Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Democratic win in 94th Assembly District is rejection of Walker agenda

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s political bias is again on display in its coverage of Wisconsin’s assembly elections held yesterday.

Three special elections were held in districts that had been represented by Republicans. Two of districts are so reliably Republican that the outcome was never in doubt.

But the 94th Assembly District which has been held by the Republicans for 16 years is more evenly divided.

The seat opened up when 94th District incumbent Mike Huebsch was appointed secretary of the Department of Administration by Governor Walker. Here the election became a referendum on Walker.

The winner- Democrat Steve Doyle, an attorney and the Onalaska County Board chair, who won with 54% of the vote despite being heavily outspent by the Republicans.

Doyle’s victory was a decisive repudiation of the Governor and his war on public employees in a community that had long leaned Republican.

The 94th Assembly District is one of three assembly districts in the 32nd Senate District where incumbent Republican Senator Dan Kapanke is being challenged by Democratic State Representative Jennifer Schilling in a July recall election. As a result, this assembly race was an especially important preliminary event for both parties.

Doyle’s decisive victory demonstrates that the anger over Walker’s effort to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights remains high; that the opposition to Walker has become a potent electoral force; and that political momentum, at least in Western Wisconsin, is with public workers and their allies.

Yet the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn’t mention that Doyle’s election was a repudiation of Walker’s agenda. In fact, the headline, “GOP wins 2 of 3 assembly seats” suggests that the election was a victory for the GOP and Walker.

Nothing could be further from the truth.


Fellow Faculty said...

Precisely why I canceled my subscription months ago!

Anonymous said...

If you want to talk about voter anger, look at the turnout in the 60th and 83rd districts. Unprecedented for a single open position election. Obviously a lot of very angry voters came out to support the Walker agenda.

And, as an aside, Kloppenburg lost.

And that is the truth.

Michael Rosen said...

Anonymous is right that there is a lot of anger in those districts. Just listen to the hostility on talk radio. But neither the anger nor the high levels of political participation on the right are new or unprecedented. High income people and the conservative suburbs surrounding Milwaukee always truned out in large numbers. What is different now is that traditional Democratic voters, union, working class, minority and student voters are motivated in much greater numbers which is also why Republicans are engaged ina cycnical attempt to restrict the vote with their misnamed voter ID legislation.