Four years ago this blog interrupted garden coverage to concentrate on the political turmoil that engulfed our state. We are still embattled but, this time, I will only do an update on events. This is for friends around the state who could not come to Madison but want to keep up with events.
Suffice it to say that our governor, Scott Walker, has no interest in governing. His entire career has been about seeking office and immediately using his new position as a springboard to the next power point. Walker has nothing but disdain for the citizens, the environment and the progressive history of Wisconsin.
Walker practices the politics of resentment, turning rural communities against urban dwellers, northern residents against southern Wisconsinites, scapegoating teachers, public employees. Wisconsin is merely a convenient platform that Walker is using to propel himself into the highest political position in the nation, the presidency.
Do not dismiss Scott Walker. Do not underestimate him. Instead, educate yourself about this darling of the GOP. If you are looking for information on the ground, here are three good Wisconsin sources.
- PR Watch at the Center for Media and Democracy
- The Political Environment, Jim Rowen's "Forum and News Service about Politics and the Environment" mainly in Wisconsin. He posts multiple times per day and is always worth reading.
- Walker Watch, a site the corrals all the news about Walker in The Capital Times newspaper
Here is a look at the response in Madison on Tuesday to the Republican legislature's rush to push through "Right to Work" (RTW) legislation with a proper hearing or time for citizens to speak. Mark spent the better part of the day at the Capital with his camera. I believe it is important for people to see who showed up to protest because most of them are concerned Wisconsin citizens just like you.
My former co-worker, Bill Dunn (below), who has been at the Capital with the Solidarity Singers since the beginning in 2011.
The crowd was much smaller this time — 2,000 rather than 150,000. It was also much colder weather than in 2011 and all of us who came out then unhappily learned that citizens wanting to be heard will not slow down the Republican juggernaut one little bit.
The protest and hearing were pretty much an all-day affair so some folks made sure to bring lunch.
For those who might not know, the UAW is the United Auto Workers.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Capital Times columnist John Nichols have both protested the RTW legislation. They are posing with one of the union members who asked if he could have his picture taken with them.
Historian, educator, author, musician, and artist Bobbie Malone at the protest. Bobbie is co-author of "Wisconsin: Our State, Our Story," the 4th grade textbook that tells the story of Wisconsin's history. A book that is as beautiful as it is educational. Musician Arvid Berge is behind her.
Lest you think the protest was mostly men or older folks or union members, this group on its way to the Capital Square clearly shows how these concerns cut across all groups and all ages.