Nel's New Day

April 26, 2011

Wisconsin Protest Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:10 AM

What’s happening in Wisconsin these days?

First, there was a bit of joy on April 21 with the wedding between protesters Heather and David.

Second, a majority of 7,500 votes for the state supreme court candidate would keep Wisconsin from an automatic recount. Despite the magical 7,582 majority that a certain county clerk found for the conservative candidate, enough votes showed up throughout the state to take the majority below 7,500. There will be a recount—and an accounting regarding potential fraud—due by May 9.

Third, it seems that the signature-gatherers for the recall of Democrats are getting paid $700 a day. Evidently the Koch brothers have very deep pockets.

Fourth, at least five—and possibly eight—Republican state senators who backed Walker’s assault on collective bargaining rights are now all but certain to face recall elections this summer. Signatures on the petitions filed to recall three Democratic senators are being questioned. Recalls for another two Democratic senators have failed.

Fifth, Wisconsin now has only 250 days before they can start collecting signatures to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Sixth ( something I’m looking forward to), there’s another protest this Saturday (4/30, 1-5 pm) in Madison. Remember the tractors that came to town? This protest will be “Motorcyclists for Wisconsin Workers.”

Seventh (a magic number), Sarah Palin has gone home after she failed to bring out the huge crowds in Madison—except for the pro-worker group—and the capitol is still under high security. Now people just seem to be waiting for the results of the election recount and the recall.

Remember the claim that the protesters caused $7.5 million in damage? It’s down to $100,000 with an on-going evaluation that may reduce even that sum. Could part of the damage be Gov. Walker’s demand that the windows be welded shut to keep anyone from going into the capitol? Or perhaps they just wanted to do some sprucing up. There has been a request for more money, but it seems that another $400,000 would be used to fix the irrigation system. Meanwhile Gov. Walker has directed that all legal aid for the indigent—translate poor and elderly—will go into the general fund. (Maybe for the irrigation?)

When the Great Depression started, people in the United States had no safety net. During the first 100 days of his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the bold step of creating programs to take the country out of the Depression, strengthen the country, and make life better for all. Tonya Bolden has chronicled these 100 days in FDR’s Alphabet Soup:  New Deal America, 1932-1939 (Knopf, 2010). Social Security, buildings, roads, rural electricity, recreational facilities, water dams, bridges, insurance for bank deposits, artists’ works—these are only a few of the benefits resulting from Roosevelt’s 13-year presidency. The term “alphabet soup” describes the collection of initials for each program.

Bolden’s book is designed for teenage readers, making it easy for everyone to see the changes that we may lose in this volatile time of conservative takeover.  The 2009 financial situation is eerily mirrored by that of the late 1920s, and Franklin faced the same political fights that the current administration does to effect success in helping women, the poor, the elderly, the middle-class—in short, everyone except the corporations and the wealthy who seem to be doing just fine on their own.

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