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Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:38 PM


Fixing Wisconsin

OK Cheesehead DU'ers. We helped get our President a second term, but the Republicans have re-taken control of our State government. Putting the brakes on the Koch, er, ALEC, er, Walker plan is not going to be easy.

And neither is fixing things. So, how do we go about it?

Does State Democratic Chair Mike Tate have to go, as suggested in Cognitive Dissidence today?

( http://cognidissidence.blogspot.com/2012/11/25-post-election-thoughts.html )

How do we leverage the 30,000 'recall Walker' volunteers to drive a more progressive platform and then get our candidates elected?

How can we protect public education while the R's are in control?

How can we protect collective bargaining and not become a right-to-work (for less) State?

How can the Party better use social media and other advanced technologies to get our message out?

We've got much work to do. No time like the present to get started. We need the collective brainpower of Cheesehead Progressives to help drive solutions to these and other challenges.

All input welcome, as always.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:59 PM

1. Makes it harder to root for the Packers during those times the Niners are out of it


Though I do like your Cal quarterback, and collective ownership!

Seriously, though, best of luck. This Californio wishes you the best is surviving two more years of Walkerdom. Though lord knows, we've had our long dark nights of the GOP soul(lessness) here on the far coast, too...

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 05:21 PM

2. On a practical level, I'd say

obstruct the ALEC led big corporation agenda. Tie them up in court as long as possible...hopefully for years. The purpose government cannot be to enable profiteering.

On a more ideological level we've got to promote legislation that redevelops sustainable regional economies that promote opportunity to grow a coalition between microbusiness (family-sized businesses including farms, trades, retails) and labor that reinvigorate interest in shared commitment to community.

We've got to re-educate several generations of Wisconsinites who've lost belief in the notion that government is to govern in the interest of bettering everyone.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 05:30 PM

3. Thoughtful post, thanks....


I particularly like your comments regarding microbusiness and shared commitment. Co-ops are one way to do this that have proved successful in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:34 AM

4. I applaud your readiness to look forward

I am a bit shell-shocked. After 18 months of insanity, we had some brief moments of reprieve and hope. Kathleen Vinehout's committee's public hearing on elections was an indicator of what we could do. Even though the Assembly wouldn't have passed any reformative measures, and we KNEW that Walker wouldn't have signed any, at least the citizens of the state had a seat at the table. We knew we would be heard.

That is dead now. The authoritarians are back in complete control, and they're not going to waste any time. And no, we don't have a break until January - I understand they're caucusing next week. That's where the decisions get made, where the arm-twisting is done. When they walk out from behind those closed doors, they walk out in lockstep. The Republicans will be a unified body, and they will be ramming through the most destructive measures we've ever seen. I don't ever tell people to give up. But I'm afraid that our ability to impact what is going to happen in the legislature over at least the next two years is nonexistent.

You're right to look at strengthening the Party, and building a stronger network. We need people with balls to take over the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Repeatedly, we met with party officials to express our concerns for the integrity of our elections, and they stuck their fingers in their ears and whistled merry tunes of denial. They didn't want to be the ones accused of wearing the tin-foil hats. We blew it during the recalls, and in the lead up to this election.

I realize that this has turned into a rant, which is completely contrary to the purpose of this thread. Sorry about that, Scuba. I just really needed to unload a bit. And despite my declarations of doom and gloom, I'm not going to curl up into a ball and go away. I'm involved with the Wisconsin Grassroots Network, and am on the Board of the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative. We will continue to build, to help to inform the politically-napping people of the state, and when I've crawled out from underneath my bed, I'll share information about how to get involved with those efforts.

Thank you for the supportive environment in which I know I am safe to vent.

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Response to Lefta Dissenter (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:44 AM

5. Venting is healthy, and you're right in that this is a safe place to do so....


... you've done - and continue to do - so much that we are all in your debt.

I suppose I should be happy that your assessment of the Party leadership on the elections issue is "fear of ridicule" as opposed to "complicity". However, it's one thing to say "our elections are rigged" and quite another to say "we need to make sure our elections are not rigged". If the Party leadership can't do that, then we need new leadership.

Thanks for the support; we shall keep up the fight!

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:21 PM

6. Tate leaving

As far as the question of Tate leaving, it has not been the easiest 4 years to be chair, but it is time for the DPW to take a different direction. He did okay by fully supporting the recalls and remember he had We Are Wisconsin and other outside progressive groups that are no longer active in the same capacity sucking up some of the DPW oxygen. We never really ended up winning any elections from the recalls, supreme court, 2010, and 2012 that would be considered a unique pick up. With the republican partisan redistricting we really need a 72 county strategy that we can use as a baseline from election to election moving forward.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:34 PM

7. Well, in Iceland the left organized an umbrella group. And fixed up a bus.

The big issue over there is constitutional reform.

The umbrella group, a small new political party bringing together other even smaller parties, is called:


"...Dawn – The organization of justice, fairness and democracy”. It is made up of former members of several other recent political factions; among them, The Citizen’s Movement, the Liberal Party, and The Movement, along with 2 members of the Constitutional Council which was established to draft a new constitution.

In the weeks leading up to the constitutional vote, Dögun members took the streets in a 40 year old revamped and repainted bus whose logo is an arctic tern flying across a purple sky with a bright dawn rising from below. (The tern’s incredible determination makes it the most traveled animal on earth, journeying tens of thousands of miles every year, from the Arctic to Antarctica and back.) They used bullhorns and impromptu gatherings in public spaces to hopefully jolt an electorate tired of the glacial pace of their so-called economic “stability.” The results of that election[5] may have been affected by the extra efforts put out by Dögun’s challenge to citizens, written along the side of the bus, “Do you want a new Constitution or do you want a café latté?”

Not to be confused with a movement in Greece, that is 180 degrees different in almost every way.

It's not exactly an advanced technology (unless the bus runs on vegetable oil and smells like french fries, I don't know) but I don't think it's a bad idea. However it happens, here in Wisconsin we'll need some kind of organizing effort that brings people together around the kind of core issues you've named. One way to start might be to get several activist organizations to sponsor a start-up, coordinating event.

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Response to mojowork_n (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:38 PM

8. Thanks for your thoughtful post. Please see this thread also...


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Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:52 PM

9. I've read it and went to some of the linked sites.

Election reform groups should be among those invited to any summit, or organizing forum.

I googled 'constitutional reform' + Wisconsin' and among the results the most notable may have been Wisconsin Manufacturer's and Commerce proposal, from over a year ago, for an amendment to change the way recall elections can be held and run.

Whether the R's initiate something first, or not, an amendment to change the way all Wisconsin elections are run -- so that only paper ballots can be used -- should be a goal of ours.

The flaws in privatized electronic voting are pretty obvious. It's an issue that could draw bi-partisan support. People will always disagree about Voter ID for partisan reasons, but who in their right mind supports casting ballots on unreliable touchscreens, that have no back up or recount capability, and are so easily hackable?

I think I basically follow the basic idea with the Milwaukee Anomaly and Red Shift claims, in the other thread, but there's a limit to how easily most people follow statistical arguments, mapped out with scattered dots and moving lines. No matter how nice the graphics look or how attractive the colors are.

I'm sure there are people much better versed in math and statistics for whom those charts are the modern equivalent of the "Behold" right triangle proof:


But I'd like to see a "for dummies" in depth explanation that breaks it all down with simple, clear language and a lot of step-by-step analysis, making it easier to understand how votes can be flipped. Maybe some kind of video or animation could do a better job of explaining, and laying out the evidence.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:03 PM

10. I'm not sure how to do it, but we need to just be more than "anti-Walker"

which is how I see those against us, see us. We need to promote some kind of radical job promotion, new technologies, or something that has us in the forefront of the new, as much the media will allow us anyway.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:46 PM

11. Not to be overlooked....

One of our solutions should involve simple arithmetic.

Follow the money.

Snotty Scottie promised 250,000 new jobs.

But what has "Wisconsin's open for business" really meant? What have all those ALEC-connected R's gotten us in to, and what have been the pay-off's? For the people of the state of Wisconsin?

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