Yesterday I was contacted by Heidi, a patriot in your state who is keeping a close eye on Wisconsin's battle with government employee unions. I can't tell you what it meant to me as a grassroots organizer to have that email come from someone I've never met who lives hundreds of miles away, telling me that she knew the seriousness of the situation we face here and its implications for citizens across the United States. I told her about some ways for people outside of Wisconsin to help. Heidi passed my email to Margo, who is now passing my words on to you.
Today I am asking for your financial assistance with four senate recall campaigns here in Wisconsin. I am providing the links to those campaigns below, then will share my perspective on the situation here in Wisconsin and why these recall campaigns are so important.
Recall Mark Miller (D-16, state senator, Minority Leader, proud union crony, and agitator extraordinaire)
Recall Jim Holperin (D-12, state senator, union crony)
Recall Bob Wirch (D-22, state senator, union crony)
There is also a fourth recall effort for Sen. Dave Hansen (D-30), but unfortunately that campaign website doesn't have a donate button. You can, however, contact David VanderLeest (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information on how to contribute. Any amount at all to any or all of these campaigns will be vastly appreciated!
Why has the grassroots launched these recall campaigns? Why are they important? First and foremost, these four senators, in conjunction with the rest of the Fugitive 14, abandoned their responsibilities toward their constituents and the people of Wisconsin in general. They flaunted senate rules, and they have colluded with their union contributors over taxpayers they are meant to represent.
Furthermore, the long-term "visit" of the Fugitive 14 to neighboring Illinois bought the unions time to launch a propaganda campaign. By misrepresenting the facts, they've won much public support. They've painted collective bargaining privileges, for example, as stolen human rights. The Fugitive 14 have mouthed the same messages, thereby furthering falsehoods and fomenting mob tactics, including but certainly not limited to:
-- occupation of our state house by every radical element imaginable from the Socialist Workers and Communist Parties to Voces de la Frontera and SDS
-- damage to state property
-- boycotts, picketing, and threats against businesses who supported Governor Walker's 2010 campaign, some by police and firemens' union officers, no less
-- death threats against our governor, lieutenant governor, and Republican legislators
-- wrong-headed but completely legal recall campaigns against senators who voted for the Budget Adjustment Bill
These people do not merit the offices they currently hold. They have betrayed all sense of honor and duty toward those who elected them.
If the grassroots could have filed on all 14 Democrat state senators, we would have done so. Unfortunately, several were immune for the period of one year, having just been through an election or a re-election campaign. The rest could not have been successfully recalled because of the way district lines are currently drawn. We believe we have the best shot at recalling these 4, and indeed we've seen a very positive response so far, despite our low, low budgets!
One of my own group members, Jeff Horn, heads up the Recall Mark Miller campaign. He has the hardest task, and the greatest number of signatures to collect (more than 20,000). A close colleague of mine in Eagle River, WI, Kim Simac, heads the Holperin recall. Both Kim and Jeff and others who work with them have experienced intimidation tactics as a result of their involvement in this initiative. I know Jeff is in touch with the other two campaign leaders, and they have likewise experienced ugliness. But no one is backing down in pursuing what they know is right.
A bit of personal perspective...
I live right in the middle of Madison, less than half a mile from the State Capitol Building. So, I have been a firsthand witness to "ground zero" in the government employee union war and its most visible battlefield. I have frequently been able to hear the chanting of thousands of union and other leftist protestors from my house.
What these politicians have helped teachers' unions to propagate, in particular, is abysmal. Classrooms have been wrongly used as bully pulpits in order to communicate union lies. Student walk-outs have been staged. Adolescents all the way down to very young children were encouraged in large numbers to leave school to be at the first week of the protests back in February. I not only saw these masses of children with my own eyes on several days, I spoke with many of them. Not one understood why they'd really been told to come.
In many cases, the behavior of these children turned thug-like. On February 17th, the Capitol went on lockdown because of the surly mood of the mob. I arrived just after the Capitol Police had asked legislators to lock their office doors. While waiting for a staffer to let me into the office of Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-20), I was accosted by intimidating union types who would not leave me alone. Once I was safely inside, a gang of adolescents came, banging and kicking on the Sen.'s office door so hard that we thought the glass might break. The children were chanting angry union slogans. I don't know how to talk about this phenomenon without using the words indoctrination, brainwashing, and encouragement of delinquency. It was during this time that we got wind of the fact that the senate Democrats had left the state in order to prevent a vote on Governor Walker's Budget Adjustment Bill.
Here in Madison, emboldened by the actions of the Fugitive 14, our Superintendent of Schools, the school board, the city council, much of the county board, the county sheriff, the mayor, and many in our police and fire department all openly declared themselves in support of the government employee unions. The county sheriff pulled his men from protective detail at the Capitol Building saying that they should not be used as a "palace guard." On March 9th, the night the bill finally passed, Mayor Cieslewicz told the Madison Police Department to steer clear of the Capitol, giving the nod to the protestors who stormed and re-occupied the building that night. Cieslewicz then personally went to join the protestors inside the Capitol, where he was interviewed on video.
With the time provided to them by the Fugitive 14, Dane County, the City of Madison, and the Madison Metropolitan School District, along with many other collusive, local governmental bodies across the state, began to force through as many employee contracts and contract extensions as possible in advance of the application of Budget Adjustment Bill. Taxpayers in many of these counties and municipalities now face very difficult times ahead when far more substantial budget cuts come in June and the cost of these contracts falls fully upon them. The unions wanted their dues, and extending contracts was the way to get them. The dues money will be used in part to fund a major initiative to recall Governor Walker. A major strategy meeting among top union leaders was scheduled to take place in Janesville, WI late this month or early next for this effort.
As you now likely know, shortly after the Budget Adjustment bill finally did pass on March 9th, the unions did launch recall campaigns against 8 Republican senators who courageously stood for taxpayers and fiscal sanity in voting yes on the legislation. The unions are pouring a ton of money into these recall campaigns and are very likely to get the signatures they need in many if not all of the districts in question. They have imported out-of-state help and are almost certainly paying canvassers on a per signature basis. Sound familiar...? The probability of fraud is extraordinarily high. Unfortunately, because of the extremely brief window for examining the tens of thousands of signatures that will come in all at once when the recall period ends, many illegal/fraudulent signatures may go undetected and thus unchallenged.
I would ask you please to consider contributing to any or all of the Wisconsin's conservative grassroots-led recall campaigns against Sens. Miller, Holperin, Hansen, and/or Wirch via the links provided above. Our efforts are vastly underfunded by comparison to the unions', but we have already come a long way on very little. More money flowing into the coffers of these 4 grassroots campaigns will help to ensure that if the unions succeed in recalling any conservatives, we can stave off any damage and continue to hold the senate.
Any amount at all will help.
Please feel free to pass this message forward to others you know.
Wisconsin's battle is far from over. We are fighting on a tremendous number of fronts right now in order to hold the ground that has been gained. If we lose on any of those fronts, we lose not just a battle but an entire war. I know you understand that if Wisconsin falls, the unions will gain that much more strength everywhere else. That simply cannot happen. Now is the time to stand. I would be so grateful and honored if you would stand with us.
God bless you all for your consideration and assistance.
The Wisconsin 9/12 Project
The Right Huff is Crista Huff's blog for politics and items of sociological or financial interest. Crista Huff also manages Goodfellow LLC, a subscription-only stock market website. We strive to identify financially healthy companies in which traders and investors can buy shares and earn dividends and capital gains. Seedisclaimer for the risks associated with investing in the stock market. See your tax advisor for the tax consequences of investing. See your estate planning attorney to clarify beneficiary and inheritance issues associated with your assets.