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I've been watching summer reruns and talk shows with my partner and Westie from my little Minneapolis home.  Lately, we keep seeing the same political attack ad.  It's not very well produced, but we see it a lot.  It is a right wing attack ad against Shelly Moore, the Democratic candidate running against Sheila Harsdorf in the District 10 State Senate recall election.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul media market is the 16th largest in the country, almost twice as big as the largest media market in Wisconsin (38th ranked Milwaukee-Racine).  It spills over into the western Wisconsin counties that make up Wisconsin's 10th Senate district.  To influence this rural state senate race, the Wisconsin Club for Growth is buying attack ads in one of the larger media markets in the country weeks before the election.

My partner asked me, "Isn't that a waste of money?"  After 30 years of tax policy favoring them, the richest Americans have almost all the money in the country, and they are willing to wield it like a sledgehammer to kill a fly.  That is how important Wisconsin is to the right wing.  They don't want any of their gains to be rolled back and they are willing to spend whatever it takes to keep them.  They don't want even a temporary setback in their march to domination.

We can't outspend them.  But we can provide enough money for a fighting chance.

Shelly Moore's ActBlue Page

This page supports all the Wisconsin Recall Democrats

Take Back Wisconsin!

Originally posted to Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 04:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (126+ / 0-)

    "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

    by Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 04:55:02 AM PDT

  •  Not surprising. Some of us tried to... (18+ / 0-)

    suggest that putting all the eggs in the electoral basket and shutting down the swelling direct, mass action movement in Wisconsin to prevent offending twelve "swing" voters in Kenosha was a bad idea.

    Now, the movement is, as a writer in The Progressive wrote today, "Demoralized and Demobilized."

    For an even better analysis of what went wrong in Wisconsin, check this out:

    "Wisconsin, What Now?"

    In my cynical view, this was exactly the point of funneling everything into electoral politics that had no real power to change anything anyway.  The Democratic Party and the union leadership in DC were scared to death of this mass movement, and wanted to gain control of it, even if that meant killing it.

    Good lesson for those who are involved in the next Wisconsin.  When the Democratic Party regulars and the union reps from DC show up, realize they're a Trojan Horse and show them the door.

    •  Really interesting comment, thanks. (5+ / 0-)

      Those who should be backing you wholeheartedly, aren't always completely on your side.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:21:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. (4+ / 0-)

        Especially when their paycheck and privileged role point the other way.

        •  I knew this was going to happen (5+ / 0-)

          Saturating the Wisconsin airways with anti Dem ads paid for in Koch cash was always going to be the WI Repugs plan.

          This is the new political world (thanks to the Wingnuts on the Supreme Court) that we live in.

          "He's the one, who likes all our pretty songs. And he likes to sing along. And he likes to shoot his gun. But he knows not what it means" - Kurt Cobain

          by Jeff Y on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 10:34:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The more that they flash that (5+ / 0-)

            RW money in ads, slick printed materials, etc. the more we can tie them to the Kochs and corporate interests.  People are getting really sick of the vested interests buying elections with limitless cash and they're really sick of the BS attack ads that run during election season.

            This will backfire on them.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:54:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you may be right. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Just look at the pitiful "grassroots" backlash against the labor demonstrations in Wisconsin in the winter and early spring. Literally, thanks to news cameras, we saw 12 aging white people get off a bus, with crazily misspelled signs.

              Nationally, look at the difficulties the Tea Party organizers face anymore, trying to fill venues. Whenever the RW releases something onto the public these days, be it a video that promotes abstinence, or whatever, it is so clumsy and so atrociously produced as to be a laughingstock.

              Chalk this up to Karl Rove aging :) or whatever you want. For all the Koch money, it sometimes looks as if the RW has lost the populist touch it had back in 1980.

              It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

              by karmsy on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 06:25:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The other thing to consider (0+ / 0-)

                is that the TeaBaggers might just have taken a look at the policies they are promoting:  ending Medicare, privatizing Social Security, continued tax breaks for millionaires and corporations leave a bad taste in the mouth of any senior citizen or member of the middle class.  All the screetching on RW radio and Faux Made Up Newzzz can't replace the real impact those policies will have on their own lives.

                TeaBaggers don't mind harsh and horrendous policies that harm others, but do mind being victimized themselves.

                There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                by Puddytat on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 11:40:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  If they were trying to get people doing GOTV (17+ / 0-)

      I would totally get why they weren't calling for rallies.  It takes a lot of bodies to overcome the money advantage Republicans had and will have.  Getting the vote out is tedious and exhausting, not nearly as much fun as showing up for a rally, but absolutely critical for the recall elections.  I'm not defending the union leadership, but I read both articles and don't see the point of occupying buildings when Joanne Kloppenburg had a shot at unseating Prosser if enough supporters got to the polls.  I would have wanted to see the activists working on elections first.

      People have lives, with lots of mundane things that need attention, whether it's caring for children, or elderly parents, or paying bills.  Unless you are single and have no job, it is difficult to sustain enthusiasm for showing up day after day, week after week, at outdoor protests.  I'm not saying it isn't important--just that the drop-off in attendance was inevitable.

      Take the pledge on Social Security

      by 2laneIA on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:56:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then I guess people will have to like (8+ / 0-)

        living in Walkerstan.

        As Howard Zinn pointed out, two minutes in a voting booth are not going to stop these elites who mean to drain every last drop of blood from our bodies.

        If people mistakenly believe that there's not enough at stake for those children and elderly parents to bring this to a head now, then I guess we'll have to wait until things get even worse.

        •  Without enough people spending those 2 minutes (15+ / 0-)

          we are well and truly screwed for sure.  It is the only real weapon we have left, which is why there is a concentrated effort to pass voter suppression legislation in the states.  

          Protests are great for getting people energized;  I went to one in Des Moines last February.  But look at the size of the Wisconsin rallies and look where we are now.  Walker and his allies don't care how many people are demonstrating.  They care about hanging on to power.  The only way to kill their agenda is to vote them out.  And the only way to make that happen against the tsunami of money from right wing groups is to work hard at getting your supporters to the polls.  It isn't lack of attendance at demonstrations that will bring on Fitzwalkerstan.  It is having three or more recalls fail that will do that.

          Take the pledge on Social Security

          by 2laneIA on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:43:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not protests, direct action. (5+ / 0-)
            The only way to kill their agenda is to vote them out.

            If you have read Zinn's A People's History, do so ASAP.  If you have, perhaps you need to re-read it.

            It's been direct action that has produced change in this country from occupying the Flint plant to sitting in at lunch counters to Army mutinies in Vietnam.

            Not protests.  They're just appeals to the elite to lighten up a little, pretty please.

            Direct action.  Make change or force it from below.

            "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

            Emma Goldman

            •  Have not read. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vega, buckybadger1988

              Will put it on my reading list.

              But.  Direct action, such as a general strike, puts a lot of jobs at risk.  I have thought about what I would do in that case, being employed and needing to be.  I don't think I would participate.  Color me timid if you like, but my job is my lifeline, as it is for many people.  

              If you are a union member and you can be protected from retaliation that is a different thing, although not entirely.  Look at the FOIA requests for the names of teachers who called in "sick," in Madison, and doctors who wrote them excuses.  The vindictiveness that will be visited upon them will be harmful and frightening I'm sure.

              Take the pledge on Social Security

              by 2laneIA on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 11:36:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You'll be amazed at the history. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                An Affirming Flame, HongPong

                No union members were protected from retaliation when unions were being created.  And by retaliation, I don't mean failing to be promoted or even firing.  I mean a club to the head or a bullet to the heart.

                Ever see the photos from the "Battle of the Overpass?"  There have been many diaries here recounting labor's history and the American power structure's predilection to kill or at least beat those who resisted Capitalistic exploitation.

                Can you imagine what this country would be like if Leftists had always avoided risk in order to achieve change?  If everyone continues to fantasize that this devolution can be blocked without risk, we'll be in that place again.

                •  We are all at risk, in many ways (0+ / 0-)

                  Both personally and collectively, because of what is happening in state governments.  A sense of that risk is what propels me to be working on a state senate election already.  What people do when they have no other means to express their despair, and what they do when there are choices, are decisions made in different contexts and cannot be judged the same way.  

                  We can take it back from the SOBs at the ballot box if we are organized, effective, work our butts off, and avoid alienating the middle of the electorate who are beginning to wake up to the fact that something different is going on that they don't like.  I live in a little blue island in northern Iowa, where the county Democratic Party got organized 20 years ago and took on the Republicans.  It has meant a lot of walking, and calling, and drudgery, but it worked.  If we had occupied the county courthouse we would just have been the local DFHs.

                  Take the pledge on Social Security

                  by 2laneIA on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:08:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Direct action vs elections (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              My thought has been that direct action is what you do when electoral avenues have dead ended and with recall elections coming up soon, that is still an open avenue.  Even protests can entail risk, given government monitoring and worse (like "four dead in Ohio").  Frequently the value of protests are not in changing minds, but in rallying supporters.  

              However, I haven't read Zinn's book.  What kind of direct action would be called for in this situation?

              "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

              by Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:22:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some ideas close to what's already taken place. (3+ / 0-)

                What was putting fear in Walker & Co. prior to all this diversion?

                An occupation of the Capitol that made conducting business-as-usual difficult.

                The teacher sick-out with support from students.

                The threat of a general strike.

                Direct action can proceed in positive or negative fashion.

                An example of "positive:

                Tired of living in a neighborhood where 1/3 of the houses are vacant and falling down because banks foreclosed and are failing to maintain or sell the properties?  Walk in and take over the houses.  Rehab them and put families in them, preferably the ones who were evicted in the first place.  If the banks and/or the cops come to try and re-take possession, call people to gather to block them.  (Zinn recounts at some length how this was done in the Depression to prevent evictions.  In farm areas, neighbors showed up auctions, often with shotguns in hand, so that a friend could bid low for a foreclosed property and give it back to the owner.)

                An example of "negative:"

                Let's say a community in Michigan is taken over by one of Snyder's pals, who then turns around and privatizes the water company (it's happening).  Everyone would refuse to pay their water bill.  A little more militant: everybody would turn on their outside water spigots and drop the town's pressure.

                The former looks at what should be and just does it, daring those in power to stop them from doing what's right.

                The latter looks at what's wrong and tries to make it impossible for the system to function if the wrong persists.

                I think it's very unrealistic to think that action that didn't entail risk would change this situation.  It never has in the past.

                And if you're not convinced that "electoral avenues" aren't working now, what will it take?

      •  I agree 100% with your comment. (0+ / 0-)
    •  twelve swing voters in kenosha? (0+ / 0-)

      What on earth are you talking about?

  •  The left will be at a disadvantage in (11+ / 0-)

    the money wars here.

     It will have to be made up by walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

     If Wisconsinites are serious about retaking their state, they can not afford to lose here. If they do it will create a narrative that the tea party is resurgent and that is just to depressing to cope with.

    ~a little change goes a long way~

    by missliberties on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:24:40 AM PDT

    •  They have the money. We have the people. (32+ / 0-)

      That is what this will come down to.  

      TV ads are very high cost/low impact in this district, as mentioned by the diarist.  We're only a very small part of the Twin Cities TV market.  That they're going in this heavy, this negative, six weeks before the election, says something.

      What do we have?  We have nearly a thousand people who collected signatures for the recall.  We have over 25,000 people district-wide who signed the petitions.  We have teams of people on the streets in every community doing GOTV every weekend, which will escalate to every day later this week (still six weeks before the election).  

      We have local papers where last week the letters to the editor are running 6:1 against Sen. Harsdorf.

      RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:36:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would be great to harness (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, chimpy, Matt Z

        some creativity on getting the democratic message out.

         Of course that would mean agreeing on what the democratic message is!

         Seriously though there are ways to get the message out that involve less money and more creative methods.

         A local high school could get it's drama dept (if they still exist) and do street theater in high traffic areas. And stuff. Put it has to not be off putting.

        ~a little change goes a long way~

        by missliberties on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:16:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Message - Government for, by the people. (11+ / 0-)

          Personally I believe that this is the core message.  Our current senator and the republican party have become completely bought out by corporate America. We need government that represents ALL of the people.

          People who ask questions on Sen. Harsdorf's facebook page are told that "you didn't vote for her, we don't listen to you" in the rudest of terms.  Many traditional lifelong republicans are appalled by this, and many are getting letters printed in their local papers with titles like "This Republican will be voting for Moore".

          We don't have as much money as we'd like, but we've got enough to get our message out (crossing fingers...).  That doesn't mean that we can't use more!  

          One thing we're doing that's uniquely Wisconsin - parades.  Every small town here has its summer parade where everyone shows up.  Political candidates and their supporters participate, hand out literature, throw candy to the kids, and interact with the citizens.  

          It says something when you've got 50 cheerful volunteers of all ages and your opponent's got a half dozen cranky old men marching with her... when she bothers to show up.

          RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

          by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:20:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd suggest careful targeted ad buys & underdog (8+ / 0-)

          sort of message.  I'd show a scene with our candidate __ struggling to hold up a huge umbrella, with the help of a few, against an intensifying deluge of mud and gold coins from the sky, sprays of oil and garbage.  As the message below plays, citizens step to join in, bringing a friend or two, and join in the effort to help hold up the umbrella against the onslought, even as it intensifies. Flash in scenes from Madison peaceful demonstrations, the clever signs, the resolved and happy faces of neighbors, local teachers, police and firefighters, civil service.  Flash in scenes of classrooms where 5 to 10 more kids are being jammed into a room barely holding 30 kids, where teachers sell their modest homes because they can't afford the mortgage, where the working and poor see big "NOT FOR YOU!" signs outside hospitals, colleges, decent homes, cars, clothing and food stores.

          "The political weather storms seem to be getting nastier every month, the worst in decades, polluting our airways.  They are trying to make you give up, to forget trying to vote for a sane alternative, but we actually do have the real majority if we just show up to vote, and vote out the recalled Republican and vote in the sane, clear voice of __.  Your Democratic Party candidate __ is being outspent by Republican outside money $50:$1 which is why you're seeing such a flood of costly, misleading, angry mud-slinging ads against _ and hearing angry right-wing radio personalities attacking _.  

          Some powerful rich heartless organizations really hate and fear the idea you might dare vote and join the effort to support and defend Democratic candidate __ against them, and support rolling back their coordinated efforts to strip our state and citizens of funding for essential state services benefiting the majority of average people and especially those down on their luck, taking away essential pension and health insurance.  They're trying to divide us, to turn neighbor against neighbor.  We're smarter than that and know you see through this as well and just want a sane way to make it stop.  This is our community, county, state and those benefiting much from our work and trade should pay their full share to get our government out of its revenue crisis.  The problem isn't needing to cut, the problem is the rich hate paying their fair share and buy Republicans to help them avoid their responsibilities to our society.

          If you're tired of seeing these overhyped, angry, scary and relentless attack ads, if you're tired of the attempts by a few greedy and power hungry people to manipulate you, to drown out your voice and your neighbors, step up and join us, and do what we all can do--join in, vote for __, and bring your friends.  Show up July _ and August _, every election and vote...and keep on voting.  Vote the power-mad Republicans out and vote in some sanity to Wisconsin politics, vote for our candidate ___.  Do your part to help us retake our state and American future from the rich and powerful for the working and middle class people, retirees, students, single parents, our community's schools and local governments.  They've tried to take so much from us, vote __ to help us take back what rightfully belongs to the average hardworking American citizens.  And if you could help out with just a few dollars or volunteering, we could really use every little bit to help reach more of your neighbors for candidate __ and help put our state and nation back on course.  Vote for ___, of course."

          That's the sort of message I think would really make sense to we here in WI.  We are the underdogs in this political battle due to outside interests trying to wrest control of our state from us, and our candidates are underdogs.  We need a message which clearly acknowledges this, how to change this, and people will respond.  That sort of message I'd write fairly big checks to see aired in the media markets reaching WI.  This message wouldn't have to show frequently if placed in consistent, key time frames and networks with big during weather reports or sports reports, business or agriculture reports.  If MN citizens happen to see these ads, that's a fringe benefit--they see us fighting back and that will encourage the Democratic Party in MN.  We just need to name the real problems and identify our best way to the solution.

          When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

          by antirove on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:28:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A lot of good messages here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            missliberties, antirove

            This text could be edited down into multiple 30 second spots.  The umbrella visuals are great.  It's the kind of attention grabbing picture that former senator Paul Wellstone used with his initial ads where he kept running out of the frame to illustrate how hard he was running.  And he also used a school bus painted green to travel around the state.  That's been borrowed since, not always effectively, because Wellstone's sincerity was undeniable.

            And yes, this is the kind of message I'd like to see in Minnesota, or any state.  

            "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

            by Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:36:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Though at this point, it is what it is, (11+ / 0-)

    and we need to win these recalls. I agree with the above comments about a more aggressive mobilization, though also find some irony in the fact that the critique of Moore (in the video ad) is an attack on her aggressive determination against the right. Obviously, the "other side" will use any rhetoric it can, but this at least proves the establishment left's anxiety about escalation.

    ps. republished to Badger State Progressive

    •  Have the Right's ruthless tactics... (10+ / 0-)

      hurt them much?  Apparently not.  Prosser won.

      Do Republicans sit around and worry that playing hardball will offend swing voters?  How often do they pay a price for playing hardball?

      Workers are looking for a way to win.  Playing croquet won't make it happen.  What people despise is weakness in these circumstances and losers.  The frackin' gods know that the Democratic Party practically has a patent on that kind of behavior.

      The Greeks may succeed in calling a halt to their subjugation by employing every tactic in the book from tax and toll strikes to intimidating mass gatherings around the Greek assembly.  Who knows, they might even succeed in bringing down the European financial system and Capitalism with it.

      What will these recalls do?  They can't even reverse the collective bargaining law.

      •  So what's your solution? (23+ / 0-)

        We've mobilized.  We've practically taken over the local party.  

        The recalls stop them.  Reversing comes later.  As for "hardball" - we're doing what we need to WIN.  That doesn't necessarily mean we have to play tit-for-tat with republican dirty tricks.

        If you want to organize the next revolution, great.  I won't stop you.  We need efforts from all directions.  But don't dismiss what a thousand people here in SD-10 have poured their heart and souls into for the past several months.

        RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

        by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:49:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you're being tragically misused. (3+ / 0-)

          Twelve months from now, we'll know better who was right.

          What I see are people who are very much a part of the status quo manipulating what had been the beginning of a vibrant social movement into yet one more pointless, ill-fated electoral campaign for politicians who will likely sell them out if they do manage to win.

          Walker and the Repubs were scared, reacting to what the people were doing rather than firmly in control.  Now, you're playing on their turf and by their rules.

          •  Agree on Democrats, but think Labor divestment (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Puddytat

            from the Democratic party is a sign that they may be "more" on our side than the opportunistic Dems.

          •  Don't underestimate the impact (5+ / 0-)

            If control of the State Senate flips as a result of the recalls, the main impact isn't the reversing of what has already been done.  That will have to wait for later.  The impact is hitting them by taking their absolute power away and building momentum to get the power back later.  

            I have to trust that a teacher who is not a professional politician and who is quoted as saying "I breathe Union" is not going to be a sell-out once she is in office.  

            "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

            by Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:40:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I could not disagree with you more. (9+ / 0-)

             These elections are massively significant, and if victories in Wisconsin, are followed by victories in Ohio, Michigan, and then Wisconsin again (the recall of Scott Walker), we will be seeing the leading edge of a massive shift in American politics, one that is desperately needed and long overdue.

              You need to understand where The People of the United States are right now in what they are thinking, what they are feeling, what their fears and motivations are, what actions they are willing to take.
               The People are nowhere near what you advocate. If you seek real world results, you need real world approaches, and this is what we've got now. It behooves us to get behind it now.
               I know it's easy to be discouraged by all the BS, but the tides are beginning to shift now. Time is on OUR side. And changing Demographics are also on our side!
               Be patient, be prepared to work, and to use your energy and enthusiasm, for the changes are coming, if we are willing to make them happen

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 10:55:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting conversation going on here, (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think it's a matter of arguing direct action vs electoral action. History will tell you they both have their place and power. I have not read "Direct Action gets Satisfaction," but it's now on my list and I look forward to what I can learn.  

          Still, I have my own life experience with direct action, and yes, it was successful, but it took 7 years!  While in high-school, I began to protest the Viet Nam War in 1968 in Madison Wisconsin.  I had older friends and cousins on campus and bused down to march with them whenever I could.  

          The movement was pretty nascent at that point, just beginning to bloom. These were the years when Madison and Berkeley were the only real hot beds of protest.  And it could get bloody.  Many students cracked over the head with billy clubs, some in front of me. For a fabulous retrospective on this time in Madison, check out "The War at Home," an indy film as powerful today as it was then.

          By the time I actually became a freshmen at the U of W in Madison, marches and protests were as common as keggers.  In fact, the week before I moved into my dorm, war protesters blew up the Math Army Research Center, killing a researcher and leaving a city block of the campus looking like something from war time London.

          Obviously, these weren't the peaceful protests we see in Madison these days. Oh no. There were blockades, bonfires, arrests and tear gas, lots of tear gas.  Got gassed out of more classes than I can count in both my freshmen and sophomore year, and ran my ass away from the burn at many a rally.

          By my sophomore year, after three years of "direct action," now grown nation wide, including four students killed in Ohio, Nixon expanded the war into Cambodia.  We kept marching, we kept rallying, a long with ever growing support from the rest of the country.

          Finally, in 1975, a year after I graduated, the United States
          withdrew from Viet Nam.  Like I said, 7 years!!!!!!

          I'm proud of my part in opposing the Viet Nam war on my feet, but I have no illusions. Once we've voted in those who are not smart enough or principled enough to do it right, there is no silver bullet to undo it.  I would bet that those who took direct action for decades to obtain civil rights for blacks would agree with me.

          My point is, I do take a bit of umbrage at those here who say the recalls are a waste of time, and we ought to go more radical right out of the chute.  I think it demeans the efforts of those who have done an amazing job putting 6 republican senators up for recall in a state that's only known 4 past recalls in its entire history, and only one at at time.

          And I grow weary of some of the links here to dreary progressive view points that conveniently do not discuss the
          success of the recall movement, or its potential to succeed, in more than a few sentences. It's demoralizing without evidence it can't work.  

          Perhaps the recalls will not be successful. And if so, maybe we will be moved to get more "direct."  But don't kid yourselves that that's going to make things happen any faster.  

          Egypt was the exception because Egypt has long suffered tyranny we have never known, and many simply didn't think they had much too lose. In America, we always have more to lose. That's the bad news, and the good news.

  •  Harsdorf reverses course, accepts PAC funds (12+ / 0-)

    Harsdorf reverses course on accepting PAC funds

    Of course, she's always "accepted" outside help from groups that wanted to attack her opponents.  She'd just tut-tut that she had no nothing to do with their nasty attack ads since she's a "good farm girl".

    Indeed, records show, the third-term senator has already taken money from the PACs run by the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, the lobbying group for local phone and Internet companies, and Managed Health Services Insurance, a health maintenance organization.

    Hmmm.  Maybe this is why you wanted to eliminate WiscNet, eh, Sheila?  

    RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

    by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 06:43:31 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'd first and foremost for (9+ / 0-)

    having a Westie, since Westies are the BEST!  Ours is 8 years old, feisty and gorgeous and darling!  Ha!

    Second for your observation of megabucks spent to keep Rethugs in power.  In CA it didn't work out so well for Megabucks Whitman who spent over 100 million of her own dollars to defeat Jerry Brown.  She LOST.  

    Voters aren't as stupid as the mega-rich would hope.  They know when the rich are totally scewing them over with their billions.  This tactic backfired in their faces in CA.  Methinks it may yet again in Wisconsin after their open warfare on unions and federal workers.

    I hope they spend billions and lose every race they run!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:32:38 AM PDT

    •  Westies and megabucks (5+ / 0-)

      Thanks, Brady is our second Westie.  He's 5 and quite a rascal.

      I hope Wisconsin voters are perceptive about these ads.  After all, the worst quote they apparently could find is "I breathe Union".  The right wing is so skewed they think that is supposed to be an evil thing.  It sounded like a good thing to me.  In fact, my partner was initially confused whether this was an attack ad or a pro-Shelly ad.

      "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

      by Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:31:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point. The only way to win against the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vega, 3goldens, bunsk

      bottomless pockets of the right wing propaganda machine is to discredit it.  No matter how many dollars Whitman spent, enough voters were immune to the message to defeat her.

      "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

      by ahumbleopinion on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:49:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until we turn MSM pol. ads into a Reefer Madness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    where we discredit them (or highlight them as as sensationalistic bullshit propaganda by The (Corporate) Man, progressive grassroots will be at a disadvantage in pretty much all elections.

    I also now agree with goinsouth in regards to direct action. 97% of Wisconsinites are aware, 42% support Walker and 55% support the people. Alienating the 3%? Couldn't give a fuck when tiptoeing through the tulips to be defeated by moneyed propaganda doesn't work.

  •  Republicans are scared! (23+ / 0-)

    I stand on a busy street corner in a red part of suburban milwaukee with my "end the republican war on the middle class" sign each weekend.  I've been getting lots of love up there, and about 500 people see me per hour. We need the protests to disperse to the street corners, and take advantage of the people advantage we have.  Nothing is more powerful than a person with a sign and a smile.

  •  I am finding more and more comments at dkos (16+ / 0-)

    that seem to have the purpose of taking the heart out of any progressive effort.  I think that the recall movement in
    Wisconsin is splendid and necessary.  The people need to take back their legislature.  I don't see how just staging protests that the Republican politicians can and do just ignore is a better option for stopping them.

    •  They don't want protests. (6+ / 0-)

      They want a general strike.

      I don't think that many of the folks making such comments are from Wisconsin...

      In Wisconsin, not nearly enough people are on that page at this point -- and they weren't there even at the height of the protests.  And therefore, a general strike would have been an unmitigated disaster.

      I, too, think that the recall movement here is splendid and necessary!

      If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

      by AnnieJo on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 11:03:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ding ding ding ding (5+ / 0-)


      Yes, I've noticed that, too.  Not only the tone, but, once again, the shrill "they got what they deserved" meme is making a comeback.  Both unhelpul and hurtful at the same time.

      Our efforts are now on the recall elections.  Pure and simple.  People aren't out en masse in Madison because we're on the phones and knocking on doors to win the recalls.  I'd rather spend that 3 hour round trip to Madison making a difference in the recalls than going up to be another warm body circling the Capitol and so would most people I know.

      We awakened the state and the nation through protests.  Now is the time for the hard work - getting Democrats tha majority in the State Senate.  No pretty pictures to show on the TeeVee Machine, just hour upon hour of hard work.

      If we're not gathering in massive enough numbers to please some people, it's not because we're demoralized or accepting of Walker, Inc. and his rule.  It's because we're working hard to retake our state.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:34:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Open the sewage flood gates! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:52:38 AM PDT

  •  With enough ad bucks can you........... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fool a majority of the voters all of the time?

    The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

    by deepsouthdoug on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:28:33 AM PDT

    •  I hope not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Otherwise, we have already lost.  We need to have the better message, with better delivery and make the best use of the dollars we do have.  And, most importantly, we need to harness the energy of volunteers.  Nothing is as persuasive as a one-on-one conversation with a voter on the fence.

      "The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come." - Prior Walter, Angels in America Perestroika, Tony Kushner

      by Vega on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diminishing returns. (10+ / 0-)

      $100K gets you some impact.

      $1M does not get you 10x the impact.

      $10M does not get you 100x the impact.

      The republicans and their ilk are going all negative, all the time, WAY before the election.  Much of it is such blatant lies that it's not fooling anyone.

      In the big laugher, Dan Kapanke is running TV ads in LaCrosse claiming that Jennifer Shilling, his Democratic opponent, is cutting education funding!  Few are fooled.

      RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:08:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have to do what's best for us right now. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Lorikeet, bunsk, AnnieJo, Odysseus

    I hear some Dems saying "we" should wait until 2012 to recall Walker instead of November 2011 because it would be more "strategic" and I say look what he's done to Wisconsin already. I don't make a sweet living in Washington D.C. as a Dem strategist, I'm a hardworking Wisconsinite who's going to get screwed along with the rest of the working class in our state because of Walker and his cronies.

    What do we have to do in November if the Dem party doesn't file the recall papers on Walker? I'll go to Madison myself if I have to.

    Dead weight is dead weight, isn't it? Whatever is dragging good people down-whether it's the Republican Party trying to impoverish us or the Democratic Party sitting on its derriere.

    "If I could have one wish, I would have people accept the importance of our common humanity." --Pres. Bill Clinton, The Today Show, 09/21/06

    by desordre remplir on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:32:31 AM PDT

    •  1 year before (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vega, Odysseus

      a recall of Walker take place.
      so 1-3-2012 you can start the petition to recall Walker

      •  Actually, we've been told that the recall (6+ / 0-)

        petitions can start going out in early November this year.  The election to recall Walker can't be held until he's been in office a full year--but the recall petitions can start collecting signatures three months before his year in office is up.  Now, if I'm misinformed on that, I'll be happy to be corrected.

        Objecting to our governor’s policies does not make a citizen of Wisconsin a criminal. Not yet, anyway. ~ nelangst

        by 3goldens on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 10:08:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  People who actually will make this happen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        have to start in November--actually, assembling the database began months ago.

        Then the highly paid "strategists" can do the talk show circuit and take credit for the work on the ground as usual.

        "If I could have one wish, I would have people accept the importance of our common humanity." --Pres. Bill Clinton, The Today Show, 09/21/06

        by desordre remplir on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:16:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two approaches to the Walker recall (5+ / 0-)

      Some say we should start gathering signatures in early November and file them in the first week of January, the earliest date possible under the recall laws. Others think it would be more practical to wait with signatures until after the holidays, when people are not concentrating on their own celebrations. I'd choose November, but I don't think it's a sellout to favor the post-holiday plan.

    •  Wait until 2012? Wink wink nudge nudge (6+ / 0-)

      I heard that speech at the DPW (Democratic Party of Wisconsin) convention.  I got a lot different reading than people did reading the transcripts.

      There was a disclaimer that, of course, the Democratic Party does not run the recall process... which was met by a few chuckles where I was sitting.  Because DPW got in once they saw that it was going to happen whether or not they got involved.  

      They're not running the recall now, that's being done by a group called We Are Wisconsin - a collection of labor and other groups (including the DPW and its county chapters) that could not have banded together before Citizens United.

      The same will happen with Walker.  The DPW will of course be involved with the running the candidate against Walker, but the recall will be ours.

      The People are leading.  The leaders are following.

      RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 11:33:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well put (3+ / 0-)

        The Dems can snicker all they want.  The recall is ours.  And the recall elections are, for the first time, going to take advantage of Citizens United (We are Wisconsin will be completely separate from the Dems and the candidate to do this).

        The People are leading.  The leaders are following.

        You are correct!

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:38:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wasn't so much a snicker... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, buckybadger1988

          It was a chuckle, and I was one of the ones laughing.  

          I was laughing because I got involved with a nascent effort to recall our state senator and watched it go to nearly 1000 people online in less than two weeks.  We were having to hold people back.  

          I was laughing because of an incredible deja vu.  I've seen this show before.

          I was laughing because I'd made the transition from well, yeah, I support the Democratic Party (but don't ask me to actually join or volunteer!) to a member attending the state convention in five months.

          I read the tone from the podium was, "hey, the DPW executive committee doesn't make the decisions here.  The people do."  

          And I didn't talk to anyone in that hall who, assuming we can do these summer recalls, thought we were going to wait until next summer to recall Scott Walker.

          RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

          by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 03:46:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I have no time for (0+ / 0-)

      the argument that the recall elections should be delayed until the presidential elections in Nov 2012.  That's just the national Dems trying to ride the coattails of the Wisconsin Dems and get some bleedovver effect from recall enthusiasm to help with national Dem enthusiasm.  (They say it's he other way around.  Don't you believe it.)

      But I do have some sympathy for the argument that going from the middle of November to the middle of January is the worst time of the year to be trying to gather recall signatures in Wisconsin because that's winter holiday travel time.  There's going to be a lot of empty houses when people go knocking door to door during some of those weeks, and with the need to average over 9,000 signatures per day to get Walker's recall done in 60 days, you need every day to be used to its fullest just to be sure.

      I'm not sure if it's a good idea to wait until New Years day or not, but at least that argument isn't just self-serving political machinations and so I'm willing to have a listen to its proponents as they make their case.

  •  I think the first step is not to be intimidated. (3+ / 0-)

    At the end of the day, if the popular movement isn't with it, all the money pouring in is wasted.  If people know what those ads are all about , if their sources are made known, and the false promises made clear, all the dollars will purchase is an emptier wallet and an even greater psychological effect for our side.

    Never let them convince you that your vote doesn't count or shouldn't count, that your voice doesn't matter or shouldn't matter.  If they convince you of that, you've already lost, and they've already won.  Get in there, stick with it, and don't let up until you've won.

    Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

    by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 11:14:21 AM PDT

  •  It bothers me to see that the Republican lies (0+ / 0-)

    are so widespread. I think it will be good to win at the polls. I think if we do, we will see a change. I think some people are in denial that the recalls will succeed.

    Remember how early on the national media that wasn't openly scornful and busy misinforming people about the Wisconsin Protests were very skeptical and cautious that there would be recalls?

    People are talking about how there are less protesters now, but protests get boring. Who wants to go to Madison again? I would rather spend my time doing something to change things in the government.  I am going to be involved from now on.

    Before this, I didn't even know I was "progressive". Now I do and I won't give up. I see a lot of other people like me as well. People are waking up.

    Godspeed Shelly Moore!

  •  The people are leading. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think the 14 Democrats surprised us when they had the guts to leave the state and now we're surprising them!

  •  Western WI - targeted ads on Minneapolis TV (0+ / 0-)

    Speaking of just normal everyday ads on TV, not political ads, It's common for ads targeted at the western Wisconsin "interstate 94" cities to be aired on Minneapolis TV.  Minneapolis is close enough to the border that a lot of its listening area is in Wisconsin.

    So this by itself is not evidence that the Republicans are getting desperate enough to be throwing money away on a slim market.  If they're trying to reach large parts of WI District 10, Minneapolis is the sensible way to do it.

    And I'm sorry for any Minnesota people who now have to put up with this crap on their TV's for an election they can't take part in anyway, but I hope it does remind people how the effects of this do bleed out to other states.

    Hopefully after August they (the ads) will all be gone and we will have won that fight. (and then on to the next one - the really big one at the end of the year).

Chris Bowers, fcvaguy, Odysseus, grumbleberries, Danno11, madmsf, rhubarb, eeff, xynz, verasoie, mkfarkus, chimpy, roses, vmckimmey, Miss Blue, itskevin, Nate Roberts, Iberian, antirove, Redfire, psnyder, missliberties, pat bunny, 2laneIA, Lawrence, chrismorgan, Sychotic1, chickeee, tomjones, poemworld, vacantlook, Gowrie Gal, rapala, maybeeso in michigan, 3goldens, Ckntfld, Unit Zero, mjd in florida, PBen, orson, forester, Ice Blue, Little Lulu, desordre remplir, bunsk, Rogneid, Alan Arizona, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, vigilant meerkat, Compost On The Weeds, tobendaro, Naranjadia, Shakludanto, Wary, arlene, pengiep, Lefty Coaster, MJ via Chicago, gatorcog, fiddlingnero, goinsouth, Statusquomustgo, Quicklund, ColoTim, Mark E Andersen, Matt Z, Jimdotz, terabytes, stcroix cheesehead, millwood, GeorgeXVIII, spearfish, Endangered Alaskan Dem, minvis, 123man, MKinTN, Marko the Werelynx, elwior, lineatus, mikeconwell, Jeff Y, dmhlt 66, loftT, DontTaseMeBro, ARS, lostinamerica, notrouble, MKSinSA, COwoman, 57andFemale, Railfan, Amber6541, Laurilei, p gorden lippy, amk for obama, eb23, Giles Goat Boy, Eddie L, Puddytat, roystah, Otteray Scribe, Floande, science nerd, HylasBrook, bgblcklab1, poorbuster, Haf2Read, badscience, Wolf10, BarackStarObama, beforedawn, Vatexia, Nightshade Q, zenbassoon, No one gets out alive, ahumbleopinion, barkingcat, JGibson, congenitalefty, IProfess, progressivebadger, geojumper, Arahahex, MagnanaMouse, noise of rain, FrY10cK, buckybadger1988

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