In the name of workers’ rights, President Obama is throwing the strong, organized ground forces of Organinzing for America, the official Obama re-election campaign, behind the Wisconsin legislative recall fight.
Citing concerns over the way the six Republican senators failed hard-working families by forcing drastic cuts in funding for seniors, the disabled and schools in order to fund the taxes they cut for Republican campaign contributors, Obama for America is mobilized to defend Wisconsin families. OFA supporters will be showing solidarity with Wisconsin working families by organizing, phone banking and knocking on doors to get the word out. OFA Wisconsin Field Director Michelle Kleppe sent an email out asking supporters to join the fight starting Saturday, starting at 10 AM.
The recall election for the six Republican senators is scheduled for August 9th and recall election for the remaining two Democrats is set for August 16th. Last week the first Democrat, Dave Hansen of Green Bay, beat back his Republican opponent to keep his seat by a wide margin, however, the results from that election don’t necessarily reflect how Democrats will fare statewide, as his Republican Tea Party opponent had a long history of trouble with the law.
According to Wisconsin Politics, state GOP Executive Director Stephan Thompson responded to the news that OFA had joined the fight, saying that, “Wisconsin has come impressively far in a few short months, and it’s disappointing that Obama is trying to use his burnt-out star power to turn our state back to the failed tax and spend policies of the past.”
Contrary to Mr Thompson’s statement, Obama is polling quite well in Wisconsin, better in fact than the senate Republicans and Governor Walker. In direct response to Walker and the Republican legislators attack on collective bargaining, Jason Easley reported for PoliticusUSA:
62% of those surveyed also felt that Wisconsin was on the wrong track. A deeper look into the numbers uncovers that Scott Walker’s attack on collective bargaining is hurting his approval more than anxiety over the economy.
Wisconsinites may share a negative perception about the direction of both their state and the country as a whole, but President Obama and Scott Walker’s approval ratings are heading in opposite directions. Wisconsin residents’ approval of the job Obama is doing as president by a 53%-42% margin. The numbers are reversed for Gov. Walker as 53% disapprove and only 43% approve of his job performance. Shockingly among those who disapprove, 45% strongly disapprove of Walker. In contrast only 26% strongly disapprove of Obama.
“Burnt out star power”, indeed.
Republicans seem to operate under the misconception that if they say something, it becomes reality, but there’s simply no way they can rebrand what they’ve done in Wisconsin. It became clear to all but the diehards that Wisconsin Republicans weren’t trying to cut spending, especially when Republicans stripped the budget items from the “budget” bill and simply passed the portion that killed collective bargaining in a hastily called committee that was ruled to have violated Open Meetings Laws by a county Judge (her void of their law was later overruled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court).
They were able to do this without the quorum necessary for financial issues, which proved that the agenda wasn’t about the budget. Months later, shock waves were sent through the state when it was revealed that the Wisconsin Republicans were passing “model” legislation written by the corporate funded and nationally coordinated American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). At least the ALEC revelation explained why the Republicans refuse to listen to the people they are supposed to be representing.
Republicans cannot be pleased to see the vibrant, legendary force of the Obama campaign gearing up for the legislative recall campaign in the name of workers’ rights. Not only did Scott Walker and the Republicans reinvigorate the Democrats in Wisconsin with their union killing agenda and cuts to working families while giving perks to corporations, but in the past six months Republicans have further alienated Wisconsinites with the tactics they’ve used to get their agenda passed. The Republicans have turned many long time Republican voters into independents who will support the candidate who will represent the middle class and the UN protected right to collectively bargain.
To make matters worse for Walker et al, the entire justification for their draconian cuts was an alleged deficit caused by the cuts in taxes they gave to corporations. However, a revised economic outlook showed that the state was actually still facing a surplus left over from the former Governor even with Walker’s tax give aways to his donors.
Wisconsinites were already fired up and ready to go, as evident in their persistent, consistent protesting of Walker since his “budget” agenda was first announced. The fresh energy of the mobilized Obama for America campaign will only reinvigorate the ground troops and if I were a Republican, I would be afraid. Very afraid.