Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Open Letter: Wisconsin 14 "Made Many Personal Sacrifices"

WisPolitics has posted an open letter from an Illinois couple who the Wisconsin 14 stayed with for a week while trying to prevent the stripping of collective bargaining rights from public employees. The couple describe how they watched the Wisconsin 14 work tirelessly to try to negotiate with the Republicans only to watch "their disappointment as their pleas for negotiation were steadfastly refused.
It was a pleasure to host this group of dedicated and loyal people. We were repeatedly amazed at how hard they worked. They were awake by 4:30 or 5:00 AM and kept working until well past midnight. Each of them made many personal sacrifices and agonized that they were missing events at home, such as birthdays of their children and spouses, children’s school events, funerals, family reunions planned long ago, wedding anniversaries, and many other days that we cherish as families. Their spouses scrambled to take out loans to pay bills at home when their paychecks were withheld. They risked debt and sacrificed time with their own families so that they could represent those they were elected to serve. They spent endless hours returning telephone calls to the people in their districts. Contrary to the contents of some of the newspaper articles we have since read, they attempted daily to negotiate with their Republican colleagues and their Governor, and spent endless hours attempting to contact these legislators. We watched them write these letters at our kitchen table. We watched their disappointment as their pleas for negotiation were steadfastly refused. We, common citizens who previously knew very little about politics, were then amazed to read news releases stating it was the Democratic Senators who were refusing to negotiate."
The rest of the very thoughtful letter is here.

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