Voces de la Frontera
What now for Wisconsin after the Elections?
On November 2nd, Republicans made gains nationally and especially in Wisconsin where Ron Johnson won the US Senate race over Russ Feingold, (52% to 47%). They also picked up two US Congressional House seats, and won the governorship and majority control of both state legislative chambers. This massive shift of the transfer of power to one political party has not been seen in Wisconsin since the late 1940s.
There is no question that one of the principal reasons that contributed to this dramatic shift is a high level of dissatisfaction from voters with the pace of reform necessary to address growing unemployment and foreclosures.
This vacuum of discontent was filled with a massive infusion of money in political ad spending by corporate donors and the wealthy. According to Federal Election Commission reports, Ron Johnson alone spent nearly $9 million of his family fortune on his own campaign, more than any candidate in Wisconsin history.
Yet the promise and expectation for jobs and prosperity will not be fulfilled with the change in leadership. Indeed times in Wisconsin are going to get even tougher.
Funding for public education will be in jeopardy and our young students will pay the price. If you are among the elderly, disabled or working poor expect cuts in Medicare, Badger Care, education, and basic neighborhood services—misclassified as “wasteful spending” or “big government”.
Despite the inclusive rhetoric, expect your property taxes to go up as the promised tax breaks for corporations continue to shift the financial burden to homeowners and middle-income wage earners. Wisconsin corporate taxes are already among the lowest in the nation.
And of course, to distract blame from the true culprits, expect the continuation of an anti-immigrant agenda targeting the least powerful in our society. This is likely to lead to threats to civil rights and worker rights for immigrants and US citizens alike.
Voces de la Frontera Action waged a strong campaign to mobilize the Latino vote. While final numbers are still being counted, Voces de la Frontera Action anticipates that Latino voters in Wisconsin, part of the largest growing ethnic group in the nation, will continue to shift sharply away from Republicans who have continued to embrace the politics of division and scapegoating.
Nationally, the Latino vote was decisive in key states, such as Nevada, New Mexico, New York, California, and Washington. The growing power of the Latino vote should not be overlooked in Wisconsin or elsewhere.
It will be up to Wisconsin’s working people, from all backgrounds, to organize and push back on the front line of these attacks to build a true alternative to address the legitimate anger of the voters.