Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wisconsin Recall and Mike Harris Jr.

DJ!, like all good democracy lovers, has taken an interest in Wisconsin.

Yesterday, six recall elections were held. There haven't been many successful such political moves in the US.

Democrats needed to beat three ReThuglican incumbents to regain the majority and help thwart Scott Walker's Koch-funded corporate feudalist agenda.

Hopes were high. Democrats worked their asses off.

In the end, Dems won just two seats.

Rather than feel crestfallen, Alternet says:
Last night's recall elections were the Republicans' to lose. And they lost two seats, while Democrats lost nothing.

Not only did they lose nothing, they've gained some important push-back momentum.

But, on the other hand, the big money came out too.
If, as some pundits declared, last night's recall elections for Wisconsin state Senate offer a preview of what the 2012 presidential elections will look like, we can look forward to millions of dollars of uncertain provenance spent on sneering TV ads to arrive at a result to be determined by a few thousand votes counted by an unreliable official, under inevitable accusations of vote tampering.

Have a look at what Corporate Murka is prepared to spend to destroy democracy.
Mike McCabe has never seen anything like it.

He runs the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan group tracking the flow of money in Badger State politics—though, presently, "torrent" may be the best way to describe the state's campaign finance environment. In the run-up to next week's recall elections targeting six Republican state senators, outside advocacy groups have flooded Wisconsin with millions in campaign spending. McCabe estimates that nearly $31 million has been spent on the recalls in about four months' time. It's a staggering sum considering $3.75 million was spent on the entire slate of state races in 2010. Recall spending "is totally off the charts," he says. "This is so out of whack from everything we've ever seen."

Catch that? Nearly ten times as much as for a regular statewide election.

Both sides were spending. But.
While the spending is more or less even, here's the big difference between the two sides: The left-leaning groups usually disclose their donors, while the right-leaning groups mostly don't. For McCabe, the geyser of dark money is the big story of the recalls. He says two-thirds of the recall spending derives from undisclosed sources, and he blames the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision for allowing so much anonymous spending.

I hope USians are waking up.

Next week, Sconnies get to do it again. Two Democrat incumbents are facing recall votes of their own.

And in October, Ontarians will have a chance to stand up against the corporations. We've run this vid before, but we like it.

Today, I saw this editorial, which starts: 'It’s no surprise that Mike Harris Jr. — excuse us, make that Tim Hudak —'.

I like that. Think I'll steal it.

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