Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
This is a cataclysmic battle between the forces of light who want to preserve Wisconsin's long cherished tradition of progressive values -- it is the birthplace of unions and the progressive movement -- and the forces of darkness, the Tea-Publicans who want to repeal the 20th Century and return to the Gilded Age of über-rich Robber Barons controlling your lives (in Wisconsin this means Koch Industries).
Wisconsin is ground zero in this epic battle between good and evil. Wisconsin has been engaged in nothing less than a civil war since January 2011. And yet, Tuesday's "record turnout" in a primary election was projected to be between 30 and 35 percent of registered voters -- which means that in the most politically engaged state in the country, somewhere around 70 percent of Wisconsinites who took the time to register to vote chose to do nothing. If we lose our democracy in this country it will be due to the politically disengaged who did not exercise their franchise and failed their civic duty to defend it.
State elections officials predicted a 30 percent to 35 percent statewide turnout for Tuesday's election, or between 1.3 million and 1.5 million voters.
As of 11 p.m., with 99 percent of wards in, 1.28 million voters, or 29.5 percent of those eligible, cast ballots, preliminary Associated Press figures showed. That's a 50 percent increase over the total turnout in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, when 19.6 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.
Tuesday's turnout was one of the highest in state history for a partisan primary, adding to the already historic nature of the recall of Gov. Scott Walker.
The rematch is on between Tom Barrett and Gov. Scott Walker, after the Milwaukee mayor coasted to victory over former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk on Tuesday in the 2012 recall primary.
Barrett, 58, now faces a 28-day sprint to the finish in a historic recall election June 5 against the embattled Republican governor.
Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk says she will join with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to work for his victory over Republican Gov. Scott Walker in four short weeks.
She asked her supporters Tuesday to also get behind Barrett, who won the primary Tuesday.
"I give my full support to Tom, and I urge you to do the same," Falk said. "Now we must turn to tomorrow. Gov. Walker must be recalled."
* * *
Falk says she will join with Barrett and the two other Democratic candidates for a unity rally on Wednesday at Barrett's Milwaukee home.
Falk says the next four weeks may be the most important in Wisconsin history.
Major Wisconsin unions that had endorsed Kathleen Falk in the Democratic primary for governor are now backing the winner Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
* * *
[F]ollowing his win, praise came from the statewide teachers union, the largest union representing state workers and the AFL-CIO.
Leaders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says they will do everything they can to defeat Walker.
Madison firefighter Mahlon Mitchell, who helped lead protests last year against Gov. Scott Walker's anti-collective bargaining policies, defeated two opponents to win the Democratic primary for Wisconsin lieutenant governor Tuesday.
With the win, the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin will now challenge Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in the June 5 recall election.
Mitchell defeated Milwaukee private detective Ira Robins and fake Democrat Isaac Weix.
Democrats didn't fall victim to the fake-out in Tuesday's recall primaries, easily beating back a group of Republicans who ran as Democrats to earn shots at four state Senate seats next month.
Here's how the match-ups went:
_Fort Atkinson photographer Lori Compas defeated fake Democrat Gary Ellerman of Lake Mills in the 13th Senate District, which includes parts of Dodge, Waukesha, Jefferson and Dane counties. Unofficial results showed that with 99 precincts reporting, Compas had 72 percent of the vote and Ellerman had 28 percent. Compas will now face Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, on June 5.
_Former state Rep. John Lehman, D-Racine, defeated fake Democrat Tamra Varebrook of Union Grove in the 21st Senate District, which includes parts of the city of Racine and the surrounding area. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lehman had 68 percent of the Varebrook had 32 percent. Lehman will face Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, in June.
_Former state Rep. Kristen Dexter, D-Eau Claire, defeated fake Democrat James Engel of Fall Creek in the 23rd Senate District, which includes parts of Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire and Clark counties. With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Dexter had 64 percent of the vote. Engel had 36 percent. Dexter will take on Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, next month.
_State Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau, defeated fake Democrat Jim Buckley of Antigo in the 29th Senate District, which includes parts of Marathon, Taylor, Price and Rusk counties. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Seidel had 64 percent of the vote. Buckley had 36 percent. Seidel will face Rep. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, on June 5.
Incumbent Sen. Pam Galloway, R-Wausau, resigned after Democrats collected enough signatures to force her into a recall, leaving the seat open. The state Government Accountability Board decided the election would proceed regardless.
Here is the progressive Cap Times editorial today. Sorry, elitists, but this is what democracy looks like:
Across Wisconsin on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of citizens went to the polls as part of an exceptional exercise in direct democracy. The voters in the Democratic and Republican recall election primaries for governor, lieutenant governor and the state Senate were participating in a process outlined by the state constitution, and their engagement was along the precise lines that progressive reformers of a century ago intended.
Unfortunately, just as Robert M. La Follette and his allies had to put up with stalwarts and reactionaries who sought always to stall their efforts to vest more power with the people, so there remain political and media elites that distrust and disdain direct democracy. They want to write the rules so that all the advantages are afforded to those who already hold power.
So it is that we see newspapers around Wisconsin championing state Rep. Robin Vos’ proposal to rewrite the state constitution in order to make it all but impossible to recall errant officials. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which backed Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch in 2010, declared just days ago: “These recall elections are a waste of time and money.”
Yes, democracy can be demanding, and certainly annoys the politically powerful and connected elites. But Wisconsinites are embracing the power that was afforded them by the progressives of a century ago. We are proud of what this people-power politics has accomplished, and what it will accomplish on June 5.
Far from being a waste of time or money, the recalls have renewed a spirit of public engagement and commitment that has been too long missing in Wisconsin.
On Wisconsin! On to victory on June 5th!