What we Accomplished in Wisconsin
People For the American Way came through once again, and I am so glad you did. Thank you!
I called Michael last week to tell him how much I appreciated all the invaluable help from PFAW and its members to unseat Republican Sen. Randy Hopper in the District 18 recall election. I had to write to you to thank you directly.
I won by 1,200 votes and I have no doubt that PFAW’s help was absolutely critical in our victory. I particularly loved the direct mail piece that went out in my district to expose my opponent’s record and his attacks on the middle class and working families. And the extra airtime PFAW bought to run its ad against Sen. Hopper in the final week really made the difference and helped put me over the top.
While we Democrats fell just shy of flipping the Senate away from Republican control, the two seats we gained will make a huge difference, and I look forward to being a strong voice of progress for my constituents and all the working families of Wisconsin. And I will make you proud by fighting every attempt to expand the war on voting rights, public education and the working men and women of Wisconsin.
Thanks again! I can’t wait to work with you on the many battles to come.
With sincere appreciation,
Senator-Elect Jessica King
Wisconsin Senate District 18
Wisconsin was the epicenter of the right-wing attacks on middle and working-class Americans that have come to define our policy debates since the Tea Party scored its big victories in the 2010 elections.
TOMORROW is the day when, with your help, we can undo some of that damage and change the direction of our politics heading into 2012.
We have less than 24 hours for the polls to open, when we need to turn out every progressive, common-sense and working family vote we can in order to make sure that when the polls start to close and the sun goes down tomorrow, it will be setting on a new Wisconsin and a new America.
Please help with an emergency, last-minute donation to help us contact and get to the polls every Wisconsin voter we need.
Wednesday morning can be a new day in this country … help us usher in the END of the Tea Party era. The first step is winning in Wisconsin!
We are working aggressively in four districts with very close races to recall the right-wing state senators who declared war on working families. We need a net victory of at least three wins to take back the Senate — that means winning in at least three districts tomorrow and then defending our two Democratic allies who are being challenged by the Right the following week.
The countless hours we’ve worked — you and PFAW together, the thousands of PFAW members and activists who have volunteered time and given money, the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve put into persuading key swing voters in the closest races … it’s all come down to this moment.
Please help us finish strong, with a clear, resounding win that sends a message that will echo through 2012. Please make an urgent last-minute gift to help us turn out every progressive vote we need.
It’s been an honor to stand with you in this fight. We’ll be fighting until the last poll closes. Good luck to all of us tomorrow.
Michael Keegan, President
P.S. The polls are showing the races we need to win TIGHTER THAN EVER. We need your help to put us over the top — there’s not a moment to spare. Please give what you can right now.
This Thursday, March 24 at 3:00pm Eastern Time, please join People For the American Way, Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson and Michelle Ringuette of the Service Employees International Union to discuss the Right’s relentless attacks on workers’ rights and the middle class in Wisconsin and across the country.
In Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana Florida and other states, right-wing governors and legislators have been using budget shortfalls as an excuse to pursue corporate interests’ longtime goals of busting unions, gutting vital programs that serve the poor and middle class and doing away with other protections for working families. Along the way, these lawmakers have led a campaign to demonize public employees and blame them for the economic mess that Wall Street and big corporations caused.
Can you join us on the phone this Thursday for an important PFAW member telebriefing on the national fight to save the middle class and the American Dream? RSVP now.
Space is limited so don’t delay. We’ll email confirmed participants with the call-in information before Thursday.
Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee was one of the 14 Democratic state senators who heroically crossed state lines in a last ditch effort to prevent Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature from passing Gov. Scott Walker‘s infamous attack on the basic collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public employees. Ultimately, Senate Republicans did an end run around the rules to ram the Governor’s anti-worker plan through, and now an effort to recall some of those senators is underway. Sen. Larson, a true leader in this fight and a member of PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network, will provide an update on the situation in Wisconsin.
In addition to Sen. Larson’s Wisconsin update, we’ll hear from SEIU’s Michelle Ringuette about the national landscape and how similar fights are playing out in other states. And PFAW’s leadership will provide an update on some of our activities and involvement on the state level.
Please don’t miss this opportunity and join us this Thursday at 3pm Eastern.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
— Diallo Brooks, Director of Field Mobilization
Friday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law a bill that strips public workers of their rights to collectively bargain after the Republican-controlled legislature rushed through the legislation. The bill also authorizes state officials to fire any state employee who joins a strike, walk-out, sit-in or coordinated effort to call in sick. While Walker maintains that the bill is necessary to solve the budget crisis, this move was purely a power grab by the GOP and its pro-corporate allies.
Two weeks ago, a blogger posing as oil billionaire and Tea Party/Republican mega-donor David Koch recorded a phone conversation with Gov. Walker. Throughout the course of the call Walker talked about various dirty tricks he and his allies had considered, from luring the Democratic Senators back to Madison with false promises of negotiation to infiltrating the mass protests with troublemakers. The Governor even seemed to indulge fantasies about busting public employee unions following President Reagan‘s example of firing more than 11,000 air traffic controllers in 1981.
The Wisconsin GOP’s attempt to pay for massive corporate giveaways that expanded the deficit on the backs of hard working people is not unique to that state. We see it in several other states and, perhaps most visibly, in the current federal budget battle going on in Congress.
We must do everything we can to defend the American Dream, to defend the middle class and to defend fundamental rights all across the United States … that struggle is embodied as clearly as it can be in the current events transpiring in Wisconsin. And that’s why Wisconsin is a battle we as Americans cannot afford to lose. That means unseating by recall election the GOP state senators who are eligible for it now and working to repeal the union-bashing law and hold Gov. Walker accountable going forward.
The response from PFAW members and activists across the country has been truly tremendous. THANK YOU to all of you who have taken action and donated. We need your help to keep the great momentum going, so please continue to spread the word and contribute what you can.
We have our work cut out for us, but with your continued support, together we will help vote out the eight Republican Wisconsin state senators eligible for recall. We’ll help reshape the state government so that this heinous attack on fundamental rights and the American Way can be overturned … and we’ll send a message to right-wing, anti-worker elected officials everywhere, as well as their corporate cronies, that Americans’ basic rights are not on the table and that there are consequences for these attacks.
Thank you for all your support at this historic moment in our nation’s story.
Ben Betz, Online Strategy Manager
P.S. Republican State Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald told Fox News that the bill was passed in order to dramatically weaken the clout of unions who could support President Obama’s reelection campaign in the swing state: “If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.”
As Republicans admit that the union-busting bill is all about punishing progressive groups and rewarding corporate backers, it is clear that the GOP’s rhetoric on “fiscal conservatism” should not be taken seriously.
P.P.S. Today, the 14 Democratic Wisconsin Senators, who showed America such a great example of progressive strength and unity, are returning to Madison in a “homecoming march” on the capitol. The move is meant to demonstrate that their return to the state is not an acknowledgement of defeat. These Senators continue to have our deepest gratitude and support.