Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why are Wisconsinites not voting for what they believe in?

On a large numbers of questions, when you put out the progressive-preferred option, most Wisconsinites will pick it. And the numbers indicate that it includes a sizable amount of people who also voted for Governor Scott Walker, who won't put those policies into law. Take a look at the numbers from a chart put out by Public Citizen on Wisconsin regarding the numerous county-wide resolutions that asked if the state should expand Badgercare as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.

BadgerCare YES Votes

Percent Votes for BadgerCare/ Percent Votes for Walker

STATEWIDE 747,031 73%/52.30%

Bayfield County 5,747 78%/38.36%

Chippewa County 13,975 61%/53.75%

Clark County 6,036 58%/65.00%

Dane County 195,596 82%/29.23%

Douglas County 11,911 79%/38.12%

Dunn County 7,592 63%/53.04%

Eau Claire County 25,442 64%/48.26%

Florence County 1,232 64%/67.48%

Iron County 1,369 70%/61.06%

Jefferson County 20,473 62%/60.01%

Kenosha, City of 21,722 77%/50.30%*

La Crosse County 32,768 71%/46.11%

Lincoln County 7,576 67%/56.54%

Milwaukee County 241,591 76%/36.10%

Oneida County 11,114 69%/59.05%

Outagamie County 42,231 61%/59.46%

Portage County 20,636 72%/48.30%

Rock County 36,365 65%/42.77%

St Croix County, 22,479 70%/59.45%

Wood County 21,176 61%/57.31%

The same pattern repeated with the sizable amount of communities that approved of advisory questions asking for a higher minimum wage. And now we're going to be stuck with a Governor who won't listen to the wishes of the people (much as Scott Walker did as Milwaukee County Executive when the voters asked for 1% sales tax for transit, parks and other cultural items).

And apparently some of the areas of the state are OK with voting for a governor who is perfectly fine with the bad things that are going on in their community. One day before the election, this is what happened in western Wisconsin regarding the issue of fracking.
Two towns in Trempealeau County have voted to sue the nearby community of Independence over what they say is an illegal annexation of a frac sand mine.

During a standing-room-only meeting, the town boards of Lincoln and Burnside voted to file the civil suit challenging the rent annexation. Normally, towns have no say in annexations unless they can argue that the land being annexed isn’t touching a city’s boundaries. In this case, the frac sand mine is over a mile away from the city.

Lincoln Town Board Chairman Jack Speerstra said they’ve already lost more than 1,000 acres to sand mine annexations, and that this one needs to be challenged.

“It’s not just the loss of property, but it’s the folks around those mines and don’t have any say over how they’re going to be governed. And that’s just not right,” said Speerstra.
The Trempealeau County Board has also dealt consistently with citizen groups complaining about health concerns and overgrowth of frac sand mines over the last year. So what happened on Election Night? Trempealeau County voted 52-46 for the candidate who has no problem letting the frac sand companies run wild under his DNR- Scott Walker.

You see this pattern repeat in northeastern Wisconsin, where an administrative judge ruled that Walker's DNR was negligent in allowing large farming operations to poison the area's groundwater.
A state administrative law judge who put conditions on a closely watched expansion of a large dairy farm in Kewaunee County has found that numerous contaminated wells in the area "represented a massive regulatory failure to protect groundwater."

The Oct. 29 ruling by Judge Jeffrey Boldt will allow Kinnard Farms to expand in a region with a history of polluted groundwater. But Boldt also directed the Department of Natural Resources to use its authority to prevent more problems by requiring the farm to install monitoring wells....

In Wisconsin, the conflict is deepest in Kewaunee County — home of 15 large-scale farms, known as CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations, that a have minimum of 700 milking or dry cows. The county also features a geology of fractured bedrock that allows water and contaminants to slip quickly into groundwater when layers of soil are thin.

On Oct. 22, environmental groups asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use emergency powers to investigate groundwater contamination in Kewaunee County, charging that the DNR had failed to protect drinking water. The EPA says it is evaluating the petition.

In 2013, 31% of 483 wells that were tested by the county contained bacteria or nitrates — or both — that exceeded state and federal public health standards.
And Walker's DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp (appointed for her deregulatory "open for business" beliefs) complained about the judge daring to point out that the DNR didn't do its job. So naturally, the GOP got smashed in Kewaunee County on Tuesday night right?

Final result in Kewaunee County: Walker 62, Burke 37

And I don't throw all of this on the local people who vote for candidates that won't carry out what the voters believe in. Because the Democratic Party of Wisconsin didn't put together a coherent message THAT WOULD MAKE THE CONNECTION between Walker/WisGOP policies and the bad situations that people are finding themselves in. And Dems should have actively pointing out that they would be the only ones that would work to keep the people's groundwater clean, that they would be the only ones that would deliver a higher minimum wage, and they would be the only ones to expand BadgerCare and save Wisconsin tax dollars by doing so. They didn't say it nearly enough and without any consistency. Which leaves no party discussing the issues in a manner that the people care about, and as a result, they are willing to look elsewhere.

So people end up voting Republican based on the misinformation of the right-wing GOP-agenda machine, or vote Republican because of hot-button issues like guns or abortion, or they don't vote at all. And now this state is going to go down a road of destruction that may never be able to be repaired because of the failures of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in the 2014 elections. And no one in party leadership should be safe, from DPW Chair Mike Tate, to Senate Dem Leader Chris Larson, to Assembly Dem Leader Peter Barca. The GOP freak show that'll be in control starting in January (which'll be even worse than the group that's led the state to "last in the Midwest" for jobs) is a sickening sight, and one that should not be tolerated. And having the DPW stay in the same defensive posture that doesn't attack these regressive GOP policies and fail to stand up for true progressive VALUES that the majority of Wisconsinites believe in is something that also can't be tolerated any more.

1 comment:

  1. Reagan and Walker put forward a confident positive message that identifies evil and they stick to their guns.

    In a time when Dems talk about good industrial jobs and then vote for free trade agreements and are luke warm on organized labor, people look to leaders who at least do what they say.

    Add in declining power for white men as the civil rights, women's rights and gay rights movements have finally made some head way and we have the toxic mix that is right wing populism a la Rush, Sykes and Belling.

    If the economy is good incumbents will be rewarded and if not they won't. Most people don't vote because they feel the system does not work for them because we get lots of high bound rhetoric (Obama/Clinton) and then they deliver fewer decent jobs and declining wages.

    Tax cutting is a real benefit to people, they think. It's one way that they feel government is responding to their demands.

    Add in some good old welfare queen racism and your on your way to the White House.