7 June 2012Hi all,
Well. We lost. And that sucks.
But...we put up the fight of a lifetime and I hope the momentum does not stop here but only strengthens our resolve to get big money out of our politics and put people in charge of moving Wisconsin forward who have the best interests of all of us in mind.
The Isthmus asked me to share my thoughts on Tuesday's results for this week's cover story, "Him Again: Reactions to Scott Walker's Recall Victory." You can click the link for the edited version of my response, and to read many more that express a range of emotions and ideas from a diverse group of people.
Here's the unedited version of my own response:
After working 16 hours at the polls, I learned Barrett had already conceded before I even got home. I turned on the radio, and heard Walker claim victory.I was inconsolable. I was shattered by Walker’s cruel, hypocritical victory speech, which revealed the depths of his megalomania and left me reeling: “People are sick of the attacks.” His hollow, insulting claim that he plans restore the very dialogue he destroyed hit me like a body blow.Despite having put up a fight that will earn a place in history books, the citizen action and self-funded grassroots efforts that captured the world’s attention didn’t stand much of a chance against unlimited campaign contributions, full-time fundraising, and a messaging campaign so massive that the fact that it was dizzyingly full of lies and misrepresentations eventually became irrelevant.People are sick of the attacks.Walker – in true “divide and conquer” form spent the majority of his speech bragging about how his divisive policies and refusal to negotiate prove he’s the kind of leader voters want, who will “stand up and make tough decisions.” Then he had the nerve to claim it’s time to work together.Scott “Fundraising IS Governing” Walker has zero intention of working together with anyone who is not handing him a check. We need now to strengthen our resolve to follow the money, and fight hard to keep it out of the politics that are destroying our schools, decimating our proud tradition of civility, and creating a vacuum where even the most massive, spectacular and inspiring display of citizen action is but a mosquito buzzing in ears that hear only the moneyed whispers of those who have shown us that democracy can, in fact, be purchased.We are sick of the attacks. But that does not mean we’re about to stop defending ourselves against them.
Walker got one more thing right last night, and the heartless irony of it left me sobbing: “Bringing our state together will take some time. There’s just no doubt about it.”
There's only one way to go from here. Forward.
P.S. I want also to make clear that even though we lost the statewide battle, we definitely won the local one!
With record voter turnout and registrations, Barrett won by 18% - 6 points more than his victory here in 2010. And he won big is all the communities that had strong grassroots groups working to inform voters and get out the vote. So we learned one thing at the local level:
GRASSROOTS ACTION WORKS
And I'm feeling really, really good about that.
THANK YOU, Sun Prairie voters and all who volunteered to make this happen. We win. Even if we're losers. Our local minority might want to keep that in mind.