Thursday, January 14, 2016
Common Cause in Wisconsin Reform Update
Thursday January 14, 2016
1. Voting Well is the Best Revenge After the Assault on Democracy in Wisconsin in 2015
2. Wisconsin Leads the Midwest in the "Dixiefication" of it's Politics and Policies
3. CC/WI Director Jay Heck as Luke Skywalker in political cartoon/tweet
1. After what occurred this past Fall in Wisconsin, it might be tempting to just give up and tell ourselves that we cannot fight this rigged political system. After all – despite thousands of calls, letters and emails from citizens across the state opposing the destruction of the GAB and the GOP campaign finance "deform" legislation, (and virtually no citizen support for either) and unanimous opposition from every Wisconsin daily newspaper – Republican legislators still trashed key parts of our state's democracy in a way that will make all of our voices seem even less relevant and listened to by a Legislature and Governor who care only about consolidating one-party political control over our state.
We might want to just give up and whine a lot during 2016 – a critical election year in Wisconsin and in the nation – if there ever was one. But is that a realistic option? Of course it's not. It's not what we do!
Instead, we must organize and vote in numbers during 2016 that we have never achieved before. That is our only option!
But voting in Wisconsin is no longer as easy as it once was. The 2016 elections will be the first (other than a single primary election in 2011) in which a voter photo ID will be required in order to cast a ballot. If you have a valid Wisconsin driver's license, this might seem like no big deal. But for those who don't, this is a very big deal. If we hope to amplify our voices so that they will have the greatest impact, we must help ensure that every eligible voter in the state has the required form of ID they will need in order to vote.
Sounds like a pretty tall order. It is, but it is eminently doable. And we must do it!
If we all do these three things (and we do them beginning now and between the April 5th Spring general election for state supreme court justice and the Presidential Primary), we have a real shot at achieving the level of eligibility for Wisconsinites to be able to vote that we will need to prevail over the corrupt status quo.
A: Check to see that you are registered to vote at your current address. If you are not, please don’t put it off, register now.
B: Look over this Voter ID fact sheet to ensure you have a photo ID that can be used as a voter ID. If you do not – again, don't put it off. Follow the steps on the back of that sheet and get an ID. Now.
C: Ask between 15 and 20 people you know (family, friends, neighbors, anyone!) if they have an acceptable form of ID for voting, and if they don’t, help them get one. (If they don't have a ride to the DMV, offer to take them!) Make it your mission to be responsible for 15-20 other citizens to have what they need to cast a ballot on April 5th and make sure that they are able to do so and do it!
BONUS Step: Share our general voter ID fact sheet, our sheet for senior citizens and for college students on Facebook, Twitter, online forums – anywhere and any way you think helpful. You can also direct people to our website: www.commoncausewisconsin.org where these three fact sheets can be found and accessed on the upper right corner of our home page.
The best revenge for what Walker and his hyper-partisan allies did to democracy in Wisconsin during 2015 (and earlier) is the application of more democracy! Specifically – exercising your right to vote and ensuring that you and everyone you know is "properly equipped" to cast a ballot at the polls. The time for complaining is over. The time to take pro-active, positive steps to reclaim Wisconsin for the citizens of the state is now! Do it.
One of the foremost state advocates for elderly and aging issues over the past few decades is Tom Frazier, the former long-time executive director of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups and now, an effective member of the CC/WI State Governing Board. Tom has written this excellent opinion-editorial about what Wisconsin seniors need to know and do to make sure their ability to vote this year is not curtailed with voter ID in effect.
2. The "Dixiefication" of the Midwest in general, and of Wisconsin in particular, is all part of the Koch Brothers-financed master plan to gain permanent conservative Republican political control, nationally. Even if you are skeptical of conspiracy theories, as we are, it doesn't take a genius to see that this is a strategic, far-flung effort which is predicated on the notion that if it can be done in Wisconsin, it can be done almost anywhere and everywhere.
CC/WI is cited widely in this Salon.com article, which admittedly, didn't need to have such a crudely-worded title.
3. Thanks to Scott Milfred of the Wisconsin State Journal for the "shout out" tweet and to brilliant cartoonist Phil Hands for the brilliant cartoon!
How did Scott know CC/WI Director Jay Heck had long shaggy hair in the 70's? Actually, according to Jay, his hair was more long and stringy than shaggy.....
Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
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