Unlike the majority of my opinion pieces that talk about how wonderful Governor Walker and our brave Wisconsin GOP Legislators are, this one is a lot harder to write. It is much easier for me to defend and laud the accomplishments of others than it is to pat myself and my merry band of friends on the back, but given the enormity of our accomplishments, I felt it necessary to write about it. This is not intended to be self promotion. It is intended to inspire others to dream big and then surround yourself with the right people to get the job done right.
As many of you know I was a co creator and co organizers of the Celebrate Walker Rally in Wauwatosa. The genesis of this now famous event really was a previous much smaller event I helped organize in Madison way back in November where a merry band of about 120 Walker supporters marched through thousands of union hacks who spit at us, threw coffee at us, and called us every name under the sun. That in itself was not the motivation, the fact that about 90% of us went back at to the Capital Rotunda to do it again was. We knew that day that there was a thirst for a conservative event and we figured hey why not us so we went to right to work on it.
So Lisa Weed (she deserves one shameless plug) and I started batting around ideas on dates and location and ended up with the idea of Hart Park in Tosa on the Saturday after the recall signatures were due. We contacted Senator Leah Vukmir who represents that area and she agreed to speak at our little grassroots rally. We thought maybe 200 to 300 people in the park. We could find someone with a little PA system so Senator Vukmir could share a few words and then we would do a march of some sort. Well this is where this story gets real interesting. We started to expand our base of organizers and soon realized our little event could blossom into something much bigger. We brought in some wonderful people, too many to fairly mention each one, but trust me when I tell you they were the true heroes of the event.
Do not get me wrong, this event had a ton of potential pitfalls. What if we couldn’t attract too many good speakers? What if the local media tried to make us look bad? What if the GOP establishment in Wisconsin did not trust us and wanted to take the event over? These were just a few of the questions we had and trust me they were keeping us up at night. Something amazing happened though, the people we found to join us started answering the questions for us. Meg, our person in charge of booking speakers began to call or private message me great news. One by one speaker commitments came rolling in. It was as if all the GOP heavyweights called each other and said hey lets give these guys a chance. It also didn’t hurt that Meg refused to take no for an answer. While this was going on our media liaison Noelle was busy making us and the event look great in local media. Interviews were set up and our promotion machine was up and running. Suddenly our event of 300 was looking a lot more like 1,000 and our venue went from a park shelter to a state of the art outdoor amphitheater, which leads me to another incredible part of this story.
With each passing speaker confirmation our event was getting bigger and bigger. Soon we realized we were way in over our heads financially and we turned to you, the Walker Backers, for help and help you did. I personally had nothing to do with the PAC Onward Wisconsin but Paris the president of it was reporting everyday how generous you all were. Then Mary one of event coordinators began to set up a bake sale to help defray costs of the event. All of a sudden there was a bake sale Facebook page with a ton of volunteers from across Wisconsin baking goods to sell at our event. We were in deep but thanks to your generosity and to a hugely successful bake sale, we were able to meet our financial obligations.
This is in short, an actual documentation of one of the biggest grassroots events pulled off in Wisconsin state history. We could not of done it without a lot of help from our friends. If you are one that helped you have our undying thanks. If you are one looking to help us with our next one stayed tuned. Special thanks to Grassroots Bakers for Walker, Matt Lepperd for volunteering to do sound, Wauwatosa Police, donators to the event, our event speakers, and last but not least the estimated 4,000 people who attended.
Wisconsin’s largest public teachers union WEAC have made the decision to endorse Kathleen Falk as the Democratic nominee to take on Governor Walker in a general election. While this premature decision has made Walker backers like myself absolutely giddy, it has not resonated so well with members and supporters of WEAC. It seems as if they actually thought this recall was about them, which we know it never had anything to do with the school teacher or the sanitation worker. This recall is all about the public unions holding onto power at any cost, including the cost of their members wishes being ignored.
C’mon Wisconsin teachers you didn’t actually believe the Democratic party stood with you did you? If they honestly stood with you they would have done more negotiating and less political posturing when they ran away to Illinois. That was an opportune time to negotiate on your behalf, but instead of negotiating they decided to conduct MSNBC interviews from “undisclosed” locations in Illinois. The Democratic Party has offered a lot in terms of rhetoric but what have they actually done to improve your situation as a school teacher?
Then there is your union. The same union who forced school districts to use WEA Trust as their healthcare provider even though their were cheaper providers. This practice took thousands out of your classroom and put into their big fat cat pockets. When it became obvious that MPS would have to lay off teachers if they didn’t re open up their contract, several members of the teacher union actually stood up and said lets re open to save some jobs. Too bad their union leaders refused to do it and now hundreds of school teachers are out of work because of it. WEAC would much rather tell 2,000 of it members that they are no longer employed, then to tell all their members they need to contribute a bit to their retirement. It is all about their power and their power lies in not negotiating but in keeping what is theirs regardless of how it affects its members.
If you were a true believer that the recall was a grassroots movement about you, I truly feel bad that you had to learn the hard way that this recall had nothing to do with you at all. You were a pawn for WEAC and the Democratic party to use to bang the drums, chain yourself to the Capitol, and collect the signatures. It has to be hard to come to the realization that you have been duped by your people for over a year, but the facts bear out the truth that you were. May I suggest you come over to the side of the Wisconsin taxpayer. We would gladly accept you with open arms.
Throughout the entire Governor Walker saga the GAB (Government Accountability Board) has shown its true colors as a partisan, left leaning group of retired judges. Almost every ruling to come out of this body has been against Governor Walker or one of our brave GOP legislators. Well this week the GAB has taken this tired act over the top and has not just attacked our Governor, they attacked all Wisconsinites everywhere.
This weeks ruling by the GAB that only the official campaign of a particular candidate can challenge recall signatures flies directly in the face of our rights. Why does one have to be part of a particular group of people in order to be sure their rights and their vote are protected? What about independents, Libertarians, and common sense Democrats who support Governor Walker or one of our brave GOP State Senators? Are these people not allowed a voice in this recall attempt? Why does the GAB feel the need to strip them of their ability to participate in the political process. Make no mistake here, our liberties are under attack by a rogue unaccountable entity that puts its ideology ahead of its responsibility to the citizens of Wisconsin.
The Left scoffs at the notion that Pro Walker people are attempting to verify the recall. They call it a waste of time. They have come up with a ton of crazy excuses not to allow people access to public records. Hey if you are willing to negate the votes of 1.1 million voters who voted for Governor Walker in November of 2010, you should also be willing to proudly display your name and address. This is not a game lefties so stop treating it like one. The anti Walker crowd laughs at our attempt to validate signatures, they say there is no way we can throw that many out. Honestly I agree with them that we will not be able to find enough fraud to stop the recall election of Governor Walker, but that does not mean we do not have the right to try. This is not about throwing out enough signatures to negate a recall, it is about Wisconsinites being allowed to be part of the process. It is about making people feel that the process has been fair which in turn will make people feel better about the outcome, regardless of what the outcome is. I was there in Madison and I saw all the out of state semi’s around the Capitol the day the recall started. Why do out of state unions have more of a voice in Wisconsin then its own citizens? GAB if you want Wisconsin to truly heal when this is all over, you must allow Wisconsinites to be part of it or else neither side will accept the outcome and we will be divided forever.
As for our friends on the left who are celebrating the GAB ruling. Know you are celebrating the erosion of your rights as a citizen of the state of Wisconsin. Know that rulings create precedent so do not be surprised when these issues work against you and your movement one day. At the end of the day you all are having a hissy fit over losing some collective bargaining privileges. Trust me when I tell you if this ruling from the GAB stands, you will lose a lot more than access to free healthcare, you lose your voice. Think about it, is this truly what you signed the recall petition for?
Today is President Ronald Reagan’s 101st birthday and though he is no longer with us, his legacy lives forever in the hearts and minds of conservatives across the country. He was without a doubt, the biggest influence on my politic beliefs and I owe my conservative principles and core to him.
President Reagan was indeed the Great Communicator. he was able to make people feel at ease regardless of the situation. I can still remember being a young boy and listening to President Reagan talk about the shuttle disaster. I still get chills when I think of his infamous line “and touched the face of God”. There was never a situation he didn’t seem prepared for. During a grilling press conference Sam Donaldson asked President Reagan if he was partly to blame for the struggling US economy. Without missing a beat President Reagan retorted “Yes because for many years I was a Democrat.”
President Reagan was everything you wanted out of a President. He was the eternal optimist and he never took no for an answer. It is said that the times make the man, but in President Reagan’s case the man made the times. He put in motion the forces to tear down that wall in Berlin. He made people feel better about America again which helped get us out of economic funk in the early 80’s. He created the conditions that allowed businesses to reinvest in themselves that allowed for great inventions like the internet etc…America owes President Reagan a serious debt of gratitude.
Conservatives like me have been waiting many years for our next Ronnie. Taking a look at the political landscape today you can find a few conservatives as smart or as witty or as charming, but you cannot find anyone who has the total package President Reagan did. Many people believed it took a President Carter to bring us a Ronald Reagan. If that is indeed the case where is our Ronald Reagan to take on the one President Obama? I can tell you he or she is not among those currently in the race. That is the one sad part of the Reagan legacy, the lack of someone to pick up where he left off.
The lefties in Wisconsin have been pitching a fit for almost a year now. From storming our Capitol to scaring Special Olympic athletes. our lefty friends have done it all. Just when you think they can’t top themselves, they find a way to do it. A few weeks ago our lefty friends proudly handed in 1 million recall signatures for Gov. Walker. They threw a party and literally celebrated the fact that they are trying to overturn the will of the people. They really do not understand that elections have consequences. To a Wisconsin lefty nothing is off limits.
Now here is where this story gets interesting, you see conservatives now have access to these million signatures and it has become very apparent that many of these signatures are invalid either because of gross incompetence or straight up cheating. Either way it is a black eye to the recall movement and trust me the independents in Wisconsin are watching. The signatures alone would be embarrassing, but add to that the fact that the Democrats do not have a viable candidate willing to stick their neck out to run, and the whole recall movement becomes a joke. Kathleen Falk has already lost statewide elections several times and has a reputation of being a progressive which plays great in Madison and Milwaukee but not so well anywhere else. The fact that Falk seems to be their only candidate is slap in the face to the grassroots of the recall movement. Conservatives imagine devoting yourself totally to a cause and the end result is you get to support a candidate who cannot win. Wait a minute we are doing that right now with the Presidential primary, but I digress.
On a more personal level, I love how the Wisconsin Left cannot admit that beating Governor will be tough. They are even going as far as attacking a grassroots Pro Walker event and its organizers. I was part of the creation of the event and let me assure you it was about as grassroots as it gets and it was attended by thousands, not dozens as the left would like you to believe. Trust me when I tell you their pathetic attempts to belittle our huge event has only served to motivate us to make our next one even bigger.
In the end the left in Wisconsin will lose and they will find a million excuses why. Too bad they couldn’t find 1 million legal signatures to go along with the excuses.
With the Democrats prospects of taking over the Governor’s mansion in Wisconsin dimming they seem to have shifted their focus to regaining control of the State Senate, where there short-term prospects look a bit better. Here is the fly in the Democrats ointment, even if they manage to win one or even two of the Senate recall elections, their stay in control of the Senate will be short.
I am not trying to blow smoke up anybody’s backside here, at least 2 of the upcoming Senate recall elections are going to be dog fights. Both Sen Wanggaard and Sen Galloway are freshman Senators so they have had little time to bond with their constituents. Senator Galloway is in a bit better shape based on the demographics of her district, but she is still vulnerable. Senator Wanggaard represents perhaps the purplest district in the state and he will be the Democrats number one target. Fortunately for conservatives, Wanggaard is a tireless campaigner and the conservative grassroots in his district are well-organized. It also helps that the Democrats have decided to run a re-tread against him.
As much as I would love to state that we will win all 4 Senate recalls, conventional wisdom and the results from last August tell me that at least one of our brave GOP Senators will lose. While that would be considered a short-term victory for the Democrats, their long-term prospects of holding on to the Senate majority after the November elections of 2012 do not look good at all. Lets for the sake of argument assume they win one of these recalls to regain control. Under that very possible scenario lets examine the actual Senate races of 2012.
There are 16 State Senators up for re-election in 2012, 6 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Based on Wisconsin’s newest electoral map all 6 of the Republicans are safe with Senator Olsen being the most vulnerable. On the Democrat side I see 4 seats in play. Jessica King , who just won her Senate seat in the last round of recalls is in real trouble. Senators Holperin and Hansen both survived recall bids against political unknowns last August but based on their districts they have to be considered vulnerable and last but not least Senator Wirch, who to his credit keeps on winning, is always a target for defeat. It is way to early to make any bold predictions but one look at this scenario tells me that the GOP will pick up at least 2 of these Democratic seats in November and once again regain control of the Senate. In the meantime lets all work our tails off for our recalled Senators so next November we will be increasing GOP control instead of winning it back.
I get it guys, we have been taking on the chin for the past year in the media and on the ground. The Left in Wisconsin is very good at staging a production and with a lot of outside help, they set the tone for the past year. What I am here to tell you is that while we must remain vigilant and at the ready, we are indeed winning this argument with the people who count the most, independent voters.
The recently released poll done by Marquette University shows just how much of an advantage Governor Walker enjoys right now. The fact that he is beating Kathleen Falk by 7 points is promising. The fact that he doing that well in a poll where Obama is winning by 9 points makes it impressive. It is also important to note that he is polling at or over 50% against almost any challenger which is a great sign for an incumbent. Add to that his 51% approval rating and you have every reason to believe that come this time next year that Scott Walker will still be our Governor.
Perhaps the biggest telltale sign of Walker’s huge advantage can be found in what the Democrats are not doing. Sure they made a big deal out of handing in the signatures but have kept real quiet since then. It is also hard not to notice the fact that the big players in Democratic politics in this state have not stepped up yet. Where is Tom Barrett? David Obey why aren’t you announcing your candidacy yet? Could it be that your internal poling has shown the numbers are not there for you to win? If they are pinning their hopes on Kathleen Falk, then you know they truly are in trouble.
At the end of the day this election will come down to 2 things: turnout and independent voters. We know our turnout will be great as it always is and if the current trend continues we can count on our independent minded friends to carry us to victory. Do everything you can to make sure we keep the Governor of the year Scott Walker in office, and know that your efforts WILL not be in vein because we have the advantage and we are not planning on giving it away anytime soon. So go ahead and stick your chest out a bit, talk more confident about Governor Walker with your family and friends. It is really ok to feel good about your Governor and your political position in Wisconsin.