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Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012

Election 2012: Send Democrats to the State Legislature

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Although the presidential and congressional races have generated the most media attention, it’s important to note that important legislative seats will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. In all of these races, the Shepherd endorses Democratic candidates.

In 2010, Republicans swept into Madison, leading to one-party rule until the June 5 recall gave Democrats a one-vote majority in the state Senate. While Republicans were in charge and Democrats had no voice in the process, very questionable pieces of legislation were enacted. State legislative districts were redrawn to ensure Republican control for the next ten years. Public employees’ collective bargaining rights were sharply curtailed. Unaccountable voucher schools were expanded. The notorious Castle Doctrine, which allows a homeowner to shoot anyone they find frightening, was enacted, as was a concealed carry law that does not include specific requirements for firearm training. Financial support for public schools plummeted, creating the impression that Republicans do not want students to receive a world-class education in the state’s K-12 schools, the University of Wisconsin System or the Wisconsin Technical College System. The nation’s most stringent voter ID law was passed—and, fortunately, has been declared unconstitutional. And if it hadn’t been for the courage of Republican Sen. Dale Schultz, an irresponsible mining bill would have been made law.

Since Gov. Scott Walker is not on the ballot this fall, we urge Shepherd readers to vote for Democrats to try to restore balance and fairness in governing in these new and very Republican-slanted districts. Legislators will not craft fair budgets and smart policies if they can shut out and completely ignore their colleagues from the other party and their constituents. Democrats need to play a role in shaping the state budget, implementing the Affordable Care Act and creating a 21st century economy.

In the greater Milwaukee area and southeast Wisconsin, we urge voters to send Lena Taylor, Nikiya Harris, Tanya Lohr, Bob Wirch and Jim Ward to the state Senate. We are endorsing Assembly candidates Daniel Riemer, JoCasta Zamarripa, Josh Zepnick, Sandy Pasch, Mandela Barnes, Fred Kessler, John Pokrandt, Chris Rockwood, Cindy Moore, Leon Young, La Tonya Johnson, Evan Goyke, Jon Richards, Christine Sinicki, William Kurtz, Cris Rogers, Shan Haqqi, John Steinbrink, Melissa Lemke, Kelley Albrecht, Peter Barca, Tod Ohnstad, Cory Mason, Kathleen Wied-Vincent, James Brownlow, Jesse Roelke, Marga Krummins, Eric Prudent and Thomas Hibbard.

 

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