09-10-2011 by Linda S. Carbonell
Early this morning, Wisconsin State Senator Alberta Darling claimed victory for herself and “the taxpayers” with a narrow win of Sandy Pasch.
This leaves control of Wisconsin’s government in the hands of the Republicans for the time being. Only 9 of the 33 state senate seats were in question with this recall election.
In her victory speech, Darling said, “We stood up for the taxpayers and we won. We won against the powerful special interest and we saved the Republican majority in the Senate so the reforms will continue and continue on the path to grow jobs and the economy.”
Really? Her special interest, the Koch brothers and other conservative PACs, put $6.5 million in out-of-state money into her campaign. Unemployment is higher in Wisconsin since Walker took office and the taxpayers are reeling from budget cuts that terminated as much as one-third of school personnel, with no method available to save their schools or services. The Walker budget included a provision that prevents local communities raising taxes on their own.
Questions, if not a formal probe, still exist over why District 8 was so late in getting in their returns when they use exactly the same voting machines that the rest of the state uses. Part of the district, Waukesha County, was already under scrutiny for their behavior in the April Supreme Court election when they “misplaced” 14,000 votes that turned Joanne Kloppenberg’s less-than-a-thousand-vote win into a 7,000 vote loss.
The lesson of Wisconsin is a simple one….no matter how good the ground game is, the propaganda is too strong, the patented Republican soundbites are too deeply ingrained. There is only one way to cut through that bubble of false perceptions and outright lies – taking the facts to the source of the propaganda and fighting on their turf.
Our congratulations to Wisconsin Democrats for the battle fought. You took on a formidable opponent in the Koch brothers-Tea Party-right wing oligarch machine. You were out-spent the whole time. You did this one vote at a time, house by house, in person. It was a brilliant fight and you have walked away from this with honor. You took the state senate down to a one-vote majority, and you do have one Republican Senator, Dale Schultz, who has stood up to the juggernaut of the Walker agenda. He may be the one person in Wisconsin who can now save the state from further destruction at the hands of anti-union, anti-local government, anti-public services legislation. It will be hard to sustain the momentum for another year, but it will be worth the effort.
Thank you for being the vanguard of our effort to reclaim our governments.