The following is a letter sent in response to a solicitation I received today from the Campaign Director of the Daily Kos website. I am printing it here since I think it may be of interest to those of us who support the demonstrations in Madison, but are looking for serious political alternatives to the mainstream parties. It may also help to explain how Wisconsin got into the political mess it is in now:
February 21, 2010
Dear Chris Bowers,
I received your email through the Daily Kos email list asking me to contribute $14 to the Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Party Committee, one dollar for every Senator who has left the state. You stated that “over the weekend,” you sent this same email. Well, I want to share with you one of the things I did this weekend.
I spent some time looking through the campaign contribution records in Wisconsin in order to find out how the heck Scott Walker was elected Governor. Like others, I discovered that the Koch Brothers, the funders of Tea Party movement, poured more than $40,000 into Walker’s campaign. I also found out something a bit more unusual.
While the Koch Brothers were funding Walker, they were also passing campaign contributions to the very same Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Party Committee that you are now asking me to contribute to. These contributions amounted to $11,000 in 2009 alone and more to individual Wisconsin Democrats, including currently seated Democratic Assemblymen Gordon Hintz and Corey Mason.
In short, I am not giving a dime of my money to a political party that also accepts donations from the Tea Party patrons.
Do not get me wrong. I am 100% in support of the union demonstrators in Madison. I hope that they are able to call a state-wide general strike and shut the whole place down. I don’t think they should give one concession to this far-right Governor. Instead, the state should increase taxation on the richest 5%, spend from its reserves and increase the corporate tax rate which hasn’t been raised since 1972.
In summary, I thank you for the informative role the Daily Kos often plays. However, in this case, collecting funds for Democrats who have so badly represented the working people of Wisconsin doesn’t seem like an act of solidarity.
Why not use the massive email list that your organization has to start a strike support fund that could help workers of Wisconsin in the event they all go out on strike for a prolonged period? I would gladly contribute to such an effort. But the Democrats? Fool me once shame on you…
In Solidarity with the workers in Madison,
P.S. You can read my full article here: