Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dear Wisconsin Recall Fighters

Dear Wisconsin Recall Fighters,
I swear to God you are the coolest, most awesome people on earth, and I count myself incredibly privileged and honored to be among you. Despite formidable and even vicious opposition, you have more than risen to the challenge. You have consistently refused take Walker’s “no” for an answer.

You marched and chanted in all kinds of weather. You camped out in the capitol. You doggedly and cheerfully collected a million signatures. No matter how loudly you have been shouted at, you have outsung the opposition every time.

When they put up ginormous signs paid for by gazillionaires, you made your own, some of them with little twinkly lights that shine in the dark on overpasses all over the state, some of them in your lawns and gardens.

Some of you have run or are running for office, while others of you are working your butts off for the recall candidates' campaigns. In huge ways and small, you've transformed your lives for the sake of Wisconsin. Your passion and devotion are breathtaking.

The opposition can’t hold a candle to your Overpass Light Brigades. Their astroturf has none of the life and vibrancy of your luscious grass roots. You are incredibly creative, talented, innovative, and courageous. You are all heart and then some.

I know you’re working your asses off this weekend to get out the vote, and I thank you with all my heart. Together we can liberate this beleaguered Fitzwalkerstan and reclaim Wisconsin.

My husband, who understands and even likes statistics, wants you to think about this: In the May 8 recall primary, 54,000 more votes were cast statewide for the recall candidates (Barrett, Falk, Vinehout, Kohl-Riggs, and Lafollette) than for Walker and his “Democratic” ally, Huber. Counties preferring recall polled 189,000 more pro-recall votes than pro-Walker votes. The pro-recall counties were led by Dane, with 80,000 more votes for recall than for Walker, and Milwaukee County, with 61,000 more votes for recall.

On the other hand, pro-Walker counties polled 135,000 more votes for Walker + Huber than for the recall candidates. They were led by Waukesha County, with 44,000 more votes for Walker + Huber than for recall, and by Washington County, with 18,000 more votes for Walker + Huber.

In Madison alone, there were approximately 97,000 registered voters who did not vote on May 8. That's about three out of five registered Madison voters who did not vote on May 8. And who even knows about eligible but unregistered voters? Turnout in Madison was about 41 percent on May 8. With over 165,000 registered voters in Madison, fewer than 68,000 voted. Of those who did, 86 percent voted for recall. If that percentage holds fairly steady with a big increase in voter turnout, we’ll win this. Fitzwalkerstan will be no more. We will have reclaimed Wisconsin.

To say that there’s a lot riding on this election is a gross understatement. It’s entirely possible that there will be no election in our lifetimes as important as this one. This is the populace versus big money, human beings versus corporations, democracy versus plutocracy. In spite of the Democratic Party’s chronic myopia, this is where We the People begin taking our country back from the corporate thugs who thought they could buy it out from under us.

Now is the time to pull out all of the stops. Even introverts like me need to crawl out of our hidey holes and engage. I found myself on Thursday saying to the cashier in the checkout, “Be sure you vote on Tuesday!” I went to two Solidarity Sing Alongs in one day and made phone calls to potential canvassers in between. I tweeted my way through Thursday night’s debate. Never in my wildest introverted dreams did I ever think I would do such things. But if not me, then who? If not now, when? I just wish I could do more, and I’m grateful beyond words for all of you who are doing so much.

What we do in the next few days matters a whole lot. What we do right here in Madison matters a whole lot. This is our chance to show the world what Wisconsin democracy looks like. This is where the recall meets the road.

Vote responsibly: bring a friend.

# # #
Statistics lovingly parsed by Tom Worley and provided by the Government Accountability Board, and the Madison City Clerk. Sun Prairie sign brigade photo by Heather DuBois Bourenane. Rotunda heart balloon photo by Jenna Pope. Liberate Fitzwalkerstan made just for me by the inimitable Michael Martin. June 5 vote photo by Michael Matheson. It All Comes Down to One Day video by We Are Wisconsin PAC. Vote As If Your Life Depends On It photo by Peter Patau.


  1. I'm going to ask my brother to post this on Democratic Underground, Mary -- you're speaking (writing) for all of us, and more eloquently than we can.

    It's says something about how successfully Walker has divided us that I don't know any conservatives to whom I could send this, but I'll make sure it goes to people who can help get out the vote. I'll be registering people at my polling place Tuesday.

    1. Thank you, Susan, and bless you. You give me so much hope and courage!