Well, Wisconsin, we have done it again. We have elected a small-minded party puppet over a well-qualified professional. We just put Rebecca Bradley on the State Supreme Court for 10 years, rejecting her just and compassionate opponent, JoAnne Kloppenburg.
This just proves again that money buys votes and money buys power. In just a few years, our once great state has been twisted into a sad version of Mississippi with a very cold climate. Wisconsin’s noble history of environmental protection and quality education has been eclipsed by policies of exploitation and greed.
Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson; their legacies have been shredded by Scott Walker and his rush to capitalize, literally, on the state’s resources.
He is systematically selling off our schools, our air, water and land, and our social services to the highest bidders.
Now that he has put his crony, Bradley, on the state’s highest court, there will be no stopping our race to the bottom. I find all of this extremely depressing, especially Walker’s attack on public education and his destruction of the Department of Natural Resources, which used to safeguard our natural resources, not sell them off.
But it all makes one thing abundantly clear: we have to get big money out of politics. The Bradley campaign outspent the Kloppenburg campaign by 4 to 1, proving again the power of the media to sell us products that are not good for us.
So, depressed as I am just now, I am glad I stood outside the Reedsburg polling place in the cold yesterday for a couple of hours, and I am grateful to all the citizens who signed our petition to get the issue on the city’s ballot in November. Now the people of Reedsburg will have a chance to vote on reversing that toxic amendment to the Constitution that says corporations have the same rights as people and money is the same as speech. This amendment opened the door to billions of dollars from special interests flowing into election campaigning and basically sold Democracy to the wealthiest donors.
It will take another constitutional amendment to reverse this flow and once again allow states to limit campaign donations and require that donors’ identities be revealed. Only then will we be able to get “dark money” out of politics. So thank you to the more than 600 people who signed the petition on April 5. This is an issue that has support from Republicans and Democrats and Independents because the highjacking of our electoral process hurts all Americans.
The Town of Reedsburg has already passed a resolution calling for a reversal of Citizen’s United, as that toxic amendment allowing big money into politics is called. Now the city will also have a chance to pass the same kind of resolution in November. Gradually, momentum is building all across the country to take back Democracy from rich special interests. I just hope we can do it before all that we love and hold dear has been degraded beyond recognition.
And JoAnne Kloppenburg, thank you for running. I’m sorry we couldn’t bring you home.