band-aides won't work. The Money MUST 'come out'.

Publicly Funded campaigns/elections. No Political Contributions, at all. No extra spending, or extraneous advertising. REAL debates!
ALL...stand for re-election ! (and NO 'Witch-Hunts')

Yes, indeed. Each of us must have an equal opportunity to represent (his) peers, orbe represented by (his) peers, without regard to any party affiliation or bank deposits.
 
 
0 # asbpab1966 2012-06-07 12:44
With the RepubliKKKans having enough money to buy as many ads as they want, the Democrats are dead lost in November.
 
 
-19 # brucbaker 2012-06-07 13:00
Since when are Democrats the POOR???? Get a CLUE! They are the RICH and have always been THE RICH but through a SLICK propaganda .. uh ... media campaign... enough people have become STUPID quoting the rhetoric.

Get smartened up! Seriously ... for MONTHS and MONTHS the OUTSIDE money of Democrats and Unions was pouring in BUYING people to protest .. and if you don't believe it ... LOOK AT THE PRE-PRINTED SIGNS people were carrying .. they ain't free!

The Fact that Walker TROUNCED his opponent is a miracle of modern information technology and a LOT of people talking to the citizens of Wisconsin who proved themselves to be SMARTER than the SPIN doctors and media Nazi's who condemn dissemination of information. Step outside the party line or what liberals, socialists and radical democrats preach and you are the devil.

GUESS WHAT... facts trump rhetoric .. and Walker's results ... pretty much proved the spin dead wrong!
 
 
+14 # conniejo 2012-06-07 14:35
There are all kinds of data available that compare average wealth of republican and democratic voters. By a huge margin, there are MANY more wealthy republicans than democrats. The national democratic party organization has money, though not to the same extent as does the republican party. As individuals go, republicans are significantly richer on average than democrats. I was in Madison for most of the rallies, and I spoke with many people. There were folks from outside Wisconsin, but they were not paid troops of protesters. They came from OH, MI, CA, IL, and many other places to support a fight for the entire country. The vast majority of people in the protests were WI folks who came on their own dollar. Unions paid for some signs and hired some buses to transport protesters from various cities to Madison. (Tea-party-spon sored buses also brought in some of folks.) I met a group of Wisconsin residents whose families were refugees from SE Asia after the end of the Vietnam war, poor folks who pooled their own resources to hire a bus to bring them to Madison just once to show their support for the protest and their love of their adopted state. There were many stories like these that would bring tears to the eyes of anyone with a heart. I did not meet one person (on either side) who was paid to protest. Do you think people need to be paid to fight injustice? Is that what it would take to get you into the streets? I was there, and I can tell you that you simply are wrong.
 
 
0 # pernsey 2012-06-08 00:01
Stop watching Fox liar news and you get a clue.
 
 
+1 # dovelane1 2012-06-08 03:47
A zealot is someone who berates us for not having the courage of their convictions. (Sydney Harris) Only zealots cannot admit to even the possibility that they might be wrong. All zealots have passion, but little reason or rational thought to balance off their passion.

Most zealots would rather die than change. (Check out the human bombs the zealot Muslims use to make their arguments.)

I have yet to see where you have admitted to the possibility that you might be wrong about anything. Though I could be wrong, my conclusion at this point in time is that you are a zealot.

The problem is being overly zealous. I think you care, but what is it you care about?
 
 
+9 # DPM 2012-06-07 13:13
As much as I deplore the Citizen's United case outcome. And, as much as I am disgusted with all of the money in politics and dirty tricks of the politicians and their "masters", one thing stands out. Every conscious person, in Wisconsin, knew there was an election and what it was about. If they couldn't bother to vote. If their minds are so feeble as to yield to bull****, then they deserve what they got. I'm sorry, but the "money bought their votes" excuse only applies if they are too dumb to think or they are corrupt, or both. Sorry Wisconsin. Some of you deserve better, but apparently, most do not. If it is any consolation, you have plenty of company across the nation.
 
 
+5 # Jmamer 2012-06-07 13:22
Great piece.

But "Thanks" for the Walker victory are also due to the union supported campaign that failed to sufficiently address the increasingly potent "envy factor" which, in the face of massive job insecurity, has been fueled by the anti-union forces.

Defensive tactics meant to hold on to what we have are not enough. Those of us who care about a progressive future need to advocate aggressively for increased job security, increased unionization, and secure pensions for all.

To do otherwise is to continue to allow the right to pit those who have some job security, some pension security, and who hold what remains of union jobs in this country against those who live and work without security.

Unfortunately, some of the "Thanks" for Walker’s victory also belong to President Obama who avoided becoming part of this fight fearing that he be tainted by being on the losing side.
 
 
+5 # mhutch0301 2012-06-07 13:58
At some point in the future, Conservatives and their apologists on the Supreme Court will eff up America so badly, so irretrievably, it will finally be evident to all how corrupt and corrosive they are. Of course, they'll still try to blame all America's problems on those who don't agree with them and their "our way of the highway" philosophy. But we'll all be long gone by then, to better places to live, out of reach of conservatives' meanness, selfishness, ambition, and worship of money over humanity. Then they'll have to deal with the consequences of their own cash-soaked moral turpitude themselves. I wish on them nothing but the consequences of their own benighted policies.
 
 
-11 # Raymond Dean 2012-06-07 14:42
It is sad that those opposed to Scott Walker emphasize some real or imagined influx of money contributed by
corporations or interests with evil intent to destroy democracy, unions, etc. The fact is many of us made small contributions because we favor the "right to work".And, many of us have had the experience of working for as many as three years to fire one non-performing union employee.
It was telling how many of the cooerced union members in Milwaukee and elsewhere stopped paying dues as soon as the Walker legislation was passed.
 
 
+11 # Glen 2012-06-07 15:42
Which means, Raymond, that unions should be restructured, not eliminated, as Walker and others in this country would have it. You have seen both sides of the coin, but never forget what working conditions were prior to unions and those who literally died to set that right.

Revision. Not elimination. Walker, as others in this country, would eliminate every right of every citizen.
 
 
+3 # heraldmage 2012-06-07 14:45
The only way are going to get the money out of politics is to turn the Green Party into an agent of the 99% now! Not after the ballots have been set but now! Green Party affliation would provide ballot access in all 50 States. But instead of putting our efforts into the Presidential race we need to concentrate on Congressional and State election.In Presidential election year campaign contributions are focused on the national effort & key local campaigns against the established not independent opponents. Local independent candidates can address issues directly effecting the people & dispel the 60+yrs of lies used to scared the people into accepting infringement on liberties & continuous war & foreign expansion not to defend the USA but for corporate profit. If corporate profits was compared to USA debt it would be 2 parallel lines. The USA debt is due to the escalation of taxpayer funded State Dept, CIA & military operation whose goals are to impose USA economic policy & corporate control through regime change or military occupation not due to social safety net programs. If Medicare cost was published with Part A payroll deduction & Part B premiums subtracted the cost of Medicare to the budget should be 0. Government is suppose to provide for the needs of all its people not be a source of free funds to corporation who don't pay taxes or create domestic jobs. Its time we fired the 1% from government they only want to fill their pockets with our money.
 
 
+1 # panhead49 2012-06-07 15:05
CA messed up with unions and retirement funding. We made these really great retirement deals when the tech boom was boomin' big. Then the not so free Free Trade deals came into effect. CA promised many employees 3% at 30 (work for 3 more years and you're getting 99% of your pre-retirement salary - many of those are 6 figures). That was fine when we were sittin' in high cotton but no one bothered to make a provision that if the economy took a dump these way too generous pensions would be re-assessed. This household has always been locked into the IRA and 401K retirement plans. No where near as generous and completely subject to market forces* - not to mention the taxation at payroll levels, not capital gains. Understand the payroll tax on the portion of the paycheck that went into the 401 but don't quite get that the interest earned on that is payroll taxed and not capital gains taxed.

*Yes, I understand that those pension funds are also subject to market forces but the contracts the state entered into with the employees didn't seem to factor in any serious change in circumstances. Could be that explains how we suddenly discovered our debt is double what we'd been told it was. We are screwed, stewed and can't afford the tattoo.
 
 
+3 # Bodiotoo 2012-06-07 15:10
What ever happened to ..."Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
Those are the inspirational words that Americans should take to heart.
 
 
-10 # phantomww 2012-06-07 17:17
I agree but for many americans it is now "what will the government give me because I have a right to everything free."

Examples: free education, free healthcare (single payer), free job training, free food, free housing, free cell phones, free money. do I need to go on?
 
 
-2 # Robt Eagle 2012-06-08 06:09
phantomww, thank you. It is rare on this site that anyone recognises that free isn't free, someone else is paying for it. Here they all want more free at the expense of those who have, by what ever means, hopefully legitimate and hard earned. Often I cite that entertainers and sports figures, the heroes of the folks on this site, should pony up more, but not in tax...charity, which is voluntary. Tax should be reduced, not increased for the poor and it will cause the poor to not have safety nets to rely upon generation after generation.
 
 
+2 # tomtom 2012-06-08 11:17
Quoting Robt Eagle:
phantomww, thank you. It is rare on this site that anyone recognises that free isn't free, someone else is paying for it. Here they all want more free at the expense of those who have, by what ever means, hopefully legitimate and hard earned. Often I cite that entertainers and sports figures, the heroes of the folks on this site, should pony up more, but not in tax...charity, which is voluntary. Tax should be reduced, not increased for the poor and it will cause the poor to not have safety nets to rely upon generation after generation.

So, the rich have the right to be rich and the poor have the right to be poor? Debt, poverty, sickness, depresión, are not always things we have power over. I don't see it legitimate that one American is able to eat three steaks a Day, while millions are Hungry. We have the ability and resources to feed everyone. Justice doesn't trickle down enough. We aren't being represented by peers.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2012-06-08 15:27
The U.S. has boasted on its wealth, compassion, health care and so much else. Why is it the U.S. cannot take care of the country at large and put taxes to use assisting citizens. It is, after all, citizens who comprise the true resources of the country.

The reason? War. Trillions being spent on attacking countries, building methods of economic and technological aggression. Advanced governments/cou ntries can and do maintain the structure of their country as well as their citizens.

Why is it so difficult for the U.S. to match the same level of health and cooperation with citizens? WAR
 
 
-2 # phantomww 2012-06-09 17:21
yes, the rich do have a right to be rich. The poor have a right to be rich also. For those who can not take care of themselves then the rest of us have a respondsibility to care for them and that is called charity. The poor do not have a right to a home, food, job, cell phone etc. BTW, no where in the US Constitution does it give the government the power to take property from one american and give it to another.
 
 
-1 # Glen 2012-06-10 05:37
Spoken like a person who has never unexpectedly lost everything, including a job, or been raised poor and struggling to maintain two jobs without insurance and all the rest required of citizens, including car insurance.

The government does not "take property from one american and give it to another". The government collects what should be fair taxes and then should use those taxes to build a solid country with programs to maintain educated, healthy citizens. The poor pay taxes, right? All of us pay taxes on everything purchased, and beyond.

To pass judgement on who has rights and that the poor pretty much have none is the height of arrogance. As I said, in a country such as the U.S., there is no reason whatsoever that all citizens cannot receive proper living standards and have good jobs.

We all do know why that is not happening.
 
 
0 # phantomww 2012-06-10 17:52
Glen, you have no idea what I have experienced, do you? Like when I lost my job and had to sell my motorcycle and other personal items to pay my rent. Or the fact that my wife grew up so poor that her parents bought their Christmas present (note not plural) at Goodwill store. Or the fact that I worked 2 jobs putting myself through college (6-7 days a week for over 18 months at one span). That I did not have any insurance from the time I turned 18 until about 6 months after I graduated from college.
As for your 2nd paragraph, you are wrong. First, money is property and government does take it from 1 person and give it to another (wonder why there was no income tax in the original Constitution?) and also why don't you look up Kelo vs New London, were the liberal justices voted that the city could take a women's house and turn it over to a corporation so that the corporation could build a parking lot. The house was torn down and the lot is now empty. Thanks to the libs on the supreme court. And libs complain about Citizens United but sure are silent on taking a person's home. How come?
 
 
0 # Glen 2012-06-11 15:18
I know nothing of you, phantomww. This is the internet. However, your statements reveal your attitude toward the poor, regardless of your own situation. It is typical that folks turn on their own kind.

The fallacy of government assistance to the poor (taking property from some folks and giving it to others) is not the predominant thrust of the U.S. government. Neither democrats or republicans are much into assisting citizens. As I said in my post, WAR is the dominant spending interest in the U.S. The government takes from us and gives it to the Pentagon.

Which so-called liberal court are you referring to? Surely you are considering Scalia and Thomas in that court. Both sides are screwing U.S. citizens and you truly do need to accept that.

A huge number of citizens have suffered one way or another, but we do have the right to expect our government, that collects taxes and boasts wealth and caring to take care of its citizens. Most advanced countries do take care of citizens.

Are those who have lost their property democrats or republicans? Are those that lost jobs and houses democrat or republican? How about those who have applied for food stamps? How about those who are working their butts off but after bills are paid have maybe $50 left over. They have no health insurance or any frills whatsoever and they have children.

In the United State of America it is a damn crime that there are people suffering.
 
 
0 # phantomww 2012-06-11 21:50
Glen,
first a point of agreement: both Dem and Rep politicians mostly put their interest above ours or the nations.

Knowing this, I agree with the framers that the best government is the one that has the least amount of power over our lives.

Now this is where we disagree: you talk about the government taking care of us. I don't want the government to take care of me. I want it to leave me alone. I just want it to protect me from foreign invaders, criminals and help whenever I am unable to take care of myself. That does not mean cradle to grace nany state. If I fail and fall down then let me get up myself. If I can't get up then a hand up is fine but if I won't get up then I should just be left to stay down.
Finally, in NO country are there people who are not suffering. One can't prevent suffering and trying to is a fool's errand.

Government that governs best is the one that governs the least. (Not does not govern at all) Limited government as set out in the constitution is still the best model.
 
 
+4 # WestWinds 2012-06-07 16:53
All we are doing is running laps in this country. The Left is just as complicit as the Right. Every year a bill is introduced in Congress for campaign finance reform and every year both sides roundly vote it down.

It now costs 20 Billion dollars to run for the US presidency; that's insane. And who benefits from all of this money?:
The corporate owned TV (thanks Bill Clinton for nothing,) and the corporate advertising companies. Meanwhile, we have poverty in this country.

The Supreme Court no longer has any credibility; they're just a pack of store-bought red-light workers. And no one has the cojones to stop their appalling excuse for being. We need no more political appointments to the bench, caps on their powers and term limits. They are a disgrace.

I can only conclude from all of this, that the mindless masses want corruption, want no pay, want 18 hour days, want no health care, want to be forced to pay for every breath they take. Wish-Con-Sin has made this very clear. And these people call themselves Americans. I'm so ashamed; post-Hitler Germany has no greater shame than us, now. We are taking the cake.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2012-06-08 09:28
"Red light workers". Good one, WestWinds".

We may all conclude that the masses are in agreement that the elites have the rights and power, and are satisfied to merely complain.

Any local workers organization, government, school, and so on, should have increased participation by that community rather than throwing it to the wealthy and connivers. On a national level, it is much more difficult.
 
 
+2 # tomtom 2012-06-08 11:22
Quoting WestWinds:
All we are doing is running laps in this country. The Left is just as complicit as the Right. Every year a bill is introduced in Congress for campaign finance reform and every year both sides roundly vote it down.

It now costs 20 Billion dollars to run for the US presidency; that's insane. And who benefits from all of this money?:
The corporate owned TV (thanks Bill Clinton for nothing,) and the corporate advertising companies. Meanwhile, we have poverty in this country.

The Supreme Court no longer has any credibility; they're just a pack of store-bought red-light workers. And no one has the cojones to stop their appalling excuse for being. We need no more political appointments to the bench, caps on their powers and term limits. They are a disgrace.

I can only conclude from all of this, that the mindless masses want corruption, want no pay, want 18 hour days, want no health care, want to be forced to pay for every breath they take. Wish-Con-Sin has made this very clear. And these people call themselves Americans. I'm so ashamed; post-Hitler Germany has no greater shame than us, now. We are taking the cake.

I don't think the poor are being fairly represented by the rich?
 

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