Walker winning in Wisconsin -- the fallout

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AP is callling the Wisconsin election for Scott Walker, although the results will no doubt tighten up as the night goes on.  But this is a wake-up call -- for all of us. It's one of the first clear tests of what happens when you have unlimited corporate money flowing into an election (Walker outspent his opponent about 8-1) and it's a sign of how bad things can get under Citizens United.

It's also going to dampen the enthusiasm of labor activists for the Obama re-election. Already, commenters on DailyKos are calling for progressives not to support the Democratic Party this fall -- and while that's common and people mostly get over it, Obama has to start moving now to shore up labor support. We're all for gay marraige, and that was a strong and much-needed (if also much-delayed) stand, but it's not going to be enough.

There's going to have to be a concerted effort to end the demonization of public-sector workers. This election just shows how it's gotten out of control.

 

Comments

Corporations cannot vote and so should be allowed other modalities of persuasion.

Evidently the voters in Wisconsin - a Democrat State - agree.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

Allow corporations to vote on the principle of "one share - one vote." Would you be satisfied then?

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

are trivial. That's like saying that unions cannot fund or organise for electiosn but they can have one vote in one seat.

Allowing entities like unions and corporations that can't vote to lobby, fund and organise is nothing more than an acknowledgment that there are many interested parties affected by politics and therefore entitled to a voice.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:54 am

Democracy in this country is already a total farce. Capitalism (one share, one vote) and democracy (one person, one vote) are mutually incompatible. The more of one you have, the less of the other.

Why not just dispense with the whole charade, and give people votes directly proportional to their net worth?
The Fishers and the Hellmans of the world get a few billion votes each.
Wealthy homeowners get a million or so.
Your average teacher or bus driver struggling to get by gets maybe 50,000 votes.
And poor students and disabled people living on SSI get none.

We're pretty much there already, all but in name.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:06 am

contribute the most economically to the country perhaps should have more influence. Has Warren buffett perhaps accumulated more wisdom and experience than a high school dropout who becomes a drug addict and is homeless?

Whose judgment would you trust more?

But I'm not making thata rgument; only that entities and institutions deserve a voice too at election time. If that means that wealthy east and west coast liberals can fund their causes better than poorer conservative folks in the heartland, then so be it.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:36 am

with those who are actually productive. The reality is absolutely opposite of the point you are attempting to make.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:48 am

simply expect readers to accept it at face value for no reason other than that said it.

Interesting, if unconvincing, method of debating there . .

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 9:31 am

Corporations are composed of hundreds of millions of shares owned by many different people. So if I own 200,000,000 shares of Facebook I get 200,000,000 votes in an election - because corporations are entities composed of many different people who deserve a voice too - that is your reasoning.

Let me be the first to say that if that happens, and already many are reasoning that it's inevitable, we will witness a revolution in this country which will destroy every foundation of the old Republic and create something entirely new and liberated of corporate control. People are already very uneasy with the reasoning of corporate personhood, polls show 80% of people oppose the very idea. The tipping point is being reached.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

Any day now, just like for the last 100 years.

I'm holding my breath becauseIi just know it's coming. Not.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

Europe used to say. And Hosni Mubarak too.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

there is zero evidence that we are remotely close to that.

But keep dreaming, because that is all you have.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 3:16 pm
Posted by Troll II on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

I feel sure you'd be happier somewhere like Cuba or France.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:20 pm
LOL

Yes, clearly you haven't read any of my comments here. That's hilarious ;-)

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

Hence my amusement at your folly.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

It gave the game away to those with the most money. Thus it's a destabilizing decision that will result in a transfer of money, power, and assets from those with the least to those with the most.

The people of Wisconsin didn't vote on Citizens United dummy. But it did have a huge impact there just like it did in 2010 there. For proof, just look what the results were in Wisconsin just 2 years earlier in 2008 - prior to the Citizens United ruling: Obama easily defeated McCain.

Then in 2009, the five criminals on the Supreme Court make that criminal Citizens United decision, resulting in huge amounts of $ being spent on rightwing propaganda and plenty of ppl bought the propaganda because the money spent selling that rightwing BS was much more than what was spent countering it.

And it worked - for the same reasons corps spend hundreds of millions in tv commercials each year to persuade ppl to buy their products. In this case, the product was rightwing BS and rightwing politicians.

The only thing the Wisconsin elections in 2008, 2010, and 2012 shows is that Citizens United was a horrible horrible horrible decision.

The Occupy movement should have been concentrating on the Supreme Court but I never heard a peep about the SC from them. Yet the SC is the root of the problem. There should be constant demonstrations with loud speakers outside where the SC resides, where the loud speakers blast out the message that the five on the court who decided Citizens United are criminal scumbags (the five being: KENNEDY, SCALIA, ROBERTS, THOMAS, ALITO).

One good thing is Walker no longer has the Senate so him and his criminal Republican legislators can't ram things through any more. Of course the damage is done and will eventually have to be repaired if Citizens United is ever overturned by a less criminal SC or by a constitutional amendment.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

Occupy isn't targeting SCOTUS because they are no longer targeting anyone or anything. They dropped out of the news cycles months ago - a spent force.

But I have no problem with Occupy raising funds and running campaign ad's and, thanks to Citizens, they now can.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:55 am

To compare union spending to what big money interests can spend is absurd - not even in the same ballpark. What Citizens United is doing is GUARANTEEING a REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, HOUSE, and SENATE.

That ought to scare any good person in this country. Obama was elected PRIOR to Citizens United. And Scott Walker - the corrupt fool in Wisconsin - was elected AFTER Citizens United, same for all the House Tea baggers around the country. Without Citizens United, it's highly doubtful the Republicans would have won anywhere close to the number of seats they did in 2010.

There's gonna have to be a groundswell of activism demanding that fraudulent, corruption-inducing ruling be overturned. Unions are on the edge of nonexistence in the private sector and the Republican politician goons like Walker are trying to kill the public sector unions so there will be one party - the Republican (aka Dummy-Know-Nothing) Party that will control everything.

This country is a lot closer to being a disfunctional, destabilized, banana republic, thx to Citizens United, than most ppl realize.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

have themselves to blame for that situation. If the average person could relate to unions, they'd have all the money, power and influence that they could want. But instead they have made themselves irrelevant by being so out of touch with modern America.

Voters dont want a paternal corrupt union looking after them - they want opportunity and unions were never about that.

If you want a country run by unions, move to France or Greece, and you can see the problem they are having. The US is now post-union outside of the eroding government jobs, and that is only a matter of time. A booming economy based on knowledge workers has no place for a "lowest common denominator" organization like unions.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

You can like or hate unions. The pt is Walker was elected because Citizens United has allowed extremely rich ppl - billionaires - to give unlimited amts of $ towards electing politicians - you know, the LAW MAKERS, the ones who define what kinda country we live in - they like, and unlimited amts to defeat those they don't.

THAT'S A SERIOUSLY CORRUPT SYSTEM.

The unions can not compete competitively in such a system against foes that want to defeat them and are billionaires. Television and radio are extremely powerful and influential forces. Thus political campaign commercials can almost elect anyone if the opponent can not air a similar amount. Walker and his financial backers could and did air eight times more commercials than Barrett. That's a fucked up, corrupt, badly broken system. If you think such a system is good for this country and will produce good results down the line, you must be one of the politicians like Walker benefitting from it but for the most of the country, it's a disaster.

No longer does logic rule, what rules is the huge $ interests who buy and own the congress and get the congress to be their servant - passing laws good for them such as laws allowing poisons to go in the water and whatever else that's in their financial interests.

If Republicans had a few working brain cells that could concentrate on something besides, "how can I make money off this???" they'd see that the Citizens United decision is a disaster for them. But unfortunately they don't yet they control who gets elected. Bad times ahead for this country for it no longer is, IN EFFECT, a democracy (only in name).

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

Many liberals are starting to realize that there is a difference between unions in the private sector and those in the public sector.

I wholeheartedly support labor unions in the private sector. Workers and management sometimes have conflicting needs, and workers need to stand togeter.

Public-sector unions in many states (and cities) pay for very little of their own pension or healthcare costs. Hence, they dig into the General Fund year after year, stealing money from schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure. They are accountable to no one.

Posted by Troll the XIV on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 7:04 am

politicians that determine their pay and benefits, but those politicians enjoy the same deal and so never vote to cut their own sweetheart benefits.

Public sector benefits cost three times what private sector benefits cost, and that has to be divisive and bad for America, as well as fiscally unsustainable.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:38 am

Yes, public-sector unions have defined-benefit pension plans, not defined-contribution plans like us mere mortals.

And in San Francisco, they have guaranteed 8% returns on their pensions. The stock market has risen about 2% over the last 10 years. And hence city workers keep dipping into the General Fund for greater benefits each year...

...and library hours, street cleaning, services at SF General Hospital, etc, etc, get cut each year.

Posted by Troll the XIV on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 9:52 am

The unions tried to topple him but failed - democracy works. The voters are sick and tired of funding both their own pensions and the pensions of these parasites. Enough is enough - can't pay; won't pay.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 10:14 am

When Prop 29 - the $1 tax on cigarettes that would have given hundreds of millions EACH YEAR for cancer research and would have reduced the number of ppl smoking - was first polled in March of this year, 67% of ppl were for it. But it lost. Why? Because of tens of millions of dollars spent on ads by the tobacco industry against it, even though it would have been massively beneficial to all of society except for the tobacco industry.

Same thing with Walker's victory. Walker and his billionaire rightwing Republican allies outspent his opponent by 8 to 1. With such a $ advantage, it's almost impossible to defeat such a $ advantg but thx to the corrupt Citizens United ruling by the US Supreme Court (specifically the 5 judges on there who were nominated by the last three Republican presidents), that's the new norm.

It's a terrible and corrupt new norm but it explains Walker's victory. On an even money basis, that fool would be gone. But commercials work and so do political commercials as the change in the public's opinion of Prop 29 showed and as Walker's victory showed.

In essence what happened yesterday and the months prior to the election was something more similar to the way it is in Russia now than the way's it's been here. But thx to the Citizen's United ruling by the Supreme Court, our political system is now much more like Russia and will probably be just as corrupt very soon too.

That election result had nothing to do with unions and everything to do with the Republican Walker outspending his opponent by 8 to 1.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

This is what happens when the Democrats abandon their declining union base after unions abandon their former base of working folks. When all unions have left is the public sector folks making living wages while everyone else is struggling, this outcome predicted itself.

If this had been a Democrat governor and there was a Republican president, then the Republicans would have played for keeps and brought home the win.

The Democrats put themselves in positions, time and time again, of picking fights that they have absolutely no way of winning because they have no inclination to do what it takes to win and sustain those wins.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 10:30 am

Pretty hard to win when for every one commercial you put up telling ppl to vote for you, your opponent gets to put up eight. Until such a disparity is protested and ultimately changed, Walker will always win. People will need to get out in the street and protest Citizens United because it's a gamechanger - one that is horrible for our country.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

San Diego and San Jose both voted to cut back on public sector employee benefits.

Can you feel a trend here?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

It's a system that works well for the rich:

Step 1: Give $ to politicians who will lower your taxes
Step 2: Those politicians lower your taxes so aftertax income increases
Step 3: Use some of the gain in wealth from lower taxes to elect more politicians, including presidents, who will do the same and who will attack your enemies: organized labor.
Step 4: with the increased profits, buy as many media properties as you can so you can air propaganda favorable to you and your class.

It's called a positive feedback system (and there's nothing good about the "positive" in that system for such a system just grows in magnitude and power with time).

Fact of the matter is the rich should be paying much higher amounts of taxes than they do. In the 1950's, the top bracket on the highest dollars earned was 90% and it made for a well functioning system economically with much more wealth equality.

When the wealthy make too much of the nation's income, it's bad for the nation's economy because much less money is in circulation. And that probably feeds on itself (another positive feedbk system) so that wealth inequality grows and the country becomes more unstable and more of a banana republic.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/opinion/the-message-from-wisconsins-re...

(first part of the editorial)

Editorial

The Message From Wisconsin

When Gov. Scott Walker moved to strip Wisconsin public employees of their collective-bargaining rights last year, a few weeks after taking office, it was clear that he wasn’t doing it to save the state money. If that had been the case, he would have accepted the unions’ agreement to pay far more in health care and pension costs. His real goal was political: to break the unions by demonizing their “bosses,” ending their ability even to collect dues and removing them as a source of money and energy for Democrats.

On Tuesday, as Mr. Walker easily fought off a recall by a 7-point margin over his challenger, it became clear just how effective that strategy has been.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 9:46 pm