Fair Wisconsin PAC announced endorsements today for the upcoming Senate recall races, including the May 8 Democratic primaries and the June 5 general election.
But the statewide LGBT advocacy group declined to make an endorsement in the gubernatorial primary, the winner of which will take on Gov. Scott Walker in an historic recall effort. Neither did FW-PAC make an endorsement in the race to choose an opponent for Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who also faces recall.
“Because there are multiple (gubernatorial) candidates who are committed to fairness, FW-PAC has made the decision not to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary election,” the group said in a statement. “Fair Wisconsin PAC is grateful to see such a multitude of pro-fairness candidates stepping up to take on an administration that has not been a friend of the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in Wisconsin.”
In the four Democratic primary races for the Senate, the Wisconsin Republican Party is running what it calls “fake Democrats” – Republicans who are posing as Democrats in order to force the May 8 election. Without multiple Democratic challengers, the general election would have been scheduled for that date instead of June 5.
The postponement allows Republicans to take full advantage of what appear to be unprecedented levels of financial backing from wealthy corporate leaders outside the state. Political analysts say the corporate right fears that losses in Wisconsin would deter leaders in other states from pursuing their agenda, which includes weakening unions, providing tax breaks for the rich and eliminating environmental and consumer protection laws that can increase the cost of business for polluters and manufacturers.
Republican supporters now have almost a month of additional time to use their money to inundate voters with campaign mailers and phone calls, as well as to air commercials attacking their opponents.
All four Republican senators targeted for recall oppose equality, reproductive freedom, voter’s rights and other issues important to progressives. FW-PAC’s endorsements not only let voters know which candidates support equality but also can help voters avoid supporting the fake Democratic candidates.
FW-PAC’s Senate endorsements are:
• In Senate District 13, FW endorsed Lori Compas of Fort Atkinson, who wants to take on Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. A political newcomer, Compas led the effort to collect signatures to recall Fitzgerald, who has shepherded Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda through the Senate.
• In District 21, FW endorsed John Lehman of Racine, who aims to unseat Van Wanggaard. Lehman, who served five terms in the Assembly, is coming out of retirement to take on Wanggaard, a Walker loyalist. Lehman is considered a strong contender, and the district went for both President Barack Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004.
• In District 23, Kristen Dexter of Chippewa Falls has been chosen in the fight to unseat right-wing state Sen. Terry Moulton. The district went for Obama in 2008, and Dexter defeated an incumbent that year to become the first woman to represent the 68th Assembly District.
• In District 29, FW backs Donna Seidel of Wausau, who represents the 85th Assembly District, against Jerry Petrowski. This district also voted for Obama in 2008.