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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Op/Ed: Supporting a close 2nd, while Michigan is shortchanged: Wisconsin recall results

Recall Walker, Kill the Bill, Stand With WisconsinImage by marctasman via Flickr
Wisconsin recall efforts net into only
two Democrats gaining seats, out of six
possible gains, in the state Senate

A Reach Out Job Search Op/Ed

Major elections in August? Usually, this month is reserved at best for local ballots issues or primary votes to determine who will represent various parties in the November general elections. 

On August 9th, Wisconsin held what can be called this years' version of a Ali v.s. Foreman fight of recall elections. The support was behind Ali, in this analogy but, Foreman won.

Despite all the efforts poured into the efforts by many citizens of Wisconsin, they have a "pearl victory" so sorts. Two Democratic candidates won: State Assembly member Jennifer Shilling (D) and Oshkosh City Council member Jessica King (D) will soon take new seats in the state Senate Chamber. 

Four current Republican Wisconsin state Senators: Robert Cowles (R), Sheila Harsdorf (R), Luther Olsen and Alberta Darling (R) will continue to serve in their perspective seats until the next General Election period.

Just a week away, August 16th, recall elections are on the board again in the state as Wisconsin state Senate Jim Holperin (D) and Robert Wirch (D) will have to hold the fort against Tea Party favorite Kim Simac (R) and attorney Jonathan Steitz (R).

In Waukesha County, Wisconsin -yes, that county again- Clerk Kathy Nickolaus held out the vote tally in the Darling (R) against Sandy Pasch (D) race until about 12:45 AM Tuesday morning. 

Ironically, it was questionable counting on behalf of Clerk Nickolaus on April 7th, that caused a similar off year election race to flip literally overnight for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justic David Prosser (R) against Joanne Koppenberg. 

Reliving a dej'a uv momentDemocratic Party of Wisconsin Spokesman Graeme Zielinski, at the turn of midnight on August 10th, accused Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus of 'sitting on' Waukesha County results in 8th Senate District recall race. 

Those statements were quickly counteracted by Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman  Mike Tate, when told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they would not "not pursue questions of irregularities" that was referenced by the Democratic Party in "heat-of-the-moment statements."

Meanwhile, a little closer to home in Michigan, volunteers from the Recall Governor Rick Snyder campaign and its' truly grassroots committee have been working with little money and lots of effort to place a recall vote against our governor on the ballot. 

Another campaign to place a Constitutional Referendum vote on Michigan's Public Act #4, known as Emergency Financial Manager Bill, has been forwarded by a small non-profit organization called Michigan Forward.

Progressive media personalities, Democratic/Liberal Organizations and national Unions have poured money into Wisconsin to assist with efforts to recall six their Republican Senators. Request for financial assistance in the state recall campaigns were heighten after the questionable vote counting and final results in the Koppenberg versus Prosser race. 

To say a "tunnel vision" like focus on Wisconsin has been in vain would be a misstatement. Still, a better use grassroots money should have been split perhaps into possible winnable races elsewhere, like in Michigan.

Here are some unavoidable facts about the state of Democracy in Michigan:

*Governor Rick Snyder approval rating is the second worst for state executive in the nation, at 32%.

*Only 27% of self-described Independents, according to the latest Michigan State University Poll, support Gov. Rick Snyder policies.

*Up to 18 Republican state House or Senate leaders are either in the middle clarity periods to gather signatures for a recall or, are facing clarity hearings before Michigan based county election commissions scheduled.

*Public Act #4 (P.A.-4), known as the Emergency Financial Law receives a overwhelming stamp of disapproval from Michigan voters, with a majority 53%-34% supporting a state based Constitutional Referendum on the ballot to overturn the law. 

A signature effort to repeal P.A.#4 is being lead by a non-profit grassroots group, Michigan Forward, to gather 161,000 registered signatures to place the validity of the law on the ballot.

*Governor Rick Snyder is in the middle of a recall clarity period to gather 807,000 signatures to hold a February 2012 recall election against him, on the ballot.

All of these events described above, are taking place in Michigan at the current time. Yet the only major organizations that have stepped up to assistance both grassroots organizations on publicly are Daily Kos, with their campaign director Chris Bowers and Michigan Educational Organization.

Were are Democracy for America,, Van Jones-Rebuild the American Dream, Bold, ASFCME, AFL-CIO or other Progressive or Liberal leading organizations in Michigan recalls or referendum causes against Republicans and their policies? 

Will they now, following the results in Wisconsin, support Michigan efforts to have Democracy lead this state and maybe, our nation again? Or will they wait until the clock has ran out on the energy of Michigan citizens? Tell will tell.
Our show, Reach Out Job Search Podcast will host a SPECIAL BROADCAST tonight, August 10th at 8PM, to discuss the Wisconsin election results, who might have tampered with the vote and Michigan recall/referendum grassroots efforts. Bookmark this link to join into the show and call in with your opinions at 347-934-0185.

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