Madison Update

I have taken a few weeks off of my protest photos and videos because basically I have a life to live and kids to raise – and for some reason the direct deposit monies from the ChicagoBoyz home office in South Florida haven’t been getting through to my bank account.

We do have a lot of developments here though and I would like to get you up to date with them if you are at all interested, along with a few personal stories.

Recall efforts are now in full swing. Both Democrat and Republican State Senators are being targeted. Some of the recall efforts are being more fruitful than others but it looks like there will be some recall elections. For whatever reason, I think that the best case scenario for the Democrats has them winning perhaps one seat in the State Senate. BUT the Democrats are the ones that have to put out good candidates. Yes, recall elections are fine, but if there isn’t a good candidate to challenge the person who is already elected, why all the fuss? There is absolutely no way that the Republicans will lose their majority in the state Senate, so in the end we will be back where we started from, with the Democrats being the minority in the Senate. HOWEVER, if the dems lose all of their recall efforts, and the Republicans win just one of theirs, the Senate will not just be in Republican control, they will have a “flee proof” majority and will be able to pound everything they want down the Democrats throats. The Dems can vacation to Illinois all they want in this case. I have no idea why recall efforts are not being taken up for members of the Assembly.

Tomorrow we have voting on local races and a vote for a Supreme Court Justice. The Supreme Court races are supposed to be non partisan, but they have been anything but. Both candidates before the race decided to put a cap on their campaign coffers, but the third party money that has come into this race is incredible. The ads have been constant on radio and TV up here and they are vicious. The ads against Prosser (who I happen to know through an acquaintance) are particularly deceitful and horrible. I guess the Democrats are hoping that Kloppenberg will win and beat down Walker’s new laws. Speaking of.

The bill that was just passed after all the insane doings down at the capitol seems to be stuck in the courts for now. There are many folks who are writing about the situation with much better legal knowledge than me, and you can google around for info if you want. I don’t think the Dems have a legal leg to stand on, but what do I know. I think this may go all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court – hence all the angst in that Supreme Court justice race. It will be interesting to see what sort of turnout we have tomorrow in the elections.

On a personal note – on Saturday I took my family to see the Peking acrobats. It was a pretty amazing show. The show was at the Overture Center in downtown Madison, just a few blocks off the capitol square. While walking there we ran into a few people who were attending the “zombie protest”. I was peppered with questions from my kids as to why these folks were dressed like the dead, covered in blood, walking with limps and grunting, while carrying signs with Walker = blood on them and other crazy stuff like that. It pissed me off that I wasn’t even able to enjoy a single afternoon walking around without running into politics. It ruined my day.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, while sitting in the theater waiting for the show to begin, I saw in the program a screed against the Walker administration for proposing to cut funding to artists, and a photo of protesters with signs that said something like “the arts are important” – or close to it. I wanted to wad it up and toss it at an usher but I relaxed and enjoyed the show. The acrobats were great and I treated the family to Chinese food afterward – well, at least the American version of Chinese food. I had the spicy tofu with ground pork and it was delicious with a Tsing Tao to wash it down.

In the end, I am getting really worn out of the “perma protest” we now have on the square and am looking forward to this election being over so I don’t have to hear the attack ads anymore.

12 thoughts on “Madison Update”

  1. There is absolutely no way that the Republicans will lose their majority in the state Senate, so in the end we will be back where we started from, with the Democrats being the minority in the Senate.

    The Dems must know this, so I think the recall efforts against Republicans are more likely attempts to change Republicans’ future behavior than to gain control of the legislature.

    Thanks for doing all of these posts.

  2. It’s interesting that the unions have targeted Wisconsin when the same, or stronger, laws are being passed in other states. They may have hoped that the blue state reputation of Wisconsin would give them a better chance. It might still, but the Democrat governors even in California are cutting union benefits and wages. It’s that or bankruptcy.

    One effect that they may not anticipate is that the protests and uproar may focus more people on the fiscal crisis and lead to more, not less, willingness to cut spending.

  3. The next election, the footage from the protests will be used extensively against the Dems, as the Republicans will be able to choose the juiciest bits, like zombie protests, hitler signs, and all the rest.

    Michael Kennedy – it is strange indeed – other states are totally wiping out the public sector unions with hardly a peep, and you try to get one cent from an AFSCME member in Wisconsin and there are instantly fifty thousand people on the square. This is a reflection of Madison though too – I believe it was Lex Green who said that we have a “baked in protest” with all of the students and govt. workers in town, along with 60’s washouts and others.

  4. Granting that your local media coverage is largely written by the DNC; but we out here are hearing about union threats and extortion against businesses. Not only by the unions covered by the Budget Repair Bill, but also by local fire and police departments. Are the threats having an effect either way that you can see?

    Subotai Bahadur

  5. SB – the only threats I have heard and/or seen are in Southeast Wisconsin where unions sent signs to businesses and said if you don’t put the sign in the window we will boycott your business.
    The above action is a bit disturbing since it appears that the cops are involved.

    That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been more threats, just that is the only one that made the press.

    Also, there has been physical picketing of M and I bank and others close to the square for their donations to republicans. As if nobody there donated to a Dem candidate!

    I own a small business here in Madison and haven’t seen nor heard of any union thuggery in my world, but I live in the wholesale world, not retail. Most people don’t really care about some guys metal building in the middle of an industrial park, and on top of that most people don’t understand what wholesale distribution even is.

    Facebook is interesting. Many of my friends are state employees and there are loosely connected groups trying boycotts of certain businesses but it doesn’t seem to be getting too much traction.

  6. I should add that Jesse Jackson is here AGAIN today for a rally for MLK on the square, and the AFLCIO is also having a rally for something. Like I said, perma protest – now they are protesting Walker’s proposed budget. I guess they should start thinking about making the streets around the square a pedestrian mall eventually.

  7. Here is an interesting post about the unions selling out members in Wisconsin in order to sign long term contracts binding the members to pay dues and have them collected by the local government. The sheriff’s employees found out what was happening and elected to go with Walker’s refrom bill provisions.

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