Editor’s Pick
APRIL 6, 2011 11:09PM

Wisconsin voters spoke yesterday. What the hell did we say?

Rate: 25 Flag


Yesterday was our first chance to show America (and ourselves) what we really think of corporate interests taking over our state.  JoAnne Kloppenburg only garnered 25% of the vote in November’s primary; yet, she won the coveted seat on the WI State Supreme Court defeating incumbent Prosser (whose campaign made an egregious error by calling him a “complement” to the GOP legislature and Governor).  Kloppenburg’s victory is a signal that this people’s progressive movement is the real deal; but, I would hardly call this a referendum on Scott Walker.  If anything, it tell us that Wisconsin is the ultimate "purple" state.


Kloppenburg only won the seat by 204 votes.  Precincts reported all through the night and her victory was only announce mid-afternoon today.  It was one of the most emotional days I've experienced, switching between reassuring myself that the world wouldn't end and feeling like a giddy child on Christmas morning.  Kloppenburg's total was 740,090 compared to Prosser's 739,886.  Of course both sides are spinning it.  Klop supporters claim momentum citing that this is a huge shift of voters in just a few months.  Prosser's crew is claiming that this is proof that the "union thugs" can be defeated.


He'll never admit it, but Walker has been humbled too.  Before this race, he had been telling the world that “the people of Wisconsin have spoken” as a justification to any antics he saw fit.  Today he tried something new claiming:


"I think it’s pretty clear that you have two very different worlds in this state. You have a world driven by Madison and a world driven by everybody else in the state of Wisconsin."  


This can easily be refutted by examining the precints all over the state.  Only a few counties were heavily favoring one candidate -  many of them were within 10 percentage points of each other switching between the two all over the entire state.  But a more striking question arises for me - why is Walker defending Prosser?  Furthermore, news was just released that the GOP is now helping fund the recount efforts as well.  The GOP and Walker have been claiming all along that this was not a partisan race.  Now, their true and ugly colors are splattered all over the place. 


The voters have spoken - we are evenly divided.  But a 204 lead goes to the victor and Kloppenburg justly claimed it.   The win still needs to be certified by the through a special process before it becomes official.  The importance of Kloppenburg’s victory cannot be stressed enough for another reason.  It has effectively swung the court 4-3 in the other direction.  The previous court was known for siding with big business over the working and middle class.  This new formula of the court will decide the legality of Gov. Walker’s recent “Collective Bargaining Bill” that was voted on without adhering to the state’s 24-hour open meeting rule.


The most troubling aspect has been seeing the "loser" become even a poorer loser.  Prosser's campaign has hired dozens of lawyers and has launched a "Prosser Victory Fund."  Here is what they have to say about the result:

"After a challenging battle in which a historic number of votes were cast in a Supreme Court race, we need your help in preserving a victory for Justice David Prosser. The likely next step is a recount, requiring resources to protect the integrity of the ballots cast and deliver a win. Please take a moment to contribute, with your help a victory in this hard-fought battle is within reach!"

To be clear, I'm in complete agreement with re-counts.  I would definately want one if Kloppenburg lost by this margin.  But this goes beyond that.  This blatently disenfranchises voters.  And they are unashamed about it.   

But, we have to just keep doing what we can at the grass roots level.  Keeping our eyes on the next milestone - senate recalls – my husband and I mimicked many other municipalities around the state by setting up a recall booth right outside the polling place in our city.  I voted for Kloppenburg with an absentee ballot last week.  At the same time I also informed the voting clerk about our intentions of setting up a booth on voting day.  I assured her that we would be following all of the legal guidelines laid out for us by the State’s Accountability Board.  She was very helpful and gave my son a sucker.  


 Voting took place between the times of 7 am and 8 pm today.  We staffed the booth with a group of enthusiastic retired folks during the day.  Nearly every volunteer brought a friend or two with them.  In the evening,  we had the first grill out of the season and played bean bag toss and a Swedish yard game called Kubb.  Kids also kicked a ball around with the first smell of burgers and brats cooking over charcoal filling the air.  Voters were able to vote and then cross the street to sign the recall.  We were able to garner another 62 signatures today toward the recall.


  If this were a real battle field,  even the winning side would have few left standing.  This was a bloody, brutal win.  This election proves to me – and should prove to the country - that the progressive movement is real.  The people are still in charge of this state and the people are in charge of this country.  But, we will lose sometimes.  And when we do - we must pick ourselves up and keep fighting.  And we must stand in solidarity, not allowing division to seep in.  It will be difficult and we will need perseverance.  And, we must do the work for ourselves.  


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I see another EP in your future. Consider this if you think that Walker isn't humbled. He tried to blow the whole thing off by pitting Madison against the rest of the state. He seems to have overlooked that HIS previous job in an area he now calls "dark Blue" was won by a democrat..Chris Abele won the election for Milwaukee County Executive with more than 60% of the final vote.
He tried to dismiss its importance by saying they never elect conservatives there. HIS old job. Can a tongue get more forked?

No, I think he is shaken. Slow and steady. Keep the pressure on. What the voters said today was "we are awake now. And it took a while to get up the momentum, but here we are." I'm so pleased for you and for Wisconsin!!!
Thank you and your state this serves as an example to us all.
Now the fight begins to make sure what didn't happen in Florida in 2000 happens in Wisconsin in 2011. You can bet the Koch brothers will bankroll the recount. And I would not count out the right-wing mobilizing mobs to try and intimidate the vote counters and challenge every single decision just like they did in Florida. So " A Luta Continua!"
You always give me hope, and I appreciate that much. I commend you and people like you who find light in such a very...very dark place. Thank you and wish you the best of luck. R
Y'all DO know the process for doing a recount don't you? What was seen in 2000 in Florida is not the way that most recounts are done. Takes each precinct, in the presence of the board of canvassers, about 20 minutes.

I know because I have done my fair share of recounts.
bmp bmp bmp Another one bites the dust. And another goes another goes, another one bites the dust bu bmp.

The first domino has fallen. This was the hardest one. The rest will be easier. The recount will be very similar to what occurred in Minnesota with Al Franken, and could be in the headline for months. But the recall efforts against the legislators will continue, and because of the ongoing headlines on the Supreme Court recall process, the legislative races should get national coverage too.

The rock at the top of the mountain has begun to move slowly, and in a year it will be an avalanche. +++
The actions of Wisconsin's voters - and your analysis of the situation - give me hope that maybe, just maybe, it's not yet time to flee for Costa Rica!
Yesterday you all said: "YES WE CAN!" Further, you said: "And we can without Obama's help!" Because you did!

While Obama's re-election campaign is dismal -- in 2007 he promised that as president he would put on "comfortable shoes" and join anyone whose collective bargaining rights were threatened, but he never showed his corporation-loving face in Wisconsin -- Wisconsin offers the rest of the nation the hope and the change that ObamaCorp offered but never delivered.

A million thank-yous to Wisconsinites!
This is Great! You had to figure Walker was going to spin this, all hypocrites can't stand to be outed. I'm also proud of you and how hard you and your husband and friends worked to get the vote out and the recall. You ever thought of running for office?
Congratulations. An important milestone. The tide may indeed be turning back to sanity. Thanks for keeping us posted.
This is an excellent analysis of the election. Although the election was basically a tie, its potential ramifications are very significant. The next few weeks will be interesting as the recount progresses.
See, I knew I'd see you on the cover. And my jaw dropped when I read what Scanner said, because I wwas thinking the same. Run for office. Seriously! I'll come babysit!
The Progressive Movement might be "real"; but it probably can't be funded.

Nevertheless, keep up your fight. I admire your active participation in the political process.

Try to develop some solutions. There will always be "the other side". It's time to develop the ability to chat with them.
Maybe the reason for the close vote was that the unions had a record amount of PAID protesters and voters in the street. The slim margin could be due to the paid union members showing up more than the unpaid Wisconsin voters. You could very well be pushing a progressive agenda onto Wisconsin voters that do not want that agenda. The Wisconsin voters who did not show up to vote against your progressive agenda, well, then they deserve what they just got. The vote does count. You need to ready yourself for the building crescendo of grumbling that will come from the background of unpaid Wisconsin voters. An example is the vote in 2008 and the vote in 2010. That was a huge backlash.

With elections that are that close, you could have serious issues between ideologies. You might have pushed something on the Wisconsin People, which they did not want, through organizing mobs of paid union members. Like I said before, you are now on the side that sides against 50% or more of the Wisconsin people. You may have had more voters but not more of the Wisconsin people who approve. The “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it” quote really comes into play with what happened. You may have just placed a huge monkey on your backs, all the way to 2012. If the Wisconsin economy tanks and business’ revolt against the unions by moving to another state, you have just taken on the responsibility of being at fault and the reason for the economy.

Just saying.
Y, You offer a textbook scenario of how grassroots should be done. Kudos to you and yours. As to the equal division, yes, we see that here in Minnesota so, as indicated by the Franken-Coleman race for Senate and the Dayton-Emmer race for governor (both, thankfully, won by the Democrat). By the way, Dayton is turning out to be a stellar governor in the early going, and therein lies the difference between Minnesota and Wisconsin. We are both purple states, once blue. But, these close divisions mean that any victorious party that claims an undue mandate proceeds at its own risk. Walker is off the scale on that grid and let's hope this is just round one of his comeuppance.
Voting alone never cuts the mustard. I hope people around the country will look to your state and realize that much more is required. Rated.
Satori – I’m so glad that you brought up Walker’s previous job…there are so many juicy bits in here that it is impossible to keep up with them all

Anthony – Thanks so much for the support

Ron – I know it!! No one wants to claim victory b/c we don’t want to get our fragile hopes slashed yet again…but if the other side won they would be crying “FOUL” at our attempts for recount

Thoth – yeah – some states have it much worse, others far better. We are smack dab in the middle…like luke warm water that you want to spit out…

MrsRaptor – no I don’t know much about recalls…I don’t suppose I could convince you to write about your experiences with them so the rest of us know what we are up against? That would help a ton

Lefty – “The first domino has fallen. This was the hardest one.” Oh man, do I hope that you are right!

Thefuddler – don’t leave! We need all the help we can get! The 240 vote margin out of 1.5 highlights that more than ever

Robert – I am just becoming familiar with all that you are saying here…I’ve been taken under the wing by an old-time activist in our town. We calls us nightly re-invigorated and bringing his friends to our rallies, canvassing, and booths. He suggests that we prove to Obama the HE needs US. He has said that Obama only needs to be left of the Tea Party to get a ton of corporate support. It is time the progressives in this country prove to him that he needs to be much further left than that…

Scanner – my husband has been approached, feelers have been sent out a bit w/ me too – but he loves teaching and I love writing and we both love grassroots organization…we’d be tools to be broken in the system as it is, I fear…but we’ll do our part w/ the gifts we have and the passion that propells them

Matt – “The tide may indeed be turning back to sanity.” I pray you are correct!

UncleChri – “but it probably can't be funded.” You are so correct about this being a major difficulty. To highlight the need, we get emails that ask for: “$3, $5, $10 – whatever you can afford! Let’s stop Walker and his big money agenda with massive grassroots support!” It is really telling that almost everyone we know gives a few bucks

TommyT - I am humbled by the fact that the results are close. I’ve said that repeatedly. Beyond that – we have no common ground. I am asking that from now on when you stop by my post - site your sources please and let us decide for ourselves. Critical thinkers can surf throught the information. For example, I’ll tell you the facts and links to prove it.

The truth is this:

1) Every republican recall attempt is being run by the people within that district. I’ve documented my husband and my leardership roles this entire time. We fund it – we run it in our town – we hand in our recall sheets to a funded group called Advancing Wisconsin who has ONE paid staffer. ONE. I know because I tried to get a job with them and they only deal with volunteers in our area. On the other hand, every democratic recall is being funded by the same outside private interest group from Utah called “Americans against Immigration Amnesty.”


2) More special interest money was spent on this Supreme court race than in WI recorded history - libs being outspent 2:1 by corporate interest supporting Prosser, 2.2 million compared to 1.4 million.


These are the facts supported by first person accounts and credible news organizations. This grass roots. Accept it, or not, but the facts prove it.

Steve – “these close divisions mean that any victorious party that claims an undue mandate proceeds at its own risk.” Exactly…our county went 51% to Prosser. This tells me that we should choose a right leaning dem for the recall election against Harsdorf to make sure that the person speaks for most people locally – also ensuring a vitory. We don’t want to repeat the mistake Harsdorf made and only speak for a super minority – plus we’ll get their sigs for a recall but they’ll stay home on election day when neither side speaks for them…
In typical Republican fashion, their response reminds me of a quote from a political operative of Richard Nixon's when Nixon lost the gubernatorial race in California long, long ago--"The people have spoken. The bastards." That's kind of the "sour grapes attitude" that is taken rather than taking heed of the message that is being given and looking at the heavy-handed policies that were being shoved down people's throats.
If this has to be what has become typical of American politics--polarization--then give me the message that you and others are delivering. I just can't abide with the Palinista approach to government.
Dave – You hit the nail right on the head. If voting is the only role you will play – then I compel you to quadruple your vote by talking about and then driving 4 people you know to the polls with you. Many people I know did just that. But we bug each other and brag with each other about how many people we got to go vote, or how early we voted, or how many people you talked with and changed their minds…there are MANY things to do if you still don’t want to canvass or sit at a booth. Just talk.

Walter – exactly…exactly. The last thing we should do right now is “pretend” that we won, when clearly the vote is 50/50. It would be a slap in the face to be on the receiving end of that – no matter if the other side has been doing it to us these past 3 month. We should be humbled by it and proceed with the concerns of all Wisconsinites in mind.
I especially love the last two paragraphs. The imagery of Americana that is so familiar followed by the hopeful message "The people are still in charge of this state and the people are in charge of this country." Beautifully, passionately written. Thank you.
*R & L*
I love the wingnutty claim that protesters are "PAID." Right. Because the wingnuts are so inherently correct that of course the ONLY way anyone could oppose them would be if he or she were being PAID to do so.

Look, I attended two pro-labor rallies at the California state Capitol here in California. No one "PAID" me a fucking penny to show up. I showed up because stopping the fascism that calls itself "freedom" under the banner of the Repugnican Tea Party is, literally, a matter of life or death for me and for millions of Americans.

I don't need to be "PAID" by someone to save my own life and the lives of my fellow citizens. Corporate greed, which the "tea party" traitors support, quite literally KILLS.
Ever heard of a rich kid who doesn't whinge when he loses?
Too bad so many in Wisconsin and elsewhere still embrace control of the rest of us in the world by the Right Wing Wealthy Ruling Class, that is, corporate boards and CEOs, the likes of the Koch brothers, militaries, governments, and corporate media worldwide.

Really, Wisconsin? It's OK for 1% of the population to control and own us along with all the planet's wealth while the other 99% suffer directly or indirectly? Just can't get enough of the RWWRC? Don't worry! They're not finished yet! When the rich claimed FDR ruined this nation while betraying his class, they vowed to return us to pre-FDR days. And gosh darn it! They're doing it! No labor laws, no unions, no minimum wage, no eight-hour day, no benefits, no sick or vacation days, no Unemployment benefits, on and on, no environmental laws to prevent dumping toxic pollutants directly into our water, air, and ground. Nothing like turning back the clock in the 21st century! Slavery, here we come!!

But then, as I wrote in a recent series of posts, Americans are the most controlled population on earth and don't even know it!
oops - I made a mistake. My husband and I turn in our recall sheets to a group called "Wisconsin Progress." Advancing Wisconsin is another one of the three main groups working on recalls. The AW orgainzation does employ more people then WP, who we frequently speak with. Bottom line, it is very difficult to find a paid protester. One the other hand, the votes for supreme court race prove beyond a shadow of a doubt one thing - grass roots is alive, kicking, and voting. As of yet - we can't buy votes...unless the coroporation = person thing goes any further...
Chloe – that is great feedback, the specifics about what you enjoyed really enable me to focus more on those things the next time when I am cutting an editing. That is so very helpful – thanks a ton

Robert – yeah right. It is not very smart to stick with the “paid” argument after the historic voter turnout on Tuesday…I can at least see them trying to make that argument before the vote, but after? That tells me that they’ve run out of good logic to justify their position

Steve – HA! I know. My eldest son went with my husband to vote and heard the whole thing, “we might lose but we keep our chins up and move on.” What is the other side teaching their kids? If you lose – you cheat to win? Again, I can see a recount, but trying to find new ways around a vote is the most undemocratic notion that they’ve proposed.

Soapbox Amy – “corporate media worldwide.” You mentioned a lot of great stuff – but I wanted to take this chance to tell you all about the media coverage that this received in OUR STATE yesterday.


That is correct. I even listened to Wisconsin Public Radio from 9 off and on at the news (top of each hour) until 4 pm and we received a one liner “state supreme court race still undecided” only one damn time. Even our public radio ignored this historic vote. Jack Crap on the local news until 5 pm when we the race was the lead story locally but NO ONE is claiming a Kloppenburg victory. NO ONE has said it yet. Everyone is just conceding that the recount will determine the victor.

WHERE THE HELL ARE WE LIVING??? This is madness. If Prosser had won it would be plastered all over the frong pages everywhere ‘Union Thugs Defeated by voters!”
Like being on a roller coaster.

r. for giving this blue Buckeye hope.

I'm going canvassing for the recall now, and I won't be back for a while. I feel like I've been punched in the gut...numbness surrounds...so I'm going out there to keep fighting. Do what you can to keep this country ours.

Another compelling inside look, Y. I love that you give everything to this--the process and the storytelling. It's all in the details, ...I'm just eating them up :)

Here's something that the margin of victory does not reflect: Incumbents don't lose State Supreme Court elections in Wisconsin, maybe not anywhere. The last incumbent won 99.94% of the vote--few vote in these kind of elections and supreme court positions are considered to be almost lifetime appointments. I know you can attest that like in Eau Claire, the polls resembled a presidential election in terms of energy and turnout--our county ran out of paper ballots mid-day and had to make them on the fly. I guess Altoona residents wouldn't even use the electronic ballots (because we don't TRUST them ! :)

But, I know that the turn-out would not have been so great (blowing away the usual 10-25% turnout for this kind of election) had people like yourself and Scott not been out educating and informing and writing and working your asses off to organize and spread the word.

I was afraid that when the protests tapered off, so would the citizen action--this election is a HUGE upset for Walker and the repubs--they are taking note all over the country. If they aren't thankful already than progressives throughout this country need know that what you and the voters have done is (hopefully) prevent similar obstructions to democracy in all these other states. As if Walker supporters and other govs want to have to pour all this money into an 'un-loseable' election!

On to the recalls!!!

Much love my friend--you make me so proud.
While I'm glad to see a progressive in office there and happy to shift the balance of power — if ever so slightly — the politicization of this race just makes me feel more strongly that electing judges is crazy!
Waukesha County just "found" over 7,500 votes for Prosser.
Life really, really sucks this evening.
Yup, you need to watch a better news channel. It seems they forgot to add in an entire town into the vote count.

Counted those chickens a little to early didn't we?
Sorry to tell everyone that after canvasing the votes tonight, Prosser now leads by some 7,000 votes. The re-count is most likely over and it will be a done deal soon. It looks like the liberals in Madison are still a minority that will be shrinking even more without union money. The one person that said our state is run by one percent of the state is a complete moron when 50% of the people voted for the conservative. If only the rich vote conservative, then there are alot of rich people in Wisconsin. The people of Wisconsin run the state and now the unions are finished running anything again. We will have a balanced budget again and we will return the state to a prosperus place. It will benefit all people.
"But, we will lose sometimes. And when we do - we must pick ourselves up and keep fighting. And we must stand in solidarity, not allowing division to seep in. It will be difficult and we will need perseverance. And, we must do the work for ourselves."

With the news today, it's fitting that you ended your piece with this message.

For those who don't know, the most loyally Republican county, Waukesha, said they forgot to add in an entire city last night during the election. Adding that city swings the vote to Prosser by over 7,500 votes. If those votes hold, that'll be it...Kloppenburg loses. What a fleeting feeling of victory.

Now, I have to keep reminding myself and everyone else that I'm trying to keep volunteering that some fights you don't fight to win; you fight them because it's right. Gov. Walker and the other Republicans don't get it. All they worry about is the Wisconsin's budget; I'm worried about its soul.

Since you're so willing to strip away stereotypes, here's another one for you.

Over 800,000 people (nearly 50%) of the people of WI voted for Kloppenburg. They don't all live in Madison and they're not all union thugs. Let's at least be honest and stop the political spin...our state is deeply divided along political, philosophical ideologies.

Here's another myth, everyone in a union can elect to have their money witheld from political campaigns...ask anyone. And you don't think your tax money goes to corporate welfare?
I am a little bit confused about a math here: Prosser won 92,263 (74) over Kroppenburg's 32,758 (26). There were 48% of WI voters participated in the election yesterday. How is it that 50% voted for Kroppenburg, as Noahvose stated?
I just heard about Waukesha..there is something very fishy there. I understand they are impounding the ballots and investigating the clerk who has had some questionable similar "happenings" in her past. Very convenient.
Upset and Serious,

Where are you getting your numbers? Over 1.5 million voted yesterday and until a few hours ago, Kloppenburg was up by 204 votes. Now, it looks like she's down by 7,500. So, I repeat...nearly 50% of the voters were for Kloppenburg...you're not going to be able to spin your way out of that. Even the counties around where I am: Polk, Burnette, St. Croix he only won by a slim margin and he lost in Pierce (normally conservative). So, that myth that it's Madison against the rest of the state is not only wrong, it's insulting. Once again, the gov. thinks he can simply dismiss the 50% of WI citizens that disagree with him...and believe it or not...it's losing him his middle voters. Believe me...they keep coming up to sign my recall petition.
Noahvose: the number I've got from the press conference of the clerk that announced them. Please, check your sources - she said that it was 48% that voted yesterday. Prosser got 92,263 votes (74) and Kloppenburg - 32,758 votes. I have nothing against you to go out collecting the signatures, but I believe that it's you who are not with the majority of people in Wisconsin. You, the union people, have to understand that the union's time is over - somehow we have to get out of the financial mass we have now. Whatever is good for you not necessary is good for the rest of us. These last couple of weeks showed us the tactics the unions use and we didin't like it. I don't blame you - you simply were brainwashed by your leaders, whom most of Americans do not like. Can't you just understand that your state can't give you everything you were promised by the unions to get? Can you be a little more realistic? Changes are happening all over the country and I am afraid that it's not going to be in the union's favor.
Just want to make it clearer - the numbers I quoted are from that country (Waukesha County), not from the entire state. Sorry for any confusion.
Just to check back in here to let you all know that this hasn't ruined me - Yesterday after hearing the news, my friend Meg and I went out and collected 19 more signatures toward our recall efforts. It felt so good to be doing something....

I was laughing to discover all the negative stuff on the blog here only AFTER Prosser gained the lead...if you notice the different tones....I claimed that we need to listen to them b/c we are evenly split - when they take lead they are arrogant and entitled, pushing the rest of us off as though we are insignificant...anyone might judge good and evil just by that tendency alone...enough said - keep up the fight - we certainly are doing just that...I will be organizing for tomorrow - so thanks everyone...this isn't over by a long shot...
Upset & Serious,

This majority/minority argument could go on forever, splitting hairs...and it may only be the case that it's a statistical split. We can no longer afford politicians (on either side of the isle) that take a slim margin as a "mandate" to ignore the other half and push EVERYTHING through with no concessions. We all deserve better than that, since they're supposed to work for us. There is a true middle ground, here, if our leaders can stop being so childish and compromise. You can't possibly believe that all that unions have given workers and this country is bad. Their time and need is far from over. It doesn't mean we can't reform bargaining, but you don't fix something by exterminating it. We can't afford our military spending, either. Should we just gut it or eliminate it?

This is not a matter of whether we can keep spending without revenue...it's a matter of what gets cut. I can not state this adamently enough, I can not stand by any policy that cuts from the most vulnerable people and gives breaks to the wealthiest. My faith won't allow me to do that, and our ethics shouldn't allow any of us to.

You say the unions' time has come. If that's true, God help us all, because that means the workers time and the middle class time has come, as well. Don't believe me? Look at any country without unions. Case closed.

As I said before. You can keep worrying about WI and the national budget. I'll keep worrying about their soul. Some things are just right and wrong. Using a few examples of welfare abuse or a few bad teachers to justify taking away aid to the poor and dismantling all union bargaining is wrong...period.
Noahvose - I commend you. You amaze me. You fight for the poorest among us - Seniors on a fixed income losing medication, Farmers who have fed tens of thousands of us and the are losing healthcare for themselves and their children, veterans who have sacrificed their lives for us are losing 53% of their benefits, removing the mandate to recycle, destroying the earth for our children and grandchildren - Notice the other side never mentions those "casualties" when they support Gov. Walker. They don't want us to notice them either - but we do.

And it is in my mind every day that I'm out there.

Noahvose: I never said and never will say that"... all the union have given workers and this country is bad" simply because I don't think so. Unions did a great job for people mostly because in the beginning of their existance they worked on issues that were necessary and important - working hours, working conditions, safety issues, etc. All these issues are resolved already and become laws. So now they are after power. They want to change the system in this country - and majority of Americans do not want the system they advertize for. That system never worked and never will work - people in general are driven by their own ideas and their own talents. Most of the people do not want to be like everyone else - they don't want the equality. Equality makes everyone the same without taken into the consideration the efforts, talents, dreams, etc. of each individual. I would like to hear what you believe should be cut. (Besides raising taxes on corporations and rich people that I don't agree with. Corporations provide jobs and rich people support a lot of social issues. I believe in fair taxation for everyone). I don't believe that proposed cuts affect mostly the most vulnerable. My friend in Chicago told me a very interesting story - a few years ago someone in Chicago, in attempt to save some money for the city, decided that reciepients of the welfare checks must come to the office to pick up thier checks (before checks were sent by mail). And about 40% never cared to come. That's how our system works. Do you know that 50% of Americans do not pay taxes? What will you say about states that implemented free-to-work system and 95% of the union members cancelled their memberships? Why do you need unions to use your money in political arena? This is beyond me, honestly.
and to Y Heron: You are the only one who constantly talks about "Seniors on a fixed income losing medication, Farmers who have fed tens of thousands of us and the are losing healthcare for themselves and their children, veterans who have sacrificed their lives for us are losing 53% of their benefits, removing the mandate to recycle, destroying the earth for our children and grandchildren..." etc. I tried to find these cuts and was not able to find any proposed cuts to all these groups. Where do you get your information?
Upset - you are "upset" about the wrong things and "serious"ly ignorant.

Just google "end recycling mandate in WI" and you will find that Walker has done this. It is unbelievable to me that you are allowed to vote without knowing...you are a mouthpiece and a tool because you don't even know what is in this bill....all you ever spew is hatred for unions when you are hurting so many of our most vulnerable with you blind, ignorant loyalty...

plug in "Badger Care" and "Budget Repair Bill" go REASEARCH for yourself - it is all over the place....

Senior Care and "budget repair bill" Medicare folks are being force onto Plan D

And Veterans have PROTESTED at the Capitol - it is documented all over the place - they had their own rally - http://www.vfwwebcom.org/wi/legislative

....unbelievable to me that you know NOTHING about these things- you hurt people with your support
Y: I believe that I am “upset” about a very right things – I’m upset about the debt and the financial crisis we all are in right now. Do you know that we are in debt by trillions of dollars? We won’t be able to get out of this debt for a long-long time. And we have to do something – no, we have to do some very drastic changes if we’d like to survive and not become another Third Word country. There is no other way. That is my main concern. And I am not ignorant at all – I know that a lot is going to be cut. It’s going to be painful, but what do you propose? To leave it the way it is and continue spending like there is no tomorrow? Who’s going to pay for it? WE ARE BROKE!!

In regard to “end recycling mandate in WI” – you’re not saying that the proposed bill is not ending the recycling process. It just makes it the responsibility of the communities. Yes, everyone might pay a little bit to have this service, but in many states it works already, and works beautifully. In my state these changes are already implemented: this year we were provided with recycling bins and we should put them to the curb once a week. That’s it. Instead of removing the garbage twice a week, as it was before, now it’s done once a week. Believe me, we survived! But you’re leaving the impression that the recycling program in WI is killed by the governor – what is it the ignorance or misinformation?

We can protest until we’re blue in our faces – it won’t change anything. When we overspend in our own households – we get broke and get punished. What’s going on right now is our collective punishments for our collective irresponsibility.
you are clueless - you speak of your own state (which is where?) - the Gov is ENDING funding for recycling. YES, ending funding. If you are going to misinform on my blog - I will ask you to stop visiting it. Write your own blog, but don't spread lies on mine. Gov. Walker's bill has been calls "schizophrenic" b/c it is a state law that we must recycle, yet the funding and mandate will be removed.

You don't know what you are talking about - nor did you justify your stance about removing funding for our vets and seniors. I'd love to hear how you justify that stance...bring it on - but ONLY if you use facts from WI. If you can't do that - move along.

I'm at a loss of how to argue with your logic. To be honest, I find your reasoning is what bothers me the most about conseratives now days. You take ONE anecdotal story and use it to build an entire philosophy. And then, you seem to cling to that one story and your few talking points to drown out any and all facts that refute you. It must be nice to just know what is right without any of the facts to back it up.

A couple of points:
1. Equality DOES NOT mean the same. Again, that's an oversimplification of two things that have nothing to do with each other. People can be equal AND different. Besides, no one so far has argued for economic equality for all. You're making the mistake of assuming that to ask corporations to pay their share and stop blackmailing us for their tax loopholes is calling for socialism...that's ridiculous and a fear tactic.

2. You state that 50% of people pay no taxes. Well, last I heard GE and approximately 2/3 of the wealthiest U.S. corporations paid ZERO federal taxes last year. Where's your righteous anger over that? Again, I know that fact is inconvenient to your political/economic philosophy but it's FACT. You don't think your tax money is going to give them corporate welfare and loopholes?

3. Why do you assume that corporations suddenly woke up and developed hearts? I'm glad that you agree that unions accomplished a lot of good, but if you think it will stay that way without them, you're mistaken. The five lowest states for education are states with no collective bargaining or unions. Do you think that's coincidence?

4. We have to make cuts. I agree. But until you're willing to make those cuts for EVERYONE, don't bother talking to me. That includes a hell of a lot from defense. We spend more on military than the next 9 countries combined. I know it's politically unpopular to talk about cutting it, but let's "MAKE THE TOUGH CHOICES" as you say. Taking from the poor, because your afraid to mention taking from the rich and the military is not a tough choice...it's the easy one.

5. Finally, my right to bargain for my students' curriculum needs, textbooks, class size, and my workplace conditions is hardly vying for power, as you say. Again, get from behind your talking points so that we can have a REAL conversation and please start using facts, rather than your few anecdotal stories. You can't and shouldn't built a philosophy around them.
I'll help you out a bit upset. I think you make perfect sense. In the state of Wisconsin we have plenty of money to protect our teachers, fix our roads, and protect our citizens. This is what government is for. The problem is our government is too busy giving everyone things. Money for this, money for that. A good example of one of the biggest problems inWisconsin is their health program Badgercare. With the people in this program receiving services for nothing or a very low premium, a good chunk of our budget is going to subsidize programs like this. So as these programs suck the budget dry, there is not enough left to take care of our state workers. So when your looking at cutting things, the state workers are an easy target. The funny thing is that the liberal mindset is causing them to be hurt. They want all these peripheral programs, but they suck alot of money out of budget. People are just tired of being asked to pay more. This is not a conservative-liberal thing. In my town which is a liberal town our school referendum has been voted down 2 times. If the liberals were really behind education, don't you think they would vote to fund the schools. It is all about the pocketbook. Its easy to ask others to pay more, but when you ask them to pay more they say no way! Teachers should be paid more and in order to do this we have to get rid of other things. I'm all for getting rid of the other things but they are not. So they loose. Unions are totally unnecessary. They provide no service that can not be provided other places. If collective bargaining was so important, Jimmy Carter would not have eliminated it from the federal government. You can't legitimately bargain with the people you help get elected. All unions are is a funding mechanism for the Democrat Party. Do you blame republicans for wanting them gone. Wake up people this is politics. Cut off the funding for you opponent and you win. The unions should have spread their money around a little and they wouldn't be in the cross hairs. Schools should be dealt with on the local level. They know what is needed, how much to pay teachers and how big classes should be. So are the libs ready to give up precious programs to protect state workers? My final word, if you try to provide everything for people,the people will have nothing in the end. People need to provide for themselves and their families. This is what America is all about. Not the gimmie everything for nothing, take care of me society.
sometimes in life - you need to pick a side. I choose to help people. Period. It's messy - some take advantage, I won't deny that. But so do corporations and big money. Where is the moral outrage at wall street for causing the market crash? No, you reserve your anger for the poor. Shame on you. You are bullies, attacking those with the least power among us. I sleep at night knowing elders, vets, the poorest among us are cared for.

We can all win by balancing the budget elsewhere - cutting military or increasing corporate tax. But some would still take from the poor - and make no mistake - that is exactly what you are promoting. Shame on you. Shame.
Gimme a break. Y there are many places to help the poor. The government is the least efficient. My church does great things with the poor. To think we don't care about people is absurd. People are just tired of paying. We have been waging the war on poverty for a long time and the poor are still poor. They will always be poor. Most people that are considered poor are really not poor. They have houses, big screen tvs, cell phones, cars and other things. Alot just choose to spend their money on things that make them poor. Cigarettes, alcohol, fattening food. I know many that once they are in the system they don't want to get off it. We had one girl that had a baby got on the system and we wanted her to work more and she said she couldn't because she would loose her benefits. I know this is not all cases but alot of the people I know on unemployment or government programs would get by just fine without them. We have 3 retired guys that work for us seasonally. When the season is over they file unemployment on us. They all are retired teacher's or mill workers and collect pensions. We can not stop them from collecting unemployment. They just scam the system because they can. I know other people that have been on unemployment for almost 2 years and will not look for a job. They will only look when their unemployment expires. I also know people who have gone on badgercare and had surgery's and dental work and paid zero. Then they went back to work. This is why our system is failing and state workers can not get paid. The entitlement society is sucking the government dry not leaving money to take care of the things we need to. People see this everyday and that is why they are done paying. I respect what you do and there definitely is a need. Just not a need for everything.
Rush - are you equally tired of paying for corporate bailouts?

I have one question for you – and if you have enough integrity to get from behind you talking points, I would like an honest answer.

What would you do in my shoes? Pretend for a moment that you are me and direct my course…

You are a stay-@-home mother in a family of four. Your 2010 tax returns indicated that your family earned $48,000 that year on your husband’s teaching salary. He has 7 years of experience, teaching in 3 states, and a maters degree w/ $64,000 school loans and you have $20,000 school loans of your own…taking a break from the fast track until your young children enter school. For the first time in your young family’s time, you were able to save enough for one date night/month. You have no credit cards – you live within your budget promised to you by contract with the school and state. You live within your means. You are grateful and happy. You save to buy something…the way that you were raised. Life is good. You don’t mind that your kids wear hand-me-down clothes, and you sew patches on them to last longer. You also take clothes from sisters and friends b/c you can’t afford to buy a lot. You don’t mind. Some people don’t have clothes. You feel happy that your family has the most meaningful things in life. You garden in the summer to save money for grocery bills and freeze extra to supplement throughout the year. You eat venison from hunting to afford meat. Your husband drives the most beat up, 17-yr-old car in town, but he is just grateful to have a car. You use the public library to get books and movies b/c you can’t afford to rent a lot or buy. You are so grateful that you have that service.

Now you learn that a new bill is being passed that would devastate your family. Devastate. Your father, worked hard, never complained, his whole life - would lose his Badger Care health, along with his girlfriend. Your step-father, two cousins, and two uncles, veterans of war in your family, are losing benefits promised to them by the government. Your 89-year-old grandmother, who already lives the most meager existence, is losing Senior Care benefits. Cuts to the library will eliminate your options for free information and entertainment for your family. You own family’s income will be reduced by $5000 the next year eliminating any chance of helping your own. Your siblings, also teachers, will lose $5000/piece as well. Both of their husbands are in construction - and have been out of good work for years.

For all of the ideological ideas any of us have on this debate. This is real. This is my life.

This is why I fight. Not out of hatred for the “other side.” It is out of love for my family.

What would you do if you were me?
Hi Y. To answer your question directly I hate corporate bailouts. I think that government should have flexibility to bring in new corporation in to the state with tax deals, but to keep a business in business by giving them money is ridiculous. They have done this with the bank bailouts, Fannie May AIG, GM, Chrysler and others. These companies should have failed. Other companies would have taken their place. That is one kind of corporate welfare. If you don't like this you will not like other private businesses receiving government money. The companies like NPR and Planned Parenthood should be able to make it on their own. If they can not they should go out of business. So I think we are on the same page. I also hate farm subsidies. Same with ethanol and all these green companies getting government money. It should all stop. The reason your family is getting squeezed is because they are an easy target. The government doing all these stupid programs has taken money away from the essential needs. We use to not have any problem paying for the poor in this state and now we do. Most of the problem I believe is Badgercare. It is sucking money out of the state budget. It is a great program, but runs a huge deficit because no one pays for it. We have a choice whether we are going to keep giving away free money and not take care of the poor or cut some programs that alot of people like. Neither one is a great option. I wish your family the best. I am of the belief that things are going to get alot worse and most of the programs will be gone completely not by choice but by necessity. If we have one more downturn the deficits will be unbearable. This whole situation shows that people need to get as far away from government as possible. They need to take care of themselves and family and hope that things get better. I wish it was easier.