The Future is Female

I’ve seen the future, and it is female.

No, I’m not clairvoyant. I’ve just recently met the Emerge Wisconsin Class of 2017!

This past Saturday night, Emerge Wisconsin had a meet and greet in Milwaukee where one could mingle with all 50 of the current program members.

I asked everyone I met the following questions: “What is your name? Where are you from? What are you running for?” Here is what I found out.

  • These women come from all over Wisconsin. It is exciting how the regional diversity of Emerge continues to grow.
  • Many of the women already know what office they plan to run for and when they plan to run.
  • There is a wide range of what level of government Emerge women will represent. There is a dire need for women on local bodies of government as well as at the state and federal level.
  • While some members of the Class of 2017 have their eyes fixed on a particular seat, there are some women who are keeping their options open.

No matter what their answers were, in talking with many of the program members, one thing was clear. The members of the Class of 2017 are ready to run for office and they know Emerge Wisconsin is making sure they are prepared to run and ready to win.

“Emerge Wisconsin is an affiliate of Emerge America, a national organization currently working in 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.” -emergewi.org

(Full Disclosure: I am the former Executive Director for Emerge Wisconsin.)

How Can This Possibly Go Wrong: GOP Fox in the Hen House

After passing legislation to gut the Government Accountability Board, the non-partisan board of retired judges tasked with overseeing elections and ethics in Wisconsin, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald made the first appointment to the new ethics commission. A retired judge? A retired elder statesman? Nah:

The first announced appointee to the new state ethics commission is the secretary of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, state officials said Tuesday.

Critics said the appointment of Katie McCallum confirms their fear that the commission and its new counterpart, which will oversee elections, will be beholden to legislative leaders and partisan interests.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, appointed McCallum, of Middleton, said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board.

How could that possibly go wrong?

The law allows Republican and Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate to appoint one member each to the elections and ethics commissions.

The governor has two appointees to both commissions. He or she nominates two former judges to the ethics commission and two former county or municipal clerks to the elections commission. All gubernatorial appointees are subject to a confirmation vote by the state Senate.

So essentially we are back to pre-2008 when the Board was created as the result of the merger of the former State Ethics Board and State Elections Boards. And those went down in flames following a number of scandals…wash, rinse, repeat?

Defeating Scott Walker

I’ve never been one to endorse a candidate or publicly lean towards one during a primary election. And in Wisconsin, we could be headed for one next fall.  But there are some things which need to be addressed about our current situation.  A lot of people are questioning the state party and are asking why Mary Burke should be getting into this race at all.

Well, if you really think about the Burke candidacy, it actually makes a lot of sense. This race isn’t about you, or me and how we can invigorate the liberal base. This race is about removing Governor Scott Walker and the destructive path that he has lead our state upon. He’s demolished a public employee’s right to collectively bargain; has slashed education budgets across the state; hurt communities that are hurting and has yet to deliver on his promise of 250,000 jobs for the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin doesn’t need more naysayers. What we need is simple: people to come together like and say YES. Republicans have developed a way to say NO NO NO to everything. They’ve shut down the government over health care, they’ve held up the credit rating of our country over the debt ceiling, they’ve shut down the wages of public employees over their choice to collectively bargain for wages and now they are choosing to sit here and go against everything we stand for in, well, everything.

My friends, we are in this together. I get that we don’t always get the perfectly liberal candidate that is pro-choice, pro-union, anti-death penalty, and everything liberal. But hey, that’s not how the world works.  And realistically neither Mary Burke nor Kathleen Vinehout fits this description.

We should be celebrating the fact that someone is willing to come out of the private sector and run as a Democrat and face the uphill battle that is defeating Walker.

I realize not all my fellow bloggers here on Blogging Blue even agree with me on this stance, but as we perpetuate this attitude of separation we are no better than the Tea Party. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed in a candidate or an outcome of an election. But this time, near anyone different than Walker would be a step up. Mary Burke is a progressive businesswoman from Wisconsin who will no doubt come out in support of many of the principles you and I believe in. And if she moves on to a general election, I will stand by her.

Imagine if the Democrats had not come home in 2008 after the brutal Obama/Clinton primary where we would be sitting.

If or when Senator Vinehout decides to run, I will also celebrate her decision of her candidacy.  But until that day comes, I remain loyal to the Democratic process, the Democratic Party and the State of Wisconsin on this issue; because I believe that Scott Walker is a slap in the face to all of those things that I hold so dear.

And I’ll give you my formal endorsement on August 13, 2014 after the primary.

 

One Honest Minute

After posting the outright lies on Republican Senator Kyl, here is the best speech I have ever seen a republican give. While I dont always agree with Senator Simpson I am 100% behind him here!