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Despite the media’s obsession with Anthony Weiner’s downfall, there are actual news events happening. Like in Wisconsin where Governor Scott Walker still thinks he is somehow special even as the recalls are ramped up in the state. Both Republicans and Democrats in Wisconsin are gearing up for the summer’s state Senate recall elections that are widely seen as a referendum on Walker’s fight with public unions.
The summer certainly won’t be slow in Wisconsin. The collective bargaining issue may be settled for now by the courts, the issue is still on everyone’s mind in the state and nationally. Six state Republicans are up for recall and three Democrats are also facing recall challenges. Primary elections for the Republicans will be held on July 12.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative group, is funding a recall effort against state Democrats. Over the weekend, conservative activists were volunteering at a phone bank to call residents about the recall elections. “It’s called the Wisconsin Freedom Phonebanks,” said Matt Seaholm, state director of AFP-Wisconsin. “It’s set up for citizen identification, asking people where they stand on the issues — just kind of identifying people to see what they think of the recalls going on, but also the governor’s plan on collective bargaining.”
Marjorie Haun, a public school teacher in Colorado, said she was closely following events in Wisconsin and decided to help out at the phonebank because she felt the collective bargaining issue was a national fight. She called about half a dozen people. Two hung up, one was unsure on the issue, and one replied, “I have to think about it.”
“The main question I had was, ‘Do you support Scott Walker’s efforts to balance the budget by limiting the public sector union ability to collectively bargain?’” Haun told The Huffington Post. “I’ve been very concerned about the way that the unions in Wisconsin have reacted to his effort to balance his budget — through not taking away what they have, but through limiting the way that they can take taxpayer money to support their pensions, which are huge and very lavish, especially compared to the one I have in Colorado,” she added.
Nearby, a progressive group was holding a Netroots Nation conference in Minneapolis. Former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold, labor leaders, and other activists focused on the fight in Wisconsin during the event. On Sunday, Democracy for America (DFA) was busing participants over to Wisconsin to knock on doors on behalf of candidates in the recall elections. According to a tweet from DFA Deputy National Field Director Nick Passanante, about 20 volunteers joined up with them to canvass.
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