To the Telegram:
In a May 2 article, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel disclosed that Gov. Scott Walker had pulled in $25.3 million during the recall election cycle, more than ten times the $2 million raised by his four Democratic challengers. In the most recent reporting period, Walker received two-thirds of his funds from out of state sources.
Much of this money, enough to blanket the airwaves and cram campaign ads into every Wisconsin mailbox, has come from Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group fronting special interests founded by oil billionaire David Koch. Wealthy individual and corporate benefactors nationwide have helped prop up the governor, and he has raked in $1.4 million from Florida donors alone. He campaigns side by side with national conservative heavyweights like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
It would stretch the imagination to think the Koch brothers, Chris Christie, or wealthy Floridians have the prosperity of middle class Wisconsinites atop their agenda.
There’s more to this election than public sector unions or Tea Party enthusiasts. Many who voted for Gov. Walker during our momentary temper tantrum of 2010 did not anticipate the strong-arm bullying tactics employed by Republicans who took control of state government or the legislative overreach embodied in the Walker agenda.
Few expected that Gov. Walker would shill for national conservative forces or that Wisconsin would become the crucible of the far right’s attack on government — a short-sighted assault on the stewardship of our collective public conscience and essential public structures such as schools, highways and public safety, all of which contribute directly to the prosperity, stability, and security we enjoy as residents of Wisconsin.
This election need not be about unions. The union movement has not been without flaw. But over the years, unions have played a major role in building an American middle class endowed with sufficient purchasing power to keep customers walking into stores and purchase orders flowing into factories.
Beyond discussion of public sector unions or the proper size of government, Gov. Walker is counting on massive campaign funding and outside support to secure this election.
When you vote on June 5, will you elect a man who has sold out to well-funded and radically conservative power bases outside of Wisconsin? Or will you stand by your neighbors — teachers, nurses, public safety workers, the folks who repair and plow your streets —and the local businesses they sustain?