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Maddow stated what Wisconsin is really about, “What’s happening in Wisconsin right now is not about a budget. This is about elections. This is about the Republican Party going after the institutions that make it possible for Democrats to win elections in America.”
She touched on the post-Citizens United power of big money in campaigns, “Organization, committees, pacs, political parties that can make big-impact political moves, that can keep up or even outspend the organizations on the other side. You know, there’s a reason that all those oil billionaires that Karl Rove has on speed dial, there is a reason those oil billionaires don’t just make their own individual I’m an oil billionaire campaign contributions. They pool all of their money in Karl Rove’s American Crossroads organization, so then Karl Rove can make multimillion-dollar impact moves in election years.”
Maddow broke down the numbers to show why Republicans unions matter to the Democratic cash supply, “In 2008, the groups that spent the most money on elections that year were the Chamber of Commerce, the giant right-wing pac Freedoms Watch, the National Rifle Association, and, hey, wait, what are all those weird little initials? Oh, yes. Service Employees International Union. And the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the public employees union. In 2010, post Citizens United, 7 of the 10 top spending groups were all right wing. Chamber of commerce, both the Karl Rove groups, Americans for Job Security. All of these right-wing groups. The only non-conservative groups that cracked the top ten were the public employees union, the SEIU, and the teachers union. That’s it. Unions are the only competition republicans have in electoral politics. Post Citizens United, conservatives look at this and they smell blood. I mean, compare this to ’08. They have knocked the unions down to sixth and seventh place. Without unions, essentially all of the big money and politics would be right-wing money. All of it. That is not hyperbole. All of it. Unions are the only players. They are the only fish of any size on the liberal side. This decides who wins elections and who loses them.”
She continued, “And if Republicans can use public policy to destroy their only competition for big political money, if they can use public policy to destroy the only major institutions that help Democratic causes at election time, then Republicans can run the table. Beyond just the money, though, a move like this also destroys the get out the vote and organizational capacity of union, which makes a huge difference on Election Day. If you were a Republican politician and you had the chance to dismantle an organization like that, an organization that was helping the other side, wouldn’t you do it? What’s happening in Wisconsin right now is about republicans vest democrats. It is about elections.”
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