Radio talk show host Thom Hartmann meets Ben Manski, Chair-Democracy Convention / Executive Director of Liberty Tree / Spokesperson for Move to Amend. They show us how to fight back against plutocrats who want to buy elected officials.
A state Democratic Party spokesman accused a Republican official Tuesday night of tampering with votes in the tight 8th Senate District recall race.
With 10 of 11 Waukesha County wards still out -- including all of those in Menomonee Falls -- party spokesman Graeme Zielinski said, "We believe the election in this contest has been tampered with by Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.
The polls in Wisconsin closed moments ago. So far, so good in the state's unprecedented recall elections today, at least according to the bulk of media reports throughout the day. Turnout was reportedly very high, nearing or even exceeding rates from the 2008 Presidential election in some areas. "It's astronomically high," according to Matt Rothschild, Editor of The Progressive in Madison, WI, with whom I was just on air with on Santa Fe Public Radio's KSFR to discuss today's recalls.
The Wisconsin recall elections that will take place Tuesday provide one of the most remarkable accountability moments in modern American history. After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican allies used their control of the state's executive and legislative branches of government to attack labor rights, local democracy, public education and basic services, mass demonstrations erupted across the state — culminating in an early March protest outside the state Capitol that drew 150,000 people to one of the largest pro-labor demonstrations in American history.
How does the Big Lie flourish and prosper? By being criminal beyond belief. By operating in safety behind a towering “never happen here” wall of denial. By a foolish assumption of immunity. By being too big a story to be a story within the bounds of journalistic decorum.
The gruesome truth is that American elections can be rigged and are being rigged because the American media treats election rigging as something that—all evidence notwithstanding—could never happen here. Period, end of story, move on.
Imagine that you are a new voter. Perhaps you aren't too clear on all the rules, the picture I.D. thing, even what you are supposed to do in the voter's booth. But by God, you're going to do it. You are going to become a voter! And you do. You accept a ride to the polls in a van driven by Wisconsin Jobs Now as part of their GOTV campaign in your underrepresented neighborhood. You are not letting the rightwing pundits, politicians and policies silence your voice. You are a Voter!
Deunionization is worsening the income inequality gap, accounting for nearly a third and a fifth of wage inequality among men and women, respectively. According to a study by Bruce Western of Harvard University, data proves “the role of unions as an equalizing force in the labor market“:
As faith in U.S. political system hits historic lows, organizers announce that
LAUNCH OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT WILL BE AUGUST 24-28 IN MADISON, WISCONSIN
(MADISON, WI) ~ The eyes of the nation will return to Madison, Wisconsin, August 24-28, as nearly 1,000 community, labor, and student organizers gather at the first Democracy Convention to launch a movement to bring democracy to the United States.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has informed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that its permit system to control water pollution doesn’t meet standards set by the 1972 Clean Water Act.
We have the most polarizing governor in America who can't for the life of him see what it is about him that so divides people. Our Supreme Court justices put contempt for each other on public display, with name calling eventually escalating to a physical altercation. Our Legislature considers itself above longstanding open meetings and open records laws.
Or so claim governors and lawmakers all over the country. Our states and our nation can no longer afford, their plaint goes, the programs and services that Americans expect government to provide. We must do with less. We need "austerity."
A series of Wisconsin special elections this summer are being watched as testing grounds for how riled up both Democratic and Republican voters will be in a key state for 2012. But voting rights advocates are also watching the elections for early indications of how a rash of stringent voter ID laws that have swept the country this year will play out.
Expected. It's going to be a tough fight. Greg Sargent (my emphasis):
If you want to get a good sense of what’s really happening in the Wisconsin recall wars, keep an eye on the right wing money that’s now flooding into the races, in a last ditch effort to keep the state senate in Republican hands.
The head of the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group on Monday condemned state laws requiring photo identification of voters as an attempt to disenfranchise minorities through some "of the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow."
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said a wave of newly enacted photo-ID requirements stemmed from what he saw as "the worst and most racist elements" in conservative Tea Party groups that have immersed themselves in state politics since the 2010 elections.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO’s “Truth Tour,” which kicked off July 16 at the Teamster’s Hall in Green Bay, is traveling throughout the state until at least Aug. 2. The tour will make stops in Baraboo, Hudson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Rhinelander. The tour’s goal is to be a forum for poor and working people to meet and work together, give testimony on how Wall Street’s attacks are affecting them, and discuss fightback strategies, including for recall campaigns.
As the first half of 2011 has revealed, Wisconsin is not a moderate “purple” state, but a state divided between staunchly “blue” progressives and righteous “red” right-wingers. That rift is particularly apparent in legislative conflicts over the criminal justice system, a debate spurred by corporate interests represented in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and perpetuated by ALEC legislative members, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Waukesha - When Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said in May that she intended to start providing unofficial election night results broken down by municipality - something that might have flagged the kind of snafu that earned her notoriety after the Supreme Court election this spring - she did not mean all municipal results.
Nickolaus told the County Board's Executive Committee on Monday that she'll change her reporting practices based on advice from the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
Three things are obvious from the ad wars that are quickly escalating in Wisconsin’s recall elections.
One: They will be very, very expensive.
Spending on broadcast TV for just one race — the northwestern Wisconsin seat now held by Republican Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls — has totaled roughly three-quarters of a million dollars in recent weeks, according to estimates by CMAG, the national firm that tracks campaign spots.
Tom Loftus' six-year run as a member of the University of Wisconsin System's Board of Regents came to an end on Friday.
Loftus, 66, was regarded as one of the most politically savvy regents and earlier this year emerged as an outspoken critic of the plan contained in Gov. Scott Walker's 2011-13 budget proposal that would have granted UW-Madison public authority status and split it away from the rest of the UW System.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, his conservative legislative allies, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and county Republican parties tried everything in their power to thwart the recall election process, which could check and balance Walker's extreme anti-labor, anti-public schools, anti-social services and anti-local democracy agenda.