Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why a Mandela Barnes sign is in my yard

I've never made a habit of formally endorsing candidates on my blog, especially in fairly competitive Democratic primaries.  Then again there have not been many competitive primaries that directly impacted me on a local level.  But in August that will change as my current state Rep. Jason Fields is getting what appears to be a strong challenge from community organizer Mandela Barnes.

The other day I received a piece of literature encouraging me to "vote for" Jason Fields.  The lit wasn't sent from Jason Fields' campaign, instead it was sent from the right wing organization American Federation for Children Action Fund.  Their primary goal is school privatization and to otherwise divert critical public funds away from public schools. 

What I find particularly amusing are some of the following statements coming from such a right wing (Michigan/D.C. based) organization:

"protecting our rights and our community."
"understands what Democrats stand for" 
"fights for our Democratic values"

Yeah, I'm really sure that this right wing out-of-state group knows exactly what "Democrats stand for" and I'm sure that they know precisely what this community wants as they view it from their Milwaukee P.O. Box.  Give me a break.

The mailing goes even further by actually talking about "Republican attacks" on workers, voter rights and giving away our tax dollars to big corporations.  Wow, these AFC people are truly shameless and they will say anything to promote politicians that are willing to carry out their agenda.  The people funding and running this right wing organization don't really believe in most of that rhetoric.

It bothers me that my state representative willingly accepts the assistance of such shameless right wing interests. I know that he technically can't control what an independent group sends out but he could certainly speak out against it if he really cared.  But to the contrary he was busy attending the AFC Policy Summit this year. He actually spoke at the event and he also was busy posing for photos with Juan Williams, one of the higher profile speakers.  I wonder if he similarly posed for pictures with any of the speakers from the AFC summit last year - like Scott Walker for example?

Republican and former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen has long been an adviser to this right wing group. In fact it appears that Jensen is the registered lobbyist for the group.  Jensen has also been a direct contributor to Jason Fields campaign.  Other right wing funders that have given to Fields include members of the Walton family among others. I'm not surprised that an organization bent on essentially privatizing schools would support Jason Fields, just last year he signed on to voucher bills with the likes of Leah Vukmir, Robin Vos and others. 

Given this background perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that Jason Fields was the only Milwaukee Democrat that didn't offer a single amendment to Walker's union busting Act 10. Maybe I equally shouldn't be surprised that Fields didn't bother to sign a Walker recall petition.  Was he too concerned about offending his right wing friends at AFC ? One would think that a "representative" would be more concerned about representing his actual constituents.

Maybe these are some of the reasons that Mandela Barnes signs are popping up all over the district.  I can tell you without reservation that these are precisely the reasons that a Mandela Barnes sign currently stands in my front yard.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Capper at Cognitive Dissidence also has a new blog posting about Jason Fields and his Republican funders and friends. 

UPDATE 2: Who knew that this would be such a popular topic today? Also check out the following:
Barnes Gathers Aggressive Support to Unseat Jason Fields
Recent GOP backers weigh in for Democrat


Anonymous said...

Check Mandela's campaign Facebook page for their official campaign press release re: the Journal article.

Cory Liebmann said...

You can also see it HERE