Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Time For Dems To Get Busy Is Right Now!

From Chris Taylor:

Following his re-election, Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans immediately began talking about their “aggressive” agenda — including their continuation of privatizing public education. Not on their minds? Policies that actually help middle-income families thrive, like fair wages, a progressive tax structure and public investments.
And as Republicans plot to use more taxpayer dollars to pay the private school tuition for children already attending private school and balancing their $2.2 billion deficit on the backs of low- and middle-income families, they balk at a modest funding increase for our public schools.
Yet the newly elected crop of Republican legislators did not campaign on expanding voucher schools. Instead, they touted their “support” for their local schools and equal pay for women.
Simultaneously, the American Federation for Children, which exists to privatize public education and whose senior adviser for government affairs is corrupt former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, paired up with Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which exists to maximize corporate profits. They infected legislative races with an avalanche of cash and the most salacious campaign literature in recent memory. These groups clearly divvied up their targets and vast resources to push candidates who would back their corporate agendas. At last count, Jensen’s group alone spent at least $148,000 to defeat the only public school teacher in the state Assembly. In total, outside groups spent at least an estimated $747,000 to $1 million in seven targeted state Assembly races.
We are entering unprecedented territory in legislative races, as money from conservative outside groups floods in at unprecedented levels.
So what is the answer for Democrats, who can’t compete with the cash?
In the last two weeks of the election cycle, I spent time in rural Wisconsin — in Rice Lake, Junction City, Rudolph, and Barron. As I knocked on doors in many small towns, the only noise breaking the afternoon quiet was the sound of children at their public school.
And as I talked with people in these communities, they indicated support for increasing the minimum wage, BadgerCare expansion and public school investment. They were struggling in the Walker economy, where only the wealthy seem to thrive. But they vote Republican.
In messaging, Democrats need to boldly tout our economic populist agenda, which Republican candidates obscured with a feigned interest in local schools and fair wages. At our core, Democrats are committed to creating a fair economy that works for those willing to work hard, through competitive wages and fair taxes and by investing in our communities and our children.
And we need to get back to what we do best — basic grass-roots organizing on the ground all year, not just during election cycles, around issues and values that are relevant to people’s daily lives. We need to contrast our agenda, which improves people’s lives, to the Republican agenda of improving corporate profits.
But it’s not just about finding a resonating message, but about delivering the message. So many people I spoke with who leaned Republican were unaware of the massive cuts to public education, and Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage and making sure the wealthy paid their fair share of taxes. A media structure in our state that can help get our message out is sorely lacking, but desperately needed.
The time for this work is now, not 2016.
Chris Taylor is a Democratic Wisconsin Assembly member from Madison.


  1. This is all well and good but presently Walker and company have total control of both the legislative and judicial branches of government. Unfortunately we are left to sit back and watch as they ram through their special interest agenda at the expense of the average Wisconsinite. We could rally all of Wisconsin to our cause but that will not alter the Republican steamroller agenda. They care not about the person on the street nor the people's opinions and needs. They no longer serve the people they serve the special interest money that has now bought all of Wisconsin government. We can point out the folly of their ways to the people but we cannot stop their dismantling of Wisconsin 's economy, environment and education. Only after the damage is done will the people be willing to work with us to rebuild and restore Wisconsin to what it was before Walker's arrival. Much like an alcoholic, the Republican leaders and legislators and judges are drunk with power and until they've taken the lives of most Wisconsinites to rock bottom will the voters take the pledge and the voting steps necessary to put these drunken politicians into rehab and out of office .

    1. You are right.

      Only, will rock bottom will be far enough?

      We can' have a recall election, these issues must be settled in the regular election cycle.

      34th out of 50 states isn't good enough (or would that be bad enough). We have to sink to the very bottom. We must be the absolute worst state in the entire nation. We MUST BE the worst state in the nation. But will that be enough to convince Walkers followers?

      Under Walkers leadership (leadership WTF ?) we have already fallen behind in the midwest.

      We have fallen behind in the midwest but people believe him when he spews out "it's working."

      That isn't bad enough. One state out of eight or so in the midwest?

      No. Not even close.

      We must sink to the bottom faster than a rock falling through water.

      People don't deserve to have rights in the workplace.

      No they don't.

      Workers rights in the workplace don't promote job creation.

      That's what we need. Job creation. Low wage, shitty job creation. That way everyone that wants a job and wants to get themselves and their families out of poverty can have two or three jobs per person to work their way out of poverty.

      What, do you want to have just one job to be out of poverty?

      That isn't the republican way!

      Well, that is unless you are showin' Robin Voss and his pals that you are showin' him some lovin'. You know. Big dollar campaign contribution kind of lovin'. If you can't show them that kind of lovin', well then, you just don't count.

      If the people are paying attention they know all of this.

      Unfortunately not enough of them seem to care.

      The sad thing is that some people want to jump off of the fiscal cliff but they want to take everyone else down with them.

      So, when do we all have to start pulling out our teeth to look like the idiots that Walkers supporters want us to be?

  2. WisDems DID promote their progressive tax policies and blind support for teacher's unions. And those candidates are sitting home today. Speculating about how they can turn door knocks into votes. :)