That Wisconsin is in such turmoil is a bit of a surprise to me. I grew up on the northern edge of Illinois - as teens, my friends and I would drive into Wisconsin for fun. So my early memories of the state are of a gentle playground: enjoying Milwaukee Summerfest, going to Alpine Valley for concerts; skiing down the Wilmot "Mountain" (a bunny slope from start to finish), strawberry picking, swim meets, catching my first Blue Gill at Lake Geneva (at 5 years old) using a bamboo pole, more intense fishing up in the Great North Woods. As a parent, I brought my children up to Door County for some camping on Rock Island, a great place to get off the grid for a week.
Today, Wisconsin is the scene of some of the most turbulent politics in America. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says:
"Voters will have to decide whether to support Gov. Scott Walker or to dump him from office after less than a year and a half in favor of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the candidate they rejected for the job in 2010. On jobs, taxes, education, health care and unions, the candidates are already marking out positions that differ sharply."Walker's got the money (an article in Mother Jones lists him as having raised $30.5 million vs Tom Barrett's $3.9 million.) Will that kind of money be the differentiating factor? (Go to this story in MoJo for info on who's trying to buy this win - and note that Walker's support comes predominantly from out-of-state funders.)
This is an election where every vote will matter; where democracy in action will determine the course of a state - and perhaps even the course of a nation.Will out-of-state contributions be the deciding factor? Stay tuned....
For more stories, check out these links:
Christian Science Monitor on how WI is a big deal for conservatives
Chicago Trib calls this a "bitter race"
WSJ says "all eyes are on the turnout" in this race
WaPo story from a few days ago notes "the debate moment everyone is talking about" - where Tom Barrett says ""I have a habit of arresting felons; [Scott Walker] has a habit of hiring them."
Links to a bunch of Esquire stories about the Wisconsin political scene
For more on Walker's hiring practices, see this