A radical brand of Republicans seized control of our state government in January, and they’ve already inflicted a lot of damage on the state. But they’ve also inspired a growing movement of regular citizens who are fighting to take back Wisconsin from their extremist, one-party rule.
In addition to bringing protesters to Madison in record numbers, grassroots activists have organized impressive campaigns to recall all eight Republican state senators who are eligible for recall under state law. The activists working to recall Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, have already filed petitions with the Government Accountability Board. They not only filed their papers in less than half the time allotted by law, but they turned in 40 percent more signatures than required.
None of the Republicans facing possible recalls are friends to the LGBT community. All of them voted against the historic domestic partnership registry that was enacted in 2009. Most of them have received scores from advocacy groups that demonstrate their opposition to equality. For example, according to VoteSmart.org, Alberta Darling received a 0 percent from Fair Wisconsin in 2004 and received the same grade from the ACLU in 2006. Another example is Sen. Glenn Grothman, who is so extreme that he received a score of 100 percent from the anti-gay group Wisconsin Family Action.
Every one of the eight Republican senators has also contributed to the attack on unions. This is an important consideration for the LGBT community, because the labor movement has been a major supporter of equality in Wisconsin. Organized labor was among the first constituencies to join the fight against the 2006 constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Unions have worked for domestic partnership benefits for their LGBT members, and they supported the state’s domestic partnership registry in 2009.
Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican senators facing recall seek to destroy organized labor in Wisconsin. If they succeed, the LGBT community will be weaker.
Last November, progressive voters throughout the state were greatly disheartened by the election results. But because of the radical Republican over-reach that we have witnessed in recent months, Wisconsin has been given another chance. If three or more of the eight senate Republicans are successfully recalled, we will be able to slow down Walker’s radical agenda.
It is a very wise investment of our time to get engaged in this effort right now. You can learn more by visiting recalltherepublican8.com and volunteering to help.
Very seldom do we get another chance like the one we are presented with today. The extreme actions of Walker and his rubber stamp Legislature have given us a rare opportunity. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and we must seize it.