Thursday, March 29, 2012

Special Interest Support Hurts Democratic Recall Candidates

Every politician, particularly Democrats, argue against lobbyists and special interests. However, most politicians actually take as much as they legally (and sometimes illegally) can from corporations and special interests. In order to win in the recall elections this summer, Democratic candidates must reject money from corporations and special interests, and we must support only those candidates.

One of our strongest nonpartisan critiques of the no-compromise Walker is his pay-for-play with corporations and conservative special interests such as the Koch brothers. You know, like the tried and true statements about "out-of-state money." We can easily win over independents who look for candidates that aren't sold to special interests, and that's what we need to do to defeat Walker. However, to do that a Democratic candidate can't be taking special interest money at the same time, no matter how "good" the special interest might be. The sales pitch dies there, and the critical ideas get lost in the ether.

Scott Walker has over $12 million in his war chest. His Super PAC and special interest friends have already lined up and committed millions more. No Democratic candidate can compete. So, instead of trying to compete, lets actually walk the talk. We can build more grassroots energy and support with the candidates that reject special interests. Let Walker talk to himself on TV. People who are convincible will want more information than just the slime they put out, if only because it'll be so clearly one-sided, and they'll have to look elsewhere. That's where our energy comes in - mainly talking to people. We can save money by doing things such as making our own yard signs which will make the campaign really look like a grassroots campaign.

Think of the stark alternative we would offer. I'm excited!

Russ Feingold agrees. In response to whether candidates should take money from special interests and Super PACs, he said, "People will see us as weak and not being a true alternative and just being the same as the other guy. And as I have said before, to me this is dancing with the devil."

Feingold's Progressives United has spoken out against Falk's support from special interests.
“Regrettably, as well intentioned as Wisconsin for Falk no doubt is, the impact it will have on the recall election will almost certainly be to undermine, not bolster, the chances of successfully replacing Scott Walker as governor. By funneling out-of-state special interest money to support Kathleen Falk’s campaign, Wisconsin for Falk muddies what had been absolutely crystal clear waters in the recall effort. Up until now, the only beneficiary of ominous super PAC support was Governor Scott Walker. That can no longer be said, and because of that, Kathy Falk has been forced to cede what could have been a powerful strategic advantage, namely the complete rejection of support from dubious organizations that the American public overwhelmingly rejects. In fact, a recent poll found that nearly 70% of the public thought that super PACs ought to be outlawed.”
The Wisconsin People's Legislature is pushing all recall candidates to run on the Tin Cup Platform, which rejects money from special interests. We can have enough money to run a viable campaign if everyone who signed a petition gave $20 to such a gubernatorial candidate. It's definitely within our reach.

The top progressive minds in Wisconsin are behind this, and that's usually who Democrats and progressives follow - the advice of independent minds that know what they're talking about. What's your reason for not supporting a candidate that knows what's up?

The two biggest names in the running or potentially running for governor, Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett, have been cozying up to special interests.

There is a candidate for governor that doesn't take money from corporations or special interests, and that's Doug La Follette. He's a true independent, grassroots and "people's" candidate, and he offers the change Wisconsin is looking for.

In order for us to get a campaign for the people, it must be funded by the people, and we must support only candidates who reject money from corporations and special interests.

If we don't demand it, we won't get it. And if we don't get it, we'll lose to Walker!

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