Sunday, November 2, 2014

50 reasons to vote for Mary Burke & against Scott Walker

The following are 50 reasons, off the top of my head, to vote for Mary Burke -- and against Scott Walker. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
  1. You think pregnant women have a "right to life". Mary Burke supports a woman's right to choose; Scott Walker opposes it even in cases of rape and where the life and health of the mother is at stake.
  2. You support LGBT rights. Mary Burke has been a supporter of marriage equality. Scott Walker long supported a ban on marriage equality, and persisted in shoveling sand against the tide of change (at great cost to the state) even when similar bans were falling all over the country.
  3. You support education. Burke has consistently supported education. Walker has cut it more than any other time in Wisconsin history.
  4. You recognize the importance of unions. Mary Burke supports our unions. Scott Walker referred to his assault on teacher's unions as a "first step" in making Wisconsin a "right-to-work" (union-less) state, and sponsored union-busting "right-to-work" legislation in the past.
  5.  You prefer someone with real-world experience to a career politician. Mary Burke's experience is vast. Scott Walker was in politics within three years of dropping out of school, and has never left since. 
  6. You don't think taking millions from our public schools to give to failed private ones is a good investment. Mary Burke will end this policy. Scott Walker engineered it.
  7. You're not comfortable with out-of-state mining interests re-writing your state's environmental laws regarding mines (in their favor of course). Mary Burke opposes this. Scott Walker oversaw it.
  8. You feel that there might, just maybe, be a conflict-of-interest when the governor overseeing the aforementioned radical re-writing of environmental protections to benefit a wealthy out-of-state mining company sees a $700,000 donation -- from the company in question, to his re-election efforts. Again, Burke has expressed concern over this entire fiasco. Walker orchestrated and benefited from it.
  9.  You respect our teachers and public workers. Mary Burke has consistently shown respect to the public employees that educate our children, keep our streets safe, etc. Scott Walker has ridiculed public employees, and declared them greedy, lazy and useless.
  10. You don't think the best way to lower abortion rates is to close established clinics that thousands rely on for health and family planning -- but not abortion -- services. This is something Mary Burke has criticized many times. And something Scott Walker did.
  11. It also strikes you as a bad idea for an anti-abortion ideologue (or any thinking person) to repeal the state's comprehensive sex education laws.  Not least of all because abortion rates are fueled by (can you guess??) unwanted pregnancies -- and abstinence sex ed has been a consistent failure, leading to...guess what?...unwanted pregnancies! Fortunately, Scott Walker's puritanical obsession is not shared by Planned Parenthood-supported Mary Burke.
  12. Like President Eisenhower, you "have no use for those — regardless of their political party — who hold some foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when unorganized labor was a huddled, almost helpless mass"; you cannot support those "reactionaries [who] harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice." Burke, again, is a supporter of unions, public and private; Walker, on the other hand, is precisely the sort of fool Eisenhower warned about.
  13. You believe full-time work should provide a living wage. Scott Walker sees "no purpose" to dignifying human labor with a living wage. By contrast, Mary Burke has pledged to raise the minimum wage.
  14. You believe the governor should follow our "living wage" law. Again, Burke has pledged an increase to the minimum wage. Walker has not only disparaged the idea, but flatly refused to obey Wisconsin law on the subject
  15. You figure that women are intelligent human beings, who are perfectly capable of making their own reproductive choices without Big Brother in the room. Mary Burke supports a woman's right to choose without absurd restrictions. Among Scott Walker's numerous attacks on women's rights while in office, he has mandated unnecessary ultrasounds, on the solid Republican principle of "Government: small enough to fit in a vagina."
  16. You do not think the governor has any business mandating intrusive, transvaginal ultrasounds. Which is exactly what Scott Walker's mandatory ultrasound bill did to women who are too early in their pregnancies for a less intrusive ultrasound to meet Scott Walker's idea of what is best for women's health. Again, Mary Burke respects women's ability to make their own decisions about their reproductive care, without government dictating that she first be subjected to unnecessary and invasive government mandated probing...
  17. You think women deserve equal pay for equal work. Unlike Scott Walker, who repealed Wisconsin's equal pay protections. Mary Burke, on the other hand, has consistently supported equal pay protections for women. Unlike Republicans, she realizes that the idea that "money is more important for men" is bogus.
  18. You don't think the way forward is creating primarily low wage jobs -- and pushing former middle-class jobs into the low-wage range. This is what Scott Walker's policies have done. Mary Burke's direction accounts for the interests of the working Wisconsinite, not just big business.
  19. Like Burke, you know that Wisconsin does have a jobs problem -- not a "work problem," as Scott Walker put it
  20. You want a governor whose base assumption isn't that unemployment problems are because Wisconsinites are lazy and have a "work problem", but a governor who realizes that you can't fill jobs that don't exist. After four years in office, Governor Walker can't take responsibility for his failure of policy. Instead, he points at Wisconsinites. Burke has called him on this failure, and offered solid alternatives to his failed leadership.
  21.  You also recognize that "oh, I was just being optimistic!" is not a legitimate response to questions about failed campaign promises. Scott Walker ran on the idea that he would create 250,000 jobs. This is a failed promise. Rather than addressing the failure, he simply pooh-poohs it. In an only slightly more mature version of, "Oh, that? I was crossing my fingers!" he declares that people shouldn't hold optimism against him. The problem is, of course, that at no time during the previous election did Walker indicate that these were simply an optimistic goal. Rather, he made and failed a promise; and instead of accounting for that failure, asks not to be bothered with it. That's not leadership. Burke has demonstrated strong leadership abilities throughout her career. Walker deflects, minimizes and dodges.
  22. You don't think ridiculing the poor as drug-addled layabouts is productive. You'd rather a governor who figured out positive ways to lift people out of poverty, rather than contenting himself to implementing degrading (as well as costly and failed) policies to humiliate aid applicants.
  23. You don't think leaving 87,000 poor, working Wisconsinites without healthcare is  a good idea. Neither does Mary Burke. But it's exactly what Scott Walker did.
  24. You don't think rejecting federal money (which Wisconsin taxpayers paid toward) to cover healthcare for the poor is a good idea. You realize that we already paid the money, and so rejecting it means it's simply gone. And sick people still need care. Which means Wisconsin voters have to pay twice -- once, for the money Scott Walker rejected. And again, when uninsured Wisconsinites go to the emergency room with catastrophic conditions. Incidentally, that's the most expensive kind of care -- as it's far more costly to treat an emergency than it is to prevent it. Walker rejected our funds, and endangered the health and lives of poor, working Wisconsinites. Mary Burke has explicitly stated that she would have accepted the funds, rather than destroying some Wisconsinites' health, and double charging the rest. (For what it's worth, even other GOP governors were able to put people over politics, and accept the money. Not good old Scotty, though).
  25. You don't like to see your healthcare premiums keep climbing. Scott Walker's refusal to implement cost oversight and other portions of the ACA that reduced expenses has cost all of us (unlike the states that implemented them). Mary Burke would implement these cost saving measures.
  26. Like Mary Burke, you don't think the governor should be implementing politically motivated women's health laws that are opposed by the medical community. As Walker has done multiple times
  27. You don't think your governor should be making it harder for Wisconsinites to legally vote. Scott Walker's voter ID laws would have impacted 300,000 Wisconsinites, purportedly to prevent in person voter fraud...despite the fact that we have no actual cases that the law would prevent, and the only case of voter fraud was committed by a Walker supporter. 300,000 voters potentially disenfranchised, over a problem that doesn't exist. Burke has condemned these restrictions. Walker implemented them.
  28. You don't think that the governor should be limiting voting times while extending lobbying times. Mary Burke has expressed strong support for voting rights. Scott Walker has attacked them repeatedly.
  29. You think that tuition should be affordable, and students shouldn't be buried under debt. Mary Burke wants to lower tuition and reduce debt. Scott Walker spent the majority of his term increasing tuition and cutting aid; now he's trying to position himself as a champion for students because he froze tuition before the election. If years of attacks followed by a last ditch bribing effort don't sway you, Scott Walker's not your candidate. Mary Burke, on the other hand, has pledged to tackle student costs. Not just at election time.
  30. You don't think that a big business (run by donors to the governor) should get multi-million dollar tax breaks and an okay to lay off two thousand Wisconsin workers (half its workforce) without any sort of job growth requirements. This is the kind of "moving Wisconsin forward" Scott Walker has been orchestrating. Mary Burke's plans don't include rewarding rich donors for laying off Wisconsin workers.
  31. You don't think politicians and their close allies should be breaking campaign laws. While Scott Walker is piled neck deep in circumstantial evidence, some of his close associates have left more incriminating paper trails -- leading to a variety of felony charges against Walker's chief of staff and others. Needless to say, Burke has done no such thing.
  32. You don't like politicians and their close allies engaging in sleaze politics. Mary Burke has consistently addressed Scott Walker's policies and actions in her critiques of him. Scott Walker's supporters are so desperate that they've resorted to last minute, sleaze attacks -- digging up a family rival and a county GOP chairman to attack Burke's work at Trek, and pushing the story on a site funded by a conservative organization headed by Walker's chief of staff
  33. You don't think tens of thousands of Wisconsin students should be left on waiting lists for aid. Neither does Mary Burke. But it's exactly what Scott Walker's attacks on education have led to.
  34. You can't be bought for a pizza month. During the first debate, Scott Walker referred to his election-year bribe as empowering families to buy "lots of truck tires". (I'm not sure what truck Walker drives, but unless it's a Tonka, he's full of crap...his ~$320 a year would maybe buy two tires for my car...certainly not "lots" of "truck tires"...but I digress). Burke rightly points out that, behind this "lots of truck tires" facade lies tax breaks that amount to at least thousands for millionaires and millions for big business -- huge sums of money Scott Walker sends back to the wealthy, while boasting that your pizza-a-month should buy your vote.
  35. You have kids. You want them to have access to good schools, with the resources to meet their needs. Mary Burke will ensure that schools have the funding to hire, and retain, quality teachers and supply quality instruction. Scott Walker has been hard at work devastating education.
  36. You realize that a politician like Walker, who brags about opposing LGBT rights, can never be an effective representative of LGBT constituents, because he opposes their rights. On the other hand, Burke has expressed clear support for LGBT rights.
  37. You realize that a politician like Walker, who brags about opposing women's rights, can never be an effective representative for half of his constituency, because he opposes thier rights (even the right of a pregnant woman to life-saving medical care when dying!). On the other hand, Burke has expressed solid support for women's rights.
  38. You realize that a politician like Walker, who mocks the poor as lazy, over privileged drug addicts, can never be an effective representative for poor Wisconsinites, because he degrades and dismisses them. Burke, on the other hand, has been committed to creating opportunity for the working poor -- including co-creating a program that has helped hundreds of first-generation students graduate and prepare for college in Madison.
  39. You realize that a politician like Walker, who ridicules public employs as overpaid, lazy and often useless (while making, in many cases, multiple times their yearly income) can never be an effective representative for his constituents who are public employees, because he regards them with contempt. Mary Burke, on the other hand, has advocated a uniting message, and stands by the rights of public employees.
  40. You realize that a governor is not supposed to "divide and conquer," but serve the interests of all his constituents; being a governor is not about personal conquest, but about serving the public good. Mary Burke's attitude is one reconciliation, and an end to the dividing tactics that have been in place these past four years.
  41. Whether you have kids or not, you realize that an educated populace means a more informed electorate, a future workforce better equipped for challenges, and a more resourceful citizenry. Again, Mary Burke supports education. Scott Walker has consistently slashed it.
  42. You are a woman. You don't need the theocratic aspirations and misogynist judgments of politicians like Walker deciding your healthcare choices. Mary Burke will ensure that those choices remain yours. Walker has already been hard at work eroding them.
  43. Whether you are a woman or not, you respect women, or at least don't hold them in contempt. Like Mary Burke, you don't think theocrats need to involve themselves in women's reproductive choices. Unlike Scott Walker.
  44. You work. You want a thriving economy, with a strong minimum wage as a baseline. Like Mary Burke. Unlike Scott Walker.
  45. You have friends, family or children who work or will work some day. You want them to be able to earn a living. An economy based on low-wage jobs, like the one Scott Walker has been building, isn't what you want for them. Particularly when the person guiding us in that direction is also declaring that there is "no purpose" to a living wage for those jobs. Mary Burke sees "purpose" in providing a living wage, and also has a strong plan to revitalize the middle-class.
  46. While you might not be obsessed with fetuses, you do recognize the "right to life" of the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged. Thus you support making healthcare accessible to the working poor. Like Mary Burke, and unlike Scott Walker.
  47. You respect Wisconsin's natural heritage, and would like to preserve it. You think the interests of the people in this regard supersede the interests of out-of-state billionaires. So does Mary Burke. Scott Walker, on the other hand, lets those interests re-write our environmental laws.
  48. You breathe the air where you live. You probably want to ensure that it stays clean. That's a bigger priority than further enriching the wealthy.
  49. You drink water. Again, you have a vested interest in ensuring that it remains unpolluted. Even if that's inconvenient to out-of-state mining companies.
  50. You're not a rich psychopath. The choice, then, is clear: vote Burke.