Election emotion and analysis.

I try not to get too depressed at election losses. And I try not to get to excited by election victories.

However, it doesn’t always work.

I was absolutely thrilled when Harold Washington won Chicago’s City Hall.

And I was jubilant in Grant Park the night that Obama won in 2008.

I watched the returns coming from Wisconsin last night. When Rachel Maddow announced that NBC had declared Walker the winner at around 9PM, I turned it off.

I wasn’t happy. But I wasn’t depressed. Too much has happened in Wisconsin for things to go back to the way things were, no matter what last night’s election results decided.

It’s not exactly a news flash that big money can win elections. And there was a lot of right-wing Koch brother money spent in Wisconsin.

Brother Mike starts the discussion of what happened here.

I would add this:

Obama’s people are spinning the story that his decision to stay out of the election in Wisconsin was good and smart, given the Walker victory.

I’m not so sure. In the short run, it is not too hard to imagine that a vigorous Obama presence in Wisconsin could have shifted the 3%, or 40,000 votes, it would have taken to reverse the decision.

This is particularly true since Obama was favored by 10% more of the voters than was Romney, according to exit polls (although exit polls also predicted a 50/50 split).

In the long run, it makes one wonder why did Obama stand so far away from the guy that he Tweeted he was standing by.

Union folks are wondering if he wasn’t told to stay away by his hedge fund cronies in groups like Democrats for Eduction Reform. Was he told that they wouldn’t be writing checks to his campaign if he was seen as being too cozy with the teacher union in Wisconsin?

Pension Call Tuesday.

Skip calling your own legislator tomorrow, Pension Call Tuesday.

If you have a friend or relative who lives in Wisconsin, give them a call instead.

Remind them that what happens in Wisconsin doesn’t stay in Wisconsin.

Recall Walker.

Let them know that we FIBs are depending on them.

Some in Illinois want to follow Scott Walker in to the ditch.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce invited Wisconsin’s Scott Walker to speak in Springfield on Tuesday. Thousands of union members greeted him with jeers.

The Chamber loves Walker.

Here’s why:

Scott Walker, the Republican governor facing a recall vote in Wisconsin, traveled over the Illinois line to argue that the tax increase backed by his Democratic counterpart Pat Quinn is killing jobs even as the Midwest rebounds from recession.

“Is it any wonder because of choices that were made right here in the state’s capital?” Walker, 44, said in an April 17 speech in Springfield. “When you raise taxes on businesses, that wealth and opportunity and those jobs more often than not go somewhere else.”

A broader snapshot tells a different tale. Illinois ranked third while Wisconsin placed 42nd in the most recent Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States index, which includes personal income, tax revenue and employment. Illinois gained 32,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found. Wisconsin, where Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs with the help of business-tax breaks, lost 16,900.

“The School for Workers survived McCarthyism. It may not survive Walker.”

The School for Workers was established in 1925 as an extension program of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

They had planned an art exhibit of posters and other political art created during the past year of labor struggle in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Republicans wouldn’t hear of it.

The Progressive:

The University of Wisconsin’s School for Workers was planning on hosting an “Art in Protest” festival on campus next month.

Now it’s been canceled.

One Republican lawmaker in Wisconsin, Representative Steve Nass, who has been a longtime thorn in the university’s side, was unhappy about the exhibit, and his chief of staff, Mike Mikalsen, gave an earful to the director of the School for Workers last week, suggesting that the exhibit could imperil the school’s funding.

This morning, Corliss Olson, the director of the School for Workers, after consulting with other faculty, sent out an e-mail canceling the program.

The School for Workers is the oldest university-based labor education program in the country. One of the first operational components of the Wisconsin Idea, the School and its faculty have long brought teaching, research, and outreach to thousands of workers, unions and employers throughout Wisconsin and the nation.

Last fall, the School for Workers joined with a number of other individuals and organizations in planning an event, scheduled for March 2012, entitled “Art in Protest”. The event was modeled, in part, on longstanding events on the east and west coasts. These Labor Arts Exchanges are unique festivals commemorating the cultural and artistic expression of working people.

In 2011, Wisconsin’s working people were confronted in ways unseen in decades. The unprecedented citizen involvement in response to the Governor’s proposal to severely restrict the collective bargaining rights of public employees resulted in a dramatic array of artistic expression. Songwriters, poets, quilters, photographers, cinematographers and others have used their craft to convey their emotions and their messages. The organizers of the Labor Arts Exchange wished to recognize the creativity and artistic expression that resulted from these events and offer an opportunity for artists to share their work.

“The School for Workers survived McCarthyism,” said Mike Konopacki, a labor cartoonist who was working on the exhibition. “It may not survive Walker.”

Ellen Holly!


Ellen Holly, a counselor at Elkhorn Middle School, collected 10,000 signatures to recall Governor Scott Walker, working out of the Elkhorn office.

They’re not apathetic in Wisconsin.

They needed a little over half a million signatures to put the recall of Governor Scott on the ballot in Wisconsin.

The organizers planned on 750,000 just to make sure.

They got a million. Almost two million if you add in the signatures they got to recall the lieutenant  governor,  Rebecca Kleefisch, and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

The number of signatures to recall Walker are equal to nearly have the voters in the state. It required a face to face, feet on the pavement effort that should make every Wisconsinite proud. It is a victory for the labor movement, which was the main target of Walker’s legislative agenda, and for the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

There is a certain sub-text to this, however.

I was watching Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate on TV as I lay nursing a cold in bed yesterday. Tate called the election of Scott Walker in a historically blue state like Wisconsin a result of apathy on the part of the state’s voters.

I don’t think so.

The results of the 2010 election in Wisconsin and other states was less the result of voter apathy than it was voter disappointment with the failure of the Democratic Party to fight for working people’s concerns.

Ohio’s historic vote to defend collective bargaining rights and Wisconsin’s amazing recall campaign provide plenty of evidence that there is no apathy here. You just need something important to fight for.

Scott Walker’s Wisconsin blooper.

It ranks up there with Mitt Romney’s “I like firing people.”

Wisconsin’s anti-union governor, Scott Walker, has plastered a billboard claiming he creates jobs right in front of the Janesville GM plant.

Which is closed and shuttered.

Wisconsin voters are a week away from filing enough signatures to have a recall election on the governor.

The photo of the Walker billboard has gone viral, of course.

The internet is tough on stupid politicians these days.

So, a new billboard went up quickly:

Hat Tip: Defend Wisconsin.

It’s beginning to look like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker is headed for the exit. Recall effort goes wild.

You can see it in the streets and among those knocking on doors collecting recall signatures. Critics of Occupy Wall Street just love to talk about how there are no specific demands and how lacking in focus the movement is. But the targets of the movement seem to understand that it’s about them. For example, the forces that decided to take on public service workers and their unions get it.

Check it out. Last night 30,000 people jammed the Brooklyn Bridge on the two month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, handing Mayor 1% a clear and fearless response to his brazen attack on Zuccotti Park two nights earlier.

Two weeks ago, for the first time in American history, citizens got to vote on the right to collective bargaining. Ohio voted for it overwhelmingly. Governor Kasich got his head handed to him on a platter.

This week the people of Wisconsin began the long-awaited campaign to recall Governor Scott Walker.  To gather the half million signatures required to put the recall on the ballot, organizers need to collect 9,000 a day. But 50,000 were collected in the first 48 hours.

Bye Scott.