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Sat Dec 31, 2011, 03:01 PM

How Wisconsin has changed my life in 2011. [View all]

I love my state. I always have. I have been proud to come form a place with such a rich history of Socialist movements, union and labor pride, and to be able to call a politician like Russ Feingold my representative. The mid-term elections broke my spirit and my heart. We lost a progressive voice, gained a worthless suit in his place and an evil monster at the helm of our state. I was devastated and wanted to just stop caring at all about politics. I gave up.

And then it happened.

On Feb. 7, with Wisconsin united in the afterglow of a Green Bay Packers victory in the Super Bowl, brand-new Gov. Scott Walker convened a dinner meeting of his Cabinet at the Governor's Mansion.

Walker held up a photo of President Ronald Reagan, who had famously fired striking air-traffic controllers, and said his plan to sweep away decades of protections for state public employees in a stop-gap budget bill represented "our time to change the course of history."

The budget-repair bill, which would strip most collective-bargaining rights from 175,000 public-sector workers while imposing immediate benefits concessions, went public four days later. Walker, a Republican, called for passage in the GOP-controlled Legislature within a week.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_3c7f9cd2-4274-11e0-8f25-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1i8tpUt8g

And the people of Wisconsin came together. Teachers, firefighters, business owners, Republicans, Democrats. We stood in the cold and snow and shouted at the top of our lungs that we wouldn't take it. For weeks. And the country and the world stood with us. Proudly.

The GOP tried to push through legislation illegally, our Democratic State Senators, after trying to reason with the unreasonable, fought for us and stood by us by heading to Illinois, leaving the Senate one member shy of the 20 senators required to vote on budget-related bills. Assembly Republicans began procedures to move the bill to a vote on February 22 while Democrats submitted dozens of amendments and conducted speeches. At 1:00 a.m. on February 25, following sixty hours of debate, the final amendments had been defeated and the Republican leadership of the Wisconsin State Assembly cut off debate as well as the public hearing and moved quickly to pass the budget repair bill in a sudden vote. The vote was 51 in favor and 17 opposed, with 28 representatives not voting. The final vote took place without warning, and the time allowed for voting was so short that fewer than half of the Democratic representatives were able to vote; many reportedly pushed the voting button as hard as possible but it did not register.

They went on to get their legislation passed, we had a mess of a Supreme Court race that exposed serious issues with the handling of our ballots accross the state, especially here in my home of Waukesha County. But even on the tails of that, we Democrats stood up and together. We worked our asses off at the recount for weeks on end, challenging everything and forcing the County and municipalities to get their shit together. We formed committees and are observing every election with our own eyes.

And we recalled Senators. We didn't get the majority, but we gained 2 seats and lost none.

Our state Democratic convention was invigorating and inpiring. I was able to thank these fine Democrats for all of their hard work as well as hug, laugh and cry with them.

And now we're out again in the cold and snow recalling Walker, Kleefisch and even a Fitzgerald. It's not over for us and we have not lost. We're taking this great state back.

I know that the Occupy movement has been front and center since it began, as it should be... but don't forget Wisconsin. It has changed my life and breathed new air into my 'give-a-shit' meter. It has shown me that there are politicians who care. And they're Democrats. With spine. I am not alone when I say it and all of you who have stood with us has changed my life. So, as the year ends, DU... don't forget about us!

On Wisconsin.

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Reply How Wisconsin has changed my life in 2011. [View all]
PeaceNikki Dec 2011 OP
CatholicEdHead Dec 2011 #1
PeaceNikki Dec 2011 #4
Irishonly Dec 2011 #2
PeaceNikki Dec 2011 #3
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2011 #5
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2011 #6
Logical Dec 2011 #7
PeaceNikki Dec 2011 #8
Logical Dec 2011 #9
Scuba Dec 2011 #16
onestepforward Dec 2011 #10
JimWis Dec 2011 #11
undeterred Dec 2011 #12
Dewey Finn Dec 2011 #13
LineReply .
Viking12 Dec 2011 #14
Scuba Dec 2011 #15
malaise Dec 2011 #17
lunatica Dec 2011 #18
Remember Me Dec 2011 #19
WillyT Dec 2011 #20
eridani Dec 2011 #21
Skittles Jan 2012 #22
Paka Jan 2012 #23
MH1 Jan 2012 #24
PeaceNikki Jan 2012 #25
drynberg Jan 2012 #26
Lifelong Protester Jan 2012 #27
PeaceNikki Jan 2012 #29
madamesilverspurs Jan 2012 #28
gulliver Jan 2012 #30
Serial Mom Jan 2012 #31
PeaceNikki Jan 2012 #33
Generic Other Jan 2012 #32