After a contentious race that followed a heated recall, Scott Walker has been projected to win the governorship of Wisconsin for a second time, defeating Tom Barret and smothering the final gasps of a Big Labor comeback. In the weeks and months building up to this race pundits, citizens,politicians alike have waited with eager anticipation for this election, with both sides hoping that a win will set the tone for the 2012 presidential race this fall.
I know that I am not alone in my frustration at Tom Barret's loss. This signifies something other than the defeat of the ideals of the Democrats, and it makes little or no commentary on the platform Tom Barret stood for, or the man himself. Rather, this election's message clearly shows that Wisconsin can be bought. For an estimated cost of $23 per vote after spending more than 26 million dollars on his campaign, Scott Walker bought his governorship.
While Scott Walker flooded voters with calls from Chuck Norris, money from 14 of the country's richest people, and misleading jobs propaganda, Tom Barret fought honestly and lost. If this particular race should show us anything about the upcoming presidential race, it seems clear, we must make sure that every one of us votes. I say this because, even amongst this crushing defeat, there is a nugget of hope; in the exit polls for the same Wisconsin voters that just re-elected Scott Walker, Obama leads Romney by many percentage points. This means that all we have to do to win the big race, is get those voters to the booths this fall.
We may have lost this battle, but we can still win the war if we remember this lesson that we learned about Republican money in Wisconsin tonight. We must not be outspent again. We must not let the false facts that riches can buy fool us again. When November's elections roll around, let the rally cry be, "Remember Wisconsin. Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me."
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