By Jeff Simpson
By now, everyone knows what a bad night it was for Democrats in the Nation and especially Wisconsin. The Democrats had high priced consultants, lots of money, some excellent candidates and still ended up taking a beating. For some reason, which we have already discussed here, the Dems could not seem to connect with the voters.
Instead of high priced consultants and a professional political class who are pointing fingers elsewhere, the actual answer is right in front of them.
Another story of the election day, was that the voters all over Wisconsin reaffirmed their support for public schools. While Democrats up and down the ballot were getting defined as tax and spend liberals and losing their elections handily, local school districts were asking for almost a billion dollars from the taxpayers of WI. In Most instances the people said a resounding YES!
School districts asked voters to endorse nearly $700 million in borrowing for new construction and building updates, and more than $150 million in increases in school district budgets — dollar amounts that were the largest put before voters at the annual spring election going back at least a decade. (For more on that, read our blog post from last week)
Voters approved 55 of the 71 referendums on the ballot, including $492 million in borrowing for building upgrades and construction projects, $128 million to expand school district budgets for a set amount of time, and $10 million to expand school budgets on a recurring basis.
I know, because we passed one in April, what goes into them. It is not tens of thousands of dollars, high priced consultants and dictating from the state above. What passes these referendums, is citizen committees, community meetings, defined jobs, a clear plan, understanding your opponents and a clear concise message.
That is what is going to take our Legislature back, community organizing, discussions, engagement and a concise, consistent message that is told by every candidate from Superior to Footville.
Then we can start to see even the gerrymandered districts turn!