Last week several Wisconsin grassroots leaders and activists asked this writer to compose a letter expressing our discontent with the candidacy of Kathleen Falk for Governor. The text of the letter appears below, along with a hypertext link to the word document in the title of the letter. This letter is being sent to the Falk Campaign, Wisconsin Democratic Party, and communicated with Labor Leadership. It is our hope that stronger, more progressive statewide candidates will emerge from this process that will defeat Scott Walker in the imminent recall election.
You are invited to add your voice to this opinion (if you agree) by sharing and forwarding this letter to the following email addresses:
As many of the grassroots activists who have fought against the radical policies of Scott Walker and the current incarnation of the GOP, we have stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the state, been on the frontline of gubernatorial and senatorial recalls, and believe it is time for a Progressive resurgence in Wisconsin reflecting the spirit of Robert M. LaFollette; therefore, we will not support or endorse Kathleen Falk as a primary gubernatorial candidate representative of this grassroots movement.
The movement that began when UW-Madison teaching assistants brought valentines to the governor’s office in February, 2011 has made history by delivering over one million signatures to recall Scott Walker – led by volunteers from around the state engaged as never before in Wisconsin history. Wisconsin is on the verge of a new populist progressive movement not seen since Fighting Bob LaFollette. We are on the verge of a new politic; wrought by the sweat, tears, strength, and solidarity of millions of Wisconsinites.
But this movement is still fragile, at a crossroads that will take it forward to reform the very nature of government in Wisconsin; or backwards into the abyss of Corporate and Party morass. It is for this reason we express our concern over the candidacy of Kathleen Falk.
While Kathleen Falk is an honorable politician and person, and we respect her right to run for Governor of Wisconsin, we feel she represents a politic supported by establishment and corporate Democrats. The very staff she has hired to coordinate and run her campaign are representative of the same capital “D” democrats that gave us Jim Doyle and Tom Barrett – two politicians who are not reflective of progressive values or this grassroots movement. Falk will certainly raise a significant amount of money thanks to her professional Democrat staff, but that is not the measure of the candidate needed for this movement.
We believe Falk is vulnerable in a statewide election, regardless of current polling. She has lost significant recent statewide elections, engaged in a contentious campaign against Peg Lautenschlager (winning only to lose to JB VanHollen), and left her position as Dane County Executive mid-term. For these reasons alone, she demonstrates great vulnerability in a statewide race. Falk’s election history and being surrounded with establishment, big money Democratic Party operatives demonstrate a level of opportunism towards this movement – and we will not support or endorse such a candidate.
As a grassroots movement, we support an open Democratic primary to allow the people to choose the candidate to challenge and defeat Scott Walker. It is our express desire that this primary take place, without restriction or interference by the Democratic Party, and that the emerging candidate be representative and accountable to the people in their commission. While we respect that Kathleen Falk may emerge from that process as the candidate, we will not support her during the primary process, as we feel there are candidates that will better represent the values we seek to forward this emerging progressive movement.
Respectfully Submitted by Concerned Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin