Sunday, November 2, 2014

#186 November 2, 2014- VOTE!!!!!

November 4th. . .
Elections matter.  That is a reality that Wisconsinites have learned all too well over the past 4 years.  While Americans frequently try their best to ignore politics and political action, the need to be involved and active politically has been made crystal clear to us as we have seen the climate around a host of issues change drastically under the Walker administration.  The Wisconsin of clean, cordial, cooperative government has changed and we are now one of the most politically polarized states in the nation.

Over the past four years we have heard significant talk about how unpleasant the political climate is here in Wisconsin.  Our public discourse has been anything but open minded and the current election has been among the nastiest in our history.  Those who bemoan the decline and fall of our civilization have a chance to reclaim the dialog in this election.  The best way to do this is to turn out and vote.  Governor Walker was elected twice, and in both elections turnout was dismally low.  Even in the recall election that generated so much political action turnout hovered around 50%.  If we are to gain any traction in our efforts to have a real discussion about political, social and economic issues we need to see more involvement from all citizens.  Otherwise, we will truly get the government that we, as a people, deserve. 

It is vital that we remember that this upcoming election isn't about any specific individual.  While Governor Walker has become either a hero or a villain depending on one's political ideology, the fact remains that Walker as a person should not be the focal point of the election.  Instead, we need to keep the focus on what our government, and the leaders we elect, will do to make Wisconsin a better place for all citizens to live in.  We aren't voting for prom king or queen, we are voting to elect individuals to represent our interests in decision making processes that impact all of us.

So, this election truly becomes a measuring stick of where we are as a state in terms of our ability to function as a democracy and to live up to the ideals that we claim to espouse.  We are a society that prides itself of free thinking, opportunity and the rights of the individual, yet we also must recognize that any functioning society must also restrict some individual rights in order to promote the greater good.  This is where the debate about the role of government enters in, and it is one that has been ongoing for our entire history.  Those who want to restrict or eliminate the role of government claim that the "free market" will provide what members of society need.  Yet, history and common sense tell us that an unrestricted, unregulated market will provide what the most powerful need, and the remaining members of society are relegated to second (or worse) class status. 

The Walker legacy is one of division, corruption and policies that cater to a small segment of the population.  If we are to move forward as a state we need to change the leadership at the top of our government.  There are many reasons why Mary Burke is the better candidate for Wisconsin's future.  They center around the need to restore a vision of government that serves as a protective shield for the citizens who live under it.  Government exists to serve the people and to maintain conditions that promote equity and opportunity for all citizens.  This election's importance is magnified given what has happened in Wisconsin over the past 4 years.    

Mary Burke scores better than Scott Walker on overall issues.

Gov. Scott Walker owed much of his victory in the 2012 recall fight to the big margins he piled up in the small cities, towns and countryside of northern and western Wisconsin.|By Craig Gilbert

Here are a few reasons to cast a ballot for Burke. . .

Restricting voting privileges for citizens is anti-democratic and the efforts to implement voter ID are based on flawed logic and are unsupported by data.  If one case of voter ID is unacceptable, then how can we claim that one person disenfranchised by voter ID makes things better.  The voter ID push was clearly an effort to win elections, not protect the integrity of our electoral system.  Walker's support of voter ID shows that his focus isn't on all the people of the state, but rather on maintaining political power.  We can't allow the politics of fear, divide and conquer us.

WASHINGTON (AP) — States that toughened their voter identification laws saw steeper drops in election turnout than those that did not, with disproportionate...

Changing the rules seven weeks before an election creates disorder...

Rejecting Federal money and resources that support citizens in need makes no sense.  Claiming that this is fiscally responsible, or that it somehow helps taxpayers is illogical.  The money that is available from our national government comes from taxes that have been paid by people in Wisconsin and rejecting the funds means that our money will go to other places, and the people of our state suffer the consequences. 

Wisconsin is one of three states ending a program that provided increased food assistance benefits to low-income households.

Transparency and honesty matter.  The allegations of fraud and incompetence surrounding this administration are extremely troubling.  Walker supporters will claim that the attacks are politically motivated, but the data supporting serious concerns about the integrity of this administration is there. 

Gov. Scott Walker’s semi-private job creation...

Courage is standing up for what is right in the face of challenges.  Courage is not standing up for false promises and "reforms" that don't promote the general welfare of the citizenry for one's own gain.  Act 10 is economically and ethically unsound.  The manner in which Act 10 was passed and the impact it has had alone are enough to make a case that Walker isn't governing for Wisconsinites, but for well financed special interests.  

Yesterday's release of the Bureau of Economic Analysis' survey of personal consumption expenditures by state would generally be a mundane bit of data....

It is easy to discount personal narratives about a candidate, especially when they appear in political advertisements.  This one appears to be unsolicited by the Burke campaign, and tells a powerful story about a candidate who has the potential to turn our state around in a positive direction.|By Heather DuBois Bourenane
Who will look out for the real hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin.  The Conservative rhetoric about their interest in the "common folk" is just that, rhetoric. 

MADISON (AP) — Governor Scott Walker says that while he doesn't support increasing the minimum wage, he also doesn't support repealing it altogether....

Engaged in a tight re-election duel with Democrat Mary Burke, Gov. Scott Walker is returning to a theme that’s been a constant in his career. Tax cuts. In a new TV ad, the first-term Republican governor...

Even Walker's record regarding business is questionable at best. 

A respected business ranking out this week put Scott Walker and Chris Christie, and their states, near the bottom of states. Here's a link to the ranking and a link to the full report.|By James Rowen

Of course I believe that public education is a key issue in this election.  While I wish that Burke's stance on vouchers and other education issues was even stronger, she is a much better choice for governor based on her ideas around public schools in Wisconsin.  Whether it's her position on voucher schools. . .
Burke said Monday the state Department of Public Instruction projects the cost of the voucher expansion at $1.2 billion per year, or about $2.8 million per district.|By Lee Enterprises

Families that already send their children to private schools are the ones benefiting, and taxpayers are paying the price.|By Lily Eskelsen García And Betsy Kippers

Vouchers ignore plight of state's public schools

Or the fact that our public schools have been financially decimated by cuts in state which has resulted in local tax increases and cuts to services schools can provide, Burke will do more to protect our public school systems than Walker will.    

As the state’s share of public education costs spirals downward, Eau Claire school district residents will contribute more money out of pocket.

Madison residents will pay more in taxes after the school board approved a new school district budget Monday night.|By Channel 3000
The difference between the candidates around environmental issues is clear as well. 

MADISON, Wisconsin - With the November election six weeks away, neither Republican Gov. Scott...

There are many more reasons to vote Burke on Tuesday (as well as to vote Progressive in many key local races that shouldn't be ignored), but the key is that every eligible voter gets to the polls.  Take a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, family member or anyone you can find, but get everyone to vote.  Our society is relying on us to raise our collective voices and give a clear message to those we elect.  We want Wisconsin to be a positive leader in the dialog about important issues.    

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