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UPDATE Wednesday, May 16, 2:25 p.m. CDT...The CD's are here! The Solidarity Sing Along CD is now available from the United Wisconsin store. The cost is $15.00 and the entire fifteen bucks goes to United Wisconsin, the grassroots political action committee that organized the recall against Governor Walker and continues to do voter outreach. (The album is also available for download at cdbaby.com and itunes. Just search for Solidarity Sing Along.) If you listen carefully, you can hear a goat boy bleating on the tracks.

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For anyone deeply involved in the Wisconsin uprising, listening to John Nichols on local Madison radio every morning has become more than a habit. Nichols, who is a correspondent for The Nation magazine and an associate editor of the Capital Times in Madison, is interviewed for 30 minutes nearly every morning on WTDY's "Sly in the Morning" program. His daily debriefings are something of a booster shot for those who might get discouraged by the ups and downs of the recall effort against Governor Scott Walker. Some people I know (ahem) have even modified their commuting schedules to align their drive time with the Nichols interview.

John Nichols is optimistic. It seems to be in his nature, but he always qualifies his optimism with a very important word: "If."

Click the image to donate to the Wisconsin recall effort through ActBlue:


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As a computer programmer, I can appreciate a well crafted "IF" statement. This morning as I drove to work, I heard Nichols construct perhaps his most elegant but chilling IF statement to date.

The most recent polling in Wisconsin has suggested that Scott Walker might hold a slight advantage in the June 5th election against Tom Barrett. Earlier polling suggests it's dead even. Another poll is due out today, but analyzing the most recent survey, John Nichols found some gold nuggets among the coal:

Minority voters favor Tom Barrett by a 3 to 1 margin over Scott Walker. Mobilizing GOTV in minority neighborhoods would help Barrett a lot.

Young people (those under 30) favor Barrett over Walker by similar margins. Reaching those younger voters and encouraging them to vote would help Barrett a lot. Field efforts to encourage departing college students to sign up for absentee voting before they leave their current address for the summer could be very helpful as well.

Polling of union households shows a surprisingly high percentage for Scott Walker, perhaps as high as 39%. Highlighting recently released video showing Walker confiding to a billionaire donor that he intends to use a divide and conquer strategy to destroy the labor movement in Wisconsin might help Barrett gain more union votes.

In addition to the results of the surveys, Nichols pointed out that many Wisconsin voters are completely unaware of the John Doe investigation going in in Milwaukee County that has already resulted in convictions against many of Walker's closest associates. Or that Walker has a established a criminal defense fund. Or that many of his former staff have been charged with crimes or granted immunity.

"So where are the ads?" the host of the show asked rhetorically.

Then came the big IF from Nichols. "It takes money." Though Tom Barrett and his supporters will never outspend Scott Walker and his 1% backers, it still takes money to do GOTV efforts in Milwaukee. We can make those phone calls to likely Democratic voters. We can organize absentee ballot awareness campaigns on college campuses. We can send postcards to union households reminding them that Scott Walker intends to implement "right to work" by any means necessary. We can run ads informing voters that Scott Walker is neck deep in a Milwaukee County John Doe investigation that has already resulted in convictions of many of his former staff, and that Walker has established his own criminal defense fund.

We have only 20 more days, but we can still do all this if we have the money.

The whole conversation this morning started with reminding listeners that the Democratic National Committe (the DNC) has so far declined requests by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) for financial assistance. The DPW has asked for $500,000 to pay for field operations and other expenses for the June 5th election. Crickets from the DNC except a promise from Debbie Wasserman Schultz to come to Wisconsin to do fundraising (for the DNC?) and help recruit volunteers. We can always use more volunteers, but frankly that's not our biggest problem right now. We will continue to do our grass roots visibility projects like the Solidarity Sing Along, the Overpass Light Brigade, hand-written signs lining rural highways, and dozens of other "free" volunteer work, but that work is a complement to, not a substitute for, full time efforts to mobilize and motivate voters. Real GOTV efforts incur expenses, even with volunteer help. What good are volunteers if there is nobody available to direct them, no phones available to do outreach, no field offices, no clipboards, pencils, flyers, maps, scripts?

Daily Kos user Yosef 52 published a diary Monday night asking that the Kos community consider the goal of contributing $500,000 toward the Wisconsin recall effort. Amazingly, in just a short amount of time, over $156,000 has been contributed through ActBlue.

In case anybody missed that appeal, I am repeating it here. If you can make even a small donation click the image below. Thanks.



Please note that when you enter an amount at the top, it will default to a 50/50 split between the Tom Barrett campaign and Daily Kos. If you wish, you can scroll down and adjust those amounts before you submit your donation.

You can also donate directly to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin here.

 

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Originally posted to Giles Goat Boy on Wed May 16, 2012 at 08:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Democracy Addicts.

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