Below is a recent email sent by Chris Wondra, a grassroots organizer and blogger, in Wisconsin’s Senate District 10. He and his wife, Lisa, have been active in the recall of Senator Harsdorf and now in the election of Shelly Moore in her place. All six recall elections against GOP senators are slated for Tuesday, Aug. 9. Chris later turned this email into a blog and posted it on his site. It not only summarizes the blow-by-blow battle for WI, but captures the rollercoaster of emotions that many Wisconsinites have felt for the last 6 months.
This…is the pulse of the Wisconsin activist.
Some of you are, no doubt, growing tired of of these political posts. I don’t blame you.
By nature, I’m not that into politics. And truth be told, I grow weary of this fight.
But it’s stuff like this that blows my mind and reminds me to keep shouting. The truth must be known.
Please read this link: GOP redistricting maps make dramatic changes
“With recalls pending, GOP releases redistricting plan: A quick vote . . . before recall elections . . . would let Republicans lock down advantages at the ballot box for the next 10 years by drawing maps in their favor.”
Remember: Today, Republicans own Wisconsin. Please consider though, who owns the Republicans–and what has happened so far:
- Refusal to listen to constituents, even after unprecedented public outcry
- Votes and discussion behind closed doors (violated open meetings LAW)
- Ignored judge’s orders
- Made it harder to vote
- Run fake candidates, forcing Democratic primaries and increased the cost of the recall elections by over $400,000
- Violence in the Supreme Court
- Decimated public education (and demoralized educators) while at the same time funding private schools in Milwaukee and cutting taxes.
- Rolled back environmental protections.
- Rolled back citizens rights by making it harder for people injured by negligent corporations to get justice.
- And now, rushed to redraw the district voting lines BEFORE recall elections–which would give them an advantage for at least the next 10 years.
Let’s be clear. Republicans OWN Wisconsin. From the Governor, to the Senate, to the Assembly to the Supreme Court. They can do whatever they want–without discussion, without compromise, without negotiation. And this is exactly what they are doing.
This blatant power grab is unprecedented and remarkable. Anywhere. And at any time in history.
Let this be another powerful reason why this election is like no other. We have to take back the Senate NOW. If you think this bit of legislation is suspicious, just consider what will happen if we lose these summer elections.
You think they are done destroying public education, rolling back environmental protections, making it harder to vote, privatizing government institutions (like schools, prisons, the department of commerce, Wiscnet–the NON-PROFIT internet supplier to libraries and schools) grabbing power at every opportunity? By their own admission, they’re only getting started.
These are the kinds of political games that people are growing so tired of. They (Walker, Harsdorf and the rest) are getting beat up in the polls. So what do they do? Change the rules . . . again.
Seriously, every morning I think–I’m done sending emails, marching in parades, writing letters to the editor, making videos. I’ve got a garden to weed. Bills to pay. Kids to take care of. The other day, somebody referred to me as a “good activist,” and I thought, what the hell has happened to me? I’m out. I’m done.
This is not who I am.
But then, by the end of the day, I undoubtedly hear or read something else that is happening in Madison. And my blood boils anew. I am aghast. I can’t believe my eyes/ears.
I do this because I am deeply concerned about our families, our schools, our communities, our children, our chances.
Please do what you can, everyone, to understand and then shed the light of truth on Wisconsin. After all, we are all in this together. Or at least . . . we used to be.
So here we are. The reluctant activists. The “good activists.” I’ll be the first to admit – I was a lazy citizen before this time. Sure I voted in the presidential elections…most of the time. But I could never be bothered with school board elections, state or local leaders, or even referendums. It was all too much to bother with. It was all a game to me.
The last 6 months has changed everything.
Gov. Walker and Sen. Harsdorf’s extreme budget repair bill generated a collective uproar. A new community of “reluctant activists” began to form, becoming different people than they thought they were. Regular working people, retired people, students – were all instantly mobilized. They were made up of District 10 people from as far north as Siren and Grantsburg as far south as Prescott and River Falls, as far East as Menomonie, and as far west as New Richmond and Hudson… and all the smaller communities in between. Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls are like adopted D10’ers… volunteering en mass whenever needed.
We call ourselves “outside agitators”, laughing at the absurd, dismissive title the senator has given her own constituents. We greet each other at each event: parades, rallies, speeches, debates, sign making and letter writing parties, canvassing meetings, and Facebook groups. You’ve got to give him this much – Gov. Walker is an incredible community organizer. We have made life-long friends, sharing a journey. We know that our response, our numbers, and our passion have caught the attention of the nation. But more than that – we have surprised ourselves. We didn’t realize how much power there was in citenzery…if we even thought about things like that at all.
And for those of you who read this and believe another way – I hope you understand us a little better. Search our words, there is nothing here that displays any ill will toward you. If you have it hard, too, then we are on the same side. The same side. We all deserve better. Instead of fighting between each other, we should turn a critical eye on anyone who would tell us that instead of prospering together, we should “all have to suffer together”. No. Not in Wisconsin. We have too much dignity and love of country to believe that the only legacy we will leave our children is that of suffering and a race to the bottom. We are too creative of a people for that. Life is about living…and caring…and listening to each other.
It is time to get back to that. Vote Tuesday, August 9.