Today, Wisconsin working families are going to the polls to defend two state senators who stood up to Gov. Scott Walker's (R) attack on workers. Democratic state Sens. Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch face recall elections financed by Republican tea party money.
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt says the two lawmkers:
took bold and courageous action for the working people of Wisconsin last February. As members of Wisconsin's heroic "Fabulous 14" Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch have a proven record of fighting for Wisconsin's middle class.
In an effort to prevent Walker and his allies from ramming through legislation that eliminated the collective bargaining rights of public employees, 14 state senators left the state to prevent a vote. But eventually, Republican lawmakers used parliamentary trickery to pass the bill.
Last week, Wisconsin working families recalled two of those Republican state senators, and if Holperin and Wirch win tonight, the Republicans will hold just a 17-16 edge.
The Aug. 9 recall elections and today's balloting follow a massive mobilization that saw more than 12,000 volunteers mobilized for months in recall districts, contacting more than 1 million voters and, on the week before the Aug. 9 election alone, knocking on 125,000 doors.
Challenging Holperin is tea party extremist Kim Simac. Simac recently compared Wisconsin public schools to Nazi indoctrination camps and outsourced local jobs to China. When Simac published a patriotic book she authored, she choose to outsource jobs to China by utilizing foreign printers instead of a multitude of local printing houses.
Jonathan Steitz is challenging Sen. Wirch. Steitz is a newcomer to both Wisconsin politics and Wisconsin itself. Born and raised in Texas, Steitz works mostly in Chicago and London as an international attorney who turns layoffs into profits for an out-of-state law firm.
AFL-CIO Now Blog, Tues Aug 16 2011
Byline: Mike Hall