Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reactions To The (Tues)Day That Was: Resistance Is Not Futile!

First and foremost, congratulations to one of my dearest friends, Jason Haas, for making it to the general elections.  (BTW, Jason, yes, I will, but snickerdoodles are non-negotiable.)

Congratulations are also in order for the other people I wanted to make it to fight for another day and did: Eyon Biddle, Christopher Lipscomb and Joanne Kloppenburg.

In fact, the only real downer of the elections is that my favored candidate for county executive, Jim Sullivan, fell just a few points short of making the cut.  I thank Jim for putting himself out there again and wish him the best in whatever path his life leads him down.

As for the county executive race, I will have to see what I'll do.

I know that there is no way I will ever be able to support Jeff Stone, whose stated objective is to finish off the destruction that Scott Walker started.  He's already shown that he is more than willing to oppress the minorities, poor people and college kids.  He's also shown that he doesn't give a damn about quality of services, the workers or the people that depend on those services.  I can only hope that he decides to continue to be Walker's puppet and goes along with the misnamed "budget repair bill," which would only ensure his loss in the general election.

That said, I'm still unsold about Chris Abele.  He hasn't come out with many clear intentions for the county, and the ones that he has come up with aren't worth they paper they're written on.  As I noted last night, many people that I respect have thrown their support behind Abele, but I don't know what they see that I can't.  Hopefully, I'll have another chance to meet with Abele and see if he can allay my concerns.

Otherwise, I may just have to run as a write in candidate. (Note: For the uptight wingers, that is called humor.)

But the elections were only the secondary story of the day.

The big, huge and epic story was how at least 15,000 Wisconsinites made the trek from all corners of our great state to Madison, to fight for our rights and freedoms.  These people were from all walks of life: AFSCME, the Big Green, was rocking the house; SEIU was there as well; AFL-CIO was rallying like a BOSS (excuse the pun); WEAC was schooling the legislature; students came to fight for their futures, advocates for the disabled and the elderly were there to make their voices heard.

Municipal leaders from around the state made their concerns heard.  The Eau Claire City Council held a special session this evening and voted unanimously to issue a resolution opposing the attack on Wisconsin's working families.

Another highlight of the day is when past and present members of America's Team, the Green Bay Packers, took a stand along side their union brothers and sisters:
We know that it is team work on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great.  As a publicly owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.
It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families.  But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work. 
The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class.   When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards.  Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s.  It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work. 
These public workers are Wisconsin’s champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights.
Perhaps the most savory moment of these dark times is the way the Republicans are reacting to this real grassroots groundswell of anger as people demand to be respected and to be allowed to have the rights and freedoms that are theirs.

Some are simply besides themselves with contempt of the working men and women of this state; the students who want the best education, not the most profitable for some company; vulnerable citizens are terrified of having their health care coverage or the services they depend on for survival being cut off.  Their arrogance and elitism practically drips off of them as much as their offensive colognes and perfumes.

Others are struck with disbelief that the people would actually want to live their own lives and don't need the not so benevolent overlord telling them what they will be allowed or not allowed to have.  They don't understand that you can kick people only so far before they will turn on you and defend themselves.

Yet others are befuddled that their lies and misleading statements are no longer working on the populace.  Others are even more stunned that some people recognize the fact that money is not the end all be all in their lives.

Even as I write this, there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of people waiting their turn to speak in front of the Joint Financial Committee.  Chairman Robin Vos (R-Feudal plantation) is trying to deny people their legal right to be heard.  Fortunately, Senator Lena Taylor is there to defend democracy and is keeping him in check.

Don't forget to make your voice heard.  If you can't make it to Madison.  Call and/or email  your representative and/or  senator and tell them to respect the will of the people and to respect Wisconsin working men and women.

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