Dear Moderates and Independents of Wisconsin –
As you probably are aware, recall elections will be held next Tuesday, August 9, in six districts within the state of Wisconsin — those are Senate Districts 2, 8, 10, 14, 18, and 32. Two more recall elections will be held on August 16, in Senate Districts 12 and 22. If you live in one of those districts, I would like to take a moment to ask that you vote on the Tuesday that applies to you.
A number of Republicans will vote on those days, and so will a number of Democrats. Of course, they will vote for the members of their parties, regardless of anything else. Thus, the election will come down to how you vote.
You may have noticed the number of attack ads that have begun to show up on TV in your district. You may have noticed the variety of mailers that have shown up in your mailbox, which usually are attack ads, as well. I hope you recognize that it is all for you. Millions of dollars are being spent on both sides, and it’s all to convince you to vote.
In one sense, I am no different — I am hoping that you will vote. And I may as well come right out and say it, I hope that in each of the elections you will vote for the Democratic candidates. I wish I could tell you that you should vote for them because they are paragons of virtue, absolutely spotless human beings with unblemished records who are practically saints walking among us. I can’t tell you that, because I don’t think it’s true. I don’t know any of the Democratic candidates personally, but I would be willing to wager that they are human beings, with the same shortcomings that we all have from time to time.
In the last several months, we have seen what has happened in Wisconsin when both houses of the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion are filled with members of the same party. Republicans are not always evil, and they are not always wrong, but I would ask you to think about the manner in which government worked in the past few months. Legislation has been railroaded through the Capitol, all designed to play favorites to the party in power, the Republicans. They have attempted to harm the Democratic bases by attacking unions. They have required that in order to vote in future elections, a photo ID will be necessary. They have redrawn districts in order to harm Democrats. I am not saying that Democrats are somehow above such measures, because I am not sure they are. I am merely saying that what we have seen in Wisconsin in the last several months has been an example of unchecked party power.
I would like you to vote for the Democratic candidates in the recall elections because if enough of them should win, it would restore a system of checks and balances to Wisconsin government. Would it stop Governor Walker’s agenda? No. It would make Governor Walker have to discuss his agenda, in order to reach civil agreement. In a state where one of our Supreme Court Justices is accused of allegedly attempting to choke another, civil government is something that I think we need.
I have no better reason to offer you. I wish I did. But you have a chance, on the next two Tuesdays, to make your elected officials talk to one another instead of scream at one another. You have a chance to make your state government work together to reach compromise in order to enact legislation. You have a chance to let cooler heads prevail, and to move Wisconsin’s government back toward one that serves all of its citizens.
If you think that this makes sense and seems like a good idea, I hope you will join me in voting for a Democratic candidate. If you think it doesn’t make sense, that is of course your option, and no hard feelings on my part. Either way, thank you for taking the time to read it and for giving it your consideration.
(This letter was previously published on the author's blog, www.bangthebuckets.com)