Police bar protesters from entering Wisconsin state Capitol on March 1. Photo by Natasha Chart
Today is the last day of the second fundraising quarter in 2011. Hundreds of federal candidates are racing to fill their campaign coffers so that they can boast as large a total as possible in their next FEC disclosure report. The idea is that the larger their fundraising total, the more seriously they will be taken by party higher-ups, the better coverage they will receive from political reporters, and the more fear they will put into electoral challengers both real and potential.
Due to the political ramifications of these fundraising totals, today's frenzied quest for donations is undeniably an important event. However, it's also very abstract and insidery. Candidate fundraising totals are completely disconnected from the reality of the lives of the voters who will, eventually, determine the fate of the political careers of these candidates. No swing voter is out there thinking, "Well, I haven't gotten a raise in three years, but I'm voting for the guy who had a huge Q2 FEC haul."
Contributing to the Wisconsin recall elections is very different. For one thing, the recall elections are happening this summer, rather than in 2012. Further, there is nothing abstract about it. The Republican budget went into effect yesterday, causing tens of thousands of Wisconsinites to lose their collective bargaining rights. Teachers are already being laid off too, including several hundred just in Milwaukee.
Right now, fundraising in Wisconsin is not a contest over favorable coverage from beltway rags, scaring candidates out of campaigns, or other insider positioning for 2012. Instead, contributions to Democratic recall candidates in Wisconsin will go directly into what is already the end-stage of biggest electoral fight—and arguably political fight—of the year.
As I wrote yesterday
, it's a fight that can prove a determined, people-powered movement can defeat the wave of austerity conservative politicians are pushing at the behest of billionaires and big corporations.
You have probably been bombarded with fundraising requests today, but I humbly ask that you contribute $1 to each of the Democratic candidates in the recall elections on top of what you have already given. When you do, you will be joining with nearly 18,000 of your fellow Kossacks in one of the most remarkable grassroots fights this country has seen in a long while.
Please contribute $1 to each of the Democratic candidates in the Wisconsin recall elections. The FEC deadline is important, but right now what's happening in Wisconsin is much more so.