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Happy Mother's Day from Wisconsin!

You have to read to the end of the front-page article in the Wisconsin State Journal to find it, but for this Mother's Day article, State Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) tosses off a breath-taking misogynist slam on a magnificent mother of two.

Those who have been following the various Wisconsin recall efforts will recognize the name Lori Compas.  She's the freelance photographer and writer from Fort Atkinson who was astonished to discover that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin was not planning to launch a recall effort against (then) Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.  So she did it herself.  In a deep-red district, she tapped into the deep disgust and righteous anger against the authoritarian legislative bullying of "Big Fitz" -- and organized that petition drive with no party-help until the very end, when it became clear that she actually was coming close.  Giles Goat Boy wrote up the triumphant results in mid-January: Organizers Have Enough Sigs to Recall Scott Fitzgerald!

Lori didn't plan to enter the race herself.  But when after the signatures were turned in, nobody else stepped up to run on the Democratic ticket, Lori took yet another brave step and signed on to challenge Fitzgerald herself.

Here's what the article quotes Sen. Fitzgerald as saying about her incredible David (Davida?) vs. Goliath efforts so far:

For the record, Fitzgerald said he doesn't buy Compas' Pollyanna image. He knows some people are painting the race as a David-vs.-Goliath contest. But Fitzgerald said he thinks her husband is one of the main forces behind her campaign, as well as unions and protest groups.

"I don't for one minute believe she is the organizing force behind this whole thing," he said.  (emphasis mine)

I had to read it several times to let it sink in.  Here it is again:

...Fitzgerald said he thinks her husband is one of the main forces behind her campaign, as well as unions and protest groups.

"I don't for one minute believe she is the organizing force behind this whole thing," he said.  (emphasis mine)

Can't possibly be the little lady who did all this, could it now?!

Here's Lori Compas herself, with a message for her supporters after she won the primary on May 8 with 72% of the vote against Fake-Democrat Gary Ellerman.

For contrast sake, here is Scott Fitzgerald back when he was majority leader of the Senate.  (Recalls and a retirement have now taken the Senate to a 16-16 tie, so there is no majority at present).  This is the infamous, illegal conference committee that rammed through the "non-fiscal" portions of Act 10 in the absence of the Fab 14 Senators who were working from Illinois.  This is "Big Fitz" as dictator, on full display.  I still cannot watch this clip without my stomach clenching.

Fitzgerald's contempt for the people of Wisconsin has been on display a long time.  He's also been making his contempt for Compas known by spurning her challenge to debate.

Compas responded to Fitzgerald's appalling contempt for her efforts in a follow-up interview, apparently by phone:

When told of Fitzgerald's statement, Compas was audibly stunned.

"That is pretty insulting, but it does seem in keeping with his general views on women," she said. "He doesn't seem to have a lot of respect for them. That's OK; he can keep underestimating me."

Compas said that if Fitzgerald really doubts she is a serious candidate, he should accept her invitation to debate. "I have challenged him to five debates," she said. "If he thinks I can't handle myself, he should come out and face me."

Lori Compas is at this point the underdog in the race, much as she was in her effort to gather the signatures.   The district is so red that the Democrats didn't even run anyone against Fitzgerald in 2010 (he ran unopposed in 2006 as well).   A DailyKos/PPP poll on the state senate recalls last month showed Compas down 40% to 54%, with 6% undecided.

But they counted Lori Compas and the recall signature-gathering out this winter... and look where she is today.

Please take a moment to visit the Lori Compas campaign web site to learn more, and donate at her Act Blue page if you feel so moved.

Lori Compas is the real deal.  It's women like Compas who are the strongest possible rebuttal to the misogynist contempt of Scott Fitzgerald and his ilk.  She's the one who captures the genuine spirit of Wisconsin, as she declared in her interview:

"Nice people can be strong," she said. "And happy people can be smart."
Here's to the strong, joyful, smart, happy, creative -- and yes, nice -- women and men who are working to take Wisconsin back on June 5, and then still more on November 6.  Happy Mother's Day, Wisconsin!

Lori Compas responds!  Pitch-perfect, with humor and grace, as the strong joyful smart creative etc. candidate that she is.

Fitzgerald, Welcome to the 21st Century

h/t strobusguy and Sand Hill Crane from the comments

Originally posted to AnnieJo on Sun May 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Democracy Addicts, and Sluts.

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