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I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Minnesota and Wisconsin: sister states in political turmoil


Minnesota and Wisconsin both have a history of good, progressive governance that goes back for decades. And both states are legendary for their clean air and water, beautiful lakes and rivers, productive farms, and cities that work.

Minnesotans remember outstanding leaders like Democrats Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey, and moderate Republican Arne Carlson. But in recent years, we’ve struggled under conservative Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty who served prior to Mark Dayton’s election last November. Now a Republican majority in congress has chosen to shut down the state rather than ask the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.

Our sister state of Wisconsin has a history of bipartisan progressive politics. From Wikipedia:

The early 20th century was also notable for the emergence of progressive politics championed by Robert M. La Follette. Between 1901 and 1914, Progressive Republicans in Wisconsin created the nation's first comprehensive statewide primary election system,[28] the first effective workplace injury compensation law,[29] and the first state income tax,[30] making taxation proportional to actual earnings. The progressive Wisconsin Idea also promoted the statewide expansion of the University of Wisconsin through the UW-Extension system at this time.[31] Later, UW economics professors John R. Commons and Harold Groves helped Wisconsin create the first unemployment compensation program in the United States in 1932.

Today, however, we’re hearing about Wisconsin’s summer of recall elections for state senators as reported by Monica Davey in the NY Times:

On both sides, those picked for recall mainly matched two criteria: they had served at least a year, as the state’s recall rules require, and their districts were viewed by some to be vulnerable.

Those who have gathered thousands of signatures to remove six Republicans object to the lawmakers’ support of a law that strips away collective bargaining rights for public workers and say these senators have, more broadly, supported a series of conservative, budget-cutting policies pushed through by Gov. Scott Walker.

Those who have gathered thousands of signatures to remove three Democrats say that those senators violated their responsibilities by fleeing the state this year in an effort (ultimately unsuccessful) to block the collective bargaining bill and that they are slowing the state’s progress by opposing much of Mr. Walker’s agenda.

So it goes in the sister states of Minnesota and Wisconsin with their proud histories of progressive, ground-breaking leadership that previously served as role models for the rest of the nation.



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